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    July 7, 1887

    “The Question of the Sadducees” The Signs of the Times, 13, 26.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren; and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother; likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine teaching.” Matthew 22:23-33.SITI July 7, 1887, page 406.1

    Well might the multitude be astonished at the wonderful readiness with which the Master put to silence the cavilings of the infidel Sadducees. The reply of Jesus was simple, as was all of our Lord’s teaching,-so very simple that people who are looking for a great display often misunderstand it. First of all, it must be premised that Jesus exactly and completely answered the objection which the Sadducees raised. They denied the resurrection, and brought a hypothetical case to show, as they supposed, that the doctrine of the resurrection could not be reconciled with the teachings of Moses. Thus they hoped to put Jesus to confusion before the multitude, who revered Moses as a prophet of God.SITI July 7, 1887, page 406.2

    The first thing that Jesus said to the Sadducees was, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” This was said in view of their denial of the resurrection. The same may with propriety be said to all who deny the resurrection, or who, while professedly believing in the resurrection, hold theories which are virtually denials of it. They who know the Scriptures, know that the dead will be raised, for the Scriptures are full of this doctrine; scores of texts which do not speak directly of the resurrection, prove that doctrine most conclusively, when, like the one with which our Saviour silenced the Sadducees, they are correctly interpreted. And they who know the power of God will never cavil at anything which his word declares shall be done.SITI July 7, 1887, page 406.3

    Since the Sadducees denied the resurrection, and asked their question in order to prove that there could be no such thing, we must conclude that the reply of Jesus was positive proof that there will be a resurrection. Let us read his proof again: “As touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” From the expression, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living,” may have supposed that Jesus taught that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were then living, and that Jesus met the caviling of the Sadducees by proving to them the immortality of the soul. But if that were the case, their objection would not have been answered. They were denying the resurrection of the dead. Now if Jesus had given them a discourse on the immortality of the soul, and had claimed that the essential part of man, the man himself, can never die, he would not have touched their objection, nor proved anything about the resurrection of the dead. On the contrary, if he had proved that the patriarchs and all others never really died, he would have denied the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead as much as the Sadducees did. If there be no death, there can be no resurrection. Therefore we must conclude that since Jesus effectually silenced the Sadducees in their denial of the resurrection, he did not assume that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had never really died, and were then living.SITI July 7, 1887, page 406.4

    To make this more evident, we quote Christ’s words as recorded by Mark. Jesus said: “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. And as touching the dead, that they rise; have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” Mark 12:25, 26. Here it is evident that Christ based his argument on the fact that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were dead; for he says that the words of God at the bush (see Exodus 3:1-6) are proof that the dead rise. Such an argument could not have been made if the patriarchs were the alive in some part of the universe. Christ’s answer to the Pharisees proves that the dead are not in existence, as fully as it proves that there will be a resurrection of the dead; for he could not prove the resurrection of the dead if there were no dead. Those, therefore, who say that Jesus here taught that the soul of man never dies, not only occupy the Sadducean ground that there can be no resurrection, but they do so in the face of Christ’s positive argument showing that the dead shall rise.SITI July 7, 1887, page 406.5

    If we turn to Luke’s account we shall find still more light on this matter: “And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage; but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush,” etc. Luke 20:34-37. Here we learn that Jesus was speaking of those who are dead, as were the Sadducees themselves. The resurrection is spoken of as something future, for “they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead,” cannot “die any more.”SITI July 7, 1887, page 406.6

    It seems impossible that anyone should carefully read what Jesus said to the Sadducees, as recorded by the three evangelists, and still claim that he held to the idea of the conscious existence of those who are called dead. Such an idea is not reconcilable with his words; for he speaks of the dead, which he could not do if there were no dead; and he says that the dead shall rise, which he could not say if they had already risen, not from the dead, but from this life to a higher one; and he says they who are accounted worthy to obtain the resurrection from the dead, cannot die any more, which would be nonsense if nobody had ever died. If Jesus had held the theory that “there is no death,” as professed theologians of this day often claim, he could only have said, “Moses showed that there are no dead, but that those whom you call dead are living;” but in that case he would not have touched their anti-resurrection theory, neither would he have shown the folly of their supposed case of the woman and the seven brothers. What he did show was that those who are dead have not perished beyond the hope of recovery; God does not call himself the God of creatures which exist for a brief space and then become as extinct as the crumbling leaf. But he is God “both of the dead and living,” for the dead are having only a temporary sleep; God’s thoughtful care for them does not cease when they die; but he marks the place where they lie, and at the last day “he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather his elect,” and the dead in Christ shall come forth from their graves. See Matthew 24:31; John 5:28, 29; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. They rise to immortal life, and the little time they have unconsciously slept is as though it were no break in their lives.SITI July 7, 1887, page 406.7

