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    December 21, 1888

    “The Defeat of Justice” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Defeats of justice have become so common nowadays that they excite little or no remark except in extreme instances. Especially is this true in criminal cases, though even in civil suits it is difficult for one who has not an abundance of money to get justice. Why this is so is well told in the following extract from an editorial in the Oakland Enquirer of November 28:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 773.1

    “The curse of the legal profession, in respect to the habit of mind fostered in lawyers, is that most of the time the best lawyers are employed against the State instead of for it. The lawyers who are able to make the largest incomes from their practice will not accept moderate salaries paid to public prosecutors, and it is not often that they care to assume the dignities of a judgeship. Thus it comes that many lawyers spend their lives in trying to beat the civil and criminal laws of the Government under which they live, and it is sometimes surprising that they do not despise themselves for the uniform success of their attempts. It is unquestionably true that every accused person has the right to have the best presentation of his defense which the facts admit of, and that defending criminals is reputable business for lawyers, when it is reputably conducted. But twenty or thirty years of this, unmixed with any experience of public advocacy, will certainly narrow and dwarf the mind, if anything can, and stifle all generosity of sentiment.SITI December 21, 1888, page 773.2

    “In other words, a lawyer is not a good citizen when he subordinates everything to his profession and cares not whether the laws be good or bad so long as he makes his fees. We need only look at the history of San Francisco in California to be satisfied that many of the leading lawyers of the past thirty years have been men of this class. If it is true that the law is a noble profession the nobility of it must be sought in something else than in breaking of public statutes which were drawn for the public good but without sufficient skill, or in fighting legal battles with absolute disregard of the right or wrong, justice or injustice, involved. Cases of this sort are inseparable from the practice of law, but the lawyer who does not rise high enough in sentiment to feel at all times of the laws ought to be executed alike upon the rich and the poor, and the statutes should be made strong enough to withstand the attacks of millionaire criminals, is really no ornament to society. The responsibility of the lawyer for the perfection of the law is of no ordinary kind, because he spends his life in studying it and commenting on it; therefore, if he is not willing to give of his knowledge and his experience for the benefit of the public, the loss is a very sensible one.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 773.3

    The design of the law, and of courts of law, is to guarantee to every man his rights, to protect life, person, and property, and it ought to be the purpose of every member of every court to carry out fully the spirit of a law; but such is seldom the ruling principle in the legal breast. Lawyers undertake cases not simply with the determination that their clients shall have their rights, but that they shall have all the advantage which can possibly be gained for them by whatever means. The legal profession needs renovation, but there is small hope that it will ever be better than it is now. So long as Mammon holds sway in the hearts of men, lawyers will work, not for right and justice, but for money, for place, and for power.SITI December 21, 1888, page 773.4

    “How to Become New Men” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following is from one of Talmage’s sermons, and is one of the truest things he ever said. Those who will read the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah will find the divine authority for the statements here made:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 773.5

    “O ye overweighted, successful business men, whether this sermon reach your car or your eye, let me say that if you are prostrate with anxieties about keeping or investing these tremendous fortunes, I can tell you how you can do more to get your health back, and your spirits raised from, than by drinking gallons of bad-tasting water at Saratoga, Hamburg, or Carlsbad,-give to God and humanity the Bible, and ten per cent. of all your income, and it will make a new man of you, and from restless walking of the floor at night you shall have eight hours, sleep without the help of bromide or potassium; and from no appetite you will hardly be able to wait for your regular meals, and your wan cheeks will fill up; and when you die the blessings of those who but for you would have perished, will bloom all over your grave with violets if it be spring, or gladiolas if it be autumn.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 773.6

    “A Sign of the Times” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian Statesman of November 29 has an article copied from the Christian Intelligencer, about the amount of business done by photographers on Sunday. Following are a few paragraphs from it, which will serve to show the drift of sentiment in regard to such labor:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.1

    “It is hardly probable that the Christian people of this city are aware of the extent to which the Sabbath is violated by the photographers. Many of the principal galleries are filled with waiting patrons, and their largest business is done on the Sabbath.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.2

    “The famous galleries, although not exactly open to the public, are ready to make appointments, and prefer that day to execute the pictures of the popular actors, singers, etc.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.3

    “And most of the small places, after passing a dull week, expect to make up on the Sunday business enough to give them a profit over the week’s expenses.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.4

    “There is a wholesome law against this transacting business on the holy day, but it is not enforced.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.5

    “A few years ago an attempt was made to close up the violators of the Sabbath, but it was not successful, and several of the prominent men in that effort, seeing no remedy, now keep open, and find their purses better filled, their bank account much larger, and their credit much better with the stock dealer. Now in view of this truthful statement, what is the duty of the Christian public in this matter?”SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.6

