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    October 19, 1888

    “Dishonesty of the So-called Christian Fathers” The Signs of the Times, 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Those who read the article in the last week’s SIGNS, entitled, “The ‘Church Fathers,’” will remember that it was shown that they are utterly unreliable in matters of doctrine. We now propose to show that by the best authorities they are also regarded as totally untrustworthy as to matters of fact; in short, that in their controversies they did not scruple to resort even to falsehood. Mosheim says:-SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.1

    “It must by no means pass unnoticed, that the discussions instituted against the opposers of Christianity in this age, departed far from the primitive simplicity, and the correct method of controversy. For the Christian doctors, who were in part educated in the schools of rhetoricians and sophists, inconsiderately transferred the arts of these teachers to the cause of Christianity; and therefore considered it of no importance, whether an antagonist were confounded by base artifices, or by solid arguments. Thus that mode of disputing, which the ancients called ceremonial, and which had victory rather than truth for its object, was almost universally approved. And the Platonists contributed to the currency of the practice, by asserting that it was no sin for a person to employ falsehood and fallacies for the support of truth, when it was in danger of being borne down.”-Ecclesiastical History, book 1, cent. 3, part 2, chap. 3, sec 10.SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.2

    In his “Ecclesiastical Commentaries,” Mosheim also says:-SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.3

    “By some of the weaker brethren, in their anxiety to assist God with all their might [in the propagation of the Christian faith], such dishonest artifices were occasionally resorted to, as could not, under any circumstances, admit of excuse, and were utterly unworthy of that sacred cause which they were unquestionably intended to support. Perceiving, for instance, in what vast repute the poetical effusions of those ancient prophetesses, termed Sybils, were held by the Greeks and Romans, some Christian, or rather, perhaps, an association of Christians, in the reign of Antonius Pius, composed eight books of Sybilline verses, made up of prophecies respecting Christ and his kingdom.... Many other deceptions of this sort, to which custom has very improperly given the denomination of pious frauds, are known to have been practiced in this and the succeeding century. The authors of them were, in all probability, actuated by no ill intention, but this is all that can be said in their favor, for their conduct in this respect was certainly most ill-advised and unwarrantable. Although the greater part of those who were concerned in these forgeries on the public, undoubtedly belonged to some heretical sect or other, and particularly to that class which arrogated to itself the pompous denomination of Gnostics, I yet cannot take upon me to acquit even the most strictly orthodox from all participation in this species of criminality; for it appears from evidence superior to all exception, that a pernicious maxim which was current in the schools not only of the Egyptians, the Platonists, and the Pythagoreans, but also the Jews, was very early recognized by the Christians, and soon found amongst them numerous patrons, namely, that those who made it their business to deceive with a view of promoting the cause of truth, were deserving rather of commendation than censure.”-Cent. 2, sec. 7.SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.4

    Let the reader refresh his memory with what has been written concerning heathen philosophy, and how it tended directly toward a lax condition of morals, and then when he learns that the so-called Christian Fathers made this heathen philosophy their constant study, he will not be surprised that they should have but little regard for strict truth. That some of the most renowned Fathers not only studied philosophy, but also were known as teachers of philosophy, even after they professed Christianity, is not a matter of question. Mosheim, after showing, as we have quoted, how rapidly the church degenerated, says:-SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.5

    “The external change thus wrought in the constitution of the church would have been, however, far less detrimental to the interests of Christianity, had it not been accompanied by others of an internal nature, which struck at the very vitals of religion, and tended, in no small degree, to affect the credit of those sacred writings on which the entire system of Christian discipline relies for support. Of these the most considerable and important are to be attributed to a taste for the cultivation of philosophy and human learning, which, during the preceding century, if not altogether treated with neglect and contempt by the Christians, had at least been wisely kept under, and by no means permitted to blend itself with, religion; but in the age of which we are now treating, burst forth on a sudden into a flame, and spread itself with the utmost rapidity throughout a considerable part of the church. This may be accounted for, in some measure, from its having been the practice of the many Greek philosophers, who, in the course of this century, were induced to embrace Christianity, not only to retain their pristine denomination, garb, and mode of living, but also to persist in recommending the study of philosophy, and initiating youth therein. In proof of this, we may, from amidst numerous other examples, adduce in particular that of Justin, the celebrated philosopher and martyr. The immediate nursery and very cradle, as it were, of Christian philosophy, must, however, be placed in the celebrated seminary which long flourished at Alexandria under the denomination of the catechetical school. For the persons who presided therein, in the course of the age of which we are treating, namely, Pantaenus, Athenagoras, and Clement of Alexandria, not only engaged with ardor in the cultivation of philosophy themselves, but also exerted their influence in persuading those whom they were educating for the office of teachers in the church, to follow their example in this respect, and make it their practice to associate philosophical principles with those of religion.”-Historical Commentaries, cent. 2, sec. 25.SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.6

