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    April 1, 1889

    “Front Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The German Government has issued a white book disavowing the acts of Consul Knappe in Samoa. Bismarck declares that Knappe had no authority either to declare war or martial law.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.49

    Complaint having been made to the Pope by an agent of the French Government of the support given to General Boulanger, Leo is reported to have said that it would be impossible for him to interfere in the matter.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.50

    It has been stated that England’s drink bill is diminishing, but the facts are that it footed up $623,615,605 last year against $621,736,845 in 1887. The amount per capita declined, however, sixty cents, namely, from $16.80 to $16.20.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.51

    The Shanghai correspondent of the London Standard says that the number of deaths caused by the famine in Shan Tun is appalling. Many of the inhabitants are committing suicide through despondency, there being still three months to wait for the harvest.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.52

    D. L. Moody has given notice that he will begin on the 4th inst., in Chicago a convention of Christian workers, similar to that held in the summer at Northfield. These meetings will continue from thirty to sixty days, and “instruction will be given by well-known leaders of Christian thought and action.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.53

    “This seems to be rather a Presbyterian Administration,” remarks a Washington correspondent of a prominent New York paper, and so it seems, for it is stated that the President and all of his Cabinet except Rusk and Proctor are Presbyterians. Mr. Proctor and Vice-President Morton are Episcopalians, and Mr. Rusk, it is understood, makes no profession whatever.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.54

    Dr. Riordan, Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, says that the people of the United States are drifting “into deism. The religious bodies outside the Catholic Church are suffering greater losses than we have to bear. On the whole, we are holding our own. It is, I think, beginning to be generally recognized that the time is coming when we shall simply have two forms of belief face to face-deism and Catholicism.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.55

    Well, if that is our fate, the former is as good as the latter, one is unchristian, the other anti christian. We prefer, however, the truth of God and the religion of Christ. Its allurements may be few, but they will triumph over all opposition.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.56

    According to Public Opinion there are 1,218 Young Men’s Christian Associations in America, 622 in England, Ireland, and Scotland, 1,392 in Germany, Holland, and Switzerland, 200 in Japan, and 553 in 18 other countries. “It is an interesting fact,” says that journal, “that there is an organization at Nazareth, where Christ lived for thirteen years, and at Jerusalem, where he was crucified.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.57

    Some of the most earnest supporters of the bill which recently passed the Missouri Legislature, declaring that only the English language shall be taught in the public schools of that State, were Germans. One of these is reported as saying that there is no more reason why German should be taught in the public schools than that the State should furnish instruction in Hungarian, Chaldaic, or Chinese.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.58

    It is announced from New York that the Evangelist Yatman, who has recently returned to that city from a trip to the West, is now busy with a scheme which he is pleased to call a college on wheels. He proposes to obtain a number of Pullman cars and arrange sections in them for men who are to receive students in the work of evangelization. He intends to take the cars and men over the entire world, preaching the gospel wherever they go. The experiment will first be tried with fifty students. Mr. Yatman says he already has fully 1,000 applications.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.59

    The controversy between Canadian Catholics and Protestants over the award to the former of $400,000 in lieu of estates confiscated by George III. grows more bitter. The Toronto Globe has published what purports to be the oath taken by all Jesuits, in which they swear allegiance to the Pope and renounce all allegiance to any “heretical king, prince, or sect named Protestant.” For the publication of this oath the Globe has been sued for libel, and thus there is a prospect that the vexed question of the Jesuit’s oath will be judicially settled, though it is too much to hope that Jesuits will tell the truth in regard to the matter, even under oath. Their mental reservation tenet will excuse them for any amount of perjury for the good of the church.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.60

    The following from the Guatemalan Star of January 5 presents the true type of the Catholic pago-papal Sunday, as that day has been observed much of the time for the last thirteen hundred years:-SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.61

    “The bull-fight of last Sunday was more than usually exciting. One man had an arm broken, and two horses were killed by being gored in the breast by the enraged and desperate toro.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.62

    The same paper speaks of a theater and an election held that day. What a comedy it shows to be the so-called increasing religious and enlightened civilization of these days. Not that the degrading bull-fight is any more brutalizing on Sunday than any other day, but it shows that the people have not conscience enough to keep an institution which they hold as sacred. A civil law to compel Sunday observance would not help the sin any. Their hearts would be in the bull-fight just the same. And this, after all, is in harmony with the true spirit of the origin of Sunday sacredness.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.63

