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    February 24, 1887

    “Concealed Infidelity” The Signs of the Times, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The gentle Nazarene did not die to become an atonement for the sins of a fallen world, but to set an example to mankind of fidelity to principle, even unto death. His pure life and noble teachings speak to the soul now as never before.”SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.1

    The above we find in an editorial in the Golden Gate. We would like to ask how the writer found out that there was such a person as the “gentle Nazarene;” how he knows that his life was pure and his teachings noble; and where he learned about his death. The answer must be, in the New Testament; for nowhere else do we find any account of Jesus of Nazareth. There are in one or two profane histories, references to Jesus; but if the Bible had never been written, the world would have no knowledge of the life, character, and teachings of Christ. Whoever, therefore, accepts the truth that there was once a person on earth whose name was Jesus, and that his life was the perfection of purity, and his teachings the perfection of wisdom, must do so solely on the authority of the Bible.SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.2

    But the same book which gives the history of Christ, tells us the manner and object of his death. Peter says (Acts 2:23) that he was taken and by wicked hands crucified and slain; and he says also, that he “his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.” 1 Peter 2:24. We read also that righteousness shall be imputed to us, “if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:24, 25. We read again, that “God commendeth his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. Again we read that we are justified “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Romans 3:24, 25. The same book which tells about the life of Jesus says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5, 6.SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.3

    These statements concerning the death of Christ might be multiplied indefinitely. They teach plainly that Christ did die as an atonement for sin, and that those who believe in him may be justified from sin. The same book which tells about the noble character and pure teachings of Christ, gives the above reasons for his death. If we accept the first, we cannot reject the other. The one who denies the atonement of Christ, convicts himself of inconsistency when he professes to believe that Jesus lived and taught. The historical narrative includes the death of Christ as well as his life.SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.4

    Moreover, Jesus himself said: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16, 17. Now the man who says that the teachings of Jesus were pure and noble, and yet says that he did not die for the sins of the world, stultifies himself, for he virtually asserts that Jesus taught that which is not true.SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.5

    Our object in noticing this statement from the Golden Gate is to expose a sort of infidelity that is becoming very common. It is a concealed infidelity, with which Spiritualists expect to entrap many professed Protestant Christians. They refer to the historical narrative of the Bible as though they accepted it fully, and thus gain the confidence of the unwary. Having thus concealed their hatred of the Bible, they proceed to undermine faith in it by perverting its teachings. The infidel who denies the Bible as a whole, rejecting even its historical statements, is not half so dangerous as one who professes a portion of it in order that he may more easily undermine its principles. It is simply an aggravated case of Judas betraying his Lord with a kiss.SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.6

    It is not Spiritualists alone, however, who do this sort of thing. There are thousands who call themselves Christians, who segregate the Bible, calling this or that portion uninspired and throwing it overboard, if it runs counter to their preconceived opinions or perverse practices. If everyone who makes a profession of Christianity, should awake some morning and find the Bible or Bibles in his possession a perfect blank, with the exception of those portions which he really believed, there would be few whole Bibles in existence, and the supply of blank paper would largely exceed the demand. W.SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.7

    “‘A Weighty and Timely Utterance’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We now come to the examination of “proofs from church history.” Under this head Dr. Bailey begins thus:-SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.8

    “Mosheim, one of the most reliable of church historians, and chancellor of the University of Gottingen from 1747 to 1775, in Vol. I, p. 45, says: ‘All Christians were unanimous in setting apart the first day of the week on which the triumphant Saviour arose from the dead, for the solemn celebration of public worship. This pious custom, which was derived from the example of the church of Jerusalem, was founded upon the express appointment of the apostles, who consecrated that day to the same sacred purpose, and was observed universally throughout the Christian churches as appears from the united testimonies of the most credible writers.”SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.9

