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    October 15, 1885

    “The Empire of Grecia. (Concluded.) Extent of Alexander’s Rule” The Signs of the Times 11, 39, p. 612.

    “A FEW days after the battle, Alexander entered Babylon, ‘the oldest seat of earthly empire’ then in existence, as its acknowledged lord and master. There were yet some campaigns of his brief and bright career, to be accomplished. Central Asia was yet to witness the march of his phalanx. He was yet to effect that conquest of Afghanistan in which England since has failed. His generalship, as well as his valor, was yet to be signalized on the banks of the Hydaspes and the field of Chillian-wallah; and he was yet to precede the queen of England in annexing the Punjaub to the dominions of a European sovereign. But the crisis of his career was reached; the great object of his mission was accomplished; and the ancient Persian Empire, which once menaced all the nations of the earth with subjection, was irreparably crushed when Alexander had won his crowning victory of Arbela.”—Creasy’s Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, Arbela, last paragraph.SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.1

    As the battle of the Granicus gave Alexander all Asia Minor, and as the battle of the Issus laid at his feet Egypt, and all of Asia west of the Euphrates, so the battle of Arbela bestowed upon him all of eastern Asia, from the Euphrates to the Indus and the Jaxartes. In tracing the fulfillment of another prophecy, we shall have occasion to follow in detail, Alexander’s course from the Hellespont to the utmost limits of his conquests, even as sketched by Mr. Creasy’s eloquent pen. But for the present it must suffice for us simply to observe that, from about the middle of November, 331 B.C., to the month of August, 325 B.C., Alexander had accomplished all that is suggested in the above quotation, and about the month of November, 324 B.C., was once more within the gates of the city of Babylon. And in view of these facts which we have given, there can be no shadow of a doubt that the power of Grecia, as carried by Alexander the Great, was the “third kingdom of brass,” of which Daniel spoke to Nebuchadnezzar.SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.2

    Its being the “third kingdom” was not all that Daniel spoke of it however. He declared to Nebuchadnezzar that it should “bear rule over all the earth.” We have outline the scope of his personal conquest, from the Adriatic Sea on the west, to the river Indus on the east; from the river Danube, the Black and the Caspian Seas, and the river Jaxartes on the north, to the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, and lower Egypt on the south. This of itself was the greatest part of the then known earth. But the prophecy does not say that it should bear rule over the greater part of the known earth, but it does say, “over all,” and nothing less than “over all” as then known, will meet the demands of the prophecy. Was it so? and can it be shown? It was so; and it can be shown. Alexander’s influence was not confined to the limits described by his personal presence. As quoted by Creasy, Arrian says boldly:—SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.3

    “I believe that there was in his time no nation of men, no city, nay, no single individual, with whom Alexander’s name had not become a familiar word. I therefore hold that such a man, who was like no ordinary mortal, was not born into the world without some special providence.”—Fifteen Decisive Battles, Arbela, par. 4.SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.4

    This statement is probably extravagant, so far as it relates to the “single individual,” but with this exception, we verily believe it to be a justifiable statement. But now to the proofs:—SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.5

    “Alexander being arrived within a league and a half [four and a half miles] of Babylon, the Chaldeans, who pretended to know futurity by the stars, deputed to him some of their old men to warn him that he would be in danger of his life in case he entered that city, and were very urgent that he should pass by it.... The Greek philosophers being told the foundation of his fear and scruples waited upon him; ... and made him have so great a contempt for divination in general, and for that of the Chaldeans in particular, that he immediately marched toward Babylon with his whole army. He knew that there were arrived in that city ambassadors from all parts of the world, who waited for his coming; the whole earth echoing so much with the terror of his name that the several nations came with inexpressible ardor, to pray homage to Alexander, as to him who was to be their sovereign.... So that he set forward with all possible diligence towards that great city, there to hold, as it were, the states-general of the world. After making a most magnificent entry, he gave audience to all the ambassadors, with the grandeur and dignity suitable to a great monarch, and at the same time with the affability and politeness of a prince who is desirous of winning the affections of all.”—Rollin, Hist. Alexander, sec. 18, par. 1.SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.6