    “Faith and Humility” The Signs of the Times, 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The words, “The just shall live by faith,” which were commented upon last week, in the article, “Living by Faith,” suggested a few other thoughts that could not, for lack of space, be given in that article. The apostle quoted only the last half of the verse, as it was all that specially applied to the subject he was considering, but we may well note the whole. It is this: “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.64

    This text connects faith and humility in the closest relation. Faith exists only in connection with lowliness of mind. This is shown by those texts which teach that only the humble can please God. Proverbs 11:2 says that “when pride cometh, then cometh shame; but with the lowly is wisdom.” The prophet says too: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit,” and that “trembleth at my word.” Isaiah 57:15; 66:2. It is through the prayer of faith that we receive grace to help in time of need; and Peter says that “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace unto the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5. So both faith and humility are requisite, and faith cannot exist without humility, as we shall see.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.65

    Faith is dependence upon another. If we have faith in Christ, we depend upon him. The man who is full of self-confidence will not depend upon another. No man will use crutches until he finds that his unaided limbs will not support his body; so no man will depend upon Christ for salvation until he finds that he cannot be saved by his own works. But to find out that one’s own righteousnesses are but as filthy rags; to be fully sensible that one is wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, must produce humility; or, rather, to be sensible of such a condition is itself humility. But one must realize and acknowledge himself to be in this condition before he will accept Christ, who alone can give him health, food, raiment, and true riches. The man who feels that he is starving will gladly accept food when it is offered; so the sinner who comes to himself, and realizes that his only food is husks, will eagerly take the bread of life. He who thinks that his filthy rags are a prince’s garment, will not accept anything better; but he who sees his condition just as it is will gladly accept the robe of Christ’s righteousness. But in Christ are hid all the riches of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3), and the lowly of heart will accept him, and so it is that “with the lowly is wisdom.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.66

    “Behold his soul which is lifted up, is not upright in him;” that is, the soul of the proud is not just; “but the just shall live by his faith.” Therefore the just man is not lifted up. Walking humbly with God is what is required of men, which shows that without humility one cannot walk with God. This is shown, also, by the invitation of 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30. A yoke of humility and meekness cannot be easy to the neck of pride. From this we can understand how it is that everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord. The reason is that everyone that is proud in heart is corrupt in heart; for, says the Scripture, “Only by pride cometh contention.” Proverbs 13:10. For one to lift himself up in pride is to set himself against God. It was this that caused the fall of Satan in Heaven. Says the Lord through his prophet: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” Ezekiel 28:17. He became so puffed up with a sense of his own importance that he could not receive commands from the Lord, and as the result he was cast as profane out of the mountain of God. If that was the effect upon one of the highest angels in Heaven, how heinous pride must be in one who is poor and vile.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.67

    “The just shall live by faith.” That means that a man can live a just life only by retaining that humble simplicity that will lead him to distrust himself and to trust God. If when he has run well for a season, by the grace of God, he begins to think that the strength which has enabled him to gain victories resides within himself, then he will fall; for says the Scripture, “A man’s pride shall bring him low; but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.” Proverbs 29:23. So it is that “pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18. When a man is high up, he is apt to become dizzy-headed; and when he is in that condition, and has no strength at all, then he must surely fall. But there is no such danger to the humble-minded man, for, as Bunyan aptly puts it-SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.68

    “He that is down needs fear no fall.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.69

    “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6. Humility leads to exaltation, that is, if the individual humbles himself, the faith which he exercises as the result of humility, makes him one with Christ, and in Christ he is lifted up to sit in heavenly places. This exaltation is nothing less than being owned as a son of God; but the world will not recognize it, because it knew him not. “That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination with God;” consequently that which is most esteemed by God is regarded as of little value among men. Therefore whoever would follow the Lord, must make up his mind to be of little repute. If all men speak well of him, and applaud him, he may know that his way is not pleasing to God. May the Lord help us to see ourselves, not as others see us, but as he sees us; and then may we accept his grace and righteousness, so that he may see us as he wishes to see us. W.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.70

