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    February 25, 1889

    “Front Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Missionary work is said to be becoming easier and more promising in China. Some apprehension is felt, however, that it may be hindered should the Chinese Government retaliate upon Americans for the exclusion of the Chinese from this country.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.28

    The Virginia correspondent of the Examiner (Baptist), writes to that paper that Rev. W. F. Crafts has recently spent several days in Richmond in the interest of National Sunday legislation. Of Richmond he says: “Now and then there are violations of our Sunday laws, but our police are very faithful in watching for such outrages, and when they are discovered our courts punish them with unsparing severity.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.29

    Ex-Judge Macguire’s new book “Ireland and the Pope,” has offended the Vatican, and is about to be proscribed, or be placed on the “Index Expurgatorius;” the book is claimed to be “entirely at variance with the doctrine of the Catholic church.” Only the works of Catholic authors are those proscribed, generally after the author has had the privilege of calling in the first edition, and altering the book to suit Rome. Novels are not taken account of. All Protestant works are condemned in toto. This act will probably increase the circulation of Judge McGuire’s work.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.30

    If the world is growing better, it ought to be manifest among the youth. From them are to come the society of the future. But the outlook is a hopeless one indeed, for the betterment of society, if the following from the Daily News of London is indicative of society generally. Paris is not much wickeder than other cities:-SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.31

    “Of 26,000 criminals arrested in Paris in the course of the year-the figure itself seems incredibly large-16,000 have not attained the age of twenty. There is just now an epidemic of crimes perpetrated by young men; and if the thieves and assassins at present confined in French prisons, were sorted according to their age, it would be found that the very large majority were made up of youths between sixteen and twenty.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.32

    Faith is the first great essential of the Christian life, and there are not a few who suppose that faith (by which they mean simple belief) is all that is necessary to salvation; but the Scriptures do not so teach. Says the apostle James: “What doth it profit, my brethren, the way man say he hath faith and have not works? Can faith save him?” And again: “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” The idea is that true, or living faith, will work; if it does not work it is dead, and when it dies it ceases to be faith.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.33

    The apostle James does not stand alone in teaching that faith will manifest itself in works. John says: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and everyone that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:1, 2. Faith in God cannot be separated from obedience to God, for “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.34

    One of the reasons for which Sunday laws are demanded is that they will protect the people in their worship. And some are credulous enough to believe that first-day people are really in danger of having their Sunday services broken up, because there is no law to protect Sunday. But a law to protect a Sunday institution is quite a different thing than a law to protect individuals, or societies, in their worship. California has no Sunday law, but the following item from the San Francisco Examiner of the 15th inst. shows how thoroughly people are protected in their worship:-SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.35

    “Frederic Schwartz and John Johnsen, who on Sunday morning last entered St. Patrick’s Church, on Mission Street, and disturbed the services, were fined $50 and $30 dollars respectively by Judge Lawler yesterday In default of payment Schwartz spends fifty days in the county jail and Johnsen thirty days.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.36

    According to the Scriptures, all future life for those who have died, or who shall yet die, is dependent upon the resurrection. Job was a perfect and an upright man, “one that feared God and eschewed evil,” yet he was a stranger to the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul and of going to Heaven at death. When apparently on the brink of the grave, he adds, “If a man die, shall he live again?” and immediately answered his own question thus: “All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come. Thou shalt call and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.” Job 14:14, 15. Where he expected to wait till his change, the change to immortality, should come, is told in chapter 17:12: “If I wait, the grave is mine house.” And that his hope was a hope of the resurrection is shown in chapter 19:25, 26: “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.37

    In exact harmony with Job’s testimony are the words of the apostle Paul: “If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” “If after the manner of men I fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die.” 1 Corinthians 15:16-18, 32.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.38

    “We Are Not Convinced” The Signs of the Times, 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Some people are trying hard to convince the Seventh-day Adventists that it is wrong to work on Sunday in violation of the civil law. The argument is easily made; it is this: We are to be in subjection to the “powers that be;” to obey rulers, etc. by this rule we are under obligation to abstain from labor on “the venerable day of the sun.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.39

