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    April 7, 1887

    “The Day of the Sabbath” The Signs of the Times, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; ... 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.”SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.1

    Language could not be framed so as to express more clearly the fact that the Sabbath of the Lord was permanently fixed upon a definite, specified day. The last charge to be brought against the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is that of indefiniteness. If it is not definite, then language cannot be made to convey ideas.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.2

    But among the “inventions” that men have “sought out” is the theory that the commandment does not prescribe the observance of a certain day recurring at regular intervals, but that it enjoins the observance of one-seventh part of our time. The term “sought out” is fitly applied to this invention, for no trace of this theory appears in the commandment. It was brought to light about two hundred years ago as the only alternative of those who wished to persuade themselves and others that they were keeping the commandment, while at the same time they were observing a day of their own choosing. But this is one of the thinnest disguises ever invented. It is a very easy matter to show its absurdity, as we will demonstrate. Notice carefully the following argument:-SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.3

    If God sanctified an indefinite seventh part of time, he must of necessity have left it optional with man to choose which day he would keep; the only thing commanded would be rest; man could suit his own convenience as to time. It would then follow that whatever day man should choose to rest upon, that would be the portion of time sanctified; and thus the act of the Creator would be dependent on the fact of the creature. But it is not at all consistent with the dignity of even a human lawgiver to make the meaning of his enactments contingent on the caprice of the people; much less would such a course reflect honor upon the Government of God.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.4

    But this is not the worst result that would naturally follow. If an indefinite seventh part of time were sanctified, then not only would it be left to man to choose the day for rest, but each individual would be at liberty to rest upon the day which might please his fancy. One man might take the seventh day, and another might take the fourth, and then, according to this theory, not one-seventh but two-sevenths of the time would be sanctified. Or, to suppose a case which would be very likely to happen if men should actually try to put their theory into practice, every day in the week might be kept by different individuals, and then it would appear that in the beginning God had sanctified or set apart all the time! But in that case what would become of the theory that he sanctified only a seventh? We submit to anyone that this is not a forced conclusion; if the conclusion is absurd, it simply proves that the theory in question is absurd.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.5

    But before men reach this point in their endeavors to evade the law of God, they usually recover their reasoning faculties to some extent, and say that it is necessary for all men to keep one and the same day. The exigencies of business require it. Then we ask, Who shall appoint the day? What man is there whose judgment all will follow? There is no man or class of men whose authority even a majority of persons will acknowledge, so as to defer to it. In a case that is left open, every man is on an equality with every other. There is positively no way out of this dilemma but to admit what the commandment plainly declares,-that God, in the beginning, decided definitely which day of the week should be observed. So we see that the one-seventh-part-of-time theory is an impossibility when reduced to practice. And even if it were possible for all men to agree upon some day of their own choosing, that day would be their Sabbath, and not the Sabbath of the Lord, which the commandment enjoins.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.6

    But some will still say, “Granting that a definite day was set apart, how can we tell which one it was?” This must be an easy question to answer, else it were useless to have a definite day appointed. The commandment says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath.” Mark, the seventh day, not a seventh day. The seventh day of what? Not of the month, for that would not meet the demand for a rest after six days of labor. For the same reason it cannot mean the seventh day of the year. It must mean the seventh day of a period of time of which seven days is the sum. But this is the week; and we therefore are shut up to the conclusion that the commandment enjoins the observance of the seventh day of the week. A really candid, thoughtful person could not decide otherwise.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.7

    For further proof that the seventh day of the week is meant, read Luke 23:54-56; 24:1. The sacred historian after describing the crucifixion and burial of Christ, says: “And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Now if we can find what day it was on which they rested, we shall know beyond all doubt which day is “the Sabbath-day according to the commandment.” The next verse says: “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared.” To avoid any possibility of cavil, we turn to Mark 16:1, and there read that this visit took place “when the Sabbath was past.” Luke, then, has given us in consecutive order the record of three days, as follows: Christ was crucified on “the preparation day;” the day following was the Sabbath, upon which the women rested “according to the commandment;” and the next day was the first day of the week. This proves unmistakably that the Sabbath of the commandment is the seventh day of the week. W.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.8

    “Questions and Answers” The Signs of the Times, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “While conversing recently on the subject of Immortality, this idea was presented to me: If Christ, when crucified, died, body and spirit, the world was without a Saviour for three days, and anyone who died during that period could not be saved.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.9

    “Although the idea presents nothing conclusive to my mind, yet I would like to have your idea of it through the SIGNS. J. H. A.”SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.10

