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    May 13, 1889

    “Front Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The greatest helps to the understanding of the Bible are an unprejudiced, humble mind, an overruling desire to know just what God’s will is, that it may be performed, and the Bible itself. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” Psalm 25:14.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.79

    The Lord does not ask us to wait till we are worthy before we come to him. If we should do this, we would never seek him. He invites us to come just as we are, with humble hearts, realizing our unworthiness; and then God says, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Could we ask more? Thus by coming in God’s ways, he makes us worthy.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.80

    The statement is definitely made in several London papers that the episcopal bishop of Glasgow has inhibited Canon Wilberforce fro talking temperance in the churches of that diocese, because he cooperates with the ministers of the Church of Scotland in his work. Commenting on this fact the Christian at Work says: “The establishment will not gain much headway in Presbyterian Scotland by this sort of proceedings.” Certainly it ought not to gain much.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.81

    We suppose that some will see in the fact that the new United States cruiser Vesuvius can send four and a half tons of dynamite into another vessel in six minutes, and send a thousand men into eternity in the same time, an evidence of the approach of the time when war will be no more, because it will be so terrible that none will dare engage in it; but to us it is an evidence of the approach of the final clash of the nations of the world before they are dashed to pieces by the Lord at his coming.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.82

    An association has been organized in Japan, the object of which is to maintain Buddhism, especially in view of its political character in the empire. The members pledge themselves, in the selection of representatives in Parliament, provincial assemblies, town councils, or local offices, and in the appointment of school-teachers, officials of societies and business companies, “carefully to exclude all who are disloyal to our emperor or untrue to Buddhism by believing in the foreign religion called Christianity.” This is simply National Reform in the interest of Buddhism. But there is hope for Christianity in the fact that many of the Japanese newspapers which have no special interest in Christianity are condemning severely this attempt to drag religion into the sphere of politics. And it ought to be condemned not only in Japan but in the United States. If it is right that the majority should rule in matters of religion in one country it cannot be wrong in another, and Japan would have the same right to exclude or boycott Christianity that the United States would have to discriminate in religious matters.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.83

    The only real growth in Christian life comes by appropriating God’s word. The Christian is begotten through the word of God (1 Peter 1:21; James 1:18), born of the water and the Spirit (John 3:5); and it is by the word of God that he grows up into Christ, the Incarnate Word. 1 Peter 2:1-5. He must not only read the word, or understand the word, but he must appropriate or engraft the word (James 1:21), till the truth of God becomes a very part of his being. It is this that the psalmist means when he says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.84

    The ceremonies of the Christian religion are few. It needs no more than it has to manifest its true character; for from that individual who possesses true religion, there are ever flowing words and acts which show the hidden spring within. Ceremonies are outward; religion springs from within; its seat is in the affections and principles which control the individual. The multiplying of needless ceremonies, the increase of ritual pomp and splendor, always calls attention from the real inner life to an unreal outer life, till at last religion is lost in form and ceremony. This is the way it was with the early church, and Rome was developed. Are not our Protestant churches walking in the same path in their aping of Rome in ornate display and multiplication of days and times?SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.85

    Said the Father, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Matthew 17:5. Jesus says, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17. Again he says, “Blessed are they that do His [the Father’s] commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. And this is the testimony of the whole of the inspired word-keep the law of God; “for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. But that man cannot keep the law of God is true; nevertheless, it is his duty. And in order that he may perform that duty, and be brought into harmony with his law, God gives him the gracious privilege of doing through Christ what he could not do in his own strength. The righteousness of God is imputed for past sins (Romans 4:5-8; 3:25, 26), the man is regenerated (2 Corinthians 5:17), and his works become the righteousness of faith in Christ; for God works in him to will and to do of his good-pleasure. The law is ever a rule of duty, the gospel is the power of God which brings man into harmony with that rule.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.86

    “Five Short Rules for Christians” The Signs of the Times, 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    1. Never neglect daily private prayer; and when you pray, remember that God is present and hears your prayers. Hebrews 11:5.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.87

    2. Never neglect daily private Bible reading. All backsliding begins with the neglect of these two rules. John 5:39.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.88

    3. Never let a day pass without trying to do something for Jesus. Luke 5:13-15.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.89

    4. If you are in doubt as to a thing being right or wrong, go to your room and kneel down and ask God’s blessing upon it. Colossians 3:17. If you cannot do this, it is wrong. Romans 11:23.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.90

    5. Never take your Christianity from Christians. 2 Corinthians 10:12. Ask yourself, “How would Christ act in my place?” and strive to follow him. John 10:27.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.91

    “Glorify God as God. Romans 1:21” The Signs of the Times, 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Romans 1:21.

