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    January 27, 1887

    “Who Has Declared Independence?” The Signs of the Times 13, 4, p. 55.

    IN 1698 Ireland was subject to England. Although she had her own Parliament, yet she, Parliament and all, was governed by the mother country, and by the Parliament of the mother country. And in this, England was distinctly the mother country; because the governing class in Ireland was composed of colonists from England; and it was only by the power of England that these were enabled to govern either Ireland or themselves. So entirely was this true, that if the protecting power of England had been withdrawn, any and all government in Ireland, in which the English colonists could have had any part at all would have ceased to exist. Therefore, it was literally true that the very existence of the then Government of Ireland depended wholly upon the mother country. Yet for all this, the Irish Parliament took a step which, if allowed to stand, would have not only severed its connection with the home Government, but with that would have cost it its own existence. We will give this in the words of the historian himself. He says:—SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.1

    “The Irish Lords and Commons had presumed, not only to re-enact an English Act passed expressly for the purpose of binding them, but to re-enact it with alterations. The alterations were indeed small; but the alteration even of a letter was tantamount to a declaration of independence.”—Macauley’s England, chap. 23, p. 63. [The italics are mine.]SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.2

    Now, according to this true principle of government, those people who claim that Christ re-enacted the ten commandments, and that, too with alterations, virtually assert that Christ declared independence of the Supreme Government. But against all such claims, we have the words of Christ, in strictest accordance with this true principle, which declare: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law,” knowing full well that to alter a “jot or tittle,” or, in the words of Macaulay, “even a letter,” would be equal to a “declaration of independence.” Therefore among the very first words that be uttered as a public teacher, “as one having authority,” he lays down the fundamental principle of true allegiance. And every other word, and every other act of his life, is strictly consistent with it. “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39. “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” John 5:30. “I came down from Heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” John 6:38. “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” John 4:34. Was the work of God not done until by the ministration of Christ he had “re-enacted with alterations” “his own law, and had thus declared himself independent of himself? That would finish his work indeed, and with a vengeance. But God forbid, “He cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13. On the contrary, his work can be, and will be, and was intended to be finished in righteousness (Romans 9:28), and “in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. This “will” and this “work” Christ came to do, and in justice and in righteousness he pledges himself and all his followers to the firmest allegiance to the government of the Most High. Matthew 7:21; 10:17; Revelation 22:14; 14:12.SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.3

    On the other hand, how aptly this exploit of the Irish Lords and Commons with the English Government illustrates the arrogance of the Papacy with the God of Heaven! There was the Irish Parliament ruling Ireland, yet itself dependent on the English Parliament and power for its very existence. Here was the Papacy ruling the world in things temporal, and in things spiritual, yet itself dependent upon the mercy, the forbearance, and the long-suffering and power of the Most High. There the supreme power had passed an act for the express purpose of binding them. Here the Power Supreme above all had passed acts for the express purpose of binding, not only the Papacy, but all upon the earth. There, they presumed to re-enact, with slight alterations, the act which bound them. Here, he has presumed to re-enact, with the most material alterations, those acts which God had passed to bind the human race. That, the historian says, was “tantamount to a declaration of independence.” This was nothing less than an out and out declaration of independence. He has assumed all the titles of the King of kings and Lord of lords. But it is not enough that he should make himself equal to God, but he must exalt “himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped.” And in the matter of subordinate Government acting with Supreme Government, and subordinate with Supreme Ruler, I cannot conceive of a more decided and effectual means that could be employed for asserting independence than just the very means which he has employed, and which is so perfectly illustrated in the historical point under notice; that is, “to re-enact with alterations” the law of God, the ten commandments.SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.4

    J.

    “As It Was in the Days of Noah” The Signs of the Times 13, 4, pp. 55, 56.

    IN speaking of the times which should immediately precede his coming, the Saviour said, “As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” And in reading the Scripture we find that “violence” was one of the principal evils that characterized the days of Noah. “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” As therefore violence specially characterized the days of Noah; and as, so shall it be at the coming of the Lord, we are, upon the authority of the Scriptures to expect the growth and prevalence of violence as time draws on toward the coming of Christ.SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.1

    This is clearly shown by the words of the Lord by Paul in 2 Timothy 3. He says 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, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.2

    This is a fearful picture as it is, but in the same connection the word says, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse.” When men are possessed with such dispositions as are here named, it would seem that that time would be about as bad as it could be; but when it is clearly and positively stated that these same characters and dispositions shall grow worse and worse, it is plain that the days of Noah will be repeated, and the earth will be filled with violence.SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.3

    Ezekiel, speaking of the time of the end, says: “Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness; none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs; neither shall there be wailing for them.... They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed; their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord.... Make a chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.” Ezekiel 7:11, 19, 23. And Habakkuk (2:17) cries out, “Because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.”SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.4

