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    May 13, 1886

    “The Visigoths in the Western Empire. (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times 12, 18, pp. 276, 277.

    “The proclamation of Alaric, when he forced his entrance into a vanquished city, discovered, however, some regard for the laws of humanity and religion. He encouraged his troops boldly to seize the rewards of valor, and to enrich themselves with the spoils of a wealthy and effeminate people: but he exhorted them, at the same time, to spare the lives of the unresisting citizens, and to respect the churches of the apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, as holy and inviolable sanctuaries. Amidst the horrors of a nocturnal tumult, several of the Christian Goths displayed the fervor of a recent conversion; and some instances of their uncommon piety and moderation are related, and perhaps adorned, by the zeal of ecclesiastical writers. While the barbarians roamed through the city in quest of prey, the humble dwelling of an aged virgin, who had devoted her life to the service of the altar, was forced open by one of the powerful Goths. He immediately demanded, though in civil language, all the gold and silver in her possession; and was astonished at the readiness with which she conducted him to a splendid hoard of massy plate, of the richest materials, and the most curious workmanship. The barbarian viewed with wonder and delight this valuable acquisition, till he was interrupted by a serious admonition, addressed to him in the following words: ‘These,’ said she, ‘are the consecrated vessels belonging to St. Peter: if you presume to touch them, the sacrilegious deed will remain on your conscience. For my part, I dare not keep what I am unable to defend.’SITI May 13, 1886, page 276.1

    “The Gothic captain, struck with reverential awe, dispatched a messenger to inform the king of the treasure which he had discovered; and received a peremptory order from Alaric, that all the consecrated plate and ornaments should be transported, without damage or delay, to the church of the apostle. From the extremity, perhaps, of the Quirinal hill, to the distant quarter of the Vatican, a numerous detachment of Goths, marching in order of battle through the principal streets, protected, with glittering arms, the long train of their devout companions, who bore aloft, on their heads, the sacred vessels of gold and silver; and the martial shouts of the Barbarians were mingled with the sound of religious psalmody. From all the adjacent houses, a crowd of Christians hastened to join this edifying procession; and a multitude of fugitives, without distinction of age, or rank, or even of sect, had the good fortune to escape to the secure and hospitable sanctuary of the Vatican. The learned work, concerning the city of God, was professedly composed by St. Augustin, to justify the ways of Providence in the destruction of the Roman greatness. He celebrates, with peculiar satisfaction, this memorable triumph of Christ; and insults his adversaries, by challenging them to produce some similar example of a town taken by storm, in which the fabulous gods of antiquity had been able to protect either themselves or their deluded votaries.SITI May 13, 1886, page 276.2

    “In the sack of Rome, some rare and extraordinary examples of barbarian virtue have been deservedly applauded. But the holy precincts of the Vatican, and the apostolic churches, could receive a very small proportion of the Roman people; many thousand warriors, more especially of the Huns, who served under the standard of Alaric, were strangers to the name, or at least to the faith, of Christ; and we may suspect, without any breach of charity or candor, that in the hour of savage license, when every passion was inflamed, and every restraint was removed, the precepts of the gospel seldom influenced the behavior of the Gothic Christians. The writers, the best disposed to exaggerate their clemency, have freely confessed, that a cruel slaughter was made of the Romans; and that the streets of the city were filled with dead bodies, which remained without burial during the general consternation. The despair of the citizens was sometimes converted into fury; and whenever the barbarians were provoked by opposition, they extended the promiscuous massacre to the feeble, the innocent, and the helpless. The private revenge of forty thousand slaves was exercised without pity or remorse; and the ignominious lashes, which they had formerly received, were washed away in the blood of the guilty, or obnoxious, families.SITI May 13, 1886, page 276.3

    “The matrons and virgins of Rome were exposed to injuries more dreadful, in the apprehension of chastity, than death itself; and the ecclesiastical historian has selected an example of female virtue, for the admiration of future ages. A Roman lady, of singular beauty and orthodox faith, had excited the impatient desires of a young Goth, who, according to the sagacious remark of Sozomen, was attached to the Arian heresy. Exasperated by her obstinate resistance, he drew his sword, and, with the anger of a lover, slightly wounded her neck. The bleeding heroine still continued to brave his resentment, and to repel his love, till the ravisher desisted from his unavailing efforts, respectfully conducted her to the sanctuary of the Vatican, and gave six pieces of gold to the guards of the church, on condition that they should restore her inviolate to the arms of her husband. Such instances of courage and generosity were not extremely common. The brutal soldiers satisfied their sensual appetites, without consulting either the inclination or the duties of their female captives.SITI May 13, 1886, page 276.4