    “The Divinity of Christ. (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times, 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Perhaps as strong an argument for the divinity of Christ as can be found in the Bible, aside from positive statements, is contained in Matthew 19:17, for it is Christ’s own claim that he was God. It is even more emphatic than John 14:9. A young man, a ruler, came to Christ and said: “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” and Jesus replied:-SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.71

    “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God; but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.72

    What did Christ mean by his counter question? Did he mean to reprove the young man for calling him good? Did he mean to disclaim that epithet? Not by any means, for he was absolutely good; he was goodness personified. He could say with all confidence, to the wicked Jews who were constantly on his track, trying to find something to bring against him, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” Peter says of him that he “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22. But stronger still is the statement of the writer to the Hebrews, that he is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” Hebrews 7:26. There can be no question but that he was good.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.73

    Then what did he mean by saying, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God”? He meant to impress upon the young man’s mind the fact that the one whom he was addressing as Master was not a mere man, as one of the rabbis, but that he was God. He claimed for himself absolute goodness, and since there is none good but God, he thereby identified himself with God. And with this we may connect the statement of the apostle Paul, that “in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.74

    There being this perfect likeness between the Father and the Son-this oneness-it would naturally follow that in very many instances in the Bible it is impossible to tell which one is specially referred to, and in many cases when the word God is used reference is doubtless had to both. But two or three passages which undoubtedly refer to Christ, and which give to him all the power and glory of the Godhead, must be quoted. The first is Psalm 50:1-6:-SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.75

    “The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself.” Psalm 50:1-6.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.76

    Reference may be made to this text in another connection; it is sufficient here to read it and call attention to it as describing the second coming of Christ. Another text somewhat similar is Habakkuk 3:3-6. “God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had bright beams coming out of his side [margin]; and there was the hiding of his power. Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. He stood, and measured the earth; he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow; his ways are everlasting.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.77

    Here we have unmistakable reference to the coming of the Lord. His power and Godhead could hardly be more sublimely presented. Note the words, “He had bright beams coming out of his side; and there was the hiding of his power.” It was from the side of Christ that the mingled blood and water flowed, which showed that his heart had been broken for sinners. The wounds of Jesus are the pledge of his love to sinners. From his side flowed the blood which “cleanseth us from all sin.” But if that blood is despised, those wounds become as powerful for wrath as for salvation. By his great sacrifice he showed his infinite power to redeem and to destroy. That the sight of the wounds of Jesus will deepen the fear and anguish of sinners is indicated by the words: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” Revelation 1:7.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.78

    But perhaps the strongest language of all, as showing the divinity and majesty of Christ, is found in Isaiah. The prophet says:-SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.79

    “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:1-5.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.80

    We should not know to whom this refers, if our Saviour himself had not, in John 12:40, 41, quoted Isaiah’s words in the tenth verse of this chapter, and applied them to himself. From these texts we have proof not only that the inspired writers call Jesus the divine Son of God, but that Jesus himself claimed to be God. W.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.81

    “From Faith to Faith. Romans 1:17” The Signs of the Times, 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Romans 1:17.

    “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.82

    This expression has been the subject of much learned discussion by theologians, and very few of them are agreed as to its meaning. The fact that learned men are disagreed in regard to it, need not frighten us from it with the thought that it cannot be understood, for we read that things hidden from the wise and prudent are revealed unto babes. If we are but simple enough to accept the obvious Scripture meaning, as explained by the Scriptures, we need not be in darkness.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.83

    One of the greatest causes of the failure of many people to understand the book of Romans, and indeed any other portion of Scripture, is a failure to hold to first principles and Bible definitions. Men attempt to define some terms according to their theological training, and find it hard work to make them fit. Then if they at one time accept the Bible definition of a term, they do not adhere to it, but give it some other meaning the next time they meet with it. This can lead to nothing else but confusion.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.84

    The cause of the difficulty in understanding this text, is a failure to cling to the Bible definition of the term, “the righteousness of God.” We have already seen that it is an expression indicating God’s character, and that his character is set forth in the ten commandments. They sum up the whole duty of man, which is to be like God. The law, having been transgressed, cannot, as a matter of course, be perfectly represented in any person’s life, and so the gospel was devised, that man might in Christ find the perfect righteousness of the law. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, because it makes manifest the righteousness of God. Not only is the law-the righteousness of God-preached, and its majesty upheld, by the gospel, but by the gospel the fruits of righteousness are made to appear in the life of the believer.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.85

