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    June 9, 1887

    “‘Blessed Are They that Do’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is probable that there is no word in the Bible the meaning of which is more generally misunderstood than the word “conversation.” The reason is that the meaning of the word has changed since the authorized version was made, and the word is now used in a much more restricted sense than it was used with reference to one’s general deportment. From a failure to recognize the fact that the word is used in the Bible in a sense which is now obsolete, many lose very much of the force of the texts in which it occurs. A little examination of the principal texts in which the word is found cannot fail to be profitable, on account of the practical truths which they contain.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.1

    The first time the word occurs in the Bible is Psalm 37:14: “The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.” The margin has the correct rendering: “The upright of way.” The idea of this text is the same as that of verse 12: “The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth;” or that stated by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:12: “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.2

    In Psalm 50:23 we have the word again: “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.” Here, as before, the correct idea is given in the margin. It should read: “To him that disposeth his way aright, will I show the salvation of God.” This gives a much broader meaning to the text. When we remember that the Judgment will take cognizance not only of words and actions, but of the thoughts, we find that the word here rendered “conversation” covers every duty. They who dispose their way aright, are “the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord” (Psalm 119:1), and the promise in Psalm 50:23 is equivalent to the statements in Matthew 19:17 and Revelation 22:14, that they who keep the commandments will be saved.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.3

    The next occurrence of the word is in Galatians 1:13: “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.” Here it is absolutely impossible that the word should be limited to talk. Paul’s wasting of the church of God was not idle talk, but stern reality. He says that his “conversation” when he professed the Jews’ religion was to persecute the church.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.4

    Again we read: “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” Ephesians 4:22. Here it is obvious that “manner of life,” as it is in the revised version, or “practices,” as the Syriac version has it, expresses the sense much more perfectly. The “old man” is the “body of sin” (Romans 6:6), and Paul means that the “former conversation” which is to be “put off,” is the past course of sin. In contrast with this “conversation” which is to be “put off,” is the “new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24), which is to be “put on.” “Righteousness and true holiness” do not consist of talk, but of deeds, and so that which is “put off” to make room for these, consists of deeds.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.5

    The same meaning attaches to the word in Ephesians 2:3, where the apostle, after speaking of the children of disobedience, says: “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind.” He does not mean that once we simply talked with the children of disobedience, but that our manner of life, including words, thoughts, and actions, was the same as theirs.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.6

    1 Timothy 4:12 shows that the word means more than simply talk. Paul exhorts Timothy to be an example “in word, in conversation, in charity.” “In word” covers all that he may say, but “in conversation” indicates the whole behavior. It is not enough that a minister should talk well both in the pulpit and out, but his behavior must correspond.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.7

    In the thirteenth of Hebrews the word occurs twice. In verse 5 we read: “Let your conversation be without covetousness.” Covetousness is a sin of the mind, and not of words. The rendering, “Be ye free from the love of money,” or, “Let your turn of mind be free from love of money,” is much more in accordance with the nature of covetousness, and with the exhortation which immediately follows, “And be content with such things as ye have.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.8

    Verse 7 of Hebrews 13 might with more reason be thought to have reference to words, if we did not know that the usage of the Bible is in favor of a more comprehensive application. When the Bible was translated, it is not probable that the word “conversation” was rendered in its present limited sense. It was then used in the sense of the Latin word from which it is derived, namely “turning about,” indicating all the turns of one’s life, or in other words his way or manner of life. So in this text when the apostle says, “Remember them which have the rule over you, ... considering the end of their conversation,” he means that we should consider the object of their manner of life,-why it is that they live as they do. The same thought is expressed in Philippians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:6.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.9

    In 1 Peter 1:15, 18 it is very clear that if “manner of life” or “conduct” be substituted for “conversation,” the text will read more smoothly, and the one who has always limited the word “conversation” to mere talk, will find a deeper meaning to the text than ever before.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.10

    In 2 Peter 2:7 it is very evident if we regard the context that something more than talk is meant. The text says that just Lot was “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.” Now there can be no doubt but that the Sodomites were obscene and vulgar in their talk, but verse 8 is explanatory of verse 7, and that says: “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.” Here it is shown that the word “conversation” covers both speaking and doing. In this connection it is well to remember that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34) and that as a man “thinketh in his heart so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. So that is a man’s words are evil, it is very certain that his deeds will be no better.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.11