    The article carries with it its own answer to the last question, that is from the standpoint of the Statesman and the Intelligencer. The plainly implied demand is that such business should be stopped by law. And this indicates to what lengths the instigators of the Sunday-law movement will go, when they have secured the legislation which they want, and have the power in their hands. It shows that a system of espionage will be inaugurated, and that nobody’s privacy will be sacred from the prying intrusion of the minions of such an iniquitous law.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.7

    There is no business that is conducted with more quietness than the business of photography. Nothing is less calculated to disturb public worship or private devotion. Even a monk in his cloister could not be disturbed by the business of a photographer next door if he were not informed of its proximity.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.8

    When the photographer may be arrested for quietly conducting his work in an upper room on Sunday, then no person will be exempt. Some zealous individual, anxious for political preferment, will find out that the merchant is in his private office on Sunday, looking over his ledger, and forthwith the merchant will be arrested. The lady who takes in sewing may be arrested for making button-holes, or fitting a garment in her back parlor on Sunday. The literary man who writes for hire may be arrested for quietly working at his desk on Sunday. In short, from such a wholesale stoppage of Sunday work as is desired by the Statesman, the Intelligencer, and all who may be classed as National Reformers, it will be but a step to the arresting of every citizen who is found away from church on Sunday, unless detained by sickness.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.9

    That this is not an exaggerated conclusion is evident from the statement of Dr. Herrick Johnson, that he longed for the breath of the Puritan, for the Puritan Sabbath, and this is just what was done in the days of the Covenanters and Puritans. Robert Wodrow, a Scotch ecclesiastical historian, of whom it is said that his “veracity was above suspicion,” and of his writings, that “no historical facts are better ascertained than the accounts... to be found in Wodrow,” makes the following statement concerning the methods used to secure attendance at church:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.10

    “It is thocht expedient that ane Baillie with tua of the session pas throw the towne everie Sabbath day, and nott sic as they find absent fra the sermons ather afoir or efter none; and for that effect that they pas and scrsche sic houses as they think maist meit.”—Selections from the Records of the Kirk Session, Presbytery, and Synod of Aberden .SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.11

    In modern English this is as follows:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.12

    “It is thought expedient that any bailiff with two of the session pass through the town every Sabbath day, and note such as they find absent from the sermons either before or after noon; and for that effect that they pass and search such houses as they think most meet.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.13

    In his “Collections” he says: “The session allows the searchers to go into houses, and apprehend absents from the kirk.” Now when one of the great cries for a Sunday law is because people do not go to church, and when the only ground for stopping a photographer from working in the seclusion of his own room, could be that he was staying from church and at least inviting others to do so, the conclusion is inevitable that when the clamorers for a Sunday law get what they want, they will make no scruple of going into any house where they have reason to suspect that anybody is working on Sunday, and arresting the occupants.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.14

    Are we not warranted in saying that the liberties of the American people are in danger? Is it not high time that people were awakening to the alarming growth of the religious legislation evil? Who will protest against the degeneracy of Protestantism? W.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.15

    “Him Only Shalt Thou Serve” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A brother writing from Nebraska wishes to know it, in case a law were made compelling everybody to keep Sunday, it would be wrong for one who has kept the Sabbath day according to the commandment, to rest upon Sunday also. He asks if the fourth commandment obliges us to work six days in the week, as well as to rest on the Sabbath.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.16

    This is a question that is frequently asked, and may very easily be answered. In the first place, the fourth commandment does not oblige us to work six entire days of every week. The idea of the commandment is, that we shall do all of our work in the six days which are given for that purpose, and that the seventh must be kept sacred. In the six days we may work; in the seventh day we may not work. This is God’s order; and no earthly power has any right to command us to rest on any of the six days which God has given us for labor, any more than it has to command us to work on the day which God has made sacred to himself. But while the statement that in the seventh day we shall not work, prohibits us from doing any secular work on that day, the statement that in the six days we shall do all our own work, does not compel us to work every minute of those six days.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.17

    Must we then conclude that it would be all right for us to rest upon the first day if we were commanded by the Government to do so, provided we had previously rested upon the Sabbath? By no means. We could not in that way keep the Sabbath “according to the commandment;” for the commandment recognizes no authority to appoint rest days but Jehovah himself. The granting to us of six days in which to work, is sufficient proof that no earthly power has any right to appoint a rest day. Now if we, in compliance with the command of any earthly power, do rest upon any of the six working days, we recognize that power as of equal authority with God; and that would nullify our keeping of the seventh day, by showing that we did not do it as an act of worship to the only God. In short, our act would show a divided allegiance, fear, and not love, being at the bottom of it. It would show that we kept the seventh day for the same reason that we kept the first, namely, to escape the penalty pronounced upon the violators. Such service God cannot accept.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.18

