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    November 4, 1886

    “The Ten Kingdoms in the Dark Ages” The Signs of the Times 12, 42, p. 660.

    HAVING shown the establishment of the ten kingdoms as independent nations upon the ruins of Western Rome, we propose not to follow, briefly, their fortunes after the date of the fall of the Western empire, A.D. 476. This is necessary to a full understanding of the prophecy, for it says, “In the days of these kings [the ten kingdoms] shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom,” which “shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms.” It is important then that we know what became of these kingdoms and where they are now to be found; for it is certain that this kingdom of God has not yet been set up, and it is just as certain that it is very soon to be set up.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.1

    Of the kingdoms after the division of the empire, the prophet said: “And as the toes of the feet [the ten kingdoms] were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken [margin, brittle, i.e., easily broken, weak].” Daniel 2:42. This would imply that the power of some of these would become so strong that it would overshadow others, who would be weak in comparison. And the history of Western Europe from A.D. 476 onward is in perfect accord with the words of the prophet, which he spake more than a thousand years before, in relation to this very period.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.2

    THE VISIGOTHS AND THE SUEVI

    The Visigoths were the first to make their power predominant amongst the kingdoms of the West. It will be remembered that under Wallia they had gained, as early as A.D. 419, a permanent seat in southwestern Gaul, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Bay of Biscay and from the Loire to the Rhone. From that time onward—SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.3

    “The kingdom established by the Visigoths in the southern provinces of Gaul, had gradually acquired strength and maturity; and the conduct of those ambitious barbarians, either in peace or war, engaged the perpetual vigilance of Etius. After the death of Wallia, the Gothic scepter devolved to Theodoric [A.D. 419-451], the son of the great Alaric; and his prosperous reign of more than thirty years, over a turbulent people, may be allowed to prove, that his prudence was supported by uncommon vigor, both of mind and body. Impatient of his narrow limits, Theodoric aspired to the possession of Arles, the wealthy seat of government and commerce; but the city was saved by the timely approach of Etius; and the Gothic king, who had raised the siege with some loss and disgrace, was persuaded, for an adequate subsidy, to divert the martial valor of his subjects in a Spanish war.”—Decline and Fall, chap. 35, par. 4.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.4

    Theodoric was killed in the battle of Chalons A.D. 451, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Torismond, who was murdered in A.D. 453, by his younger brother, Theodoric II., who reigned till A.D. 466. In A.D. 456 he invaded Spain and carried his arms as far as Merida, but was recalled “before he could provide for the security of his conquests.”—Id., chap. 36, par. 7.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.5

    “And the design of extinguishing the Roman empire in Spain and Gaul was conceived, and almost completed, in the reign of Euric, who assassinated his brother Theodoric, and displayed, with a more savage temper, superior abilities, both in peace and war. He passed the Pyrenees at the head of a numerous army, subdued the cities of Saragossa and Pampeluna, vanquished in battle the martial nobles of the Tarragonese province, carried his victorious arms into the heart of Lusitania, and permitted the Suevi to hold the kingdom of Gallicia under the Gothic monarchy of Spain. The efforts of Euric were not less vigorous, or less successful, in Gaul; and throughout the country that extends from the Pyrenees to the Rhone and the Loire, Berry and Auvergne were the only cities, or dioceses, which refused to acknowledge him as their master.”—Id., par. 22.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.6

    “As soon as Odoacer had extinguished the Western Empire, he sought the friendship of the most powerful of the barbarians. The new sovereign of Italy resigned to Euric, king of the Visigoths [A.D. 446-485], all the Roman conquests beyond the Alps as far as the Rhine and the ocean; and the Senate might confirm this liberal gift with some ostentation of power, and without any real loss of revenue or dominion. The lawful pretensions of Euric were justified by ambition and success; and the Gothic nation might aspire, under his command, to the monarchy of Spain and Gaul. Arles and Marseilles surrendered to his arms; he oppressed the freedom of Auvergne; and the bishop condescended to purchase his recall from exile by a tribute of just, but reluctant praise. Sidonius waited before the gates of the palace among a crowd of ambassadors and suppliants; and their various business at the court of Bordeaux attested the power and the renown of the king of the Visigoths. The Heruli of the distant ocean, who painted their naked bodies with its cerulean color, implored his protection; and the Saxons respected the maritime provinces of a prince who was destitute of any naval force. The tall Burgundians submitted to his authority; nor did he restore the captive Franks till he had imposed on that fierce nation the terms of an unequal peace. The Vandals of Africa cultivated his useful friendship: and the Ostrogoths of Pannonia were supported by his powerful aid against the oppression of the neighboring Huns. The North (such are the lofty strains of the poet) was agitated or appeased by the nod of Euric; the great king of Persia consulted the oracle of the West; and the aged god of the Tyber was protected by the swelling genius of the Garonne.”—Id., chap. 38, par. 2.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.7