    2 Peter 3:11: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,” is often quoted to show that in these last days our talk ought to be pure and elevated. So it ought, but the text teaches vastly more than that. Many people whose talk is faultless will be left outside the kingdom of God. What Peter wants to impress is the thought that in view of the soon coming of Christ our whole conduct should be holy.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.12

    The faulty rendering of Philippians 3:20 has caused many, perhaps the majority of persons, to lose the force and beauty of that text. It reads: “For our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Now our talk may be of a heavenly nature, or about heavenly things, but it would be absolutely impossible for us to have it in Heaven unless we ourselves were there. When we get to Heaven, our talk will of necessity be there, but not till then. The word here rendered “conversation” is politeuma, and means “commonwealth,” or “citizenship.” The reader will no doubt at a glance see the truth of this, since politeuma must bring to his mind the word “political,” which has reference to governments.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.13

    In the passage in which this text occurs, the apostle tells the brethren how they ought to walk, or live. The reason why we should not live like the enemies of the cross of Christ, but should reach forth unto those things which are before, is that this world is not our home, but that our citizenship is in Heaven, and we should live as would become people of such high birth. We are not dwellers here upon this earth, therefore we should not live “according to the course of this world;” but if we have been born of the Spirit, we are only sojourners here. In Heaven we have an enduring substance, “a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” If we are “called to be saints,” we are sons of God, and ought to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called. If we should live like the children of disobedience, we should deny our royal birth. The thought that our citizenship is in Heaven, that our names are enrolled in the Great Register of that country, should lead us to study the laws of that place, that we may know how to conduct ourselves when we go there. And since we cannot conduct ourselves properly there unless we have learned how here, it follows that a proper understanding of this text constantly borne in mind will serve as a great incentive to holy living. This is the only place in the Bible where the word rendered “conversation” has this meaning.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.14

    These are not all the instances of the occurrence of the word “conversation” in the common version, but they are the principal ones. It is not merely as a matter of curiosity that one should understand the proper sense of this word in the various places where it occurs, but that he may get the full meaning of the texts in which it is found. Let us be careful not to narrow the sense of the Scriptures, nor give words a meaning which they do not possess. Let us also remember that the Bible lays far more stress on deeds than on words; for while a good talker may be a very poor liver, it will invariably be the case that “a good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things.” The man whose works are committed to the Lord, will have his thoughts established; and the man whose thoughts are pure will talk accordingly. W.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.15

    “Unity of the Eighth and Ninth of Daniel” The Signs of the Times, 13, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    That there is the most intimate connection between the eighth and ninth chapters of Daniel, must be patent to anybody who reads that book with even ordinary attention. The eighth chapter records a vision which the prophet had “in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar.” In that vision Daniel saw the last three great universal empires of the world, under the symbols of a ram, a goat, and a little horn; and at the close, he heard one angel, in reply to the question, “How long shall be the vision?” say, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Then the angel Gabriel received the divine command, “Make this man to understand the vision,” which he at once proceeded to do. He briefly, yet comprehensively, sketched the course of empires from the rise of the Medo-Persian Empire to the overthrow of the Roman power. Verses 20-25 of chapter 8 cover the interpretation of what Daniel saw, and in verse 25 the angel begins the interpretation of what Daniel heard. Said he, “And the vision of the evening and the morning [compare margin of verse 14] is true.” Then Daniel fainted, and the angel was obliged to postpone any further explanation.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.16

    The commission which the angel had received remained, however, in full force, and Daniel himself was not the one to rest quietly with the vision unexplained. In the first year of Darius, Daniel knew that the time of the captivity of the Jews in Babylon had nearly expired, and thinking, doubtless, that his vision in the third year of Belshazzar, part of which was still unexplained, applied to this time, he engaged in earnest prayer to God. Verses 4-19 of the ninth chapter of Daniel record this prayer, and in the twentieth verse the prophet begins:-SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.17

    “And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved; therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” Daniel 9:20-23.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.18

    Now note these points: 1. Part of the vision of the eighth chapter was still unexplained. 2. Daniel was pleading for light upon this unexplained portion, as is evident from verse 22. 3. The same angel who had received the commission to make Daniel understand the vision, and who had partially done his work, now came the second time. 4. Daniel identifies him as “the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning,” an obvious reference to “the vision” of chapter 8:5. Almost the first thing the angel said was, “understand the matter, and consider the vision.” What vision? Why, the only one that needed considering, the only one to which such matter-of-fact reference could possibly be made,-the vision recorded in the eighth chapter. 6. And lastly, without any further introduction, the angel began the explanation by saying, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people,” etc. The point in the vision where he had ceased his explanation, was the time portion, and right there he begins. These facts prove beyond the possibility of a doubt that verses 24-27 of Daniel 9 are the completion of the explanation of the vision of Daniel 8.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.19

