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    August 25, 1890

    “Front Page” The Signs of the Times, 16, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Among the seven abominations which the Bible says that the Lord hates, is “he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:19. It is worthy of note that the one who does this is classed with “hands that shed innocent blood,” and “a false witness that speaketh lies.” When it is remembered that a “whisperer separateth very friends,” it will be seen that what is often considered as harmless gossip is not so harmless after all. It would seem as though the Lord regards a “tale-bearer,” a “whisperer,” or a “busybody in other men’s matters,” as one of the most despicable of creatures.SITI August 25, 1890, page 450.42

    The Congregationalist remarks that there is a decrease of the use of ear-rings by women, and thinks that it is due to something more than the caprice of fashion. It says that this “indicates a distinct advance toward greater intelligence in matters of dress and personal adornment. The long pendants hanging from the delicate lobes of the ear have entirely disappeared from view, except among the barbarous people with whom the custom originated; and one rarely finds a woman nowadays who is willing to pierce her flesh for the sake of wearing the less conspicuous studs, even if they be diamonds.” Whoever doubts this should observe closely, and he will find it a rare thing for thoughtful, intelligent, refined women to disfigure themselves by making their ears carriers of burdens.SITI August 25, 1890, page 450.43

    Romans 3:9-12. (Concluded.)” The Signs of the Times, 16, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The apostle continues, “For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid.” Romans 3:3, 4. It may be noted in passing, that the expression “God forbid” is not a correct rendering of the Greek text. “Be it not so” is a literal translation, and “not by any means” would express the meaning in ordinary language. What the apostle claims in this question and answer, both of which are his own, is that God’s promises to the Jews were not vitiated by the unbelief of some of them. The advantage of the Jew was great, because of the promises of God; and so sure are those promises that, notwithstanding the unbelief of the vast majority of the people, “all Israel” will yet be saved; for the place of the branches that were broken off because of unbelief will be filled by the alien branches which God will graft in. See Romans 11:17-20; Ephesians 2:12, 19.SITI August 25, 1890, page 450.44

    But Paul is not content with a simple negative to the question whether the unbelief of man can nullify the promises of God. He proceeds thus to vindicate God’s integrity: “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” Romans 3:4. God’s word is true, no matter how false man may prove. Not only so, but God alone is true, and every man is a liar, in the sense that he has gone contrary to the truth of God. Truth proceeds from God alone; there is not a truth in the world, not a thing of value, nothing that is worth knowing, that does not come from God. Every conception of truth that even to the faintest degree illuminates the darkness of any man’s mind, is a spark kindled by the Almighty.SITI August 25, 1890, page 450.45

    “As it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” This is a quotation from the Septuagint Version of Psalm 51:4. The fact that Paul, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, quoted from the Greek Version instead of the Hebrew original, is evidence that the former expresses the sense of the latter, but in another form. “That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings” is an exact rendering of the Hebrew of Psalm 51:4, and not, “that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest.” But what gives the casual reader trouble with Romans 3:4 is the clause, “and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” We shall see that this is perfectly in harmony with Psalm 51:4 as rendered in the common version, “be clear when thou judgest.”SITI August 25, 1890, page 450.46

    Let us begin with the latter rendering. The idea evidently is that in the judgment God’s righteousness will be made manifest. No matter how much men may oppose themselves to God, and cast reflections on his justice, in the judgment it will appear that he is indeed true, and that everything opposed to him is a lie. Thus God will be clear when he judges.SITI August 25, 1890, page 450.47

    But the very statement that he will be clear when he judges, carries with it the idea that his decisions have been called into question, and from this it is an easy transition to the idea that he himself has been brought into judgment; that his doings are on trial. And this is just what the Scriptures elsewhere represent. The forty-first chapter of Isaiah opens with a view of a court scene, and a call for silence in the court, wherein, although God himself is Judge, he and the heathen and their gods are on trial; and in Isaiah 43:9-12 we have the idea carried out, when the nations are challenged to bring forward their proofs, and those who have seen the mighty works of God are declared to be his witnesses, testifying that he alone is Lord. In a similar sense God was on trial before the people of Israel, in the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, when the verdict of the jury was unanimous in favor of God. See 1 Kings 18:19-39. And so God’s dealings with men, especially as they appear in the judgment, are in Romans 15:4 set forth for vividness in the light of a contest between God and men, in which God gains the victory, it being seen that he alone has justice on his side.SITI August 25, 1890, page 450.48