    “So widely had the terror of his name and achievement been spread, that several of these envoys came from the most distant regions. There were some from the various tribes of Lybia [west of Egypt]—from Carthage [west of Lybia]—from Sicily and Sardinia—from the Illyrians and Thracians—from the Lucanians, Bruttians, and Tuscans, in Italy—nay (even some affirmed), from the Romans, as yet a people of moderate power. But there were other names yet more surprising—Ethiopians from the extreme south, beyond Egypt—Scythians from the north, beyond the Danube—Iberians [from Spain] and Gauls [from France], from the far west, beyond the Mediterranean Sea. Legates also arrived from various Grecian cities, partly to tender congratulations and compliments upon his matchless successes, partly to remonstrate against his sweeping mandate for the general restoration of the Grecian exiles. It was remarked that these Grecian legates approached him with wreaths on their heads, tendering golden wreaths to him, as if they were coming into the presence of a god. The proofs which Alexander received even from distant tribes, with names and costumes unknown to him, of fear for his enmity and anxiety for his favor, were such as had never been shown to any historical person, and such as entirely to explain his superhuman arrogance.”—Grote, chap. 94, par. 79 (23 from the end of the chapter).SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.7

    “His march to Babylon steeped him still more in the intoxication of success. As he advanced on his road he was met by ambassadors not only from Illyrians and Thracians, from Sicily and Sardinia, and Lybia, and Carthage, but from Lucanians and Etruscans, and, as some said, from Rome itself. The lord of all the earth could scarcely look for wider acknowledgment or more devout submission.”—Encyc. Brit., article, Alexander the Great, par. 14.SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.8

    “In the tenth year after he had crossed the Hellespont, Alexander, having won his vast dominion, entered Babylon; and, resting from his career, in that oldest seat of earthly empire, he steadily surveyed the mass of various nations which owned his sovereignty, and revolved in his mind the great work of breathing into this huge but inert body the living spirit of Greek civilization. In the bloom of youthful manhood, at the age of thirty-two, he paused from the fiery speed of his earlier course; and for the first time gave the nations an opportunity of offering their homage before his throne. They came from all the extremities of the earth, to propitiate his anger, to celebrate his greatness, or to solicit his protection. African tribes came to congratulate and bring presents to him as the sovereign of Asia. Not only would the people bordering on Egypt upon the west look with respect on the founder of Alexandria and the son of Jupiter Ammon, but those who dwelt on the east of the Nile, and on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, would hasten to pay court to the great king whose fleets had navigated the Erythrean Sea, and whose power was likely to affect so largely their traffic with India.SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.9

    “Already the bravest of the barbarians of Europe were eager to offer him their aid; and the Kelts and Iberians, who had become acquainted with Grecian service when they fought under Dionysius and Agesilaus, sent embassies to the great conqueror at Babylon, allured alike by the fame of his boundless treasures and his unrivaled valor. It was no wonder that the Carthaginians, who had dreaded, a century earlier, the far inferior power of the Athenians, and on whose minds Timoleon’s recent victories had left a deep impression of the military genius of Greece, dispatched their ambassadors to secure, if possible, the friendship of Alexander.... The Lucanians and the Bruttians are especially mentioned as having sent embassies to Alexander at Babylon.... ‘The Tyrrhenians also,’ said Aristobulus and Ptolemeus, ‘sent an embassy to the king to congratulate him upon his conquests.’ The ports of the western coasts of Italy swarmed at this time with piratical vessels, which constantly annoyed the Greek traders in those seas. These piracies had been reported to Alexander, and he sent remonstrances to the Romans on the subject.... There is every reason to believe that among the Tyrrhenian ambassadors mentioned by Alexander’s historians there were included ambassadors from Rome.SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.10

