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The Great Controversy (1888 ed.)

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    General Notes

    Note 1. Page 53—Constantine's Sunday law, issued A.D. 321, was as follows:—GC88 679.1

    “Let all the judges and town people, and the occupation of all trades rest on the venerable day of the sun; but let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty attend to the business of agriculture; because it often happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines; lest, the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by heaven.”GC88 679.2

    Of this law, so high an authority as the “Encyclopedia Britannica*The original publication had the spelling “Brittannica.”” plainly says: “It was Constantine the Great who first made a law for the proper observance of Sunday; and who, according to Eusebius, appointed that it should be regularly celebrated throughout the Roman empire. Before him, and even in his time, they observed the Jewish Sabbath, as well as Sunday.” As to the degree of reverence with which Sunday was regarded, and the manner of its observance, Mosheim says that in consequence of the law enacted by Constantine, the first day of the week was “observed with greater solemnity than it had formerly been.” [Eccl. Hist. Cent. 4, part 2, chap. 4, sec. 5.] Yet Constantine permitted all kinds of agricultural labor to be performed on Sunday! Bishop Taylor declares that “the primitive Christians did all manner of works upon the Lord's day.” [Duct. Dubitant., part 1, book 2, chap. 2, rule 6, sec. 59.] The same statement is made by Morer: “The day [Sunday] was not wholly kept in abstaining from common business; nor did they [Christians] any longer rest from their ordinary affairs (such was the necessity of those times) than during the divine service.” [Dialogues on the Lord's Day, p. 233.] Says Cox: “There is no evidence that either at this [the time of Constantine], or at a period much later, the observance was viewed as deriving any obligation from the fourth commandment; it seems to have been regarded as an institution corresponding in nature with Christmas, Good Friday, and other festivals of the church.” [Cox's Sabbath Laws, p. 281.]GC88 679.3

    Note 2. Page 54—In the twelfth chapter of Revelation we have as a symbol a great red dragon. In the ninth verse of that chapter this symbol is explained as follows: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Undoubtedly the dragon primarily represents Satan. But Satan does not appear upon the earth in person; he works through agents. It was in the person of wicked men that he sought to destroy Jesus as soon as he was born. Wherever Satan has been able to control a government so fully that it would carry out his designs, that nation became, for the time, Satan's representative. This was the case with all the great heathen nations. For instance, see Ezekiel 28, where Satan is represented as actual king of Tyre. This was because he fully controlled that government. In the first centuries of the Christian era, Rome, of all the pagan nations, was Satan's chief agent in opposing the gospel, and was therefore represented by the dragon.GC88 679.4

    But there came a time when paganism in the Roman empire fell before the advancing form of Christianity. Then, as is stated on page 54, “paganism had given place to the papacy. The dragon had given to the beast ‘his power, and his seat, and great authority.’” That is, Satan then began to work through the papacy, just as he had formerly worked through paganism. But the papacy is not represented by the dragon, because it is necessary to introduce another symbol in order to show the change in the form of the opposition to God. Previous to the rise of the papacy, all opposition to the law of God had been in the form of paganism,—God had been openly defied; but from that time the opposition was carried on under the guise of professed allegiance to him. The papacy, however, was no less the instrument of Satan than was pagan Rome; for all the power, the seat, and the great authority of the papacy, were given it by the dragon. And so, although the pope professes to be the vicegerent of Christ, he is, in reality, the vicegerent of Satan—he is antichrist.GC88 680.1

    The beast which is A symbol of the papacy is introduced in Revelation 13; And following it, in the same line of prophecy, “another beast” is seen “coming up,” [Revelation 13:11-14.] Which exercises “all the power of the first beast before him,” that is, in his sight. This other beast must therefore be a persecuting power also; and this is shown in that “it spake as a dragon.” The papacy received all its power from Satan, and the two-horned beast exercises the same power; it also becomes the direct agent of Satan. And its Satanic character is further shown in that it enforces the worship of the image of the beast, by means of false miracles. “He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.”GC88 680.2