    At the risk of being considered somewhat obdurate, we must say we are not convinced. We think, however, it is not because of obduracy in us, but that we have studied the word of God too intently to be misled by any such misapplication of its teachings. It is a well-known saying, that “a little learning is a dangerous thing;” and this may prove true in the case of some people, whose knowledge of the Bible is too superficial to be of benefit to themselves or others.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.40

    We are reminded of the debater who once undertook to prove that it was a duty to baptize (or rhantize) children. The proof offered was considered positive beyond the possibility of evasion. It is found in 1 Peter 2:13: “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man.” But we are hardly prepared to adopt this rule without the limitations which the Scriptures put upon it. We have adopted the Scriptures to use, but do not choose to abuse them in the manner indicated by such arguments.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.41

    If we are wrong in working on Sunday for the reason stated, then Moses was wrong for not yielding to the laws of Pharaoh; the three Hebrew children were wrong for disobeying the law of Nebuchadnezzar, by reason of which they were (very justly, it must be supposed) cast into the fiery furnace; Daniel was wrong in disobeying the law of Darius, and of course he was deservedly thrown into the den of lions. And the apostles of Christ were wrong when they persisted in preaching “Jesus and the resurrection,” after the rulers had strictly prohibited such seditious conduct. Many like instances may be presented. And it must seem strange to these modern expositors of the word of God, that in all these cases the Lord vindicated them in their wrong-doing (?) and put the rulers to confusion. How will they account for this?SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.42

    We can easily solve the difficulty. In these cases the rulers were enacting laws which were contrary to the law of God; which, if obeyed, would lead to a violation of the law of God. Such laws must not be obeyed. When “the powers that be” are “a terror to evil doers, and a praise to them that do well” (Romans 13), then it is the Christian’s duty and delight to yield obedience to them; but when they turn aside and make themselves a praise to evildoers and a terror to them that do well, then our answer is always found in the answer to the rulers in Acts 4:19: “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.43

    “How Paul’s Prayer Was Answered” The Signs of the Times, 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans, he said: “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.” Romans 1:9, 10.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.44

    In the latter part of the epistle, he recurs to this, telling why he had not been able to come to them before, namely, because of his efforts to preach the gospel where Christ had not been named. He would forego the pleasure of meeting with the brethren in Rome, in order that he might labor for those who had never heard of Christ. But he adds: “But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you; for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.” Romans 15:22-25.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.45

    He had gone pretty thoroughly over the territory, preaching the gospel, and now he designed to see his Roman brethren as soon as he had discharged his duty to the poor saints at Jerusalem. In Acts 19:21 we are told of this purpose: “After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.46

    Well, his prayer in this respect was answered, for he did go to Rome after he had been to Jerusalem. But he did not go as he expected. He prayed for a prosperous journey; and all know that his journey to Rome was attended with the greatest dangers. We also find from Romans 15:30-32 another things that was on his mind. He says:-SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.47

    “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; that I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.48

    But Paul was not delivered from the unbelievers in Judea. In fact, before he got there he knew that he would be seized by them, and delivered into the hands of the Gentiles. Still he did not begin to doubt, and to say that God had not heard his prayer. He well knew that hearing a prayer and answering it are two different things, and that God is the best judge of how a request should be granted. Not withstanding Paul’s earnest prayers that he might be delivered from the unbelieving Jews (and his entreaty to the Roman brethren shows how much he dreaded them), he was seized by them. For more than two years he was kept a prisoner by the Romans, and finally, when, by his appeal to Cæsar, he was sent to Rome, it was in chains.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.49

    Notice, however, how the real desire of Paul was met, and that far better than if he had gone as he hoped. If he had gone as he expected, he would have entered Rome quietly, and might not in that great city have attracted much attention outside of the narrow circle of the acquaintances of the church in Rome. As it was, he was met outside the city by the brethren, and was escorted not only by them, but by an imperial procession. He was a prisoner of State. He had appealed unto Cæsar, and consequently he was brought into the immediate presence of royalty. And so, instead of preaching the gospel to a few obscure people, he preached to all Rome, and had many to help him; for while there he wrote:-SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.50

