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    April 6, 1888

    “The Spirit of Antichrist. No. 16” The Signs of the Times, 14, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Thus far we have quoted only those passages which directly state that the Virgin Mary is entitled to more honor than Christ; that to her men must look for salvation, rather than to Christ; and that if they depend upon Christ, and not upon the Virgin Mary, they will surely be lost. We shall now give a few sample quotations showing that this Mariolatry directly fosters and encourages the most outrageous wickedness. On pages 36 and 37 of “The Glories of Mary,” we find the following:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.1

    “We read in the life of Sister Catherine, an Augustinian nun, that in the place where that servant of God lived, there lived also a woman named Mary, who, in her youth was a sinner, and obstinately persevered in her evil course even to extreme old age. For this, she was banished by her fellow-citizens, forced to live in a cave beyond the limits of the place, and died in a state of loathsome corruption, abandoned by all, and without the sacraments, and on this account was buried in a field like a beast. Now Sister Catherine, who was accustomed to recommend very affectionately to God the souls of those who had departed this life, after learning the miserable death of this poor old woman, did not think of praying for her, as she and everyone else believed her already among the damned. Four years having passed, a soul from purgatory appeared to her, and said: ‘Sister Catherine, how unhappy is my fate! You commend to God the souls of all those who die, and for my soul alone you have no pity.’ ‘And who are you,’ said the servant of God. ‘I am,’ answered she, ‘that poor Mary, who died in the cave.’ ‘How! are you saved,’ she said, ‘by the mercy of the Virgin Mary.’ ‘And how?’ ‘When I saw death drawing near, finding myself laden with sins, and abandoned by all, I turned to the mother of God, and said to her, “Lady, thou art the refuge of the abandoned, behold me at this hour deserted by all; thou art my only hope, thou alone canst help me; have pity on me.” The holy Virgin obtained for me the grace of making an act of contrition. I died and am saved, and my queen has also obtained for me the grace that my pain should be abridged, and that I should, by suffering intensely for a short time, pass through that purification which otherwise would have lasted many years. A few masses only are needed to obtain my release from purgatory. I pray thee cause them to be offered for me, and I promise to pray God and Mary for thee.’ Sister Catherine immediately caused those masses to be said for her, and that soul, after a few days, appeared to her again, more brilliant than the sun, and said to her, ‘I thank thee, Sister Catherine; behold I am now going to Paradise to sing the mercy of God, and pray for you.’”SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.2

    This is very much in the same line as the preceding quotations. It teaches that people may live profligate lives up to the very moment of death, and then be saved by a single “act of contrition.” Thus it tends to cause men to put off repentance, and to rob God of all the service that is his due. But that is not the worst. It is true that Christ is able “to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,” and that it is possible that even in the last hour of life the sinner may heartily repent and find acceptance with God; for one such case is recorded in the New Testament. But the Catholic Church, in the quotation just made, teaches that men may come unrepentant to the last moment of life, and even then be saved without Christ. Christ is utterly ignored even in that extremity. The essential wickedness of such a scheme of religion ought to be apparent to everyone who has any knowledge of divine things.SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.3

    Again, on page 687 we read:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.4

    “In the mountains of Trent lived a notorious robber, who when he was admonished by a religious to change his course of life, answered that for him there was no remedy. ‘Do not say,’ said the religious; ‘do what I tell you; fast on Saturday in honor of Mary, and on that day do no harm to anyone, and she will obtain for you the grace of not dying under the displeasure of God.’ The obedient robber followed this advice, and made a vow to continue to do so. That he might not break his oath, he from that time went unarmed on Saturdays. It happened that on a Saturday he was found by the officers of justice, and that he might not break his oath, he allowed himself to be taken without resistance. The judge, when he saw that he was a gray-haired old men, wished to pardon him; but through the grace of compunction which he had received from Mary, he said that he wished to die in punishment of his sins. He also made a public confession of all the sins of his life in that same judgment-hall, weeping so bitterly that all present wept with him. He was beheaded, and buried with little ceremony, in a grave dug near by. But afterwards the mother of God appeared, with four holy virgins, who took the dead body from that place, wrapped it in a rich cloth embroidered with gold, and bore it themselves to the gate of the city.There the blessed Virgin said to the guards: ‘Tell the bishop from me to give an honorable burial, in such a church, to this dead person, for he was my faithful servant.’ And this was done.”SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.5