    Some would make “righteousness of God” in this text synonymous with “justification.” That is all right, if they do not limit the application of the text to the moment of justification from past transgression. It is the application of the law in Christ to the life of the transgressor that justifies him. Through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, God by his grace counts the past life of the sinner who believes as though it had been in every respect, in accord with his law. This is justification. It is the revelation, or manifestation, through the gospel, of the righteousness of God. But the text says that this is revealed “from faith to faith;” and this can mean nothing else but a progressive work of righteousness. The verse teaches that the righteousness of God is revealed from one degree of faith to a higher degree of faith, and consequently that righteousness must ever be on the increase. This is shown by the quotation which the apostle makes to prove his statement. It must be that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, he argues, because it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” The force of this is found in the fact that the Christian life, which is the result of faith, is progressive. The Christian life is a continual growth. Peter says: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:17, 18. The only way to keep from falling from that which we have, is to grow. David says of the righteous man that “he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.” Psalm 1:3. This means continual growth.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.86

    We read of the path of the just, that it “shall be as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18. But “the just shall live by faith;” therefore it must be that their faith increases.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.87

    Again, Paul says to the Corinthians: “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.88

    To the Thessalonians he wrote: “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12. And again he said: “But we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16. But faith works by love; that is, love is the outgrowth of true faith; therefore increasing love must be the result of increasing faith.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.89

    To the Hebrews, the apostle wrote: “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.” Hebrews 6:1. And in the epistle to the Philippians Paul said: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, 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.” Philippians 3:12-14. Here is set forth a continual reaching out for some higher attainment. The calling of God in Christ Jesus, is a calling to holy or righteous living, for we read: “But like as he which called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living; because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15, 16, Revised Version.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.90

    This righteousness to which we are called, and for higher attainments in which we must constantly press, is obtained only by faith, as Paul expresses his desire to be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Philippians 3:9. Therefore, since righteousness comes only by faith, and it must increase, it follows that faith must also increase. So it was not a vain prayer which the disciples uttered, when they said, “Lord, increase our faith.” Luke 17:5.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.91

    That faith is susceptible of growth, is plainly declared by the Scriptures. Paul had hope that when the faith of the Corinthian brethren was increased, he should be helped by them to preach the gospel in the regions beyond them. 2 Corinthians 10:15, 16. To the Thessalonians he wrote that he prayed exceedingly night and day, that he might see them, and might perfect that which was lacking in their faith. 1 Thessalonians 3:10. And still later he wrote: “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth.” 2 Thessalonians 1:3.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.92

    This last text contains the whole of the argument that we have made. Their faith grew, and as a consequence their charity abounded. Charity, or love, is the fulfilling of the law. It is the manifestation of the righteousness of God, and is a result of true faith, for faith works by love, and the only righteousness which will be accepted when the Lord comes is that which is by the faith of Christ, “the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Such being the teaching of Scripture, there is no reason why we should not understand Romans 1:17 just as it reads: The righteousness of God is revealed, or manifested, from faith to faith.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.93

    One or two notable instances recorded in Scripture will illustrate this. The apostle records that “by faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” Hebrews 11:31. This case has been a cause of stumbling to some who have not given careful thought to it. It is well known that Rahab lied to the men sent by the king of Jericho to seize the spies (see Joshua 2:2-6), and they imagine that in saving her God placed a premium on lying, and that it is right sometimes to lie. Neither is true. Rahab was saved, not because of her lie, but because of her faith. She, in common with all the people of Jericho, had heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea, and how he had led the Israelites; but she alone, of all the inhabitants of Jericho, believed that the hand of the Lord was in the matter, and that he had given the land of Canaan to the Israelites. She had simple faith, but was totally ignorant of God’s law. In the code of heathen morality, lying was accounted a virtue, and she knew nothing better. But her faith made it possible for her to be saved, and brought her into a place where she could learn righteousness. As a natural consequence her faith in God would increase when she learned more of him. In her case we have a clear instance of the revelation of the righteousness of God from faith to faith.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.94

    The same thing is true of Cornelius. He feared God with all his house, and gave much alms, and “prayed to God always.” As a consequence, an angel was sent to him, directing him to send for Peter, who should tell him what he ought to do.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.95