    In Murdock’s Mosheim (book 1, cent. I, part 2, chap. 4, sec. 40, we find a statement somewhat similar to the one which Dr. Bailey credits to Mosheim, but it is not expressed in nearly so strong language. We presume the Doctor quoted from Maclaine’s translation, which is well known to be a paraphrase of Mosheim, rather than a translation. But we will accept the quotation just as it is given to us, for it is of no importance anyway. According to the quotation given, Mosheim states that the observance of the first day of the week was founded “upon the express appointment of the apostles.” Now where did he learn this? Did Mosheim have access to some writings of the apostles that we have not? Is it true that we have only a fragment of the Bible, and that somewhere there are inspired writings hidden away, which no one but Dr. Mosheim has been privileged to see? If there are such documents, and if Mosheim found in them an “express appointment of the apostles,” fixing the first day of the week as the Sabbath, it seems as though he might have had the goodness to give less favored mortals the exact words of that “express appointment.” But we have never heard of any Protestant so bold as to claim that there are in existence inspired writings of the apostles, other than those contained in the New Testament. Now if the apostles did expressly appoint the first day of the week as the Sabbath, that appointment may be read by everybody. Why, then, did not Dr. Bailey quote direct from the apostles, instead of saying that Mosheim says so? Simply because the apostles never made any such appointment. If they had, the reader may rest assured that Dr. Bailey would have given it in his “Scripture proofs.”SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.10

    Right here it will be worth while to remind the reader that the apostles were not law givers. They had no authority to appoint a Sabbath day. All that they were commissioned to do was to declare the words of Christ. See Matthew 28:19, 20. But even Mosheim does not profess to make the statement credited to him, on the authority of the apostles. He states that it “appears from the united testimonies of the most credible writers,” that this example was derived from the appointment of the apostles. We accept Mosheim as a standard church historian, but when he tells us what the apostles did, he is on ground where the most unlearned can judge of the truth of what he says. Although he was a very learned man, there is not a child fourteen years of age who may not be just as well informed as to what the apostles said and did as he was. Mr. Bailey’s argument from history is simply this: He says that the apostles kept Sunday, and appointed its observance. We ask him what authority he has for such a statement, and he says that Dr. Mosheim says so, and Dr. Mosheim says, “The most credible writers” say so. There is altogether too much “they say” about this. We should prefer to hear the apostles themselves speak. They are “the most credible writers” of whom we have any knowledge. Since the custom of the early church has been stated, we might cite a few instances from history. In note 4 of the section before referred to, Mosheim says: “Perhaps also Good Friday, the Friday on which our Saviour died, was from the earliest times regarded with more respect than other days of the week.” Again he says:-SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.11

    “The Christians assembled for the worship of God in private dwelling-houses, in caves, and in the places where the dead were buried. They met on the first day of the week, and here and there on the seventh day, which was the Jewish Sabbath. Most of them likewise held sacred the fourth and sixth, the former being the day on which our Saviour was betrayed, and the latter on which he was crucified.”-Book 1, cent. 2, part 2, chap. 4, sec. 3.SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.12

    We hope that our friends who observe the first day of the week on the authority of Dr. Mosheim, will show their consistency by keeping also Wednesday and Friday.SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.13

    Two or three quotations are also made from Neander, but as they are to the same effect, simply telling what certain professed Christians did, we will not stop to repeat them. We are not so much interested in what some people may have done, as we are in what the Bible commands us to do. Even the best intentioned people do not always do what they ought to do. In Galatians 2:12, 13, we find that even the apostles Barnabas and Peter were at one time guilty of dissimulation, but we do not therefore conclude that we ought to do the same.SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.14

    Before leaving this part of the subject we will, however, give one of Mr. Bailey’s quotations from Neander with his comments thereon:-SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.15

    “Again Neander says: ‘Those churches however which were composed of Jewish Christians, though they admitted with the rest the festival of Sunday, yet retained also that of the Sabbath; and it was from these that the custom became general in the Eastern churches of distinguishing this day as well as Sunday.’ That is, the custom of keeping the seventh day as well as the first, arose from these Judaizing Christians. Do we want to follow their example in direct opposition to inspired teaching?”SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.16

