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    June 8, 1888

    “Judged by the Law” The Signs of the Times, 14, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In an article concerning Seventh-day Adventists, which appeared in the Christian Oracle about two months ago, we noticed the following statement:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.1

    “With them, instead of being judged by the gospel, the New Testament, all men are to be judged by the tables of stone, or the ten commandments.”SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.2

    We quote this statement, not for the purpose of controversy, but simply as a text for a short article, that those who have fallen into the same error that the editor of the Oracle seems to have fallen, may recognize that the article is for them. It may be that there are very many who suppose that all who have lived since the days of Christ will be judged by the gospel. If so, they have entirely mistaken the nature of the gospel. The apostle Paul says that the gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:16. It is God’s means for the salvation of sinners. All must admit that if there were no sinners in the world, there would be no need of the gospel. But when we say that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation-that it is the good news of a way of salvation for sinners-we thereby assert that there was sin before there was any gospel. Now when a person is accused of sin, he must be judged by the thing which he has transgressed; and since sin existed before the gospel, it is absolutely certain that sin is not the transgression of the gospel, and therefore the sinner cannot be judged by the gospel.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.3

    This truth was stated by Christ when he was making the gospel known to Nicodemus. Said he:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.4

    “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. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.5

    There is the whole thing in a nutshell. The whole world was in a lost condition. All men were doomed to destruction. But God had such love for them that he sent his Son, so that whoever would believe on him should be saved from destruction. Then the Saviour emphatically asserts that he did not come to condemn men, but to save those who were condemned already. It was not necessary that he should condemn them; on the contrary, it was absolutely necessary that he should not, if they were to have salvation; for the gospel cannot at the same time save and condemn. If men were to be judged by the gospel, then it would be the case that they are now condemned by the gospel; and in that case the gospel would be the power of God to condemnation, instead of to salvation.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.6

    The gospel brings pardon, on condition of belief in Christ. But a pardon cannot condemn. A pardon presupposes a man already condemned; it comes to free him from condemnation. Now if there were a lot of man already condemned, and under sentence of death, and a messenger should come bearing a pardon from the governor, and that pardon should also condemn them (supposing such a thing were possible), then they would indeed be in a pitiable case.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.7

    “But,” says the objector, “it is the gospel itself that condemns; we do not admit that there is anything back of the law, in this age, that condemns men, or by which they must be judged.” Surely that is spoken without thought. If there is nothing back of the gospel, then there is no need of the gospel. If men are not sinners already, then there is no chance for the gospel; for the gospel is for the purpose of saving men who are lost. See Matthew 18:11. What would be thought of a governor who should issue a pardon to a company of honest, upright citizens? It would be considered an insane freak. But if, worse still, he should say that this pardon issued to honest men was going to condemn them first, in order that it might have a chance to pardon them, he would be thought wholly insane. And if, in addition to this, these men should be brought into court, and tried by that pardon, no words could express our sense of the folly of the act. And yet men actually charge God with such folly as that, by saying that the gospel condemns men. For let it not be forgotten that men are condemned by the very same instrument that judges them. If the gospel is to be the rule of judgment, then it must condemn some people, unless everybody is to be saved.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.8

    Says Jesus, “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19. Then the condemnation which men were under already, before the gospel came, was because of evil deeds, because of sin. But says the apostle John, who was the latest New Testament writer, “Sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. Then men were condemned because they were violators of the law, and it must be the law by which they are to be judged. Indeed, nobody ever heard of people being judged by anything else but by law.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.9

    We pass by some plain testimony in the Old Testament, and consider only a little in the New. The apostle Paul is very explicit. Says he: “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Romans 2:12, 13.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.10

    Nothing can be plainer. Those who have sinned having full knowledge of the law shall be judged by the law. If the doers of the law shall shall be justified, then it is plain that the breakers of the law shall be condemned.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.11

    The apostles James, in the second chapter of his epistle, has something to say of the law. We quote:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.12

    “If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well; but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” James 2:8, 9.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.13

