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    February 25, 1886

    “Jurisdiction of the Law. Why the Law Was Spoken Only to the Jews (Concluded)” The Signs of the Times, 12, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Now why was it that only the Jews had the written law? Did the giving of the law to them indicate partiality on the part of God? Not by any means: “For there is no respect of persons with God.” Before the exode, all the world was on a level, so far as written revelation was concerned. When sin separated man from God so that he could no longer talk with him face to face, then God supplemented the light which men had in their own hearts, by communicating with them in visions and dreams given to his prophets (Numbers 12:6), and by sending angels to them. Genesis 22:15. Had all men hearkened to the voice of conscience, the communication thus opened between God and man would have been sufficient to bring them at last to the state where the law would be perfectly restored in their hearts. This is that which God is still striving to accomplish. Hebrews 8:10.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.1

    But men did not care to follow even that portion of the law which they retained in their hearts, and consequently God could not send them more light through his prophets. Thus “as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a mind void of judgment.” Romans 1:28. In process of time, only one family retained the knowledge of God, and all the rest of the world were destroyed for their abominable wickedness.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.2

    Within four hundred years after the flood, men had again corrupted their way on the earth, and only Abraham remained loyal to God. He kept God’s commandments (Genesis 26:5), and had the determination to command his children and his household after him, that they should keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. Genesis 18:19. In order that the descendants of Abraham might retain the knowledge of God, God called Abraham away from his corrupt associates, and gave him the rite of circumcision, in order that the separation might be complete. This rite was not designed to be a mark of birth or nationality, but simply as a means of keeping the observers of God’s law from the contaminating influence of those who did not regard it; for whenever one of any other nation became willing to separate from his people and keep the law, he also became circumcised. Genesis 17:12.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.3

    This precaution served to keep the descendants of Abraham a distinct people through all their wanderings, and to preserve among them the knowledge of the true God. some from other tribes, getting the light from them, would occasionally turn to the Lord, to keep his commandments, and, becoming circumcised, would be counted as the descendants of righteous Abraham; but the great mass of the world chose to remain in the darkness of heathenism. Thus it happened that when the Lord brought his people from Egyptian bondage, they alone of all the people in the world had a knowledge of God. All the rest could say with Pharaoh, “I know not the Lord.” At that time the Lord chose to give mankind his law in a manner so plain that it could not possibly be mistaken, and so that they could always meditate in it, in its perfection, even though no prophet were at hand. By this means, the Spirit could make greater progress, so to speak, in writing the law in their hearts. But to whom could he speak the law? Only to those who knew him, and would accept the law as coming from him. Therefore he was compelled to give the written law to the Jews, and make them light-bearers to the world. The law, when it entered, came to the Jews, not because it was designed for them alone, but because they alone would receive it.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.4

    As a further evidence that God was not moved by race considerations, and did not give the law exclusively to the Jews as a nation, we may notice the fact that when the Jews left Egypt, “a mixed multitude went up also with them.” Exodus 12:38; Numbers 11:4. This “mixed multitude” was composed of Egyptians, and, no doubt, of people of other nationalities. These went along with the Jews, and with them received the law from God at Mount Sinai.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.5

    We cannot close this portion of our subject without giving, from the pen of another, the following graphic portrayal of the condition of a people who should have no regard for the law of God:-SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.6

    “No error accepted by the Christian world strikes more boldly against the authority of Heaven, none is more directly opposed to the dictates of reason, none is more pernicious in its results, than the modern doctrine, so rapidly gaining ground, that God’s law is no longer binding upon men. Every nation has its laws, which command respect and obedience; no government could exist without them; and can it be conceived that the Creator of the heavens and the earth has no law to govern the beings He has made? Suppose that prominent ministers were publicly to teach that the statutes which govern their land and protect the rights of its citizens were not obligatory-that they restricted the liberties of the people, and therefore ought not to be obeyed; how long would such men be tolerated in the pulpit? But is it a graver offense to disregard the laws of states and nations than to trample upon those divine precepts which are the foundation of all government? It would be far more consistent for nations to abolish their statutes, and permit the people to do as they please, than for the Ruler of the universe to annul His law, and leave the world without a standard to condemn the guilty or justify the obedient. Would we know the result of making void the law of God? The experiment has been tried. Terrible were the scenes enacted in France when atheism became the controlling power. It was then demonstrated to the world that to throw off the restraints which God has imposed is to accept the rule of the cruelest of tyrants. When the standard of righteousness is set aside, the way is open for the prince of evil to establish his power in the earth.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.7

