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    January 21, 1889

    “Front Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Protestant churches raise five times as much money for missionary purposes as the Roman Church. But the Catholics carry on their mission work at much less cost and place more men in the field for equal amounts of money than Protestants do.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.25

    Kate Field is making a strenuous effort to induce the wine-bibbers of the national capital to drink California wine on the occasion of the inauguration of President Harrison. So long as it is only a question of the sort of wine used, it is not a matter of much interest to temperance people. The bite of the serpent in the California cup is probably no worse than the sting of the adder in the imported glass.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.26

    A religious exchange says that “in Great Britain notwithstanding the enactment of Sunday laws, under one plea or another several hundred thousands of persons are compelled to labor more or less on the railroads, steamboats, canals, public houses, and the beer-shops, omnibuses, and tramways, and in the postal service of the Government.” If Sunday laws do not stop work on railways and in Government offices on Sunday in Great Britain, will they be more successful in this country?SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.27

    Demand creates supply in the line of sensational literature as well as in other things. Circulars advertising “sensational matter” have come to our table, which are “prepared with the view of satisfying the demand,” etc., etc. We have no desire to rehash this circular before our readers. We do not want the “sensational page.” It bodes ill for a generation whose minds can only be satisfied with such a class of reading. God’s message to man, upon which depends eternal results, should be of so much greater interest that this kind of literature should have no place in any paper. “The heart of man that hath understanding seeketh knowledge; but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.” Proverbs 15:14.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.28

    A Presbyterian paper published in San Francisco deplores the low spiritual condition of the churches and the indifference of the masses to the things of God, and says: “Timid, half-hearted, half-converted worldly members and officers and preachers are not the class to break the spell of mammon or stay the mad rush of the votaries of pleasure.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.29

    This is certainly true, and it is, moreover, a confession that the ministers, officers, and members of the churches are, at least in some degree, responsible for the evils which some have sought to attribute to the lack of Sunday laws, to Sunday picnics, and to numerous other things which are themselves results rather than causes. If the churches were themselves converted, there would be less demand for human laws to enforce supposed religious duties, and there would be tenfold greater devotion to those things really enjoined in the Scriptures. The demand on the part of the church for legislation in her interests, is an open confession of spiritual impotency. Saul did not seek unto a witch, because of his apostasy, God refused to speak to him; neither will the Church seek alliance with the State so long as he feels strong in God and in the power of his might.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.30

    A London dispatch of January 6 says that “Cardinal Manning has prepared an exhaustive paper on the American public-school system; they could all be summed up in the statement that our public schools do not teach Roman Catholicism, and do teach liberty of thought and action.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.31

    Says Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7, 8: “I have fought a good fight.... henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” How can men love Christ and not love his appearing? They do not, it matters not what they profess. The more we love an individual, the more we love his personal presence. It is impossible to dissociate the two. And when men ridicule those who believe in his soon coming, and scoff at the doctrine, they show that they do not love the Coming One. The love of Christ was the secret of John’s prayer, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” And we would reverently respond, Amen.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.32

    The Lutheran Observer, in common with all Sunday advocates, says: “The appointment of the Sabbath was founded upon the physical constitution of man. But Bible tells us that the Sabbath was instituted before the fall (Genesis 2:2, 3), and consequently before man stood in need of physical rest; and in the only Sabbath law God ever gave to man, the reason assigned for the observance of the day is the fact of the Creator’s rest upon it. See Exodus 20:8-11. Which is the better authority, the Scriptures of truth, or men who are attempting to justify themselves in foisting upon the world a counterfeit Sabbath?SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.33

    But there is a reason for thus ignoring the fact of the Creator’s rest, and of the memorial character of the Sabbath; it is the fact that the day now generally observed as the Sabbath is not the moral of God’s rest. Sunday serves the purpose of physical rest, but it has no connection whatever with the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and is absolutely without moral significance.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.34

    “Thoughts on John 10:27-29” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man plucked them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them meat, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” This scripture should fill every follower of Christ with encouragement. So long as they hear his voice, and follow where it leads, they are safe. No one, not even Satan, can snatch them away. God is “greater than all.” Though trials and temptations may come, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13. Christ also says: “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. And to strengthen the assurance, he adds: “I and my Father are one.” When both Father and the Son unite for man salvation what confidence may we feel!SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.35