    This is a plain statement of what it is that condemns men. By a certain course of action, men are “convinced of the law as transgressors.” Then the apostle enters into a brief argument, in the course of which it appears that he is speaking of the law of ten commandments. He says:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.14

    “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.” Verses 10, 11.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.15

    And then he adds this exhortation:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.16

    “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” Verse 12.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.17

    Here again we have the plain declaration that the law of ten commandments is that by which men are to be judged. Certainly anybody who believes even the New Testament, ought to be satisfied with this evidence.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.18

    One thought: If men are to be judged by the gospel, then what is going to save them? Cannot the reader see that to say that men are going to be judged by the gospel, is equivalent to saying that there must be “another gospel”? The Catholic Church has provided this, in her deification of the Virgin Mary. It teaches that Christ is the stern judge, the one who condemns, and that it is by the intercession of the Virgin Mary that he relents and allows men to be pardoned. But this is a most dangerous error, and a curse has been pronounced upon those who teach it.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.19

    There will be a time when Christ will come as a judge to execute sentence upon the ungodly; but the sentence which he will execute will be that which has been pronounced as the result of judging men’s acts by the law. Now, however, Christ is our Advocate, and those who would escape his wrath when he comes as Judge, should accept the pardon for past sins, which God so freely offers through him, and then, through continued faith in him, live so that the righteousness of the law may be fulfilled in us, even as it shone out in his spotless character. W.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.20

    “An Alarming Proposition” The Signs of the Times, 14, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    And still they travel the road to Rome. We have frequently of late given in these columns instances of the way in which Catholicism is absorbing Protestantism, or, rather, the way in which Protestantism is plunging headlong into Catholicism, and now we have another step to record. In the Christian at Work of April 12, Prof. Charles A. Briggs, Lt. Lt., of Union Theological Seminary, New York, had an article which was continued in the Christian at Work of April 19. The article was entitled, “Is Rome an Ally, an enemy, or Both?” Starting out with the assertion that “the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches are agreed in nine-tenths or more of the contents of Christianity,” Doctor Briggs makes some statements concerning the Reformation and then says:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.21

    “We are agreed as to the essentials of Christianity. Our common faith is based on the so-called apostles’ creed, and worship on the Lord’s prayer, our morals upon the ten commandments, and the sermon on the mount. Who will venture to say that the Roman Catholic Church is not as faithful to these foundations of our common religion as Protestants? Taking our stand on the apostles’ creed, we must add to the articles of faith on which we are agreed, all the doctrinal achievements of the church for fifteen centuries, the doctrine of the unity of God, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the holy Trinity, original sin and human depravity, salvation by divine grace, the absolute need of the atonement of Jesus Christ. On all these great doctrines of our religion Romanism and Protestantism are one. Here we are allies, and it is our common task to proclaim these doctrines to the heathen world, and to overcome by them all forms of irreligion and infidelity in Christian lands. And differences about justification by faith, and salvation by the divine grace alone, and the authority of the church as regards the determination of the canon of Scripture, and its interpretation, ought not to prevent our cooperation and alliance in the great work of indicating and proclaiming the common faith. Our conflict over the doctrines in which we differ would be more fruitful in good results if our contest should be based upon concord and alliance in the common faith. If our contest could be narrowed to the real points of difference, and that contest could be conducted in a brave, chivalrous, and loving manner, the results would be more fruitful.SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.22

