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    November 9, 1888

    “The Papacy” The Signs of the Times, 14, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed; then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.” Daniel 7:1.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.1

    Just what year the first year of Belshazzar was, we are unable to determine. It used to be stated, with confidence, that it was the year 555 B.C.; but then it was supposed that Belshazzar and Nabonadius were one and the same person. The name Nabonadius was found in the accounts of the overthrow of Babylon; and knowing that he began to reign in 555 B.C., chronologers placed 555 in the margin of the Bible, as the first year of Belshazzar. But more recent explorations have revealed the fact that Belshazzar was the son of Nabonadius, and was simply associate king with his father. (See “Rawlinson’s Seven Great Monarchies,” Fourth Monarchy, chap. 8, paragraphs 38-50.) When Cyrus came against Babylon, Nabonadius came out to meet him, but, being defeated, he shut himself up in Borsippa, a few miles below Babylon, leaving Belshazzar in charge of the city of Babylon.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.2

    This explains why Belshazzar, on the night of his riotous feast, promised to make Daniel the third ruler in the kingdom (Daniel 5:16), and not the second, if he would interpret the writing on the wall. He promised Daniel the highest place that there was to bestow. Nabonadius was first, Belshazzar himself was second, and Daniel was made third. This is one of the strongest proofs of the accuracy of the Bible as an historical record. The more the ancient resources are unearthed, the more exact and authentic is the Bible shown to be.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.3

    “Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” Daniel 7:2, 3.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.4

    The Scriptures never put a man under the necessity of guessing at anything that God wishes him to understand; he wishes us to understand the book of Daniel (Matthew 24:15), and therefore we shall look to the Bible for the interpretation of this vision. In this seventh chapter we have the explanation. Verse 17 says:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.5

    “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.6

    And then, that nothing may be lacking by which to identify them, the angel who is giving the explanation continues:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.7

    “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” Verse 18.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.8

    From this verse we learn that these four kingdoms are to be the only universal empires before the setting up of the kingdom of God, of which the saints are heirs, and in which they are to dwell forever. This is also the case with the four kingdoms of Daniel 2. Therefore the four kings of Daniel 7 must be identical with the four kings of Daniel 2. For it is an utter impossibility that two series of universal kingdoms should exist in the earth at the same time.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.9

    There are two other symbols, namely, the winds and the sea, but they are easily explained. The four beasts (kingdoms) came up as the result of the strife of the four winds of heaven upon the great sea. Winds blowing on the sea produce commotion. But the commotion by which nations rise and fall is war; therefore we must conclude that the four winds blowing on the great sea, represent strife among the people of the earth. We shall see that this is correct.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.10

    It must be accepted as a fact that when a symbol is once used in prophecy, with a certain meaning, it must have the same meaning in whatever other prophecy it is found. If this were not so, there would be no harmony in the Bible. By following this principle, all is harmonious. In the seventeenth of Revelation, John says that he saw a woman sitting on many waters (verse 1); and the angel told him (verse 15) that these waters were “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Then the great sea of Daniel 7 must represent the people of the earth. See also Isaiah 8:7, where the people of Assyria are called “the waters of the river.” If the sea means people, then of course the stirring up of the sea by winds denotes the stirring up of the people,-strife. In harmony with this, we find in Jeremiah 25:32, 33, that, as the result of a great whirlwind that shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth, the slain shall be from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth. In Revelation 7:1-3-the winds-the fierce passions of men-are represented as being held so that the earth may not be hurt.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.11

    The prophecy, then, simply brings to view the four universal empires,-Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome,-each arising as the result of the ungoverned passions of the people. They were presented in this manner, in order to bring out additional features. The first, Babylon, with its power and glory, was represented by a lion, with eagle’s wings. Daniel 7:4. In one place it is described as follows: “For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation.... Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves; and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.” Habakkuk 1:6-8. Daniel continues concerning this first beast: “I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” Daniel 7:4. The marginal rendering “wherewith,” in place of the first “and,” makes the passage more clear; thus: “I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, wherewith it was lifted up from the earth, and it was made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.12

    The wings upon the back of the lion symbolize the swiftness with which Babylon extended her conquests. (See Habakkuk 1:6-8, quoted above.) By its wings it was lifted up from the earth, and made to rise above any obstacle that lay in its path, and thus its progress was unhindered. But the glory of the Babylonian kingdom ended with Nebuchadnezzar. The kingdom was as magnificent as ever, but the power to uphold the magnificence was gone. No longer did it surmount all obstacles as with eagle’s wings; it then stood still, and extended its conquests no further. Instead of being lion-hearted, Belshaazar was so timid that “the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another” (Daniel 5:6), when, in the midst of his blasphemous revel, the handwriting appeared on the wall. “Conscience doth make cowards of all wicked men, when they see the handwriting of God, whether on the wall or in his look.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.13

    “And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it; and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.” Daniel 7:5.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.14

    For the expression, “And it raised up itself on one side,” the marginal reading would substitute, “it raised up one dominion.” This would indicate, what was actually the case, that one branch of the Medo-Persian Empire had the pre-eminence. At the first, the Median kingdom was the kingdom, and Persia was only a province. When the Babylonians expedition was begun, it was by Darius, king of Media; his nephew Cyrus, prince of Persia, was simply an ally. When Babylon was conquered, Darius took the throne; but after the death of Darius, the Median portion of the kingdom became secondary. Some historians say that Persia revolted from Media, and gained its pre-eminence by conquest. But however it was, there is no question but that Persia was the leading power in the Medo-Persian dominion. So greatly did it tower above the Median portion, that the empire is often spoken of simply as the Persian Empire.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.15

