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    May 20, 1889

    “What It Is to Know God” The Signs of the Times, 15, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the article last week on Romans 1:21, entitled, “Glorifying God as God,” it was claimed, and proved, that the proper observance of the Sabbath is the one way by which reverence for the Creator may be shown. The Sabbath is that which preserves the knowledge of God, and when men ignore it they inevitably relapse, sooner or later, into idolatry. The keeping of the Sabbath is the very essence of worship, and when it is kept as God designed it should be kept, it marks the very highest point of Christian life. To some, perhaps to very many, this may seem like too great a claim, but it can seem so only to those who have a low view of what the Sabbath is for. Let us see what the Bible teaches further on this point.SITI May 20, 1889, page 247.120

    It is evident that to know God, in the sense in which the Bible uses the term, is the greatest knowledge that man can attain to. This knowledge is not merely a conception of the intellect, but is that which saves the soul, since spiritual things are only spiritually discerned, and “God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” To worship God means something more than to say that he is God, and to offer prayers to him. Said the Lord: “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:8, 9.SITI May 20, 1889, page 247.121

    When Christ comes, it will be in flaming fire, “taking vengeance on them that know not God.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8. Paul’s highest desire was that he might know the Lord. Philippians 3:10. Through the prophet Jeremiah the Lord said: “Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:24. And when the saints shall have reached the fullness of the blessings of the new covenant, it will not be necessary for the gospel to be preached any more, “for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:32. Thus it appears that to know the Lord is the highest attainment possible to man.SITI May 20, 1889, page 247.122

    But the Sabbath was given in order that men might know God. Thus the Lord says: “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. And again: “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.” Ezekiel 20:20.SITI May 20, 1889, page 247.123

    Now for the proof that in the proper observance of the Sabbath is found the culmination of the knowledge of God. The statement that God blessed the Sabbath-day and hallowed it, because that in it he had rested from all his works (Exodus 2:3), is well known. The Sabbath, therefore, is the memorial of creation; and creative power is that which distinguishes Jehovah from all false gods. But merely resting from physical toil on the Sabbath-day will not suffice to give one a knowledge of God. The Sabbath must be used as a day of meditation upon the wondrous power of God, as manifested in his works. Thus, in the ninety-second psalm, which is a song for the Sabbath-day, which begins with the statement that it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to show forth his faithfulness, we read:-SITI May 20, 1889, page 247.124

    “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 4-6.SITI May 20, 1889, page 247.125

    To be glad in the Lord is the privilege only of those that love the Lord, and are upright in heart. See Psalm 5:11; 32:11. Triumphing is overcoming; therefore he who triumphs in the works of God’s hands is the one who overcomes by the help of God. But there can be nothing more for the Christian than this, for the promise of the Saviour is, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21.SITI May 20, 1889, page 247.126

    But how is it that through the proper observance of the Sabbath we may be glad in the Lord, and may triumph in the work of his hands? Just this way: As we contemplate the heavens, which declare the glory of God, we remember that they came into existence by his word, and that they keep their respective places, not one failing, because he is great in power. Then we remember that “God is love,” and that his love and tenderness are equal to his power. We remember that God so loved the world as to give his Son to die; that Christ was given “to deliver us from this present evil world,”-to save us from our sins,-and then we know that if we desire it and need it in our fight against the flesh, and the devil, all the power of God which was manifested in creation will be exerted in our behalf. When David was in trouble he cried unto the Lord, who heard him, and he says:-SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.1

    “He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly; yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.” “He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me; for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity; but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:9, 10, 16-19.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.2

    And Moses, the man of God, in the blessing wherewith he blessed Israel, said: “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”Deuteronomy 33:26, 27. All the Christian’s hope finds expression in the words, “Thine is the power;” and the power of God can be known only by contemplation of his works, for which the Sabbath was ordained.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.3

    This line of thought might be extended indefinitely. By considering the tiniest flower or insect, we may learn that nothing is too small to escape his loving care. Says Jesus:-SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.4

