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    May 28, 1885

    “Uncertainty of Geological Science (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times 11, 21, p. 324.


    TO show that we have not pressed any of these statements into service to make a point, we wish to continue this line a little further.SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.1

    Under Part IV., “Relative Lapse of Time Represented by Strata and by the Intervals Between Them,” we read:—SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.2

    “As a rule, we should infer that the time represented by a given thickness of similar strata was less than that shown by the same thickness of dissimilar strata, because the changes needed to bring new varieties of sediment into the area of deposit would usually require the lapse of some time for their completion. But this conclusion might often be erroneous.” “But in all speculations of this kind we must bear in mind that the length of time represented by a given depth of strata is to be estimated merely from their thickness or lithological characters.... But the relative chronological importance of the bars or lines in the geological record can seldom be satisfactorily discussed merely on lithological grounds; this must mainly be decided on the evidence of organic remains [fossils]. By this kind of evidence it can be made nearly certain that the intervals represented by strata were in many cases much shorter than those not so represented; in other words, that the time during which no deposit of sediment went on was longer than that wherein deposit did take place.”SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.3

    Again, Part VI., No. 5:—SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.4

    “The relative chronological value of the divisions of the geological record is not to be measured by the mere depth of strata. Of ‘two sets of rocks, the total depth of both groups together may be, say one thousand feet. Elsewhere, we may find a single unbroken formation reaching a depth of ten thousand feet; but it would be utterly erroneous to conclude that the latter represented ten times the length of time shown by the two former.’ ‘Fossil evidence furnishes the chief means of comparing the relative value of formations and groups of rock. A break in the succession of organic remains marks an interval of time often unrepresented by strata at the place where the break is found. The relative importance of these breaks, and therefore, probably, the comparative intervals of time which they mark, may be estimated by the difference of the facies of the fossils on each side.’”SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.5

    Further, Part V., under “Doctrine of Colonies:”—SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.6

    “While the mere fact that one series of rocks lies uncomformably on another proves the lapse of a considerable interval between their respective dates, the relative length of this interval may sometimes be demonstrated by the means of fossil evidence, and by this alone. But fossil evidence may be made to prove the existence of gaps which are not otherwise apparent.” “A few species may pass from one into the other, or perhaps every species may be different. In cases of this kind, when proved to be not merely local but persistent over wide areas, we must admit, notwithstanding the apparently undisturbed and continuous character of the original deposition of the strata, that the abrupt transition from one facies of fossils to the other must represent a long interval of time which has not been recorded by the deposit of strata.”SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.7

    And so by this line of quotations we are brought again around the geological circle, thus:—SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.8

    “The first and fundamental point is to determine accurately the order of superposetion [succession] of the strata. Until this is done, detailed paleontological [fossils] classification may prove to be worthless.”—Part V. under Subdivisions by Means of Fossils. “When the order of succession of organic remains [fossils] among the stratified rocks has been determined, they become an invaluable guide in the investigation of the relative age of rocks and the structure of the land. And the true succession [superposition] of strata may thus be confidently established.”—Part VI., No. 4.

    The grand argument is this: (a) Until the true order of succession of the rocks is accurately determined, the evidence of fossils is worthless. (b) Until the true order of succession of the fossils has been determined, the evidence of the rocks is worthless. But (a) it is by “fossil evidence, and by this alone,” that the succession of the rocks is determined. (b) It is by the order of succession of the rocks that the true succession of fossils is determined. Upon which we would simply remark that, as the evidence of fossils is worthless without the true order of the rocks; and as the evidence of the rocks is worthless without the true order of the fossils; then the whole system that is built upon on such evidence (?) can be nothing less then worthless. Such is Geological Science. And we are certain that it comes within the scope of Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 6:20.SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.9

    As the Science of Fossils “is looked upon as a branch of Geology, seeing that its assistance is absolutely indispensable in many of the most familiar and fundamental problems of the latter science,” we might spend a little time in an inquiry as to the real inherent value of fossils themselves.SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.10