    In Isaiah 5:3, 4 the Lord asks for the judgment of the people, saying, “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” And thus God condescends in all his ways to submit them to the judgment of the people, and thus he educates their sense of right and wrong. Men’s judgments vary now, but in the end will be fulfilled the words of God. “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Isaiah 45:23. True, the wicked will thus acknowledge God’s justice, to their shame; but the righteous will for very joy of heart sing, “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” Revelation 15:3, 4.SITI August 25, 1890, page 450.49

    But the objector proceeds: “But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance?” Romans 3:5. The parenthetical expression, “I speak as a man,” is thrown in to show, what we have before stated, that this is merely a human objection. The idea of the question is this: If, as is claimed, God will come out victorious in the contest, and his righteousness will stand out in bolder relief for the contrast with the unrighteousness of men, is not God unrighteous in taking vengeance on those whose unrighteousness has thus contributed to that end? This insinuation is met with another swift negative, and the counter question, “For then how shall God judge the world?” This is an answer from fact. God will judge the world; but he would not do this if there were any unrighteousness in him.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.1

    Again the objector returns to the attack, with the same objection in another and even worse form: “For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?” Romans 3:7. The reader will readily see the similarity between verses 5 and 7. It is the same idea which Paul repudiates in Romans 6:1, 2, that we should continue in sin that grace may abound. Taking advantage of the implied statement (Romans 1:21) that God simply requires men to glorify him, the objector, with the most subtle sophistry, claims that since even the wickedness of ma is overruled to the praise of God, therefore it is in reality not wickedness, and the doers of it ought not to be judged as sinners. This is the modern Spiritualist ground, that evil is itself good, and that God cannot punish anybody.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.2

    Disgusted, and filled with righteous indignation at such a Jesuitical argument, the apostle breaks in, “And not rather (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say), Let us do evil, that good may come? Whose damnation if just.” Romans 3:8. This cannot be understood unless we read it as in the Revised Version, “And why not,” etc. The idea is plainly this: Why do you not say at once, as some slanderously affirm that we say, “Let us do evil that good may come”? The statement, “whose damnation is just,” refers not to the slanderers, but to those who think to escape judgment for sin by counting evil for good, or doing evil that good may come. The damnation of such is evidently just, for when they say, “Let us do evil that good may come,” as the objector has in effect been saying, they convict themselves of sin.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.3

    This retort by the apostle stops the objector on that line, and he helplessly asks, “What then? Are we better than they?” This is in reality the main question at issue (see Romans 2:17-29), and the asking of it shows that the objector has exhausted himself, and now throws the whole matter into Paul’s hands for him to settle, which he does as follows:-SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.4

    “No, in no wise; for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin [see chapters 1 and 2]; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:9-12.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.5

    The remainder of this summing up of the charge against all men, will be taken up in the next article; enough has been quoted to answer the objector’s question, and to close the controversy. And now, having noted these various points in detail, we will close by giving, in a somewhat free rendering, a general view of the dialogue, so that the reader may see the argument at a glance.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.6

    Jew-What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? Romans 3:1.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.7

    Paul-Much every way; chiefly that unto them was given the privilege of being the depositaries of God’s law, and thus to be the light of the world; for even if some did not believe, their unbelief cannot by any means shake God’s promises, for God is true though every man is a liar (compare 2 Timothy 2:13), and the judgment will vindicate him in all his ways. Verses 2-4.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.8

    J.-But if our unrighteousness enables men to see more plainly by contrast the righteousness of God, as they will in the judgment, is not God unrighteous if he condemns? Verse 5.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.9

    P.-Not by any means; for if God were unrighteous, he could not judge the world, as he certainly will do. Verse 6.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.10

    J.-Well, if the truth of God has been caused to stand out in bolder relief through my untruth; if my lie against the truth redounds to the praise of God, as it is said that the wrath of man shall praise him, why then should I be judged as a sinner? Verse 7.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.11

    P.-Why don’t you say at once just what you mean, and what some slanderously report that we say, “Let us do evil that good may come”? This is just what all your talk amounts to; but all who talk that way thereby show the justness of their own condemnation.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.12

    J.-What then, are we any better than the Gentiles? Verse 9, first part.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.13

    P.-“No, in no wise; for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one.” Verses 9-12. E. J. W.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.14