    “And they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.” Daniel 7:5. By this we can see the propriety of having this second line of symbols to represents the four kingdoms. Their peculiar characteristic could not be indicated by the parts of the image, except that one could be shown to be stronger or more magnificent than another. But in this line additional features are indicated. Thus the Medo-Persian Empire is shown to have been characterized by lust for conquest, and disregard for human life. Every reader of history knows that the cruel, despotic disposition of most of the Persian kings, and the vast armies that they sacrificed, fully sustain the character which the prophecy gives to that empire. Prideaux pronounces the Persian kings, after Cyrus, “the worst race of men that ever governed an empire.”-Connexion, under the year 559 B.C., Neriglissar I.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.16

    “After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.” Daniel 7:6.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.17

    The leopard is a very swift-footed beast, and the addition of four wings would give it speed almost beyond comprehension. Nothing could more fully represent the Grecian Empire under Alexander whose very name is a synonym for celerity of movement. Says Rollin (book 15, sec. 2, last paragraph): “Alexander, in less than eight years, marched his army upwards of seventeen hundred leagues, without including his return to Babylon.” And he conquered enemies as he went.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.18

    The four heads of this beast can indicate nothing but the four parts into which the Grecian Empire was divided after the death of Alexander. Bear in mind that the Grecian Empire was not divided into four empires, but that there were four heads to the one empire, just as there were four heads to the leopard. Rollin gives the history of all the kings in the four divisions, under the head of “Alexander’s Successors.” W.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.19

    (To be continued.)

    “Occupy Till I Come” The Signs of the Times, 14, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is the especial work of scoffers to point out the inconsistencies of professors of religion. Although this custom is by no means a benefit to the fault-finder, it is not on the whole a very bad thing for the church, as it operates to some extent as a check. And it is well for professed Christians to heed criticisms of non-professors, for the latter are usually very good judges of what constitutes Christianity, by standing self-condemned.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.20

    There is perhaps no body of Christians that is a target for more criticism, both just and unjust, as Seventh-day Adventists. The reason for this is plain. They lay more stress on the commandments of God than almost any other people, and teach as a fundamental doctrine of their faith that the coming of the Lord is very near. The world recognizes the truth of John’s statement, that “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3. Inconsistencies in a people holding such a high profession cannot fail to be noted.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.21

    But there is one charge brought against Seventh-day Adventists that is not well founded. It is something like this: “You profess to believe that the Lord will come very soon-in a few years; that men now living will see him. And yet you show the great activity in erecting publishing houses, and in building and equipping colleges for the thorough education of children. If what you profess to believe is really true, then the Lord will come before many of these children are old enough to use their education. Where, then, is the consistency?” It is not skeptics alone who talk thus, but honest, worthy brethren are sometimes troubled over the matter. Such persons do not fully understand the spirit of the Lord. We think it can be easily shown that the more we exhibit in every laudable undertaking, the more nearly do we fulfill the commands of our Saviour.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.22

    The two parables of our Lord, one in Matthew 25: 14-30, and the other in Luke 19:12-27, fully set forth the duty of the Christian while waiting for the return of Christ. Christ is represented as a nobleman going into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. He called his servants and delivered unto them his goods. We are not to suppose that this refers to any one particular thing, but that it embraces everything with which we are endowed. There are various kinds of talents. They comprise intellect, health, strength, influence, ability to gain property, etc.; everything the possession of which is counted as a benefit to mankind. Some have more than others. To everyone is given “according to his several ability.” The parable in Luke represents each one as receiving the same amount. This may represent the truth of God, which is given to all. There are some who have not health and strength; some have not the faculty that others have to acquire property; and there are varying degrees of intellectual strength; but to all the word of God is given, and his Spirit is free to the poorest and weakest who will ask in faith. All temporal and spiritual blessings which we receive are the talents which God has bestowed upon us.SITI November 9, 1888, page 678.23

    Now to the servants it is said, “Occupy till I come.” The word “occupy” does not mean possession merely. It does not mean that each individual should simply hold that which is committed to him. It means this and more. It has the sense of trading, negotiating, and doing business, of increasing by use. We may learn this from the sequel. Those whose talents had increased on their hands, who had added to that which they had received, were praised and rewarded by their lord when he returned. But there was one who had simply that which had been given him. Some of it was missing; it had been carefully preserved, but it had been allowed to lie idle. To this one it was said, “Thou wicked and slothful servant;” and he was rebuked for not putting the talent to the exchangers so that his lord could have received his own with increase.SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.1

    From this we learn that God expects us to constantly improve all our gifts, however small, always, of course, to his glory. If we have property, we are to remember that it is God that gives us power to get wealth. Deuteronomy 8:18. Whatever strength we may possess, we must remember that we are to glorify God in our bodies. God has endowed us all with reasoning faculties, and he expects us to use them. If our talents do not increase, then we are of no more value than the beasts, for they answer the end of their existence. And it is not enough that we gain something, but we must gain all that is possible.SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.2