    The sum of the whole thing is that it is faith that brings God near to us. If we first believe that he is, he will reveal himself to us more fully. If we rejoice in that light and walk in it, our faith will be increased, and that will bring more light. As with Rahab, so with all. God does not grant us a blessing because we are righteous, but in order that we may become righteous. When our faith brings us to Christ, it is that we may learn of him. To our faith we add virtue and knowledge. But as faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, it follows that the more we really know—accept—of the word of God, the greater will be our faith. And so, increasing daily in faith, the just go on from strength to strength, until the dawning of the perfect day ushers them into the immediate presence of God. W.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.96

    “Questions Answered” The Signs of the Times, 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Will the reading of Matthew 19:28, in the original, allow the interpretation like this, that those who follow Christ in the work of regeneration of the heart, will sit upon thrones?”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.97

    No, neither in the original, nor anywhere else. No person can follow Christ in the regeneration of the heart, because Christ was never regenerated. He “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” We can’t imagine what idea one could have of Christ to imagine such a reading of the text. The meaning is obvious, namely, that they who followed Christ will in the regeneration sit on twelve thrones. When is the regeneration? “When the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory.” Why is that time called a regeneration? Simply because it is such. “He that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5. Just as the creation of the heavens and the earth is called their generation (Genesis 2:4), and is described in the book of Genesis, which takes its name from that which it records, so the making all things new is called the regeneration, palingenesis, another genesis, the first part of the word, palin, meaning “again.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.98

    The text has no reference to the regeneration of individuals. That is a work that must be done here.The man who is not born again cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.99

    “In 1 Timothy 1:15, 16 does Paul mean to say that he obtained mercy because he was chief of sinners, that thereafter those who were great sinners might be encouraged to hope in God?”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.100

    In verse 16 he says that he obtained mercy, that in him “Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” Of course the fact that Paul had been “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious,” would give the greater hope to those who should after believe on Christ. The fact which Paul states in verse 16, as the reason why he obtained mercy, is the same that he gives as the reason why any are saved: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7. All who are saved will be “to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:6.SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.101

    “Please explain how it may be ascertained that the Pentecost was fifty days after the departure from Egypt. Can you give us Bible authority that will show that the Pentecost was given as a memorial of the giving of the law, fifty days after the departure from Egypt?”SITI April 1, 1889, page 186.102

    The Pentecost was fifty days after the Passover, and the Passover was the memorial of the departure from Egypt; but Pentecost was not celebrated fifty days after the departure from Egypt, nor for forty years after, for it was not to be celebrated until the Israelites reached the land of Canaan, and reaped a harvest. Leviticus 23:10-21. There is no Bible authority to show that it commemorated the giving of the law. The idea that it did is borrowed from a Jewish tradition, but the tradition cannot be traced back earlier than the time of Christ. So far as we can learn from the Bible, Pentecost was simply a feast of thanksgiving for the harvest. There is no evidence that it had any reference whatever to the giving of the law. The presumption is against there being any connection between the two events, for if there were, the Scriptures would certainly say something about it. For that matter, it is a disputed question whether or not the giving of the law was just fifty days after the departure from Egypt. Expositors differ, and as it is not a vital point, it is not worth while to spend much time discussing it. W.SITI April 1, 1889, page 200.1

    “A Manifestation of Love” The Signs of the Times, 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Love for a people is not always manifested in yielding compliance to their wishes. This is shown in the conduct of Moses and Aaron. Aaron’s love for the people-if it could be called love-led him to yield to them without reproving them; but, when he was reproved, he endeavored to excuse himself by censuring the people, although his own sin was so great that if it had not been for the intercession of Moses, he would have been destroyed. Deuteronomy 9:20. But Moses, “meek above all men,” sternly reproves the people, “Ye have sinned a great sin.” But is this because of his anger?-No; but his love. He continues, “And now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.” Exodus 32:30.SITI April 1, 1889, page 200.2

    And then the “man of God” goes up to meet with the Lord, to plead with him for poor, rebellious, foolish Israel. He is persistent; for forty days and nights he pleads with God. He says: “I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned.” Deuteronomy 9:18. The desire of his soul swallowed up all else. He pleads God’s mercy and goodness, his love and promises. The Spirit of his great Antitype breathes through the prayer; he will give his very life for the people. Exodus 32:32. His prayer is heard. Aaron was moved by motives wholly selfish; Moses by motives wholly unselfish. Aaron’s seeming kindness was destruction to the people. Moses’ reproof was their salvation. “Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness; and let him reprove me, it shall be as oil upon the head; let not my head refuse it.” Psalm 141:5; Revised Version.SITI April 1, 1889, page 200.3