    The first persecuting power is represented by the dragon itself; in heathenism there was open alliance with Satan, and open defiance of God. In the second persecuting power, the dragon is masked; but the spirit of Satan actuates it,—the dragon supplies the motive power. In the third persecuting power, all traces of the dragon are absent, and a lamb-like beast appears; but when it speaks, its dragon voice betrays the Satanic power concealed under a fair exterior, and shows it to be of the same family as the two preceding powers. In all the opposition to Christ and his pure religion, “that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan,“—“the god of this world,“—is the moving power; earthly persecuting powers are simply instruments in his hands.GC88 680.3

    Note 3. Page 328—That the reader may see the reasonableness of Mr. Miller's position on the prophetic periods, we copy the following, which was published in the Advent Herald, Boston, in March, 1850, in answer to a correspondent:—GC88 681.1

    “It is by the Canon of Ptolemy that the great prophetical period of the seventy weeks is fixed. This canon places the seventh year of Artaxerxes in the year B.C. 457; and the accuracy of the canon is demonstrated by the concurrent agreement of more than twenty eclipses. The seventy weeks date from the going forth of a decree respecting the restoration of Jerusalem. There were no decrees between the seventh and twentieth years of Artaxerxes. Four hundred and ninety years, beginning with the seventh, must commence in B.C. 457, and end in A.D. 34. Commencing in the twentieth, they must commence in B.C. 444, and end in A.D. 47. As no event occurred in A.D. 47 to mark their termination, we cannot reckon from the twentieth; we must therefore look to the seventh of Artaxerxes. This date we cannot change from B.C. 457 without first demonstrating the inaccuracy of Ptolemy's canon. To do this, it would be necessary to show that the large number of eclipses by which its accuracy has been repeatedly demonstrated, have not been correctly computed; and such a result would unsettle every chronological date, and leave the settlement of epochs and the adjustment of eras entirely at the mercy of every dreamer, so that chronology would be of no more value than mere guess-work. As the seventy weeks must terminate in A.D. 34, unless the seventh of Artaxerxes is wrongly fixed, and as that cannot be changed without some evidence to that effect, we inquire, what evidence marked that termination? The time when the apostles turned to the Gentiles harmonizes with that date better than any other which has been named. And the crucifixion, in A.D. 31, in the midst of the last week, is sustained by a mass of testimony which cannot be easily invalidated.”GC88 681.2

    As the 70 weeks and the 2300 days have a common starting-point, the calculation of Mr. Miller is verified at a glance by subtracting the 457 years B.C. From the 2300. Thus,
    1843 A.D.
    GC88 681.3

    The year 1843 was, however, regarded as extending to the spring of 1844. The reason for this, briefly stated, is as follows: Anciently the year did not commence in midwinter, as now, but at the first new moon after the vernal equinox. Therefore, as the period of 2300 days was begun in a year reckoned by the ancient method, it was considered necessary to conform to that method to its close. Hence, 1843 was counted as ending in the spring, and not in the winter.GC88 681.4

    But the 2300 days cannot be reckoned from the beginning of the year 457 B.C.; For the decree of Artaxerxes—which is the starting-point—did not go into effect until the autumn of that year. Consequently the 2300 days, beginning in the autumn of 457 B.C., must extend to the autumn of 1844 A.D. (See small diagram on plate opposite page 328.)GC88 681.5

    This fact not being at first perceived by Mr. Miller and his associates, they looked for the coming of Christ in 1843, or in the spring of 1844; hence the first disappointment and the seeming delay. It was the discovery of the correct time, in connection with other scripture testimony, that led to the movement known as the “midnight cry” of 1844. And to this day the computation of the prophetic periods placing the close of the 2300 days in the autumn of 1844, stands without impeachment.GC88 682.1

    Note 4. Page 373—The story that the adventists made robes with which to ascend “to meet the Lord in the air,” was invented by those who wished to reproach the cause. It was circulated so industriously that many believed it; but careful inquiry proved its falsity. For many years a large reward has been offered for proof that one such instance ever occurred; but the proof has not been produced. None who loved the appearing of the saviour were so ignorant of the teachings of the scriptures as to suppose that robes which they could make would be necessary for that occasion. The only robe which the saints will need to meet the Lord will be that of the righteousness of Christ. See Revelation 19:8.GC88 682.2