    There are abundance of signs, and plenty of evidence, other than this, to show when the coming of the Lord is at the doors; but even it there were no other than this, it seems to us that from the pernicious course of current events we might justly conclude that the world is fast nearing the day of the coming of the Son of man. In view of the present condition of society we can only wonder how much further things can go as they are and have lately been going, before the earth shall be filled with violence. In a whole year there is scarcely a week passes but that some part of the country is disturbed by a strike, and afflicted by the rioting and violence that are its inseparable attendants.SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.5

    In San Francisco, there has not been a strike on hand for more than a month. Certain cable-car hands have struck, and all this time, on two of the principal thoroughfares of that city, people’s lives have been in constant danger. Running cars have been assailed with showers of stones, obstructions have been placed so as to destroy the cars, and some have been blown up with death-dealing explosives. Many innocent people have been injured—perhaps crippled for life—and some have been almost killed. And yet the city seems to be helpless. A few arrests have been made, a reward of $500 has at last been offered for the detection of the criminals who were concerned in blowing up the cars; but even if some of the very criminals themselves should be caught, the chances are altogether against any successful prosecution, of any just punishment overtaking them. In the first place it is almost impossible to get a jury of twelve men who are not so far in sympathy with the crimes committed by strikers as at least to prevent justice overtaking the criminal. And even though a jury should be found which would convict, then the criminals are almost sure to escape, through the tricks and technicalities employed by equally criminal lawyers. This is proved in the case of the Chicago Anarchists, and almost numberless other cases.SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.6

    There is another feature developed in this San Francisco violence, to which we designed specially to call attention, as betraying a most dangerous and deplorable condition of society. We refer to the prominent part taken in it by the school-boys and other boys not beyond school-boy age if not actually school-boys.SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.7

    Shortly after the strike occurred, the striking workmen held a parade, and marched a considerable distance along the line of road from which they had struck. On this occasion the striking workmen themselves behaved very well. But preceding the men in their march, there was a great crowd of small boys who riddled with stones the windows of every car that passed them; and this was kept up along the whole line of march, with hooting and insulting those in charge of the cars. And when police protection was given to the roads, the Chronicle of January 11 reports that:—SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.8

    “The heaviest police protection given the roads during daylight is placed in the vicinity of the school-houses along the lines, as the school-boys, who have shown a keen interest in the strike since its inception, are given to annoying the new train hands, calling them “scabs” and throwing sand and mud at them whenever an opportunity to do so safely presents itself.”SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.9

    In the case of men who have a grievance, in the excitement and bitterness of opposition, it is not to be wondered at that some excesses should be committed; but in such a case as this of those school-boys, it can spring from nothing but sheer wantonness and love of violence. When parental authority has grown so slack that mere boys are at liberty to omit such things, and when the discipline of the public schools has grown so grossly slack that children at the very doors of the school-house can commit such outrages that the strongest police protection of the city is required there, it is evident that this spirit cannot go on much longer before the earth shall be filled with violence. When the public schools of a city are so conducted that in times of unrest the strongest police protection is required in the vicinity of the school-houses, then such schools become dangerous to society—a nuisance that ought to be abated, and the sooner the better.SITI January 27, 1887, page 55.10

    Nor yet are we prepared to say that San Francisco is the worst city in the United States. It may be, and it may not. We have seen no such record concerning any other city, but this may be only because the like has not been recorded. But even admitting that San Francisco is the worst, it only occupies the place of the superlatives in a degree of comparison whose tendency is only downward. All are bad, some are worse, and some one must be the worst; and if to San Francisco belongs that bad pre-eminence, it only shows that she is a little further along than are some others in a course of evil and violence upon which all are rapidly moving.SITI January 27, 1887, page 56.1

    When the world has reached that place that, from children to men, from the public schools to the city mob, the same spirit of lawlessness and riot prevails, how much longer shall it have to wait before the earth shall be filled with violence? What remedy can be applied? The church has lost its power, and has to appeal to this same lawless element for help to preserve its “essential” though illegitimate dogma. It is plainly confessed that if the Sunday is to be preserved, “the religious element must be re-enforced by the non-religious;” and Sunday is the ground essential to the existence of the church, the “harvest-day for souls.” The preservation of Sunday is now the great and leading question. And when to preserve its own dogmas the church is compelled to court the alliance of the “assemblies of violent men,” this is positive evidence that the power of godliness is gone from it, and that the spirit of force and violence is taking its place.SITI January 27, 1887, page 56.2

    In the days of Noah, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” And “as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” “Make a chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.” J.SITI January 27, 1887, page 56.3

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