    “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; and many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Philippians 1:12-14.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.51

    Thus, although Paul’s prayer was not answered as he expected, it was answered according to his real desire; for his sole desire was to come to the brethren, “in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:29), and that Christ alone should be honored. And we have no reason to think that at any time Paul was disappointed or discouraged, for let it be noticed that when he prayed it was that he might have “a prosperous journey by the will of God (Romans 1:10), and that he might come to them “with joy, by the will of God.” Romans 15:32. The will of God was accomplished, the cause of God was prospered, and we may be sure that that was joy to that devoted servant of God. W.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.52

    “Established by Spiritual Gifts. Romans 1:9-11” The Signs of the Times, 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Romans 1:9-11.

    “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.53

    Was there ever another man in the world who carried so great a burden for others as the apostle Paul did? To the Ephesians he wrote that he ceased not to give thanks for them, making mention of them in his prayers, that God would give unto them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. Ephesians 1:15-17. To the saints at Philippi he wrote: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.” Philippians 1:3, 4. Likewise to the Colossians he said: “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” Colossians 1:3. And so he did for the Thessalonians. 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 11. All these churches were the fruit of his own labor, and it is but natural that he should remember them in his prayers; but he had never seen the brethren of Rome, yet he declares that he prays for them no less than for those among whom he had labored and suffered. He could say of a truth that there was upon him daily, anxious care and solicitude for all the churches. 2 Corinthians 11:28.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.54

    How much time Paul must have spent in prayer, to mention so many churches and individuals by name in his requests and thanksgivings! Must not this have been one secret of his great success? He had but one thought, one desire, and that was to bring men to Christ, and to strengthen those who had accepted him. He had received abundantly of the grace of God, and he felt himself a debtor to all mankind. That grace was not bestowed upon him in vain, for he says that he labored more abundantly than all of the other apostles. 1 Corinthians 15:10. It is probably safe to say that no minister ever lived who was more like Christ in carrying a burden for sinners, than the apostle Paul. The reason was, that he had an ever-present, overwhelming sense of what Christ had done for him. The grace of Christ will always manifest itself in this way, just to the extent that it is received and appreciated. It is not something that a man receives merely for his own enjoyment or profit, and that can be corked up in a bottle for private use, but it can be preserved only by dispensing to others.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.55

    So the apostle wrote to the Romans, whom he had never seen: “I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” His earnest desire for these brethren whose faith was spoken of in all the world, was that he might settle them in it so surely that nothing could shake them. This great burden of soul he expressed to the Thessalonians, when he said, “Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith.” 1 Thessalonians 3:10. What a lesson there is here for all Christian ministers!SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.56

    But how did he expect to establish these people? By imparting unto them some spiritual gift. The gifts of the Spirit are named by Paul in Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. The first text says of Christ that “he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” In the other he says:-SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.57

    “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.... But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues; but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.58

    All these gifts come by the Spirit; so it is evident that when Paul said, “I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift,” he did not mean that he would bestow upon them the power to work miracles or to speak with tongues. He could not have done this if he had desired to. Moreover, it is not by the possession of these gifts that a person is established. They are given “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12); but a man may possess these gifts to the edifying of others, and he himself be lost. The apostle Paul had these gifts in greater measure than any other man, yet he had to keep his body under, lest after he had preached to others he himself should be a castaway (1 Corinthians 9:27); and he says that a thorn in the flesh was given him to buffet him, lest he should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations given unto him. 2 Corinthians 12:7. It is evident, therefore, that Paul did not expect to establish the Romans by enabling them to exhibit the gifts of the Spirit, but rather, by the exercise of the gifts which were bestowed upon him, to build them up in the faith so that they might exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. It is the same thing that he wrote to the Corinthians, concerning the grace of giving: “We desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same gift also.” 2 Corinthians 8:6, margin.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.59