    Note 5. Page 374—Dr. Geo. Bush, professor of Hebrew and Oriental Literature in the New York City University, in a letter addressed to Mr. Miller, and published in the Advent Herald for March, 1844, made some very important admissions relative to his calculations of the prophetic times. Mr. Bush says:—GC88 682.3

    “Neither is it to be objected, as I conceive, to yourself or your friends, that you have devoted much time and attention to the study of the chronology of prophecy, and have labored much to determine the commencing and closing dates of its great periods. If these periods are actually given by the Holy Ghost in the prophetic books, it was doubtless with the design that they should be studied, and probably, in the end, fully understood; and no man is to be charged with presumptuous folly who reverently makes the attempt to do this.... In taking a day as the prophetical term for a year, I believe you are sustained by the soundest exegesis, as well as fortified by the high names of Mede, Sir Isaac Newton, Bishop Newton, Kirby, Scott, Keith, and a host of others, who have long since come to substantially your conclusions on this head. They all agree that the leading periods mentioned by Daniel and John do actually expire about this age of the world, and it would be a strange logic that would convict you of heresy for holding in effect the same views which stand forth so prominently in the notices of these eminent divines.” “Your results in this field of inquiry do not strike me as so far out of the way as to affect any of the great interests of truth and duty.” “Your error, as I apprehend, lies in another direction than your chronology.” “You have entirely mistaken the nature of the events which are to occur when those periods have expired. This is the head and front of your expository offending.... The great event before the world is not its physical conflagration, but its moral regeneration. Although there is doubtless a sense in which Christ may be said to come in connection with the passing away of the Fourth Empire and of the Ottoman power, and His kingdom to be illustriously established, yet that will be found to be a spiritual coming in the power of His gospel, in the ample outpouring of His Spirit, and the glorious administration of His providence.” Evidently, Mr. Bush looked for the conversion of the world as the event to mark the termination of the 2300 days. Both Mr. Miller and Mr. Bush were right on the time question, and both were mistaken in the event to occur at the close of the great periods.GC88 682.4

    The doctrines taught by Mr. Miller did not originate with him; every point advanced in his expositions of prophecy, taken separately, was admitted by some among his opponents. Hence there were none who condemned all his views, and those who attempted to refute him found that there was as great diversity among themselves as between him and them. They had not only to overthrow Mr. Miller's theory, but each had to correct those of the others. This being the case, their arguments could, of course, have little weight with those who had received his views.GC88 683.1

    To oppose Miller, men who had been regarded as leaders of religious thought were ready to abandon long-established principles of Protestant interpretation. The Boston Recorder (Orthodox Cong.) said: “it must needs be acknowledged that our faith is greatly shaken in the interpretations on which, in common with most of our own brethren, we have heretofore relied, and which form the foundation of the baseless theories of Miller”!GC88 683.2

    In their determination to disprove Mr. Miller's positions, some were ready even to join with universalists, adopting indefinite and spiritualizing methods of exposition, in place of those principles of literal interpretation which are an essential feature of the Protestant faith. Of the arguments brought forward by Professors Stuart and Bush the New York Evangelist spoke as follows: “The tendency of these views is to destroy the scripture evidence of the doctrine of any real end of the world, any day of final judgment, or general resurrection of the body. The style of interpretation, we assert, tends fearfully to universalism. This tendency we are prepared to prove.” So also the Hartford Universalist said of Professor Stuart: “He puts an uncompromising veto upon the popular interpretations of Daniel and Revelation, and unites with universalists in contending that most of their contents had special reference to, and their fulfillment in, scenes and events which transpired but a few years after those books were written.” It was thus that popular ministers prepared the minds of thousands to lightly regard the testimony of the scriptures.GC88 683.3

    Note 6. Page 411—That the earth is the sanctuary was inferred from those scriptures which teach that the earth will be purified and fitted up for the eternal dwelling-place of the saints, according to the original design of the creator. Adventists understood this just as it was taught by Wesley and others. And their minds did not rest on any other dwelling-place or any other thing which needed cleansing. The only scriptures which we ever knew to be offered in favor of the earth or any dwelling-place of man being called the sanctuary, fairly disprove the position. They are only three in number, as follows:—GC88 683.4