    Sunday as a religious institution is a child of the Papacy-the badge of authority of that power. Whoever having the fourth commandment before him, and understanding and acknowledging its claims, should keep the first day in deference to the command of any earthly power, would be, in the plainest manner possible, showing deference to the Papacy, and would be far more culpable than the one who should keep the day supposing it to be the true Sabbath. The fact that he had previously rested on the seventh day, would only make his culpability the greater, by showing that he was deliberately, on account of slavish fear, placing the decrees of men on a level with the commandment of God. Such a time-serving policy, while it might secure the person freedom from molestation for a time, would be found to be most disastrous in the end; for “he that findeth his life shall lose it.” W.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.19

    “Subjection to the Powers that Be” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” Romans 13:1, 2.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.20

    This text of Scripture has been the cause of a great deal of controversy concerning the scope of civil governments, and the relations which Christians should sustain to them. There are a great many people who take the extreme view that whatever civil governments enact should be scrupulously obeyed, no matter how much it may conflict with the will of God, as revealed in the Bible. They seem to imagine that God has delegated all power to men, and that he waives to the claims of men his right to govern in matters of morals. They virtually say that the inspired command to be subject to the higher powers absolves people from direct allegiance to their Creator. The very statement of the case should be enough to show anybody the absurdity of such a view.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.21

    The thirteenth chapter of Romans affords, in itself, ample proof that the powers that be are ordained of God only in matters that pertain to the outward peace of society. But we wish to bring a few other scriptures to bear, to show just how we are to be subject to earthly powers, and at the same time be subject to the highest power of all.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.22

    The seventh verse of the same chapter says: “Render therefore to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” Render “honor to whom honor” is due, is a part of this command. Now it is beyond question that honor is due to God, for the Lord himself says that he will honor only those who honor him. 1 Samuel 2:30. And that this tribute and honor which are due to God are entirely different from those which are due to earthly governments, is evident from the words of Christ to the Pharisees, which are exactly parallel with those of Paul to the Romans: “Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things which are God’s.” Matthew 22:21. Thus we see that while we are to be subject to the earthly powers, that subjection must in nowise conflict with our subjection to God.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.23

    That inspiration does not teach that men are in duty bound to obey every edict of earthly powers, but that they are to disobey every enactment which conflicts with the law of God, is very plain. Take the case of the three Hebrew children at the court of Nebuchadnezzar. They were as truly bound to be subject to him as ever any men were to an earthly ruler, for Nebuchadnezzar was king by God’s own appointment (Jeremiah 27:4-7), and they had by the same power been placed under him. Yet when the king commanded them to worship an image which he had set up, they absolutely refused to do anything of the kind. For their stubbornness, as the king doubtless thought it, they were cast into a fiery furnace; yet God, who commands us to be subject to the powers that be, showed his approval of their course in the most marked manner.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.24

    Take the case of Daniel in the court of Darius. That king made a decree that for thirty days no man should make a request of any god or man except himself, under penalty of being cast into a den of lions. But Daniel paid no manner of attention to the decree. When he knew that the writing was signed, “he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” Daniel 6:10. Like his three fellows, he made no secret of his disobedience to the king’s order. Yet the same God who commands us to be subject to the powers that be, showed his approval of Daniel’s course, by delivering him from the lions, and honoring him before the whole empire.SITI December 21, 1888, page 774.25

    The apostles afford another case in point. An express injunction was laid upon them by the Jewish Sanhedrim “not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:17, 18. The apostles, however, refused to keep silence, saying, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (verse 20), and they went right on teaching as though the rulers had said nothing. When they were again brought before the council, and reminded of the injunction which had been laid upon them, they boldly replied, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29. All these cases, and especially this last, show that the command to be subject to the powers that he does not mean that we should obey them when obedience to them involves disobedience to God.SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.1

    Now the question arises, Were these men subject to the Governments under which they lived? Can men be subject to the powers that be, and yet not obey them in every particular, no matter what they command? We answer that men can be subject to the powers that be, and still disobey them when their decrees conflict with the laws of God; and the record shows most clearly that Daniel and his fellows, and the apostles, were subject to the powers that existed in their time.SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.2

    A passage from the writings of one of the men who refused to obey men when to do so involved disloyalty to God, will make this matter clear. We quote from 1 Peter 2:17-29:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.3

    “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.4

    The command to “honor the king” shows this to be a parallel passage to Romans 13:1, 2. Here, as there, we are exhorted to be subject to rulers, even though they be not good. But that this does not mean that we should in so doing disobey God, is evident from verse 19: “For this is thank-worthy if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.” The fact that he is called upon to suffer wrongfully, and that he is buffeted because he does well, shows that his doing right has been in direct opposition to the commands of his master. He suffers “for conscience toward God.” That is, his conscience will not allow him to disobey God’s commandment in obedience to the powers that be, and so he patiently suffers for it. And although he cannot obey the master’s command, his patient acceptance of the threatened punishment shows his subjection to the power.SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.5