    “Taking our stand upon the Lord’s prayer we observe that as to the greater part of Christian worship we are agreed. We worship God in common, in morning and evening assemblies, by prayer, songs of praise, the reading and preaching of the Scriptures, and the celebration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. All this is common. Furthermore, we take the liberty of affirming that the matter of all this worship is for the most part common in both these great bodies of Christians. I have heard sermons in Roman Catholic Churches of Europe which were more evangelical and less objectionable than many sermons I have heard in leading Protestant churches in Berlin, London, and New York. It is well known that the Protestant books of liturgy contain a considerable amount of material derived from the old mass-books, and they are all the more valuable for that. Roman Catholic baptism has many superstitions connected with it, but the essentials of baptism are there in the baptism by the minister in the name of the holy Trinity. Roman Catholic observance of the Lord’s Supper is connected with the worship of the materials of the supper under the doctrine that they are really the body and blood of the divine Lord; but who can deny that pious souls by faith really partake of the body and blood of Christ in this holy sacrament, notwithstanding the errors in which it is enveloped? If we look with eyes of Christian charity upon the Lutheran and Zwinglian views, which are regarded as serious errors by the standards of the reformed churches, and would not deny to the participants real communion with Christ, why should we deny such communion to pious Roman Catholics?SITI June 8, 1888, page 342.23

    “In all matters of worship we are in essential concord with Roman Catholics, and we ought not to hesitate to make an alliance with them so far as possible to maintain the sanctity of the Sabbath as a day of worship, and to proclaim to the world the necessity of worshiping God in his house, and of becoming members of his church by baptism, and of seeking union and communion with the Saviour by Christian worship, the study of the Scripture, and the observance of the Lord’s Supper. With this recognition of concord, Protestants can then debate with Romanists in a friendly manner, and seek to overcome their errors, remove the excessiveness they have heaped upon the simple worship in the spirit and in truth which seems to us more in accordance with the Scripture and the wishes of our Saviour.SITI June 8, 1888, page 343.1

    “We should also note that in the great constituent parts of prayer, invocation, adoration, thanksgiving, confession of sin, petition, intercession, and consecration. Roman Catholic and Protestant worship are agreed, and consequently the matter of prayer is essentially the same, the differences are less than most people imagine. In Christian song the differences are still less. If our hymn-books were stripped of hymns from the ancient and medieval church, and from modern Roman Catholics, they would be bare indeed. Looking now at the sphere of morals we take our common stand on the ten commandments and the sermon on the mount. As to the vast majority of all questions of morals, Romanism and Protestantism are agreed. It is true there is a great deal of immorality in the Roman Catholic Church in some countries, and we think it may be shown that as a rule Protestantism is productive of better morals than Romanism; but this, after all, is a question of more or less, and to say the least, Protestantism has little to boast of. On all these questions it is of the highest importance that the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant churches should make an alliance. Their joint efforts would have an influence upon public and private morals such as the world has not yet witnessed. We may agree to differ and debate on all questions of morals where there is discord. But when we are agreed on the vast majority of questions that come before the public it is sheer folly for us to waste our energies in antagonism, when cooperation and alliance would be productive of vast good.SITI June 8, 1888, page 343.2

    “We hold, therefore, that the Roman Catholics and the Protestants ought not to hesitate to ally themselves for the maintenance and the preparation of those great principles of Christian doctrine, Christian worship, and Christian morals that they hold in common.”SITI June 8, 1888, page 343.3

    The proposed alliance with Rome, the necessity for which Doctor Briggs reiterates so often, is a noteworthy sign of the times, and we could not ignore it and be true to our name. The Doctor seems to base his plea for alliance quite largely upon the fact that Protestantism is about as bad as Catholicism. He says above that Protestantism has little to boast of over Roman Catholicism, in the way of morality, and elsewhere in the same article he says:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 343.4

    “Why should we complain of the persecutions that our ancestors suffered from Rome, when we have to lament that others of our ancestors were merciless to Roman Catholics? Roman Catholic intolerance and bigotry may be matched by Protestant intolerance and bigotry. I doubt whether God looks with any more favor upon these detestable vices in the one than in the other.”SITI June 8, 1888, page 343.5

    This is, no doubt, a valid reason why Protestantism and Roman Catholicism should join, for when Protestantism becomes as bad as Catholicism, we can see no necessity for maintaining a separate existence. For ourselves we think that there is yet quite a difference between the two bodies; but when a prominent professor in one of the leading theological seminaries in the land can see no difference between the Lord’s Supper as celebrated according to the divine command, and the Roman Catholic mass, and when he indorses “all the doctrinal work of the [Catholic] Church for fifteen centuries,” the point of perfect union cannot be far off.SITI June 8, 1888, page 343.6