    It is astonishing to see the ingenuity displayed in inventing objections to the truth. If half as much time as is spent in trying to evade the truth, were spent in studying it, the number of believers would be increased many fold. In the above objection the ingenuity of unbelief is manifested to a marked degree.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.11

    The answer to this cavil is found in John 3:16: “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.” And this: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. And this also: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Romans 8:32, 33.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.12

    The objection which was presented to our correspondent was based upon the impious idea that God is a stern, unrelenting Judge, whose only emotion toward the human race is that of hatred, and that he is prevented from spitefully tearing men in pieces only because of the watchfulness and interference of the Son, who is all love and pity. But God himself is love, and the texts just quoted show that the plan of salvation is from the Father as well as from the Son. Christ died for sinners; but God’s love for the world is manifested in giving his only begotten Son to die. We cannot make comparisons, so as to say whether the love of the Father was greater than that of the Son; but we can say this: God is love; he is also infinite; therefore his love is infinite love; consequently his love for the world was infinite love, and the sacrifice which he made for the world, in giving his dear Son to die for them, was an infinite sacrifice. In view of these facts, knowing that the plan of salvation is “the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1), it is the height, or rather the depth, of folly, yea, of unreasoning blasphemy, for anyone to intimate that mankind could not be trusted in the hands of the Father alone, during the brief space in which he, together with the Son, was making the sacrifice for their redemption. God the Father is not only our Judge, but he is also our Saviour. See 1 Timothy 2:3; Jude 25.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.13

    One word more: The objector says that if Christ did actually and entirely die, then the world was for three days without a Saviour. We have shown the falsity of that, and now make a simple counter-statement: If Christ did not actually die, then the world has not now, and never had, a Saviour for all the blessings which God has for men, are secured to us only through the death of Christ. Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 15:16-18.SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.14


    “You would be conferring a great favor on me and many that I know, by explaining how Adventists can believe Christ is soon to return, when none of the signs mentioned in Matthew 24:29; Luke 20:11, 12, 25, and other passages, have to come to pass. “E. A. G.”SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.15

    Our questioner makes a very broad assumption. It is possible that he is unaware of the fulfillment of any of the signs referred to, but he is not warranted in saying that they have never come to pass, simply because he has not heard of them. For his benefit, and that of others who are in the same condition, we will briefly note the fulfillment of these signs. This we are always glad to do. Matthew 24:29 reads thus:-SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.16

    “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” Verse 30 continues: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.17

    The “days” referred to in the first part of verse 29, and the days of tribulation referred to in verses 21 and 22. We do not think it necessary to take space here to prove that “the elect” have never suffered tribulation greater than that suffered by them in the dark ages of Papal persecution. This one period ended with the captivity of the Pope, in A.D. 1798, a few years after the violence of the persecution ceased, and serves as a guide in our search for the signs; for the first of these signs was to take place “immediately after the tribulation of those days,” or, as Mark still more definitely records, “in those days, after that tribulation.” Concerning the first sign, the darkening of the sun, we need to do more than quote what is said in “Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary,” in the explanatory and pronouncing vocabulary of noted names of fiction, events, etc.:-SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.18

    “DARK DAY, THE, May 19, 1780;-so called on account of a remarkable darkness on that day, extending over all New England. In some places persons could not see to read common print in the open air for several hours together. Birds sang their evening song, disappeared, and became silent; fowls went to roost; cattle sought the barn-yard; and candles were lighted in the houses. The obscuration began about ten o’clock in the morning, and continued till the middle of the next night, but with differences of degree and duration in different places. For several days previous the wind had been variable but chiefly from the southwest and the northeast. The true cause of this remarkable phenomenon is now known.”SITI April 7, 1887, page 214.19

    It would not make a particle of difference if the true cause of the phenomenon were known. Its value as a sign consists in the fact that it was just what our Saviour said should take place, and that it occurred in the exact time specified,-just before the close of the period of Papal supremacy, and just after the great tribulation. There is one sign fulfilled.SITI April 7, 1887, page 215.1

    The next sign is the falling of the stars. On this it will be sufficient to quote the following statement by Professor Olmstead, of Yale College:-SITI April 7, 1887, page 215.2

    “Those who were so fortunate as to witness the exhibition of shooting stars on the morning of Nov. 13, 1833, probably saw the greatest display of celestial fireworks that has ever been since the creation of the world, or at least within the annals covered by the pages of history.”SITI April 7, 1887, page 215.3