    The next of these kingdoms to extend its power over the others was the kingdom of the Franks; and the extension of the dominion of the Franks was the suppression of the Visigothic power in Gaul.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.8

    “The fortune of nations has often depended on accidents; and France may ascribe her greatness to the premature death of the Gothic king, at a time when his son Alaric was a helpless infant, and his adversary Clovis an ambitious and valiant youth.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.9

    “While Childeric, the father of Clovis, lived an exile in Germany, he was hospitably entertained by the queen, as well as by the king, of the Thuringians. After his restoration, Basina escaped from her husband’s bed to the arms of her lover; freely declaring, that if she had known a man wiser, stronger, or more beautiful, than Childeric, that man should have been the object of her preference. Clovis was the offspring of this voluntary union; and, when he was no more than fifteen years of age, he succeeded [A.D. 481], by his father’s death, to the command of the Salian tribe. The narrow limits of his kingdom were confined to the island of the Batavians, with the ancient dioceses of Tournay and Arras; and at the baptism of Clovis the number of his warriors could not exceed five thousand. The kindred tribes of the Franks, who had seated themselves along the Belgic rivers, the Scheld, the Meuse, the Moselle, and the Rhine, were governed by their independent kings, of the Merovingian race; the equals, the allies, and sometimes the enemies of the Salic prince. But the Germans, who obeyed, in peace, the hereditary jurisdiction of their chiefs, were free to follow the standard of a popular and victorious general; and the superior merit of Clovis attracted the respect and allegiance of the national confederacy. When he first took the field, he had neither gold and silver in his coffers, nor wine and corn in his magazine; but he imitated the example of Cesar, who, in the same country, had acquired wealth by the sword, and purchased soldiers with the fruits of conquest.”SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.10

    “It would be superfluous to praise the valor of a Frank; but the valor of Clovis was directed by cool and consummate prudence. In all his transactions with mankind, he calculated the weight of interest, of passion, and of opinion; and his measures were sometimes adapted to the sanguinary manners of the Germans, and sometimes moderated by the milder genius of Rome, and Christianity. He was intercepted in the career of victory, since he died in the forty-fifth year of his age [A.D. 511]; but he had already accomplished, in a reign of thirty years, the establishment of the French monarchy in Gaul.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.11

    “The first victory of Clovis had insulted the honor of the Goths. They viewed his rapid progress with jealousy and terror; and the youthful fame of Alaric was oppressed by the more potent genius of his rival. Some disputes inevitably arose on the edge of their contiguous dominions; and after the delays of fruitless negotiation, a personal interview of the two kings was proposed and accepted. This conference of Clovis and Alaric was held in a small island of the Loire, near Amboise. They embraced, familiarly conversed, and feasted together; and separated with the warmest professions of peace and brotherly love. But their apparent confidence concealed a dark suspicion of hostile and treacherous designs; and their mutual complaints solicited, eluded, and disclaimed, a final arbitration. At Paris, which he already considered as his royal seat, Clovis declared [A.D. 507] to an assembly of the princes and warriors, the pretense, and the motive, of a Gothic war. ‘It grieves me to see that the Arians still possess the fairest portion of Gaul. Let us march against them with the aid of God; and, having vanquished the heretics, we will possess and divide their fertile provinces.’ The Franks, who were inspired by hereditary valor and recent zeal, applauded the generous design of their monarch; expressed their resolution to conquer or die, since death and conquest would be equally profitable; and solemnly protested that they would never shave their beards till victory should absolve them from that inconvenient vow.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.12

