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    June 2, 1887

    “Faith and Humility” The Signs of the Times, 13, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3. This text indicates that the greater a man’s faith is, the less will he think of himself. As the apostle expresses it, he will “think soberly.” Pride is intoxication. Just as alcohol stimulates a man without building him up, and finally deprives him of reason, so a man, to use a common expression, “loses his head” when he gets to hunting for the good traits in his character. And withal pride, like alcohol, furnishes no nourishment with which to build the man up. If a man is to grow strong, he must receive nourishment from a source outside of himself; but the vain person lives upon himself, and so becomes poorer by what he feeds upon. And as alcohol causes a man to stumble in his walk, and finally brings him to ruin, so “pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18.SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.1

    So the apostle well describes humility as thinking soberly. But why will a man live soberly, according to the measure of faith which he possesses? The answer is not difficult. Faith is that which justifies the sinner. Romans 5:1. If men were not sinful, they would have no need of faith. The only reason for having faith in Christ is to secure pardon for past sins, and freedom from the love of sin. No man will exercise faith in Christ unless he feels himself to be a sinner. It is the sense of sin, which comes by the law, that drives a man to Christ that he may be justified by faith. Therefore for a man to confess Christ, is to acknowledge himself a sinner. Great diseases call for great remedies; the weaker a man is, the more aid will have to be given him. So the more the man feels his sinful condition, the more faith in Christ will he exercise. Therefore it is true that great faith on the part of any person is an evidence that that person feels that he is by nature very weak and sinful, and that without Christ he is nothing.SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.2

    But such a feeling is in itself humility, which is nothing else but “a sense of one’s own unworthiness through imperfection and sinfulness.” Such a man estimates himself at his true value, which is nothing. And since faith in Christ cannot be exercised by any except those who “have no confidence in the flesh,” it follows that the man who walks by faith will be a humble man. It is only when Christians lose their sense of unworthiness, and begin to look upon themselves with complacency, that they lose faith. When the individual is nothing in his own eyes, Christ is everything; but when he begins to rise in his own estimation, Christ sinks out of sight. Nothing can produce true humility but a knowledge of one’s natural imperfections.SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.3

    In harmony with these ideas, and the text first quoted, are the words of the prophet Habakkuk: “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4. Faith and humility are inseparable. We ask again, Why does a man exercise faith in Christ? Simply because he feels a need of Christ; he has no confidence in his own strength, and feels that without Christ he must perish. It is not natural for the human heart to acknowledge another as superior. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Independence, boastfulness, and self-conceit are natural to the human heart. But “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” He became a new creature in consequence of acknowledging his wretched sinfulness, and pleading for mercy through Christ. This in itself was a humiliation of soul. Now, so long as he continues in that state of justification by faith, he must retain a sense of his own unworthiness, for by the law of faith boasting is excluded.SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.4

    Says the beloved disciple: “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4. It is only as we exercise faith that God’s strength supplies our lack, and keeps us from falling. And since faith and humility are so closely joined together, Bunyan has beautifully written,-SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.5

    “He that is down needs fear no fall;
    He that is low, no pride;
    He that is humble ever shall
    Have God to be his guide.”
    SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.6

    The man who is lifted up with pride and self-esteem must assuredly fall sooner or later, for the time will come when “the lofty looks of man shall be humbled,” and the Lord alone exalted; but the man who is down cannot fall, for he is already as low as he can be. But such an one shall not always be abased. The promise is “Humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10. Not in their own estimation, not in the estimation of the world, will such be lifted up, but they will be raised up to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6.SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.7

    “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24.SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.8

    “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31.SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.9

    Therefore “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14. W.SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.10

    “‘They Stumbled at That Stumbling-stone’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Under the head of “Hasty Generalizations,” the San Francisco Evening Bulletin says:-SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.11

    “One of the delegates to the recent convention of the Young Men’s Christian Association is reported to have said that nothing but the grace of God could save a young man in this city. The delegate to whom this remark is attributed may have been in San Francisco at the time for as long a period as forty-eight hours. How he could in that brief space have made so thorough an analysis of our social condition as to warrant the statement must remain a marvel.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.12