    And then again we have the command, “Occupy till I come.” We are to be active in using the talents which God has given us, till the coming of Christ. It is he that endureth unto the end that shall be saved. But if we quit working before the end comes, how can it be said that we have endured unto the end? The idea that activity in our every-day work is incompatible with true godliness is a remnant of the popish custom of going into utter seclusion in order to serve God fully. Daniel was a most upright and godly man, and yet he was prime minister of a vast empire, and had all the affairs of State on his hands.SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.3

    The wise man says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” In this we glorify God. Of course it is understood that we are to consider all we gain, whatever it may be, as, belonging to God. And when we are engaged directly in the work of God, or in fitting ourselves for a place in that work, we have special need of diligence. God desires all who would work for him to have the necessary preparation. And if we are diligent in this preparation, it matters not if the Master comes before it is completed. If we have been obeying order,-doing his will-it is well. Activity in the work that is given us is not inconsistent with a belief in the near coming of our Lord, but idleness and negligence are inconsistent with such belief. Whatever our position, whether it is ours to labor with our hands, to study, to teach, to preach, or whether we are waiting further orders, let us be faithful in the discharge of our duty. “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” W.SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.4

    “‘Pastor, or Shepherd, of Hermas’” The Signs of the Times, 14, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    This is the title of a collection of visions, commandments, and similitudes, which were written sometime in the second century by some person not known. From the fact that the writer calls himself Hermas, some have jumped to the conclusion that the writer was the friend of Paul (Romans 16:14), but no one now attributes its production to him. It is now quite generally supposed that he was a brother of Pius I., who was bishop of Rome from 143 to 157 A.D. Mosheim says:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.5

    “The book entitled ‘The Shepherd of Hermas’ (so called, because an angel, in the form and habit of a shepherd, is the leading character in the drama), was composed in the second century by Hermas, the brother of Pius the Roman bishop. The writer, if he was indeed sane, deemed it proper to forge dialogues held with God and angels in order to insinuate what he regarded as salutary truths, more effectually into the minds of his readers. But his celestial spirits talk more insipidly than our scavengers and porters.”-Ecclesiastical History, book I, cent. I, part 2, chap. 2, sec. 21.SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.6

    In the “Ecclesiastical Commentaries” (cent. 1, sec. 54) he again says of the book:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.7

    “There is such an admixture of folly and superstition with piety, such a ridiculous association of the most egregious nonsense with things momentous and useful, not only in the celestial visions which constitute the substance of his first book, but also in the precepts and parables which are put into the mouth of the angel in the two others, as to render it a matter of astonishment that men of learning should ever have thought of giving Hermas a place amongst the inspired writers. To me it appears that he must have been either a wild, disordered fanatic, or else, as is more likely, a man who, by way of more readily drawing the attention of his brethren to certain maxims and precepts which he deemed just and salutary, conceived himself to be warranted in pretending to have derived them from conversations with God and the angels.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.8

    There is no reference in the “Pastor of Hermas” to Sunday or to Sunday observance, but, as the translator says in his introductory note-SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.9

    “The work is very important in many respects; but especially as reflecting the tone and style of books which interested and instructed the Christians of the second and third centuries.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.10

    Its importance in this respect will be more apparent, after we have given a few specimens of its style. But first we wish to show how it was regarded by the churches of that date. From the translator’s introductory notice we extract the following-:SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.11

    “The ‘Pastor of Hermas’ was one of the most popular books, if not the most popular book, in the Christian church during the second, third, and fourth centuries. It occupied a position analogous in some respects to that of Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ in modern times, and critics have frequently compared the two works.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.12

    “The early writers are of opinion that it was really inspired. Irenaeus quotes is as Scripture; Clemens Alexandrinus speaks of it as making its statements ‘divinely;’ and Origen, though a few of his expressions are regarded by some as implying doubt, unquestionably gives it as his opinion that it is ‘divinely inspired.’ Eusebius mentions that difference of opinion prevailed in his day as to the inspiration of the book, some opposing its claims, and others maintaining its divine origin, especially because it formed an admirable introduction to the Christian faith. For this latter reason it was read publicly, he tells us, in the churches.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.13

    With this introduction, we will proceed to the book itself. It opens thus:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.14

    “He who had brought me up, sold me to one Rhode in Rome. Many years after this I recognized her, and I began to love her as a sister. Some time after, I saw her bathe in the River Tiber; and I gave her my hand, and drew her out of the river. The sight of her beauty made me think with myself, ‘I should be a happy man if I could but get a wife as handsome and good as she is.’ This was the only thought that passed through me; this and nothing more.”-Book I, Vision I, chap. I.SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.15

    Since in the next chapter but one the writer speaks of his sons, and quite frequently afterwards of his wife, we cannot feel that his first appearance to us is to his credit. The following will serve to show that the writer is justly called by Mosheim “a wild, disordered fanatic.” It is from the first part of vision 3:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.16

