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    July 14, 1887

    “The Samaritans” The Signs of the Times 13, 27, p. 423.

    “PLEASE give an explanation of John 4:20. J. S.”SITI July 14, 1887, page 423.1

    The text reads, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” These are the words of the woman of Samaria to Jesus, as he talked with her at the well. Samaria was a hill that 925 years before Christ belonged to a man by the name of Shemer. When Omri had reigned as king of Israel six years in Tirzah, he bought this hill from Shemer for two talents of silver, and built a city on the hill, “and called the name of the city which he built,” Samaria, “after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill.” 1 Kings 16:23, 24. Omri thus made it the capital of the kingdom of Israel, and it remained the capital of the ten tribes as long as they were a kingdom.SITI July 14, 1887, page 423.2

    About 740 B.C. Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, carried captive a part of the ten tribes. 2 Kings 15:29. About 721 Samaria fell after a siege of three years by the Assyrians, and Sargon, a king of Assyria, destroyed Samaria and carried the remainder of the ten tribes captive unto Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and in Habor, by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. Then to re-people the land he “brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel.”SITI July 14, 1887, page 423.3

    But by taking the inhabitants away, the lions had multiplied in the land. And when he brought up the new people the lions slew some of them. Then they sent word to the king of Assyria that, as they did not know the manner of the God of that land, the lions were slaying them, and asked him to send up there some of the priests who had been carried away captive, so that they should teach the newcomers the way of the God of the land. The king did so, and the priests taught them how they should fear the Lord. So then they all feared the Lord, so as to have him keep the lions off, and went on worshiping their own gods. So “the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Aarammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.” 2 Kings 17:6, 24-34. It will be seen at once that this introduced a mixed and most corrupt worship. Afterward there were some Arabians transported there by Sargon, and several peoples by Esar-haddon. Ezra 4:2, 9, 10.SITI July 14, 1887, page 423.4

    When the children of Israel returned from the captivity of Babylon, B.C. 535, these people of Samaria proposed to join with them in rebuilding the temple and in re-establishing the worship of God. But Zerubbabel and Joshua and their companions would have nothing to do with them. Then the Samaritans set about to hinder the work all they possibly could, and even hired counselors against them at the court of the kings of Persia, all the time of Cyrus and Cambyses. And thus began an enmity between the two peoples, that never was quenched, but which grew more and more bitter as ages passed by.SITI July 14, 1887, page 423.5

    The efforts of the Samaritans were in vain with Cyrus and Cambyses, but when the impostor Smerdis came in, they succeeded in obtaining a decree from him putting a stop to the work at Jerusalem. So it ceased for about two years, till the second year of Darius Hystaspes, B.C. 520. Then the prophets Haggai and Zechariah stirred up the Jews against to go to building. But no sooner had they begun to build than the Samaritans were on hand again to stop them. There was a new governor over them, however, by this time, and he appears to have been a very honest man himself, he sent to Darius an honest account of the matter, and the effect of it was to bring a decree that not only should they let the work at Jerusalem go on, but that they should help speedily with money from the king’s tribute, and with bullocks, rams, and lambs, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, all that was needed at Jerusalem. Ezra 4-6.SITI July 14, 1887, page 423.6

    After this the Jews were bothered no more by the Samaritans for about seventy years, till Nehemiah went up to Jerusalem to complete the work. Then they tried their best to get the advantage of him, but failed at every effort, which only increased their bitterness. This was at Nehemiah’s first visit to Jerusalem. But he returned to the court of Persia and stayed several years, and then went up again to Jerusalem. There he found that in his absence the Jews had intermarried with the heathen, and even with the Samaritans. Eliashib the priest had actually brought Tobiah the Ammonite to Jerusalem and had set him up at housekeeping in the chambers of the temple of God. And one of Eliashib’s grandsons had married a daughter of Sanballat the Horonite, who seems to have been then governor of Samaria.SITI July 14, 1887, page 423.7