    But while we gain courage from the fact that he is “able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,” we are not to be presumptuous. Jesus said, “No man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand,” but he did not say that no man could take himself out. The Scripture has been perverted, and made to teach that no follower of Christ can fall away. That this view is incorrect is shown by many passages. We are told also: “He that shall endureth unto thee end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13. For positive testimony, see Hebrews 6:4-6. Our Lord says also: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and their burnt.” John 15:6. See also Revelation 4:2-5; 3:16.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.36

    The case, then, stands thus: So long as we hear the voice of Christ, and are content to follow him, trusting him solely and implicitly, no harm can befall us; his strength will enable us to repel all attacks; but when we begin to trust ourselves, we take ourselves out of his hand; or, refusing longer to listen to his voice, we are cast out. Let us all heed the words of the apostle Paul: “Because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.37

    “The Bible and Rome” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Only a few weeks since at meeting of a literary Roman Catholic Club in New York City, a paper was read in regard to the treatment of the Bible by the Church of Rome, in which it was asserted that Protestants had no foundation whatever for their opinions in regard to the hostility of Rome to the circulation of the Scriptures. It also gave at length many details in regard to issues of the Bible before the Reformation, its translation, and its recommendation by the highest ecclesiastical authorities. This paper was published by one of the daily papers, and for that reason the New York Observer notices it as follows:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.38

    Now there is absolutely nothing in all this paper as printed that confutes in any degree the popular opinion of Protestants in regard to this matter, and which is one of the greatest reasons why they protest. Protestants are reading people, as a rule, and they know something about the history of civilization, especially during the last four hundred years. They know that the Roman Church regarded the free use of the Bible by the people as a terrible danger to the supremacy of the Roman Catholic faith and hierarchy. They know from the experience of their ancestors in every European land, that when this danger was manifest the Church of Rome exhausted its power of every kind to suppress and destroy the Bible, as an implement in the hands of its enemies. For the documentary evidence and the details of this conflict we refer to the volume, “Fifteenth Century Bibles,” by Rev. Dr. Wendell Prime.... It is ridiculous for the apologizers for Romanism to attempt to deny the notorious actions of the greatest councils of the church, denouncing the use of the Bible by the people. Their only possible line of defense is to attempt to justify their action by defending the proposition maintained by their church for ages, namely, that the Bible is for the people only as it is interpreted and divided to them by church authorities. Dr. Prime’s book is a study in a Bibliography, and gives a record of the early history of the Bible as a printed volume. No amount of explanation or argument can blot out this record. It is written not only with indelible ink in the decisions of councils, but in blood by their sanguinary enforcement. No one can read the history of the Bible as a printed book without learning a fearful lesson of what the world has to fear when a corrupt Christianity has the place of power.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.39

    “Work of the Holy Spirit” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    What a marvelous change the Holy Spirit is able to work in those of whom it takes possession! We have a striking example of this in the case of the apostles. On the morning of the ascension day they asked Jesus: “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Even with the instruction that they had received since Christ’s resurrection, they clung with childish pertinacity to their own crude ideas of his work. They still looked for a temporal kingdom, and a speedy deliverance from the Roman yoke. They were familiar with the prophecies, yet they did not understand them.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.40

    Look at them ten days later, and note the difference. When the multitude began to inquire the meaning of what they saw, and others began to ridicule, the apostles at once rebuked the scoffers with dignity, and began to unfold the prophecies. There was no hesitation, no apologies. They spoke with authority, as though they had long been familiar with what they were teaching. What made this difference? They were “filled with the Holy Spirit.” This was all.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.41

    But let no one think that the Holy Spirit can accomplish such results for all indiscriminately, and do away with the necessity of the exertion on the part of the individual. By no means. These men had been with one mind persevering in prayer for this very object. They were also of that class mentioned in John 7:17-they had been, and and were still, followers of Christ; so it was to be expected that they should know of the doctrine. And, lastly, they had studied the word of God for themselves, and had done all that they could to understand it. To use a homely illustration, the wood was laid in position, and the kindlings were all prepared for a fire; all that was needed was the application of the spark to set the whole into a blaze. The Holy Spirit accomplished these wonderful results, because the way was prepared for it to work. Let us remember that that same Spirit will be given as freely to-day, if the necessary conditions are only fulfilled. Whose fault is it that Christians do not have more of the Spirit?SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.42

    “Clouds” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We hear a great many Christians complain of clouds. Such testimonies as this are common: “I enjoyed so much of the blessing of God a few days ago, and felt such peace in my heart, but lately I have been under a cloud.” And the poor souls mourn and despond as though the Lord had lost all interest in them, and they could have no more confidence in him until he should remove that cloud.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.43