    “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Matthew 6:28-30. And so, as we consider God’s works, and see how they show his power and his tender loving-kindness, we are glad through them, and, casting all our care upon Him who cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), we are delivered from the power of the adversary, and so we triumph in the works of the Lord.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.5

    Now we can understand more fully the works of the Lord by the prophet Isaiah:-SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.6

    “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” Isaiah 58:13, 14.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.7

    “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:19. E. J. W.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.8

    “An Encouraging Fact” The Signs of the Times, 15, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    While many Protestants are drifting toward Rome, it is encouraging to know that some Catholics are opening their eyes to the superstitious and traditionary errors of Rome. Some who are true patriots become aroused at seeing Rome’s plotting against our Government, while others, finding no peace in soulless forms, and no consistency in Romish error, have sought Jesus Christ as the only Saviour, and the Bible as the only guide.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.9

    Among those who have been instrumental in turning many Catholics away from the darkness of Rome, is “Father” James A. O’Connor, formerly a Catholic priest. He has held services for the past ten years at Masonic Temple, Sixth Avenue and Twenty-third Street, New York City. During this time hundreds of Roman Catholics have turned to Christ. A missionary society was organized and incorporated in 1887, known as “Christ’s Mission.” “Father” O’Connor desired to have it incorporated under the title, “Christ’s Mission for the Conversion of Roman Catholics,” but two Protestant judges of the Supreme Court refused to sign it for fear of offending the Catholics. It was at last incorporated under the above title, signed by a Catholic judge.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.10

    Mr. O’Connor receives no regular salary, trusting to contributions and the circulation of his magazine, the Converted Catholic. He has formed no new church, his object being to lead men from Rome to the Bible and Christ, and then decide for themselves as to what church they should join. His teaching, as he says, is “salvation by the blood of Christ; I know only one way,-repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; I know only one rule of faith and practice,-the Bible as the revealed word of God, to be believed from cover to cover.” His work deserves support from those who are able. May God bless him, and give him many souls for his hire, who shall be led into all truth. His address is, Rev. Jas. A. O’Connor, 60 Bible House, New York City.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.11

    “Why Not?” The Signs of the Times, 15, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We clip the following from the Congregationalist of March 21:-SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.12

    “Dr. Parker proposes, over his own name, a set of seven propositions for public discussion, the first of which is:-SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.13

    “‘The total abolition, as final tests of orthodoxy, of all ecclesiastical creeds, standards, and catechisms, as largely responsible for the infidelity and the hypocrisy of the world.’SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.14

    “Why not insert the word ‘Bibles’ after ‘and catechisms’? What is the use of scolding at the water when nothing is said about the spring from which it flows?”-Congregationalist, March 21, ‘89.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.15

    If the “creeds, standards, and catechisms” came from the Bible, there would be force in what the Congregationalist says; but the Bible cannot be held responsible for the conflicting creeds now dividing Christendom. That book teaches “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.” The creeds and standards no doubt contain Bible truth, but they also contain much error. They are like pure water contaminated and corrupted with foreign and poisonous substances. Many of them are unhealthful reservoirs, a long way off from the spring. Why not drink from the uncorrupted fountain? Why does the Congregationalist object to the Bible as a “final test”?SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.16

    “What Does He Want?” The Signs of the Times, 15, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A correspondent of the New York Observer, Rev. Carlos Martin, claims that New York is “the most foreign of American cities.” He says:-SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.17

    “According to the statistics of Mayor Hewitt, in his letter to the aldermen on the question of raising the Irish flag over the City Hall, there are nearly a million of our people, out of an estimated population of 1,000,000, who are Irish and German-counting foreign-born parents and their native-born children. Add our large Italian, French, Bohemian, Scandinavian, and such-like colonies, and see how high the figures mount. Read the names on the business signs for another test. You might think yourself in Naples, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin-anywhere else than in America.”SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.18