    “But avarice is an insatiate and universal passion; since the enjoyment of almost every object that can afford pleasure to the different tastes and tempers of mankind may be procured by the possession of wealth. In the pillage of Rome, a just preference was given to gold and jewels, which contain the greatest value in the smallest compass and weight; but, after these portable riches had been removed by the more diligent robbers, the palaces of Rome were rudely stripped of their splendid and costly furniture. The sideboards of massy plate, and the variegated wardrobes of silk and purple, were irregularly piled in the wagons, that always followed the march of a Gothic army. The most exquisite works of art were roughly handled, or wantonly destroyed; many a statue was melted for the sake of the precious materials; and many a vase, in the division of the spoil, was shivered into fragments by the stroke of a battle-axe. The acquisition of riches served only to stimulate the avarice of the rapacious barbarians, who proceeded, by threats, by blows, and by tortures, to force from their prisoners the confession of hidden treasure. Visible splendor and expense were alleged as the proof of a plentiful fortune; the appearance of poverty was imputed to a parsimonious disposition; and the obstinacy of some misers, who endured the most cruel torments before they would discover the secret object of their affection, was fatal to many unhappy wretches, who expired under the lash, for refusing to reveal their imaginary treasures.SITI May 13, 1886, page 276.5

    “The edifices of Rome, though the damage has been much exaggerated, received some injury from the violence of the Goths. At their entrance through the Salarian gate, they fired the adjacent houses to guide their march, and to distract the attention of the citizens; the flames, which encountered no obstacle in the disorder of the night, consumed many private and public buildings; and the ruins of the palace of Sallust remained, in the age of Justinian, a stately monument of the Gothic conflagration. Yet a contemporary historian has observed, that fire could scarcely consume the enormous beams of solid brass, and that the strength of man was insufficient to subvert the foundations of ancient structures. Some truth may possibly be concealed in his devout assertion, that the wrath of Heaven supplied the imperfections of hostile rage; and that the proud Forum of Rome, decorated with the statues of so many gods and heroes, was levelled in the dust by the stroke of lightning.SITI May 13, 1886, page 276.6

    “Whatever might be the numbers of equestrian or plebeian rank, who perished in the massacre of Rome, it is confidently affirmed that only one senator lost his life by the sword of the enemy. But it was not easy to compute the multitudes, who, from an honorable station and a prosperous fortune, were suddenly reduced to the miserable condition of captives and exiles. As the barbarians had more occasion for money than for slaves, they fixed at a moderate price the redemption of their indigent prisoners; and the ransom was often paid by the benevolence of their friends, or the charity of strangers. The captives, who were regularly sold, either in open market, or by private contract, would have legally regained their native freedom, which it was impossible for a citizen to lose, or to alienate. But as it was soon discovered that the vindication of their liberty would endanger their lives; and that the Goths, unless they were tempted to sell, might be provoked to murder, their useless prisoners; the civil jurisprudence had been already qualified by a wise regulation, that they should be obliged to serve the moderate term of five years, till they had discharged by their labor the price of their redemption.SITI May 13, 1886, page 276.7

    “The nations who invaded the Roman empire, had driven before them, into Italy, whole troops of hungry and affrighted provincials, less apprehensive of servitude than of famine. The calamities of Rome and Italy dispersed the inhabitants to the most lonely, the most secure, the most distant places of refuge. While the Gothic cavalry spread terror and desolation along the sea-coast of Campania and Tuscany, the little island of Igilium, separated by a narrow channel from the Argentarian promontory, repulsed, or eluded, their hostile attempts; and at so small a distance from Rome, great numbers of citizens were securely concealed in the thick woods of that sequestered spot. The ample patrimonies, which many senatorian families possessed in Africa, invited them, if they had time, and prudence, to escape from the ruin of their country, to embrace the shelter of that hospitable province. The most illustrious of these fugitives was the noble and pious Proba, the widow of the praefect Petronius. After the death of her husband, the most powerful subject of Rome, she had remained at the head of the Anician family, and successively supplied, from her private fortune, the expense of the consulships of her three sons.SITI May 13, 1886, page 276.8

