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    September 8, 1890

    “Front Page” The Signs of the Times, 16, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    How many Christians think when they engage in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper that it touches both advents of Christ? Paul says: “For as oft as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Corinthians 11:26. To the man who does not believe in the second coming of Christ, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper cannot mean anything. Do you say that it is even to such a one an emblem of Christ’s death? Of what use is it to celebrate his death, if he be not coming the second time to complete the work of redemption? He was delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification, and to those who look for him he will appear again, for their salvation. The death and resurrection of Christ are really a pledge that he will come again; for Christ’s resurrection is the pledge of the resurrection of all who are his, and the resurrection of the dead cannot take place till he comes. See 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.SITI September 8, 1890, page 467.9

    “How Righteousness Is Obtained” The Signs of the Times, 16, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justified of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay; but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also; seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:21-31.SITI September 8, 1890, page 467.10

    After reading the above, read thoughtfully the preceding verses of the chapter, in order that the connection may be kept. Remember that the main point already made in the chapter is that all men-both Jews and Gentiles-have sinned in the sight of God; all are amenable to the law of God, and all are condemned by it; and therefore it is impossible for any to be justified by it. It cannot declare those righteous who have broken it, and its requirements are so pure and lofty that no fallen man has strength to fulfill them. Therefore no man can obtain any righteousness by the law; and yet without holiness-perfect conformity to the law-no man can see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14. But some will see the Lord (see Revelation 22:3, 4), therefore they must get holiness in some other way than by the law. How this can be is the problem, since the law is the complete and perfect expression of the righteousness of God. The scripture at the head of this article solves the problem. Let us note it carefully.SITI September 8, 1890, page 467.11

    “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested.” Ah! That gives hope. But, hold! Are we not in danger of being led astray? Dare we trust in a righteousness that is obtained apart from the law? Well, since we can’t get anything from the law itself, we shall have to get it apart from the law if we have any at all. But don’t be alarmed, for remember that this righteousness which we are to get without or apart from the law, is “the righteousness of God.” Why, that’s just what the law is! Exactly; there can be no real righteousness that is not the righteousness of God, and all that righteousness is set forth in his law. Where and how we are to get it we shall see presently; but note first that it is “witnessed by the law and the prophets.” It is such righteousness as the law will give its sanction to. Now where is it to be obtained?SITI September 8, 1890, page 467.12

    “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe.” And so we have the strongest evidence that we shall not be put to shame before the law, if we can only obtain this righteousness. For we know that Christ, as part of the Godhead, is equal with the Father. He is the Word, and is God. As the Word, the manifestation of Him whom no man hath seen, he spoke the law with his own voice. He spoke it “as one having authority,” “for in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Therefore if we get the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ, it is evident that we shall have the righteousness which the law requires, because we get it from the Fountain-head. Our righteousness comes from the same source that the righteousness of the law does.SITI September 8, 1890, page 467.13

    How do we get it?-By faith. How else could we get it? Since it is impossible for any to get righteousness by the deeds of the law, it is evident that it must come by faith, as a gift. And this is in keeping with the statement that “the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Someone says that it doesn’t seem possible that we could get righteousness in this way. But think a moment; “sin” and “righteousness” simply denote our relation to God. Now if there is a way by which he can, consistently with his justice, count us righteous, he has a right to. Who shall say that he may not do what he will with his own?SITI September 8, 1890, page 467.14

    “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. In giving his only begotten Son for the world, it was the same as though he gave himself; he did give himself. And since the Just died for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18), God can be just and count as righteous the one who will have faith in Jesus.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.1

    “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay; but by the law of faith.” The term “law” as used in this verse has no reference to a code, or to any set rules laid down. It must be considered rather as having the sense of “principle.” We are justified, not on the principle of works, but on the principle of faith. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” No other conclusion can be arrived at from what has gone before. By the deeds of the law there can no flesh be justified, for all have sinned, and those who obtain righteousness obtain it freely as a gift, through the graciousness of God. This excludes boasting. No one can boast of what he has done, for he has done nothing of which a good man would boast. Only good deeds are worthy to be boasted of; but the goodness that we have is given us by the Lord, and so we cannot boast of that. As Paul says elsewhere: “For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 2 Corinthians 4:7. There is no chance for boasting except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.2

    There are a few expressions in the portion already passed over that must have more attention. One is, “To declare his righteousness for the remission of sin that are past.” This must not be taken as indicating that the grace of God exhausts itself in pardoning sin, and that for our future life we must stand alone. No; if that were true, boasting would not be excluded. We are as dependent on Christ for the continued manifestation of his righteousness in us as for the first exhibition of it. He says: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me, ...for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:4, 5. But God’s grace does not remit any sins except those that are past. Sins that are not past have no existence. To remit or pardon them before they are committed would simply be to grant indulgence or license to sin; only the Pope has presumed to do that, and in so doing he has set himself above God.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.3