    We feel intensely sorry for such people, for they are making trouble for themselves, depriving themselves of great blessings, neglecting work that they ought to be doing for the Master, and dishonoring God by doubting him. Let us look at the matter for a few moments in the light of the Scriptures and common sense.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.44

    In the first place, clouds are very unsubstantial things. Sometimes, indeed, they look very dark and heavy and threatening, but the worst of them are nothing more than mist. We have seen heavy clouds hanging low upon the mountains, completely hiding their tops, but we have gone up through them without meeting the slightest difficulty, and have found clear sunlight above. Indeed, the cloud itself was not very dark when we got into it. That which from a distance looked like an impenetrable wall, was only vapor, and we found that when we were in the midst of it we could see quite a distance.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.45

    We never knew a cloud to fall down on a man and smother him. Clouds do not usually knock people down. They do very often shut out a good many of the sun’s rays, but no clouds have ever yet been known to cause the sun to stop shining. They cannot even shut out all of its light from the earth. Take the most cloudy day, and you would find that if the sun should actually cease shining, the darkness would be inconceivably greater. The clouds do not get so thick but that some rays of light pierce through them.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.46

    The person who should say on a cloudy day that the sun had entirely ceased to shine, would be thought to have very little knowledge of the nature of the sun. So the person who thinks that God’s love ceases every time a little gloom comes over the mind, either from natural causes or from Satan’s malice, shows but little knowledge of the character of God. The psalmist says: “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:1, 2. And the apostle describes our Saviour as “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. If God’s love has been manifested toward us, we may be sure that a passing cloud cannot drive away that love. If he loved us yesterday, he loves us to-day. Listen to the words of the beloved disciple:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.47

    “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” John 13:1.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.48

    To be frightened at the shadow of a passing cloud is an evidence of lack of faith in God. “But I don’t feel near to God at such times,” says one, “I feel just as though God was angry with me, and I dare not look up to him.” That is just the trouble; you don’t feel. When you felt the smile of God resting upon you, you trusted in that feeling, and not in the love and promise of God. But “we walk by faith, not by sight.” “The just shall live by faith.” Know, then, that nothing but sin can separate a soul from God. And even sin does not drive God away; it is simply that by which we take ourselves away from him. Now if the cloud is caused by sins committed, we know it; and knowing it, we know how to remove it. But if you are not conscious of having committed any sin that would bring darkness, then let your faith hold onto the promise of God. Know that God has not changed.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.49

    “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High.” Psalm 92:1. The failure to thank God for mercies received, often brings darkness. It was a lack of thankfulness that made men heathen. “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. When people feel peculiarly happy, they are ready to exclaim with the psalmist: “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.” Psalm 34:1, 2. But they forget all about their resolution just as soon as their good feeling passes away. Instead of that, when clouds come, they should bring sunshine again by their praises to God. It is by simple faith, not by feeling, that we know the love of God. It is impossible for us to feel the love of God, unless we have appropriated it by faith. It is faith that makes it real to us, so that we may feel it.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.50

    How can anybody doubt God? Has not Christ died? And if God “spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things.” Romans 8:32. What greater assurance can we ask for? Oh, that all might have such simple faith in God that they would take him just at his word, trusting him as fully in the darkness as in the light, knowing that the darkness and the light are both alike to God. Then they could say with the prophet: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17, 18.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.51

    That is true faith. It was such faith as Job had when he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” When everything is clear, there is no call for faith; but when the clouds hang low, shutting out the beacon light, then faith that makes the darkness even as the noonday, is the faith that overcomes the world. And why should we not have such faith, since Paul, who had every opportunity to make a careful calculation of the matter, says:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.52

    “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38, 39. W.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.53

    “‘Lovers of Pleasures’” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We wonder how it is that professed followers of Christ can engage in the questionable ways of raising money for sacred purposes that are so prevalent at the present time,-cake-walks, fairs, grab-bags, post-offices, crazy suppers, etc., etc., till we come to mock marriages. Everything sacred is either travestied or dishonored by these affairs. The following from a correspondent in the Interior of December 27 presents by no means (would to God that it did) an exceptionable case:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.54

