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    September 22, 1887

    “Christ’s Coming and Kingdom” The Signs of the Times, 13, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Some time ago we were requested to explain Matthew 16:28, but the question was mislaid. We will now consider it. For the first reads thus:SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.1

    “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.2

    That our Saviour did not refer to his coming at the end of the world is evident from the fact that in his discourse on that the event in Matthew 24, he foretold a long period of persecution that was to intervene; and that he did not refer, as some have supposed, to the day of Pentecost or to the destruction of Jerusalem, nor to the spread of the gospel, is evident because (1) Christ did not come in any sense of the word either at Pentecost or at the destruction of Jerusalem; (2) the spread of the gospel is not the coming of Christ in any sense of the word; and (3) the gospel work had already begun by Christ, and had indeed been carried on from the days of Abel.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.3

    In 2 Peter 1:16-18 we are set upon the track of that which are our Saviour did really refer to in Matthew 16:28. That text reads as follows:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.4

    “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.5

    The apostle here refers to the transfiguration scene which took place about a week after Christ’s statement found in Matthew 16:28, and the account of which immediately follows those words. That accounts for reads as follows:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.6

    “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Matthew 17:1-5.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.7

    Remembering that Peter referred to this event as proving the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that it follows closely upon Christ’s statement that some standing there should see him coming in his kingdom, and that just before he made that statement he was speaking of his second coming (Matthew 16:27), we must conclude that in the statement made in verse 28, Christ referred, not to his actual coming at the end of the world, but to a miniature representation of that coming.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.8

    Before proceeding to show how fully this was a representation of the second coming of Christ, we will quote some opinions of others. Dr. Geike, after commenting on Matthew 16:24-26, thus paraphrases, in his usual style, verses 27, 28, embodying the parallel passages in Mark 9:38 and Luke 9:26:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.9

    “I shall one day return in a very different form, with the majesty of my Father in Heaven, and accompanied by legions of angels, to recompense everyone according to his works. In that day each true disciple will be rewarded according to his loving devotion and self sacrifice for my sake, and will be received by me, as the Messiah, into my kingdom. But I shall be ashamed of anyone, and call him unfit to enter that kingdom, who for love of life and ease, or for fear of man, or from shame of my present lowly estate, or of my cross, has wanted courage to confess me openly, and separate himself, in my name, from this sinful generation. It may be hard for you to think, as you see me standing here before you, that I shall one day, in heavenly majesty; but that you may know how surely it will be so, I shall grant to you now present, a glimpse of this majesty, not after my death, but while I am still with you, that you may see me, the Son of man, in the glory in which I will come when I return to enter on my kingdom.”-Life of Christ, chap 46, last paragraph.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.10

    In his “Life of Our Lord” (p. 321), Samuel J. Andrews made the following clear statement of the case, which is more satisfactory than Dr. Geike’s testimony, because it contains the Scripture references which support the view:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.11

    “The promise that some then standing before him should not taste death till they had seen ‘the Son of man coming in his kingdom’ (Matthew 16:28), or had seen ‘the kingdom of God, with power’ (Mark 9:1), was fulfilled when, after six days, he took Peter, James, and John into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them. These apostles now saw him as he should appear when, having risen from the dead, and glorified, he should come again from Heaven, to take his great power and to reign. They saw in the ineffable glory of his person, and the brightness around them, a foreshadowing of the kingdom of God as it should come with power; and were for a moment ‘eyewitnesses of his majesty.’ 2 Peter 1:16. Many errors still remain to be removed from their minds, especially respecting the time of its establishment (Acts 1:6), but the great fact of its supernatural character they could not mistake.”SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.12

    Now let us briefly notice the details of this wonderful scene, to see how they agree with what we are told of the second coming of Christ in his kingdom.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.13

    1. “A cloud overshadowed them.” So of Christ is said, “Behold, he cometh with clouds.” Revelation 1:7. He departed in a cloud, and he is to return just as he went. See Acts 1:9-11.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.14

    2. “His face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Mark says that “his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them;” and Luke says that “his raiment was white and glistering.” So of Christ’s coming we are told that it shall be “in the glory of his Father.” One, prophetically describing that coming, says: “His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had bright beams out of this side.” Habakkuk 3:3, 4, margin. John, who afterward had a view of his coming, said: “His eyes far as a flaming fire.” Revelation 19:12. And Paul speaks of “the brightness of his coming” as being so great as to destroy the wicked. Then but those who have been strengthened by the Lord can behold the glory of his coming and live.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.15