    The apostle Paul says of the heathen that they are “without excuse; because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21. We have already seen, from the preceding verse, how they knew God. His eternal power and Godhead are clearly seen by the things that are made. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1. Even the unlearned savage sees in nature evidences of the power and glory of God; and history affords abundant testimony to the fact that the ancient heathen philosophers and priests, although they worshiped idols, and taught the people idolatry, did have knowledge of a supreme Deity. Therefore they were “without excuse.” The heathen do not need a second probation, in order that they may have “a fair chance.” Not a man has ever lived on this earth to whom enough light has not been given either to save him or to witness to the justness of his condemnation.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.92

    “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God.” How could they have glorified him as God? The answer is suggested by the verse which tells how they knew him. How did they know God?-By his works. Then it is evident that to glorify him as God, would have been to honor him as Creator. God has “made his wonderful works to be remembered,” for it is by remembering them that men remember him. And the one thing which he has given as the memorial of his creative power is the Sabbath. Thus the fourth commandment says:-SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.93

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.94

    The fact that Jehovah made the heavens and the earth is that which distinguishes him above all false gods. See Psalm 96:4, 5; Jeremiah 10:10-13. And the seventh-day rest is the one thing which he has given to enable man to remember that it is he that made all these things, and that he alone is worthy of worship. Therefore it is evident that only by keeping the Sabbath according to God’s commandment could the ancients have glorified him as God, and retained their knowledge of him.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.95

    The Scriptures state this fact very clearly. In the song for the Sabbath-day (Psalm 92) the psalmist says: “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High; to show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work; I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.” Verses 1-6. The fool does not consider the works of God’s hands, therefore he says in his heart, “There is no God.”SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.96

    When God chose Abraham from among the heathen, as the one to be the father of the faithful, it was because Abraham alone served him. Afterwards he made the Israelites the depositaries of his law, because, of all the nations, they alone cared to know him. All others had lost the knowledge of God, and like Pharaoh could say, “I know not Jehovah.” Yet to his own chosen people, who had the knowledge of his wonderful works to the children of men, the Lord said: “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Exodus 31:13. The Sabbath alone stood between them and heathenism. If they had kept the Sabbath according to the commandment, they would never have gone into idolatry; when they did join the nations round about them in their corrupt practices, it was only after their neglect of the Sabbath had resulted in their forgetting God, whose mighty power and goodness it commemorated. Thus all the punishment that came upon the Israelites, and all their captivities, were declared to be because they did not keep the Sabbath. Forgetting the Sabbath was a synonym for forgetting God, and indulging in the abominations of the heathen.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.97

    Nowhere is this more clearly set forth than in the twentieth chapter of Ezekiel. So plainly does the Lord there show the connection between Sabbath-breaking and the abominations of idolatry, that a simple reading of the passage is about all that is necessary. Speaking of the children of Israel, the Lord says:-SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.98

    “Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness; they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my Sabbaths they greatly polluted; then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness. But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols; I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God. Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me; they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my Sabbaths; then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.” Ezekiel 20:12-21.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.99

    From this it is evident that Sabbath-breaking always led to idolatry. The twentieth verse plainly states that the Sabbath was the means by which the Israelites could retain their knowledge of God. They could not by any possibility keep the Sabbath and be idolaters at the same time; neither could they be idolaters so long as they kept the Sabbath as God commanded them.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.100

    The Sabbath, therefore, as the safeguard against idolatry, is the mark of true religion. In the proper observance of the Sabbath, we find the highest expression of Christian life. Without the observance of the Sabbath, there can be no real worship of God; for he who does not worship God as the Creator of all things, does not glorify him as God; and the Sabbath is that by which we acknowledge him as Creator.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.101