    “History may allow us to think that Alexander and a Roman ambassador did meet at Babylon; that the greatest man of the ancient world saw and spoke with a citizen of that great nation which was destined to succeed him in his appointed work and to found a wider and still more enduring empire. They met, too, in Babylon, almost beneath the shadow of Bel, perhaps the earliest monument ever raised by human pride and power, in a city stricken, as it were, by the word of God’s heaviest judgment, as the symbol of greatness apart from and opposed to goodness.... During the period of Alexander’s conquests, no other events of importance happened in any part of the civilized world, as if a career so brilliant had claimed the undivided attention of mankind.”—Arnold, History of Rome, chap. 30, par. 1-3.SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.11

    Here are two scenes:—SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.12

    Scene first: In the year 603 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar, king of the mighty kingdom, and builder of the wonderful city of Babylon, sits in his pleasant palace. Before him, and speaking earnestly, stands a young Jew. To the intently listening king, the young man is interpreting a remarkable dream that the great king had dreamed; he says that God is thus making known to the king what should come to pass afterward; and that one among these things would be the rise of a “third kingdom,” and that this third kingdom should “bear rule over all the earth.”SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.13

    Scene second: Two hundred and seventy years afterward, in that same great city of Babylon, perhaps in the same palace where Nebuchadnezzar had sat there sits Alexander the Great, king of the third kingdom from Nebuchadnezzar. As there he sit supon his throne, before him stand ambassadors “from all the extremities of the earth,” who are come “to propitiate his anger, to celebrate his greatness, or to solicit his protection.”SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.14

    Now look on this picture, then on that; and no man can say that the scene represented in the second, is not the perfect consummation of that which was spoken in the first. The dream was certain, the interpretation was sure; and the fulfillment absolute.SITI October 15, 1885, page 612.15

    A. T. J.

    “Notes on the International Lesson. 2 Kings 10:15-31. Jehu’s Zeal” The Signs of the Times 11, 39, p. 614.
    OCTOBER 18. 2 Kings 10:15-31

    THE real title of the subject of this lesson, as given in the “International Lessons,” is “Jehu’s False Zeal.” But we know not by what right the lesson committee insert the word “false.” And we think it is contrary to the intention of the inspired record. For we read distinctly in verse 30: “And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” This was said to Jehu by the Lord, after Jehu had done what is recorded in the lesson. And when the Lord says to Jehu, “Thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart;” and when because of this the Lord pronounces a reward upon Jehu and upon his house for four generation, upon the throne of Israel; in view of all this we think it a very questionable piece of wisdom for the lesson committee to brand it as “Jehu’s false zeal.” When the Lord says that Jehu did “well;” that he did “right;” that he did according to what was in His heart concerning Ahab; then for the lesson committee to charge it up as “false zeal,” is certainly, to say the least, not very far removed from charging the Lord himself with a “false zeal.” We think when the Lord pronounces so plainly as this upon the merit of an action, it is best for men to confine themselves to the record.SITI October 15, 1885, page 614.1

    THE time had fully come when judgment must be executed upon the bloody house of Ahab. When that “still small voice” came to Elijah as he stood at the mouth of the cave in Horeb, the Lord said unto him, “Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.” 1 Kings 19:15-17. And again Elisha sent a young man of the children of the prophets directly to Jehu with this message: “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the Lord, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets; and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish;” etc. 2 Kings 9:1-10.SITI October 15, 1885, page 614.2

    ACCORDING to this word, Hazael was now king of Syria, and Joram, the son of Ahab, had made war against Hazael and “the Syrians wounded Joram. And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria.” Chap. 8:28, 29. Then it was that Elisha sent the young men to anoint Jehu king, that he might, according to the word of Elijah, slay him that had escaped from the sword of Hazael. And if he had escaped the sword of Jehu, then it would have remained for Elisha to slay him. The house of Ahab was devoted, and their judgment could no longer be delayed. And as Jehu came, driving “furiously,” “Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.”SITI October 15, 1885, page 614.3

    THERE was that fatal field of Naboth—the monument of the united iniquities of Ahab and Jezebel. And when, on that fatal day, after the innocent blood of Naboth and his sons had been poured out, Ahab went down to take possession of the portion of Naboth, Jehu followed him in a chariot, and was there when Elijah pronounced the fearful doom of Ahab and Jezebel with all their house, and now Jehu comes to execute the judgment that day pronounced. “And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many? And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.SITI October 15, 1885, page 614.4