    This quotation shows that Christians in the early days observed the seventh day of the week, and Mosheim in the same paragraph from which a quotation has already been made, says that for doing this “the other Christians taxed them with no wrong.” This proves positively that those in early church who observed the first day of the week did not do so because of any apostolic appointment, and that they did not know of any such appointment; for if they had, they would have taxed those who did not follow it with doing wrong. These facts prove what Dr. Scott says in his comment on Acts 20:7:-SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.17

    “The change from the seventh to the first day of the week appears to have been gradually and silently introduced, by example rather than by express precept.”SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.18

    Mr. Bailey says: “The custom of keeping the seventh day as well as the first arose from these Judaizing Christians. Do we want to follow their example in direct opposition to inspired teaching?” We say most emphatically, No, to both sentences. We do not want to follow the example of anybody, in direct opposition to inspired teaching. And we say also that the custom of keeping the seventh day did not arise from “Judaizing Christians,” but from the commandment of Jehovah, who said in thunder tones from Mount Sinai: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.” We would that some people’s professed fear of acting contrary to inspired teaching had more sincerity in it. All of the ten commandments were given to the Jews, who differed no more from the heathen around them in that they kept the seventh day, than they did in that they abstained from blasphemy and theft. Those who refuse to keep the Sabbath, lest they be like the Jews, can be consistent only by rejecting the entire Decalogue. W.SITI February 24, 1887, page 118.19

    (To be continued.)

    “Is It Strange?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Some time since, a religious writer of considerable prominence, in commenting upon the resurrection of Dorcas, said:-SITI February 24, 1887, page 119.1

    “Imagine Dorcas’s surprise when she first opened her eyes. Here she was back in the world again. How strange it is to discover that no one of those persons who were raised from the dead ever attempted to tell the story of what they saw or heard.”SITI February 24, 1887, page 119.2

    The grave is spoken of as that “undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveler returns;” but as a matter of fact many have returned, yet none have ever opened their lips to relate what they heard or saw while dead. Now if the dead are conscious, this is passing strange. If it be true that death is simply the separation of the soul from the body, which has acted as a clog to it, restricting its free exercise, why is it that in those instances where the soul has been returned to its lodgment, no note is made of the wonderful things learned while it was permitted to expand unrestrained?SITI February 24, 1887, page 119.3

    We say that it is indeed wonderful that no revelations have been made of what is beyond, if, as the poet says, death is only transition, and the soul is more acutely conscious in death than it ever was during life; but we do not bring forward the fact that no such revelation has been made, as proof that the dead are not conscious. We have proof of a more satisfactory nature, which clears the subject of all doubt, and explains why those who have been raised from the dead were silent as to what took place during their absence from among the living. The testimony is abundant, but we have space here for only following:-SITI February 24, 1887, page 119.4

    Those who are dead are asleep: “Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” Psalm 13:3. “It is in vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2. “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2. “In their heat I will make them feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 51:30. “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raise; and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” 1 Corinthians 15:16-18. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep.” “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14.SITI February 24, 1887, page 119.5

    People who are in a sound sleep are entirely unconscious of what is going on, and the Bible says that the dead are unconscious: “For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything.” “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10. “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:3, 4.SITI February 24, 1887, page 119.6

    Many more texts might be added but these are sufficient for our purpose. They are direct statements of fact, and need no explanation. There are only two things that can be done with them: Either accept them as literally true, or reject them altogether. But if we accept the Bible as the infallible word of God, we are not left to wonder why those who have been raised from the dead never told the story of what they saw or heard. They had none to tell. They were unconsciously sleeping, and were unable to take note of passing events. Then it is not a strange thing after all.SITI February 24, 1887, page 119.7

    But there is one strange thing about this matter, and that is how, in the face of all these Bible texts, a Doctor of Divinity could write such a paragraph as that quoted at the beginning of this article. W.SITI February 24, 1887, page 119.8