    “The vision which I saw, my brethren, was of the following nature. Having fasted frequently, and having prayed to the Lord that he would show me the revelation which he promised to show me through that old woman, the same night that old woman appeared to me, and said to me, ‘Since you are so anxious and eager to know all things, go into the part of the country where you tarry; and about the fifth hour I shall appear unto you, and show you all that you ought to see.’ I asked her, saying, ‘Lady, into what part of the country am I to go?’ And she said, ‘Into any part you wish.’ Then I chose a spot which was suitable, and retired. Before, however, I began to speak and to mention the place, she said to me, ‘I will come where you wish.’ Accordingly, I went to the country, and counted the hours, and reached the place where I had promised to meet her. And I see an ivory seat ready placed, and on it a linen cushion, and above the linen cushion, was spread a covering of fine linen. Seeing these laid out, and yet no one in the place, I began to feel awe, and as it were a trembling seized hold of me, and my hair stood on end, and as it were a horror came upon me when I saw that I was all alone. But on coming back to myself and calling to mind the glory of God, I took courage, bent my knees, and again confessed my sins to God as I had done before. Whereupon the old woman approached, accompanied by six young men whom I had also seen before; and she stood behind me, and listened to me, as I prayed and confessed my sins to the Lord. And touching me she said, ‘Hermas, cease praying continually for your sins; pray for righteousness, that you may have a portion of it immediately in your house.’ On this, she took me up by the hand, and brought me to the seat, and said to the young men, ‘Go and build.’ When the young men had gone and we were alone, she said to me, ‘Sit here.’ I say to her, ‘Lady, permit my elders to be seated first.’ ‘Do what I bid you,’ said she; ‘sit down.’ When I would have sat down on her right, she did not permit me, but with her hand beckoned to me to sit down on the left. While I was thinking about this, and feeling vexed that she did not let me sit on the right, she said, ‘Are you vexed, Hermas?’ The place to the right is for others who have already pleased God, and have suffered for his name’s sake; and you have yet much to accomplish before you can sit with them.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.17

    Passing by a great deal of nonsense, for the book contains little else, we come to the seventh chapter of vision 3, where we find the following bit of teaching concerning purgatory:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.18

    “She finished her exposition of the tower. But I, shameless as I yet was, asked her, ‘Is repentance possible for all those stones which have been cast away and did not fit into the building of the tower, and will they yet have a place in this tower?’ ‘Repentance,’ said she, ‘is yet possible, but in this tower they cannot find a suitable place. But in another and much interior place they will be laid, and that, too, only when they have been tortured and completed the days of their sins. And on this account will they be transferred, because they have partaken of the righteous Word. And then only will they be removed from their punishments when the thought of repenting of the evil deeds which they have done has come into their hearts. But if it does not come into their hearts, they will not be saved, on account of the hardness of their heart.’”SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.19

    Thus was the pagan notion of purgatory early introduced into the church.SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.20

    In book 2, commandment 3, this teacher, whose writings were read in the churches, and were considered inspired, represents himself as weeping because he had all his life been guilty of falsehoods, and the angel gives him the wonderful assurance that if he keeps the words of truth which he hears, “even the falsehoods which you formerly told in your transactions may come to be believed through the truthfulness of your present statements.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.21

    In book 3, similitude 5, chapter 2, he is told a story of a man who planted a portion of a field to vines, and left one of his slaves to stake it, and to do nothing else while the master was gone. The slave was to receive his freedom if he did as he was commanded. But after the slave had done what the master had left for him to do, he cleared the vineyard of weeds, and, digging up the remaining portion of the field, he planted that to vines also. When the master returned, he made the slave his heir, for having done so much more than he was commanded to do. This parable is explained as follows in the next chapter:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.22

    “If you do any good beyond what is commanded by God, you will gain for yourself more abundant glory, and will be more honored by God than you would otherwise be. If, therefore, in keeping the commandments of God, you do, in addition, these services, you will have joy if you observe them according to my command.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 679.23

    This is the foundation of the antichristian doctrine of indulgences for sin. It is not at all surprising to find this doctrine taught by a semi-heathen writer even in the second century, for it is perfectly in keeping with heathen conceit. The effect of the following childish, silly, and wicked passage upon those who regarded the writings of Hermas as inspired, can be better imagined than described.SITI November 9, 1888, page 680.1

    “Having spoken these words he wished to depart; but I laid hold of him by the wallet, and began to adjure him by the Lord that he would explain what he had showed me. He said to me, ‘I must rest a little and then I shall explain to you everything; wait for me here until I return.’ I said to him, ‘Sir, what can I do here alone?’ ‘You are not alone,’ he said, ‘for these virgins are with you.’ ‘Give me in charge to them, then,’ I replied. The Shepherd called them to him, and said to them, ‘I intrust him to you until I come,’ and went away. And I was alone with the virgins; and they were rather merry, but were friendly to me, especially the four more distinguished of them.SITI November 9, 1888, page 680.2