    Those who witnessed this remarkable event, say that it was a literal fulfillment of Revelation 6:13: “And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” The stars appeared as if violently hurled in every direction, just as would be the case with unripe fruit, if it were forced from the limbs by a strong wind. And it was not simply a few shooting stars, but the flying meteors could be likened only to flakes of snow in a furious snowstorm. So much for the fulfillment of the second sign.SITI April 7, 1887, page 215.4

    “And upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity,” is the next thing recorded by Luke. He who says that this is not even now fulfilled and fulfilling, must have studiously refrained from reading any of the newspapers. Organized bands of Socialists and Anarchists are not only caused by poverty and oppression, but are themselves, in turn, causes of still greater distress and perplexity. The nations of Europe are spending all their capital and credit in arming themselves against possible attacks from one another, yet, as in the case of Russia, are so fearful of the enemy within their own borders, that they often contemplate even the dreaded war with foreign powers, as a possible means of uniting their subjects, and averting the still more dreaded disruption. These things literally cause men’s hearts to fail them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.SITI April 7, 1887, page 215.5

    Only one of the signs which are Saviour mentioned yet remains to be fulfilled, and that is the shaking of the powers of the heavens. But this takes place immediately in connection with the coming of the Lord, so that when it is seen, it will be too late to warn people to prepare for the coming of the Lord. The shaking of the powers of the heavens accomplished by the voice of God (Hebrews 12:26), when he shall “roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem” (Joel 3:16); when the heavens shall depart as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island shall be moved out of their places; when “the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man” shall hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and shall say to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:14-17.SITI April 7, 1887, page 215.6

    Let no one, then, comfort himself with the thought that the Lord’s coming is not near, because the powers of the heavens have not been shaken. Rather let him discern the signs of the times, and make haste to be ready to greet our soon-coming Lord with the words, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9. W.SITI April 7, 1887, page 215.7

    “Union for the Sake of Peace” The Signs of the Times, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We are urged to cease our opposition to Sunday, and to the securing of Sunday laws, for the sake of peace. Christ prayed that his disciples might all be one, and so we are admonished that we ought to unite with those Christians who keep Sunday, that the world may have an example of Christian unity. But why should we join with them rather than they with us? Oh, because they are in the majority, and they say that the majority ought to rule. But when it is well known that it is a matter of conscience with the minority, to say that the majority should rule is simply to say that the minority have no business to have a conscience of their own; that they must allow the majority to be conscience for them. We are fond of peace and harmony, but we do not believe in peace and harmony which is gained by compromising truth. Luther was a man who loved peace and deprecated strife; but if he had not loved truth still more, he could not have been the leader in the Reformation. Truth and error must ever be antagonistic, and as long as there is error in the world, there cannot be peace.SITI April 7, 1887, page 216.1

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Chronicle says: “By and by the criminal lawyer will rank, in the public esteem, about on a par with the criminal.” But why say “by and by”? Within a week we have had the spectacle presented to us of a “criminal” lawyer making a pathetic plea for a brutal murderer on the ground that the culprit “could not control his impulses,” and was “morally insane.” That is to say, he pleaded for acquittal on the ground that the prisoner was a vile reprobate! Can “criminal” practice to send to any Lord depth of infamy?SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.1

    We have before us the Year Book of the California Y.M.C.A. In it we find the report of an address delivered at the last day convention, on “how to awaken a greater interest in Bible study among our active members.” It was by Rev. W. J. Chichester, who said, among other things: “Don’t confine yourself too much to favorite passages. The Old Testament as well as the New is the word of God. All is not equally given by inspiration, but all is worthy of consideration.” Perhaps we ought to feel thankful for the reverend gentleman’s admission that all of the Bible is “worthy of consideration.”SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.2

    The Occident, of San Francisco, has a notice of the “Address to Thinking People,” on the Sunday Law, and finds that the entire argument is fallacious, because a little quotation from the Christian at Work was, by a typographical error, redited to Jan. 3, 1885, instead of Jan. 8, 1885. The argument would not be affected in the least if the entire quotation were omitted be officially as it appeared in the Christian at Work. It is worthy of note that the only flaw which the Occident could find in the entire argument was in the accidental substitution of 3 for 8.SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.3

    By the way, now that we have referred to the Occident, we wish to say that it is doing some good work in the matter of unfermented wine at communion. Its correspondent, “Rusticus,” has thoroughly exploded the idea that there is no such thing as unfermented wine, and that our Saviour used intoxicating wine at the institution of the Lord’s Supper. We are glad to see that there is quite a general movement, “among the churches to return to the scriptural method of celebrating this ordinance.SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.4