    3. When he comes the second time he comes to take his people to himself, and this he does by raising the righteous dead, and translating the living. Says Paul: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. Again he says: “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.16

    So, then, when Christ comes on his throne of glory, with a cloud of angels, to give reward to the righteous, there will be two great classes of them: those who shall be translated without seeing death, and those who shall be raised from the dead. These, when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, shall also appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:4. Now these two classes were with him on the mount of transfiguration. If they had not been, it would not have been a true representation of the “power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” as Peter says it was. All Bible readers are familiar with the fact that Elijah (the Hebrew form of the name of which in Greek is Elias) was translated without seeing death. See 2 Kings 2:1-11. The record says that as he and Elisha walked on, and talked, “behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into Heaven.” So Elijah was there with Christ in the mount as a representative of those who, when Christ comes, shall be caught up to meet the Lord without tasting death.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.17

    Concerning Moses, we have the record: “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor; but no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day.” Deuteronomy 34:5, 6. Turn now to Jude 9, where we read: “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” What could cause a dispute between Christ (who is Michael) and the devil, concerning the body of Moses? Only this one thing, that the devil has the power (Hebrews 2:14); he brought sin into the world, and death comes by sin; those who die he considers as his lawful prey, and he refuses to open the house of his prisoners (Isaiah 14:16, 17), which is the grave. He is the strong man keeping guard over his house; but Christ is the stronger than he, who has entered into his house, overpowering him (Luke 11:21, 22) and who now has the keys of death and the grave. Revelation 3:18. This power Christ gained by his death (Hebrews 2:14); but long before his death and resurrection he had this power by virtue of the promise and the oath of God, which were the surety that he would be offered. Knowing these facts, that Christ contended with the devil over the body of Moses, we are forced to the conclusion that their dispute was concerning the resurrection of Moses, Satan claiming that Christ had no right to take him. But in every contest with Satan, Christ has come off victorious, and so Moses was raised from the dead, and appeared with Christ on the holy mount, as the representative of those who, at the second coming of Christ, shall be brought from their graves to ever be with the Lord.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.18

    If there should be a lingering doubt in the minds of any that Moses was really raised from the dead, and they should think that it was only his disembodied spirit that appeared on the mount, we will state (1) that the transfiguration is expressly declared by Peter to have been a representation of “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and that at that time he and James, and John were “eyewitnesses of his majesty,” which shows that it was a view of Christ in his kingly glory; (2) it is absolutely certain that when Christ comes there will be no such thing as disembodied spirits, because, says Paul, he “shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20), and this change is performed for both the living and the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:51. When the saints are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, it is with their own bodies glorified like the body of Christ. Therefore, (3) since, as shown above, the transfiguration was a representation, on a small scale, of this glorious event, it is certain that Moses must have been there in person, and not in shadow.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.19

    The transfiguration stands for us, as it did for the apostles, as a sure pledge of Christ’s second coming in power and great glory; and yet “we have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19. Let us study this sure word of prophecy, that we may walk in the light, and be prepared for the dawning of the “perfect day.” W.SITI September 22, 1887, page 582.20

    “A View of the Sabbath Day” The Signs of the Times, 13, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In compliance with the expressed wish of a correspondent to “Please give your readers this view of the Sabbath day,” we print the following communication. “This view of the Sabbath day” has been given and answered in the SIGNS a great many times, but line must be upon line, and precept upon precept. Besides the SIGNS is continually going to new readers, and we are always glad to let them know on just what foundation Sunday rests. The claims of the Sabbath of the Lord never were so strong as when contrasted with the claims that are put forth in behalf of Sunday. Here is the letter:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.1