    By such stories as this, Catholicism identifies itself with paganism, which taught its devotees to depend on charms and incantations, and also with Spiritualism, the great feature of which is that man is his own saviour. All three systems are alike in that they exalt man to the level of God. This, as has before been shown, necessarily follows wherever the doctrine of man’s natural immortality is held, because that very doctrine claims for man the attribute of Deity.SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.6

    Similar to the above quotation, is the following, found on page 689:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.7

    “In the country of Normandy, a certain robber was beheaded, and his head was thrown into a trench, but afterwards it was heard, crying: ‘Mary, give me confession.’ A certain priest went to him and heard his confession; and questioning him as to his practices of devotion, the robber answered that he had no other than fasting one day of the week in honor of the holy Virgin, and that for this our Lady had obtained the grace to be delivered from hell by that confession.”SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.8

    Surely that was an easy way of getting saved, considering the amount that a person is allowed to eat during a Catholic “fast.” But the worst of all is the following, found on pages 301, and 302, with which we will end these extracts:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.9

    “Father Charles Bovins relates that in Domans, in France, lived a married man who had held a criminal connection with another woman. Now the wife being unable to endure this, continually besought God to punish the guilty parties, and one day in particular, went to an altar of the blessed Virgin, which was in a certain church, to implore vengeance upon the woman who had alienated her husband from her, and this very woman went also every day to the same altar to repeat a Hail Mary. One night the divine mother appeared in a dream to the wife, who, on seeing her, began her accustomed petition: ‘Justice, mother of God, justice.’ But the blessed lady answered: ‘Justice! do you seek justice from me? Go and find others to execute justice for you. It belongs not to me to do it for you. Be it known to you,’ she added, ‘that this very sinner offers every day a devotion in my honor, and that I cannot allow any sinner who does this to suffer and be punished for his sins.”SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.10

    It is impossible to conceive of anything that could be written under the pretense of being religious, that would tend more directly to lead people to the commission of crime, than this does. In this instance which, like all the rest, is of course fictitious, we have the case of a woman living in open sin, yet the Virgin Mary, who is set forth as the only hope of sinners, severely rebukes the one who has been so grossly wronged, saying that the guilty woman shall not be punished, because she, every day, repeats a form of prayer. Thus the Catholic Church teaches that no matter how wicked a person may be, he is safe if he only remembers, in the midst of his debauchery, to “say a prayer” to the Virgin Mary. Is it not rightly named the “MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”? Surely Paul could not have given a more accurate description of it than by calling it “that wicked.”SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.11

    The apostle John says that antichrist is he that denieth that Jesus is come in the flesh. It has been shown that Spiritualism is antichrist, because it openly and emphatically denies the divine mission and character of Christ. Catholicism is no less antichrist, because, although it makes much of the name and the image of Christ, it sets another above him in the plan of salvation. And both of these systems of error arise from the pagan notion that the soul of man is a part of God, and therefore cannot by any possibility die, which idea was first promulgated by Satan, the arch-enemy of Christ. Therefore we say, as before, that the spirit of antichrist is the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul.SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.12

    The only difference between paganism and Christianity is Christ. Take Christ out of Christianity, and all of its professors would soon sink into paganism. There is no power in man to elevate himself, this can be done only by some power outside of himself, and that power is the Saviour. But the salvation which Christ brings is not simply a present uplifting, but “an everlasting salvation.” He came to give eternal life to as many as should believe on him. The sum of all the blessings which Christ has to bestow is comprised in the gift of eternal life. Now when people, no matter what their profession, teach that men are not dependent on Christ for life, they virtually deny him entirely. And when Christ is set aside, immorality must come in. There cannot by any possibility be any righteousness in this world except “the righteousness which is by the faith of Jesus Christ.” And since the doctrine of man’s natural immortality takes away the incentive to believe in Christ, the Life-giver, we once more emphatically repeat that that doctrine is the very spirit of antichrist. W.SITI April 6, 1888, page 214.13