    The same writer says of the Fathers of the second century:-SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.7

    “The philosophers and learned men, who came over to the Christians in this century, were no inconsiderable protection and ornament to this holy religion by their discussions, their writings, and their talents. But if any are disposed to question whether the Christian cause received more benefit than injury from these men, I must confess myself unable to decide the point. For the noble simplicity and the majestic dignity of the Christian religion were lost, or, at least, impaired when these philosophers presumed to associate their dogmas with it, and to bring faith and piety under the dominion of human reason.”-Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History, book 1, cent. 2, part 1, chap. I, sec. 12.SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.8

    This is certainly a very mild view of the case. There can be no question but that the philosophers who came over to the church, bringing their philosophical dogmas with them, were an unmitigated curse to Christianity. “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor.” So the heathen customs and manners of thought which these men incorporated into the Christian church, corrupted the whole body. Their very learning made them the more detrimental to true Christianity; for it caused them to be looked up to as “leaders of Christian thought,” and their philosophy was but “vain deceit,” and their science only that which is “falsely so called.”SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.9

    This conclusion will be the more apparent when we remember that these men were ignorant of the Bible just about in proportion as they were skilled in “philosophy.” Dr. Killen gives a brief history of each one of the early Fathers, and then adds:-SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.10

    “The preceding account of the Fathers of the second and third centuries may enable us to form some idea of the value of these writers as ecclesiastical authorities. Most of them had reached maturity before they embraced the faith of the gospel, so that, with a few exceptions, they wanted the advantages of an early Christian education. Some of them, before their conversion had bestowed much time and attention on the barren speculations of the pagan philosophers; and, after their reception into the bosom of the church, they still continued to pursue the same unprofitable studies. Cyprian, one of the most eloquent of these Fathers, had been baptized only about two years before he was elected bishop of Carthage; and, during his comparatively short episcopate, he was generally in a turmoil of excitement, and had, consequently, little leisure for reading or mental cultivation. Such a writer is not entitled to command confidence as an expositor of the faith once delivered to the saints. Even in our own day, with all the facilities supplied by printing for the rapid accumulation of knowledge, no one would expect much spiritual instruction from an author who would undertake the office of an interpreter of Scripture two years after his conversion from heathenism. The Fathers of the second and third centuries were not regarded as safe guides even by their Christian contemporaries.... Tertullian, who, in point of learning, vigor, and genius, stands at the head of the Latin writers of this period, was connected with a party of gloomy fanatics. Origen, the most voluminous and erudite of the Greek Fathers, was excommunicated as a heretic. If we estimate these authors, as they were appreciated by the early Church of Rome, we must pronounce their writings of little value. Tertullian, as a Montanist, was under the ban of the Roman bishop. Hippolytus could not have been a favorite with either Zephyrinus or Callistus, for he denounced both as heretics. Origen was treated by the Roman Church as a man under sentence of excommunication. Stephen deemed ... Cyprian unworthy of ecclesiastical fellowship, because the Carthaginian prelate maintained the propriety of rebaptizing heretics.”SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.11

    Certainly such men have small claim to the title “Fathers of the Christian Church.” We grant, however, that they were in very fact the fathers of the Church of Rome, “the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” W.SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.12

    “Christ’s Second Coming” The Signs of the Times, 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3.SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.13