    “Wherever the divine precepts are rejected, sin ceases to appear sinful or righteousness desirable. Those who refuse to submit to the government of God are wholly unfitted to govern themselves. Through their pernicious teachings the spirit of insubordination is implanted in the hearts of children and youth, who are naturally impatient of control; and a lawless, licentious state of society results. While scoffing at the credulity of those who obey the requirements of God, the multitudes eagerly accept the delusions of Satan. They give the rein to lust and practice the sins which have called down judgments upon the heathen.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.8

    “Let the restraint imposed by the divine law be wholly removed, and human laws would soon be disregarded. Because God forbids dishonest practices,-coveting, lying, and defrauding,-men are ready to trample upon His statutes as a hindrance to their worldly prosperity; but the results of banishing these precepts would be such as they do not anticipate. If the law were not binding, why should any fear to transgress? Property would no longer be safe. Men would obtain their neighbors’ possessions by violence, and the strongest would become richest. Life itself would not be respected. Those who disregard the commandments of God sow disobedience to reap disobedience. The marriage vow would no longer stand as a sacred bulwark to protect the family. He who had the power, would, if he desired, take his neighbor’s wife by violence. The fifth commandment would be set aside with the fourth. Children would not shrink from taking the life of their parents, if by so doing they could obtain the desire of their corrupt hearts. The civilized world would become a horde of robbers and assassins; and peace, rest and happiness would be banished from the earth.”-Mrs. E. G. White, in “Great Controversy,” vol. 4, chap. 51.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.9

    This is just the state of things that would exist, not only in this world, but in all the universe, if the ten commandments were not the universal rule of action. If there be any portion of the universe where the decalogue is not the recognized law, the above paragraphs accurately describe the condition of its society. E. J. W.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.10

    “The Chinese Question” The Signs of the Times, 12, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is well known by all the readers of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES that this paper is purely a religious family journal. On political questions we have ever been strictly non-partisan, not because we have not private opinions on political matters, but because there are thousands of papers in which people can find the news of the day, and because we believe that we have a work to do that is of far greater importance. The matter of high or low tariff is of trifling importance compared with the things which pertain to our eternal destiny.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.11

    But the anti-Chinese agitation has assumed such proportions on this coast, that we feel it duty to define our position upon it; and this because it is becoming a question of morals fully as much as one of politics.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.12

    In the first place, we will say that there are features of the Chinese question which people in the East, where Chinamen are very scarce, cannot possibly appreciate. One who passes through “Chinatown” in San Francisco will learn more of Chinese character and habits in a single hour than he could by reading books for a month. They are not the most desirable neighbors, by any means. They are of a race that is so entirely different from ours that it is probably impossible that there should be any assimilation between the two, even in a civil capacity. And we do not think that it would be wise to attempt to make American citizens of them. While we believe that God made of one blood all the nations of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth, we also believe that he has “determined the bounds of their habitation.” For this reason we think that unlimited Chinese immigration would be an injury to this country, and possibly to the Chinese themselves.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.13

    But some of the Chinese are here, and it should be remembered that they came by invitation. They came for the purpose of bettering their condition; and it must also be remembered that if they have bettered their own condition, they have added immensely to the resources of this country. Hundreds of miles of railroad have been built by them, over places where few but Chinamen would be willing to work; and thousands of acres of land on this coast have been cleared by the Chinese, and are now teeming with the fruits of the earth as a result of their labor.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.14

    Furthermore, the Chinese evil is not one-hundredth part as bad as it is represented to be. It is said that they degrade labor; but labor and mechanics receive higher wages in California than they do in the East. It is said that they won’t become Christianized. Perhaps they will not; we confess we don’t see much inducement for them to; but there are many, many thousands of the Caucasian race who show, not indifference to Christianity, as to the Chinese, but open contempt. It is said that they are vicious; but a drunken Chinaman would be a novelty; and the number of brothels and gambling dens that are run by Chinamen can be quadrupled in San Francisco by the same class of places in which no Chinaman ever set his foot. Therefore we say that the cry that “the heathen Chinese” is corrupting the youth of our land is a point poorly taken.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.15