    “The Call of Abraham” The Signs of the Times, 14, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Having learned that this earth was designed to be Adam’s kingdom, and that he forfeited it, and that Christ has bought the title to it, and will one day call his own to share it with him, we shall now trace the chain of evidence from paradise lost to paradise restored.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.1

    When God pronounced the curse upon our first parents, and upon the earth, he also made known the way of escape from that curse. Christ, the deliverer, was immediately promised. To Satan, the Lord said: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. These words contain the promise of the Messiah, who, although he should be allowed to be bruised by Satan, should thereby gain the right to destroy Satan and all his works.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.2

    Time passed, and Satan seemed to get a still firmer hold upon the earth, for “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” “And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Genesis 6:5, 12. In all the earth there was but one family who acknowledged and served God; all the rest of mankind were totally given up to the service of the devil. “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” Genesis 6:13.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.3

    So the earth, with all its inhabitants, was destroyed by the flood. Noah and his family alone were saved; and when they came out of the ark, God said to them, as he had said to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Genesis 9:1. He did not, as to our first parents, give them dominion over all the earth, for it was impossible; but in order that men might not be exterminated by the beasts, that had become savage by passing under the dominion of Satan, he said: “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, and upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.” Genesis 9:2. Thus did God interpose to limit Satan’s power, giving men a chance for life, that they might prepare for the complete possession of the earth when it should be restored.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.4

    But as men began again to multiply upon the earth, they again forsook the Lord, and gave themselves fully over to the service of Satan. Soon after the flood, we find them so filled with rebellious pride that they began to build a city and a tower, thinking that thereby they could protect themselves against any judgments that God might bring upon them. Genesis 2:1-9. This impious attempt was brought to nothing, and the people were scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth, yet they did not forsake the service of Satan. Within about four hundred years after the flood, the people of the earth were once more sunken in idolatry and superstition.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.5

    At that time the Lord came to Abraham, one of the descendants of Shem, and said to him:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.6

    “Get thee out of thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee; and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.7

    The Lord saw in Abraham a willingness to serve him, although all his people were idolaters (Joshua 24:2), and he separated him from them, so that he might not become contaminated by them, but might become the father of a people who should be fitted to inherit the earth. If we closely examine this promise, we shall find that it comprehends a great deal. “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” means nothing less than the possession of the whole earth by the descendants of Abraham. But this will appear more clearly as we pass on. In Genesis 13:14-17, we find the promise renewed more in detail in these words:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.8

    “And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.”SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.9

    Here we have strong proof that the promise to Abraham included nothing less than the whole earth, for his seed were to be multiplied as the dust of the earth. The length and the breadth of the land was to be theirs.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.10

    At that time Abraham had no child, and in all human probability could never have one. “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face; and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.” Genesis 17:1-5.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.11

    Again, when God was about to destroy Sodom, he said:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.12

    “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Genesis 18:17-19.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.13

    This give us to understand that the promise was made to Abraham with so much positiveness, because the Lord knew that he would keep his commandments, and that he would command his children and his household after him to do likewise. From this also we may learn that the promise to his seed was only to those who should serve the Lord.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.14

    Once more we find the promise renewed, when Abraham had showed his faith in God by proceeding to offer up his only son, through whom the promise was to be fulfilled. The Lord then called to Abraham, and said:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.15

    “By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Genesis 22:16-18.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.16

    In the expression “thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies,” we have the promise of conquest. Bear this in mind, while we consider a few other points. In Galatians 3:15-17, we have a scripture that has an intimate connection with the subject under consideration. It reads thus:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.17