    “The virgins said to me, ‘The Shepherd does not come here to-day.’ ‘What, then,’ said I, ‘am I to do?’ They replied, ‘Wait for him until he comes; and if he comes he will converse with you, and if he does not come you will remain here with us until he does come.’ I said to them, ‘I will wait for him until it is late; and if he does not arrive, I will go away into the house, and come back early in the morning.’ And they answered and said to me, ‘You were intrusted to us; you cannot go away from us.’ ‘Where, then,’ I said, ‘am I to remain?’ ‘You will sleep with us,’ they replied, ‘as a brother, and not as a husband; for you are our brother, and for the time to come we intend to abide with you, for we love you exceedingly!’ But I was ashamed to remain with them. And she who seemed to be the first among them began to kiss me. (And the others seeing her kissing me, began also to kiss me), and to lead me round the tower, and to play with me. And I, too, became like a young man, and began to play with them; for some of them formed a chorus, and others danced, and others sang; and I, keeping silence, walked with them around the tower, and was merry with them. And when it grew late I wished to go into the house; and they would not let me, but detained me. So I remained with them during the night, and slept beside the tower. Now the virgins spread their linen tunics on the ground, and made me lie down in the midst of them; and they did nothing at all but pray; and I without ceasing prayed with them, and not less than they. And the virgins rejoiced because I thus prayed. And I remained there with the virgins until the next day at the second hour. Then the Shepherd returned, and said to the virgins, ‘Did you offer him any insult?’ ‘Ask him,’ they said. I said to him, ‘Sir, I was delighted that I remained with them.’”-Book 3, similitude 9, chap. 19, 11.SITI November 9, 1888, page 680.3

    Our reason for placing this matter before the reader is that he may judge for himself of the character of the early writings which are lauded so highly, and that he may see the stuff upon which the early churches were fed. The translator says of the book that it “is very important in many respects; but especially as reflecting the tone and style of books which interested and instructed the Christians of the second and third centuries.” And it is to churches which were interested and instructed by such stuff, that we are urged to look for an example of Christian faith and practice. We are told that the Sunday-sabbath is worthy of regard because it originated in the early history of the church; but when we read that the “Pastor of Hermas” was “one of the most popular books, if not the most popular book, in the Christian church during the second, third, and fourth centuries,” and that “the early writers are of opinion that it was really inspired,” we prefer to go elsewhere for a model.SITI November 9, 1888, page 680.4

    In speaking thus of the churches in the second, third, and fourth centuries, the writer would not be understood as holding that there was then no pure and undefiled religion. There were as pure Christians then as there have ever been before or since; but they did not constitute the bulk of the churches. They were the few among whom the Bible was the most popular book, and who followed its clear light instead of the darkness of nominally converted heathen philosophers, or of “wild, disordered fanatics.” If the reader wishes to know the customs of these real Christians, he will find them clearly set forth in the teachings of Christ and the apostles, as found in the Bible, which is the only guide for the Christians of every age. W.SITI November 9, 1888, page 680.5

    “The Commentary. Helping One Another” The Signs of the Times, 14, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (November 18.-Joshua 21:43-45; 22:1-9.)

    Before Israel had gone up to take possession of their inheritance, Joshua had seen an armed man standing with drawn sword in the pathway; and in answer to the question, “Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” he had answered, “As Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.” The conquest of Canaan was not to be wholly dependent upon the efforts of Israel or her captains, nor yet was it to be attained without their co-operation. The promised land was just before them, the wanderers were nearing their home; but their inheritance was still in the possession of the Canaanites. They still had to exercise faith and put forth effort in obedience to God’s command. But as they advanced, an unseen host went before them, and the “Angel of His presence” directed their steps. The people of God were co-warriors with Christ and his angels. And as human faith and effort united with divine power, Jordan parted, Jericho fell, and the Canaanites were vanquished. “And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.” In all their marches and battles, Israel was borne on, and buoyed up, by an unseen Deliverer. There was no place for pride in their conquests, for it was evident that the Captain of the Lord’s host wrought for them, and the shout of the song of Israel was one of praise to him who giveth the victory.SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.1

    “And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers; and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand.” That it is profitable to serve God, was demonstrated in the experience of the Israelites. They had been delivered from the cruel bondage of Egypt; they had been fed with the “bread of Heaven;” they had been refreshed with water from the rock; they had been preserved from sickness, pavilioned beneath the cloudy, fiery pillar, delivered from their enemies, and given rest in the land of their inheritance. “There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.2

    “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” Israel’s experience is full of suggestion to the Christian. The follower of Christ has been delivered from the cruel bondage of “lords many, and gods many.” While Canaan is a type of the rest that remains for the children of God, that will be fully realized in the soon-coming kingdom of our Lord its conquest has also a spiritual significance in the life that now is. In the victory that must be achieved in banishing the Canaanites of heart, divine power must accompany human effort. We must have the Captain of the Lord’s host to go before us, that our enemies may be subdued and vanquished. We must render our faculties in an unswerving and consecrated service to our God, that there may be a complete government of God established in our hearts. Has not Jesus said, “Come unto me, ... and I will give you rest”? He is the “Captain of the Lord’s host,” and he declares, “There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.” Like Israel of old, we have not availed ourselves of our exalted privileges; we have been too easily satisfied with small attainments, with half conquests, and because of unsubdued enemies we have been led into idolatry and sin; but the desire of the Lord has been expressed in the words of the psalm: “Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.... He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat; and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied them.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.3

    “Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, And said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you; ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day.” These tribes had chosen their possession on the other side of Jordan, but, having attained their desire, they did not settle down to enjoy themselves, and leave their brethren to fight unaided in gaining their inheritance. Moses had declared that if they would indeed go armed for their brethren’s sake until they too had acquired their possession, then they might return to their homes and be guiltless before the Lord. This is a very significant statement, inferring that those who are content to enjoy their possessions without thought or effort for others, are not held guiltless before God. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” For about seven years the warriors of these tribes had fought the battles of their brethren, bearing their burdens, rejoicing in victories gained in their behalf. But God had given rest to Israel, and they are now to receive an honorable discharge from an honorable service. Joshua bids them “return,” and get to their tents, and to the land of their possession.SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.4