    One can hardly refrain from laughing as he imagines the honest indignation of the editor of the Bulletin when he penned his article repelling the base insinuation that it would require nothing less than the grace of God to save a San Francisco young man. But the matter has a serious side, in that it shows how ignorant many people-probably the great majority-are of even the necessity for a divine Saviour. The world has erected a fictitious standard of goodness, and the man who is “as good as the average,” is esteemed a good fellow. It matters not that the average standard is falling lower and lower, they continue to judge themselves by themselves, and so rest satisfied with their condition. So complacent are they that they regard it almost an insult to be told that they never can be saved without divine assistance; and the minister who should repeat to one of them the words of Christ, “he that believeth not shall be damned,” would be thought guilty of criminal libel.SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.13

    It is impossible to imagine what would be thought if one should say that such persons are no better off than heathen, yet we have scriptural authority for just such a statement. Even the Jews who made their boast of the law, were told by Paul that they were no better than the licentious and depraved heathen, because both Jews and Gentiles are “all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one;” and that “there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:9, 10, 22-24. No man ever lived on earth who was good enough to be saved without the grace of God, and the man who, in his self-righteous pride, stumbles at that stumbling-stone, will in the end be no better off than the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. See Romans 9:20-32.SITI June 2, 1887, page 326.14

    “Exposition of 2 Corinthians 3:7-11” The Signs of the Times, 13, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Several questions have of late been asked us upon 2 Corinthians 3:7-11. As that is a passage which those who are striving to teach the law often find difficult to explain, and which enemies of truth use with great confidence as being opposed to the law, we will try to give a simple scriptural exposition of it. The fifth and sixth verses of the chapter read as follows:-SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.1

    “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.2

    It will be noticed that the last clause of verse 5 is an answer to the question, “Who is sufficient for these things?” asked in verse 16 of the preceding chapter. The subject which is under consideration is the Christian ministry, as is seen by verse 6, and the first verse of chapter 4. The apostle is showing its excellence, and in so doing contrasts it with the ministry of the old covenant. The word “testament” in verse 6, means “covenant,” and the statement is that we are made ministers of the new covenant; “not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” Many people seem to have the idea that in this verse Paul is contrasting the two testaments or covenants. The old covenant they call the letter, and the new covenant the spirit. But one who reads the verse carefully cannot fail to see that this is an error. The old covenant is not referred to till we reach the seventh verse. Paul’s statement is simply to the effect that he and his associates were ministers of the spirit of the new covenant, and not of its letter; for the new covenant has its letter as well as the old. On this point Dr. Clarke makes the following pertinent comment:-SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.3

    “Every institution has its letter as well as its spirit; as every word must refer to something of which it is the sign or significator. The gospel has both its letter and its spirit, and multitudes of professing Christians, by resting in the letter, receive not the life which it is calculated to impart. Water, in baptism, is the letter that points out the purification of the soul; they who rest in this letter are without this purification; and dying in that state, they die eternally. Bread and wine in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, are the letter; the atoning efficacy of the death of Jesus, and the grace communicated by this to the soul of the believer, are the spirit. Multitudes rest in this letter, simply receiving these symbols without reference to the atonement or to their guilt; and thus lose the benefit of the atonement and the salvation of their souls.... It may be safely asserted that the Jews in no period of their history ever rested more in the letter of their law than the vast majority of Christians are doing in the letter of their gospel. Unto multitudes of Christians Christ may truly say, Ye will not come unto me that ye may have life.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.4

    In the above quotation it is shown that the letter of the new covenant kills; but the reason why it kills will be made plain after we have made a brief comparison of the two covenants. These two covenants with their ministrations are brought to view in contrast in verses 7 and 8, which read thus:-SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.5

    “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away; how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious?”SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.6