    “When the city was besieged and taken by the Goths, Proba supported, with Christian resignation, the loss of immense riches; embarked in a small vessel, from whence she beheld, at sea, the flames of her burning palace, and fled with her daughter Leta, and her granddaughter, the celebrated virgin, Demetrias, to the coast of Africa. The benevolent profusion with which the matron distributed the fruits, or the price, of her estates, contributed to alleviate the misfortunes of exile and captivity. But even the family of Proba herself was not exempt from the rapacious oppression of Count Heraclian, who basely sold, in matrimonial prostitution, the noblest maidens of Rome to the lust or avarice of the Syrian merchants. The Italian fugitives were dispersed through the provinces, along the coast of Egypt and Asia, as far as Constantinople and Jerusalem; and the village of Bethlem, the solitary residence of St. Jerom and his female converts, was crowded with illustrious beggars of either sex, and every age, who excited the public compassion by the remembrance of their past fortune.SITI May 13, 1886, page 276.9

    “This awful catastrophe of Rome filled the astonished empire with grief and terror. So interesting a contrast of greatness and ruin, disposed the fond credulity of the people to deplore, and even to exaggerate, the afflictions of the queen of cities. The clergy, who applied to recent events the lofty metaphors of oriental prophecy, were sometimes tempted to confound the destruction of the capital and the dissolution of the globe.”—Decline and Fall, chap. 31, par. 22-24, 26.SITI May 13, 1886, page 276.10

    A. T. J.

    (To be continued.)

    “Some One-Thousand-Dollar Reasons for Keeping Sunday” The Signs of the Times 12, 18, pp. 279, 280.

    HAVING shown that the Sabbath was given “at the beginning of human history,” “for the whole human race, and should be observed by every human being;” having shown that the law of the Sabbath not only has never been abrogated, but that it “can never be abrogated,” Mr. Waffle proceeds thus:—SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.1

    “Accepting the conclusion that the fourth commandment is still in force, it may very properly be asked, ‘Why then do not Christians obey it by keeping holy the seventh day of the week, as it directs? By what right is this plain precept disregarded and the first day of the week observed?’ This question is a natural one, and unless a satisfactory answer can be given, the Christian world must stand convicted of error.”—P. 184.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.2

    Here are some important acknowledgments. It is acknowledged (1) that the fourth commandment “directs” that “the seventh day of the week” shall be kept holy. This is important in this connection in view of the claim so often made nowadays by Sunday-keepers that the fourth commandment does not refer to any particular day. And (2) it is acknowledged that this “plain precept” is ‘disregarded” by Christians. We think he does well to state that “unless a satisfactory answer can be given” to the question as to why this is, “the Christian world must stand convicted of error.” We are perfectly satisfied that the Christian world must stand convicted of error on this question. And to prove that this is so, we need nothing better than Mr. Waffle’s one-thousand-dollar-prize essay; and that is the use that we propose to make of it in this occasion.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.3

    The Fourth Commandment, which Mr. Waffle here admits “directs” that “the seventh day of the week” shall be kept holy, is the law of the Sabbath. Says Mr. Waffle, “The law of the Sabbath can never be abrogated.”—P. 157. Now as the law of the Sabbath directs that the seventh day of the week shall be kept holy, and as that law can never be abrogated, it is plainly proven that the “Christian world,” in disregarding “this plain precept,” must stand convicted of error.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.4

    Again, Mr. Waffle says:—SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.5

    “Unless it can be shown that the law of the Sabbath, given at the creation, has been repealed by a new legislative act of God, it is still binding upon all men who learn of it.”—P. 136.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.6

    And:—SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.7

    “Up to the time of Christ’s death no change had been made in the day.” “The authority must be sought in the words or in the example of the inspired apostles.”—P. 186.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.8

    Then he quotes Matthew 16:19, and John 20:23, and says:—SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.9

    “It is generally understood that these words gave to the apostles supreme authority in legislating for the church.... So far as the record shows, they did not, however, give any explicit command enjoining the abandonment of the seventh-day Sabbath, and its observance on the first day of the week.”—P. 187.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.10