    “AND Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite; for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the Lord laid this burden upon him; surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the Lord; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the Lord.”SITI October 15, 1885, page 614.5

    WHEN Jehu came to Jezreel, “Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.” She must once more assert herself, and as Jehu entered in at the gate she cried out, “Had Zimri peace, sho slew his master?” But it was her last effort. The chamberlains of her palace pitched her out through the window, and so perished Jezebel.SITI October 15, 1885, page 614.6

    BUT Jehu’s work was not done yet. The house and the prophets, and the priests, and the worship of Baal, which Jezebel had introduced, still remained. “And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.” So he proclaimed all Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not.... And the house of Baal was full from one end to another.” They were all destroyed. “And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them. And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day. Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.” Thus sin brings its fearful penalty. Warning after warning, reproof after reproof, entreaty after entreaty, had come to the house of Ahab, but all to no avail. And “He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1. “Turn you at my reproof; behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” Proverbs 1:23.SITI October 15, 1885, page 614.7

    THERE is another point in this lesson worthy of consideration. It is the part taken by Jehonadab, the son of Rechab. As Jehu was on his way from Jezreel to Samaria, he came upon Jehonadab and sainted him. In the midst of all the corruption and iniquity of Israel, Jehonadab had taken special precaution to keep his family pure. He had pledged them particularly that they should drink no wine, neither they nor their sons forever, etc. Jeremiah 35. Jehu said to him, “Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is.” Said Jehu, “If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord. So they made him ride in his chariot.” And it appears that Jehonadab acted in concert with Jehu in all that followed. For he went with Jehu through the crowd of Baal-worships in the house of Baal, to search and see that there were no worshipers of the Lord there. This again is against the idea of Jehu’s zeal being a “false zeal.”SITI October 15, 1885, page 614.8

    IN this narrative of Jehu in his chariot, riding in his zeal to perform the righteous judgment of the Lord upon the adversaries of Jehovah in the land of Israel, we are reminded of a Greater than Jehu, who at the last is to visit the judgments of the Lord upon all of the ungodly. “Behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many.” Isaiah 66:15, 16. “For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense.” Isaiah 59:17, 18. And when thus He comes in His glory, then to every one whose heart is right as His heart is with the right, he will say, Give me thine hand, and all such will he take up in his chariot, and make them ride in his chariot.SITI October 15, 1885, page 614.9

    GOD is righteous. He loves righteousness and hates iniquity, and to “the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:8, 9. And to all of the children of men who love righteousness and hate iniquity, the Son of God saith, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21.SITI October 15, 1885, page 614.10

    A. T. J.

    “How Readest Thou?” The Signs of the Times 11, 39, p. 615.

    SOME ONE, presumably its editor, has sent us a number of papers bearing the title, The Spirit of the Word, and in the first number we have an explanation of the title, as follows:—SITI October 15, 1885, page 615.1

    “By the Spirit of the word I mean its real and intended meaning, in contradistinction to its apparent and surface meaning, or the ‘letter.’ It is a common mistake among Christians to suppose the Bible is written in very plain and simple language, and that the correct meaning is that which lies upon the surface—the most obvious and apparent sense. If I err not, the truth is just the opposite of this. The Bible often means something very different from what it says.... It may sound strange and erroneous, to some, to hear any one say that the Bible does not mean what it says. But if you will read this paper month after month, I think I can show you that I do not make the statement unwarrantably.”SITI October 15, 1885, page 615.2

    From what we have read of the paper, we think the last statement to be correct. We believe that the person who should read that paper “month after month” would not only believe that the Bible does not mean what is says, but would also believe that there is nothing that means what it says.SITI October 15, 1885, page 615.3

    But we can prove, by sound logic, and upon his own principles, that the Bible does mean what is says. See: He says that the Bible means “just the opposite” of what it says. So he must mean “just the opposite” of what he says. Therefore, by his own principles, the Bible means just what it says. Because when he says that the Bible means just the opposite of what it says, he means just the opposite of what he says; and the opposite of what he says is, that the Bible means just what it says.SITI October 15, 1885, page 615.4