    These words were spoken by our Saviour himself in his talk to his disciples, in the evening of the day on which he was crucified. He had been with them in constant companionship for over three years, and besides the tie of personal love which bound them to him they had given him reverence as “the Christ the Son of the living God,” and had “trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel.” They had looked for a speedy deliverance from the Roman yoke, and now consternation and grief had taken hold of their hearts as they listened to his words: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me; and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” John 13:33. Peter voiced the common desire, and said, “Lord, whither goest thou?” and to this question the Saviour replied, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.” And then, in the words quoted at the beginning of this chapter, he proceeded to comfort their troubled hearts, telling them how and when they could follow him and be with him.SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.14

    The “glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:13), is the “blessed hope” that is set before the church of Christ. It has been the hope of the church in all ages. The ancient prophets foretold in minutest detail “the sufferings of Christ,” and at his first advent the “sure word of prophecy” was fulfilled to the letter, but “the glory that should follow” was no less the theme of inspired penmen, and the followers of Christ were pointed forward to the time when his glory should be revealed, as the time when they also should “appear with him in glory,” and “be glad also with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:13; Colossians 3:4. It was with this hope that our Saviour comforted his sorrowing disciples.SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.15

    That Christ will come again is as sure as that he was once here upon earth, and that he is now “gone into Heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” 1 Peter 3:22. Said he, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself.” He was here; he has gone, and he will certainly come again. This is the testimony of Christ himself, and of all the holy men in whom was his Spirit.SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.16

    “I will come again.” This means “another time once more.” Not thousands of times, as they would have us believe who claim that in fulfillment of his promise he comes whenever a saint dies, but only once more will he come again, to consummate the great plan of salvation. To this the apostle gave emphatic testimony, in these words: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:27, 28. It is appointed unto men once to die; in order that men might have life, Christ was once offered for sin, bearing “our sins in his own body on the tree;” and so, when his work for sinners shall have been finished, he will come once more-“the second time”-not bearing the sins of the world, as at his first advent, but for the salvation of those who, by means of his sacrifice and mediation, have “put away sin.”SITI October 19, 1888, page 630.17

    The fact having been settled beyond all controversy, that Christ will come to this earth again, the question naturally arises in our minds, namely: How will he come? This question must be answered by the Bible, if it is answered at all, and to it we will turn for light. Anything that throws light upon Christ’s second coming must be of first importance.SITI October 19, 1888, page 631.1

    As to the manner of his coming we need not remain long in doubt. As the disciples stood gazing up into heaven after their ascending Lord, two shining ones-messengers from the heavenly courts-appeared and said to then: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11. And how did he go into heaven? The same writer who records this, says of Christ’s ascension: “And he led them [his disciples] out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” Luke 24:50, 51. Even “while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9. So his coming will be personal and visible. Said the angels, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Says Paul, “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16. It will be the same one who was baptized by John in the Jordan, and who from that day “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil;” the same one who, weary and faint, sat by Jacob’s well, and found refreshment in revealing to a poor sinner the fountain of living waters; the very one who by wicked hands was crucified and slain being “wounded for our transgressions,” and “bruised for our iniquities;” the one who was placed by loving hands in Joseph’s new tomb, “whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death; because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”SITI October 19, 1888, page 631.2

    “This same Jesus” who ascended bodily into heaven, while the disciples beheld, will return in the same manner that he ascended.SITI October 19, 1888, page 631.3

    It was the knowledge that Christ himself would come in person, that animated the patriarch in his deep affliction, when he said: “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.” Job 19:25-27. “Whom I shall see for myself, and not a stranger,” is the reading according to the margin. And this serves to connect the hope of the patriarch with the promise of Christ. The disciples mourned the anticipated departure of the Saviour, as that of a dear friend and companion, as well as the one who should redeem Israel; and the patriarch triumphed, even in his sore distress, in the thought that when his Redeemer should stand at the latter day upon the earth, he should see in him a friend, and not a stranger. Happy is the man whose acquaintance with Christ is such that he can look forward to his return with the same fond anticipation.SITI October 19, 1888, page 631.4

    Jesus “shall so come in like manner” as he went into heaven. How did he go? While they beheld he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. Then when he comes a cloud will attend him, and he will be seen. And the beloved disciples testified: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.” Revelation 1:7. Again, he says, describing his prophetic vision: “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” Revelation 14:14. Christ, speaking of events connected with his coming, said: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:30.SITI October 19, 1888, page 631.5