    “Sunday-law Argument” The Signs of the Times, 16, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Here is one of the anomalies of the Sunday-law argument. Mrs. Bateham told us in her lecture that the leading railroads, in deference to public sentiment, have reduced their Sunday freight traffic fully one-third. The universal verdict, said she, is favorable to the change. The mangers say that it is a financial gain to them, their employés are delighted, their patrons make no complaint about delay in freight, and the people in the towns and villages along the lines are pleased. The managers say that the reform ought to go farther, and that not a wheel should move on Sunday. Well, then, why in the name of reason and business common sense, don’t they stop Sunday traffic? If they want to do it, and the people who are concerned want them to do it, what is there to hinder them? They own their roads, and in other matters they usually do as they please; what need is there of a Sunday law in this case? Oh, says Mrs. Bateham, forgetting her admission made a minute before, they would stop if there was a law compelling all to stop, but they are afraid that somebody else will get their business. But this doesn’t tally with their statement that the one-third reduction of their traffic has been a financial gain. It is a marvelous thing to us that business men should need a law to compel them to do that which they have power to do, which they want to do, which all their patrons want them to do, and which they have already demonstrated would be to their pecuniary interest.SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.15

    Mrs. Bateham told us in her lecture on Monday night that the reason why France has not in the past been able to maintain a republican form of government is that she had no Sunday laws. She said that France is now seeing her mistake; the people have seen that the stability of the United States was due to its Sunday laws, and they are now vigorously agitating the question. She told us that “the maintenance of the Sabbath [Sunday] as a civil institution is an absolute necessity to the stability of any government.” Such general assertions, unsupported by argument, may satisfy those who already think that a Sunday law is the panacea for all the ills that flesh is heir to; but before we accept them, we should like to have a simple historical fact explained to us. Rome existed as a republic for about five hundred years. It tolerated all religions. During this time it conquered the world, and became the strongest government that ever existed on earth. It retained its prestige under the empire for about three hundred years more. “The iron monarchy of Rome” is an apt expression of the strength of the government. All this time it had no Sunday law. Constantine came to the throne. Under his reign Rome was at the height of her glory. He enacted a Sunday law for the empire, and within a good deal less than two hundred years the Roman Empire had crumbled to pieces. Can Mrs. Bateham or any of our Sunday-law friends explain this by their theory?SITI August 25, 1890, page 458.16

    One of the richest things in Mrs. Bateham’s talk the other night was her attempt to astonish the audience by the announcement that the District of Columbia has no Sunday law. This, she said, is a late discovery. Until quite recently the people had all supposed that the District had good Sunday laws, but when a little incident called for an investigation, they found to their great surprise that there was on the statue-books nothing but an old, obsolete, colonial law. Consequently they went to work immediately to remedy this grave defect, and the Breckinridge bill was the result. Of its ignominious failure she said nothing, but expressed confidence that the nex Congress would give the District a Sunday law. But what impressed us the most forcibly in her remarks was the fact that the people had got along so well for a hundred years without any Sunday law, and were perfectly happy until they found that they didn’t have one. Then they couldn’t rest. Isn’t it terrible? Just think what a loss the District of Columbia has sustained all these years in not having a Sunday law, and no one was conscious of it! It has been in the condition of the man upon whom the Irish coroner rendered the verdict, “Dead, but not conscious of the fact.”SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.1

    One would naturally suppose that those whose whole life is devoted to the securing of Sunday laws, both State and national, would know all about the working of such laws in the past. Yet Mrs. Bateham, in her second lecture in Oakland, said that no trouble had ever yet resulted from Sunday laws, except in one or two cases in Missouri, where a mistake was made; although it is a matter of national report that, in Arkansas, there have been scores of cases of persecution, as also in Tennessee, and that in the latter State one man has been convicted and fined twice for the same act, and his case is now in the courts. One old man was imprisoned for months, to the lasting injury of his health, and in Georgia a man lost his life from exposure in prison. Shall we charitably conclude that the ignoring of such facts as these is due to pure ignorance?SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.2