    When Nehemiah arrived at Jerusalem, and found matters thus, he pitched all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chambers that had been given him, and commanded the chambers to be cleansed. Then he made all the Jews who had strange wives put them away. But this grandson of the high priest, Manasseth by name, who had married Sanballat’s daughter, would not give her up, therefore Nehemiah chased him clear out of Jerusalem. Then Manaseh went with his wife over to Samaria to Sanballat, as also did others who, like Manasseh, clung to their heathen wives, and rebelled against the authority of Nehemiah. In B.C. 409 Sanballat obtained from Darius Nothus a grant to build on Mount Gerizim near Samaria, a temple like that at Jerusalem, and he made this Manasseh the high priest of the temple and its worship. Thus the enmity became still more bitter, and continued so down to the time of the Saviour, by which time the hatred was so bitter that when the Pharisees would apply to Jesus the most bitter epithet that they could command, it was, “Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil.” John 8:48. And Jesus when giving in a parable an example of perfect obedience to the divine command to love our neighbor as ourself, pictured an instance of a Samaritan helping a Jew. And in this same conversation with the woman of Samaria, as Jesus sat on the well, the woman came, and he asked her to give him a drink. She was surprised that he, a Jew, should speak to her, a Samaritan, and so she asked, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” John 4:7-9.SITI July 14, 1887, page 423.8

    When Sanballat and Manasseh built that temple on Mount Gerizim, there was thenceforth a false worship there as rival to the true worship in Jerusalem. At first it was the mixed worship of the idolatrous Samaritans and apostate Jews. But this was not only a place of rival worship, but it became an asylum for all the rebellious, discontented Jews, and by this means it came about in the course of time that the worshipers there were mostly made up of apostate Jews and their descendants, and as the Pentateuch was used in the Samaritan temple, and as the service was made as near like that at Jerusalem as possible, the worship of the false gods was soon dropped entirely, and the Samaritans claimed to be the true people of God, and claimed that Mount Gerizim, and not Jerusalem, was the place which God had chosen, that there Abraham and Jacob had built altars and worshiped God, and that therefore theirs was the true temple and the true worship. And that is why it was that the woman said to Jesus, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain [the mountain was right over their heads]; and ye [that is, the Jews] say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” That also was why Jesus replied to her, “Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews.” Their worship was a false, corrupt worship from the beginning, and Jesus exposed it all in a word, “Ye worship ye know not what.”SITI July 14, 1887, page 423.9

    J.

    “The Popes Among Rulers” The Signs of the Times 13, 27, p. 424.

    IT seems that from any and every point of observation that we may choose, the Papacy appears to the worst advantage of any power on the earth. In studying the list of Popes, we were struck with the shortness of the reign of a large number of them, and were thus led to draw a comparison between the average length of the reigns of the Popes, and that of other rulers of the world. The following table shows the result:—SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.1

    Dates. Duration of kingdom. No. of rulers. Average
    yr.
    mo. da.
    B.C. 975-599 Judah 376 years 20 18 9 18
    ”      975-720 Israel 255 “ 19 13 5 1
    ”      747-538 Babylon 209 “ 18 11 7 10
    ”      538-330 Medo-Persia 208 “ 14 14 10 8
    ”      795-168 Macedonia 627 “ 35 17 11 2
    ”      304- 30 Later-Egypt 274 “ 15 18 3 5
    ”      312- 65 Syria 247 “ 20 12 4 6
    ” 48-A.D. 364 Rome 411½ “ 49 8 4 21
    A.D. 364- 476 Western Empire 111½ “ 15 7 6
    ”      364-1453 Eastern 1089 “ 81 12 11 17
    ”      428-1793 France 1365 “ 84 16 3
    ”      411-1868 Spain 1457 “ 106 13 8 28
    ”      404-1603 Scotland 1199 “ 71 16 10 11
    ”      632-1258 Caliphs 626 “ 55 11 4 17
    ”      800-1804 Germany 1000* “ 59 16 11 11
    ”      827-1881 England 1061 “ 61 17 4 21
    ”      862-1881 Russia 102213 yrs. inter.” 65 15 5 24
    ”      842-1795 Poland 95027 yrs. inter. and anarchy. 48 19 9 5
    ”      1299-1881 Turkey 588 “ 36 16 4
    ”      1093-1881 Portugal 788 “ 36 22 10
    ”      1015-1881 Sweden 867 “ 53 16 5 13
    ”      803-1881 Denmark 1060315 yrs. inter. 52 20 6
    ”      1134-1881 Prussia 74443 yrs. inter. 37 20 3 7
    ”      1627-1881 China 254 “ 9 28 10 20
    ”      66-1881 Papacy 1796½518½ yrs. inter. 272 6 7 15

    *4 years interregnum.