    But notwithstanding the large foreign element, “in New York,” says Mr. Martin, “Sunday revolutionizes the city. One of the most restless and noisy of towns becomes one of the most quiet. The day is (as the statute directs) dies non. It is struck out of the calendar in so far as business is concerned-and pleasure, too, in its more ostentatious and offensive forms. The theaters are closed. The opera is not given. The entire business quarter is locked and barred. Lower Broadway is like a country road.” “The week-day rush and roar is strangely hushed.” And yet the gentleman is not satisfied; he says: “The outward quietude is something to be thankful for. It supplies a congenial environment for Christian worship and work. Let us preserve what we have, and pray and labor for more.” Just what “more” he wants is not explained. Is it a law compelling everybody to go to church?SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.19

    “An Unholy Ambition” The Signs of the Times, 15, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The unholy ambition of unregenerate Christendom (if the term may be allowed) is manifesting itself in the Old World among the nonconformist denominations as well as in America. In this country we have the National Reformers, who are trying to bring everything under their rule; and the following utterance from a celebrated English Baptist divine, Dr. J. Clifford, in an address at Brixton College some time ago, represents a rapidly growing sentiment in England:-SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.20

    “Religion is to direct and control everything,-legislators as well as churches, peers as well as peasants, trade as well as worship, social customs as well as sermons, the equitable distribution of wealth as well as the individual well-being, the treatment of subject and suspected races as well as our own towns.”SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.21

    Jesus said, when this ambition was manifested among the uninstructed anciently:-SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.22

    “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.23

    Is not this instruction as good now as it was then? We commend it to National Reformers.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.24

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We begin this week the publication of a series of short articles on Russia, which we trust will be of interest to all our readers, especially as so many of them are contributing from week to week through the Sabbath-schools to aid in establishing missions in that country. We bespeak for these articles a careful reading.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.25

    We do not recollect ever having seen more error in 66 pages than is contained in a pamphlet entitled, “Some Theological Facts Brought to Light,” by O. H. Harris, “founder of ‘Progressive Christianity,’” Newman, Ill. One proposition which the author labors to prove is that “repentance is the first resurrection.” And this proposition indicates the character of the pamphlet. If that sort of doctrine be “progressive” Christianity, we would prefer to have a more conservative type. The faith once delivered to the saints is good enough for us.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.26

    In harmony with the recommendation of the General Conference Committee, Brother E. M. Morrison sailed, on the 5th inst., for Auckland, New Zealand, to assist those already in that country and Australia to carry forward the work in Australasia. Brother Morrison will take a general oversight of the book work in that field, a branch of the work for which he is especially fitted.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.27

    On the 8th inst., Brother W. C. and wife, Brother J. I. Gibson and wife, Brother Wm. Hutchinson and wife, and others, left Oakland via the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad for various Eastern points. Brother White will attend a number of important meetings in the East, and hopes to return to this coast in the fall. Brother Gibson will spend some weeks in the Review and Herald Office at Battle Creek, Mich., before going to London, where he expects to take a position in the Pacific Press branch office soon to be established there, while Brother and Sister Hutchinson will spend a short time with friends in the East before going to their appointed field of labor in Ireland. May Heaven’s choices blessings attend these brethren and sisters as they go to their respective fields of labor, and may they see the Lord’s work prosper in their hands.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.28

    We have received from the publisher, Fleming H. Revell, 12 Bible House, New York, and 148 and 150 Madison St., Chicago, the “Report of the Missionary Conference” in London for 1888, in two volumes of some 650 pages each. Price, $200. These books are full of the most interesting and profitable matter, and should be in the hands of all who are in any way interested in the success of the Christian missions. Every Christian worker should be intelligent in regard to what is being done by the various mission societies for the spread of the gospel in heathen lands, and we know of no better source of information than these books. They are not made up of dry statistics, but are full of live matter, such as all Christian people will take pleasure in reading.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.29