    What an array of names we now have in favor of Protestant union with Catholicism,-Doctors Hodge, Hitchcock, Schaff, Patton, Briggs, Field, etc. But who has heard or read of a Catholic priest clamoring for Catholic union with Protestantism? Nobody. Why not? Would not the Catholic Church be willing to enter into such an alliance as these Protestant doctors of divinity propose? Most certainly it would be, but the movement must all be made by the Protestants. The Catholic Church will gladly receive the Protestant churches to her bosom, or she will accept their aid in the furtherance of her peculiar schemes,-but she can afford to wait till they come of their own accord, for if they make the proposal, she can dictate the terms.SITI June 8, 1888, page 343.7

    One more thought. What must we conclude will be the effect of an alliance between Protestantism and Catholicism, when we remember that one of the strongest pleas for such an alliance is not that Catholicism is as good as Protestantism-but, that Protestantism is nearly, if not quite, as bad as Catholicism? Those who know anything of Rome’s peculiarities, do not need to have an answer given them.SITI June 8, 1888, page 343.8

    Some may say that we are alarmists. Indeed we are; and we think that anyone who sees such danger approaching and does not sound an alarm, deserves to suffer all the ill that may follow. Our only wish is that we might sound the alarm so loud that it would awaken the thousands who seem to be asleep, and who are in danger of being taken in the snare. W.SITI June 8, 1888, page 343.9

    “The Death of Adam” The Signs of the Times, 14, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We find on our table a question concerning the death of Adam. The writer quotes God’s words, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” and thinks there is some plausibility to the objection that they were not fulfilled, and that the devil told the truth when he said, “Ye shall not surely die.” But the fact is, Adam did die, for the record says that “all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.” Genesis 5:5. This therefore disposes of the supposition that Satan told the truth.SITI June 8, 1888, page 344.1

    Now how about the words of the Lord? Adam did not die that day, but lived nine hundred and thirty years. Our answer is found in the words of Christ: “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.” John 3:16. To say that God ought to have put Adam to death that very day, is equivalent to saying that God had no right to provide a plan of salvation for fallen man. All must admit that God does not deny himself by offering salvation to sinners. God is just, at the same time that he is the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.SITI June 8, 1888, page 344.2

    Although God had announced a specific penalty for transgression, he certainly could with perfect justice remit that penalty in the case of anyone who should accept the offering which he freely provided, and which was outside the demands of the law. Moreover, if God provided such a plan, it must necessarily, in order that strict and equal justice should be done, include all men, not excepting Adam. And, still further, since such a plan was provided, the execution of the penalty must necessarily be stayed, in order to give man an opportunity to accept the offered salvation, if he wished; for it would be but mockery to devise such a plan and still execute the penalty without giving the fallen one any chance to accept it.SITI June 8, 1888, page 344.3

    Adam had a second probation, and if, as we believe, he repented of his sin and exercised faith in Christ, he will receive eternal life when Christ comes to confer immortality; but since he was only dust, and was removed from the source of life, he necessarily, in the course of time, returned to the dust, just as God said he should. And all of his posterity being likewise of the earth earthy, have also returned to earth. Men die now simply because they are born mortal; Adam died as the direct consequence of his sin.SITI June 8, 1888, page 344.4

    The penalty, however, whose execution was stayed, still hangs over the fallen race, and when Christ shall cease to interpose in man’s behalf, it will fall upon all who have not hidden in him. Then the folly of those whose hearts are fully set in them to do evil, because sentence is not executed speedily, will be manifested, and it will be seen that every word of God is sure. The Lord “is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Happy are those who believe that “the long-suffering of our God is salvation,” and who accept that salvation. W.SITI June 8, 1888, page 344.5