    “The enterprise was promoted by the public or private exhortations of Clotilda. She reminded her husband how effectually some pious foundation would propitiate the Deity, and his servants: and the Christian hero, darting his battle-axe with a skilful and nervous band, ‘There,’ said he, ‘on that spot where my Francisca, shall fall, will I erect a church in honor of the holy apostles.’ This ostentatious piety confirmed and justified the attachment of the Catholics, with whom he secretly corresponded; and their devout wishes were gradually ripened into a formidable conspiracy. The people of Aquitain were alarmed by the indiscreet reproaches of their Gothic tyrants, who justly accused them of preferring the dominion of the Franks; and their zealous adherent Quintianus, bishop of Rodez, preached more forcibly in his exile than in his diocese. To resist these foreign and domestic enemies, who were fortified by the alliance of the Burgundians, Alaric collected his troops, far more numerous than the military powers of Clovis. The Visigoths resumed the exercise of arms, which they had neglected in a long and luxurious peace; a select band of valiant and robust slaves attended their masters to the field; and the cities of Gaul were compelled to furnish their doubtful and reluctant aid. Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, who reigned in Italy, had labored to maintain the tranquillity of Gaul; and he assumed, or affected, for that purpose, the impartial character of a mediator. But the sagacious monarch dreaded the rising empire of Clovis, and he was firmly engaged to support the national and religious cause of the Goths.”—Id., par. 2, 3, 11.SITI November 4, 1886, page 660.13

    J.

    “The Third Angel’s Message” The Signs of the Times 12, 42, pp. 662, 663.

    WE have shown that from A. D. 1844 onward is the time when the Third Angel’s Message must be given to the world. We have shown that the beast and his image, against the worship of which this message warns the world, are the Papacy and the United States Government, when this Government, under the lead of the National Reform party, and by Constitutional Amendment, shall have formed a union of Church and State after the manner of the Papacy. We have shown that the keeping of “the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus,” to which the world is by this message called, is the keeping of the ten commandments in the only way in which they can be kept by the people on this earth, that is, through the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have shown that any attempt to keep the ten commandments, without faith in Christ, is a vain attempt. We have likewise shown by the Scriptures that faith in Christ must be shown by good works, and that these good works are the keeping of the commandments of God, in order to do which we are made new creatures—born again—in Christ Jesus, so that our fruit may be “unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” Romans 6:22. Thus in the Third Angel’s Message is embodied the everlasting gospel, the grand purpose of which is to bring men to obedience to the holy law of God. And thus, as we have also shown, is given God’s last call of men to obedience to his commandments, through faith in Christ, and this because “the hour of his Judgment is come,” and this judgment is to be “by the law” and according to the gospel. Revelation 14:7; Romans 2:12, 16.SITI November 4, 1886, page 662.1

    Certainly if there ever was a time when the keeping of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus should be most urgently insisted upon, that time is now. We stand now in the days of which the Scripture speaks, and the wickedness of which it portrays in a terrible list, the fitness of which can be seen by any one who will give attention to the subject. We refer to the Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, which reads: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”SITI November 4, 1886, page 662.2

    The list that is here drawn out shows a condition of affairs that is frightfully bad; and instead of there being in it any promise of anything better, there stands the record that it will be “worse and worse.” Yet there is a way of escape, and that is given in this word, “From such turn away.” Such a torrent of wickedness shall not be allowed to flow except the Lord shall do somewhat. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19. By this quotation which we have made from 2 Timothy 3, it is plain that in the last days, the enemy does come in, in a perfect flood of iniquity, and the standard which the Spirit of the Lord lifts up against him is the Third Angel’s Message. And those who from this iniquity turn away, and flee to the standard thus lifted up by the Spirit of the Lord, gain “the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name,” and stand upon the glassy sea “having the harps of God.” For, “The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 59, 20. This coming of the Redeemer follows closely upon the close of the Third Angel’s Message, and when he comes it is to take unto himself those who have turned from transgression, to the keeping of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14:14; 15:2. Again we say that the Third Angel’s Message is the standard which the Spirit of the Lord lifts up against the iniquity of the last days. The inscription upon that standard is, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus;” and to that standard, and to it alone, there attaches “victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.”SITI November 4, 1886, page 663.1