    Now notice how the coming of Christ will correspond with his departure. When he departed, a cloud received him out of sight; so the cloud must have been the last thing seen. When he shall come again, the first thing that will be seen will be a white cloud. This will be “the sign of the Son of man in heaven.” Then as it draws nearer, the form of Jesus will be discerned, sitting upon the cloud, and then all his glory will be revealed.SITI October 19, 1888, page 631.6

    He will come as he departed. But whereas only a few saw him go away, “every eye shall see him” when he returns. He will come “in the glory of his Father” (Matthew 16:27), accompanied by “all the holy angels.” Matthew 25:31.SITI October 19, 1888, page 631.7

    “He comes not an infant in Bethlehem born,
    He comes not to be in a manger;
    He comes not again to be treated with scorn,
    He comes not a shelterless stranger;
    He comes not to Gethsemane,
    To weep and sweat blood in the garden;
    He comes not to die on the tree,
    To purchase for rebels a pardon.
    Oh, no; glory, bright glory,
    Environs him now.”
    SITI October 19, 1888, page 631.8

    He will then “sit upon the throne of his glory,” and “a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” Psalm 50:3. He shall descend “with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16), and “the heavens and the earth shall shake” (Joel 3:16). None will be able to hide from their eyes “the brightness of his coming;” “for as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven, so shall also the Son of man be in his day.” Luke 17:24. Surely the question, “How will he come?” is sufficiently answered. W.SITI October 19, 1888, page 631.9

    “Prohibitory Laws Not Religious” The Signs of the Times, 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The idea is quite prevalent that prohibition and religious legislation are necessarily connected; but nothing could be further from the truth. Prohibition laws can rightly be made and enforced only on the grounds that the liquor traffic is uncivil, that it involves the rights of American citizens, by rendering life and property unsafe. Liquor is the direct cause of more crime, pauperism, insanity, and misery than anything else. The State has no right to suppress the liquor traffic because liquor sellers are religious, but only because the traffic is the enemy of our homes, and endangers the liberties of the commonwealth.SITI October 19, 1888, page 632.1

    Horace Greeley, one of the strongest temperance men and prohibitionists of his day, was decidedly opposed to any religious legislation whatever. The view which this distinguished writer held on religious legislation is set forth in a comment on one of the early petitions to Congress in behalf of the religious amendment to the Constitution, a subject which is now being so generally agitated. In the New York Tribune of March 7, 1865, he said:-SITI October 19, 1888, page 632.2

    “We deny that this is a Christian nation.... The federal Constitution is based on the idea that religious faith is purely a personal matter with which civil Governments have properly nothing to do, and with which they cannot meddle without doing far more harm than good.”SITI October 19, 1888, page 632.3

    It is because such men with such sentiments have been those who have shaped this government, that America has been so long the land of civil and religious liberty.SITI October 19, 1888, page 632.4

    “‘It Is My Way’” The Signs of the Times, 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Many people, when reproved for an improper word or action, excuse or justify themselves by saying, “It is my way.” Is this a proper ground for justification? Let us see what the Scriptures say about it.SITI October 19, 1888, page 632.5

    The Lord says, “Amend your ways.” Jeremiah 7:3. If our ways are not right they should be amended, and not justified. The weeping prophet says, “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.” Lamentations 3:40. The Lord calls upon us to consider our ways. Haggai 1:5, 7. By careful consideration our ways may not appear excusable.SITI October 19, 1888, page 632.6

    But the fact that certain ways are our own ways should be no excuse for retaining them, but rather a reason for rejecting them. If we would ... God we should not do our own way. Isaiah 58:13. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8. Of the wicked he says, “Destruction and misery are in their ways.” Romans 3:16. In pleading with Israel he says, “Thou shalt remember thy ways and be ashamed.” Ezekiel 16:61. The psalmist asks, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” and the answer is given, “By taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Psalm 119:9. His own experience is given in verse 104, “Through thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.” The law of God is a detector of false ways, therefore we should test all our ways by it. If they are not in harmony with this rule, let us not extenuate nor follow them, but “ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein.” Jeremiah 6:18.SITI October 19, 1888, page 632.7

    “The Commentary. Second Epistle of Peter, 2 Peter 1:4-7” The Signs of the Times, 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Lesson 2. Sabbath, Nov. 3.)