    Note also that the righteousness by faith of Jesus Christ is “unto all and upon all them that believe.” On the word rendered “unto,” Prof. James R. Boise has this excellent note: “Not simply unto, in the sense to, towards, up to, as the word is commonly understood; but into (in the strict and usual sense of eis), entering into the heart, into the inner being of all those who have faith.” This is exactly in accordance with God’s promise in the covenant: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.” Jeremiah 31:33. The righteousness that comes by faith is not superficial; it is actual; it is made a part of the individual.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.4

    And let no one lose sight of the grand fact that not for a moment can anybody escape from the law. The law is ever present. The gospel does not absolve from obligation to it; on the contrary, the gospel emphasizes our obligation, in that it exists for the sole purpose of bringing us into a state of perfect obedience to the law. The man who imagines that faith leads away from the law, does not know what faith is, nor what it is for. Faith can be exercised only toward Christ, who is its author and finisher. He alone has been set forth as the object of faith. But he has been set forth only “that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Says Paul again: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. The antinomian is not the man who has genuine faith in Christ. He cannot be, for if he has Christ, he must have the law; for Christ is the embodiment of the law.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.5

    And now for a very brief summary of the verses that we have commented upon. First, all are guilty, condemned by the law, so that they cannot get from it the righteousness which it requires. They try again and again, but in vain; they cannot turn aside its just condemnation. But now Christ appears on the scene. He is the one whence the law derives all its righteousness, and he promises to give it freely to all who will accept it. This he can do, because grace, as well as truth, comes by him. The sinner accepts Christ, tremblingly, yet knowing that it is his only hope. Christ covers him with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) and puts his righteousness into his heart. He takes away the filthy garment, and clothes him with change of raiment, saying, “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee.” Zechariah 3:3-5. And now the law, which before condemned him, witnesses to his righteousness. It engages to go into court and defend anyone upon whom is found that righteousness, for it is its own righteousness. And so the man who was almost in despair because he could not get righteousness of the law, and who turned from it, finds it in its perfection in Christ.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.6

    “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3. This hope and purification work reciprocally. The hope that when Christ comes we shall see him as he is, and be like him, must necessarily tend to purity of life. A man cannot possess that hope without becoming purer. And purity of life makes more certain the hope; for the promise is that the pure in heart shall see God. What makes this hope the more real is that the possessor has a partial fulfillment of it even in this life. Only those will see God as he is who have made his acquaintance here. By faith they see him now, as Moses, who “endured as seeing him who is invisible.” Acquaintance and association with God and the angels must be begun in this life it is to be continued in eternity.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.7

    “Hope” The Signs of the Times, 16, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3. This hope and purification work reciprocally. The hope that when Christ comes we shall see him as he is, and be like him, must necessarily tend to purity of life. A man cannot possess that hope without becoming purer. And purity of life makes more certain the hope; for the promise is that the pure in heart shall see God. What makes this hope the more real is that the possessor has a partial fulfillment of it even in this life. Only those will see God as he is who have made his acquaintance here. By faith they see him now, as Moses, who “endured as seeing him who is invisible.” Acquaintance and association with God and the angels must be begun in this life if it is to be continued in eternity.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.8

    “A Good Utterance” The Signs of the Times, 16, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    On the evening of August 26, a banquet was given in the First Congregational Church, Oakland, Cal., by the Congregational Club, in honor of Rev. Dr. R. R. Meredith, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who was its guest. Many pastors of Congregational Churches in San Francisco and the surrounding towns, were present.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.9

    In response to several addresses, in which warm fraternal sentiments were expressed toward himself, Dr. Meredith said that two thoughts had been uppermost in his mind during his journey across the continent, and his thirty days’ visit on the coast. These thoughts were Christianity and the country. Of the former, he said: Strictly defined, its essential spirit is a missionary spirit. From its institution down to this day, its true work has been missionary work. The church, which is the embodiment of Christianity, is necessarily a missionary society; that and nothing else. Jesus Christ, the author of Christianity, and the founder of the church, was himself strictly a missionary; for he came to seek and to save them that were lost.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.10

    As to the country, he firmly believed that God had, for centuries before it was settled, kept his hand upon this land for a peculiar purpose, keeping out the old nations until an appointed time. And this peculiar purpose, he believed, was to establish on this continent a nation in which the political and religious institutions should be kept utterly separate; in short, a nation in which there should be not the shadow of a union of Church and State, and no State support for church schools. And he thanked God for that purpose; for Christianity needs no aid, no support, from the State. Christianity has power within itself to stand alone; to accomplish its own mission; and should the day ever come in this country, when the church, as in an hour of great temptation in the third century join hands with the State to accomplish her aims, that will be her day of peril, and will seal the fate of the country.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.11