    “Scripture Statements vs. Conjecture” The Signs of the Times, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We cannot refrain from expressing the wish that the writers of the Sunday-school lesson notes in some of the religious papers, would occasionally read what the Bible says upon the subject of the lesson. If they should, it would save them from some egregious blunders, and would be a mercy to the pupils whose ideas are moulded in large measure by the lesson notes in their favorite journals. The lesson entitled “Lot’s choice” was improved by nearly everyone to moralize on the wickedness of Lot. The Christian Standard writer ended his sentimentalism as follows:-SITI February 24, 1887, page 120.1

    “Lot pitched his tent towards Sodom, then entered the city, ceased to be shocked by its gross sins and idolatry, was humiliated by being captured and plundered by the five kings. His soul hardened against even such direct warnings as angel messengers from Heaven. At last forced to flee from the city empty-handed, and look back on what once seemed the garden of the Lord, as a fiery furnace, he makes his home in the caves of the earth, and finally ends life a drunken outcast, dishonored by men and disowned by God.”SITI February 24, 1887, page 120.2

    Now read in 2 Peter 2:4-8 that God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with an overthrow, turning them into ashes, “and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds).”SITI February 24, 1887, page 120.3

    Lot may have been selfish in his choice of territory, although the Scripture nowhere gives any intimation of such a thing. But we do have emphatic testimony to his righteousness, and that he himself was uncontaminated by the horrible wickedness around him, and from which he suffered greatly. Unscriptural morals are among the worst things written.SITI February 24, 1887, page 120.4

    In this connection we would call attention to the International Lesson Notes that are given every week in the SIGNS OF THE TIMES. The writer indulges in no guess-work, but directs the student’s attention solely to the Bible. Sunday-school teachers and students will find it to their advantage to read the Commentary Department in the SIGNS. Those notes alone will more than make up for the price of the paper.SITI February 24, 1887, page 120.5

    “The Lord’s Prayer” The Signs of the Times, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When Christ was on earth he prayed often, sometimes spending whole nights in prayer. Of course none of these prayers are recorded. We have, however, the record of several prayers which he offered in public, prominent among which are the prayer at the grave of Lazarus, and the one for his disciples, just before his betrayal and crucifixion. But neither of these is referred to by the term, “the Lord’s prayer.” That prayer is the brief petition which our Saviour gave as a model for all prayers. And a model it is indeed. It comprehends everything that it is possible for man to desire from God. There are no circumstances or conditions in life that are not covered by this petition. Yet this must be understood as applying to followers of Christ, and not to unconverted persons, even though they be convicted of sin. This will appear in the course of our comments upon the prayer.SITI February 24, 1887, page 122.1

    There is no other form of words ever devised which can be used as a prayer over and over again for years, and still retain its freshness. This is simply because this one was given by One who knew man’s needs. But our Saviour did not design that his disciples should simply repeat the words which he gave them. This is evident from the introduction: “After this manner therefore pray ye.” It was designed as we have said, as a comprehensive model. Let us consider it well, that we may henceforth pray with more of the Spirit and the understanding.SITI February 24, 1887, page 122.2

    “OUR FATHER”

    What tenderness is expressed in those words! What infinite condescension it reveals on the part of God to allow poor, frail mortals to address him thus. His greatness is unsearchable and his ways past finding out. Before him, “The nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.” Isaiah 40:15-17. He walks “upon the wings of the wind” (Psalm 104:3); he “hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” Nahum 1:3. And yet this awful God has the tenderness of a parent, and his ear is open to the supplications of those who whisper, even in faintest accents, “Our Father;” for we are told that “like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” Psalm 103:13. Although God is the “high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy,” he has assured us that he dwells with him that is “of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15. Thus the first words of the Lord’s prayer bring us into the most intimate relation with the great Creator.SITI February 24, 1887, page 122.3