    Exodus 15:17: “Thou shalt bring them [the people] in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in; in the sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established.” Without taking time or space to give an exposition of the text, it is sufficient for the present purpose to remark that it disproves the idea of the earth being the sanctuary. Whatever construction may be placed upon the text, it teaches that the people were not then in the sanctuary; but they were in the earth. Then it is claimed that it referred to that part of the earth into which they were to be brought, namely, Palestine. This is disproved by the second text.GC88 684.1

    Joshua 24:26: “And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord.” The stone and the oak were in Palestine, but they were by the sanctuary of the Lord—not in it. And the other text is more restrictive still, and equally conclusive against the inference to which reference is herein made.GC88 684.2

    Psalm 78:54: “And he brought them [his people] to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.” The mountain was Mount Moriah, on which the temple of Solomon was built; yet being brought unto it is called being brought “to the border of his sanctuary.” Thus these texts do not prove that the earth is the sanctuary, but rather the reverse.GC88 684.3

    Jehoshaphat's prayer gives the true idea of the relation of that land to the sanctuary: “Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever? And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name.” 2 Chronicles 20:7, 8. This corresponds to the command in Exodus 25:8: “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” In this same book is given a minute description of the sanctuary, its erection, and approval by the Lord. The process of cleansing the sanctuary is described in Leviticus 16. While the children of Israel possessed Canaan, Solomon built a temple, in which was a holy and a most holy place; and the vessels of the movable sanctuary, which was made in the desert of Sinai, were transferred to the temple. This was then the sanctuary,—the dwelling-place of God's glory upon the earth.GC88 684.4

    Some have inferred that the earthly sanctuary was a symbol of the church, reasoning from those scriptures in which the church is called the temple of God. But it is not infrequently the case in scripture that in different connections the same figure is employed to represent different objects. The Bible plainly teaches that the holy places of the earthly sanctuary were “patterns of things in the heavens.” Hebrews 9:23. The expression, “temple of God,” is sometimes employed to designate the sanctuary in heaven, and sometimes the church. Its significance, in each case, must be determined by the context.GC88 684.5

    Note 7. Page 429—Almost all Adventists, including Mr. Miller, did, for a short time after their disappointment in 1844, believe that the world had received its last warning. They could hardly think otherwise, with their faith in the message which they had given,—“the hour of his judgment is come.” Revelation 14:6, 7. They naturally thought that this proclamation must close the dispensation.GC88 684.6

    But the idea that the work of the gospel was finished was soon renounced, except by some fanatical ones who would neither be counseled nor receive instruction. One class who relinquished the view that “the door of mercy was shut,” were led to do this because they discovered that Other messages were to be proclaimed after that declaring, the hour of judgment is come; and that that of the third angel, the last one, was to go to “many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” They learned that the judgment sits in heaven before the coming of the Lord; that the judgment of the righteous is fully accomplished while Jesus is yet their advocate before the father's throne; that eternal life is instantly given to the saints when their saviour comes, which is proof that they have been judged and acquitted.GC88 685.1

    With the light on the third message they also received light on the sanctuary and its cleansing, by which they understood that the antitypical work of the Day of Atonement, which was accomplished in the most holy place, was that which was pointed out by the message which they had given. They saw that there were two veils or doors in the temple of God (Hebrews 9:3), and that at that time one was shut and the other was opened. With earnest zeal and new hope they preached these truths, and urged their fellow-men to seek an entrance by faith into the most holy place within the second veil, where our great High Priest is gone to blot out the sins of all his faithful ones, from Abel to the present time.GC88 685.2

    Note 8. Page 435Revelation 14:6, 7, Foretells the proclamation of the first angel's message. Then the prophet continues: “there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, ... And the third angel followed them.” The word here rendered “followed,” means, in constructions like that in this text, “to go with.” Liddell and Scott render the word thus: “to follow one, go after or with him.” Robinson says: “To follow, to go with, to accompany anyone.” It is the same word that is used in Mark 5:24: “And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.” It is also used of the redeemed one hundred and forty-four thousand, where it is said: “these are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.” Revelation 14:4. In both these places it is evident that the idea intended to be conveyed is that of going together, in company with. So in 1 Corinthians 10:4, where we read of the children of Israel that “they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them,” the word “followed” is translated from the same Greek word, and the margin has it, “went with them.” From this we learn that the idea in Revelation 14:8, 9, Is not simply that the second and third angels followed the first in point of time, but that they went with it. The three messages are but one threefold message. They are three only in the order of their rise. But having risen, they go on together, and are inseparable.GC88 685.3