    “The church is denouncing the divorce with their pens and lips and fostering it by their actions. I inclose you notice distributed to every family in this village, and announced as for the benefit of the Presbyterian Church, i.e., to raise money. The ladies are requested to prepare the menu for the occasion. A grand time is promised. Now what do we place before our boys and girls? Why, a man 17 years and a lady 14 years to be married. What must be the impression? Must it not be to the young that to get married is the one thing useful and the younger the better. We would like to hear of Christ as the loving elder Brother, as the risen Saviour, and all about his love for a sinful world, once more.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.55

    And here is another taken from the Christian Oracle of the same date:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.56

    “The ladies of the Christian Church have changed the program for their New Year’s eve supper. Instead of being just a plain of oyster supper, as it first announced, it has been transmuted to a chicken-pie supper. An old hen will be there, and the one guessing nearest to age may have supper free. Crazy waiters will dish up the fowl for you, and luny fortune tellers will read your history. New Year’s eve, remember.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.57

    Virtually such say, We are willing to give to the cause of Christ if it will minister to our carnal pleasures of appetite, fun, frolic, and lust. We are glad, however, that there are some who protest against it, and who desire the preaching of the cross of Christ. But as for the Christian church as a whole, its broad-mindedness and liberality are a matter of boastings. “Whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Philippians 3:19.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.58

    “The church has fallen, the beautiful church,
    And her shame is her boast and pride.”
    SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.59

    “God Manifest in the Flesh. Romans 1:3” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When the apostle, in his introduction to the epistle to the Romans, speaks of the gospel of God concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, he says of Christ that he “was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” In this expression, besides the statement of the genealogy of Christ, there lies not only a great theological truth, but also a most comforting thought for poor, frail, erring mortals.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.60

    When Christ was here on earth, “God was manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. Christ was God; it was by him that the worlds were made, and it was the word of his power that preserved all things. Hebrews 1:3. He had equal glory with the Father before the world was (John 17:5); “for it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.” Colossians 1:19. In him dwelt “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9. Yet he was man at the same time. John puts the matter very forcibly and plainly when he says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John 1:1, 14.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.61

    No words could more plainly show that Christ was both God and man. Originally only divine, he took upon himself human nature, and passed among men as only a common mortal, except at those times when his divinity flashed through, as on the occasion of the cleansing of the temple, or when his burning words of simple truth forced even his enemies to confess that “never man spake like this man.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.62

    The humiliation which Christ voluntarily took upon himself is best expressed by Paul to the Philippians: “Have the mind in you which also was in Christ Jesus; who being originally in the form of God, counted it not a thing to be grasped [that is, to be clung to] to be on an equality with God, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, becoming in the likeness of man; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8, Revised Version, marginal reading.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.63

    The above rendering makes this text much more plain than it is in the common version. The idea is that although Christ was in the form of God, being “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3), having all the attributes of God, being the ruler of the universe, and the one whom all Heaven delighted to honor, he did not think that any of these things were to be desired so long as men were lost and without strength. He could not enjoy his glory while man was an outcast, without hope. So he emptied himself, divested himself of all his riches and his glory, and took upon himself the nature of man in order that he might redeem him. It was necessary that he should assume the nature of man, in order that he might suffer death, as the apostle says to the Hebrews that he “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” Hebrews 2:9.SITI January 21, 1889, page 23.64

    It is impossible for us to understand how this could be, and it is worse than useless for us to speculate about it. All we can do is to accept the facts as they are presented in the Bible. Other scriptures that we will quote bring closer to us the fact of the humanity of Christ, and what it means for us. We have already read that “the Word was made flesh,” and now we will read what Paul says as to the nature of that flesh. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:3, 4.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.1

    A little thought will be sufficient to show anybody that if Christ took upon himself the likeness of man, in order that he might suffer death, it must have been sinful man that he was made like, for it is only sin that causes death. Death could have no power over a sinless man, as Adam was in Eden; and it could not have had any power over Christ if the Lord had not laid on him the iniquity of us all. Moreover, the fact that Christ took upon himself the flesh, not of a sinless being, but of sinful man, that is, that the flesh which he assumed had all the weaknesses and sinful tendencies to which fallen human nature is subject, is shown by the very words upon which this article is based. He was “made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” David had all the passions of human nature. He says of himself, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:5.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.2