    One quotation, already made, may properly be repeated as the head of this division,—Part V., under Age of Fossils:SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.11

    “There is nothing in the fossils themselves, apart from experience, to fix their date.”SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.12

    Again, No. 2, under Use of Fossiles:SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.13

    “Consider, for a moment, what would happen were the present surface of any portion of Central or Southern Europe submerged beneath the sea, covered by marine deposits, and then re-elevated into land. The river-terraces and lacustrine marls formed before the time of Julius Cesar could not be distinguished by any fossil tests from those laid down in the days of Victoria.... So far as regards the shells, bones, and plants preserved in the various formations, it would be absolutely impossible to discriminate their relative dates; ... yet there might be a difference of two thousand years or more between many of them. They would be classed as geologically contemporaneous, but the phrase is too vague to have any chronological value except in a relative sense. Strict contemporaneity cannot be asserted of any strata merely on the ground of stimilarity, or identity of fossils.... Similarity or identity of fossils amonmg formations geographically far apart, instead of proving contemporaneity, ought rather to be looked upon as indicative of great discrepancies in the relative epochs of deposit.... When, however, the formations of distant countries are compared, all that we can safely affirm regarding them is that those containing the same or a representative assemblage of organic remains belong to the same epoch in the history of biological progress in each area; but we cannot assert that they are contemporaneous unless we are prepared to include within that term a vague period of perhaps thousands of years.”SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.14

    These extracts show a considerable degree of uncertainty about fossil science, but the uncertainty is made absolute by the following relation of the discoveries of M. Barrande, a distinguished author of a geological treatise.SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.15

    He “drew attention more than a quarter of a century ago to certain remarkable intercalations of fossils in the series of Silurian strata of Bohemia. He showed that, while these strata presented a normal succession of organic remains, there were nevertheless exceptional bands, which, containing the fossils of a higher zone, were yet included on different horizons among inferior portions of the series. He terms these precursory bands, ‘Colonies,’ and defined the phenomena as consisting in the partial co-existence of two general faunas, which, considered as a whole, were nevertheless successive.... This original and ingenious doctrine has met with much opposition on the part of geologists and paleontologists. Of the facts cited by M. Barrande, there has been no question, but other explanations have been suggested for them.... Much of the opposition which his views have encountered has probably arisen from the feeling that if they are admitted, they must weaken the value of paleontological evidence in defining geological horizons. A paleontologist, who has been accustomed to deal with certain fossils as unfailing indications of particular portions of the geological series, is naturally unwilling to see his generalizations upset by an attempt to show that the fossils may occur on a far earlier horizon.”SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.16

    But: “There seems every probability that such migrations as M. Barrande has supposed in the case of the Silurian fauna of Bohemnia have again and again taken place.”SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.17

    Here, then, is a doctrine based upon “facts” of which there has been “no question,” which have again and again taken place, yet it meets with “much opposition” from geological scientists simply because it weakens the theory which they have adopted; simply because they are unwilling to have their “generalizations upset.” A queer kind of “science” that, that holds to “generalizations” in the face of unquestioned “facts” which prove such generalizations to be wholly false. A very questionable kind of science indeed, we think, that clings tenaciously to a theory against the evidence of facts.SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.18

    Nor is this all. It is impossible to lay down lines by which can be marked the distinction of periods of either strata or fossils. Some would be geologists talk learnedly of “six periods” of geological development, clearly defined according to the period theory of the days of Genesis 1. Hugh Miller was probably the most prominent instance of this, and when he lived it was admitted on the theory of the “generalizations” above mentioned, which, as we have seen, have been “upset.” Proof of this we have in the Encyclopedia Britannica, article Hugh Miller:—SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.19