    Thus it may be readily seen that the average length of the reigns of the Popes is within forty-five days of a whole year shorter than that of any other succession of rulers from Babylon to this day. And it is a significant fact, that the next shortest is in the Western Empire, and still the next shortest is in the Roman Empire before it was divided; which all goes to show that the state of affairs was much worse under the Popes, than during the empire either before or after its division.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.2

    But an objection might be raised against this count of the line of the Popes, to the effect that it is not exactly fair, because it embraces the era of martyrdom, during which time many of the bishops of Rome were put to death in the persecutions suffered by the Christians. It is true that many of the early bishops suffered martyrdom. Therefore we will admit the justice of the claim, and will begin at the close of the era of martyrdom, when Constantine gave peace (?) to the church, and count to the Reformation. From Sylvester to the death of Leo X., or from A.D. 314 to 1522, a period of 1195 613 yrs. interregnum. years, there were 202 Popes, whose average reign was five years, ten months, twenty-nine days. This reveals the fact that the state of affairs was actually worse than appears by the preceding calculation; enough worse, indeed, to reduce the average a period of eight months and sixteen days.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.3

    Without going into particulars, which would extend this article to an undue length, we will simply add a few leading facts:—SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.4

    Two of the Popes reigned less then a day.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.5

    Six of them reigned less than a month.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.6

    Twenty-five of them reigned less than a year.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.7

    Eight of them were murdered.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.8

    Four of them died in prison.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.9

    Six of them were deposed. 7All of this list is between A.D. 315 and 1522.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.10

    This is by no means completes the list, but is enough to show somewhat of the character of these Popes and their times. With a slight change, the words which Shakespeare puts into the mouth of King Richard II., would be literally true of these:—SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.11

    And tell sad stories of the death of Popes:
    How some have been deposed,
    Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
    Some poisoned, some sleeping killed;
    For within the hollow crown,
    That rounds the mortal temples of a Pope,
    Keeps death his court; and there the antic sits,
    Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp;
    Allowing him a breath, a little scene
    To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks;
    Infusing him with self and vain conceit,—
    As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
    Were brass impregnable, and, humored thus,
    Comes at the last, and with a little pin
    Bores through his castle wall, and—farewell Pope.
    SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.12

    As in Christ is embodied and manifested the “mystery of godliness” (1 Timothy 3:16), so, on the other hand, in antichrist is embodied and manifested the “mystery of iniquity.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7. As in Christ, from whatever point we view him, we behold only godliness, so in the Papal system, from whatever point we view it, we behold only iniquity, more than in any other system the world has seen. Whether it be viewed in its representative Popes, such as Innocent III., crushing out heresy with fire and sword, deposing kings, trampling upon nations, filling Europe with bloodshed and woe; or Gregory VII., infamous Hildebrand, asserting absolute control over emperors, princes, priests, and people; or whether it be viewed as a system, infusing mankind with its baleful influence till it is reduced to the condition revealed by its place in the foregoing table, it presents itself as the worst of all things earthly—worse than the “unspeakable Turk,” worse than the Eastern Empire of Rome when for five hundred years “the sepulcher was ever beside the throne,” worse than old Rome itself when the purple was never clear of blood. It fully justifies every title bestowed upon it in the Scriptures; and by the view here given, is especially illustrated and justified the comparison given in Daniel 11:31 and 12:11, between Pagan and Papal Rome, where Pagan Rome is designated as the “daily desolation,” while the Papacy is the “ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.”SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.13

    J.

    “The First Commandment. No. 2” The Signs of the Times 13, 27, pp. 424, 425.

    ANOTHER form of violation of the first commandment is brought to view by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4: “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Between the children of this world and the children of God there is no connection. Between those who love God, and those who love this world there is no affinity. “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15, 16.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.1

    Yet to please the world, to gain the favor of the world, and to be a friend of the world, is that for which men seek more than for the grace of God. Men will destroy their own souls if only they can stand well with the world. They will annihilate character to acquire and maintain a reputation. Reputation is of the world, character is of God. When men are called to obey God, the love of the world stands in the way, and the god of this world blinds their minds lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them. It is the work of the gospel to open men’s eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. Darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people; Satan and his hosts are “the rulers of the darkness of this world,” for the whole world lieth in the wicked one. Christ called Satan “the prince of this world,” and as He came to save us from this present evil world, the message of his salvation is to turn men from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive the forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith in Jesus.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.2