    Note 9. Page 447—The bishops of Rome began, very early, to demand obedience from all the churches. Of this the dispute between the Eastern and the Western churches respecting Easter is a striking illustration. This dispute arose in the second century. Says Mosheim: “the Christians of this century celebrated anniversary festivals in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Christ.... The day which was observed as the anniversary of Christ's death was called the Paschal day, or Passover.” Like the Jews, Christians celebrated “a sacred feast, at which they distributed a paschal lamb in memory of the holy supper.” The Christians of Asia Minor kept this feast on the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, when the Jews celebrated their Passover, and when Christ is said to have eaten the paschal lamb with his disciples. Three days thereafter, a festival was observed in honor of the resurrection. The Western churches, on the other hand, celebrated the resurrection of Christ on the Sunday following the Jewish Passover, and observed the paschal feast on the night preceding Sunday, thus connecting the commemoration of Christ's death with that of his resurrection.GC88 685.4

    “Toward the conclusion of this [the second] century, Victor, Bishop of Rome, endeavored to force the Asiatic Christians, by the pretended authority of his laws and decrees, to follow the rule which was observed by the Western churches in this point. Accordingly ... He wrote an imperious letter to the Asiatic prelates, commanding them to imitate the example of the Western Christians with respect to the time of celebrating the festival of Easter. The Asiatics answered this lordly requisition ... With great spirit and resolution, that they would by no means depart, in this manner, from the custom handed down to them by their ancestors. Upon this the thunder of excommunication began to roar. Victor, exasperated by this resolute answer of the Asiatic bishops, broke communion with them, pronounced them unworthy of the name of his brethren, and excluded them from all fellowship with the church of Rome.” [Mosheim, Eccl. Hist., cent. 2, part 2, chap. 4., para. 9, 11.] This, says Bower, was “the first essay of papal usurpation.”GC88 686.1

    For a time, however, Victor's efforts availed little. No regard was paid to his letters, and the Asiatics continued to follow their ancient practice. But by enlisting the support of the imperial power, which the church for so many centuries controlled to serve her purposes, Rome finally conquered. The Council of Nice, “out of complaisance to Constantine the Great, ordered the solemnity of Easter to be kept everywhere on the same day, after the custom of Rome.” [Bower's History of the Popes, Vol. 1, pp. 18, 19.] This decree, “backed by the authority of so great an emperor,” was decisive; “none but some scattered schismatics, now and then appearing, that durst oppose the resolution of that famous synod.” [Heylyn, History of the Sabbath, part 2, chap. 2, secs. 4, 5.]GC88 686.2

    Note 10. Page 565—There is no more remarkable movement of the present day, and no one fraught with more vital consequences to men and nations, than the rapidly reviving influence of the papacy in national affairs. The papacy is fast moving into the place of the greatest influence of any earthly organization. In Europe, to say nothing of Catholic countries, which, as a matter of course, are subject to the pope, Chancellor Bismarck has made Germany virtually subject to the dictation of the papacy; England has invited the interference of the pope in her political affairs in the contest with Ireland; and even the Czar of Russia has shown himself willing to make overtures to the papacy. On the occasion of the golden jubilee of the priesthood of Leo XIII., it is well known that, except the kingdom of Italy and the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, every nation, Protestant as well as Catholic, paid grateful respect to Rome.GC88 686.3