    We hope that no reader of the SIGNS will pass by or read carelessly the article on page 202 entitled, “Rejected Because Not Understood.” It is well worth a careful perusal, and the most heartily wish that all could have the privilege of reading the book from which it is taken, namely, “The Bible: Its Divine Origin and Entire Inspiration.” In these days when professedly Christian men are sitting in judgment upon the Scriptures, assigning degrees of inspiration to the several books of the sacred volume and to their several parts, electing to reject this, and to receive that, it behooves those who believe that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” not only to be fully persuaded in their own minds, but to be able to give a reasons for the hope that is in them, because of the immutability of the word of God.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.30

    Rev. J. Benson Hamilton has an article in the California Christian Advocate, in which he gives some statistics relative to the support of the superannuates of the M. E. Church, which he says “ought to be written in tears, if tears would stain.” And “they could not,” he says, “be more distressing if written in blood.” According to his showing, the sums contributed by that wealthy church for the support of its worn-out ministers and ministers’ widows are indeed ridiculously small.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.31

    The records of seventy-five conferences show that the highest sum paid to any superannuate is $200, while the average some falls below $100 per annum, while very many receive such niggardly sums as $50, $20, $10, and $5 per annum. We think that Mr. Hamilton puts it none too strongly when he says that “Methodism dishonors herself by reducing to pauperism her honored heroes who laid the foundation of her greatness.”SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.32

    Those who are interested in any way in the question, “Does prohibition prohibit?” should send twenty-five cents to the George W. Crane Publishing Company, Topeka, Kansas, for a copy of “Prohibition in Kansas,” by S. B. Bradford, the ex-Attorney-General of that State. The pamphlet also has an appendix giving the prohibitory law and the pharmacy law, together with the amendment adopted in 1887.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.33

    The author, who is a fearless advocate of prohibition, has had unexampled facilities for informing himself relative to be practical workings of prohibition in Kansas, and no one, whether friend or foe of prohibition, can fail to read his candid, fearless statement of facts with deep interest. Every friend of constitutional and statutory prohibition should not only read but should study Attorney Bradford’s pamphlet, as it will fill their mouths with arguments in favor of prohibition, and the liquor dealers should read it, as it will show them what they will shortly have to meet in other States.SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.34

    Mr. Caine, a Member of Parliament for Barrow-in-Furness, England, a leading temperance man, also an occasional preacher in Baptist pulpits, has been investigating missionary methods in India. “Evangelization,” he says, “proceeds at a pace lamentably slow; missionaries are too few, and for the most part too costly, and much of their time is spent in educational and civilizing work, apart from the preaching of the gospel.” And the Methodist Times of which Rev. Hugh Price Hughes is editor, is publishing articles to show that the educational work of missions originated by Dr. Duff in India, was a “fatal mistake.” It is said that “Mr. Caine’s strictures are beginning to stir many earnest minds.”SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.35

    The following from the Churchman is interesting as showing the real ground of opposition to Sunday newspapers; it is not the labor that is performed on Sunday, but it is because the Sunday paper is a true successful rival of the churches:-SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.36

    “The outcry in England against the appearance in London of a Sunday edition of the New York Herald appears to be a little paradoxical. Everyone knows that in the principal centers of population in England there always have been Sunday papers of more or less respectability. The Observer is a really high-class Sunday paper. The projectors of the Herald evidently consider both Paris and London as mere suburbs of New York, but the opposition to their Sunday edition suggests a question as to the violation of Sunday rest involved in the Monday edition of a paper. It is the Monday paper that requires editors, compositors, and printers, to work on Sunday. Only the publishing and distribution of the Sunday paper demand Sunday labor. It seems a more rational demand that proprietors of newspapers do as Italian papers in this city do, i.e., omit a Monday edition, or else publish it only at noon or afternoon. But, of course, we must not lose sight of what is, after all, the strongest argument against the Sunday paper, namely, that its piquant attractions, its otherworldliness and secularity, distract the minds of people from the religious observance of the week’s one hallowed day.”SITI May 20, 1889, page 295.37

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