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We sincerely hope that our readers will not pass by or read carelessly the article of Sister White on the first page. There is instruction in it which will prove a help to all if they will apply it. May it help some to realize the responsibility.SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.1

    Brother La Rue writes from Hongkong, China, that the Lord is opening up the way for the work there in a wonderful manner. He says: “God has a care over us and our work; and we know that all is well. We are of good courage, and are doing what we can to spread the truth.” He also speaks of the great activity of the friends of the Sunday and of their efforts to secure a Sunday law for Hongkong harbor. It is certainly not without significance that in almost every quarter of the globe the question of a better observance of the Sunday is being agitated.SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.2

    The Golden Gate expresses the belief that “it is in the power of Spiritualists to make their mediums honest.” “This they can surely do,” says the paper, “if they will encourage none others.” But what, we would ask, would be gained if mediums were made honest? It is generally, if not universally, acknowledged by Spiritualists that the spirits themselves are not honest, that they impersonate each other and practice all sorts of deception; what then is to be gained by having honest mediums of communication between them and those who stand ready to be deceived by them?SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.3

    The Christian Register (Unitarian) says:-SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.4

    “It is pretty hard to find a fairly consistent Sabbatarian. Consciously or unconsciously, our more strait-laced brethren yield their logic or their practice under the influence of the spirit of the age.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.5

    No wonder it is hard for the Register to find a “consistent Sabbatarian,” for the very next sentence in the editorial note from which we quote, reveals the fact that it looks only among Sunday keepers, and, as applied to such, the term “Sabbatarian” is a misnomer. If the editor of the Register really wants to find a consistent Sabbatarian, we can tell him where he can find a goodly number of them, but it will not be in the ranks of those who observe Sunday. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord,” and, though the name has been stolen, and is many applied by many to the first day, the appellation “Sabbatarian” belongs, according to the lexicographers, only to those who observe the day specified in the fourth commandment.SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.6

    The following item from a late Honolulu paper will be of interest to the readers of the SIGNS:-SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.7

    “The bark Kalakaua will sail for Hongkong to-morrow in command of Captain Duncan. She will call at Johnson’s, Wake’s, Week’s, and Kalo Deparagos Islands in search of the schooner Phoebe Chapman, Captain Lovell, which left here July 31st for Tahiti and the other islands, has not since been heard of. It is thought by some experienced navigators that the schooner got out of her course and was caught on one of these islands that are grouped about 15 degrees N. and 176 degrees W. The missing vessel belongs to the Seventh-day Adventists, and had on board, besides Mr. Cudney, a missionary of that denomination, several passengers for different points in the Pacific. Her whole voyage, including a trip to San Francisco, was calculated to take six months. She is about seven months out now and two or three reports of her having been at Tahiti have turned out to be without foundation. It will be remembered that the schooner General Segal was given up as lost with all hands for about a year, when her fate was discovered and her company rescued by the schooner Mana from a lonely island on which they had been cast away.”SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.8

    We hope to be able erelong to chronicle the news of the rescue of Brother Cudney and those with whom he sailed, even should their vessel prove to have been lost.SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.9

    It is stated that the President is quite a strict observer of Sunday, and that it is very quiet at the White House upon that day. Not a stroke of work is done in the executive offices, and the family rooms are as quiet as the Harrison home at Indianapolis used to be on a Sunday. Few people call, and not one of these on anything approaching business or politics. So strict is the observance that the President’s mail is not opened upon that day.SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.10

    This is, however, nothing more than is to be expected. Mr. Harrison is a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, and has, of course, been accustomed to strict Sunday observance. We fancy, however, that, though a great man, he would, were he inquired of on the subject, be compelled to give a very small reason for regarding the first day of the week as sacred. All, high and low, rich and poor, fail to find in the Scriptures any authority for Sunday keeping. However, so far as men are concerned, the President has a perfect right to keep that day as strictly as he desires.SITI April 1, 1889, page 201.11

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