    The question now arises in many minds, “How long a period of time intervened between the two parts of the interpretation?” This is really an unimportant matter, but since it is asked, it is proper to answer it as well as may be done. According to the chronology of Usher, which is found in the margin of our Bibles, it was fifteen years. The date B.C. 553, in the margin of chapter 8, is based on the supposition that Belshazzar’s reign began in B.C. 555. If that were true his third year would be 553. But comparatively recent explorations show that Belshazzar was not upon the throne of Babylon so early as 555 B.C.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.20

    There has always been a little obscurity about Belshazzar. The fact that Nabonadius was the only name mentioned in the ancient records as coming to the throne of Babylon in 555 B.C., led many historians to discredit the Bible narrative, which speaks of Belshazzar as king; while commentators generally bridged the difficulty by claiming that Nabonadius and Belshazzar were two names for the same man. Thus the matter rested until scholars learned to read the cuneiform inscriptions, when it was discovered that Nabonadius was indeed king of Babylon from B.C. 555 to B.C. 538, and that Belshazzar was his son, whom he associated with himself in the empire, in order that opposition to the encroachments of the Persians under Cyrus, might be made from different points at the same time. By this discovery, the Bible was proved to be historically accurate, and Bible scholars learned why Belshazzar made Daniel only the third ruler in the kingdom. Daniel 5:29. It was the highest position to which Daniel could be raised. Nabonadius was first, Belshazzar was second, and Daniel was made third.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.21

    If now we can tell at what date Belshazzar became joint ruler with his father, we can easily determine the length of time between the third year of his reign and the first year of Darius. But that cannot be done with exactness. The “Encyclopedia Britannica” says that “all that is known with any certainty on the matter will be found in Rawlinson’s “Great Monarchies.” Without entering into details as to how he arrives at his conclusions, we will state that Rawlinson regards Belshazzar as the son of a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, whom Nabonidius married after he became king. See in “Seven Great Monarchies,” chapter eight (and notes) of Fourth Monarch. He says of Nabonadius: “At the earliest possible moment-probably when he [i.e., Belshazzar] was about fourteen-he had associated with him in the government his son Belshazzar, or Belshar-ezer, the grandson of the great Nebuchadnezzar.... He was young and inexperienced, but he had the counsels of the queen-mother to guide and support him, as well as those of the various lords and officers of the court.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.22

    If Rawlinson’s date is correct, the third year of Belshaazar’s reign was his last; and the time between the giving of the vision of the eighth of Daniel, and the first year of Darius, when the interpretation was completed, was very short. Not more than a year could have separated the two installments of the interpretation, and without doubt the whole of the transaction occurred in the same year. This serves to bind the two chapters under consideration almost as closely together in point of time as they obviously are in subject.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.23

    The actual time, however, between the two portions of the interpretation, is, as we have already intimated, a matter of comparatively little importance. There is no escaping the conclusion that the ninth of Daniel is a continuation of the eighth, and the student can connect verse 24 of chapter 9 with verse 26 of chapter 8, and follow the interpretation through without a break. So far as the interpretation is concerned, it makes no difference whether the time between the two parts of it was fifteen years or fifteen minutes. The close connection between the two chapters having been demonstrated, the student or expositor should drop all thoughts of the time occupied in interpreting the vision, and read Daniel 8:20-26; 9:24-27 as one continuous narrative.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.24

    This explanation may serve as an aid to some in the study of one of the most important prophecies of the Bible. W.SITI June 9, 1887, page 342.25

    “The Commentary. God Requires Strict Obedience” The Signs of the Times, 13, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (June 26.-Leviticus 10:1-11; Exodus 35:20-29.)

    “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said. And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the Lord hath kindled. And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die; for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses.SITI June 9, 1887, page 346.1

    “And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations; and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 346.2

    There are two or three points in this portion of Scripture which the student should not fail to notice. The first and most important is that God is very particular, and will not countenance any deviation from directions which he has given. He had specified the kind of fire and incense that should be used in the sanctuary. Exodus 30:9. He himself had kindled a fire on the altar when the first offering was made upon it, and no other was to be used. It might have seemed to Nadab and Abihu that there was no difference between the sacred fire and ordinary fire; but God had made them different, and it was their duty to recognize that difference.SITI June 9, 1887, page 346.3