    So we see that being subject to the powers that be means simply that we are to obey them when their commands are right, and to disobey them when they conflict with those of God, and meekly to take the consequences. This is just what Daniel and his fellows and the apostles did. They did not resist, but they did not obey an unrighteous commandment. Now turn again to Romans 13, verse 2 and 5, and you will see that is just what is taught. We quote:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.6

    “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.7

    The Bible everywhere teaches respect for authority. Anarchists can find no warrant in the Bible for any of their contempt for authority. Rebellion against authority is not countenanced under any circumstances. Every soul must be subject to the powers that be, and that subjection consists in willing, prompt obedience to all their laws when they do not require disregard of God’s law, and as willing an acceptance of the penalty for disobeying laws that do contravene the laws of God. An example of this is found in the early Christians, who took joyfully the spoiling of their goods. Hebrews 10:34. Where there cannot be obedience, there must not be resistance. David would not lift his hand against the king of Israel, even though that king was most unjustly seeking his life; Paul would not knowingly speak ill of the high priest, although that priest was a wicked hypocrite. He counseled the Christians to be subject to the powers that were, even while he was daily violating the laws of the most wicked ruler; and he showed his subjection to a power which was despicable because of its moral rottenness, by willingly yielding up his life as the price of his necessary disobedience. W.SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.8

    “The Essence of Spiritualism” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Quite a stir has been made over the publication of the fact that the poet Tennyson is a Spiritualist. In a letter which he recently wrote to a friend, in which he shows that he is his own medium, he said:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.9

    “I have never had any revelations through anesthetics, but a kind of waking trance (this for lack of a better name) I have frequently had, quite up from boyhood, when I have been all alone. This has often come upon me through repeating my own name to myself, till all at once, as it were, out of the intensity of the consciousness of individuality, the individuality itself seemed to dissolve, and fade away into boundless being, and this not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the sweetest of the sweetest, utterly beyond words, where death was an almost laughable impossibility, the loss of personality (if so it were) seeming no extinction, but the only true life.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.10

    This, which must surely be called the sublimity of egotism, is the very essence of Spiritualism. It is the beginning and end of the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul, for that doctrine begins and ends with self. It was by causing Eve to think of herself, and instilling into her mind an exaggerated sense of her own importance, that Satan secured her fall. The doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul grows out of the idea so natural to man, that he is of such transcendent importance that God could not get along without him; and the next step to that is the idea that man himself is a god.SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.11

    Is it not strange that professed Christians will cling to a doctrine which makes man everything, and ignores Christ as the Author of life? And who cannot see that a doctrine which make it unnecessary to come to Christ for life, must necessarily tend to immorality, since it depreciates, and causes men to slight, the only source of purity?SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.12

    “Mammon of Unrighteousness” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A correspondent wishes an explanation of Luke 16:9, which reads, “And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.13

    This text presents the lesson that our Saviour would have us learn from the preceding parable, that just as the unjust steward had used the riches of this world to provide for himself a home in old age among those he had helped, so the children of light should use the riches of this world to provide for themselves everlasting habitations. It is parallel to Matthew 5:20: “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” Jesus does not mean that we can purchase Heaven by anything we can do; the only price acceptable is that paid by our Lord Jesus Christ. But the way we use the riches of this world is the evidence of the work wrought within. Often the Lord accepts an individual who has a covetous nature, but who does not know it until subsequent trials reveal it. The sure way for him to then overcome is to use in the cause of God the riches he has gathered, to lay up treasure in Heaven, to make friends of God, Christ, and the angels, and thus crucify and overcome his covetous nature, making sure his reception into everlasting habitations. Neither are we to say, as many thoughtlessly do, “The riches of the universe belong to God, he does not need any means,” and so do nothing. It is true, God does not need our means, but he demands them in order to develop within us that unselfish love which will fit us to dwell in the everlasting habitations. We must all learn the lesson, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35.SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.14

    “The Promise to Abraham” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A reader of the SIGNS asks: “Why was it that two and a half tribes of the children of Israel remained on the east side of Jordan? I understand that Canaan was typical of our heavenly rest; why then did some remain outside of that land?” The questioner’s supposition evidently is that the territory to the east of the Jordan was not a part of the promised land, but that this is a mistake is evident from Joshua 1:4: “From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.” But aside from this scripture we know that not only the land of Canaan proper, but also the whole earth, was promised to Abraham and to his seed. See Romans 4:13. And had Abraham’s descendants been faithful to God, they would long ere this have subdued all nations and filled the earth. The name Canaan no more limited the promise to the valley of the Jordan-from which the name was derived-than did the necessarily short range of human vision limit the promise to just what Abraham could see, when the Lord said unto him: “Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward, for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 775.15