    TO THE EDITORS OF THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES: An article recently came to my notice in your excellent paper, headed, “God’s Law and Sabbath, or Man’s Law and Sabbath.” It seems to me that the writer takes an imperfect and one-sided view of the subject. Christians are to look at the spirit of the ancient law as interpreted by Christ. The schism among professed believers is a stumbling-block to the world. Previous to his crucifixion, Christ’s prayer for his followers was, “That they all may be one.” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:5, 6, “Our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” And 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If any man be in Christ, let him be [margin] a new creature; all things are passed away; behold, all things are become a new.” Again, in Romans 7:6: “But now we are delivered from the law, being dead to that [margin] wherein we were held; that we should serve in the newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” And further, we are to “delight, in the law of God after the inward man.” Romans 7:22. Please see Matthew 12:1-14. “The Son of man is of Lord even of the Sabbath day.” Verse 8. He came “not to abolish it, but to own it, to interpret it, to preside over it, and to ennoble it by merging it in the ‘Lord’s day.’” Further, the resurrection of our Lord was on the first day of the week. Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1; John 20:1. See Acts 20:6, 7, where Paul says, “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” We know that those nearest the time of Christ, except the Jews, beginning with Christ, kept the “first day of the week.” Why should Christians keep the Jewish Sabbath, the seventh day? And as the majority of Christians all over the world observe the first day of the week, does it matter which day is kept; as much as that we agree to keep one day of rest, holy unto the Lord. E. C. R.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.2

    We do not recollect the article to which our correspondent refers, but no matter; we will consider his so-called proof for Sunday observance.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.3

    1. “Christians are to look at the spirit of the law, as interpreted by Christ.” Exactly so. And his interpretation was that not one jot or one tittle of the law should pass away. Now if our friend would take the fourth commandment, and show that, although it declares the seventh day to be the Sabbath, it really means that the first day, there would be some point to his statement. But see further on this point in next paragraph.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.4

    2. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:5, 6, “Our sufficiency is of God; who hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” This is commonly interpreted as teaching that the letter of the old covenant kills, but the spirit of the new covenant gives life, which is true enough as a statement, but is not what the text says. The text makes no mention of the old covenant, but only of the new. The letter of the new covenant or testament kills just as surely as did the letter of the old, and it is only the spirit that gives life.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.5

    Some, however, and among them our correspondent, seem to get the idea that there is some sin attaching to the observing of the letter of the law, and that it should be kept only in spirit, and not in letter, we would like for someone to have the kindness to tell us how such a thing can be done. It is utterly impossible for any man to keep the spirit of the law if he does not keep the letter. For instance, the sixth commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill.” How could anybody keep the spirit of that commandment if he did not refrain from taking life? None but a Catholic will claim that the spirit of the second commandment can be kept by one who bows down to images. Certainly the spirit of the third commandment cannot be kept by one who uses God’s name unnecessarily. So no man can keep the spirit of the fourth commandment when he labors upon the seventh day, upon which he is commanded to rest. It is sometimes urged that the spirit of that commandment simply requires rest, and that if a man rest on the first day he complies with this spirit as well as though he rested upon the seventh day. With as good reason might the heathen say that the spirit of the first commandment is simply that men should worship, and that he who worships Jupiter for Juggernaut complies with the spirit as fully as does the one who worships Jehovah.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.6

    3. “Again, Romans 7:6, ‘But now we are delivered from the law, being dead to that wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.’ And further, we are to delight in the law of God after the inward man.” Certainly nothing could be farther from proof for Sunday observance than this. The man who keeps only the letter, that is, the outward form of the law, is as though he did not keep it at all, because God requires truth in the inward parts. The law goes farther than mere outward acts, and requires that the thoughts of the heart shall be in harmony with its requirements. A man may keep the letter of the law, and still violate in Spirit; but he cannot keep the spirit, and violate the letter.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.7

    This matter is fully illustrated by Christ in his denunciation of the Pharisees. They were very scrupulous in their outward compliance with the law, but maintained that it made no difference how a person felt or thought. Christ said that they made clean the outside, but within were full of extortion and excess. Said he unto them:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.8

    “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matthew 23:27, 28.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.9

    Now hear what Jesus say to us all: “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.10

    Notice, he says that our righteousness must exceed theirs. Now anything cannot exceed another unless it goes just as far as that other, and a good deal further. One man exceeds another in the amount of work done, because he does just as much as that other, and more too. So if our righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees, we must have all the righteousness that they had, and a good deal more. What did they do? They kept the letter of the law perfectly. What must we do? We must keep the law outwardly and inwardly too. To talk about keeping the spirit of the law while violating its plain precept, is as absurd as to talk of traveling east or going west. So to say that the fourth commandment, which enjoins the observance of the seventh day, may be kept by the observance of the first day, is as absurd as to say that man in Chicago obeys an order to go to New York, by going to San Francisco.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.11