    Perhaps there are few who realize how well fitted the apostle was for this task. There is not one of the spiritual gifts that he did not possess. In the book of Acts we learn of his power to work miracles, to heal, and to discern spirits. His own writings give evidence of the spirit of prophecy that he possessed; and he says that he spoke with tongues more than all the rest, and that he would not speak without interpreting. 1 Corinthians 14:18. He was an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor, and a teacher. If any wish to know why he should be so highly favored above other men, we can only say that “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal,” and Paul had such singleness of purpose, such whole-souled devotion, that he used to the utmost every gift bestowed upon him. God gives to every man all that he can and will use to his glory.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.60

    “To the end ye may be established.” The gifts of the Spirit are for the building up of the body of Christ, and none of them has been used for this purpose more than the gift of prophecy. When Jehoshaphat had received from the prophet of the Lord a message for the people, he said: “Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 2 Chronicles 20:20. And to the same effect Isaiah, when he had delivered a prophecy from God to the king of Judah, said to him, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.” Isaiah 7:9.SITI February 25, 1889, page 104.61

    What, indeed, can establish the people of God like prophecy? Tongues are for a sign to them that believe not; miracles serve the same purpose, showing the power of God; but prophesyings instruct and warn. So the apostle says:-SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.1

    “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” 1 Corinthians 14:1-3.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.2

    The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 19:10. It was the Spirit of Christ that was in the ancient prophets (2 Peter 1:10, 11), and that same Spirit is to be with his people even unto the end. Consequently we find that “the testimony of Jesus Christ,” which is the spirit of prophecy, is to be found in the last state of the church-the remnant. Revelation 12:17. Paul, also, writing to those who should live at the time of the coming of the Lord, says, “Despise not prophesyings.” 1 Thessalonians 5:20.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.3

    The establishing power of the prophetic word is shown by the apostle Peter when, after relating the view which he had of “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” on the mount of transfiguration, he said: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.4

    By the gift of prophecy we are shown when we are nearing the end of time; we are warned of the dangers incident to the last days. It foretells the widespread apostasy, so that none need be moved. While the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain all the truth that is necessary to make the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, there must be that same spirit of prophecy in the church, to shed light upon those prophecies, for “no prophecy of the Scriptures is of any private interpretation.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.5

    It is because of despising prophecies and prophesyings that so many have apostatized. The word of prophecy is a light, and when men turn away their eyes from it, they go into darkness, and soon stumble and fall. Their minds become blinded to the simplest truths. And since the prophetic word is a light shining in a dark place until the day shall dawn, and the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day, it is evident that as we approach the end we shall have more and more of the gift of prophecy to keep us from the darkness that covers the earth, and the gross darkness that covers the people. “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.” May God help us to believe. W.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.6

    “Why It Is True” The Signs of the Times, 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Mr. Moody is credited with the following utterance, in a recent discourse delivered in San Francisco, upon the coming of the Lord:-SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.7

    “The world is no better now than it was before Christ was crucified. A person who has had light, and sense, is a great deal worse than one who has had no light. Dupont Street is a great deal worse than Chinatown, and the men who hire the girls in the saloons, are infinitely worse than the women in Chinatown. I want to impress upon you four great facts, three of which have been fulfilled: First, it was prophesied that Christ would come, and he did; second, he said he would save sinners, and he did; third, he said he would send the Holy Ghost to carry on his work, and the Holy Ghost came. The fourth fact is that he will come back according to his promise. The first three have been fulfilled, and so will the fourth.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.8

    This is true, not because Mr. Moody said so, but because the Bible says so. Popular opinion is that the world is growing better, and that erelong everybody will be converted; but the word of God says that “in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power there of; from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.9

    It is safe to say that considering the enlightenment of the world, there never has been a period since the flood when all classes were more completely steeped in sin than at the present time. Civilization gives a gild and a gloss to modern society, which was unknown among more primitive peoples, but wickedness is none the less great. Men may flatter themselves, as many do, that they are as good as their neighbors, and are much better than some who lived in the Dark Ages, and that altogether the world is growing better; but God who looks at the heart, knows that it is not so, and soon the command will go forth, “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow, for their wickedness is great.” Surely we should sound an alarm, and say, “The day of the Lord cometh;” “it is nigh at hand.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.10