    So far as Dr. Meredith’s utterance is concerned, it is all right, but the trouble is, he does not realize what may constitute a union of Church and State. The fact that he says, “Should the day ever come in this country when the Church...joins hands with the State to accomplish her aims,” etc., shows that he does not realize that the church is quite generally doing that very thing now, in asking the State to teach religion in the public schools, and to maintain Sunday observance. And so, in spite of his opposition to Church and State union, he may be expected to lend a hand to help it on. Yet we are glad of such utterances, for they call people’s attention to the danger attending a union of Church and State, and so prepare them to oppose it when we show them that the principle of such union is embodied in Sunday legislation.SITI September 8, 1890, page 474.12

    “‘An Unanswerable Argument’” The Signs of the Times, 16, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Here is positively the very latest thing in the line of arguments against the Sabbath of the Lord. It is from an article in the World’s Crisis of August 20. We are thus particular in giving the credit, lest it should be doubted that anybody is capable of evolving such an argument:-SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.1

    “Why do people want to keep the seventh day? No one will ever get any credit from God for so doing. Let me hear call your attention to a point that I have never read in print, and maybe somewhat new. When Paul was telling Timothy what should transpire in the last days, making them perilous, he mentions a score or more features, but says nothing about Sabbath-breaking. To my mind this is an unanswerable argument against the seventh day been binding.”SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.2

    We think that this is not only “somewhat new,” but altogether new. We freely allow to the writer all honors of its discovery. Paul didn’t mention Sabbath-breaking in his list of last-day horrors, therefore the seventh day cannot be binding! Very well, let us go on. Paul said not a word in that list about stealing, therefore the eighth commandment cannot be binding, and must be right to steal. He didn’t mention drunkenness, therefore the temperance societies are all anti-scriptural. He said nothing about the worship of graven images, therefore, to the mind of the discoverer of the new anti-Sabbath argument, this is doubtless an unanswerable argument against there being anything wrong in idol-worship.SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.3

    We confess that we are disgusted with such folly. We were going to call it childish reasoning, but we have too high an opinion of children’s logic. No child would argue in such a way. We have this apology to make for taking the space to notice it: We know that it is not worth answering, but it is an excellent specimen of the extremities to which men are driven in their fight against the Sabbath. The fact that men with presumably fair sense can call such an assemblage of words an unanswerable argument against the seventh day being binding, is a strong argument in its favor.SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.4

    As to the idea of keeping the Sabbath in order to get credit, we have only to say that we don’t expect any. After we have done all, we shall be obliged to confess that we are “unprofitable servants;” we shall have done only our duty. Eternal life will come as a gift. But if we get no credit for doing what we are plainly commanded to do, what will be the case if we fall short of that? Here is something that our friend will do well to consider.SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.5

    “Millennial Conversion” The Signs of the Times, 16, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Evangelist (Presbyterian) says:-SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.6

    “Is it a pleasing fact to look in the face, that our church through the past seven years has added to its ranks from the world not quite four each year for every hundred of its members? At this rate, it will need centuries to complete its conquests, for its numbers would be doubled only after eighteen and a half years.”SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.7

    It certainly is not a pleasing fact, from whatever standpoint it is looked at. And it would seem to be quite a discouraging factor for those to look at who think that the world is to be converted before the coming of the Lord. The number of heathen born every year is greater than the number of converts to Christianity in the whole world. Will the result be to open men’s eyes to the truth that the coming of the Lord to judgment will alone put an end to wickedness?-No; finding that the millennium will not come through preaching, but, on the contrary, wickedness increases, they will foolishly think to make people Christian by legal enactment. When they induce all nations to pass “Christian laws,” then, in the midst of still existing wickedness, they will cry, “Peace and safety,” when sudden destruction will come. 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3. The doctrine of the temporal millennium will be responsible for the lack of preparation on the part of thousands.SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.8

    “Protestantism and Persecution” The Signs of the Times, 16, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In his speech before the National Convention of Teachers, at St. Paul, Archbishop Ireland said:-SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.9

    “I would permeate the regular State school with the religion of the majority of the children of the land, be it as Protestant as Protestantism can be, and I would, as they do in England, pay for the secular instruction given in denominational schools according to results.”SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.10

    We have argued many times that such a course would be a complete union of Church and State, although it is just what thousands of professed “reformers” in United States are clamoring for. But the views which we have often stated are put so well by the Independent that we gladly give place to them. Speaking of the archbishop’s plan, it says:-SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.11