    4. “2 Corinthians 5:17: ‘If any man be in Christ he is [or let him be] a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’” How anybody’s mind can be so twisted as to suppose that this text warrants the keeping of Sunday instead of the Sabbath, is beyond our comprehension. If any man is in Christ he is a new creature; it is the man that is new, not the law, the Sabbath or any other thing. Before a man is in Christ he does not keep the law. See Romans 7:14-25; 8:1. When he comes to Christ, he forsakes the old life and becomes a new man. As Paul describes it, he puts on “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:24. And this agrees with 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18, where Paul, after saying that if they man is in Christ all things are new, he continues, “and all things are of God.” Whereas in his previous life everything was of the world, now everything is of God. This is the exact meaning of the text. But to make it mean that when a man is in Christ everything in the universe that is old has passed away, is equivalent to saying that not only the Sabbath, which is as old as creation, has passed away, but that the whole law, the whole creation, and even God himself, have all passed away, for all are of old.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.12

    5. “‘The Son of man is of Lord even of the Sabbath day.’ He came ‘not to abolish it, but to own it, to interpret it, to preside over it, and to ennoble it by merging it into the Lord’s day.’” We know not from whom our correspondent quoted this precious bit of nonsense, but a more self-contradictory thing was never written. It is true that Christ did not come to abolish the Sabbath, but if he had “merged it into the Lord’s day,” he would most effectually have abolished it. Our correspondent says, “to interpret it.” But it needed no interpretation. A child can understand the fourth commandment. It is a legal maxim that the words of the law are to be taken in their obvious signification, and there are none but common words in the fourth commandment. Again he says that Christ came “to ennoble it.” But that were impossible, for it was from the beginning as noble as it is possible for anything to be. “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.” Genesis 2:3. Who can point to an institution more noble than that which was blessed and hallowed by the Lord himself?SITI September 22, 1887, page 584.1

    It is said that Christ merged the Sabbath into the Lord’s day. Impossible again, for the Sabbath was already the Lord’s day. Christ himself said as much in the words, “The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath,” for it was of the seventh-day Sabbath,-the only Sabbath in existence,-that he was speaking. The Lord said, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God (Exodus 20:10), and again Isaiah 58:13 he calls it “my holy day;” and there is no other day that the Lord ever called his day. Therefore the seventh day is and always was the only Lord’s day.SITI September 22, 1887, page 584.2

    6. “The resurrection of our Lord was on the first day of the week.” Granted; we wouldn’t for a moment think of disputing it. We might state that his crucifixion was on Friday, and his ascension, was undoubtedly on Thursday. Our correspondent may ask, “Well, what of that?” We reply, Nothing in particular; but just as much importance attaches to these statements, as there does to the statement that Christ rose on Sunday. Why not keep Friday, because of Christ’s crucifixion? or Thursday, because of his ascension? “Oh,” the reply will be, “there is no authority for any such thing.” Of course there is not; neither is there any authority for keeping Sunday, because Jesus rose on that day. The only authority is the Roman Catholic Church.SITI September 22, 1887, page 584.3

    7. “We know that those nearest the time of Christ, except the Jews, beginning with Paul, kept the first day of the week.” We beg our correspondent’s pardon, but he doesn’t know anything of the kind; and there is not a man on earth who knows anything of the kind; and there never was a man who knew any such thing. We have met assertion with the assertion; he offered no proof of his assertion, and so we have nothing to disprove. But if he will bring us from the Bible a single iota of proof that Christ, or Paul, or any other apostle, or any man named in the Bible as a companion or friend of Christ or the apostles, ever kept a single Sunday, we will print it in THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES in red ink, and in the largest type that we have in the office. Don’t be backward with your proof, Brother “R.”SITI September 22, 1887, page 584.4

    8. “Why should Christians keep the Jewish Sabbath,-the seventh day?” We ask, Why should Christians worship the God of the Jews, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Why should Christians follow the old Jewish custom of reverencing God’s name? Why should Christians obey the old Jewish law that prohibited murder? You say that God was not the God of the Jews exclusively, but “of the Gentiles also.” True; he is the God of all mankind, and consequently his holy Sabbath,-the seventh day,-is the Sabbath for all mankind; for “the Sabbath was made for man.”SITI September 22, 1887, page 584.5

    9. “And as the majority of Christians all over the world observe the first day of the week, does it matter which day is kept?” That’s the way it always ends: It doesn’t make any difference what the Lord says, because people have taken it into their heads to do differently. Just as if the action of ten thousands of people could change the mind of the Lord!SITI September 22, 1887, page 584.6