    “The Christian’s Hope” The Signs of the Times, 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour; yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” Philippians 1:21-23.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.11

    The common view of the first verse of the quotation was expressed some time ago by a condemned murderer in San Francisco, who, when speaking of what he termed the “persecutions” he had suffered since the commission of his crime, said that he had made his peace with God, and was prepared to die, and that he could say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” meaning that if he should die he would thus escape a great deal of trouble. In so saying he but voiced the almost universal opinion that to the Christian death is always a gain, whenever or however it may come. Much of the theological teaching, nowadays, conveys the idea that death is always something to be desired. This idea is strengthened by the hymns which teach that “death is the gate to endless joy,” and that “‘tis but the voice that Jesus sends to call us to his arms.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.12

    Now to show that this is a mistaken view, it is only necessary to quote a few texts which show that death is not a friend, and that it does not usher a person into the realms of bliss. Paul said that Jesus died, “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Hebrews 2:14. But the devil is the adversary of the human race, and he especially hates and seeks to destroy the good (1 Peter 5:8), so that it is utterly inconsistent to think of death as being the gate to endless joy; and one needs only to remember that the devil has the power of death, to know that it is not the voice that Jesus sends to call his people to himself. Death is plainly declared to be an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26), and we are told that they who are dead cannot see the Lord (Isaiah 38:10, 11), and that in the grave they cannot praise him. Isaiah 38:18, 19. We are taught also, by the Lord himself, that his people cannot be with him unless he comes again (John 14:1-3); and we learn that when he does come it will be to redeem them from the power of the grave. Hosea 13:14; 1 Corinthians 15:51-55.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.13

    From these texts, and many others that might be quoted, we are forced to conclude that if there is any gain in death, it is simply the gain of exchanging toil and trouble for nothingness. It is true that in the grave the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest, yet it is doubtful if it can with strict propriety be said that a person is a gainer by being freed from trouble, when he cannot be conscious of his release. But however this may be, the fact remains that death is an enemy, and is the emblem of cruelty (Song of Solomon 8:6), and on this ground alone there is a manifest absurdity in speaking of death as a gain. If it were a gain, then it would not be an enemy, but a friend.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.14

    Suppose, however, it be allowed that to an overworked, persecuted man, death may be called a gain, even though he is unconscious of the relief that would come from laying off care, we shall see that this idea was not in the mind of the apostle. To wish for death as a release from toil is essentially a selfish wish; and selfishness was something entirely foreign to that devoted servant of Christ. His sole object in life was to advance the cause of Christ. So in this epistle to the Philippians, written when he was a prisoner in Rome, he thought not of himself and his sufferings, but of the cause. He says: “I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; and many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Philippians 1:12-14.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.15

    Here we see that he rejoices because his bondage has resulted in the spread of the gospel in places which probably could not have been reached if he had been free. True, there were some who preached Christ of envy and strife, thinking, no doubt, that by presenting the simple truth of the gospel, which calls for the crucifying of self and which was so opposed to the self-pleasing doctrines of paganism, they would lead the emperor to make more severe the persecution of the one who had done so much to introduce that gospel. But Paul did not care for himself. Said he, “What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” Verse 18. Then he goes on to say that his earnest expectation and hope are, that Christ should be magnified in his body, whether it be by life, or by death. Verse 20. And he adds, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Verse 21. Who cannot see that in all this Paul had no thought of personal gain? It is impossible to suppose that immediately after saying that his sole desire was that Christ should be honored by him, whether it were by life or by death, he should add that if he should live Christ would be the gainer, but that if he should die, he himself would be the gainer.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.16

    No; living and laboring for Christ is not the only way in which Christians can advance his cause. Not a martyr has fallen but that the cause of God has been advanced thereby. Paul well knew that if he should be put to death for the sake of Christ, that also would turn out to the furtherance of the gospel. Said he, “Yea, and if I be offered [margin, “poured forth”] upon the sacrifice and the service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all.” Philippians 2:17. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church;” and Paul’s sole thought was that he might preach “the unsearchable riches of Christ” while he lived, and might be enabled to meet death in such a manner as to add another to the long list of testimonies to the power of faith. “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:8.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.17