    In this verse the old covenant is called the “ministration of death.” Why it was so called is very apparent to one who understands what the old covenant was. We will state it briefly. Before the Lord gave the ten commandments from Mount Sinai, he said to the Jews:-SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.7

    “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Exodus 19:4-5.SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.8

    On the third day after this, the Lord spoke the ten commandments in the hearing of all the people: “and he added no more; and he wrote them in two tables of stone.” Deuteronomy 5:22. Then Moses went up to the Lord in the mount, and the Lord gave to him precepts growing out of the ten commandments. See Exodus 21, 22 and 23. The confirmation of the covenant, the preliminaries of which are given in Exodus 19:5-8, is related in Exodus 24:3-8. There learn that,SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.9

    “Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.” After this “Moses wrote all the words of the Lord;” and after he had built an altar and offered sacrifices, and read in the audience of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” Then “Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold, the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.” Thus was the covenant confirmed. We learn from this that the old covenant was simply an agreement between God and the children of Israel, concerning the commandments of God. The people on their part promised faithfully to keep the commandments, and the Lord promised to make of them a great nation.SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.10

    In connection with this covenant there were “ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary,” Hebrews 9:1. This sanctuary is described in Exodus 25; 26, 27, and 30, and the principal “ordinances of divine service,” are described in Exodus 29:38-42, and Leviticus, chapters 4 and 16. With these facts before us, we may understand why the ministration of the first covenant was called a “ministration of death.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.11

    (1) In this covenant the people had made an explicit agreement to keep the law of God. (2) By this law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), “for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. (3) The “ordinances of divine service” connected with the first covenant were for sin; but Paul tells us (Hebrews 10:4) that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Those “ordinances of divine service” were only “a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things,” and therefore the sacrifices which the people offered had no power to make them perfect. Therefore (4) all who had to do with the old covenant alone were condemned to death; “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23); “and the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. There was in the old covenant no provision for the forgiveness of sins; therefore the ministration of that old covenant, which was performed by earthly priests, was, so far as their work extended, the ministration of death. Only the perfect can have life, and their ministration made nothing perfect.SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.12

    It is true that during the time of the ministration of the old covenant, sins were forgiven (Leviticus 4:26, 31, 35), and this forgiveness was real, but it was obtained solely by virtue of faith in the promised sacrifice of Christ, and not because of anything in the old covenant. Paul says of Christ, in Hebrews 9:15, that “he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Thus we see that when sins committed under the first covenant were forgiven, they were forgiven by virtue of the second covenant.SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.13

    Some stumble over the first clause of 2 Corinthians 3:7, “The ministration of death, written and engraven in stones,” but the Scriptures furnish means for the complete exposition of this. Paul cannot mean that the ministration was written and engraven in stones, for that would be impossible, because the ministration was the service of the priests. Then it must be that he means that death was written and engraven in stones. But some will say, “This makes nonsense of the text.” Let us see. It is very easy to ascertain what was written and engraven in stone. Exodus 31:18 says that the Lord “gave to Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” “And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand. The tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.” Exodus 32:15, 16. These two tables were broken, and after Moses had, by the command of the Lord, made two other tables, he said, “And he [the Lord] wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the Lord spake unto you in the mount, out of the midst of the fire, in the day of the assembly.” Deuteronomy 10:4. These texts show that it was the ten commandments, and the ten commandments alone, that were written and engraven in stones; and therefore by the word “death,” in 2 Corinthians 3:7, Paul must refer to the ten commandments.SITI June 2, 1887, page 327.14

    But is it allowable to speak of the ten commandments as “death”? Are they death to anybody? It certainly is allowable, for they are death to all men, because all have sinned, and the “wages of sin is death.” The law is the cause of death to every sinner that shall perish, and so by metonymy it is called death. In like manner the sons of the prophets said of the poisonous gourds, “There is death [i.e., a cause of death] in the pot” (2 Kings 4:40); and the Lord said that “the tree of the field is man’s life” (sustainer of life). Deuteronomy 20:19. So when Paul describes his conviction as a sinner, he says of the law, “And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.” Romans 7:10.SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.1