    Even in the first word alone there is a great truth conveyed. It shows the relation of those who can call God Father. They are brethren, having common hopes and needs. Even in his secret devotions, the Christian is not to make his petitions wholly personal. He is not to be shut up to his own needs, but is to remember that he is only one of a great family, whose welfare ought to be with him scarcely second to his own. Paul wrote to the Romans: “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.” Romans 1:9. It is possible for a person to be selfish even in his petitions for overcoming grace; but it will be found in that case, as in all others, that selfishness defeats itself. Every Christian will bear witness to the fact that the richest blessings have come to him when, even though almost overwhelmed with a sense of his own need, he has coupled his petition for pardon and strength, with a request for a blessing upon others besides himself. And so, even in the closet, we are to say, “Our Father.”SITI February 24, 1887, page 122.4

    It is not everybody, however, who can say, “Our Father.” We hear much of the “Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man,” but the Bible says nothing about such a thing. All men are not sons of God. Paul reminds the Ephesians of the time before they were converted, saying, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:12. In the first verses he shows still more plainly that men are not by nature the children of God. He says: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Again the apostle warns the Ephesian brethren against the sins to which they had formerly been addicted, saying, “For because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” Ephesians 5:6. See also Colossians 3:6.SITI February 24, 1887, page 122.5

    But the plainest statement of all, that men are not by nature the children of God, was given by our Saviour himself. To the wicked Jews who said, “We have one Father, even God,” he said: “If God were your Father, ye would love me; for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.... Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” John 8:41-44. Putting these texts together, we learn that all who know not God are the children of wrath; they are the children, or recipients, of wrath, because they are children of disobedience because they are the children of the devil. Now a person cannot at the same time be a child of God and a child of Satan. Nor is it necessary that one should be as hardened as were the Jews to whom Christ spoke, in order that they may be called children of Satan. “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34. If a person is a child of disobedience and of darkness, he is not a child of God. “All have sinned;” and therefore none are by nature children of God.SITI February 24, 1887, page 123.1

    How do people become children of God? If they are not natural children, it must be by adoption. So Paul says: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba [Father], Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:14-17. In like manner he writes to the Galatians: “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:4-7.SITI February 24, 1887, page 123.2

    In the above text it will be noticed that the Spirit is the pledge of our adoption. It is called the Spirit of adoption, because only those who have it are sons of God. Indeed, its reception constitutes us sons of God. If we are children, then we are heirs of God; and so Paul says that the Spirit is “the earnest [or pledge] of our inheritance.” Ephesians 1:14.SITI February 24, 1887, page 123.3

    If we are heirs of God, we are joint heirs with Christ. All that Christ has or is to have, we shall have also. He is the Son of God by birth; the only begotten Son of God. Angels are the sons of God (Job 38:7) by creation. Adam was a son of God in the same way, only a little lower than the angels. If he had not sinned against God, his descendants would like him have been sons of God. But he transferred his allegiance to Satan, and so no man from Adam down can be a son of God except by adoption. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.SITI February 24, 1887, page 123.4

    From this brief study of the Scripture it is clearly evident that since the Lord’s prayer begins, “Our Father,” it cannot be used by one who is not a child of God. For those who are in a state of nature, and thus children of wrath, there is another prayer. It is, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” They cannot address the Creator as Father, but only as God, the Judge who, however, is able to save as well as to destroy. If they have once been adopted into the family of God, and have lost their heirship through sin, the same prayer is applicable. With David, under like circumstances, they may cry: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.” “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.” “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit.” But only those with whose spirits the Spirit of God bears witness that they are children of God, can with confidence repeat the tender words, “Our Father.”SITI February 24, 1887, page 123.5