    “The Great Mistake of Protestantism” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Rev. H. H. Hinman has an article in a recent number of the Christian sinners are, in which he writes thus concerning Christmas:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 776.1

    “If we may adopt religious institutions of mere human devising, and arbitrarily appoint days for their celebration, there is no limit to what man may do in creating religious institutions. There is quite as much reason for the adoration of her who was the most blessed among women, as for the unauthorized celebration of the birth of her son. The great mistake of the Papacy has been the substitution of human inventions, of which Christmas is manifestly a sample. If we admit these interpolations in religion, we cannot stop short of entire conformity to all that is laid upon us. We must either cease our protest against the worship of the bread and wine in the mass, and to the confessional, or stop doing religious duties that have no higher authority than man. The road leads to Rome, and there is no stopping-place but at the end. We shall find enough to do in keeping divinely-appointed institutions in their true spirit, without turning aside to the commandments of men.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 776.2

    Whatever may be the merits or demerits of Christmas as a mere human holiday, it certainly has no just claims as a religious institution. Few comparatively are so ignorant as to suppose that it is indeed the anniversary of the birth of our Lord; and if it were, there is certainly no divine warrant for its observance. But in that respect it does not stand alone; Sunday keeping is equally without divine precept; and yet in the paragraph following the one quoted, Mr. Hinman calls that day “the Christian Sabbath.” Certainly if the practice of celebrating Christmas is reprehensible (and we do not say that it is not), Sunday keeping is doubly so, for whereas Christmas antagonizes no divine institution, Sunday stands opposed to the Sabbath of Lord, the day commanded in the fourth precept of the decalogue. True it is that the great mistake, yea, the great sin, “of the Papacy has been the substitution of human inventions” for the divinely-appointed institutions of the gospel; and it is no less true that the great mistake of Protestantism has been in adopting these substitutes, thus making void the commandments of God by Papal traditions.SITI December 21, 1888, page 776.3

    “Sunday Harvesting” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    One of the Presbyterian synods of Scotland has recently been discussing the matter of Sunday observance. That which gave rise to the discussion was the fact that members of that church had been engaged in Sunday harvesting. Such work was condemned by the chairman of the Committee of Sabbath Observance, for the reason that “the circumstances of the present season did not warrant Sunday harvesting.” This language seems to convey the idea that in a less favorable season than the one just past, Sunday work would be justifiable; and according to the London Christian World, such seems to have been the view taken by the synod. This, to say the least, is a strange position for Scotch Presbyterians to take. Presbyterians universally profess to regard Sunday as the Sabbath, and to rest its observance upon the fourth commandment; how, then, can they make exceptions not made in that commandment, or, indeed, anywhere else in all the Scriptures? Of the Sabbath, the fourth commandment says: “In it thou shalt not do any work;” not even in harvest, for in Exodus 34:21 we read, “in earing [sowing] time and in harvest thou shalt rest.” Of course these texts have not the slightest application to Sunday, but the Presbyterians, and notably the Scotch Presbyterians, teach that they have, though down in their inmost souls they know that Sunday is not the Sabbath; hence the admission that under some circumstances harvesting may be done upon that day.SITI December 21, 1888, page 776.4

    “A New Religion Wanted” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Something of a sensation has been made by the Rev. Heber Newton, pastor of All Souls’ Episcopal Church, New York, who declared in a recent sermon that the need of the present age is a new religion. He said that Christianity in its present form does not satisfy the present progressive spiritual aspirations of humanity. For our part we can heartily agree with Mr. Newton. We think he is doubly right. In the first place the aspirations of humanity in general can be satisfied only by a fashion-plate, a fancy ball or party, a base-ball game, or a slogging match; and even “Christianity in its present form” cannot satisfy all these longings. And in the second place “Christianity in its present form” is so far removed from primitive Christianity that if the Christianity of Christ and his apostles were taught and lived out, it would be indeed a new religion. That is what the present age needs. Such Christianity will satisfy all the real needs of humanity. Says Christ, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28, 29. God is able to make all grace abound, and to do “exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think.” He is able to satisfy the highest aspirations of the human heart. But the thoughts and longings of the mass of mankind are too low, and too nearly “only evil continually,” to be satisfied by the pure gospel of Christ.SITI December 21, 1888, page 776.5

    “No Boasting” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The true soldier of Christ, be he ever so faithful, will never feel to boast of his attainments of character or holiness of life. As he gets nearer Jesus, he comprehends more of the infinite perfection of the Master, and sees less to be praised in himself. He may not have been guilty of conscious sin during a certain period, yet when he reviews that period side by side with the life of the great Example, how imperfect it seems. Like Daniel he feels that his comeliness is turned into corruption. Daniel 10:8. The infirmities of our fallen natures are manifested at almost every step, and the tendencies of sinful flesh and confirmed habits have, in unguarded moments, often unconsciously marred the work we were doing for the Master. God accepts the work because it is wrought in love, through grace, by a heart which is set to do the whole will of God; but he does not condone our faults. These we are to “mortify,” “crucify,” “keep under,” “put off.” The graces are to “increase,” the love to “abound more and more.” There will ever be growth till imperfection reaches perfection, till the babe in Christ reaches the fully-developed man. Then with Paul let the child of God say, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.1