    “Chart of the Week” The Signs of the Times, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The “Chart of the Week,” which we noticed when we received a specimen section of it some months ago, is now completed, and is ready for those who have long awaited for it. For the benefit of those who may not have read the previous notice, we will say that the chart shows “the unchanged order of the days, and the true position of the Sabbath, as proved by the combined testimony of ancient and modern languages.” The names of the week and of each day in the week are given in one hundred and sixty languages and dialects, presenting most overwhelming proof that the division of the week has remained unchanged in all ages and in all lands. The chart has nine columns. The first gives the language and the extent of territory where it is, or was, “spoken, read, or otherwise used.” The second column gives the word for week, in the original characters of the language named in the preceding column, together with the transmitter, showing the pronunciation, and the corresponding English word. The seven remaining columns to the same for each of the days of the week.SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.5

    The chart is a most interesting object for study, and shows how universal was the knowledge, in ancient times, of the memorial of creation, thus emphasizing Paul’s declaration that they who forgot God are without excuse. As a single instance, we note the very ancient Arabic. The name for week signifies “seven;” the first day of the week is “business day;” the fourth day of the week, Wednesday, is “turning day, or mid-week;” the sixth day, Friday, is “Eve Sabbath),” while the seventh day is “Chief or Rejoicing day.” Many similar instances might be noted. The chart is thus in itself a strong argument for the universality and perpetuity of the seventh-day Sabbath, and should be in the hands of every lover of the Lord’s own day.SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.6

    Rev. W. M. Jones, 56 Mildmay Park, London, N., author of this chart, and he has put upon it untold amount of conscientious, painstaking labor. The section of the chart showing the days of the week and all the European languages (fifty-three in number) was prepared by Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte.SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.7

    Considering the importance of the chart, and the immense amount of labor devoted to its preparation, we think the price $.75 for the paper, and $1.25 when mounted on lmen, with roller, is very reasonable. Orders may be sent to the Pacific Press. If the chart is ordered from the author, post-office orders should be made payable at Newington, Green Road, N., London.SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.8

    “Signs of the Times” The Signs of the Times, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Though late reports from Europe tell us that peace is assured, at least for a few months, the conviction is irresistible that the condition of affairs there resembles more nearly a smothered volcano than anything else to which it can be compared. It is true that there is now no immediate prospect of war between France and Germany, but the Eastern question remains practically unchanged. There is no sign that Russia has any intention on Constantinople; and the Bulgarian difficulty is no nearer a settlement than it was three months ago.SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.9

    Weather unfavorable to military operations has temporarily checked Russian aggression; but Russian intrigue and diplomacy are as active as ever; and he who does not recognise the fact the erelong the Turk is to be driven from Europe to “plant his tabernacle between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain” (Jerusalem), is alike deaf to the language of prophecy, and blind to the signs of the times.SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.10

    But the Eastern question is not the only menace to the peace of Europe; there is not a nation in the Old World, if indeed there be one anywhere, that does not contain within itself elements which imperil its very existence. Within a month three attempts have been made upon the life of the Czar; and there cannot be a doubt that the whole social, religious, and political fabric of the empire is rotten to the core, being completely honeybombed with Nihilism. Though the absolute ruler of millions of people, Alexander III. is a fugitive from the wrath of his own subjects, and dare not enter his own capital, or, as the Nihilists say, “The Czar has been banished to Gatschina, which is now his prison, and a prison so large that he cannot escape.”SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.11

    England, too, is convulsed with internal feuds, and there is every prospect that a new era of dynamite outrages is about to be inaugurated there by Irish agitators, who despair of ever getting justice for their country by parliamentary methods; and who believe that it is only by blowing up public buildings in English cities and making it costly to continue governing Ireland, that their demands will ever be listened to and home rule granted. Should the Coercion Act now before Parliament be passed, we may expect a reign of terror and bloodshed in England unequaled in any country since the French Revolution.SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.12

    The same spirit of lawlessness and unrest that prevails in Russia and England, characterizes, though possibly in a less degree, the rest of the world. Only a few days since, Mayor Harrison, of Chicago, in declining a re-nomination said that he feared serious trouble in that city within the next two years; and that if he were mayor he should not dare to leave the city more than half a day’s journey. And Chicago is not in very much worse case than the rest of our great cities. Altogether the outlook is far form reassuring, and instead of the much-talked-of temporal millennium being about to be ushered in, the earth is filled with violence, and in many quarters we see “men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things that are coming on the earth.”SITI April 7, 1887, page 224.13

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