    Now as “the law of the Sabbath” “is still binding upon all men who learn of it” “unless it has been repealed by a new legislative act of God;” as that law “directs” the observance of “the seventh day of the week;” as “up to the time of Christ’s death, no change had been made in the day;” as “the authority [for the change] must be sought in the words or in the example of the inspired apostles,” to whom (according to Mr. Waffle’s claim) was given “supreme authority in legislating for the church;” and as in the exercise of that legislative authority, “they did not give any explicit command enjoining the abandonment of the seventh-day Sabbath, and its observance on the first day of the week;” as, therefore, there has been no new legislative act of God—by Mr. Waffle’s own words it stands proven to a demonstration that the law of the Sabbath which enjoins the observance of “the seventh day of week” is still binding upon all men, and that in disregarding “this plain precept” “the Christian world must stand convicted of error.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.11

    Again we read:—SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.1

    “If the law of the Sabbath, as it appeared in the ten commandments, has been abolished, it must have been done by some decree of Jehovah. Where have we the record of such a decree? Through what prophet or apostle was it spoken?” “We can find no words of Christ derogatory to this institution as it was originally established, or as it was intended to be observed.” “There is nothing in the writings of the apostles which, when fairly interpreted, implies the abrogation of the Sabbath.”—Pp. 160, 165, 183.SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.2

    The law of the Sabbath, “as it appeared in the ten commandments,” is the fourth commandment. And that commandment, by Mr. Waffle’s own interpretation, “directs” that “the seventh day of the week” shall be kept holy. Now as the abolition of that commandment would require some decree of Jehovah; and as no such decree has ever been recorded, nor spoken, neither by prophet nor by apostle, the obligation of the fourth commandment still remains upon all men to keep holy “the seventh day of the week.” Therefore, in disregarding this “plain precept,” “the Christian world must stand convicted of error.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.3

    We must recur to a sentence before quoted. It is this:—SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.4

    “The authority [for the change from the seventh to the first day of the week] must be sought in the words or in the example of the inspired apostles.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.5

    Now with that please read this:—SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.6

    “A law can be repealed only by the same authority that enacted it. It certainly cannot be done away by those who are subject to it.”—P. 160.SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.7

    Was the law of the Sabbath enacted by the authority of the words or the example of the inspired apostles? Was it enacted by the authority of inspired men of any class, or at any time? No. The very idea is preposterous. Then it can never be repealed by the authority of inspired men, be they apostles or what not. That law was enacted by the living God in person. And it can never be repealed except by the personal act of the Lord himself. Any attempt of an inspired man to nullify any portion of the moral law would vitiate his inspiration. “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. This is also conveyed in Mr. Waffle’s argument: “It certainly cannot be done away by those who are subject to it.” The inspired apostles were subject to the law of the Sabbath, as well as to all the rest of the law of God. And to charge to their words or to their example, the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week, is to deny their inspiration, to declare that there is no light in them, and to place them beyond the pale of being men of God. This, too, is even admitted in Mr. Waffle’s argument. He says:—SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.8

    “There is nothing in the example of the apostles to oblige the most tender conscience to abstain from secular employment on the first day of the week, if there is no other authority for observing a weekly Sabbath.”—P. 160.SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.9

    Please bear in mind (1) that the aim of this one-thousand-dollar prize essay is to prove that the first day of the week is the true, genuine, and only weekly Sabbath; (2) that the author of the essay admits that the fourth commandment “directs” that “the seventh day of the week” is to be kept holy; (3) and that he likewise declares that the apostles, as supreme legislators for the church, “did not give any explicit command enjoining the abandonment of the seventh-day Sabbath, and its observance on the first day of the week.” Then it is plain that all that remains to which he can appeal, and in fact the only thing to which he does appeal as authority for keeping the first day of the week, is the example of the apostles. Then when even this he sweeps away with the declaration that “there is nothing in the example of the apostles to oblige the most tender conscience to abstain from secular employment on the first day of the week,” his argument leaves not a vestige of authority upon which to rest the observance of the first day of the week. Thus, again, he demonstrates that in disregarding the “plain precept” of the fourth commandment, which “directs” the “keeping holy the seventh day of the week,” and which is “still in force,” “the Christian world must stand convicted of error.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.10

    That is exactly what we have believed for years. It is just what we are constantly endeavoring to set before the “Christian world,” as well as before the world in general. And we are thankful that the American Sunday-school Union, by its one-thousand-dollar prize, has enabled us to lay before our readers such a conclusive demonstration of it. We are not prepared to say but what the Union has done a good work in awarding the one-thousand-dollar prize to the essay of Mr. A. E. Waffle, M. A., Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature, etc., etc.; for we cannot see how it would be possible to put together an argument for the first day of the week which could more positively convict the Christian world of error in disregarding the plain precept to keep the seventh day.SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.11

    J.