    Yet not a long time must the sinner lie a suppliant at the throne of God, unable to utter those words. God is longing for the world to become reconciled to him. When the prodigal son, who had forfeited his right to a place in his father’s house, said, “I will arise, and go unto my father,” not as a son but as a servant seeking mercy, his father met him while he was yet a long way off. He met him not as a master, but as a father. The humble prodigal did not have time to call himself a servant before he was embraced as a son. And so, although no one in a state of nature can properly repeat the Lord’s prayer, at the first sincere petition for mercy, which the repentant sinner puts up to God, the Spirit of God is sent forth into his heart, and he becomes a son, and can confidently and joyfully say, Father, Father. W.SITI February 24, 1887, page 123.6

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is a significant statement in Kate Foote’s last Washington letter to the Independent. She says: “Washington needs hospitals. At present there is only one which receives an appropriation from Congress,-the Catholic hospital.” Straws show which way the wind blows.SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.1

    Elder C. I. Boyd, of Oregon, is spending a few days visiting with friends in Oakland and Healdsburg. Last Sabbath he preached to the church in Oakland, on the spirituality of the law of God. Elder Boyd is this far on his way East, whence he intends to start some time in May for his new field of labor in South Africa.SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.2

    Last Friday the overland mails which were snowbound in the Sierras for five days began to arrive. The experience of the several hundred passengers who were imprisoned in a snow shed for five days, was not pleasant, but no accident occurred to any. The Mariposa, upon which Brother Byron Belden and wife sailed for Australia, was delayed six days after her regular sailing time, awaiting the arrival of the English mail.SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.3

    Just as we were closing up this number of the SIGNS, we received a copy of the Weekly Gazette, of Little Rock, Arkansas, which contains the speech of Senator Crockett in behalf of those whose conscientious observance of the Sabbath of the Lord, has caused them to be oppressed by the present unjust Sunday law of that State. The Senator speech is in support of a bill which he had introduced, granting immunity to those who keep the Sabbath, and which is referred to by our correspondent, in another column of this paper. We shall publish the speech in our next issue. It is an able effort, and well worth reading.SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.4

    An Eastern paper says: “A strong temperance movement has been developed in London.” And the reason for the statement is formed principally in the fact that upon “a recent Sunday all the drinking places in that great city were closed.” But as the saloons continue running as usual six days in the week we fail to see that any great strength has been developed in behalf of temperance. To close saloons only on Sunday is to tacitly admit that the liquor business is legitimate on all other days. “Sunday closing” and “high license” are not in the interests of prohibition; for the more “respectable” and law abiding the saloon business becomes, the more dangerous it is, and the harder to suppress altogether.SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.5

    Some time ago we were taken severely to task for designating as Mormons those people who masquerade under the high-sounding and pretentious title of the “Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.” A late number of a paper published in Oakland by one of this sect has found its way into our hands, and in it we find a long eulogy of Joe Smith, the founder of Mormonism, an extract from the “Book of Mormon,” and a fierce onslaught upon Congress and the Federal Courts for the “persecution” of the Utah polygamists. Surely this is Mormonism. It should be understood by all, that any who eulogize Joe Smith, and who profess to be is followers, must be, theoretically, at least, in favor of polygamy, for he introduced the Turkish harem into the United States, as the “Book of Doctrine and Covenants” plainly shows.SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.6

    Last Friday evening, February 18, a meeting was held in Hamilton Hall, Oakland, to discuss the merits of the Sunday bill which is now before both Houses of the California Legislature. Addresses were made by Lawyer Fox and Dr. Briggs, of Napa. Two leading clergy of Oakland occupied the stand. The bill now under consideration prohibits all labor on Sunday, but provides for the exception of those who conscientiously believe that the seventh day is the Sabbath, and who actually observe it, provided they do not disturb any Sunday observer by their labor. We have not space to give any report of the meeting, but will simply say that the remarks which elicited the most applause, both from the clergy and the people, were those in which the speakers declared that no exception should be made in favor of anybody, even though they kept Sabbath strictly, and did not disturb anybody by their labor on Sunday. The section exempting Sabbath-keepers was severely criticized. They do not expect the bill to be passed at this session of the Legislature, but they say that they must agitate the matter so thoroughly that the next Legislature will not dare to refuse what they want. Agitate, agitate, agitate, is their cry. We propose to help them. Next week we shall give some space to the bill and to their discussion of it.SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.7