    It is often stated by the people who call themselves National Reformers, that the Sabbath is the only safeguard against heathenism; that if a nation ceases to keep the Sabbath, it will inevitably run into heathenism. This is true, as we have shown; but it is not true as they say it, because by the word “Sabbath” they refer to Sunday; and Sunday, instead of being a safeguard against heathenism, is the “wild solar holiday of all pagan times.” There is nothing in the observance of Sunday that can show anything whatever about God. Only the seventh day can be the memorial of creation, for only on that day did God rest, and it was that day only that he blessed and set apart. The first day cannot, as it is claimed, be the memorial of the resurrection of Christ; for it was never appointed as such a memorial, even as it could not appropriately commemorate such an event. Besides, in baptism we have the divinely appointed memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ. So, as before stated, there is nothing about Sunday which can show the power of God, any more than could be shown by Monday or Friday.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.102

    The form of idolatry which has existed almost universally from the most ancient times, is sun-worship, for which Sunday stands. This was the day dedicated to the sun, and observed by the heathen, not as a Sabbath, but as a day of wild, unbridled, sensual indulgence. And so, as sun-worship, with all its attendant abominations, stands as God’s great rival in the allegiance of mankind, Sunday stands opposed to the Sabbath, as the holiday universally observed by men when they ceased to glorify the Creator as God. E. J. W.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.103

    “Peace” The Signs of the Times, 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Peace is not a feeling or an emotion, but a condition. We are not at peace because a pleasurable, self-satisfied feeling reigns within, but because we have complied with those conditions which bring peace. So is our peace with God. Many look in a wrong direction for peace, and do not know it when it comes. God is not at enmity with us. It is the carnal mind which “is enmity against God.” Romans 8:7. But when the sinner capitulates, lays down his arms of rebellion, when he renounces the carnal heart, and yields himself to God’s law, in short, when he complies with the conditions of peace,-repentance toward God and faith in Christ—he is at peace with God. He has naught against God, and the Lord has naught against him. There is naught between them. Whatever joy or solace is present in the individual, there is peace between him and God. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.104

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We learn from the Japan Gazette, published in Yokohama, that Brother A. La Rue is now in that city. Brother La Rue has for several years past been laboring as a ship missionary in Honolulu and Hongkong, and already considerable fruit of his labors has been seen. May the blessing of the Lord of the vineyard still attend his efforts.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.105

    One of our brightest little exchanges is the Moral and Scientific Companion, published at Florence, Arizona. Besides its contributions in the way of articles and cuts of the flora, fauna, and curiosities and customs of Arizona, it is making a brave and logical fight for civil and religious liberty, or freedom to worship God according to the dictates of one’s conscience. It is published monthly, and is well worth its price, twenty-five cents a year. May it grow and prosper in what it so well advocates.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.106

    The wife of a prominent Chicago clergyman and editor of a religious paper was detected recently in the act of shop-lifting, and was arrested. Influential friends succeeded in compromising the case, and now it is explained that the lady is the victim of kleptomania, which is nothing more than a violation of the tenth commandment gone to seed, and the legitimate fruit is theft, a violation of the eighth commandment. Commenting on this case, a secular paper says:-SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.107

    “This case shows the prevalence of what is apologetically called kleptomania. It is very doubtful whether one woman in ten caught in this mean species of theft is really insane. The great majority are consumed by a desire to outshine their neighbors in dress, and, not having the means to purchase costly goods, resort to stealing. It is doubtful whether the compromise of such cases is a good thing, as, despite the hardships to individuals, a few punishments dealt out would do a great deal to check a vice that has become lamentably common.”SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.108

    We hope that our readers will not fail to read “Hindu Widows,” found on another page; and try to realize, if they can, that some such custom as this might have been prevalent among us had it not been for Christianity and its educating, humanizing, elevating influences. We often take the glory of all our good deeds, or lack of extremely bad ones, to ourselves; but if we had, in the darkness of heathenism, we too would have been heathens. It is only because the light and liberty and beauty of Christianity has fallen upon the nations of the Orient, that makes these terrible customs look so dark. And how it ought to stir every true Christian to do all in his power to reach with the light of the Word those who are in darkness.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.109