    “What More Can Be Asked?” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian Nation of December 5 reports that “the committee appointed at the last synod [of the Reformed Presbyterians] to circulate petitions seeking a Christian Amendment to the Constitution, to be signed by those who refuse to accept it in its present form, sent out blank forms to all the congregations of the church during the month of August.” They say that “those who did not on November 6 send men to swear to the Constitution should now take opportunity of recording their vows for the amendment.” What ails the Constitution now? It grants to all men the privilege of living or refusing to live Christians. So does Christianity. “Whosoever will” may come. Revelation 22:17. The Constitution does not compel men to accept any religion. Neither did Christ. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” 2 Corinthians 5:11. What more can be asked? He who asks for that which will discriminate between men, seeks to build up tyranny and oppression. His object is wholly selfish; and selfishness has not part in the religion of Christ. The so-called Christian Amendment to the Constitution will unjustly discriminate between individuals whose only difference before the amended Constitution will be their religious belief or non-belief. Therefore it is not Christian; it is anti christian.SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.2

    “No Practical Difference” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A recent proposal and the French Chamber of Deputies, to abolish the embassy to the Vatican, was rejected by a vote of 307 to 217. On that occasion Prince Goblet made the following speech, for which he was applauded:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.1

    “As long as we live under the regime of the concordat, it is necessary to maintain relations with the Vatican for the training of the clergy and the appointment of bishops and cardinals. The importance of our protectorate in Eastern countries, also, requires the maintenance of friendly relations with the Vatican. Rival powers dispute our protectorate. The friendship of the Pope is, therefore, precious, the Pope already has his bitternesses. Is it for us to increase them? It has been said recently that the Pope could no longer count upon any country but France. That does not mean that France will intervene to restore his temporal power; but the more the Pope is deprived of that power the more France ought to honor him by curtailing nothing of her respect for the high authority he represents.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.2

    The present Pope may be trusted to make himself indispensable to the Governments of Europe. It matters little whether he has temporal power or not, so long as he practically controls the movements of the great powers. In this connection it may be noted that the Pope has recently received a letter from the Czar, accepting the Vatican’s proposals, and promising to restore diplomatic relations between the Russian government and the Vatican at an early date.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.3

    “The Commentary. Shrinking from Duty” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY.
    (Lesson, Sabbath, Jan. 5.)

    1. Under what circumstances did the Lord appear to Moses at Horeb?SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.1

    “And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” Exodus 3:4-6.SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.2

    2. For what purpose did the Lord appear to him?SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.3

    “And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me; and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.” Verses 7-10.SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.4

    3. By what name did the Lord say he would be known?SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.5

    “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you; this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” Verses 13-15.SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.6

    4. What is the significance of this name?-The One who is; the self-existence and eternal One.SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.7

    5. What similar terms do we find in the New Testament?SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.8

    “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne.” Revelation 1:4.SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.9

    “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8.SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.10

    6. What sign was given to Moses, by which the Israelites might know that the Lord had appeared to him?SITI December 21, 1888, page 777.11

    “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand; that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.” Exodus 4:1-5.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.1

    7. What additional sign was given?SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.2

    “And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.” Verses 6, 7.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.3

    8. What further sign was Moses to give in case the Israelites should not believe the first two?SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.4

    “And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land; and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” Verse 8.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.5

    9. What excuse did Moses then make?SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.6

    “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant; but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” Verse 10.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.7

    10. What rebuke and encouragement did the Lord give him?SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.8

    “And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” Verses 11, 12.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.9

    11. What reply did Moses make?SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.10

    “And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.” Verse 13.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.11

    12. With what did Moses thus indirectly charge God? See note.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.12

    13. How did the Lord regard this?SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.13

    “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses.” Verse 14, first clause.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.14

    14. What further encouragement did he give Moses?SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.15

    “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee; and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth; and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.” Verses 14-16.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.16

    15. What practical lesson may we learn from this occurrence? See note.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.17