    We have shown that under the Third Angel’s Message there will be a world-wide study of the ten commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus Christ, such as there has not been since John stood on the Isle of Patmos. By this the question is brought to every one, and, reader, we ask you this question, Are you keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus? We ask it in view of the word of God by James, that, “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10. We ask it in view of the words of Christ, that, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:19. And in answering this question all must be guided by the commandments themselves, and not by custom, nor by men’s opinions of the commandments. For thus saith the Lord, “It shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” Deuteronomy 6:25. The question on this must be, How has God commanded to do? What does the word of God say?SITI November 4, 1886, page 663.2

    We are to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus in view of the fact that “the hour of his Judgment is come; and also in view of this fact we are commanded to “worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:7. Now the only one of the commandments of God which brings to view “him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” is the fourth commandment, which reads thus:—SITI November 4, 1886, page 663.3

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”SITI November 4, 1886, page 663.4

    Thus in reading together the First and the Third Angels’ Message, it is evident that the attention of men is by them directed particularly to the keeping of the fourth commandment. For, as the first message commands to worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters; and as the third message directs attention to the commandments of God; and as the fourth commandment is the one and the only one which brings God to view as the one who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and this in the very words of the first message; therefore we say it is evident that in these messages the attention of men is to be directed particularly to the fourth commandment. And they are to be urged to keep the fourth commandment, not independent of all the others, but in addition to all the others, and as well as all the others. For to keep all and yet “offend in one point” vitiates all.SITI November 4, 1886, page 663.5

    In the fourth commandment God has plainly commanded the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath of the Lord. In this commandment, he has not only told men that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, and commanded them to keep it as such, but he has also given the reason for its existence, and the reason why it should be kept. And yet in spite of all this, the great majority of people, professed Christians as well as others, utterly disregard the Sabbath of the Lord. Although he has commanded that in the seventh day, “thou shalt not do any work,” they yet go on with their work on that as on any other day. Such conduct is certainly just anything but the keeping of the commandment.SITI November 4, 1886, page 663.6

    It is true that those who profess to be the Lord’s people offer for their disobedience the excuse that the Sabbath has been changed from the seventh day to the first day of the week; and that they keep the first day in obedience to the commandment. But if the first day of the week is now the Sabbath, and should be kept as such according to the commandment, then why is not the commandment made to read thus:—SITI November 4, 1886, page 663.7

    Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the first day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work; ... for in six days the Lord made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the first day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.SITI November 4, 1886, page 663.8

    Now if that commandment were so printed anywhere in the world where the Bible is known, everybody would say at once that it was printed wrong. But that is precisely the way that people pretend to keep it. Therefore if to print the commandment so would be wrong, how can the keeping of it so be right? In short, if it would be wrong, as everybody knows that it would be, to print the fourth commandment or any other, even in a single letter different from the way in which God wrote it and as it is printed in the Bible, then the keeping of the commandment in any way different from the way in which God wrote it cannot possibly be right. This is precisely the teaching of Christ on this subject: “Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot [the smallest letter] or one tittle [the smallest point of a letter] shall in no wise pass from the law.” Then he enforces as the conclusion, this, “Whosoever therefore,” for this reason, because not the smallest letter nor the smallest point of a letter shall pass from the law. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:18, 19.SITI November 4, 1886, page 663.9

    From the premise which the Saviour lays down,—that one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law,—it is evident that his conclusion enforces the doctrine that for men to swerve, even to the extent of one jot or one tittle, from the perfect integrity of a commandment of God, is to break that commandment; and that the keeping of the commandments is to conform to the perfect integrity of the law, in every jot and tittle of every commandment. Reader, God wrote, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” To not keep the seventh day is to break the commandment of God, and the Third Angel’s Message now calls for those who will “turn from transgression in Jacob,” for those who will keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. To these the Redeemer will come, and give triumphant victory in his glorious Heaven, in the presence of his throne. Isaiah 59:20; Revelation 15:2.SITI November 4, 1886, page 663.10

    J.

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