    “God’s Requirement for Israel” The Signs of the Times, 14, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    LESSON 25.—SABBATH, JUNE 23

    1. Who met Moses as he was on his way to Egypt?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.1

    “And the Lord said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.” Exodus 4:27.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.2

    2. What did Moses tell Aaron?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.3

    “And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.” Verse 28.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.4

    3. When they reached Egypt, what did they do?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.5

    “And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel; and Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people” Verses 29, 30.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.6

    4. How did the people receive the message, and what did they do?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.7

    “And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.” Verse 31.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.8

    5. With what words did Moses and Aaron greet Pharaoh?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.9

    “And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” Exodus 5:1.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.10

    6. What reply did Pharaoh make?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.11

    “And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” Verse 2.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.12

    7. What further statement did Moses and Aaron make, showing the urgency of the case?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.13

    “And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us; let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.” Verse 3.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.14

    8. Had God told Moses to make this request?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.15

    “And they shall hearken to thy voice; and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, the Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us; and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days; journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.” Exodus 3:18.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.16

    9. Do you think that Moses expected Pharaoh to grant this request?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.17

    “And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.” Verse 19.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.18

    10. Then why was he directed to make it, and why did he ask that the people might be allowed to go and sacrifice, when they wanted complete deliverance? See note.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.19

    11. What did Pharaoh charge Moses and Aaron with doing?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.20

    “And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.” Exodus 5:4, 5.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.21

    12. What did he say was the reason that the people wanted to go and sacrifice?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.22

    “And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof; for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.” “But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle; therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord.” Verses 8, 17.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.23

    13. How were their burdens increased in consequence?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.24

    “And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore; let them go and gather straw for themselves.” “But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle; therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord.” “And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.” Verses 6, 7, 17, 19.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.25

    14. After the Israelites had been delivered, what exhortation was given to them, based on their hard usage in Egypt?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.26

    “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.” Deuteronomy 5:14, 15.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.27

    15. What were they told to remember in order that they might not be led to require their servants to work on the Sabbath? Verse 15.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.28

    16. For what purpose did God deliver them from bondage?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.29

    “And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me; and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.” Exodus 4:23.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.30

    “And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness; and gave them the lands of the heathen; and they inherited the labour of the people; that they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the Lord.” Psalm 105:43-45.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.31

    17. What does this indicate?-That they could not properly serve him in Egypt.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.32

    18. What may we conclude from this fact, and Pharaoh’s statement to Moses and Aaron that they made the people “rest from their burdens,” and the exhortation in Deuteronomy 5:14, 15?SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.33

    NOTES

    It is not in accordance with God’s plan to punish any man, no matter how wicked he may be, without warning him, and giving him a chance to repent. Therefore, although he knew that Pharaoh was so churlish and stubborn that he would not listen to reason, he did not begin to send judgments upon him at first, to force him to let Israel go, but sent a simple request instead. Thus his justice was manifested. In the demand, “Let my people go, that they may hold a fast unto me in the wilderness,” an opportunity was offered to Pharaoh to recognize the God of Israel as the true God. It was, in fact, Pharaoh’s chance for repentance. If Pharaoh had granted the simple request which Moses brought to him from the Lord, it would have indicated that he recognized the authority of God; and in that case he would have been willing to grant whatever else the Lord might demand.SITI June 8, 1888, page 346.34

    From Exodus 4:23 and Psalm 105:43-45 we learn that the children of Israel could not serve the Lord in Egypt. In Deuteronomy 5:14, 15 we find special emphasis given to that portion of the fourth commandment requiring the man-servant and the maid-servant to rest, and the Israelite was told to remember that he had been a servant in the land of Egypt; also in Exodus 5:5 we learn that Moses and Aaron made the people “rest from their burdens.” From these facts we may conclude that the Sabbath was one of the things in which they could not serve the Lord in Egypt; and when Moses and Aaron came with the message of God (Exodus 4:29-31) they attempted a reform, which only increased their oppression. The Israelites were delivered that they might observe the statutes of the Lord, including the Sabbath, and this place upon them an additional obligation to keep the Sabbath strictly as well as to keep all the commandments. Compare Deuteronomy 21:17, 18.SITI June 8, 1888, page 347.1