    Having thus stated his unselfish devotion to the cause of Christ, he proceeds to say, “What I shall choose, I wot not.” That is, he does not know whether if the choice were given him, he would choose life or death. Having no desire but to honor Christ either by life or by death, and not knowing which would honor Christ the more, he is unable to express any preference. He says, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.18

    There is no question that the two things between which Paul was in a strait, or, more literally, by which he was pressed, were life and death, and that he says that he does not know which of these he would choose. And yet his desire “to depart and to be with Christ” is usually considered as the expression of a desire to die. But by what process of reasoning people make the apostle express an intense desire for death, as being far preferable to life, immediately after he has said that he could not tell which he would choose, we cannot imagine. It would be the same as saying: “It is impossible for me to tell whether I would choose life or death, but I would much rather die.” Anybody can see that one statement is a contradiction of the other.SITI February 25, 1889, page 119.19

    What, then, was it that Paul declared, in the emphatic Greek idiom, to be “very much more better” than anything else? It was to depart and to be with Christ. But is not this the same as death? Not by any means. Said Jesus to the Jews, “I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins; whither I go, ye cannot come.” John 8:21. Here Jesus told them that though they should die, they could not be with him. “Of course not,” says one, “because they were wicked.” Well, then, turn to John 13:33, and read what he said to his own beloved disciples: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you; and as I said to the Jews, whither I go ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” So, then, death does not take a man to Christ, even though he be a righteous man. Remember, also, what has been quoted above, that death is an enemy, and that they who die cannot praise the Lord. Death is, in fact, the very farthest thing imaginable from a condition of being with the Lord. It is the instrument by which Satan attempts to keep men forever banished from God. King Hezekiah thus recounts his feelings, when he was told that he should die, and not live: “I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living; I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.” Isaiah 38:10, 11.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.1

    Death is so far from being a departure to be with Christ, that the process of death must be entirely reversed before one who has died can be with him. In 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Paul himself describes the means by which people are taken to be with the Lord. We read:-SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.2

    “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so by this means shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.3

    Nowhere in the Bible can we find any hint of any other means by which people can be with Christ. Either they must be alive when the Lord comes, so that they may be taken up bodily into Heaven, as was Elijah, or, if they have died, they must be raised from the dead, and then be caught up with those who never died. Now since Paul said (Philippians 1:22) that he did not know which he should choose, life or death, and yet he said that it was far better to depart and to be with Christ; and since he knew that there was no way that men could be with Christ except by the resurrection of the dead and the translation of the living, both of which take place only at the coming of Christ, there is only one conclusion open to us, and that is, that Paul longed intensely for the coming of the Lord, and for translation.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.4

    It does not militate at all against this conclusion, that Paul knew that he could not expect to live till the Lord should come. He could long for the event with just as much ardor. Neither does the fact that in 2 Timothy 4:6 the words, “The time of my departure is at hand,” refer to his execution, prove that the word “depart,” in Philippians 1:23, means death. The word “depart” does not in itself convey any idea as to the manner of the departure. When Paul was praying in the temple, shortly after his conversion, the Lord said to him, “Depart; for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles” (Acts 22:21); but we very well know that this was not a command for Paul to die. Paul’s death was indeed a departure, and so is the death of every man-a departure from life,-but we have ample proof from the Scriptures that no man’s death is a departure to be with Christ.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.5

    It may help some to realize that Paul longed only for the return of the Lord, that he might be with him, if we state that the only other place in the Bible where the Greek word occurs which in Philippians 1:23 is rendered “depart,” is in Luke 12:36, where it refers to the coming of the Lord. Thus: “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.” And even in the place where Paul unquestionably referred to his death-not, however, as something for which he longed, but as a sacrifice for which he was ready-he looked forward to the coming of the Lord as his only hope, saying: “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.” 2 Timothy 4:8. The coming of the Lord is the blessed hope of the Christian, and besides it there is no other. W.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.6