    1. What is done for us through the great promises of God?SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.1

    “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4.SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.2

    2. Because of this, what are we to do?SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.3

    “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” Verses 5-7.SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.4

    3. What is the foundation of all graces? Verse 5.SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.5

    4. What is the first thing that faith accomplishes for us?SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.6

    “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1.SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.7

    5. Being justified by faith, what do we become?SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.8

    “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26.SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.9

    6. Having become children of God, may we settle down in self-satisfaction?SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.10

    “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.” Ephesians 5:1.SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.11

    7. What must we do?SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.12

    “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.” Verse 2.SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.13

    8. Whose example are we to follow? Verse 2; 1 John 2:6; 1 Peter 2:21.SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.14

    9. Could we without faith do the things that God requires? Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:23, last part.SITI October 19, 1888, page 633.15

    10. Having been justified, how alone can we remain in that state?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.1

    “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.2

    11. What does true faith always do?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.3

    “But face which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:6, last clause.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.4

    12. How alone can faith be shown to be perfect?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.5

    “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was made perfect?” James 2:21, 22.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.6

    13. What is said of a faith from which no works proceed?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.7

    “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Verses 17, 26.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.8

    14. What is to be added to faith?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.9

    15. And what to virtue?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.10

    16. What knowledge must be added?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.11

    “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9, 10.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.12

    13. What is the nature of this knowledge?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.13

    “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.14

    18. What will be the result if we do not obtain this knowledge?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.15

    “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6, first clause.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.16

    19. What must be added to knowledge?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.17

    20. In what respect must we be temperate?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.18

    “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we and incorruptible.” 1 Corinthians 9:25.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.19

    21. What is the meaning of temperance?-Mastery of self; self-control. See 1 Corinthians 9:27.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.20

    22. Does religion have anything to do with one’s eating and drinking?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.21

    “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.22

    23. If a man eats and drinks simply for the gratification of his appetite, what does he worship?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.23

    “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Philippians 3:18, 19.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.24

    24. What great commandment does he break? Exodus 20:2; Matthew 22:37, 38.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.25

    25. How are we to glorify God?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.26

    “For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.27

    26. What will be the fate of those who give themselves up to indulgences in appetite?SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.28

    “And take heed to yourselves, lest that any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” Luke 21:34. See also Philippians 3:18, 19.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.29

    NOTES

    “And beside this giving all diligence, add to your faith,” etc. A literal rendering of the words translated “and besides this,” would be, “and for this cause,” which is equivalent to “wherefore.” The reference may be to the divine power that hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, or to the exceeding great and precious promises, or to the divine nature of which we are made partakers. Because of this power, because we are sons of God, we should use all diligence to add the Christian graces.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.30

    The idea of the apostle is not that any one grace cannot be obtained until the one preceding it has been perfected, as, for instance, that we cannot have any godliness until we are perfect in faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, and patience; for all these things are a part of godliness. But he means that we should possess them all, and daily add to each. It may, however, be observed that there seems to be a definite relation in point of order, especially between temperance and patience, for it is utterly impossible for an intemperate man to be patient man. Indeed, temperance is, in a sense, patience, for temperance is self-control, and patience is the controlling of one’s self under trying circumstances. All the graces are, in fact, interwoven, but faith is the foundation of all. It must precede every other good thing.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.31

    On the word “virtue” Dr. Barnes says:-SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.32

    “The word here rendered virtue is the same which we used in verse 3.... All the things which the apostle specifies, unless knowledge be an exception, are virtues in the sense in which that word is commonly used, and it can hardly be supposed that the apostle here meant to use a general term which would include all the others. The probability is, therefore, that by the word here he has reference to the common meaning of the Greek word, as referring to manliness, courage, vigor, energy; and the sense is that he wished them to evince whatever firmness or courage might be necessary in maintaining the principles of their religion, and in enduring the trials to which their faith might be subjected. True virtue is not a tame and passive thing. It requires great energy and boldness, for its very essence is firmness, manliness, and independence.”SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.33

    By a comparison of Philippians 3:19 and Exodus 20:3 we learn that intemperance is a violation of the first commandment. But one who violates the first commandment is an idolater. Therefore it is utterly impossible that an intemperate man should be a Christian. A man who is given to surfeiting, has his mind so beclouded that he cannot appreciate divine things, or if he dimly realizes them, he is unable to give them his full attention, and so the great day of God comes and finds him unprepared.SITI October 19, 1888, page 634.34