    This article is already too long, but we wish to call the reader’s attention to one thing: Our friend has not presumed to offer a single Scripture statement to the effect that Sunday is the Sabbath; he has given a few texts which have no more reference to Sunday than they have to the Declaration of Independence, and winds up by saying that it doesn’t matter which day of the week we keep, anyway. And, mark this, he has done as much for Sunday as could be done by the most accomplished minister in the world.SITI September 22, 1887, page 584.7

    In contrast with the Sunday argument, notice the simplicity of Bible truth:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 584.8

    The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.” Exodus 20:10. “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, then one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17. W.SITI September 22, 1887, page 584.9

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    From a single canvasser 594 subscriptions for the American Sentinel, accompanied with the money, were received one day last week. There are scores of people who want to “do something in the cause,” who could do as well as this, and we do not know of anything which they could do which would more effectually help in the work. The field is wide, and but a very small portion of it has been worked.SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.1

    Active preparations are already being made for the camp-meeting which is to be held in Oakland, October 6-17. Various committees of arrangements have been appointed, and it is the design to have the best arranged camp-meeting ever held in this State. We confidently expect, also, that the attendance will be the largest that has ever been seen at any camp-meeting in California. May the good that shall be done, be in proportion.SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.2

    Hon. Washington Bartlett, Governor of California, died in Oakland, Monday evening, September 12. He was sixty-three years of age, and the immediate cause of his death was paralysis, brought on, it is said, by too close application to the details of the business of his office. This is the first time that a Governor of California has died in office. Lieutenant-Governor Waterman has taken the oath as Governor, and has entered upon his duties.SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.3

    A London dispatch of September 16 speaks as follows concerning the European outlook:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.4

    “One of the most discouraging signs of the European horizon, which promises no permanence of the present peaceful state of affairs, is the fact that all the great newspapers here and on the Continent are gathering together large staffs of war correspondents, and by buying serviceable horses, and in other ways, are preparing for the great struggle they seem confident is coming. In the meantime statesmen are puffing so ostentatiously the pipe of peace, that suspicion is excited that under the friendly cover of the smoke they are preparing for war.”SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.5

    A week ago we listened to a sermon against the Sabbath, which differed, of course, in no respect from the average sermon against the Sabbath, having the usual number of contradictory statements. As a specimen, we note the following: The speaker claimed that the observance of the seventh day is anti-christian. Then he went on and applied Paul’s words in Romans 14 to the matter of Sabbath observance, claiming that the Sabbath question is not a matter for controversy, but that everybody should be fully persuaded in his own mind, and do as he pleases. The query arises, If the Bible tells people to choose for themselves which day they will keep, and says that it is a matter of no consequence which they observe, how can there be anything unchristian in the observance of the seventh day? Again, after stating that everybody should decide the matter for himself, and that no man should judge another, the speaker proceeded to plead for a law which should compel everybody to rest on Sunday! And yet we hear grave and learned men eulogize the sermon as a logical effort!SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.6

    There is nothing to which the human mind more readily turns than making excuses. Many find it difficult to believe that the professed church of Christ can ever fall to the depth of depravity portrayed in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. But they forget the facility with which people can persuade themselves that their course is all right, and in perfect harmony with the Bible. When Saul had directly transgressed the divine command, he boldly met the prophet, and said, “Blessed be thou of the Lord; I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” And we have known a man who by his own admission was an adulterer, to quote the seventh commandment, and claim that he had done no wrong. It is the easiest thing in the world for a person to deceive himself. Many persons of professed piety, who have been discovered in a crime, are entirely unconscious that they have been acting the part of a hypocrite. Their moral sensibility has become blunted, and their conscience seared, till they imagine that they really are as good as their profession would indicate. As a matter of fact, it will be found that when the church falls to the position indicated in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, its profession will be higher than at any previous time in its history.SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.7

    The latest argument against any law that shall in any way control the liquor traffic, appeared in the Tribune a few days ago. The writer says:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.8

    “Besides lessening the number of drinking houses, the law lessens the number of opportunities for the development of self-sustaining moral capacity. What a truly ingenious device it is to institute conditions for the purpose of enabling men to confess in the bosom of their families that their presence at home results only because there remains no place open wherein to make beasts of themselves!”SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.9