    “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; ... that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed no man disannuleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law... cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.18

    From the above scripture we learn that the seed to whom the promise was made, is Christ,-the same that was promised at the time of the fall. Now in connection with the promise to Abraham, that his seed should possess the gate of his enemies, read the following words of God the Father to his Son Jesus Christ:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.19

    “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2:7-9.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.20

    When this shall have been accomplished, then “the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace;” for the meek are they who have come to Christ and have learned of him, yielding themselves to him to be his servants; and Paul says: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29. From this, together with the statement that “they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed” (Galatians 3:7, 8), we may conclude, even at this stage of our study, that the promise to Abraham, and to his seed, was nothing less than the promise of the earth to all who, through faith in Christ, should gain the victory over sin. And this is further confirmed by Paul’s statement that “the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Romans 4:13. But we shall come to this point again, as we proceed in this investigation.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.21

    In the twenty-sixth chapter of Genesis we find the promise once more repeated, this time to Isaac. Abraham was dead, and there was a famine in the land, and the Lord appeared to Isaac, and said:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.22

    “Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 26:2-5.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.23

    Notice here that God made the very same promise to Isaac that he had made to Abraham; and he also said that he would perform the oath that he sware unto Abraham. He gave no hint of any delay having occurred in the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, but spoke of it as something that he would do just as he had promised. Yet Abraham was at that time dead. Therefore we must conclude that the Lord never designed to fulfill the promise in Abraham’s life-time; and we shall find that Abraham did not expect that it would be then fulfilled.SITI April 6, 1888, page 215.24

    Passing on, we come to the time when Jacob had his dream of the ladder which reached from earth to Heaven, upon which the angels of God were ascending and descending. “And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south; and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 28:13, 14.SITI April 6, 1888, page 216.1

    Now it is certain that neither Abraham, Isaac, nor Jacob, ever had any share in the inheritance promised to them. When Stephen was before the Jewish Sanhedrim, on trial for his life, he referred to God’s call for Abraham to go into the land of Canaan, and said, “And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.” Acts 7:5. And this Stephen used as part of his argument that the promise to Israel was yet to be fulfilled. As proof of Stephen’s statement that Abraham had no inheritance in the land, we cite the fact that when Sarah his wife died, he had to buy a place in which to bury her. W.SITI April 6, 1888, page 216.2

    “Jacob’s Vow” The Signs of the Times, 14, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Lesson 16.—Sabbath, April 21

    1. Relate the means by which Jacob secured the blessing.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.1

    2. Was this honorable on the part of Jacob?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.2

    “And he said, Thy brother came with subtlety, and hath taken away thy blessing.” Genesis 27:35.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.3

    3. What is the meaning of the name “Jacob”?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.4

    “And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times; he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?” Verse 26, and margin.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.5

    4. How did Esau regard Jacob for his course in securing the birthright?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.6

    “And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him.” Verse 41, first part.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.7

    5. What did he purpose to do?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.8

    “And Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.” Verse 41, last part.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.9

    6. What did Jacob’s mother advise him to do?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.10

    “And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; and tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence; why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?” Verses 42-45.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.11

    7. Into how many years did the “few days” expand?-More than twenty.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.12

    8. What sort of a sleeping-place did Jacob have one night on his journey?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.13

    “And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.” Genesis 28:10, 11.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.14

    9. What dream did he have there?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.15

    “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” Verse 12SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.16

    10. Who stood at the head of the ladder?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.17

    “And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.” Verse 13.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.18

    11. What promise did the Lord make to him?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.19

    “And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” Verses 14, 15.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.20

    12. What did Jacob say when he awoke?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.21

    “And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.” Verse 16.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.22

    13. What did he say of that place?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.23

    “And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Verse 17.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.24

    14. When the Lord appeared to certain of his servants what did he say to them?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.25

    “And he said, Draw not night hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.26

    “And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:15.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.27

    15. What may we learn from this?-That the presence of God in any place makes that place holy.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.28