    “We Protestants cannot accept it. We do not want the State to make our public schools ‘as Protestant as Protestantism can be.’ We do not trust the State enough for that. We do not want the State to interfere with our religious matters. We cannot depend on the State to provide the sort of teachers always to whose religious instruction we are willing to commit our children. We know too well what that means. If the State can see to it that in its schools the children are taught its own Protestant religion, then it can say that this is a Protestant country, and that we do not want any but Protestants to come here; that other religions are foreign and un-American, unpatriotic and seditious; that Catholic parochial schools are a menace to our Protestant institutions, and if Catholic schools, then Catholic Churches; and the step is not a long one, and is a most logical one, to persecution. A State Church means persecution. There is always a quarrel until you have either an absolute, persecuting State Church, or an absolutely free church. The Protestant State Churches of Europe are rapidly becoming free churches. So far as they are not free, the religion of the minority is practiced under a disadvantage. Catholics and Dissenters even in England now suffer under serious disadvantages, which are not persecution simply because England is moving perceptibly toward complete establishment.”SITI September 8, 1890, page 475.12

    Perhaps such words as these, coming from so influential a journal as the New York Independent, will be given some attention. If any advocate of State religion is able to show that the position is not a just one, we should be glad to know it.SITI September 8, 1890, page 476.1

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 16, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is expected that the missionary ship, Pitcairn, will be dedicated on Thursday, September 25, during the camp-meeting at Oakland.SITI September 8, 1890, page 476.2

    Isn’t its strange that the laboring men, who are represented by the Sunday-law lecturers as consumed with desire for a Sunday law, are in mortal dread of saying anything about it, lest they should lose their places, and yet they will strike for an advance of twenty-five cents a day in wages, or even when they have no personal grievance, if a fellow-workman is discharged?SITI September 8, 1890, page 476.3

    Through the courtesy of Hon. George Hearst we have received two interesting volumes of Reports from the Department of Agriculture for 1888 and 1889. From a hasty examination of the volumes, we are convinced that our National Department of Agriculture is doing better and more thorough work than in times past. Thanks, Senator, for these and all other documents.SITI September 8, 1890, page 476.4

    The Maryland State Prohibition Platform has the following as one of its planks:-SITI September 8, 1890, page 476.5

    “We approve our Sabbath laws and their enforcement, which secures to the people one day’s rest in seven.”SITI September 8, 1890, page 476.6

    This, the New York Voice calls an almost model platform. But that political platform which approves of Maryland Sabbath laws is as far from model as the darkest laws of the Dark Ages is from the Constitution of the United States.SITI September 8, 1890, page 476.7

    Dr. W. W. Atterbury, of New York, is quoted by the Alta California of August 18 as saying in a recent sermon, on this coast: “The great principle of our Sunday law is not coercion, but protection.” Dr. Atterbury may believe this, but there is no statement farther from the truth. Every believer in Sunday sacredness in this broad land, can observe the day as religiously as he desires, without a Sunday law. Seventh-day people have no difficulty in observing the Sabbath, with the busy world against them. Cannot Sunday-keepers do equally well with so many on their side? Those who do not believe in Sunday are not asking for protection, unless it be some who do it on the principle of reducing time and maintaining or increasing wages. Sunday laws are asked for by those who believe in the day, in order to coerce, or compel, those who do not believe in it to keep it as though they did. The principle underlying Sunday laws is coercion, and only coercion.SITI September 8, 1890, page 476.8

    The only true union among Christians is union with Christ. Men may try to patch up union between themselves, but it lasts only so long as will subserve their selfish purposes. Man cannot be grafted upon man for the reason that no man has life in himself to impart to others. Such a union is like the union of two separate branches; there is no vitality to it. But if the Christian is united as a branch to the Living Vine, Christ Jesus, the One who has life in himself, that branch becomes transfused with the life of the Vine, a part of the very stock itself. Two Christians thus united are united to each other by a bond which no power on earth can break. That bond is the Lord Jesus Christ. In this way is our Lord’s prayer answered: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” John 17:21. This is the union which God desires; this is the only true union possible!SITI September 8, 1890, page 476.9

    The additions to the Northern Presbyterian Church last year amounted to about 49,000. This was an increase of one member to every fifteen church-members. The New York Observer finds in these figures no cause for congratulations, as the net gain in the church is less than three per cent. There were six thousand accessions less than in 1889. It says truly that these things ought to bestir the people and pastors. If our Presbyterian brethren (and the lesson is as good for all) had placed as much thought on the word of God and its teaching as upon the revision of the Westminster Confession, it would doubtless have gained spiritually as well as numerically.SITI September 8, 1890, page 476.10

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