    The question now is, What shall be done with those that are here? The answer comes back, “The Chinese must go!” There is no doubt but that the country could get along without them; so far as we are concerned, it would make no difference; for we do not employ them. But we will say frankly that we have no sympathy with a method that is to be adopted to drive them out. It is proposed to boycott, not only the Chinese, but every man who refuses to boycott them, and also to boycott those who do not boycott those who do not boycott the Chinese.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.16

    We cannot think that all who have committed themselves to such a course have fully considered what they are doing. For ourselves, we believe is is condemned by every principle of right. We are American citizens, and we have always had unbounded respect for those brave men who, at the risk of their lives, made the following declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That principle is just as true to-day as it was a hundred and ten years ago; and it is just as applicable to the Chinese as it is to the Americans or Europeans. And that statement of the Declaration of Independence derives its truth from the Golden Rule spoken by our Saviour. We must not infringe upon anybody’s rights, but must allow them the same freedom that we would exact for ourselves. Those who are unwilling to grant liberty to others, are not worthy of it themselves.SITI February 25, 1886, page 119.17

    It is true the Chinese are heathen, and they have some terribly debasing vices. But the fact that the American and European even in this country out number the Chinese ten to one; that for every Chinese gambler, there are doubtless a score of white gamblers; and that among the white population whisky has doubtless a hundred victims where opium has one among the Chinese; is ample evidence that it is not on moral grounds that Chinese expulsion is called for. The Chinese smoke opium in their dens, and stay there till they recover from its effects; but the whites drink whiskey everywhere, and the effects never cease. We are finally convinced that if the Chinese were patrons of the saloons, the outcry against them would be very much more feeble than it now is.SITI February 25, 1886, page 120.1

    But suppose that the Chinaman is not covered by the Declaration of Independence, it cannot be denied that all native-born Americans have equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Then to boycott our fellow-citizens is contrary both to the genius of our Government and the law of God. For example, here is my neighbor; he is a good, law-abiding citizen; possibly he is a brother in the church. He does not see fit to resort to mob violence to rid the country of the Chinese, and so I am required to pledge myself to boycott him, to have no dealings with him, to keep others from dealing with him, and to injure his business all I can. is this right? Every honest person must say No. then I will not do it; for though I may not be what many are pleased to call a sentimentalist, I profess to be a Christian.SITI February 25, 1886, page 120.2

    Whenever evil is done that good may come, the devil gains a victory, and the good never comes. It is as true now as it was three thousand years ago, that the violent dealing of any man is sure to come back upon his own pate. Even though the Chinese were more of a curse than it is claimed that they are, this boycotting business would be a thing to be unqualifiedly condemned. It is a cowardly act, and will fail of the desired result. It is the design of the anti-Chinese League to secure uniformity of action against the Chinese, so that they can say to Congress that the people of California are a unit upon this matter. But do they not see that when their petition goes to Congress the very fact that boycotting has been resorted to will kill it? The men at Washington are wise enough to perceive that there is not unity of sentiment when it is necessary to ruin people’s business in order to “convert” them to any course of action.SITI February 25, 1886, page 120.3

    The best men of the Pacific Coast, the Christian men, the men of steady habits and stability of character, are not in favor of boycotting, which is simply mob rule. While there is a general sentiment against further Chinese immigration, the men just referred to are in favor of letting the matter be settled in a peaceable manner by the legislature. Many have been led against their better judgment to engage in this boycotting for fear of the results to their business. But we believe that “the spirit of ’76,” to say nothing of the spirit of Christianity, will lead a man to do what is right, and to be just to all men, regardless of the consequences to himself. And the color of a man, the shape of his eyes, the length of his hair, his private opinions, or his personal tastes and habits, have nothing to do with determine whether or not he is to be treated justly.SITI February 25, 1886, page 120.4

    We have written thus at length because we know that many conscientious persons are troubled as to their duty in this crisis, and we desire to help them to a decision that will not put them to shame in the day of Judgment. E. J. W.SITI February 25, 1886, page 120.5

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