    It may seem to many that death was a severe penalty for so slight a deviation from the commandment of the Lord; such must remember that the fact that the death penalty was inflicted by the Lord himself, is sufficient evidence that the offense was not small. The Judge of all the earth will do right. It must also be borne in mind that the heinousness of a sin is not determined so much by the actual quality of the deed itself, as by the spirit in which the deed is committed. Contempt for the Lord may be shown in the willful disobedience of a supposed minor precept, as well as by some act which would be generally recognized as a sin. But the sin of Nadab and Abihu was not a small one. It was the result of lightly regarding the service of the Lord. They engaged in his service as carelessly as they would in some business of their own; and this showed that they had no real reverence for God.SITI June 9, 1887, page 347.1

    The same reasoning that Nadab and Abihu may be supposed to have used is indulged in by thousands of people to-day in regard to the Sabbath. The fourth commandment says: “Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; for the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt not do any work;” and it gives as a reason for this, the fact that is stated in Genesis 2:3, that “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it [made it holy]; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Yet in the face of this, there are people who say that there is no difference in days, and that one day is just as good as another; that since all days are alike, it makes no difference which day we observe as, Sabbath, providing it is one day in seven. There is just the same difference that there was in the fire. The two kinds of fire no doubt looked just alike. But one was not holy and the other was. It was holy because God had made it so. So all days look alike; but they are not all alike, for God has made the seventh day holy.SITI June 9, 1887, page 347.2

    Refusal to obey any commandment of the Lord, is evidence of a lack of respect for him. In Ezekiel 22:26 the Lord through the prophet says of the church, “Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbath, and I am profaned among them.” Her hiding the eyes from the Lord’s Sabbath is counted as the same sin that Nadab and Abihu committed. Moreover, the Lord says that he is profaned because the people have not put difference between the holy and the profane, but have violated his holy Sabbath. This is because God has magnified his word above all his name (Psalm 138:2); disregard of his word dishonors him; and for a man to treat the Lord with disrespect is as bad as to speak disrespectfully of him.SITI June 9, 1887, page 347.3

    Some may say that the Lord is not so particular now as he used to be, because he does not destroy people for making no difference between the day which he has sanctified, and common days. This illustrates what Solomon said: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11. But God says, “I am the Lord, I change not.” He is just as particular now as he ever was. But at no time in the history of the world has he executed summary punishment upon all transgressors. If he had, there would have been no people left on earth. Occasionally he has suddenly cut off some terribly presumptuous person, but those were only exceptional cases. “He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31, and he has reserved the unjust “unto the day of Judgment to be punished.” 2 Peter 2:9. The instances in which God has summarily cut off transgressors are simply reminders of how he regards disobedience to his plain requirements. Let us therefore not tempt the Lord, but on the contrary, seek earnestly to know what his will is, and then with diligence do all his commandments. Upon all such a blessing is pronounced.SITI June 9, 1887, page 347.4

    The passage of Scripture upon which we are commenting is also a temperance lesson. After Nadab and Abihu were destroyed “the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations; and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.” This seems to indicate that Nadab and Abihu had been drinking wine before they went into the sanctuary, and that this was the cause of their sin. From this we learn that God does not regard drunkenness as an excuse for crime. If a man commits a murder when he is crazed with liquor which he voluntarily drank, he is as guilty as though the crime were premeditated; because he of his own accord took that which he knew would deprive him of reason.SITI June 9, 1887, page 347.5

    Whether or not Nadab and Abihu were thoroughly intoxicated, we cannot tell, but we know that their sensibilities were blunted. How many there are who engage in the work of the Lord with their mental faculties all deadened because of intemperance in eating or drinking. Such cannot appreciate the plain word of God. And it is largely because of gross habits that people cannot sense the importance of sacred things. Both their mental and their moral faculties are blunted, so that they can see no difference between things holy and things common. But people who cannot see the truth, because their own wrong habits have blunted their senses, are just as accountable for their disobedience as though they could see the truth and should willfully disobey it. To all the exhortation comes, “Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 347.6

    Attention is called to just one point taught by Exodus 35:26-29. That is that “everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing,” brought an offering for the sanctuary; God had told Moses to take an offering only “of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart.” Exodus 25:2. The result of this willing offering is given in Exodus 36:2-7. The people brought unto Moses “free offerings every morning,” until the overseers of the work said to him, “The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the ordering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.” Such a thing as this is of rare occurrence, but it would not be if the people who profess to be God’s would all give willingly and make free offerings. The cause of God would prosper, and all would be blessed.SITI June 9, 1887, page 347.7