    NOTES

    When Moses said to the Lord, “Send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou shouldst send,” he indirectly charged God with not knowing who he ought to send. If the Lord had not seen that Moses was the best man for the place, he would not have selected him. While God does not want a man to run when he has not been sent (see Jeremiah 23:2), he does want a man to go when he sends him. If God indicates that he wants a man to do a certain work, that is sufficient evidence that he will sustain him in that work. It is a terrible thing to refuse to obey the Lord. To beg off from labor to which one has been appointed, is not always humility. It may be an evidence of pride or stubbornness. This case under consideration may naturally call to the minds of many the case of Jonah, although Jonah was not like Moses except in that he did not want to do what the Lord wanted him to do. The motives of the two men were different. The teacher, however, who exhausts the lesson before the allotted time has expired, will do well to call attention to the case of Jonah, and of others that come to his mind, as different phases of this shrinking from duty.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.18

    Very often people who plead inability to do a certain work in the church or Sabbath-school, to which they are called, think that their refusal is an evidence of their humility, when, in fact, it is an evidence of nothing but pride. They fear that if they should take hold of it, they might make mistakes, and that people might not think so much of them in consequence. And so, in order to avoid possible criticism by men, they are content to be drones, and to risk the displeasure of God. That is one of the worst kinds of pride.SITI December 21, 1888, page 778.19

    “Believe God’s Promises” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We should believe God. All that he has said he will make good. He will reproduce his words in facts. His great promises are fulfilled with as much ease as the last ones. He can make an ocean as readily as a dew-drop. He can give you a large blessing as readily as a small one; only give him room in your faith.SITI December 21, 1888, page 779.1

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    By comparing the reports concerning the Sunday-law petition to Congress, it will be seen that the number of petitioners has suddenly jumped from six million to fourteen million. This is evidently due to the letter of Cardinal Gibbons to Mr. Craft endorsing the movement. It is easy work securing signers to a petition when eight million names can be added by a stroke of the pen.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.1

    The theological faculty of the University Giessen has conferred on Prince Bismarck the title of Doctor of Divinity! Just what moved them to do this we do not know, but we imagine that it was because they are tinctured with the National Reform idea that men may go up to the polls to worship God. When politics and religion are one, we can see no incongruity in making every statesman a Doctor of Divinity.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.2

    Two hundred and twelve thousand copies of the October Sentinel extra, besides the regular issue, were printed and sent out, and already a good effect of that movement can be seen. The January number ought to have fully as wide a circulation, and to insure this the publishers offer to furnish them to Tract Societies at the rate of $10 per thousand copies, in lots of not less than 5,000. Extra plates will be made, so that orders can be filled at any time.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.3

    The Union Signal has this to say of the proposed Sunday law: “Labor unions are now united with the churches in demanding such legislation. Our wheelbarrow Government never does anything without pushing; but with the churches pushing with all their might at one handle of the wheel barrow, and the Labor unions doing the same at the other, it must move and carry its load-Sunday observance-along with it.” When Pilate and Herod were made friends, Christ had to be crucified.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.4

    In the Chronicle’s report of the San Francisco Methodist Preachers’ Meeting, last Monday, we find the following item:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.5

    “Mr. Van Blarcom urged the importance of work for securing a Sunday law from the coming Legislature. Dr. Dwinelle said the only hope of getting one was in a union with the Catholics for the object. He thought they would unite to that end. Others expressed the same opinion.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.6

    Of course they will unite to that end. But let them be assured that the Catholic Church never makes any alliance except to its own advantage. And we would like to have these ministers consider whether they can unite with Catholics and still continue to be Protestants.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.7

    A Washington dispatch of the 11th inst. mentions the opening of the National Sunday Convention in that city, and says:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.8

    “A feature of the decorations was festoons of petitions to Congress, from every part of the country, urging the passage of the Sunday Rest Bill introduced last session. The petitions were attached to a seemingly endless broad scarlet ribbon, which reached several times around and across the great auditorium of the church. They contained, approximately, 6,000,000 names.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.9

    That to which we wish to call special attention is the color of the ribbon on which these Sunday-law petitions were hung. It was a “seemingly endless broad scarlet ribbon.” Inasmuch as the Sunday institution is the child of the woman arrayed in “purple and scarlet color,” which sat upon the “scarlet-colored beast” (see Revelation 17:3-6), and has shed the blood of so many saints, it is highly fitting that that color should be prominent in connection with the Sunday-law petitions. We are glad that our National Reform friends have an eye to the fitness of things. They choose to array themselves with the trappings of the beast, they have the privilege; but we will have nothing to do with this mark.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.10

    Another evidence, or rather admission, that all Sunday legislation is religious legislation, is found in the remarks of Dr. Goodwin, of Chicago, in presenting to the ministers’ meeting the resolutions prepared by Dr. Herrick Johnson in regard to Sunday newspapers and Sunday observance. The Doctor said that “to strike at the Christian Sabbath is to strike at the very corner-stone of all our Christian institutions.” Therefore a law in favor of Sunday, the so-called Christian Sabbath, is a law in favor of the Christian religion; and since no open law breaker can hope to be elected to public office, it follows that the enactment of Sunday laws is squarely opposed to that part of the Constitution of the United States which says that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.11