    A brief glance at the ancestry and posterity of David will show that the line from which Christ sprung, as to his human nature, was such as would tend to concentrate in him all the weaknesses of humanity. To go back to Jacob, we find that before he was converted he had a most unlovely disposition, selfish, crafty, deceitful. His sons partook of the same nature, and Pharez, one of the ancestors of Christ (Matthew 1:3; Genesis 38), was born of a harlot. Rahab, an unenlightened heathen, became an ancestor of Christ. The weakness and idolatry of Solomon are proverbial. Of Rehoboam, Ahijah, Jehoram, Ahaz, Manasseh, Amon, and other kings of Judah, the record is about the same. They sinned and made the people sin. Some of them had not one redeeming trait in their characters, being worse than the heathen around them. It was from such an ancestry that Christ came. Although his mother was a pure and godly woman, as could but be expected, no one can doubt that the human nature of Christ must have been more subject to the infirmities of the flesh than it would have been if he had been born before the race had so greatly deteriorated physically and morally. This was not accidental, but was a necessary part of the great plan of human redemption, as the following will show:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.3

    “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. [The Syriac version has it, “For he did not assume a nature from angels, but he assumed a nature from the seed of Abraham.”] Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:16-18.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.4

    If he was made in all things like unto his brethren, then he must have suffered all the infirmities and passions of his brethren. Only so could he be able to help them. So he had to become man, not only that he might die, but that he might be able to sympathize with and succor those who suffer the fierce temptations which Satan brings through the weakness of the flesh. Two more texts that put this matter very forcibly will be sufficient evidence on this point. We quote first 2 Corinthians 5:21:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.5

    “For he [God] hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.6

    This is much stronger than the statement that he was made “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” He was made to be sin. Here is a greater mystery than that the Son of God should die. The spotless Lamb of God, who knew no sin, was made to be sin. Sinless, yet not only counted as a sinner, but actually taking upon himself sinful nature. He was made to be sin in order that we might be made righteousness. So Paul to the Galatians says that “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Galatians 4:4, 5.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.7

    That Christ should be born under the law was a necessary consequence of his being born of a woman, taking on him the nature of Abraham, being made of the seed of David, in the likeness of sinful flesh. Human nature is sinful, and the law of God condemns all sin. Not that men are born into the world directly condemned by the law, for in infancy they have no knowledge of right and wrong, and are incapable of doing either, but they are born with sinful tendencies, owing to the sins of their ancestors. And when Christ came into the world, he came subject to all the conditions to which other children are subject.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.8

    From these texts we are enabled to read with a better understanding Hebrews 5:7, 8, where the apostle says of Christ:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.9

    “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” Jesus spent whole night in prayer to the Father. Why should this be, if he had not been oppressed by the enemy, through the inherited weakness of the flesh? He “learned obedience by the things which he suffered.” Not that he was ever disobedient, for he “knew no sin;” but by the things which he suffered in the flesh, he learned what men have to contend against in their efforts to be obedient. And so, “in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” “For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need.” Hebrews 4:15, 16.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.10

    One more point, and then we can learn the entire lesson that we should learn from the fact the “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” How was it that Christ could be thus “compassed with infirmity” (Hebrews 5:2), and still know no sin? Some may though, while reading this article thus far, that we are depreciating the character of Jesus, by bringing him down to the level of sinful man. On the contrary, we are simply exalting the “divine power” of our blessed Saviour, who himself voluntarily descended to the level of sinful man, in order that he might exalt man to his own spotless purity, which he retained under the most adverse circumstances. “God was in Christ,” and hence he could not sin. His humanity only veiled his divine nature, which was more than able to successfully resist the sinful passions of the flesh. There was in his whole life a struggle. The flesh, moved upon by the enemy of all unrighteousness, would tend to sin, yet his divine nature never for a moment harbored an evil desire, nor did his divine power for a moment waver. Having suffered in the flesh all that men can possibly suffer, he returned to the throne of the Father, as spotless as when he left the courts of glory. When he laid in the tomb, under the power of death, “it was impossible that he should be holden of it,” because it had been impossible for the divine nature which dwelt in him to sin.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.11

    “Well,” some will say, “I don’t see any comfort in this for me; it wasn’t possible that the Son of God should sin, but I haven’t any such power.” Why not? You can have it is you want it. The same power which enabled him to resist every temptation presented through the flesh, while he was “compassed with infirmity,” can enable us to do the same. Christ could not sin, because he was the manifestation of God. Well, then, listen to the apostle Paul, and learn what it is our privilege to have:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.12