    “When he occupied the chair of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh, in 1852 [he died in 1856], he could look the most eminent representatives of contemporary geology in the face, and claim their assent to the possibility of drawing definite lines of demarkation [sic.] between the Tertiary, Secondary, and Paleozoic strata. He could speak of the ‘entire type of organic being’ as altering between these periods. ‘All on the one side of the gap,’ he could dare to affirm, ‘belongs to one fashion, and all on the other to another and wholly different fashion.’ In the thirty intervening years [to 1882] every form of the cataclysmal [the deluge] scheme of geological progression has been discredited. It has become impossible to obtain anything like a consensus of opinion among scientific men as to the placing of those frontier lines between period and period. ‘Geographical provinces and zones,’ says Professor Huxley, ‘may have been as distinctly marked in the Paleozoic [primary, first] epoch as at present, and those seemingly sudden appearances of new genera and species which we ascribe to new creation, may be simple results of migration.’”SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.20

    All these things simply demonstrate the conclusion before reached as to the utter worthlessness of the deductions of the geological scientists.SITI May 28, 1885, page 324.21

    A. T. J.

    “Notes on the International Lesson. Hebrews 1:1-8; 2:1-4. God’s Message by His Son” The Signs of the Times 11, 21, pp. 326, 327.
    JUNE 7—Hebrews 1:1-8; 2:1-4

    “GOD ... spake ... by the prophets.” God is the author, the matter is his, the words are his, and he spake them to the people by the prophets. That which the prophets have spoken therefore is the word of God. These men spoke not of themselves, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21. The Bible needs to be defended less, and preached more. The very best defense of the Bible is to preach it faithfully. And then, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear, nevertheless it is the word of God that has been spoken. If they will hear, it is the word of God that they hear; if they refuse it is the word of God which they refuse. Great is the responsibility of him who stands before the people with the word of God. “He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.” “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; ... that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:11. “I have set watchmen upon the walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night; ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” Isaiah 62:6, 7. “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” Isaiah 62:1.SITI May 28, 1885, page 326.1

    “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” As God spoke by the prophets, so also he hath spoken by his Son. It is altogether a wrong conception of his mission, that many now have who oppose the law of God—that he came as a lawgiver, to set up a new law and a new word in opposition to the old. He was “that Prophet,” not a lawgiver. “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” Deuteronomy 18;18, 19. When he came, he accordingly declared, “For I came down from Heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.” John 6:38. “I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.... Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” John 12:49, 50. And as the mission of the prophets “in time past” was to bring the people to the law of God (Nehemiah 9:29); so it was pre-eminently the mission of Christ to magnify the law and bring the people to its observance.SITI May 28, 1885, page 326.2

    “Whom he hath appointed heir of all things.” As he is heir of all things, so “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:29, 26. “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:17. There are several of such “if’s” as this, I Paul’s writings. “We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” Hebrews 3:14. “To present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight, if ye continue in the faith.” Colossians 1:22, 23. “It is a faithful saying, For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us.” 2 Timothy 2:11, 12. We can deny him in refusing to suffer for him, as really as in any other way. And these promises are to those who suffer for him. We are joint-heirs if we suffer with him. We shall reign with him, if we suffer with him. Blessed suffering!SITI May 28, 1885, page 326.3

    “There is suffering ere the glory, There’s a cross before the crown.”SITI May 28, 1885, page 326.4

    It was so with the Master, and the servant is not greater than his Master, neither is the disciple greater than his Lord. And, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18.SITI May 28, 1885, page 326.5

    “By whom also he made the worlds.” “God ... created all things by Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 3:9. “Without him was not anything made that was made.” And this mighty One, who was before all worlds by the word of his power, “was made flesh, and dwelt among” men. He who was higher than all angels, who made all angels, was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death; and having by himself purged our sins, sits at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary, and the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. He has entered into the presence of God for us; and, having obtained eternal redemption for us, he makes intercession for us.SITI May 28, 1885, page 326.6