    Last Friday evening Mrs. Bateham delivered a second lecture in Oakland, to an audience of forty-two. She told us, immediately after the reading of Genesis 2:1-3, that the original Sabbath was the first day and not the seventh; that Adam’s first Sabbath was the first day of the week, because “we always count time from the beginning of man’s life;” that God gave the Jews the seventh day as their especial day, going back to the first day at the cross; that the fourth commandment is indefinite, requiring no special day, but only a seventh day after any six days of labor; that whether we believe that Saturday or Sunday is the Sabbath, we can all come together on this common ground, and so can work together for a Sunday law; that “a seventh day” will not satisfy the demands of a Sunday law, but it must enforce a definite day; and finally, that time has been lost, especially by the dropping out of ten days at the changing of the calendar, so that we can’t tell anything about the days of the week, and that it is impossible for everybody to keep the same day anyhow. All of which was respectfully submitted to a presumably intelligent audience.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.3

    “‘N. R. J.’ and the ‘Civil Sabbath’” The Signs of the Times, 16, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Editor SIGNS OF THE TIMES: As copied into the American Sentinel of July 21, I have this day read your criticism of my letter to the Christian Statesman of May 15. Will you admit a few lines in my own defense? For I think you misunderstand me. I am sure your readers will if they did not read my letter in the Statesman.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.4

    1. I do not believe in a “civil Sabbath” in the sense in which you use the words. I never have said that a “civil Sabbath,” is all that I favor. I differ entirely from the majority of the California people, who ask a Sunday law merely as a police or sanitary regulation. From the first of Rev. Mr. Crafts’ coming here, and all the time, I have most decidedly objected to his theory of a “civil Sunday.” In the Christian Statesman I wrote against it; and it was because of my objection to the “civil Sunday” that I wrote what I did about the action of the State Prohibition Convention. I finally reject the secular theory of government and of education alike. Others wish only a “civil Sunday;” I wish the Sabbath of the Lord our God, the Institutor of it.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.5

    2. The only authority we have for the observance of a sabbath-the only power that has any right to require a seventh portion of time to be observed as sacred to rest and to worship, whether it be a seventh-day or a first-day Sabbath-is the divine Lawgiver, whose will is declared in the law of the fourth commandment. Neither Church nor State has any right to make law about a Sabbath. “The Sabbath was made [i.e., appointed] for man.” God appointed it. Governments or Legislatures have no power except to recognize it as God’s law, binding upon the people, and to see that the law which forbids work be not trampled underfoot by open transgressors.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.6

    3. God is the author of all moral law. He is the source of all authority. “There is no power but of God.” Governments may only find out law, the divine law, and accept and codify it as the law by which the people must be governed. Especially do governments have nothing to do in legislation in the department of religion. Governments only sphere is in civil matters.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.7

    4. The law of the fourth commandment is partly religious and partly civil. It commands religious duties: It also commands civil duties. “In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man servant, nor thy maid servant.... nor thy stranger that is within thy gate; that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as them.” That is civil law. Government should protect men in the enjoyment of their right. The right to rest as God requires, belongs to a servant. If the master does not grant the right to an employe, he is a transgressor of law. Government must protest the wronged. God requires it. Government is his agent. Thus government may legislate as to the enforcement of God’s civil law for the protection of men in the enjoyment of God-given rights. Thus far I am in favor of a “civil Sabbath.” Am I understood?SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.8

    5. “Thou shalt not steal” is a moral, civil law. Governments have no power to either reject it or to modify it. The same is true of the fourth commandment. Except by moral restraints or motives the church has no power to prevent work on the Sabbath. But a law without a penalty is no law at all. Therefore, civil government is the only and the proper power to punish the open transgression of God’s civil law. Thus far I am in favor of a civil Sabbath law. But remember that the permission or obligation to legislate about Sabbath observance is derived wholly from God. Men or governments have no such authority. The religious obligation is the only one existing: i.e., we should have Sabbath laws only because God requires them and for man’s good. And the principle I advocate is applicable whether the first or the seventh day should be kept holy. Which is the true Sabbath is not the question here and now. I honor the convictions of those who conscientiously believe in the seventh-day Sabbath; for I beg leave to say that I do not believe in “only a civil Sabbath.” I am not in favor of “only a civil Sunday law.” I prefer the fourth commandment; and the people, the church, and the State that permit it to be trampled underfoot by lawless desecrators are false to God and to humanity. Yours for the truth and the right.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.9