    16. Where has the Lord promised always to be?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.29

    “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.30

    17. What lesson should this teach us?-That places dedicated to the worship of God are sacred, and should always be entered with reverence.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.31

    18. What did Jacob do in the morning?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.32

    “And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.” Genesis 28:18, 19.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.33

    19. What vow did he make?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.34

    “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God; and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.” Verses 20-22.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.35

    20. What was the extent of Jacob’s desire from the Lord? Verse 20.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.36

    21. Could he have asked for less?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.37

    22. Yet what did he purpose to do? Verse 22.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.38

    23. Is it right to make vows or pledges to the Lord?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.39

    “Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God; let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.” Psalm 76:11.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.40

    24. When a person makes a vow, what should he be careful to do?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.41

    “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” Ecclesiastes 5:4, 5.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.42

    25. Why should we be so careful to pay our vows?SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.43

    “When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it; for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.” Deuteronomy 23:21.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.44

    NOTES

    Sometimes the question is asked, “How could Jacob pay tithe, if he received only food to eat and raiment to put on?” It is very evident that he could not, if he received only necessary clothing ready made, and had his food furnished him just at meal-time. His idea was not that the Lord would put into his mouth just enough to sustain life; for the Lord doesn’t feed us in that way. The Lord gives us richly all things to enjoy, but he leaves to us the preparation of it, and he expects us to make an exertion to get it. Jacob’s idea was that if the Lord would prosper him, even though he should give him what would seem barely sufficient for a livelihood, he would pay a tithe of it, and live on the remainder. The lesson to be learned is, that nineteenths of what we think would support us, is better, with the blessing of God, than the entire amount that might seem necessary, without God’s blessing.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.45

    God is able to make a small quantity equal to the largest amount. When the widow had only a handful of meal, and a small cruse of oil, the Lord made that small amount sufficient support for a family of three for a full year. 1 Kings 17:8-16. With only five loaves and two small fishes, the Lord fed more than five thousand people. It may be said that these were miracles. So they were; and he who does not see a miracle in his being kept alive and provided with daily food, “knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22, 23. Surely since God gives us everything that we have, working miracles daily for our support, and is able to multiply a handful of meal into many barrels, he may well be depended on to make a little go a great ways for one of his servants.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.46

    Some people there are who refuse ever to make a pledge for the Lord’s cause. They profess to believe that it is wrong to do so. How they can think so in the face of the Scripture record is a mystery. Not only does the Scripture contain instances of vows that have been made, but it expressly commands us to make vows. The man who refuses to make a reasonable pledge to the Lord’s cause, for fear that when the time comes he may be unable to pay, is in the same condition as one who refuses to make a profession of religion, for fear he will not be able to hold out. Such ones show a total lack of confidence in God, indicating that they expect to have to do in their own strength all that is done. Their action is equivalent to saying, “I am afraid that the Lord will fail me; I dare not run the risk.” And yet those very persons who are afraid to promise to do what they know to be their duty, have no hesitancy in giving a note to a man, promising to pay him a certain sum of money at some future time. The sincerity of any who profess to think it wrong to pledge, may well be doubted.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.47

    The Lord has said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20. Yet how many who go to the prayer-meeting, where there undoubtedly are more than two who have come in the name of Jesus, could say, “The Lord is in this place, and I knew it not”? The Lord was at Bethel before Jacob had his dream; so the presence of the Lord in any place does not depend upon our recognition of it. We do not have to wait until the prayer-meeting is over, in order to be able to say that the Lord was present. Those who do so, lose a great deal of the blessing of his presence. But we should begin the meeting knowing that he is there because he has promised to be there; in that case we shall be prepared to receive the fullness of his blessing. W.SITI April 6, 1888, page 219.48

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

    E. J. Waggoner

    All lovers of peace and good order will be glad to learn that Kaiser Frederick is improving in health. For some time there has been a steady gain, with no adverse symptoms. It is well known that he is for preserving peace; and although his malady may be incurable, it is sincerely to be hoped that the end will not come very soon.SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.1