    Up to the time of closing this paper full particulars of Elder J. H. Waggoner’s death had not been received, but a brief letter from a Brother John Vuilleumier, Basel, Switzerland, confirms the sad news received on the 17th ult., by cable, and also the opinion that his death was very sudden. As was supposed, Brother Waggoner worked up to the very last, the day before his death being one of unusual activity. He was found dead at six o’clock in the morning, in his kitchen, whether it is supposed she had gone an hour before to procure some means of relief from pain which it is thought he was suffering. It seems, however, that his last night must for the most part have been one of quiet, as his wife knew nothing of his absence from her side till a few minutes before she discovered him cold and death.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.110

    After a suspension of nearly five months, caused by the death of its former editor, Rev. H. Friedlaender, The Peculiar People, a Christian journal devoted to Jewish interests, again makes its appearance, this time as a monthly instead of a weekly publication as formerly. In his salutatory, the new editor, Rev. W. C. Daland, says that “there is between the Jews and the Christian nations a misunderstanding centuries old,” and that to correct this will be his work. “The Peculiar People,” he says, “will strive to show the Jews that Christians are not all Jew-haters, that many Christians have a sincere regard and a great care for the true welfare of Israel.” It will also “strive to show Gentile Christians that they have totally misconceived the Jewish spirit, that they have undertaken by a wrong method to win the Jewish nation; namely, by Gentilizing the Jews instead of giving them the pure gospel and leaving them to become Christian Jews.”SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.111

    The resuscitated journal has a wide, rather uncompromising field, but while we have no expectation of ever seeing the Jews as a people embrace Christ, we doubt not that there are among them many who may be reached and saved by the gospel of Christ. In this work we bid The Peculiar People Godspeed.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.112

    Before us lies a Mexican Spanish newspaper, published in San Francisco, the date line of which reads as follows:-SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.113

    “San Francisco, Sabado, Mayo 4 de 1889,” which, being translated in English, is, San Francisco, Sabbath, May 4, 1889.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.114

    It means this, that while neither Mexicans nor Spaniards observe the Sabbath of the Lord, they know no other name for the seventh day of the week but Sabbath. May 4 was Saturday, and we here have the witness of the language of the nation to its right to the sacred title of “Sabbath.”SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.115

    But this is not the only witness. Before us hangs a chart of the week designed by Rev. W. M. Jones, a London antiquarian, assisted by Prince Lucien Napoleon Bonaparte, which shows that the regular succession of the days of the week are the same in 160 different languages and dialects; and 108 of these recognize Saturday, the seventh day, by the name Sabbath. Fifty-two of these languages are European, and the remainder Oriental and African. We have the united testimony of the Japhetic, the Semitic, and the Hamitic races to the right of the seventh day to the title of Sabbath. Let no one say in the face of this testimony that we cannot tell which the seventh day is, or which day is the original Sabbath. This language-proof is the testimony of the ages.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.116

    The Frontier is a journal published at Spokane Falls, Washington Territory. A copy of its issue of February has been sent us which contains a marked editorial against the work of obtaining signatures to the remonstrances against religious legislation. The writer believes in religious legislation and what he calls liberty. He refused to sign a remonstrance against religious legislation, or allow the petition to be circulated in his rooms. His ability to judge of what is liberty, can be estimated from the opening sentence, as follows:-SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.117

    “A man who was in faith a Seventh-day Adventists came to our rooms recently with a petition to the Legislature, asking that the section in the Constitution of the United States in reference to the strict observance of the Sabbath, be not inserted in the new charter for the State of Washington.”SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.118

    First, there is no section in the Constitution of the United States in reference to the strict observance or any observance of the Sabbath; and secondly, no such petition was ever circulated in Washington Territory. The petitions were that the Constitution of the United States should remain as it is. The Frontier had better get into the civilization of the district school.SITI May 13, 1889, page 247.119

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