    We give place to the above letter of explanation, not alone as an act of courtesy to a very estimable gentleman, with whom we enjoy a pleasant acquaintance, but also for the special benefit of the readers of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES. Mr. Johnston is an honored member of the National Reform Association. He was secretary of one of the early national conventions of that organization, and is a regular contributor to the Christian Statesman. Therefore when we read a statement from him, we feel that we read the thoughts of the National Reform Association. We shall doubtless have occasion to make frequent reference to that body in the future, and those of our readers who treasure up this letter will know, as well as anyone can know, what its principles are on the Sunday question. We will now offer a few words of comment on the letter, section by section.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.10

    1. We wish that all Sunday-law people stood where Mr. Johnston does, and would as frankly avow their belief in, and desire for, a law from a religious standpoint. We are sure that this is where they all stand, in heart; but repeated defeats on that line have taught many to conceal their real sentiments by pleading for a merely “civil Sunday.” With the exception of the statement, “I totally reject the secular theory of government and of education alike,” there is nothing in section No. 1 that we could not heartily second. We also “wish the Sabbath of the Lord our God,” not, however, enforced by civil authority.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.11

    But by the above phrase Mr. Johnston means Sunday, which is not the Sabbath of the Lord our God. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:10. It was such as late as the time when Christ was on earth, and when the New Testament was written. See Mark 2:23-28. If the Lord has changed the day of his Sabbath, it has been done since his revelation was given to man, and we should like to know where the record of the change is, and to whom he committed it.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.12

    2. With the exception of the last sentence, we most emphatically say, “Good!” to section 2. But to the statement that it is the province of Legislatures to recognize God’s law as binding on the people, and to see that it is not trampled underfoot, we offer a most emphatic protest. That would be a union of Church and State, for it is simply a partnership between God and the State, by the terms of which the Lord is to enact the laws, and the State is to enforce them. This is just the same as a partnership in which one party furnishes the capital and the other does the work. God has not relegated to any inferior power the right or authority to enforce his laws. To think that he “that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers,” before whom all nations “are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity” (Isaiah 40:22, 17), should intrust the execution of his laws to those same comparatively insignificant creatures, is an insult to common sense, to say nothing of revelation.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.13

    It is a misapprehension of the fourth commandment, to assume that it simply forbids work on the Sabbath-day. Paul says that “the law is spiritual.” If it is not spiritual, it is nothing. Just what the fourth commandment does forbid is shown by its Author in Isaiah 58:13: “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words,” etc. Now if civil government takes it upon itself to see that men do not “trample underfoot” the fourth commandment, it must see that they do not speak their own words on the Sabbath-day. A difficult task it would be, yet as difficult a task was undertaken by the Inquisition. Only the Inquisition could determine to any degree whatever whom to punish for violation of the fourth commandment. God never established the Inquisition, but a National Reform government could not be carried on without it; therefore God has nothing to do with National Reform.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.14

    3. A queer mixture is in this paragraph. Governments have nothing to do with religion, yet they must codify and enforce divine law! Since God is the moral Governor, and human governments are to enforce his decrees, yet are to have nothing to do with religion, we may ask, Whence, then, comes religion? But why should the law of God need to be codified by human legislators? Is it not sufficiently clear and concise? The idea that poor, weak, fallible mortals can codify the laws of the Omnipotent Ruler of the universe, which were spoken by his own voice, and engraved in the flinty rock with his own finger, is too monstrous an assumption to be amusing. To codify is to epitomize; to arrange or systematize; to make an orderly collection or compendium of. It is a long step in advance of having the same thing loosely arranged. Therefore since the National Reform government would codify the laws of God, it must be a legitimate successor of that power that “opposeth and exalteth itself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped.”SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.15

    4. Yes, you are understood quite well. “The law of the fourth commandment is partly religious and partly civil!” We have often heard the claim made, and now propose to place it by the side of one text of Scripture. “For we know that the law is spiritual.” Romans 7:14. Can you say that, Brother Johnston? or have you information of a later date than Paul’s? That cannot be, for he spoke by inspiration that which he had learned from God himself; and God does not change. Facts cannot change. If the law was spiritual in Paul’s day, it is spiritual still, not partly spiritual and partly something else. The idea that the moral law is partly civil is a modern invention, conjured up by presumptuous, self-seeking men, as an excuse for their attempt to divide honors with the Almighty. In saying this, we mean no disrespect to Mr. Johnston. Even the apostle Barnabas was once unsuspectingly carried away by dissimulation.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.16