    If any nation might justly be expected to keep clear of Romish influences, the United States of America should be the one above all others, as it is constitutionally pledged to have nothing at all to do toward “an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Yet this nation is in nowise behind the others in paying assiduous court to Rome. When the papal delegates came to America bearing to Cardinal Gibbons the trappings of his Romish dignity, a government vessel was dispatched down New York Harbor to meet them, with the papal flag, instead of the stars and stripes, flying from the place of honor. And at the investiture of Cardinal Gibbons with the purple of a papal prince, President Cleveland sent him a letter of congratulation. The Converted Catholic says that a larger number of senators and representatives send their sons to the Jesuit College at Georgetown—one of the suburbs of the national capital—than to all the other institutions of learning at Washington, which proves either that the larger number of senators and representatives are Catholics, or that Rome has more influence with senators and representatives than have all the educational institutions in Washington put together. In view of this fact, it is not to be wondered at that Rome decided to build her national university at the national capital.GC88 687.1

    Hon. L. Q. C. Lamar, Secretary of the Interior under President Cleveland, was charged with giving to Catholics more positions in his department than to other denominations. His reply was that “if Roman Catholics have been recognized to a greater extent than other denominations, it is only because they have asked more largely;” and explained this by saying that the Romish church has at Washington “an energetic and tireless director, who is active to seize opportunities for extending missionary and educational work among the Indians.” The Christian Union says that four-fifths of the government Indian schools, under religious control, have been given to Roman Catholics. The Assistant Attorney-General, of the Department of the Interior, under President Cleveland's administration,—Mr. Zach Montgomery,—is a Roman Catholic, with all the Roman Catholic enmity to the public schools, and hesitates not to use his official position and influence to show it. During his term of office, in an address at Carroll Institute, he openly denounced the public-school system as godless, anti-parental, and destructive of happiness. And the United States Senate fully knew his enmity to the public schools when it confirmed his appointment as Assistant Attorney-General. The New York Observer says that the only public hospital that receives any government aid is a Roman Catholic one.GC88 687.2

    In a published letter to Hon. Warner Miller, one of the delegates at large from New York to the National Republican Convention, 1888, Hon. John Jay, late Minister to Austria, says that the Roman Catholics even now “coolly discuss the disposition they will make of the United States, as a people already subject to the vatican by the Irish votes. Archbishop Lynch, of Canada, wrote to Lord Randolph Churchill (the Churchman, New York, April 2, 1887): ‘The Irish Vote is a Great Factor in America.’ ‘The power of their organizations is increasing every day.’ ‘They hold already the balance of power in the presidential and other elections.’” Further Mr. Jay says: “The announcement of Mr. Chamberlain's appointment as Fishery Commissioner was promptly followed by a reminder that no treaty he might make would stand a chance of ratification. The suggestion that Mr. Phelps, our Minister to England, might be nominated as Chief Justice, brought a quick announcement that the nomination would be defeated.... It was recently stated in the United States Senate (February 16, 1888), in a debate on the bill for ‘national aid in the establishment and temporary support of common schools,’ ... That a senator had showed to the speaker, who had read it with his own eyes, the original letter of a Jesuit priest. In this letter he begged a member of Congress to oppose the bill and kill it, saying that they had organized all over the country for its destruction, that they had succeeded in the Committee of the House, and that they would destroy the bill inevitably; and it is a fact that the bill, having three times passed the Senate in three different congresses, each time with a larger vote in its favor, has been repeatedly smothered in the Committee of the House, by those who knew that there was a majority in the House in favor of the bill; and for six years the legislation of Congress has been [thus] arrested.”GC88 687.3

    The Roman church largely controls the secular press of the country; and the leading “Protestant” religious papers, such as the New York Evangelist, the Christian at Work, the Christian Union, and the Independent, all pay flattering tribute to the papacy. The Evangelist, of March 29, 1888, acknowledges Cardinal Gibbons as its “only cardinal;” the Independent wishes pope Leo XIII. “a long reign and godspeed in his liberalizing policy;” Christian at Work salutes him as “holy father,” and in the name of “the whole Christian world” glorifies him as “this venerable man whose loyalty to God and zeal for the welfare of humanity are as conspicuous as his freedom from many errors and bigotries of his predecessors is remarkable;” and the Christian Union, January 26, 1888, acknowledges him as “a temporal prince” and “supreme pontiff.”GC88 688.1