    Thus we find that in every case of the word, the ministration of the old covenant was “the ministration of death.” We have found, then (1) that the law, which was the basis of the covenant, was death to all, and (2) that the ministration concerning that violated law offered no relief, but in itself tended to death.SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.2

    Notwithstanding all this, there was a wonderful glory connected with the old covenant and its service. The giving of the law was attended with glory the like of which has never been seen on earth before or since, and will not be until the Lord shall come in the glory of his Father with all his angels. When Moses returned from the mount, his face was so glorified that the people could not look at it; and the glory of the Lord was present in the sanctuary to so great a degree that the priests were forced to obscure it with a cloud of incense, lest they should die.SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.3

    Now let us briefly outline the new covenant. Paul says that this was established upon “better promises.” Its terms are found in Hebrews 8:8-12, which reads thus:-SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.4

    “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.5

    We find here the same condition as in the old covenant,-the people are to obey the law of God. But this covenant is established on “better promises” than the first, in that the Lord promises to forgive their sins, to write the law in their hearts, and to remember their iniquities no more. These things are all accomplished by virtue of Christ, who is the mediator of the new covenant. Hebrews 8:6; 9:15. “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7), by securing the remission of past sins (Romans 3:24, 25), and enabling us to walk in harmony with the law. Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 13:20, 21.SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.6

    The law, then, is the basis of both covenants; hence it could not be done away with the old covenant, else there could be no new covenant. The terms of the new covenant leave no doubt on this point, and Christ’s connection with it brings the fact out still more clearly. Thus Christ is the minister of this new covenant (Hebrews 8:1, 2) and is now performing the ministration in the true sanctuary in Heaven. Hebrews 9:24. His ministration has reference to the law, for he came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and he is offering his blood to save men from sin. Romans 3:24; 1 John 1:7; Matthew 1:21. This redemption we get through faith (Romans 3:24), and faith establishes the law. Romans 3:31. The law itself, having been violated, brings death; Christ redeems us from its curse (Galatians 3:13), and thus becomes our life. Colossians 3:4.SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.7

    Now note the contrast between the two covenants: The first had the ministration of death, because everything connected with it tended to death; the violated law was death to the sinner, and the earthly ministration freed no one from that condemnation. The second covenant has the ministration of the Spirit, because “the Lord is that Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17), and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty and life. Galatians 6:8. But although there is no death in the second covenant, there is in the rejection of it, for the law is still death to sinners, and all who are opposed to Christ are sinners, and condemned to death; so Paul says that the letter of the new covenant kills. The reason is that holding the mere letter of the new covenant,-the performance of the gospel ordinances while not receiving Christ in the heart,-is really a rejection of Christ. Of the Lord’s Supper, Paul says that he who does not discern the Lord’s body, eats and drinks damnation to himself. 1 Corinthians 11:9. He is in the same condition as though he had never heard of the new covenant. But in every case, whether of the sinner under the old covenant, or of one who rejects the new, it is the law that causes his death.SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.8

    In the text under consideration Paul contrasts the two ministrations as to glory. If the ministration which could not cleanse from sin, was glorious, the ministration of the Spirit, which gives freedom from sin, must be more glorious. “If the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.” And so much more glorious is the ministration of the second covenant than that of the first, that in comparison the first covenant seems to have had no glory. Why the ministration of the second covenant should be so much more glorious than that of the first, is because it is established upon “better promises,” and Christ is its minister.SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.9

    “For if that which is done away was glorious, much more than which remaineth is glorious.” 2 Corinthians 3:11. Now what was done away? The answer must be that it is that which was glorious. Verse 9 states that it was the ministration of condemnation that was glorious. Then it must be the ministration of condemnation that was done away; that which remains is the ministration of the Spirit. By no possibility can verse 11 be made to refer to the law, because it contrasts something done away with something that remains. And we have found that the law is the basis of both covenants, and therefore it cannot have been done away; but the ministration of the old covenant as well as the covenant itself was done away, as was indicated by the fading glory upon the countenance of Moses. But it needs no abstract reasoning to show that it is the tabernacle service, and that alone, to which the apostle refers in verse 11 as being “done away,” for he says, “if that which is done away was glorious,” showing by the “if” that he had before called attention to something glorious; and the only thing which he has so designated in this connection, is the ministration of death. Verse 7.SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.10