    But, Brother Johnston, you say in paragraph one that you don’t want a civil Sunday law; you are frank in your avowal of a desire for a Sunday law form a religious standpoint; then why the reference to the supposed civil features of the fourth commandment as an aid to your plea? Why detract from its complete and perfect morality, and make it partly secular, when you don’t want a secular Sunday law? We can answer. It is because nobody can argue for Sunday laws without involving himself in hopeless inconsistencies.SITI August 25, 1890, page 459.17

    If the reference to “gates” in the fourth commandment be construed as referring to city gates, then the whole commandment must be considered as addressed to the government, and not to the individual. But it is actually addressed individually to every man. Each man is to keep the Sabbath; his son and his daughter must likewise keep it; his man-servant and his maid-servant must also keep it; and also the stranger within his gates. That is, all who are upon the man’s premises must keep the Sabbath, because if they worked, it would be the same as if he worked.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.1

    It is true that government must protect a man in the enjoyment of God-given rights; but that does not signify that it must force a man to accept that which he does not regard as a right, but which he thinks is positively wrong. Protection and compulsion are widely different. Government must protect the wronged. If a servant wishes to keep Sunday, and his employer by force and power compels him to work, then he may appeal to the law for protection, and so may any man who is forcibly deprived of his liberty. But we must confess that we have never heard of such a case since the abolition of slavery. In these days when employés strike for the most trivial causes, and almost every laborer belongs to some organization which assumes the right to dictate to the employer just how far he may go in any case, it is sheer nonsense to talk of men being compelled to work on Sunday against their will.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.2

    5. In this section we have the climax. “‘Thou shalt not steal’ is a moral civil law.” The Bible knows nothing of any such mongrel. “The law is spiritual.” It is wholly spiritual. He who keeps it only outwardly does not keep it at all. Read the Saviour’s dissertation on the law, in Matthew 5:19-28, and his denunciation of hypocrites, in Matthew 23:25-28. Thousands of men who have never been guilty of any act of which the State could take notice, have lived in daily violation of the eighth commandment, as well as the seventh, and others.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.3

    But what shall we say to this: “But a law without a penalty is no law at all. Therefore, civil government is the only and the proper power to punish the open transgression of God’s civil law,” which is the moral law of ten commandments. God says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay;” but National Reform says that God hasn’t the power, and that if human governments do not administer the penalty, sin must go unpunished. Christ says that God has given the Son authority to execute judgment, and that he will do this when he comes from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire (see John 5:27; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9); but National Reform says that human governments must execute judgment now, or else the sinner will go free. Could any worse insult to the majesty of Jehovah be invented? Mr. Johnston is a minister of the gospel, and we know that he is personally devout and reverent; therefore we feel the more astonished that he should champion a cause which puts man above God; yea, which sets man on the throne of judgment, and relegates God to obscurity.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.4

    We have studied brevity in noticing these points, for our space is limited; but we trust that all the readers of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES can see that opposition to Sunday laws, and to the theory which underlies them, is not simply a matter of protesting against a possible injustice to a few men. It is a religious duty incumbent on everyone who has any regard for the honor of God. Human government is secular, and only secular; that is, it pertains wholly to this world and to worldly affairs. God is the only moral governor; his government is the only moral government; his law is the only moral law; and it is wholly moral. With it man has nothing to do but to obey it. The duty of the king is identical with that of the humblest subject. Both are alike answerable to God, and to him alone, for violation of it. So broad are its requirements, that no one can keep them except through the grace of Christ; no one can boast over another; and no one can get beyond simple, personal obedience to it, so that he can act as an overseer to his fellows.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.5

    To those who assume to exercise the prerogatives of God, he will say at the last day, “Who hath required this at your hands?” and like the man in the parable, they will be speechless; for “the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.” E. J. W.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.6

    “Entering the Kingdom. Luke 18:15-30” The Signs of the Times, 16, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Luke 18:15-30; August 31, 1890.)