    All we have to say about this is, that it is a fact that there are hundreds of men who, whether they will confess it or not, cannot or will not refrain from making beasts of themselves, so long as there is any chance for them to do so; and we submit to all candid minds that it would be far better for a man to confess that he is sober from force of circumstances, than to have the circumstances altered so that he will be a brute. His family would say so, at any rate, and their comfort ought to count for something.SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.10

    And then the writer has the unblushing impudence to say:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.11

    “It is extremely unwise to attempt to subvert the natural and terrifying conditions under which life has been raised to its present height, and by which it is from day to day sustained.”SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.12

    The next thing we shall hear will be that the liquor traffic is the only true religion.SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.13

    As a fair specimen of the stories which are periodically gotten off at the expense of those who have not advanced so far as to be wise above that which is written, but who are simple enough to believe the truths of the Bible, we present the following, which we clip from the Golden Gate:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.14

    “A preacher of the old school, a Scotch Presbyterian, who held to the literal meaning of the Scriptures, once announced as the subject of his next discourse, ‘Interesting Events in the Life of Noah,’ giving also the chapter he would read illustrative of his subject. A mischievous young man got hold of the kirk Bible and pasted two leaves together, so the minister read on the bottom of one page: ‘When Noah was one hundred and twenty years old he took unto himself a wife, who was’-then turning the page-‘140 cubits long, 40 cubits wide, built of gopher wood and covered with pitch inside and out.’ He was naturally puzzled at this. He slowly read it again, verified it, and then said: ‘My friends, this is the first time I ever met this in the Bible, but I accept it as evidence of the assertion that we are fearfully and wonderfully made!’”SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.15

    Doubtless many people have read this story and believed every word of it, have laughed over the simplicity of the honest Scotsman and thereby have imagined themselves wondrous wise. We might believe that such a thing happened, if it were not for two or three little inconsistencies: 1. There is no place in the Bible where mention is made of anything “140 cubits long, 40 cubits wide,” etc. 2. The Bible nowhere states that Noah was one hundred and twenty years old when he took unto himself a wife. There is no statement made anywhere in the Bible as to what Noah did when he was one hundred and twenty old, nor is there any mention made of the one hundred and twentieth year of his age. 4. The Bible says nothing at all about Noah’s taking a wife. Because of these things we are forced to discredit the story. These inaccuracies may be explained by a knowledge of the simple fact that people who know enough about the Bible to avoid them, do not give up stories in connection with it.SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.16

    At a birthday reception recently given in San Francisco to W. J. Colville, a noted Spiritualist “inspirational” lecturer, the speaker who gave the address of welcome, said:-SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.17

    “In olden times they stoned the prophets that were sent unto them, but we propose to help our young prophet with flowers and benedictions.”SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.18

    If the speaker had read his Bible more carefully he would have learned that only the prophets of the Lord were stoned,-those who brought reproofs for sin, and threatening of coming judgments. But the false prophets, the prophets of Baal, those wo assisted in the devil worship, and the professed prophets of the Lord, who spoke smooth things, and prophesied deceits, and told the people that they were all right, were always received with flowers, and were lauded to the skies. Times have not changed at all.SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.19

    The Christian Advocate tells of a preacher who “was translated.” But by reading the notice through we find that he fell off a train of cars and was killed. And this is how he “was translated.” Now this is not exactly the way in which Enoch and Elijah were translated. Neither Enoch nor Elijah ever saw death, whereas this man was killed outright. If therefore this man “was translated,” then where has there ever been a person, from Abel to this day, who has passed from this life who was not translated. Neither the method or the idea of translation has very materially changed since Bible times. As to which it is that has undergone the change, the person who has respect to the Bible will have no difficulty in deciding. The truth is that it would be difficult to conceive how anything could be farther from the truth of the Bible than are the leading ideas of the theological world of to-day.SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.20

    The question is asked, “Was it not cruel for God to send Jesus to die for us?” That question could not be asked by one who had any experimental knowledge of the Bible. “For God loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. God did not “send” Jesus in the sense that he compelled him to die; Jesus was a willing offering. Paul says that he “gave himself for our sins” (Galatians 1:4), and Christ himself said “I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:15. The Father and Son are one. The sacrifice was equal on the part of each. The Father loved the Son with a love as much greater than the love of an earthly parent for his son, as God is greater than any man. Yet his love for the creatures of his hand was so great that he allowed his to Son to come to earth to die. There was only love in the whole transaction,-love so great that poor selfish mortals fail to comprehend even the faintest shadow of it.SITI September 22, 1887, page 592.21

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