    Their inheritance was separated from the inheritance of Israel, and Joshua realized their danger of becoming cold in the service of God, as they would be isolated from their brethren, and could participate in the privileges of the tabernacle only with great inconvenience. He exhorted them to “take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, ... to love the Lord your God, ... to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Then Joshua blessed them and sent them away.SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.5

    One-half the tribe of Manasseh had been given a portion in Bashan. “And he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents, and... divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.” Their brethren had had a share in the conflict both by actual service and by staying with the stuff, and they were to share in the spoil. Service to God is service to one another. There is no place for selfishness in the religion of Christ. In every commandment that God has given denoting our duty to him and to our fellow-men, there is nothing required but that which will ennoble the doer, benefit the world, and glorify the Creator. The humble worker who toils in obscurity, aiding the cause of God, is not forgotten before him and will not be overlooked in the day when the spoils are divided, and the reward is given.SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.6

    “Second Epistle of Peter” The Signs of the Times, 14, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    2 Peter 1:16-21.
    (Lesson 5, Sabbath, Nov. 24, 1888.)

    1. In his second epistle, what does Peter say that he had previously made known to the people?SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.7

    “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16.SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.8

    2. With what positiveness could Peter speak of the glory of Christ’s coming? Ib.SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.9

    3. When had he been an eye-witness of Christ’s majesty as it will be displayed at his second coming?SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.10

    “For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.” Verses 17, 18.SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.11

    4. State the details of this occurrence. Matthew 17:1-5; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36.SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.12

    5. What had Jesus previously said which also shows that the transfiguration was a representation of the second coming of Christ?SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.13

    “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16:28.SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.14

    “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” Mark 9:1.SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.15

    6. Is it possible to have any better evidence than that given to Peter, James, and John?SITI November 9, 1888, page 682.16

    “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.1

    7. What office does the word of Prophecy serve to us? Ib.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.2

    “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.3

    8. How long will it shine to show us the way?SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.4

    “Whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19, last part.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.5

    9. In what period are we living, that a light should be necessary?SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.6

    “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.7

    “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:2.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.8

    10. What has brought about this night of darkness?SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.9

    “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.10

    11. Who is the day-star?SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.11

    “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Revelation 22:16.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.12

    “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.13

    12. Can any prophecy be interpreted by the unaided knowledge of any man?SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.14

    “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:20.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.15

    13. Why not?SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.16

    “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Verse 21.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.17

    14. What connection has the light of prophecy with the day-star, the light of the world?SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.18

    “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:10, 11.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.19

    15. Why cannot all the world see this light?SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.20

    “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.21

    “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.22

    16. What aid must we have in order to understand it?SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.23

    “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.24

    17. Having the aid of the Spirit, how must we proceed in our study?SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.25

    “Comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” Verse 13, last clause.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.26


    It is usually considered that one who was an eye-witness of any event is the one best qualified to testify concerning it. And most certainly it is better than testimony given at second hand. So Peter assures us that he had not been deceived by cunningly devised fables when he made known the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, because he himself had been an eye-witness of his majesty. Then he refers to the transfiguration scene, in a way to show that that was what he had in mind as exhibiting the power and glory of Christ at his second advent. And this is in accord with what our Saviour said when he foretold the transfiguration.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.27

    “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear,” there will be two classes of the righteous who will “appear with him in glory”-those who have fallen asleep, and those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord. The dead shall be raised, and the living shall be changed, and so they will together be glorified. So it was when Christ was transfigured. Elijah was there as the representative of those who shall be translated without seeing death, and Moses, as the representative of those who fall asleep in Jesus, and whom God will bring with him from the dead. That Moses had been raised from the dead when he appeared with Elijah upon the mount, is proved (1) by the fact that if he had not been raised from the dead he could not have been there, for “the dead know not anything.” Ecclesiastes 9:5. See also Isaiah 38:10, 11, 18, 19, etc. (2) Jude says that Michael (Christ) contended with the devil about the body of Moses. Jude 9. The devil has the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and shuts up in his prison house (the grave) all that he can, claiming that they are his lawful prey (see Isaiah 14:12-17); and although Christ has brought away the keys of the grave, Satan does not willingly allow any to pass from his power. There could not possibly be anything that would cause a dispute between Christ and Satan about the body of Moses, except the matter of his resurrection. (3) If Moses had not been raised from the dead, the transfiguration would not be what both Christ and Peter declared it to be,-a representation of the second coming of Christ.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.28

    But notwithstanding the fact that Peter had actually been an eye-witness of “the power and coming” of Christ, and could testify from personal knowledge, he says, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy, unto which ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.” The Revised Version renders this verse as follows: “We have the word of prophecy made more sure;” but we cannot accept this rendering. Alford says that this rendering is on the ground,-SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.29

    “That the occupation alludes to what has gone before as its reason, as if it had been said, Wherefore, or Now, or Henceforth we have, etc.; i.e., ‘on account of this voice from Heaven which we have heard, we have firmer hold of, or esteem [possess] more sure the prophetic word, as now having in our own ears begun its fulfillment.’ The great objection to such a view is the omission of any such connecting particles as those above supplied. It is true the apostle may have omitted them [as he certainly did, and, presumably, on purpose]; but even supposing that, it is further against the view that if such be the force of the comparison, the thought is not at all followed up in the ensuing verses.”-New Testament for English Readers.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.30