    “One of the Devil’s Devices” The Signs of the Times 12, 18, p. 280.

    PAUL, in referring to Satan, on a certain occasion, said, “We are not ignorant of his devices.” A good many people are ignorant of his devices. In many cases, however, this is no fault of his, for he makes no effort at all to conceal them; but rather makes exertions to openly advertise them to all. One of his latest and most mischievous devices is now freely advertised by his agents in flaring posters in the most public places. This poster reads as follows:—SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.1

    “Lorillard’s Cognac Cocktails: A Chew That Beats a Drink.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.2

    Which, being interpreted, means that Mr. Lorillard, the tobacco king, now furnishes a brand of tobacco so saturated with French brandy, and so doctored up with the stuff of which “cocktails” are made, that to take a chew of it is better than to take a drink of liquor. And thus the appetite for strong drink is directly created and fastened upon those who use the tobacco. It has been hitherto denied that the use of tobacco does tend to create the desire for strong drink. But that can be denied no longer, when the fact is publicly and widely advertised that now a chew of “Lorillard’s Cognac Cocktail” drink. Nor is it to be supposed for a moment that this particular brand of tobacco is the only one that is so prepared. In the case of this brand the fact is boldly avowed, and that is all the difference; unless perhaps this is somewhat more heavily dosed than other brands.SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.3

    Nor yet is this confined to chewing tobacco. Smoking tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes, are all laden with nerviness, such as vanilla, valerian, cascarilla bark, New England rum, and even opium; and cigarette tobacco is the most highly “flavored” of all, with chewing tobacco next. This is as stat6ed by a manufacturer of the stuff itself. In April, 1882, it was stated by a large tobacco manufacturer in New York City, that he personally knew fifteen chemists who were “employed exclusively in factories in that city” whose duties consisted in “flavoring of fillings and in developing and heightening the narcotic powers of the weed, and thus making it marketable at higher prices.” He declared that by the use of vanilla and valerian “the dullest and weakest stems may be flavored up into a fair article of tobacco.” Vanilla, valerian, and cascarilla bark, all three, enter into the composition of cigarette tobacco. The vanilla “flavor” is used “in the form of an alcoholic tincture;” while another formula is composed of a combination of vanilla, valerian, and New England rum. It can be very readily seen that the direct and inevitable tendency of the use of manufactured tobacco in any form is to create an appetite for the strongest kind of intoxicating drinks.SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.4

    A great point is made against the Chinese in that they spread the opium curse in this country. Whereas the Chinese would be comparatively powerless in this, were is not for the opium and its kindred drugs in the cigars and other forms of tobacco, by which are sown the seeds of the curse. It is opium in the “best” Havana cigars, that makes them the “best.” It is the opium in the fine Havana, that has such a soothing effect upon the smoker, and enslaves him more than does the tobacco.SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.5

    The use to tobacco alone, or of strong drink alone, is destructive enough to satisfy anything or anybody, unless it should be the devil; but the two combined, as the manufacturers of tobacco now combine them, certainly can leave nothing more destructive to body and soul, to be desired even by the devil himself. And this introduces a grave question as to how much longer Prohibitionists, and temperance reformers generally, can leave out of their work the unqualified condemnation of the use of tobacco in any form? To leave it out is to do but half their work, if they do even as much as half. With tobacco in its various forms constantly creating and fastening upon its victims by the thousands the appetite for strong drink, prohibition seems a long way off, while it confines its efforts to the effect, instead of striking at the cause as well. We are happy to say that Seventh-day Adventists are, and have ever been, uncompromisingly opposed to the use of either tobacco or strong drink; for in a measure at least, we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices.SITI May 13, 1886, page 280.6

    J.

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