    It will be worth while to notice more particularly how completely the objection of the Sadducees was met and answered. Jesus said that they erred because they did not know the Scriptures; and then he showed wherein, by stating that in the resurrection there would be no marrying nor giving in marriage, because, being children of the resurrection, they could not die any more. The arrangement to which the Pharisees referred (see Deuteronomy 25:5-19; Ruth 3:11-13; 4:1-6) was made so that a man’s inheritance in the land of Canaan might not pass out of his family. If a man died without an heir, his property would pass into other hands; but if his brother should marry his widow, the first-born was to be counted as the heir of the one who died, and thus the homestead would be retained.SITI July 7, 1887, page 406.8

    But all this will be unnecessary for those who “shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead,” for the Scripture says that “they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” Isaiah 65:21, 22. They cannot die any more, therefore there is no need of any arrangement for keeping the inheritance in the family. The new earth, the inheritance promised to Abraham, will after the resurrection and its restoration be portioned out to all who are Christ’s and consequently Abraham’s seed. Galatians 3:29. The whole earth will be thus divided, and then each man’s inheritance will remain unimpaired throughout eternity. Thanks be to God, who has devised means “that his banished be not expelled from him,” and who, though the dead are “as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again” (compare 2 Samuel 14:14 and Job 14:10-12), can call himself their God, through his power to quicken the dead, and call “those things which be not as though they were.” Romans 4:17. W.SITI July 7, 1887, page 406.9

    “We Have Abraham to Our Father” The Signs of the Times, 13, 26.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Matthew 3:9. These are the words which John the Baptist spoke to the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to his baptism. These men were corrupt at heart. Their character is described by our Saviour himself in Matthew 23:13-33, where they are said to have outwardly appeared righteous, while within they were full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Both John the Baptist and our Saviour called them vipers.SITI July 7, 1887, page 407.1

    These men were lineal descendants of Abraham, and were of the stock of Israel, but they had lost the spirit of Israel. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob confessed that they were pilgrims and strangers on the earth. Hebrews 11:13. They did not expect their portion in this life, nor an earthly inheritance; but they looked for a city from Heaven, and an inheritance in the new earth, wherein righteousness alone should dwell. 2 Peter 3:13. And they knew that the possession of righteousness would be the only passport to that heavenly inheritance.SITI July 7, 1887, page 407.2

    The Pharisees, on the other hand, had ceased to look for a Messiah who should finally reign over a righteous nation, and who should prepare subjects for that kingdom by cleansing them from sin. They did not look at their hearts, which were corrupt, but only on the outward appearance, which was fair. Consequently, seeing no sin in themselves, they felt no need of a Saviour. And so they came to John’s baptism, not because they felt any need of flying from the wrath to come, but because they thought that by enrolling themselves in the ranks of the new leader, whose coming John announced, they would be sure of places of honor in the coming kingdom. They expected that that kingdom would bring simply emancipation from the Roman yoke, and would place the Jewish nation in the seat of dominion over the whole world; and they had not the slightest doubt but that they would have a place in the kingdom, because they were children of Abraham. Their sole anxiety was to have as high a place as possible.SITI July 7, 1887, page 407.3

    John saw through their mask of hypocrisy, and told them that they need not flatter themselves that they were children of Abraham. The promise to Abraham and to his seed would be fulfilled, but sooner than count them as the seed of Abraham, God would raise up children unto Abraham, out of the stones of the ground. The inheritance was promised to Abraham, not because God regarded his person or his descent as superior to that of other men, but because he had the righteousness of faith. Consequently those who are counted as heirs with him, must be men of like character. It certainly would not be just to accept Abraham solely because of his faith in God, and to accept others solely on account of their parentage.SITI July 7, 1887, page 407.4

    Afterward, when Christ was talking to the wicked Jews, he said, “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.” John 8:39. The apostle Paul also says, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29. The Pharisees who came to John to be baptized thought that the fact that they could prove their descent from Abraham, would insure them a place in the kingdom of Christ; but Paul shows that they had turned the matter around. They could only prove themselves children by bringing forth such works of repentance as would show them to be Christ’s.SITI July 7, 1887, page 407.5