    It may be further said that nothing can make the word of prophecy more sure than it was when it first came from the lips of the holy men whom God inspired. The meaning is evidently exactly given in the common version, that the sure word of prophecy is more sure than any panoramic view can be. Our eyes may deceive us, but the word of God “liveth and abideth forever.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.31

    Prophecy is light proceeding directly from God, who is himself light. With him there is “no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5. In Heaven, where the will of God is done perfectly, all is light. In the New Jerusalem, the inhabitants “need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.” Revelation 22:5. And when the will of God shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven, the whole earth will be lightened by the glory of God. “The nations of them who are saved shall walk in the light” that comes from the city of God. Revelation 21:23, 24. But sin has separated man from God, so that darkness now covers the earth. The prophecy comes as a beacon-light to guide men to the source of light. As with the rays from a distant light-house, the prophetic light may at first be comparatively faint; but the nearer we approach to the source of light, the brighter the light will become; and so of those who take heed to it, it may truly be said that their path is “as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.32

    “No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.” This means that Scripture is its own interpreter. For every prophecy contained in the Bible, the key is found there also and therefore every prophecy is of public interpretation-the interpretation is just as free to one person as it is to another. Whenever a man puts forth any view as an explanation of a given prophecy, the humblest person has a right to challenge his exposition, no matter how learned he may be. If he cannot produce positive Scripture authority for his interpretation, it must be rejected, or at least held in suspense until some wiser person can find a Bible reason for the theory. The Peshito Syriac version renders the verse thus: “No prophecy is an exposition of its own text.” The idea is the same as that expressed above. No man can read a prophecy and tell by his own unaided power, from the reading of it, what it means. He must look for an exposition to some other passage, possibly in the same chapter (as in Daniel 7), but still separate from the prophecy itself. Spiritual things must be compared with spiritual.SITI November 9, 1888, page 683.33

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We had expected to give our readers some additional news this week from the General Conference, but have been disappointed in not receiving the looked-for correspondence. We hope to be able to do better next week.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.1

    The Archbishop of Cologne has issued a pastoral letter instructing Catholics how to vote at the election for members of the Landing (the Prussian Legislature). The Archbishop says that his people must vote for candidates who will defend the “rights” of “the church.” The priests are ordered to take an active part in the contest and use up most endeavors to secure the election of men who will “give to God whatever is God’s due;” which, coming from a Catholic bishop, means, of course, men who will be subservient to the will of the Pope. The Bishop of Munster and the Bishop of Treves have issued pastoral is similar to that of the Archbishop of Cologne.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.2

    We frequently see notices in the papers that in such and such places the number of saloons has been greatly reduced by a “high license.” That information does not much interest us. Will some of these papers now please inform us how much the amount of liquor drank has been reduced by high license? We do not care if the number of saloons has been reduced five hundred per cent., if the remainder sell as much liquor as they altogether did before. Our opinion is that the high license is a profitable dodge for the saloons that remain. Where has high license so reduced the supply that the demand for liquor could not be met? We anxiously wait for an answer.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.3

    This number of the SIGNS closes too soon to give the result of Tuesday’s election. But let the result be what it may, we are glad that the campaign is ended. The contest has been an exciting one, and some of its features have not been at all creditable to either party. We have forborne to comment upon these things, however, for the reason that in the heat of the campaign our motives might have been misunderstood. Ours is not a political paper, and we care to discuss political questions only as they have a bearing upon present truth; and the lessons to be learned from a late contest for place in power in this country can be pointed out quite as well after men have settled down to sober thought, and with much better results than could have been hoped for in the heat of the campaign.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.4

    An unknown friend has kindly sent as copies of the St. Catherines, Ontario, papers containing the details of a Sunday controversy which is now agitating that part of the Dominion of Canada. It seems that the ministers are endeavoring to secure the enforcement of the Sunday law, but going to interference on the part of the magistrates, and to the fact that the principle violators are street-car companies, they are meeting with only indifferent success.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.5

    The people not seeming to be deeply impressed with a sense of the sinfulness of Sunday work and Sunday pleasure-seeking, the champions of the great counterfeit sabbath held a large meeting on a Monday evening in one of the churches, and made fervid appeals in behalf of Sunday sacredness, basing its claims on the fourth commandment. A synopsis of these appeals was published in the daily papers, and the following day the same journals contained lengthy and well-written articles showing that Sunday is absolutely without divine authority, and offering a reward of $500 for a single text from any portion of the Bible “that commands questions to keep Sunday as the Sabbath, or one text that says that Sunday is the Sabbath, or any portion of the Scripture in the whole Bible that proves that God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit ever changed the Sabbath from the seventh day of the week (commonly called Saturday) to the first day of the week (commonly called Sunday).”SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.6

    And thus the truth upon this question is being brought to the notice of thousands who have probably never thought of the subject before. It is to be hoped that this controversy may open eyes of the honest in heart, that they may recognize the claims of the Sabbath of the Lord.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.7

    The New York Evangelist of October 25 says:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.8