    “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.13

    Who could ask for more? Christ, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, may dwell in our hearts, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. What a wonderful promises. He is “touched with the feelings of our infirmity.” That is, having suffered all that sinful flesh is heir to, he knows all about it, and so closely does he identify himself with his children, that whatever presses upon them makes like impression upon him, and he knows how much divine power is necessary to resist it; and if we but sincerely desire to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts,” he is able and anxious to give to us strength “exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think.” All the power which Christ had dwelling in him by nature, we may have dwelling in us by grace, for he freely bestows it upon us.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.14

    Then let the weary, feeble, sin-oppressed souls take courage. Let them “come boldly to the throne of grace,” where they are sure to find grace to help in the time of need, because that need is felt by ourSITI January 21, 1889, page 39.15

    Saviour, in the very time of need. He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmity.” If it were simply that he suffered eighteen hundred years ago, we might fear that he has forgotten some of the infirmity; but no, that temptation that presses you touches him. His wounds are ever fresh, and he ever lives to make intercession for you.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.16

    What wonderful possibilities there are for the Christian! To what heights of holiness he may attain! No matter how much Satan may war against him, assaulting him where the flesh is weakest, he may abide under the shadow of the Almighty, and be filled with the fullness of God’s strength. The One stronger than Satan may dwell in his heart continually; and so, looking at Satan’s assaults as from a strong fortress, he may say, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” W.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.17

    “Wrong Dividing” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Rev. L. C. Rogers, in the Sabbath Recorder of December 13, on the woman as the symbol of the Church (see Revelation 12), says:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.18

    “Her child is to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and is caught up to God and to his throne; but the church is persecuted by the dragon, until, in the professed conversion of Constantine, the Roman emperor, in the fourth century, the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood of pagan persecution; then the wrath of the dragon made war upon the remnant of the seed, the faithful few, who rejected the union of Church and State, and refused to become Papaists. Revelation 12:15-17. Chapter thirteen marks the rise of Pagan and Papal Rome, and their concurrent prevalence, under the symbol of a beast with seven heads and ten horns.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.19

    But Mr. R. takes no account of the 1260 days which intervene between the time of the child being caught up to God and the rime when the earth opened her mouth. In fact, the 1260 days or years cover the period of persecution. But this was not by the Pagans, but by the Papists. Or does Mr. R. make the days literal? If so, when do they apply? And what about the remnant persecuted after the 1260 days? The fact is, the prophecy relates not to the beginning of the Christian dispensation, but to the entire career of the church. If this fact were recognized, that part of the word of truth could better be “rightly divided.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.20

    “The Continental Sunday” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In an article entitled, “The Continental Sunday, the Reaction Against it in Europe,” the Lutheran Observer says:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.21

    “The continental Sunday has trespassed upon the Sabbath as a day of rest. As the physical constitution of man could not endure the exhaustion of uninterrupted toil, God forbade it, and enjoined that all men should abstain from labor one day in every seven. In other words, God ordained the Sabbath as a day of rest.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.22

    Yes, “God ordained the Sabbath as a day of rest,” and he also ordained it as a memorial of his creative work. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” “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,” is the language of the fourth commandment; and of Israel the Lord said: “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.” Ezekiel 20:12. But by the unwarranted substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath, the memorial character of the Sabbatic institution has almost wholly been lost sight of. Truly, the continental Sunday has trespassed upon the Sabbath,” and not only so but it has usurped the place of the Sabbath, and being without the warrant of divine law, its friends are everywhere demanding that this lack be supplied by the enactment of civil laws requiring its observance and punishing its violation.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.23

    “Science and the Bible” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian Union of December 13 thus draws the comparison between science and the Bible, in a reply to a correspondent: “If the Bible, as interpreted, is at variance with any well-established discovery of modern learning, perhaps our interpretation is at fault; if not, the Bible is at fault. We must not assume that the Bible cannot be at fault in some matters.” In reference to moral matters it says, “The judge in such matters is the Christ in us, i.e., conscience as enlightened by Christ.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.24

    What conclusion! What a standard! If Darwin’s evolution be accepted as a “well-establish discovery of modern learning,” and the Bible does not agree therewith, then “the Bible is at fault”! If in ten years from that time a contrary and equally fanciful theory is accepted by “modern learning” as a “well-established discovery,” then “the Bible is at fault” again if it agrees not with the change! And how decide moral matters? “The conscience as enlightened by Christ,” or “the Christ in us”! What “Christian” fanatic ever existed but that had an “enlightened conscience”? The blind and hypocritical both claim Christ within when transgressing some of the plainest precepts of the word of God. As for us, we prefer the Bible, honored and revered by Christ and his apostles, to the meanderings of the Christian Union or the deductions of “modern learning.” “The Scripture cannot be broken,” said Jesus. We prefer his words to a human conscience.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.25