    There are many today who have as erroneous ideas of the kingdom of Christ as the Pharisees and the Sadducees had. There is a large party called the National Reform Association, whose members think that Christ’s kingdom is going to be established at the polls, by the voices of men. And they imagine that they are sure of a place in that kingdom, because they can trace their ancestry back to the Covenanters, or some of the Reformers. They forget that the Reformers did not follow the multitude, but took the Bible for their guide, as far as its truths were revealed to them, and that in following its teachings they suffered untold hardships. The Reformers became such solely because their love for God and his truth was so great as to lead them to endure privation and to be considered as outcasts. And yet these men imagine that they can ride into the kingdom of God on the top wave of popularity. How terribly mistaken they will some day be.SITI July 7, 1887, page 407.6

    The kingdom of Christ is promised only to the true Israel, but the true Israel are only those “whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2:29. Those who will be great in that kingdom, must be content to be small here; and whosoever will be chief, must be a servant; “even as the Son of man [the King himself] came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28. He was in the form of God, and had all glory and honor, yet when he saw the lost world, he did not think his glory was a thing to be desired, so he laid it all aside, and “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” Philippians 2:7-10.SITI July 7, 1887, page 407.7

    “The servant is not great than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” Let none therefore imagine that he is going to get into the kingdom on the strength of a profession, nor because he is a descendant of the Reformers, nor because he is a member of a large and influential church organization. Let none think that he can be more favored than the King, and can obtain the kingdom by any other means than humble self-denial and a godly life. Neither let any think that Christ’s reception of the kingdom depends on them. He receives his kingdom from the Father (Psalm 2:7, 9; Daniel 7:13, 14), and will admit into it only those who upon the foundation of faith have built a superstructure of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. 2 Peter 1:5-11. W.SITI July 7, 1887, page 407.8

    “The Baptism of Fire” The Signs of the Times, 13, 26.

    E. J. Waggoner

    To the multitude who ad come to the banks of Jordan to be baptized, John the Baptist said: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” Matthew 3:11. There is no question but that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was administered on the day of Pentecost, although it is not probable that John had special reference to that occasion. That was simply a notable example of what John said should take place. All believers in Christ must be baptized with the Spirit, and must “walk in the Spirit,” if they share the final reward. But many people suppose that the baptism of fire was also administered on the day of Pentecost, which is a grave error.SITI July 7, 1887, page 408.1

    The next verse plainly indicates what was meant by the baptism of fire: “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” This shows that although the words of verse 11 were addressed to all the multitude, John did not mean that all should receive both the baptism of the Holy Ghost and the baptism of fire. He might baptize them all with water, and thus they might all be counted by men as followers of Christ; but He who should come after, would have his fan in his hand, and would thoroughly purge his floor, saving the wheat, and burning up the chaff in the fire. This is the meaning of John’s words. The expression, “He will thoroughly purge his floor,” shows that especial reference is made here to those who, by baptism, have professed to be Christ’s. It was well understood by all that those who did not profess to be Christ’s would be destroyed, but here they are shown that a profession alone is not sufficient, because the floor will be purged.SITI July 7, 1887, page 408.2

    Now there was no baptism of fire on the day of Pentecost. It is true that “there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them” (Acts 2:3), but this was not a baptism of fire. In the first place it is not said that there was actual fire present, but something which had the appearance of fire. Secondly, even if it had been fire, it would not have constituted a baptism of fire, for baptism is not administered in that way. Baptism means immersion, or an overwhelming. The disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit, because “it filled all the house where they were sitting.” They were completely submerged in the Spirit. And the cloven tongues like fire formed a part of this manifestation of the Spirit.SITI July 7, 1887, page 408.3

    But who will receive the baptism of fire? All those who do not receive the Spirit, or who, having once received it, do not walk in it, they will be burned up in that fire that shall burn as an oven. In Revelation 20:10; 21:8 it is said that the wicked shall have their part in a “lake of fire.” The whole earth will be melted (2 Peter 3:10) with the fervent heat, and will present the appearance of a sea of liquid fire. “And the works that are therein shall be burned up.” The destruction of the wicked in this lake of fire may, without doing violence to language, fitly be called a baptism. In this lake of fire they will be submerged, and will be consumed root and branch.SITI July 7, 1887, page 408.4

    Thus John was speaking of two baptisms,-one which saves and one which destroys. And since he was talking, not to certain individuals whose destiny he might foresee, but was talking to the multitude collectively, some of whom would be saved, and some lost, he could truthfully say to them collectively, “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Some of them would receive one baptism, and some the other.SITI July 7, 1887, page 408.5