    It is no slight testimonial to the care with which our news columns are gotten up, that our exchanges copy the items quite largely. Some of the most “live” papers sometime transfer our news matter almost bodily to their columns, and thereby show their good taste. It is doubtless enterprise like this which makes them live papers. None of our matter is copyrighted, and we are glad to be of use to others. We think we can say to our patrons, without fear of contradiction, that there is no other weekly paper that furnishes the news of the day so fully and so accurately, and at the same time so concise and free from all irrelevant matter, as the SIGNS OF THE TIMES. It contains all the news that you could learn from a daily paper, and is free from sensational and vulgar rubbish.SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.8

    Said Dr. Briggs at the recent Sunday Law Meeting: “The saloon on the ‘Lord’s day’ [Sunday] is full of deadly peril.” Well, isn’t it full of deadly peril on other days? Is it ever anything else but an unmitigated curse to society? Does it not make paupers and criminals whenever it does anything? Certainly it does, for it has no other work but to make criminals. Then why single out Sunday as the time when it is full of deadly peril? Would Dr. Briggs say, “A murder committed on Sunday is a terrible thing?” If he should it would be true, but would it be any more terrible than if committed on Monday? Such an expression would seem to affirm that it would be. And so his statement concerning saloons on Sunday implies that they are harmless on other days. Yet it is claimed that the Sunday movement is in the interest of temperance! We can demonstrate that it not only is not, but that it tends to the strengthening of the liquor traffic.SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.9

    The Interior says that it would “admit a colored man to membership in our church without hesitation, provided there were no such church of his own accessible; but if there were, we would advise him to go to his own. If this be wrong, then there is no limit this side of the perfect fusion of the two races into a yellow mass inferior to either of them.” The United Presbyterian calls this “strained reasoning.” It is worse than that. It is based on the rapidly growing theory that the church is a society into which none but those of “our set” can be admitted, and that church fellowship is equivalent to admission into “good society.” We pity those who have so limited an idea of what Christian fellowship means that they would receive none but those who have been as highly favored by nature as they. The apostle Paul says of those who have “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him,” that “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all, and in all.” What the churches need is more of Christ and less of “society.”SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.10

    He who is satisfied with simply believing the truth, is not entitled to the name Christian. The prayer of the Saviour, Father, “sanctify them through thy truth” (John 17:17), was for all in every age who should believe; and the soul in whom that petition is not being answered may well doubt that he is born of God.SITI February 24, 1887, page 126.11

    “A Sign of the Times” The Signs of the Times, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the Princeton Review for January, there is an article by the late Rev. A. A. Hodge, D. D., of Princeton, on “Religion in the Public Schools,” in which the following significant words occur:-SITI February 24, 1887, page 128.1

    “All we have to do is for Catholics and Protestants-disciples of a common Master-to come to a common understanding with respect to a common basis of what is received as general Christianity, a practical quantity of truth belonging equally to both sides to be recognized in general legislation, and especially in the literature and teachings of our public schools. The difficulties lie in the mutual ignorance and prejudice of both parties, and fully as much on the side of the Protestants as of the Catholics.”SITI February 24, 1887, page 128.2

    The Occident, of San Francisco, says of Dr. Hodge’s article, “It may be considered a dying legacy of this able and lamented minister.” And of the portion in which the above paragraph occurs, it says: “These suggestions are worthy of earnest consideration.” Here we have the spectacle of one of the leading Presbyterian divines in the content advocating virtual union with Catholicism, and admitting that Catholics have as much truth as Protestants, and the whole thing approved by his brother Presbyterians. Shades of Knox and Calvin! Where is Protestantism? It has already turned, or is fast turning, Catholic. What the end will be, it needs not a prophet to foresee.SITI February 24, 1887, page 128.3

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