    It is for this cause that the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Satan is the prince, the god, of this world, and to love the world is to love the rule and dominion of Satan. To be a friend of the world is to be a friend of Satan. Therefore it is that if any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him. There is no affinity between Satan and God. Satan rebelled against God, led our first parents into sin, gained possession of the world, and has kept it in rebellion against God ever since. “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Therefore says the Lord, “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2.SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.3

    Yet for all this, how many there are of the professed children of God, who, instead of being transformed to the will of God, seek to be conformed to this world, and allow their minds to run in the same old worldly channel that they did before they named the name of Christ. All the capiricous behests of fashion are obeyed more readily, and more willingly, than are the commands of God; all her follies and foibles are conformed to as though that were itself the way of salvation. Does fashion command that people shall make themselves ridiculous by some such silly custom as banging the hair down over the forehead clear to the eyes, or by wearing dead birds for ornaments? It is readily followed by thousands of those who profess to be followers of God, even though the foolish fashion originate in a brothel, as did both of these. Whoever will do a thing because it is popular or fashionable to do so, will do anything, it matters not what, that may become popular or fashionable. To please the world is their aim, and please it they will. The world is their god, and the Lord must take second place. But when he is given the second place he is given no place, for he will be supreme or not at all. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me,” and “my glory will I not give to another.”SITI July 14, 1887, page 424.4

    The separating from this world, and turning from the power of Satan unto God, is a veritable, and must be a total, transfer of allegiance from one Government to another, from one sovereign to another. By this transfer we become citizens of God’s kingdom, and “our citizenship is in Heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” Whereas “in time past ye walked ccording to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,” remember “that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” But “now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.” Ephesians 2:2, 12, 19, 20.SITI July 14, 1887, page 425.1

    Now in the affairs of the Governments of this world, when a person transfers his allegiance from one to another, from England to the United States, for instance, he takes the following oath:—SITI July 14, 1887, page 425.2

    “I,——, late of England, do declare an oath, that it is bona fide my intention to become a citizen of the United States of America, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty whatever, and particularly to the queen of Great Britain and Ireland and empress of India, of whom I am now a subject.SITI July 14, 1887, page 425.3

    So likewise we, in becoming fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God, and in transferring our citizenship to Heaven, and our allegiance to God, must renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any other prince potentate, sovereignty, or god whatsoever, and particularly to the god of this world. This must be done or our citizenship can never be registered in Heaven. It must be maintained or our citizenship, once registered there, will be blotted out and we treated as the traitors which such a relapse surely shows us to be. By the word of God the separation is clear-cut: “It the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” There can be no compromise, there can be no playing fast and loose. If the Lord be God, follow him; but if the world, then follow it. You can’t be a citizen of two countries at once; you can’t serve God and this world both at once.SITI July 14, 1887, page 425.4

    Still another form of violation of this commandment is shown by Paul, in writing to the Philippians: “Many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Chap. 3:18, 19. And still there are “many” such. They may, and indeed they do, pretend to be great friends of Christ, but so long as they are enemies of his cross they are enemies to him. They may pretend to be devout worshipers of Christ, but so long as they are enemies of his cross they are only worshipers of themselves, of their own desires; their god is their appetite, and that god they worship.SITI July 14, 1887, page 425.5

    Jesus says plainly, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23. The first requisite therefore to follow the Saviour is to deny self. And no man can be a follower of Christ without it. To deny self for Christ’s sake brings a person face to face with the cross. And to refuse to deny self for his sake, is to refuse the cross and so to become an enemy of the cross of Christ. Men may make vast pretensions to being followers of Christ, but so long as they refuse to deny themselves, so long they refuse the cross, and so long they are not his followers at all. He has placed the matter in its proper order: first deny self, next take up the cross to which self-denial brings us, and then follow Christ. There is no other way to get into the path where Jesus has walked, there is no other way to become a follower of Christ.SITI July 14, 1887, page 425.6

    The man who yields obedience to his appetite for strong drink, has another god than the Lord. His duty to God is set aside, that the arbitrary commands of a perverted appetite may be obeyed. The claims of the divine law are nullified by the, to him, higher and stronger claims of his own appetite. Such a person is an idolater. His god is his belly. But the devotee of strong drink is not the only such idolater. The devotee of opium, or tobacco, or tea or coffee, or whatever else it may be that he allows to fasten itself upon him, is an idolater equally with the lover of strong drink. “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”SITI July 14, 1887, page 425.7

    J.

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