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    June 17, 1889

    “Front Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    All the humanity of the world, all the divinity of Heaven, and all the evil of hell, is embraced in the three words, love, sin, and duty. The impulses which govern us, the forces which control the universe, the anomalies of our present life, and the mysteries and vast possibilities of the life to come, all are brought within the scope and meaning of the solemn words.SITI June 17, 1889, page 295.177

    Improve well the opportunities and fill up the privileges of to-day, for to-day, only is thine. Yesterday is dead to thee for ever; its records of good and evil are sealed up for eternity. To-morrow, with its hopes and fears, is not yet born to thee; the light of its sunshine may never fall upon thy countenance. But to-day is thine. Thank God for its choice, endure patiently its sorrows, and press nobly forward in the discharge of all its duties. Use its moments well, for they will soon be thine no more forever.SITI June 17, 1889, page 295.178

    Spiritualism claims 20,000,000 adherents, which is certainly a very moderate estimate, for there are hundreds of thousands in the so-called orthodox church who are Spiritualists in all but name; that is, they believe the fundamental doctrines of Spiritualism. Thousands in all the churches believe that their departed friends are their guardian angels, watching over them and shielding them from a thousand unknown and unseen dangers, and influencing them in some mysterious way for good. Such persons are to all intents and purposes Spiritualists.SITI June 17, 1889, page 295.179

    We are prone to think that because men died for their faith in past ages, the sublime issues which rendered such heroism necessary on their part must always be sublime. While it may be true that the record of these issues, and perhaps some of the questions themselves, will always be sublime in a certain sense, it is not true that they are sublime in the sense of being the living issues of to-day. The ministry of to-day is too ready to dwell in the midst of a dead past, instead of taking up the vital, present truths that so intimately concern our own time. If we are of the impression that God gave all his truth to past generations, we labor under a mistake. There are truths which concern the people of God to-day, living truths, burning questions, which were unnecessary for them to know in past generations, and these are the sublime issues upon which we should dwell, instead of relegating our labors to the domain of the past.SITI June 17, 1889, page 295.180

    As reported in the Los Angeles Tribune of May 23, Dr. Cantine (Methodist), of that city, said in a recent sermon that “Christ laid an injunction upon the disciples to keep the seventh day of the week, but after Christ’s resurrection the disciples met on the first day, and Christ countenanced it, and it became the established day for worship.” Yes, we believe that Christ did enjoin the keeping of the seventh day, for he taught all to keep the commandments of God. But we do not believe that the disciples immediately disobeyed the commands of their Master, and instead of keeping the seventh they kept the first. At all events, we would like a few Scripture references on this point, before receiving Mr. Cantine’s statement as beyond question.SITI June 17, 1889, page 295.181

    The Christian Nation, a National Reform organ published in New York City, intimates that Dr. Vincent recently strangled to death by an apparatus for the treatment of spinal disease, with which he was experimenting, and also Mind-reader Bishop, were the victims of divine displeasure because they both experimented on Sunday. Would it not be well for the Nation to first show that God himself has any special regard for Sunday before jumping to the conclusion that he is sending judgment upon those who fail to observe it according to the National Reform order? And while our contemporary is about it we would like it to account for the fact that not a few ministers have dropped dead while preaching on Sunday, and also that no longer ago than May 26, a minister was struck by lightning in his pulpit on Sunday at the New Liberty Christian Church, in Fountain County, Ind.SITI June 17, 1889, page 295.182

    It is not until we reach the end of our own strength that we begin to realize the strength of God. As long as we have confidence in ourselves we fail to see our need of outside help, therefore the Lord does not help us; but when we acknowledge the failure of our own efforts and come to God all weak and broken down, distrustful of ourselves, and realizing our need of divine help, then it is that Christ becomes a source of strength to us. It is thus that his “strength is made perfect in [or through our] weakness.” The cry of the poor publican, “God be merciful to me, a sinner,” was what brought salvation to his soul. There is nothing so strong with God as our very weakness, yet nothing so weak in his sight as our own strength. If there is such a thing as death-bed conversion it is because the individual is brought to the point where he recognizes this fact, and is ready to cry out like Peter, “Save, Lord, or I perish.”SITI June 17, 1889, page 295.183

    “‘Babylon Is Fallen, Is Fallen’” The Signs of the Times, 15, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is quite common to hear from their own lips the admission that the popular churches are losing their spiritual power. A writer in the Interior (Presbyterian), after avowing loyalty to his church, utters the following complaint, which is but a specimen of what is frequently heard from representatives of all the daughters of Babylon:-SITI June 17, 1889, page 295.184

    Is it not a fact that about all the old methods, such as visitation, catechizing, prayer, and oversight of the baptized, have been dropped? What has taken their place?-Nothing! Nor do we recall that the General Assembly has ever advised giving up these old methods of the fathers. In the matter of discipline, where is the church session that has done its whole duty? Take a sample of sessional proceedings on the subject of discipline. The eldership is gathered together to look after the spiritual interests of the church. They have opened their conference with prayer for God’s guidance. After the transaction of some matter of minor importance, they begin a free conversation on the state of religion in their church. Mention is made of one brother who does not properly observe the Sabbath-sometimes driving, sometimes looking after his business, often neglecting the services of the sanctuary-and it is telling on the life of the family. They are all sorry that such is the case, but they hardly think best to do anything with him. He is high-strung, wealthy, and they do not wish to alienate him and lose his support. Probably a sermon by the pastor on Sabbath observance will prove effective. (But if he ever hears it, the pastor must have it cut and dried and laid up for him whenever he catches him in the church!) Mention is made of another who is becoming the victim of drink. He is a “tippler” and has gone to the stage of drunkenness and disgraced himself and family. They are exceedingly sorry for him, but it will hardly do to discipline him, for he is brother to Mr. A., and is related to some of the best families in the church, and it would be very humiliating to their pride, and probably alienate some of them, to them ...church take up the matter. Thus it goes, no discipline being exercised. The sessional records are free from scandal, if the church is not. It is not hard to understand how and why the spiritual condition of such a church is continually growing worse.SITI June 17, 1889, page 295.185

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