    “We have never admired pessimism, and have always given it a wide berth, because looking over the world every morning, we believe that under the divine guidance it is steadily growing better. If anything could shake this confidence, it would be the number of people who in these days try to make themselves conspicuous by perversely going wrong. It does seem as if there never were so many who were anxious to purchase that sort of notoriety. Some of them are so plainly capable of better things that the buckets of blood down into our wells of charity are apt to come up empty. Yet so long as this bad ambition for going wrong can make men and women conspicuous, we suppose it will be indulged by persons who lack the disposition or ability to become prominent in a more reputable way.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.9

    Neither do we admire pessimism, but we do admire faith in the word of God; “and in looking over the world every morning we” see many evidences that the Saviour spoke truly when he said that “as the days of Noah were, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.” And by these words we believe that Jesus meant just the same thing as is expressed by the apostle when he says: “This know also, that in the last days perilous time shall come,” and that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being to see.” “If anything could shake this confidence” that some have that the world is steadily growing better it would seem that the plain testimony of the Scriptures would do it.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.10

    October 21 Mrs. Margaret Fox Kane, one of the Fox sisters, and by some called “the founder of modern Spiritualism,” made an expose of the spirit-rapping in the Academy of Music in New York City, to an immense audience. Her sister, Kate Fox, was in a private box, and by applause signified for approval of her sister’s course. Mrs. Kane declared that the spirit-rapping which she originated was a deception, contrived but she was too young to realize its bad effects. She produced before the audience, with her feet, distinct rappings, which appeared to come from different parts of the house, and declared that the whole spirit-rapping was a fraud from the beginning to end.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.11

    To break the force of this expose Spiritualists charge that “for many years poor Margaret Fox has been a victim of alcoholism.” And “her mania for strong drink has,” they say, “so completely broken down her moral nature” that the position which he now assumes is not at all surprising. They also assert that for twenty-five years she has been a Catholic, and say that “Jesuitical influence, acting upon a nature thoroughly demoralized by strong drink, has prompted the poor weak woman to betray her sacred trust of spiritual gifts, and give herself to the world as a monster of moral obliquy.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.12

    Of course many receive the expose as a perfect explanation of the phenomenon of Spiritualism, but it is not at all likely that it will check in the slightest degree the spread of that Satanic delusion. There is a power in Spiritualism that cannot be explained by the cracking of a great toe! and only a proper understanding of the teachings of the Bible upon the subject will enable any to stand against the wiles of the devil as exhibited in genuine spirit manifestations. It has long been recorded on the pages of divine inspiration that in the last days the spirits of devils should go forth working miracles to deceive them that dwell on the earth, and only those who receive this testimony will be enabled to stand.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.13

    The only safeguard against Spiritualism is a firm belief of the Bible doctrine that “the dead know not anything,” and that the only hope of a future life is in the resurrection. Such exposures as that by Mrs. Kane should not be relied upon to shield any from the fearful to sections of the enemy of all righteousness.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.14

    A movement is on foot for stopping Sunday labor in the harbor of the British port of Hongkong, China, and the papers of that city are discussing the measure pro and con. A correspondent of the China mail says:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.15

    “England has not lost, in the competition for the trade of the world, by observing Sunday, and Hongkong will not lose its trade by insisting on one day’s rest in seven. I myself am in favor of making the law applicable to all vessels, mail boats included. The number of times that the male steamers are in Hongkong on Sunday is not many, and the so-called loss would at the most be trifling. The result would doubtless be that the steamers, knowing the practice of the port, would contrive to avoid being in Hongkong over Sunday.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.16

    It seems, however, that while it is proposed to prohibit labor on the shipping in the harbor work on land will not be interfered with. The Mail says:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.17

    “We may be justified in tolerating Sunday labor on shore, but it is quite a different thing to compel Englishmen to work on Sundays for the purpose of giving employment to stevedores and coolies.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.18

    Certainly those who wish to keep Sunday should be permitted to do so; but while that is true, it is equally true that those who do not want to keep it should not be compelled to keep it. However, as pagans gave the world the Sunday festival, it is perhaps not unfitting that other pagans should not receive from so-called Christian powers the day called by the North British Review “the wild solar holiday of all pagan times.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.19

    In a recent sermon in Troy, N. Y., Rev. J. H. Coleman (Methodists) said:-SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.20

    “The inhabitants of Japan, India, China, and even Africa, have accepted the Gospel, and conferences have been held there. They have even asked for the secret of the success of Christian progress. I can see the day when we shall hear them all singing,SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.21

    “‘All hail the power of Jesus’ name;
    Let angels prostrate fall.’”
    SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.22

    Mr. Coleman expects more than the Scriptures promise, and more than the facts warrant. We are warranted in believing that God will visit all nations “to take out of them a people for his name,” for John describes the throng of the redeemed as “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues.” But the Bible nowhere it teaches us to expect, in this probationary state, such a condition of things as that contemplated in the foregoing extract. Said the Saviour: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then it shall the end come.”SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.23

    But the Gospel does not convert all who hear it in so-called Christian lands, and no more does it in heathen lands; and the great lack of vital piety in our own land to-day should lead those who hold the doctrine of a temporal millennium to examine well the ground of their faith, lest they shall be found saying, “The Lord saith it,” when the Lord has not spoken.SITI November 9, 1888, page 688.24

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