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    By a vote of 274 to 153, the Methodist General Conference voted to make the time limit of the pastorate five years instead of three.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.1

    Ninety per cent. of the inhabitants of the Fiji Islands are regular attendants at church. In Chicago the average attendance at church is a little over seven per cent. of the population.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.2

    This may be old, but it is worthy of being repeated several times a year:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.3

    “Is your father a Christian?” asked the new minister. “No;” replied the boy, “he sings in the choir.”SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.4

    From the actions of a great many people who sing in choirs, one might naturally conclude that singing in the choir and being a Christian are necessarily two different things.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.5

    This is how a lady describes the “sermon” of one who was once a professed minister of the gospel but who is not an “apostle of humanity:”-SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.6

    “He preached just as I expected him to. We went asking for bread, and he gave us-not a stone-no, it was not ‘hefty’ enough-but, sawdust. It was about the ‘same philosophy underlying all religions,’ and how we should labor to bring all things into ‘harmony’-that is, idol worship and Buddhism and Christianity. ‘An idol is not a god, it is merely a word to express their idea of God,’ etc. I could hardly sit in my sea. I just ached to get up in the pulpit when he had done, and say the first and second commandments.”SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.7

    We can heartily second every of the following from the Advance; we felt much the same way when we received the circular:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.8

    “We have received an invitation to the ‘Virginia Agricultural, Mechanical, and Tobacco Exposition,’ in Richmond, June 10. On many accounts we would exceedingly like to be present and see what the New Old South is doing; but as for the tobacco exposition, we see every day such an ‘enormous display’ of it, from the poisoned little cigarette between the livid lips of the ragged, unkempt, scrawny, pinch-faced, prematurely old little boy of the street, up to the bigger fellow who has no better manners than to puff is smoke in the most crowded thoroughfares right into the faces of others, that we are not anxious to witness any further ‘tobacco exposition.’”SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.9

    The following item is significant. It indicates that when the Sunday-law advocates shall have gathered enough strength to put into execution their pet scheme of a national Sabbath, there will be none to stand in opposition to it except those whose faith in Jesus leads them to yield reverent obedience to all the commandments of God.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.10

    “The leading progressive Hebrews in this country are coming more and more to favor the substituting of Sunday in the place of their Sabbath, which comes on Saturday. Dr. Hirsch, of the Temple Sinai in Chicago, declares that he prefers preaching to men on Sunday, rather than to a handful of women on Saturday. He is said to have discarded his Saturday services altogether. The leading Hebrew congregations of New York have also added a Sunday service to their former Sunday-school.”SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.11

    “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 33:6. By the word of the Lord the earth which he had created, “being overflowed with water, perished.” 2 Peter 3:6; Genesis 6:5. And by the same word the heavens and the earth which are now, are “reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:7. As surely as God once destroyed the earth by a flood, so surely will he again destroy it by fire. Yea, just as surely as the earth now exists, will it be destroyed, because the same word which brought it into existence has decreed its destruction. Let no one therefore say that “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation,” nor imagine that the world will stand forever, simply because he doesn’t see any prospects of its destruction.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.12

    Says the beloved disciple, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1, 2. The things which John wrote in order that we should not sin, are that the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin, if we but confess and forsake our sins. There is not and cannot be any stronger incentive to put away sin, than the knowledge of the infinite love of God in the sacrifice which he has provided for sinners. The knowledge of the free gift of God by grace, instead of leading to looseness, makes sin abhorrent. Yet God does not cast men off even if after coming to the knowledge of the truth, they fall into sin. He is still the propitiation for our sins, as well as for the sins of the whole world. What a wonderful love is the love of God!SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.13