    Verses 15-17 relate the bringing of children to Jesus, the rebuke of the disciples, and his call for children to come to him. There is not in this, as is sometimes assumed, the slightest hint of infant baptism. Infants that have not come to an age where they can understand right and wrong for themselves, are special subjects of God’s favor. By virtue of Christ’s sacrifice they share in the universal redemption from the death which results from their being descendants of Adam. They do not have to be baptized in order to be made alive from this death, for that is promised to the wicked as well as to the good. But being made alive from this death, they cannot suffer the death which is the penalty of sin, for they have never had personal guilt. Consequently they are saved by God’s grace, the same as all who are saved, but without baptism, for it is impossible for them to comply with the conditions of baptism; they can neither believe nor disbelieve.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.7

    Since God is so merciful toward the infants, it naturally follows that he will gladly receive the children who come to him voluntarily, no matter how young they may be. When we say there is no authority for infant baptism, we do not say that sometimes very young children may not properly be baptized. As soon as a child is old enough to believe in Christ, it is old enough to be baptized. And that children are capable of understanding and accepting the gospel, yea, that they can understand and receive more readily than adults, is shown by verse 17: “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” He does not say that children are to receive the kingdom as old people, but that all are to receive it as children. This does not mean that people must become childish, but that they must have the simple, trusting faith of children. The belief of children is made the model. It is strange that, in the face of such a scripture as this, any should ever question the propriety of receiving into the church children who give evidence of a knowledge of Christ.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.8

    “And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.” This was not a modest disclaimer on the part of Christ of the epithet “good.” He did not mean to imply that he was not good, for that would have been to deny himself. Says the psalmist, “He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” Psalm 92:15. Peter says that he “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22. Paul says that he “knew no sin.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. John says, “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5. He was absolute goodness personified, for it is in him that we are to be made the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21. Then what must he have meant when he said to the young ruler, “Why callest thou me good?” Simply this, that he himself was God. “The Word was God,” and “the Word was made flesh.” John 1:1, 14. At the very outset Jesus took advantage of the young man’s form of expression to let him know that he was standing in the presence, not of a pious Jewish rabbi, but of divinity in the form of humanity. He took this striking way of intimating to the ruler that the one whom he was asking what he should do to inherit life, was the author of life, the one who had it to bestow, and who could therefore answer his question with authority.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.9

    The narrative in Matthew is a little more complete than in Luke. We quote from the former. Jesus, having incidentally shown his high position and authority, as we have seen, answered the young man’s question thus: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17. Passing by for the moment the answer of Jesus, we note the young man’s reply. “He saith unto him. Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honor thy father and thy mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet?” Verse 18-20.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.10

    In view of the last statement made by the young man, the question, “Which?” was a most natural one. When Christ said, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments,” there was no doubt in the young man’s mind as to what was meant. Every Jew was instructed in the law, and this young man was a ruler. But he was struck with astonishment that Christ should use such language to him, who prided himself on his obedience to the law. His question, “Which?” was almost equivalent to a challenge to Christ to tell him what he ought to do that he had not done. He in reality thought that he lacked nothing.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.11

    “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” They are the rule of life, and will be the standard in the judgment. “Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. And since the commandments are to be the standard of character in the judgment, it follows that everyone whose character is in harmony with them will have eternal life. So we read, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. This was the condition of eternal life from the beginning. See Deuteronomy 11:26, 27; 30:15-19.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.12

    But if this is the condition of eternal life, and the young man had kept all the commandments from his youth up, how could it be that he lacked anything to enable him to inherit eternal life? This is just the point; he hadn’t kept them. Christ tested him on the last, which really underlies the whole. Said he, “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” This test the ruler could not endure. He loved wealth more than he loved God; he loved this world more than the next. He did not love his neighbor as himself, and he had other gods beside the one God. While rendering outward obedience to all the commandments, he had unconsciously been breaking them all in spirit.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.13

    The one thing lacing in his case was to follow Christ. Jesus did not mean that he should add following him to obedience to the commandments, for, as we have seen, he had not kept the commandments. The one thing lacking to a perfect obedience to the commandments was to was to follow Christ, without whom nothing can be done. Eternal life can be had only on condition of keeping the commandments; but no one can keep the commandments without Christ. So Christ is the one thing needful. Having him, we have everything.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.14

    The young man was one of the Jews who had followed after the law of righteousness, but who had not attained unto righteousness, because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. Romans 9:31, 32. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” Romans 10:4. This does not mean that he puts an end to the law, for he himself declares that the law is the test of fitness to enter heaven. But in him the end of the law, which is righteousness and peace (see Isaiah 48:18), is found; for “he is our peace,” and we are “made the righteousness of God in him.” And so we have “the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” inseparably joined together. Neither can exist without the other. There can be no keeping of the commandments outside of Christ (John 15:5; Hebrews 11:6), and whoever is united to Christ will keep the law, for Christ is the personification of the righteousness of God.SITI August 25, 1890, page 460.15

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