    Note 11. Page 573—These movements are apparent under diverse forms and in different ways, but the organization which embodies almost every form, and works in every way to gain its end, is the National Reform Association. It originated in a conference representing “eleven different denominations of Christians from seven of the states of the Union.” It now has the support of prominent men from “all branches of the church,” of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and the Prohibition Party. It proposes to have our national constitution amended, “in order to constitute a Christian government,” “acknowledging almighty God as the source of all authority and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the ruler among the nations, His revealed will as the supreme law of the land;” and so placing “all Christian laws, institutions, and usages of our government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.” One of its propositions, announced by David Gregg, D. D., Pastor Park Street Church, Boston, is that the state has “the right to command the consciences of men.” Another, announced by the Christian Statesman, is that government must “enforce upon all that come among us the laws of Christian morality.” Another, announced by the Rev. E. B. Graham, is that “if the opponents of the Bible do not like our government and its Christian features, let them go to some wild, desolate land; and, in the name of the devil, and for the sake of the devil, subdue it, and set up a government of their own on infidel and atheistic ideas, and then, if they can stand it, stay there till they die.” Another, announced by Jonathan Edwards, D. D., is that Jews, and all Christians who keep the seventh day, are to be classed as atheists, and “must be treated, as for this [National Reform] question, one party” with atheists, who “cannot dwell together on the same continent” with the national reform Christianity.GC88 688.2

    Anybody can see at a glance that the establishment of the national reform theory of government would be but the establishment of a theocracy. And this is, in fact, what they propose to establish. They say that “a republic thus governed is of him, through the people, and is as really and truly a theocracy as the government of Israel.” A monthly reading of the national W. C. T. U., written by Miss Willard, on God in government, says: “A true theocracy is yet to come, [and] the enthronement of Christ in law and law-makers, hence I pray devoutly, as a Christian patriot, for the ballot in the hands of women.” And in her annual address to the national W. C. T. U. Convention, of 1887, Miss Willard said: “The kingdom of Christ ‘must enter the realm of law through the gateway of politics.... There are enough temperance men in both [the Democratic and Republican parties] to take possession of the government and give us national prohibition in the party of the near future, which is to be the party of God.... We pray heaven to give them no rest ... until they shall ... swear an oath of allegiance to Christ in politics, and March in one great army ‘up to the polls to worship God.’ ... I firmly believe that the patient, steadfast work of Christian women will so react on politics within the next generation that the party of God will be at the front.” Now a man made theocracy is only a scheme of government which puts man in the place of God. That is precisely the theory upon which the papacy was built, and that is just what the papacy is. The national reform theory is identical with that of the papacy; therefore the establishment of the national reform theory in this government will be but the setting up of a living image of the papacy. Advocating, as these parties are, the papal theory, it is not to be wondered at that they are anxious to secure the co-operation of the papacy in carrying their scheme to success. The Christian Statesman is the official organ of the National Reform Association, and in an editorial, December 11, 1884, that paper said: “We cordially, gladly, recognize the fact that in the South American republics, and in France and other European countries, the Roman Catholics are the recognized advocates of national Christianity, and stand opposed to all the proposals of secularism.... whenever they are willing to co-operate in resisting the progress of political atheism, we will gladly join hands with them. In a World's Conference for the Promotion of National Christianity—which ought to be held at no distant day—many countries could be represented only by Roman Catholics.” And in that same paper, August 31, 1881, Rev. Sylvester Scovel*The original publication had the spelling “Scovil.” said: “This common interest [“of all religious people in the Sabbath”—Sunday] ought both to strengthen our determination to work, and our readiness to co-operate in every way with our Roman Catholic fellow-citizens. We may be subjected to some rebuffs in our first proffers, and the time is not yet come when the Roman church will consent to strike hands with other churches—as such; but the time has come to make repeated advances, and gladly to accept co-operation in any form in which they may be willing to exhibit it. It is one of the necessities of the situation. The nexus between the two great divisions of Christianity on questions of moral legislation is a thing worthy the consideration of our best minds and our men of largest experience in such affairs.” In perfect accord with this is the encyclical of Pope Leo XIII., 1885, which directs that “all Catholics should do all in their power to cause the constitutions of states, and legislation, to be modeled on the principles of the true church, and all Catholic writers and journalists should never lose sight, for an instant, from the view of the above prescriptions.” Therefore as the purpose of the national reform association is identical with that of rome, it is only to be expected that they should show a readiness to “gladly join hands.” And whenever Protestantism gains control of the civil power, whether with or without the aid of Rome, that will be but to erect an image of the papacy.GC88 689.1