    There are some well-meaning persons who pray to be baptized with fire; and there are hymns which call for the baptism of fire. Such prayers and hymns cannot but cause a shudder to one who knows what the baptism of fire will be. Let us pray above all things for the baptism of the Spirit, but let us pray most earnestly to be saved from the baptism of fire. W.SITI July 7, 1887, page 408.6

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 26.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The new meeting-house in Healdsburg will be dedicated the last Sabbath in July. More next week.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.1

    It is said that an English scientist has been making experiments by which he concludes that the effect which alcohol has upon a person is determined by the amount of brain that he possesses. He made his experiments upon pigs, which have very small brains, and found that alcohol had very low appreciable effect on them. Hereafter when a man boasts that whiskey has no effect on him, the people will know the reason.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.2

    Various comments are made upon the conviction of Jake Sharp, the notorious New York briber, but quite a common sentiment seems to be that he should receive only a nominal sentence, because he is an old man. We cannot see that age is an extenuating circumstance. On the contrary, it rather aggravates the offense. One man says that the ignorant and corrupt aldermen who were anxious to receive bribes, should be punished instead. And still another says that Sharp did what any other businessman would do,-he found a set of corrupt aldermen, and the used them to further his ends. That is to say that Sharp should not be punished, because he would never have given bribes if somebody had not been willing to receive them. All of which shows that there is among many businessmen a very low grade of morality.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.3

    It is said that Dr. McGlynn calls himself the Martin Luther of the nineteenth century, but we fear that he is still too much of a Catholic to be able to appreciate the work of Martin Luther. The only likeness between the two men is their opposition to Popish tyranny, but their opposition is from entirely different standpoints. Martin Luther’s work was wholly on a moral basis. He sought to free the minds of the people from the bondage of Papal superstition, and to teach them that “the just shall live by faith.” Dr. McLynn’s work has solely a political aspect. He is not seeking to reform the church nor the people outside of the church, and his aim seems to be to teach the American citizen that he shall live by free land. His opposition to the Catholic Church is only to the extent that that church opposes his land theories. There is plenty of room for reformers, but they must preach the word, and not preach land.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.4

    The “Seybert Commission” that has been investigating Spiritualism for some time, has finished its labors, and reports that Spiritualism is wholly a fraud. The members says that they had the best mediums in the world before them, and that afterwards they had a professional juggler, who did everything that the mediums did. This decision will satisfy a few people; but those who know anything of Spiritualism, whether they believe it or not, will have little regard for it. A skillful general will always conceal his movements, and no doubt Satan is pleased to have “scientific” men thus pronounce Spiritualism a fraud, so the people may still continue blind as to what Spiritualism really is, and may fall into its snare even while they are denouncing it. There is only one way to successfully investigate Spiritualism and that is with the Bible as a guide. The “investigation” conducted by the “Seybert Commission” seems to have been a very tame affair, but the very best “scientific” investigation will never amount to anything in explaining the phenomena, for the simple reason that the devil is more acute than any scientists, and can fool them every time.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.5

    “Faith Healing” The Signs of the Times, 13, 26.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A correspondent of the California Christian Advocate says:-SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.6

    “I am persuaded the cause of religion, and Methodism in particular, is suffering to-day from ‘Holiness Bands’ and ‘faith-cure’ fanaticisms more than from any other source. If the failures to heal were reported as faithfully as the supposed cures, there would be less of the latter in a little while.”SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.7

    We are convinced that this is the truth. But while we say this, we do not wish to be understood as decrying real holiness or denying the efficacy of faith in the healing of disease. What we do object to as bringing a reproach upon true religion, is “holiness” that would never be recognized if the possessor did not call attention to it, and to “faith” that is advertised as a quack doctor would advertise his nostrums. We believe most implicitly in the truth of James 5:14, 15. We have seen marked instances of healing in answer to prayer. We do not believe that anything that concerns the welfare of God’s creatures is of too little importance for him to notice; and we believe and know that in all cases of necessity he may with confidence be implored for help.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.8

    But there is nothing in the Bible nor in common sense that would indicate that God will interpose to save a lazy man from starving, or that he will work a miracle to cure a man who is in distress, when a cure might be effected by taking a bath or drinking a copious draught of warm water. In other words, while we are to recognize that it is only because of God’s continued care that we live at all, and that we “ought always to pray,” we are not to expect God to do for us directly that which he has given us the power to do for ourselves. Neither are we to suppose that God holds himself subject to the beck of everybody who thinks he knows what he wants better than the Lord does. The Lord has all power; but for a man to set up a “cure” and advertise himself as the Lord’s special agent in healing disease, and to warrant a cure every time, is blasphemous presumption.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.9