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The report of the Eighteenth Annual Session of the California Tract and Missionary Society will appear next week. We have already received it from the State Secretary, but could not find room for it in this paper.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.1

    Though the first edition of “The Fathers of the Catholic Church” has been printed less than a month, paper has been ordered for another edition, which is to be printed soon. The publishers do not mean that the sale of this valuable book shall be hindered by a failure on their part to supply all orders promptly.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.2

    Under the Scott Exclusion Bill a Chinaman who leaves the territory of the United States, even in traveling from one city to another, as, for instance, from Chicago to Buffalo through Canada, is forbidden to re-enter the United States. Even Chinese sailors leaving an American port on an American vessel are not permitted to return; and a Chinaman taking passage from an American port in Alaska is not allowed to land in Washington Territory.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.3

    The Unitarian Christian Register says of Sunday:SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.4

    “The church and the home are institutions which have a lien on Sunday, not because man was made for the Sabbath, but because the Sabbath was made for man.”SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.5

    Certainly, everybody has a lien on Sunday, especially those who keep the Sabbath; for having observed the seventh day “according to the commandment,” they have a God-given right to labor on Sunday. With that understanding we quite agree with the Register.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.6

    The outlook for the coming winter is anything but cheering to the multitudes of poor people, especially in Europe. England and the Continent will, it is said, need 70,000,000 to 100,000,000 bushels more wheat than the harvest of the world is likely to afford, and much suffering must result to hundreds of thousands who at best are never far from the verge of starvation. Already the price of wheat, and consequently of bread, has advanced, both in this country and in Europe, and to the very poor, that means an increase of suffering.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.7

    William II., the young German emperor, has made his contemplated visit to Rome and has been honored by both the King and the Pope. Contrary to the program announced some time since, William first paid his respects to King Humbert, and later to Pope Leo. It is now asserted that “the desperate and almost undignified attempts of the prelates surrounding the Pope to extort a pledge that the visit of the youthful Kaiser was not to be regarded as an acknowledgment on his Majesty’s part that Rome was the capital of united Italy, came to nothing, and the Emperor entered the Eternal City uncommitted in the present and uncompromised for the future upon the quarrel of the Vatican with the house of Savoy.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.8

    It is stated, however, that Emperor William observed carefully all the hair-splitting etiquette, which the Vatican persists in demanding of those who visit the great infallible after having enjoyed the hospitality of the Quirinal, and that he “bent his knee to the Pope.” In the interview between the Pope and Emperor William, the former emphasized the necessity of the restoration of the temporal power, and said that all sovereigns should unite to assure it. The Emperor replied that it would be more to the Pope’s advantage to unite with those who represent the principles of order and social conservatism, and thereby better secure the peace of the world.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.9

    Alluding to this interview, the Asseratore Romano, the Papal organ, says that it has not changed the position of affairs, and that Europe will never enjoy a permanent peace until the temporal power of the Pope shall have been restored.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.10

    The Jewish Times and Observer, of San Francisco, says that “there is nothing too credulous for a Christian journal afflicted with the mania for converting the Jews,” and sneers at the statement published by the New York Independent, to the effect that “at least 100,000 Jews have been baptized since the commencement of the present century.” The conclusion of Dr. Delman that “there are now about 250,000 Jewish Christians in the world,” is branded by the Observer as “ludicrous,” and both the Doctor and the Independent are called upon to prove their statements by facts and figures. “Not until then,” says our Jewish neighbor, “will statements of this kind receive credence.”SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.11

    The California Conference of the Methodist Church South in its recent session at San Diego, adopted a resolution declaring that “temperance is a moral and not a political question.” This is, we suppose, in answer to the “vote-as-you-pray” war cry of the Prohibition party. We have no idea that the Southern Methodists wish to be understood as opposing restrictive or even prohibitory legislation; or that by “moral” they mean “subject only to the moral law.” The idea seems to be that each elector has the right to decide for himself whether he will act with one party or with another, or whether he will vote at all. And in this the Methodist Church South is quite correct.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.12