    Somebody has sent us some questions concerning church trustees, Sabbath-school superintendents, the leasing of churches, etc., but has given no name or address. If these are furnished us, together with stamp, we will reply by letter. The questions are not of sufficient general interest to be answered in the SIGNS, and we cannot answer anonymous communications. No person ought to be ashamed of his name.SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.2

    An “All Fools’ Club” has been started in San Francisco. We wouldn’t dare deny the right of the club to such a name, but we greatly fear that it hasn’t got all of them yet. The worst of the class are those who deceive their neighbors, and say, “Am not I in sport?” The report states that the club was started with an unlimited capital stock of folly. That is a sort of capital against which we have not heard of any organized opposition on the part of laboring men, or others. If there were such a movement, we should hear less about strikes and boycotts.SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.3

    We have received several letters, calling our attention to a little item that appeared in Number 11 of the SIGNS, to the effect that the month of February, 1886, had no full moon. It seems that the almanac says that there was one, and our correspondents want to know whether the error is in the almanac or in the SIGNS. No doubt we shall have to confess to being in error, for it wouldn’t do to impeach the almanac. The error on our part consisted in republishing and item that was going the rounds, without verifying it. McCarty’s “Annual Statistician” says that it was the month of February, 1866. The substitution of an “S” for a “6” is a very easy matter. If this is not correct we hope to be informed of it. We are glad that the SIGNS has such close readers. We hope that they will scan the Bible arguments as closely, and take the trouble to verify them.SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.4

    The Interior has been asked to give some information with regard to the order of the “White Cross,” and answers in the following language, which expresses our sentiments exactly:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.5

    “It is part of the work of the W. C. T. U. In our opinion the true White Cross origination is that original one, the Christian church. We do not have much faith in pledges or personal moral reforms not based upon sanctification by the Holy Spirit.”SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.6

    We will say, in this connection, that whatever cannot be done by the church of Christ in the way of moral reform, cannot be done at all. Outside agencies may accomplish a little seeming good, but it is only a gloss on the surface. Only the Spirit of God can work an entire reformation in a man, cleansing the fountain whence all his actions spring. We think, also, that the modern custom of having societies formed within the church, composed only of those members who will pledge themselves to abstain from certain bad habits, or to do certain good and necessary work, is reprehensible, and productive of much evil, in that it tends to give people a low standard of church obligation. It produces the impression that a church-member need not necessarily be a temperance man or a missionary worker, unless he has joined a society having that specific name, whereas the fact is that every church-member must be, by virtue of the church covenant, “temperate in all things,” and a missionary worker. The church that is not a temperance society, and a missionary society, is not a true Christian church. That is, those members who are not temperance reformers and missionary workers, are not fulfilling the obligations that necessarily rest upon every professed follower of Christ.SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.7

    In a recent address before the Young Women’s Christian Temperance Union in Oakland, Rev. Dr. Horton stated that he had been credibly informed that during this Lentus season there were many families which gave their children wine in the place of meat, and said that teachers in certain schools complained that those children became utterly unmanageable in consequence. Was there ever a worse exhibition of straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel? We believe Lent is a period of time devoted to the mortification of the flesh? “The church” forbids the use of meat during that time, so that the body may be kept under; and these people, who would think it almost a mortal sin to disobey the church in this regard, give their children (and undoubtedly themselves also), wine, which is ten times worse than meat could be. This is a fair sample of the working of a religion that is fixed by law. Formalism at the expense of piety always results.SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.8

    It is stated that Colorado has great hopes of becoming to tobacco-producing district of this country, careful experiments having determined that many varieties of tobacco will yield enormous crops upon its soil. The Oakland Times says:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.9

    “If Colorado cannot produce the requisite soil and climate, it could certainly be found in California. With our vast domain it is ridiculous that we should still be spending eight to ten millions of dollars per year in buying the weed from Cuba and Sumatra.”SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.10