    We cannot help thinking that there were some in the camp of Israel who had not given anything when the proclamation went forth that no more offerings were needed. There are always some who do not intend to give anything. To such it would make no difference whether there was enough or not. Such ones would doubtless congratulate themselves on their prudence, since they had saved their means, and the cause was well supplied besides. But there are always others who do intend to give, but not now. They cling to their means yet a little longer, but fully design to make a liberal donation at some future time. How disappointed such ones must have felt when they learned that their offerings were not needed. So it will doubtless be in these last days. God’s work will close without having been helped by many who designed to help sometime. Too late they will find that while the work of the Lord could get along without their help, they cannot get along without helping the work. The lesson that we should learn is never to put off service of any kind for the Lord. To-day is the call to everyone. W.SITI June 9, 1887, page 347.8

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The report of the proceedings of the North Pacific Conference is of necessity laid over until next week.SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.1

    In our reference to Henry VIII., last week, we stated that he cut off the heads of three wives. This is a mistake, he cut off the heads of only two-Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. Wicked murderer and libertine as he was, we would not lay more to his charge than rightly belongs there.SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.2

    For several days passed a fair has been in progress in a Catholic Church which has recently been erected in Oakland, the object being to raise money to pay off the indebtedness. The following announcement which was made in one of the Oakland dailies, shows that the Catholic Church will not consent to being outdone by Protestants, in the way of “reaching the masses“:-SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.3

    “A large attendance is expected at St. Francis the Sales fair to-night, and there will be several fresh attractions. The shooting gallery must do well if it plans its own against some of the crack shots to ring the bell and pocket a good cigar every time. The refreshment department might make the staff of the first-class hotel turn green with envy, so varied an excellent is the bill of fare.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.4

    In a supplemental report of the North Pacific camp-meeting, we learned the following additional particulars. The Sabbath-school, conducted by Professor Granger, numbered four hundred thirty members. Last year there were but two hundred sixty.The class contributions for the day amounted to $47.53. Children’s meetings were conducted daily by Sister Morrison. In this work the Lord especially blessed, and many of the children were converted. Special pains were taken to instruct the children in the simple principles of the Gospel, and those who accepted Christ did so understandably. Of the thirty-one who were baptized, the majority were children and youth.SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.5

    A Baptist paper (the Flag, of St. Louis, in animadverting recently upon certain remarks of the Midland (United Presbyterian), relative to the practice of infant communion, prevalent in the third century and for some time thereafter, says:-SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.6

    “If Protestant churches receive infant baptism by tradition, why not receive the infant communion, which rests upon the same foundation? However, it would be much better to reject the whole batch of the traditions of men, and follow the example of Christ and the apostles.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.7

    These Protestant churches which “receive infant baptism by tradition” might turn this upon their Baptist critic, by asking, If Protestant churches receive Sunday-keeping by tradition, why not receive infant baptism, which rests upon the same foundation? And no one can give any good reason for receiving the one rather than the other. “It would,” indeed, “be much better to reject the whole batch of the traditions of men, and follow the example of Christ and the apostles,” which gives no more warrant for regarding Sunday as the Sabbath, than it does for baptizing infants or giving them the communion.SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.8

    In our report of the Kansas camp-meeting, in another column, we stated that Elder Kilgore was called by telegraph to the capital of Illinois on account of the Sunday law bill which was to be made the special order for Tuesday, May 21, in both houses of the Legislature. Since writing that we have received a note from Brother Kilgore in which he says:-SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.9

    “I arrived here on Tuesday morning, but the bill did not come up till Wednesday morning. A motion was made to call it back to the second reading but it was defeated by a large majority, and it then passed sweeping through the House by a vote of eighty to forty with cheers. There was more interest shown in it than I had seen in connection with any bill before the house prior to this one, or since it passed. It was then taken up in the Senate and at once placed on the order of the second reading; and now it is still subject to an amendment. We have several senators pledged to us that they will do all they can to support a saving clause in our behalf. But I have learned by the experience of yesterday, that it is vain to trust in the arm of flesh.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.10

    We hope to be able soon to lay before our readers a copy of the proposed Illinois Sunday law, so that they may see what a gentle(?) spirit actuates the Chicago preachers.SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.11

    A few nights ago a meeting was held in Oakland, to express sympathy with Ireland. One of the speakers was Father McNally, who in his speech made the following inquiry:-SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.12

    “When did the Irish people, who have made up for centuries the Irish society, transfer their government to the English tyrant? Where are the deeds of transfer.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.13