    “Rome’s Work” The Signs of the Times, 13, 26.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Dr. McGlynn’s case is assuming pretty large proportions. The following cablegram was sent from New York to Cardinal Simconi at Rome, for the Pope, June 22:-SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.10

    “One hundred thousand Catholics, in a mass-meeting held in this city on Saturday, June 19, denounced the threatened excommunication of Dr. McGlynn, with whom they are prepared to stand, and protest against ecclesiastical interference with the political rights of American citizens.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.11

    JEREMIAH COUGHLIN, M. D., Chairman.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.12

    JAMES GAHAN, Secretary.”SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.13

    But this is not all. Owing to the continued pressure upon him from Rome, Dr. McGlynn has begun to grow resentful, and is telling some things that he knows about Romish affairs. In an interview, June 23, he said:-SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.14

    “The people may know, what I can tell them on the highest authority: The Roman machine is to-day most anxious to have a minister of the Pope accredited to, and received by, the Government at Washington. Such minister would be an archbishop and one of the Italian ring, in whose hands it is the Roman policy to keep the power. His presence there could not fail to be a fruitful source of corruption and enslavement for the Catholic Church in this country. The Pope is also trying to have diplomatic relations with Queen Victoria, in order, as he is alleged, ‘to be able to get accurate information about Irish affairs.’”SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.15

    We have not the least doubt that this is the exact truth.Nor have we the least doubt that the Pope, under cover of the Irish question, will yet succeed in establishing diplomatic relations with England. Nor have we much doubt that the Papacy will yet have an accredited minister at the capital at Washington. When the Papacy shall have been recognized as a sovereign power by all the powers of Europe, and thus becomes a personal factor in all the affairs of European States, exceedingly plausible reasons can be produced to show that this Government ought to receive an accredited ambassador from one of the chief sovereign powers of the world. It might well be counted the height of presumption for the Government of the United States to refuse recognition to a sovereign power that was recognized as such by all the world besides. These arguments would be exceedingly convincing to politicians, when backed by the solid Catholic vote of the nation.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.16

    As for these “one hundred thousand Catholics,” what does Rome care for them so long as she receives official recognition, and is courted by Governments and nations? She knows that this, being entirely political, will soon blow over. Besides, she is playing for larger stakes than anything that is involved in the question of disobedience of a mere priest. And with the accumulated experience of centuries she knows she holds the winning hand, and she, above all others, knows how to play it. The secret of Rome’s consummate power is that she looks not at things in the narrow view of parties and administrations, but in the broad view of nations and ages.SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.17

    “Trusting a False Guide” The Signs of the Times, 13, 26.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In a recent number of a religious weekly we find the following:-SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.18

    “Think how Abraham received his message in Chaldea. Little by little his mind opened to the truth. Day after day he became more certain of divine help. By and by, clear and sweet as an audible voice, came the words into his soul, ‘I will bless thee,’ and ‘thou shalt be a blessing.’ The Holy Spirit will bring the words of Jesus so close that you know they were sent from God to you.”SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.19

    This paragraph occurred in the course of an article designed to teach that we should recognize God in our every-day life. The real effect of such things is, however, to induce people to take their own imaginings for the voice of God. We have seen of late a strong tendency toward eliminating the supernatural from the Bible, and bringing everything down to the human level. The “new school” will have it that God did not speak to Abraham with an audible voice, but that when the Bible says that God spoke to Abraham, it means that he had an overpowering impulse from within, to do a certain thing. We cannot expect such people to be logical, but if they were, they would necessarily have to explain the command to offer Isaac, and the subsequent call to Abraham not to harm the lad, as meaning that Abraham felt an uncontrollable impulse to kill Isaac, which, when he had the knife in his hand, suddenly passed away. The great trouble with such interpretation is not alone that it robs the Bible narrative of all sense and consistency, but that it teaches people to follow the insane promptings of their own hearts. It teaches that the voice of God is simply a strong impression, and is thus identical with the Spiritualist teaching that “truth is the voice of God speaking through the human soul.” And all such teaching, if believed, as it surely will be, can result in nothing else but moral anarchy and corruption. We may never hear the voice of God as did Abraham, and there is no need that we should, for God’s will is fully revealed in his word, and we are to follow that; and not feelings and impressions. That alone can make us wise unto salvation. It is as true now as it ever was, that “he that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.”SITI July 7, 1887, page 416.20

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