    “A more excellent name.” “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” As his goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity (Micah 5:2; Hebrew), so he has obtained the excellent name of “Son” of the Father, the “eternal God.” Yea, he has obtained a “more excellent” name than that, for the Father calls his God, saying, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.... Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” That is, God the Father speaks to God the Son, and says, “Thy throne, Of God,” &c. And further the Father says to the Son, “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” And when he brought him into the world, he said, “Let all the angels of God worship him.” This is he who died for us. This is he who hath humbled himself, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, and for this reason God hath also again highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. This is the more excellent name of the most excellent Saviour of sinners, “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.SITI May 28, 1885, page 326.7

    “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” This Wonderful One has spoken to us. His words are spirit; they are life. No better, no greater, words can ever be spoken to the children of men; and if these be let slip, all is gone; if these be despised, it is ruin, for there are, and can be, no others. “Whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” Hold fast his words, and do not let them go, for he is thy life, and the length of thy days, and blessed are all they that put their trust in him.SITI May 28, 1885, page 326.8

    “How shall we escape?” He not only has given us words of life, he has given his life itself, for our salvation. If this be neglected, how can salvation be obtained? Is there a more precious life to be given? No. Is there a greater One to come than He? No. “What could have been done more, that I have not done?” saith the Lord. Yes, all has been done. Therefore the question is not, How shall we be saved if we neglect it? But it is, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” This fearful death, this awful sacrifice, this great salvation, has not been accomplished in vain on either hand. Those who appreciate it shall enjoy it; those who neglect it shall not escape. “For, if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord?” If ever transgression of the word spoken by angels was recompensed, how much more shall it be to the transgressors of the word spoken by Him who is so much better, so much higher, than the angels. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”SITI May 28, 1885, page 327.1

    A. T. J.

    “Sanctification. (Concluded.)” The Signs of the Times 11, 21, p. 330.


    IN further consideration of the office of the Holy Spirit we give the following from John 16:7-11, and Romans 5:5:—SITI May 28, 1885, page 330.1

    (d) To convince of sin. “And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin.” Verse 8. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. And the Holy Spirit can convict no man of sin before the God, except by the law of God, “for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. And without conviction there can be no conversion. So the matter stands just thus: There can be no conversion without conviction; and there can be no conviction without the law; therefore, where the law of God is despised there can be no conversion; hence neither sanctification nor salvation, call it what they will.SITI May 28, 1885, page 330.2

    (c) To convince of righteousness. “He shall convince the world of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more.” “All unrighteousness is sin.” 1 John 5:17. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” Righteousness is the opposite of unrighteousness. And as unrighteousness is transgression of the law, righteousness is obedience to the law. Therefore, in convincing of righteousness, the Holy Spirit convinces of obedience to the law of God.SITI May 28, 1885, page 330.3

    (f) To convince of judgment. “He shall convince the world of judgment.” “As many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law, ... in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” Romans 2:12, 16. “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12. As, therefore, in the Judgment men’s acts are to be compared with the law of God, the office of the Holy Spirit in convincing of judgment is to enable us to see the law of God as it is, that we may have our transgressions washed away by the blood of Christ, and that we may obey the law as we ought; thus to convince us of judgment now while there is hope, that when we shall stand before the judgment sent of Christ, our lives may be found in perfect harmony with the holy law of God, and that so we may stand in the Judgment.SITI May 28, 1885, page 330.4

    (g) To shed abroad the love of God. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3.SITI May 28, 1885, page 330.5

    By all these evidences we see that the office of the Holy Spirit, in every instance in the life of the Christian, is to spread the law and word of God before him, and to impress upon him the duty and knowledge of obedience. Now we bring direct proof that this is exactly what sanctification of the Spirit is, and nothing else. “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the ... elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience.” 1 Peter 1:1, 2. There we have it. Our proof is positive that the Holy Spirit is given to us to teach us to obey the written word of God, and that true sanctification of the Spirit is unto obedience to that written word. And any sanctification that is not “unto obedience” to the law of God, is spurious sanctification; it is a deception and a snare toSITI May 28, 1885, page 330.6