    Of course the Irish people never transferred their government to the English. But the Pope did. He not only transferred the government, but the people and the whole island itself. And if Father McNally, or anybody else, will call at this office we will show him the deed of transfer, in the original Latin. Why don’t Father McNally and his compatriots and fellow sympathizers with Ireland call upon the Pope to give back to Ireland that which he gave away? Is England to blame for keeping what the Pope gave her to keep?SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.14

    The papers announce that “the Pope grants unprecedented honors to Queen Victoria.” It is very kind indeed in the dear good Pope to condescend to “grant” honors, unprecedented or otherwise to the queen of Great Britain. The unprecedented honor in this case is that the Pope has “entirely of his own accord, and without any hint from Cardinal Manning, based a rescript which ordains that on Jubliee day, June 21, high mass and a Te Deus shall be performed in all Roman Catholic Churches in England.” It is said that “his holiness could not have done more in the case of the most faithful Catholic sovereign.” And then it is suggested, very innocently of course, that “the English clergy might return the compliment on the occasion of his holiness’s approaching jubilee.” Yes, they might, nor should we be much surprised if they do so. Of course some such thing as that is just what the Pope is fishing for, if only if it should be so at the official direction of the queen, such a recognition on the part of England would be of great weight in the longed-for universal recognition of the Papal sovereignty.SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.15

    “Sunday Labor and Morality” The Signs of the Times, 13, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The rector of Trinity Church in San Francisco, Rev. Dr. H. W. Beers, was recently called as a witness in a case being tried in Oakland. The Doctor had testified that the defendant in the suit was a man of good moral character. On cross-examination he was asked if his opinion would have been different if he had known that the defendant attended baseball games on Sunday. His reply was, “I know very decent people who attend baseball games on Sunday.” To the lawyer’s question, “If Mr.—attended a baseball game instead of going to church, would it not affect is moral character in your opinion?” the reverend gentleman replied, “It would not affect my estimate of his moral character.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.16

    Well, why should it? Moral character is determined by moral or immoral acts. An immoral act is one that is contrary to the moral law; and since Sunday observance is not required by the moral law, it follows that an act performed on Sunday cannot affect one’s moral character, unless the act itself would be an immoral act if performed on Monday or Thursday, or any other day of the week.SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.17

    In saying this, we do not mean to be understood that the time when a certain act is performed has nothing to do with the morality or immorality of the deed. Far from it. There is a day which God has declared holy, and whose observance is enjoined by the moral law. The fourth commandment gives us six days of the week in which to do all our work, but commands us to rest from our labor on the seventh day of the week. Now since morality is nothing else but conformity to the moral law, it follows that it would be immoral to do things upon the seventh day, which might be perfectly legitimate on any other day. But aside from the nature of the act itself, no immorality can attach to any deed performed on Sunday.SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.18

    “A Good Description” The Signs of the Times, 13, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The International Sunday-school lesson for June 12 is on the first four commandments, and it is interesting to note the different reasons which different lesson commentators give for keeping the first day of the week instead of the seventh day, as enjoined by the fourth commandment. Dr. Alexander McLaren, of Manchester, England, has an article in the Sunday School Times, in which he says:-SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.19

    “We have not the Jewish Sabbath nor is it binding on us. But as men we ought to rest, and resting, to worship on one day of the week. The unwritten law of Christianity moulding all outward forms by its own free spirit, gradually, and without premeditation, slid from the seventh to the first day, as it had clear right to do.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.20

    This is about the best statement of the case that we have yet seen. It is a truth that “we have not the Jewish Sabbath” and that it is not binding upon us, because the fourth commandment knows nothing of any such Sabbath. The Sabbath which we have, and which the fourth commandment enjoins upon us, is the Sabbath of the Lord, which is the seventh day of the week. But what we wish to call especial attention to is the aptness with which the writer describes the change from the seventh day to the first. The law of God did not change, but “the unwritten law of Christianity,” which is another term for the natural inclinations of professed Christians, “gradually, and without premeditation, did from the seventh to the first day.”SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.21

    That’s just it; that sentence describes the case as well as a whole volume could. There was no commandment for the change, but the people gradually slid over onto the first day of the week. In so doing, they clearly slid away from the commandment, which they had no right to do. If they had heeded the commandment, as they ought to have done, they would not have slid; for Inspiration describes the righteous man thus, “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” Psalm 37:31. When men let go of the commandments of God, they are sure to slide.SITI June 9, 1887, page 352.22

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