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The fact that there is now in Los Angeles alone 6,000 persons unable to find employment, goes to prove that California, the far-famed golden land, is very far from being a land of gold for thousands who flock here with no definite end in view, without capital, with little knowledge of the State, and with no assurance of employment.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.7

    Some two or three weeks since the Catholic Review charged that Senator Ingalls was opposed to the admission of New Mexico, because the majority of its citizens are Roman Catholic.This the Senator at once denied in a letter to the Review, and now that paper absolves him from the charge; and peace reigns between the President of the Senate, and the Roman hierarchy.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.8

    Brother J. I. Tay, who for some months past has been in Papeiti, Tahiti, awaiting the arrival of Brother Cudney, reached San Francisco, on the 16th inst., thirty-one days from Papeiti. Elder Cudney sailed from Honolulu, H. I., on the 31st of last July, but had not reached Papeiti when Brother Tay left, on the 15th ult., nor has anything been heard from him since he sailed. Brother Tay did not succeed in reaching Pitcairn.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.9

    Scarlet is the color of Rome. In all her grotesque and ornate trappings it is noticeable. The red hats of her highest officers-the Cardinals-are significant emblems. And all these are in harmony with the sacred symbolism of this apostate, anti-Christian power. See Revelation 17:4-6. Among the false, usurping institutions of Rome, none has occupied a more prominent place, or has been more characteristic of Rome, than has the Sunday, especially as a religio-political factor. It is indeed significant and most fitting that the Sunday petitions to Congress should be pasted on scarlet cloth. It is an acknowledgment of the parentage of the Sunday institution, and an indorsement of the methods of Rome in forcing it upon those outside of her pale.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.10

    The following extract from the published report of the recent ministers’ meeting in San Francisco is suggested, as it shows how easily and in what manner the several so-called evangelical churches can unite for the accomplishment of whatever they may agree is for their mutual benefit. The extract is from the Chronicle of February 8th, and is as follows:-SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.11

    “Rev. Dennett read a paper on the growing tendency to union among the evangelical churches, as evidenced by the work of the Evangelical Alliance, the Young Men’s Christian Association, the union revival meetings, and the joint efforts of the different denominations in promoting temperance and Sunday observance. Essential unity, he thought, was quite consistent with diversity in the unessential things. Catholicism remained a unit because it allowed this diversity of opinion within certain limits.There was no more actual unity of opinion among Catholics and Protestants, but they avoided the many evils which sectarian divisions produce.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.12

    This is not a mere figment of the imagination. Not only is it possible for the various so-called orthodox Protestant churches to unite in this manner, but for practical purposes the thing is not an accomplished fact. And not only so, but in some of what they are pleased to denominate “essentials,” Protestants are already at one with Catholics; and the end is not yet.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.13

    The churches are beginning to feel their power when combined for political purposes, as is witnessed by the united demand for religious legislation; and that their power is felt in the political world, is attested by the alacrity with which they are served by men prominent in the councils of the nation. Mr. Dennett does well to refer to the Sunday-law movement to show the possibility of the various churches working together to accomplish their ends. And it shows more than that, for the measure of success already attained illustrates the truth of the words of a committee of the United States Senate, which in 1828 said: “Extensive religious combinations to effect a political object, are, in the opinion of the committee, always dangerous.” This tendency toward union among the churches bodes no good to the liberties of the people, when it manifests itself in a demand for religious legislation.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.14

    Love comprehends the all of the character of God. His justice and mercy are but constituent elements, perfectly blended. “God is love,” and “he that loveth not, knoweth not God” (1 John 4:8); while “everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.” Verse 7. Therefore “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10); that is, the doing of it: “for this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3. Love is often erroneously spoken of as one of the fruits of the Spirit; whereas it is the fruit. For “the fruit [singular] of the Spirit is love;” and “joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith [or, rather, faithfulness], meekness, temperance,” are all but manifestations and characteristics of love. Such love, obedient love (and there is no other true love exercised by a loyal subject, servant, or son), will give boldness in the day of Judgment; for “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.” It all comes through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. “We love him because he first love us.”SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.15