    Note 12. Page 578—There are still observers of the Bible Sabbath in Abyssinia. Joseph Wolff, in his journal for 1838, giving an account of his visit to that country, says that “the Sabbath of the Jews, i.e., Saturday, is kept strictly among the Abyssinians in the province of Hamazien.”GC88 690.1

    Note 13. Pages 605, 613—The word “seal” is used in the scriptures in various senses, even as in common life. The definition given by Webster, the most comprehensive, is as follows: “that which confirms, ratifies, or makes stable; assurance; that which authenticates; that which secures, makes reliable, or stable.” The terms “mark” and “sign,” also given by him, are used in the scriptures as synonymous with seal, as in Romans 4:11.GC88 690.2

    In the covenant with Noah it is used in the sense of assurance, or evidence of stability. The bow in the cloud was given as a sign or token that God would not again destroy the earth by a flood. Genesis 9:13. In the covenant with Abraham, circumcision was the token or sign. This ratified, or made sure; for they who had not this token were cut off. Genesis 17:11, 14. This sign or token was an institution, a rite. Gesenius gives “a memorial” as one definition of the word found in the original of these texts. But a memorial, in the sense of a reminder, or a remembrancer, is a token or sign.GC88 690.3

    In Exodus 31:17 and Ezekiel 20:12, 20, The Sabbath of the Lord is called a sign. It is a memorial of the Creator's work, and so a sign of his power and Godhead. Romans 1:20. This is also an institution, as was circumcision; but there is this distinction: circumcision was a sign in the flesh, while the Sabbath is a sign in the mind. “Hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:20.GC88 690.4

    In Ezekiel 9:4 the word used in the original is translated mark. Gesenius says, “a mark, sign.” The Septuagint gives the same word in this text that is given in the Greek of Romans 4:11, rendered “sign.” Thus the words sign, mark, and seal are applied to the same things, or used as of like signification, in the scriptures.GC88 691.1

    In Ezekiel 9:4 and Revelation 7:2, 3, the mark or sign is said to be placed in the foreheads of the servants of God. Both these scriptures refer to a time when utter destruction is coming on the ungodly. The seal is placed upon God's people as a safeguard to preserve them from the evil impending. But “the forehead” is evidently used as a figure, to denote the intellect or mind, as “the heart” is used to denote the disposition or affections. To mark or seal in the forehead is the same as to “write in the mind.” Hebrews 10:16.GC88 691.2

    The Sabbath is the sign of God; it is the seal of His law. Isaiah 8:16. It is the token of His authority and power. It is a sign whereby we may know that He is God, and therefore it is appropriately said to be placed in the forehead. The worshipers of the beast (Revelation 13) are said to receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands. As the forehead represents the intellect, the hand represents power, as Psalm 89:48, “Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?” Compulsory worship is not acceptable to God; His servants are sealed only in their foreheads. But it is acceptable to wicked powers; it has always been craved by the Romish hierarchy. See chapter 25 for proof on the nature of this mark. The sign or seal of God is his Sabbath, and the seal or mark of the beast is in direct opposition to it; it is a counterfeit Sabbath on the “day of the sun.” According to Revelation 14:9-12, they who do not receive the mark of the beast keep the commandments of God; and the Sabbath is in the fourth precept; they keep the Sabbath of the Lord; they have his sign or seal. The importance of this sign is shown in this, that the fourth commandment is the only one in the law which distinguishes the Creator from false gods. Compare Jeremiah 10:10-12; Acts 17:23, 24; Revelation 14:6, 7, etc. and it is that part of his law for keeping which his people will suffer persecution. But when the wrath of God comes upon the persecutors who are found enforcing the sign or mark of the beast, then they will realize the importance of the Sabbath,—the seal of the living God. They who turn away from that which the Lord spoke when his voice shook the earth, will confess their fatal error when his voice shall shake the heavens and the earth. Hebrews 12:25, 26; Joel 3:9-16, and others. See also pages 639, 640 of this book.GC88 691.3

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