    Oscar S. Strauss, United States Minister to Turkey, has reported to the Secretary of State that he has obtained of the General Vizier the necessary authorization for the Bible house at Constantinople to print in Turkish 35,000 Bible tracts, consisting of the Psalms, Proverbs, the four Gospels, and the Acts.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.26

    “A Failure” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Sunday Law of Louisiana, according to the Times Democrat, of New Orleans, of December 2, seems to be an entire failure. That journal says:-SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.27

    “The Sunday law is now being tried before the jury, as it ought to be. We pointed out some days ago that the Constitution of Louisiana and the rulings of the highest courts made the jury the judge of law and the evidence, the protector of the people against defective, unjust, or arbitrary laws, and that it was not only the right but the duty of jurors to declare in their verdict against acts of discriminations, injustice, and absurdity, as is the Sunday law as it now stands. The juries have done so. The question has been presented to them from every point of view, and nearly every section of law has been tested and passed on, and yet it has been found impossible to secure a single conviction.”SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.28

    That ought to be the case with all Sunday laws. They should have no place in the law of any civil Government. Sunday is a religious or church institution purely, and the State has no more right to compel its observance than it has to compel men to accept the doctrine of transubstantiation, or to adore the host. Neither do we object to Sunday’s being enforced by law because it is a pago-papal institution. Men have no right to legalize any Sabbath whatever, whether true or false. It is beyond the province of civil government. The observance of the Sabbath is a matter which lies wholly between man and his Creator.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.29

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A large number of the sermons delivered in Oakland on Sunday, the 13th inst., were on some phase of the Sunday question. The churches are doing all in their power to influence legislation on this subject. Let the matter be agitated.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.30

    The first number of the weekly American Sentinel will bear date of January 30, and will be issued at once. This volume is to consist of forty-eight numbers, and will be furnished at the low price of one dollar. The matter of which the Sentinel treats is the leading issue of the day; and as liberal terms are offered to agents, we are sure that they can do well canvassing for it. How many will begin at once?SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.31

    The Review and Herald comes to our table in a new address at the beginning of the year, much improved in appearance. Its columns are wider and longer, having dropped the border; and it is now printed from stereotype plates, the same as the SIGNS, instead of type. May God bless the Review in its mission, and give it ever-increasing success in the way of the Lord, till the blessed work in which we are mutually engaged shall triumphantly close.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.32

    There has been no religions subject, or religious political subject, ever before the nation which has caused such universal comment on the part of both the religious and secular press as legislation on the Sunday question.Like Ramquo’s Ghost, the agitation “will not down.” Why? Because God’s fullness of time has come for a reform on his holy Sabbath (Isaiah 58, Revelation 14:9-12), and Sunday legislation is but the work of the enemy in opposing the truth. Revelation 13:11-16. Reader, on which side of the conflict are you?SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.33

    Mr. Moody is credited with saying that “the biggest lie that ever came out of hell” is the statement that “it makes no difference what a man believes about religion so long as he is sincere.” Certainly the idea which Mr. Moody so emphatically condemns is a most pernicious one; it is highly important to believe the truth, for it is that by which God sanctifies his people. In his prayer for his disciples the Saviour prayed, Father, “sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” To despise truth is to despise the Author of truth.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.34

    The members of the California Women’s Christian Temperance Union are circulating petitions to the Legislature for the enactment of a Sunday law in this State. These petitions are prepared for the signatures of both voters and non-voters in separate columns, and the superintendent of the Department of Legislation told a Chronicle reporter a few days since that they were being numerously signed by people of all denominations except Seventh-day Adventists. Said the superintendent, “Sectarian lines are being ignored and a strong showing in favor of the object is confidently expected.” The women of the Union are in earnest, said the lady, and with another month of hard work would be able, she was sure, to roll up a memorial which the Legislature would not venture to treat with disrespect. Copies of the petition, she added, had been sent to all the pastors in the State, to secure signatures in their congregations, and return to her for presentation.SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.35

    Should not the friends of religious liberty see to it that their representatives in the Legislature know how they stand?SITI January 21, 1889, page 39.36

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