    The January number of the American Sentinel promises to be one of the best ever issued. From present prospects we may say that we don’t know how it could very well be any better than it will be, unless there were more of it. And it seems that by some means the people are anticipating what it will be, for already the publishers have received, by telegraph, orders for many thousand extra copies. Perhaps others can say that the publishers would be very willing to print two hundred thousand of the January number. If twice as many are ordered, they will not complain. Among the interesting live matter that the January Sentinel will contain, will be reports of the Illinois “Sabbath Association” meeting in Chicago, and of the National Convention in Washington, December 11-13.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.12

    It is said that “a sensation has been caused by the refusal of the Pope to bless a lot of metals and reliquaries sent to Rome by an Irish priest, who intended them for distribution in Ireland. The Pope sternly says: ‘I cannot bless them. The people of Ireland are disobedient. They seem to prefer the gospel of Dillon and O’Brien to the gospel of Jesus Christ.’”SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.13

    It remains to be seen whether the people of Ireland can survive this cruel blow. Possibly they may manage to get along without the silly baubles over which the Pope refused to mumble a blasphemous jargon, miscalled a blessing. Probably the blow will fall most heavily upon the unfortunate priest, who no doubt expected to reap a golden harvest from the sale of his medals and reliquaries. Certain is that the poor people of Ireland have lost nothing but the withholding of the Papal benediction.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.14

    The Independent of November 29 had the following note:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.15

    “It is significant that the first article in this our Thanksgiving number is a recognition by the presiding Cardinal Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in America, of the value of the day of thanksgiving and praise appointed by the President of the United States. Our Catholic fellow-citizens have been slow to adopt this New England institution, but now the same Cardinal Gibbons has directed it to be observed in the churches under his authority. So we agree in bidding all our people, Protestants and Catholics, now for the first time, to celebrate this national holiday.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.16

    Indeed it is significant, and significant of far more than the Independent imagines. It is significant of the rapidity with which Catholicism and professed Protestantism are coming together. Last spring the majority of Protestant churches and many large cities observed “holy week,” in accordance with Catholic customs; and it is but a slight return for their obsequiousness for the Catholics to observe Thanksgiving-day, in accordance with Protestant custom, especially since the observance consists chiefly in gormandizing.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.17

    The Chicago Advance of December 6, in an article on the reasons why fewer men than women attend church, shows the fallacy of the explanation that men are too tired to attend church on Sunday, by saying that “laboring men’s organizations are quite commonly holding their meetings on Sunday. They do not seem to be too tired for that.” And then it continues:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.18

    “It is also plain that the men who do not come to churches include that constantly increasing class who are secularizing Sunday, and making it another work-day. Nothing can be more clear than the fact that the only way to have Sunday a rest day is to keep it a religious day.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.19

    And so, “by the same token,” it appears that every law for the observance of Sunday is a law in favor of religion; and therefore to make laws compelling people to keep Sunday is to make laws to compel them to be religious, and it should need no argument to convince anybody who has ever read the Bible that such a proceeding is directly opposed to the Spirit of Christ and the gospel.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.20

    The San Francisco County Sunday-school Association was organized last week, and a brief report in the Chronicle reveals the fact that there is at least one man in San Francisco who has a level head. The report says:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.21

    “Mrs. Gray, of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, one of the society to take hold of a petition to the Legislature urging it to pass a Sunday law, and a law prohibiting the sale of tobacco to children; but no action was taken in the matter, Chairman Anthony stating that he had no confidence in the average legislator doing anything to promote godliness.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.22

    If Mr. Anthony had only said that he had no confidence in any legislator doing anything in his official capacity to promote godliness, he would have been exactly right. Godliness is obedience to God, and not to man. Human laws concerning religion can never make man godly, nor can they have any tendency in that direction; but if they are severe enough, and are rigidly enforced, they can make first-class hypocrites.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.23

    We heartily indorse the following from the Sunday School Times, in answer to the question if the Jews in compassing the city of Jericho seven days did not thereby violate the Sabbath:-SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.24

    “The record stands that they compassed the city six days, and that on the seventh day they compassed it seven times. This leaves no room for questioning that one of those seven days was the Sabbath. The rabbinical tradition is that the marching began on the first day of the week, and that therefore the last day of the siege was the Sabbath. However this may be, there is nothing in the record that is inconsistent with the true observance of the Sabbath by the Israelites on every one of the seven days. Were they doing their own work on those days? By no means. They were simply following the ark of the Lord; and that is good business for any believer on the Sabbath, or on any other day of the week. The work of destruction in Jericho did not, probably, begin until sundown of the seventh day. In fact, the siege of Jericho was simply a protracted meeting of seven days, with extra services on the last day of the week.”SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.25

    That last sentence has the flavor of originality.SITI December 21, 1888, page 784.26

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