    3. “Sanctify them through thy truth.” The last text was proof that sanctification of the Spirit is “unto obedience.” Here we have another text from Peter on the same subject: “Seeing ye have purified [sanctified] your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit.” 1 Peter 1:22. Here we have then the truth that men are elect through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, but they are not sanctified until they have obeyed the truth, the word of God, through the Spirit. The truth of God cannot be obeyed except through the Holy Spirit. The law of God is spiritual (Romans 7:14), the word of Christ is spirit (John 6:63), but man is carnal. Therefore “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Romans 8:7-9. The Holy Spirit is given to take away the carnal mind, and make us spiritually minded, that so we may discern the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-16), and thus he takes the things of God and shows them unto us. Thus by the Spirit of God, we can see our duty in the truth of God, and then we can obey that truth through the Spirit, and so we are sanctified through the truth.SITI May 28, 1885, page 330.7

    True sanctification is through the truth. The other two steps are only preparatory to this final one. The sanctification of faith is unto receiving the Holy Spirit; sanctification of the Spirit is unto obedience to the truth; and having obeyed the truth through the Spirit, we are sanctified. He who rests upon faith, and claims to be sanctified, is deceived. He who rests upon the Spirit and claims to be sanctified, is deceived. Likewise he who rests upon both faith and the Spirit, and claims to be sanctified, is deceived. He who rests upon nothing short of faith, and the Holy Spirit, and obedience to the truth, he alone is truly sanctified. It is by obedience to the truth that we are to be sanctified. The man who is living in obedience to the whole truth is wholly sanctified. But it there be any part of the truth of God that a man is not obeying, he is not wholly sanctified. He may yell “Hallelujah,” “Bless God,” “Fully saved,” “Wholly sanctified,” etc., etc., to the end of the brassy catalogue, but as long as there is a single point of the law and truth of God which he is not obeying, we know by the word of God that he is not sanctified, and that he is deceived.SITI May 28, 1885, page 330.8

    We know that as long as we are in this world we must grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. In order to a growth in grace, there must be new faults discerned in ourselves, and additional victories gained. In order to a growth in knowledge, there must be additional truths learned from the word of God, and as they are learned they must be obeyed, if we would be sanctified. So, in the very nature of the case, true sanctification is a work, and a work, too, the period of which is measured only by the length of our stay in this world. However, when the Lord comes in glory, he will find a company of sanctified ones waiting and looking for him: they will have been sanctified through the truth, for it is written of them, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:9-12. And again: “In their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:5. We thank God for the grace of true sanctification, but we pray to be forever delivered from every kind of sanctification that is not through obedience to the truth of God through the Spirit.SITI May 28, 1885, page 330.9

    A. T. J.

    “Testimony No. 32” The Signs of the Times 11, 21, p. 331.

    WE take this occasion to speak a word further to our brethren in regard to this important work. As time grows shorter, the importance of diligence in the work committed to us, and of carefulness in individual action, becomes greater. And in this Testimony the attention of all is again most forcibly called to the dangers and duties that lie all about us. This number is of special importance to all in every department of our great work—to the minister, the missionary, the colporter, and the canvasser; to parents, to children, to husbands, and to wives; to the sick, to the well, to physicians, and to nurses; to churches, and to individuals.SITI May 28, 1885, page 331.1

    We would not attempt to select any one part as more important than the others, but we will mention a few of the portions which are particularly worthy of careful and repeated perusal. These are: “The Influence of Unbelief—Deceitfulness of Sin—Marriage with Unbelievers—The Manufacture of Wine and Cider—The Support of City Missions—Young Men as Missionaries—Importance of the Canvassing Work—Business and Religion—Responsibilities of the Physician—The Coming Crisis—Joshua and the Angel.”SITI May 28, 1885, page 331.2

    This number is put up in durable shape, being well and handsomely bound in cloth. It contains 238 pages of closely printed matter, and the price is only 50 cents. Let the orders come in, large and fast. Nobody will be enriched by it but the buyers.SITI May 28, 1885, page 331.3

    A. T. J.

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