    In their earnest advocacy of the Sunday plank of their platform, some of the California Prohibitionists seem almost to have forgotten what has hitherto been supposed to be the chief aim of their party, namely, prohibition of the liquor traffic. It seems that when a man or a party gets its eye upon Sunday, that “venerable day” eclipses everything else, and the preservation of the “American sabbath” becomes the all-important thing.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.14

    Sabbath observance is a good thing, a very good thing indeed; but enforced rest on Sunday, or for that matter on any other day, is not Sabbath observance; and when it is secured at the expense of the consciences of thousands who devoutly observe another day according to the commandment of God, it is a positive evil. Sabbath-keeping is an act of worship, and as such, to be of any value must be voluntary, and can, of course, be only on the day that God sanctified.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.15

    At the Women’s National Council, recently held in Washington, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton made a speech in which she made known the animus of the so-called woman’s rights movement in the following words:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.16

    “The time is not far distant when, if men do not do justice to women, the women will strike hands with labor, with Socialists, with Anarchists, and you will have the scenes of the revolution of France acted over again in this republic.”SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.17

    Like most of the Anarchists, Mrs. Stanton is a rampant infidel of the Ingersoll stamp, and it doesn’t augur well for the welfare of the country when the movement which she champions shall succeed, that none of the Christian women who are associated with her, disavow the sentiments which she uttered. We make no further comment than to say that such language from one who was actually suffering a grievous wrong, would show its user to be thoroughly unfit to take any active part in a free Government.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.18

    In an article in Our Day, on “Woman as Preacher,” Miss Willard says:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.19

    “We stand once more at the parting of the roads; shall the bold, resolute men among our clergy win the day, and give ordination to women, or shall women take this matter into their own hands? Fondly do women hope, and earnestly do women pray, that the churches they love may not drive them to this extremity.”SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.20

    Professor Townsend, of New York, a prominent Methodist clergyman, advises women to knock only once more at the doors of the General Conference, and, if their signals are against disregarded, never to knock again, but to take the matter into their own hands. The New York Christian Advocate says concerning this thing:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.21

    “Professor Townsend uses bold words. The church will be amazed at them. Our Methodist readers will naturally begin to inquire, ‘Whereunto will the thing grow?’”SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.22

    And well they may make such inquiry.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.23

    When the matter of keeping Sunday is under discussion we hear a great deal about apostolic example. Not that the apostles ever kept a Sunday, but it pleases the people to imagine that they did because if they did then there is strong presumptive evidence that we ought to keep Sunday too. But the following statements by the Christ Union, with which in the main very few people will disagree, shows that apostolic example has actually no weight whatever with the people who say so much about it:-SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.24

    “In the apostolic church baptism was church baptism was almost certainly not administered by sprinkling, probably by immersion, perhaps coupled with pouring, possibly by complete submersion.... Whether infants are proper subjects for baptism is a more serious question. There is no adequate reason to suppose that they were baptized in the primitive church, in that church baptism was a symbol accompanying personal confession of Christ.”SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.25

    And yet they sprinkle instead of baptizing, and sprinkle infants too, which shows that while most follow a wholly imaginary apostolic example in a matter which they are inclined to, they will pay no heed to the most obvious apostolic example in a matter which they have no mind to.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.26

    The law of God is the law of love. Said Moses, when rehearsing the law in the hearing of the people: “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Deuteronomy 6:4, 5. And in like manner the great Lawgiver had himself summed up the second table of the law saying: “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18. So, too, when one asked the Saviour: “Which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus answered him not by giving a new law, not even by presenting the old law in a new form, but by simply quoting these precepts from the Old Testament. And Paul testifies: “He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law;” “for love is the fulfilling of the law.” That is, he who loves is neighbor as he does himself, has fulfilled the law; for before anyone can have such love he must love God with all his heart, and in loving God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself he fears God and keeps his commandments which is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.27

    At a conference of Baptist, Congregational, and Methodist clergymen in South Framingham, Mass., week before last, it was voted to organize an Evangelical Alliance.SITI June 8, 1888, page 358.28

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