    We should say that if Californians must use eight or ten million dollars’ worth of tobacco every year, it will be vastly cheaper to import it than to provide good land in producing it. It is well known that there is nothing that grows that exhausts the soil so much as tobacco. Much good land in Connecticut and Virginia has been rendered unfit for use, because it has been devoted to tobacco-raising. Tobacco has only one mission, and that is, to kill, and it does that effectually, whether applied to the land, to men, or to pestiferous vermin.SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.11

    The Review and Herald contains a brief review of an article published in the Free Methodist, by C. E. Harroun, Jr., entitled “Seventh-day Adventistism Not Orthodox.” We can well imagine what the article in question is, for we once listened for two hours, with all the patience we could muster, and our full stock was required, to a sermon by this man. The title of the sermon, which had been extensively advertised, was “Adventism against, or Adventism Essentially Infidel.” We mentioned one of his arguments as a sample: He said that Adventist didn’t live up to their profession, because he knew some who labored every Saturday. He had honesty enough, however, to state a few moments afterward that those Adventists were First-day Adventists, who didn’t profess to keep Sabbath. As for the rest of his sermon it was merely a statement of what he believed, and a contrast of that with the belief of Adventist. Of course he could very easily show that we didn’t believe the vagaries that found ready acceptance with him, and therefore he was sure that we were infidel. The Bible was not once referred to as the standard of belief.SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.12

    The Christian Union’s Chicago correspondent, commenting on the fact that Dr. Fulton was not allowed by the city authorities to fill his appointment to lecture on the topic, “Is Popery in the Way?” because they feared a riot, thinks that such refusal was unnecessary, and adds: “It surely is a dishonor to the Catholic Church if it is supposed the bloodshed would result if ever so violent addresses were made against it.” Indeed it is a dishonor to that church and a dishonor which it has brought upon itself many times. The Catholic Church has had about fourteen centuries of such dishonor, for everybody who knows anything about that church knows that when it has had the power it has never hesitated to shed the blood of those who spoke against it. No man’s life would be safe if he should go into any community in the United States, where the Catholics are numerous, and should openly tell the truth concerning that church. A false religion has no other argument at its command but violence.SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.13

    The following item from the Michigan Christian Advocate, which came to our notice just after the above was written, is a very good comment on the Christian Union’s statement that the Catholic Church is too good to cause blood to flow in consequence of addresses made against it:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.14

    “Michael Welch was telling a Glad... why he left the Catholic Church, when a ... men entered the room, and informing him that they were after blood, began throwing bottles at him.”SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.15

    On another page of this issue of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES we have made the statement that those who apologize for the Papacy now, would have condemned Luther if they had lived in the days of the Reformation, and that therefore they are not Protestants in any sense of the word. Since that article was written, we have received from the editor of Herold der Warheit a translation of a part of the remarks of the prosecuting attorney of the city of Cassel, Germany, in the case of the Rev. Thummel who was indicted for attacking the Papacy and of calling the Pope antichrist. In moving for nine months imprisonment for Thummel, and two months’ imprisonment for the publisher of the article, the prosecuting attorney said among other things:-SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.16

    “The defendant refers (or appeals) to Dr. M. Luther. First, it must be considered that Luther lived three hundred years ago, and that meanwhile the customs, the tone, and taste, etc., have changed. If Luther lived to-day and should say and write the same things that he did then, he would undoubtedly by reason of section 166 of the Penal Code, be condemned.”SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.17

    Undoubtedly, and this is in a city where the majority of the churches to-day are Lutheran. If a man should be condemned now for using language similar to that which Luther used three hundred years ago, then he ought to have been condemned then, for it is Rome’s boast that she never changes. If Luther were alive to-day he would undoubtedly say the same things about the Catholic Church that he said in the days of Leo X., and would include many professed Protestants in his remarks. Innately there are some still who are animated by the same spirit that Luther was, and who do not laud the Pope simply because his power is increasing.SITI April 6, 1888, page 224.18

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