    As reported in the Alta of October 1, Rev. W. H. Scudder, of San Francisco, while utterly repudiating the Darwinian theory of the descent of man, says that “man is ten thousand times better to-day than when first created.” How Mr. Scudder reconciles this statement with the inspired record of the creation of man we are at a loss to understand. The Scripture informs us that God “made man upright,” and adds, “but they have sought out many inventions.” The whole trend of the Bible teaching is that man as created was morally perfect, and might have remained so, but that he sinned and fell into all sorts of abominable practices, and that Christ came into the world to redeem man and restore him to the favor of God, and make it possible for him to regain that which he lost in Eden. But this San Francisco preacher repudiates all that and asserts that man lost nothing in the fall, and that he is now a thousand times better than when God made him. If such sentiment be Christian teaching we would like to know what would be infidelity.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.13

    It is now announced that Emperor William will visit Queen Victoria in July next. Possibly the date of the visit is placed so far in the future to give opportunity for Prince Bismarck to explain its object to the Pope.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.14

    “A Striking Example of Presumption” The Signs of the Times, 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A correspondent of the Christian Union asks that paper for information upon the subject of baptism, saying that he is not a Greek or Hebrew scholar and is unable to read the original. He asks: “Does the word authorizing the ordinance mean to dip or plunge, and was this the apostolic mode?” To this the Union makes this reply:-SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.15

    “Thayer’s ‘Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament’-the latest authority-thus defines it: ‘Christian baptism, according to the view of the apostles, is a rite of sacred immersion, commanded by Christ,’ etc. So Smith’s ‘Bible Dictionary,’ art. ‘Baptism.’ Stanley (‘Christian Institutions,’ p. 22) says: ‘The practice of immersion, though peculiarly suitable to the Southern and Eastern countries, for which it was designed, was not found seasonable in the countries of the North and West. By the general sentiment of Christian liberty this remarkable change was effected.... Speaking generally, the Christian civilized world has decided against it. It is a striking example of the triumph of common sense and convenience over the bondage of form and custom.’”SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.16

    “According to the view of the apostles, baptism” “is a rite of sacred immersion commanded by Christ,” but by “the general sentiment of Christian liberty” “a remarkable change was effected;” and this “is a striking example of the triumph of common sense and convenience over the bondage of form and custom”! Yes, we should say so, especially was it a striking example of the triumph of “convenience,” for disobedience to a plain requirement of the gospel can scarcely be called an exercise of common sense.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.17

    The Saviour instituted an ordinance for the whole world,-for it was to be administered wherever the gospel was preached,-but it “was not found reasonable in the countries of the North and West,” which “by the general sentiment of Christian liberty” another and wholly dissimilar ordinance was instituted in its stead! Instead of being “a striking example of the triumph of common sense,” is it not rather a striking example of presumption?SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.18

    “A Pertinent Question” The Signs of the Times, 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The San Francisco Call wants to know why the “Christian scientists” don’t go to work for the yellow fever sufferers. It says:-SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.19

    “The yellow fever continues to rage in the South, and Northern nurses, physicians, and money are hastening to the relief of the sufferers. For a wonder, however, the ‘Christian scientists,’ ‘magnetic healers,’ and the whole noble army of ‘faith-cure’ fanatics have maintained silence. This is hard to understand, as here is the opportunity of a life-time for our credulous friends to demonstrate on a grand scale the efficiency of their teachings. If yellow fever is but a phantom of weak human minds, and its dread affects but the results of disordered fates, then the victims of their own imaginations should be enlightened; and who is as well calculated to do it as the apostles of the doctrine which teaches that mind only is existent?”SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.20

    The query of the Call is pertinent, and reminds us of the story of one of the so-called “Christian scientists” who while walking home with some friends after one of his lectures sprained his ankle very severely, which caused him much pain. An Irishman who had heard a lecture, coming up behind, comprehended the situation, and exclaimed, “Oh niver mine, sir, niver mind; it’s all a crature of your imaginashun, sir.”SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.21

    We believe that, when it is to the glory of God, and for the best interest of his children, the prayer of faith will save the sick, and that God shall raise him up; but the vagaries of “Christian scientists,” and “faith-cure” fanatics, savor of egotism, superstition, and blasphemy, and bring reproach upon the Christian name.SITI October 19, 1888, page 640.22

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