    What baptism is, what its object is, and what its value is, are points which have been discussed through the long centuries of the Christian era by Baptists, Pedobaptists, and anti-Baptists. Who are proper subjects of baptism? and when should it be administered? are questions constantly coming up. Does the mode of baptism make any difference? many ask. To all these questions we would reply, that the Scriptures state, “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” What baptism is, the baptism of the Spirit, the baptism of John and of Christ, the proper subjects of baptism, the order of baptism, its relation to the remission of sins, its “saving” power, its history in the first centuries of the church, and far much more, are all forcibly and scripturally set forth in “Thoughts on Baptism,” a pamphlet of nearly 200 pages. It is for sale at this office. Price, paper covers, 20 cents; flexible muslin, 30 cents, post-paid. A complete index of Scripture texts and authors are given, making the work valuable as a book of reference. Address, Pacific Press, Oakland, Cal.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.16

    Circulars had been sent us by Mr. Alex. J. Wedderburn, editor of the National Farm and Fireside, advocating the bills now before Congress in favor of pure food and pure lard. We hope they will pass. They ought to pass. Pure food is necessary to health. If a man purchases flour, it not plaster of Paris or ground tale. If he purchases butter, he wants butter, not oleomargarine. We suppose it is so with those who purchase lard, although it is hard to see how it could be adulterated by any substance of like nature, and thus be made worse. We don’t purchase it. It is absolutely impossible to find pure lard. By that we do not been that unadulterated lard cannot be found, for there is doubtless much of it. But the unadulterated is impure. It partakes of the nature of the scrofa (from which comes scrofula), or swine, from which it comes. But nevertheless, though it is impure, though we have no use for it in our internal or household economy, we are in favor of the bills. When other man wish to buy lard, they want lard. They have a right to the real article. Therefore, on the principle of the thing, all foods ought to be pure. If law will protect the innocent buyers from any adulteration, and check the manufacturer or vendor, let there be a law.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.17

    January 16 a bill was introduced into the California Senate, one section of which provides that “every person who keeps open on Sunday any store, workshop, bar, saloon, banking-house, or other place of business, for the purpose of transacting business therein, is punishable by fine not less than twenty nor more than one hundred dollars.” On the 8th of February the same bill was introduced into the Assembly, and on the 12th a number of petitions were presented praying for the passage of a Sunday law. This shows that the advocates of religious legislation in this State are not idle.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.18

    Though it has been repeatedly stated by many of the friends of Sunday laws that they have no wish to interfere in the least with those who conscientiously observe another day, we notice that the proposed law makes no exceptions for conscience’s sake. But it would not be less objectionable to us if it did, for we deny the right of the State to legislate upon such matters. The observance of the day as the Sabbath is a matter of religion, and with such matters the State cannot of right interfere.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.19

    “Vick’s Floral Guide” for 1889 is upon our table, and it is but justice to say that it is the finest publication of the kind that we have ever seen. The “Guide” is issued this year in a new shape, is printed from new type, has an elegant cover, and contains three beautiful colored plates. It also gives full directions for planting, transplanting, and caring for the various plans, vegetables, etc.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.20

    Every family that can do so should grow at least a few flowers and vegetables, and those who intend so doing should send fifteen cents to James Vick. Rochester, N.Y., for a copy of his matchless “Floral Guide” for 1889. The price of the “Guide” will be refunded to those ordering seeds.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.21

    “‘The Nun of Kenmare’” The Signs of the Times, 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    This is the title of a new book published by Ticknor & Co., and for sale by the publisher of the Converted Catholic, which is attracting a great deal of attention. It is an autobiography, by Miss M. Francis Clare Cusack, late Mother-General of the Sisters of Peace. She left the Church of England thirty years ago, and joined the Catholic Church, in which she has been noted for her charitable work, both in Ireland and in America. Her autobiography, however, is little more than a record of the jealousies and rivalries that exist among the prelates of the Roman Catholic Church, and of the petty meannesses and frauds to which they resort against any work which they can now run to their own personal interests. As Miss Cusack is still a Catholic, and her book is really an appeal to the Pope, her statements will carry more weight than they would if she had left that church.SITI February 25, 1889, page 120.22

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