    We suppose, however, that this editor will hardly admit our deduction; yet we cannot see how he can reasonably object to it, for surely we have just as much right to hold that his words mean the opposite of what they say, as he has to say that the Bible means just the opposite of what it says. And if he, or any other, objects, then we should like him to explain to us by what right it is that he applies to the word of God a false rule that may not be applied to his own words.SITI October 15, 1885, page 615.5

    But this person is not the only one who holds to this system of interpreting the word of God. True, all such do not state the case so boldly, but they act firmly upon the principles which this writer has plainly stated. When the Lord says, “The soul that sinneth it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4), he is made to mean that it shall live to all eternity. When the Lord says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God” (Exodus 20:10), he is made to mean that that is the Jewish Sabbath; that it is the first day of the week; that it is the seventh part of time; etc., etc., in fact he is made to mean just anything at all but what he says. When the Lord says, “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23), he is made to mean that eternal life is the common lot of all men. When the Lord says, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12), he is made to mean that every man has life whether he has the Son of God or not.SITI October 15, 1885, page 615.6

    This is nowadays the prevalent mode of reading the word of God. It is read in the reverse of what it really says, and so every man is left “to do that which is right in his own eyes.” The Saviour once asked a lawyer these two questions: “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” Luke 10:26. These questions are as appropriate to-day as they were the day they were first uttered. “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” If the Lord wanted to tell the people of this world that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, how would it be possible for him to do it more plainly than he has done it? If he wanted to tell the people that the soul that sinneth it shall die, how could he do it in any other words than those in which he has told them? If he wanted to tell men that his own gift to men is eternal life through Jesus Christ; and that those who have Christ have life, and those who have not Christ have no life; how would it be possible for him to tell them that in words more plain than those in which he has told just that thing?SITI October 15, 1885, page 615.7

    “How readest thou?” Do you read the word as it is, or do you read it the reverse of what it is? And if you read it, and seek to obey it, in the reverse of what it says, why should not the Lord reward you in the reverse of the hopes which you build upon your reverse reading? “What is written in the law? how readest thou?”SITI October 15, 1885, page 618.1

    A. T. J.

    “A New Sunday Champion” The Signs of the Times 11, 39, p. 624.

    THE Sunday institution has found a new champion. Of course he hails from Ohio. And of all men, who should it be? Why, John W. Rockefeller, of Standard Oil notoriety. A few Sundays ago, the noted bully, John L. Sullivan, was hired to pitch in a game of base-ball at Cleveland. When the sport had gone on all day without any disturbance, and 4,000 spectators had fully enjoyed themselves, and the game had closed, then the valiant Rockefeller bestirred himself. The daughty Sullivan was arrested and was fined $10 and costs, and the wounded honor of Sunday, and of John W. Rockefeller, was vindicated. The following from the Chronicle (S. F.) hits the things exactly:—SITI October 15, 1885, page 624.1

    “It seems like a paradox to learn that the head of the great Standard Oil monopoly, who has done more than any other man to corrupt the politics of Ohio and neighboring States, is posing as the apostle of Sabbatarianism in Cleveland. At least it was at his instance that slogger Sullivan was arrested for pitching ball on Sunday, although a nice sense of the commercial value of the game was shown by not disturbing it until the 4,000 spectators had enjoyed the day’s sport. This crusade may be prompted by a genuine desire to keep the Sabbath from desecration, but the people who are engaged in the work ought to select another leader than the corrupter of legislatures.”SITI October 15, 1885, page 624.2

    But what do the Sunday crusaders care who are their leaders, so long as they will show their zeal for Sunday? That is the one all-essential qualification, and it covers every other shortcoming. And this instance is simply an indication of the characters who will champion the Sunday cause as it grows in popularity. We commend to the National Reform Party this newly-fledged champion of reform(?).SITI October 15, 1885, page 624.3

    A. T. J.

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