    We think that any read who carefully follows this brief exposition will be able to see for himself, on reading 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 that the apostle is simply contrasting the glory of the service of the two covenants, and that the law of God is not under consideration at all, except by an incidental allusion which goes to show its permanent character. W.SITI June 2, 1887, page 328.11

    “Importance of Obedience” The Signs of the Times, 13, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Sabbath, June 18.)

    1. When the angels are sent to gather God’s elect, whom will they take?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.1

    “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Psalm 50:5.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.2

    2. What does God regard more highly than sacrifice?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.3

    “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.4

    3. How is disobedience described?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.5

    “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” Verse 23,SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.6

    4. When Samuel first came to Saul, how did the latter feel respecting what he had done?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.7

    “And Samuel came to Saul; and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord; I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” Verse 13.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.8

    5. After Samuel reproved him, what did he say?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.9

    “And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice and unto Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” Verse 15.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.10

    6. How was Saul deceived?-He thought that by making a sacrifice to the Lord he would excuse him for not doing just as he had commanded.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.11

    7. Was there any way by which the people would benefit themselves pecuniarily by this disobedience?-They could use these cattle for sacrifice, and save their own for themselves.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.12

    “But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, and the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.” Verse 21.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.13

    8. What was the final result of Sauls course?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.14

    “And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.” “And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death; nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul; and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.” Verses 28, 29, 35.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.15

    9. In what manner was the ark to be conveyed from place to place?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.16

    “But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none; because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders.” Numbers 7:9.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.17

    10. By what means was it carried from the Philistines to Beth-shemesh?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.18

    “And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home; and they laid the ark of the Lord upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.19

    11. How were strangers the nation for looking into the ark?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.20

    “And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.21

    12. What arrangements did David make for taking the ark from the house of Abinadab?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.22

    “And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.” “And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.23

    13. Why was Uzzah smitten by the Lord?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.24

    “And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.25

    14. What was the real sin here committed?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.26

    “For because he did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.” 1 Chronicles 15:13.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.27

    15. When the ark was removed from the house of Obededom, in what manner was it carried?SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.28

    “So the priests and Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves there on, as Moses commanded, according to the word of the Lord.” Verses 14, 15.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.29

    16. If God’s miraculous care was over the ark when it was brought from the Philistines on a cart, why was he displeased when it was placed upon a new cart prepared expressly for that purpose by David? See notes.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.30

    17. What practical lesson can be learned from this?-Although men may have zeal and care for God’s cause, the Lord will not except that in the place of obedience.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.31


    It is a great mistake to presume that our property or anything we possess belongs to us to use upon our lusts. Whatever talents men possess, either natural or acquired, are loaned them of God, and those who are not faithful in that which has been loaned them will never receive the true riches which Christ has purchased for us; for if we have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, none will give us that which is our own. Nothing in this life belongs to us, but an inheritance to eternal life in the kingdom of God has been purchased for us by Christ. We were God’s by creation, and after having lost the privilege of children by the fall, we have been purchased or redeemed by the blood of Christ. We have no right, therefore, to devote our powers or possessions to our own selfish interests. Every sacrifice made to the glory of God will meet its reward in the kingdom of God. Hence God will except nothing but that obedience which proceeds from the heart.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.32

    Saul was a rash man, and his case fitly illustrates the course of many professed Christians at the present time. Although apparently conscientious, he was impetuous, and could not wait for God’s providence being brought into straitened circumstances. He had never learned the important lesson of quiet trust in God, and in consequence, his entire life was one of fitfulness.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.33

    “Saul had not a high and exalted sense of the excellence and terrible majesty of God. He had not a sacred regard for his appointed ordinances. With an impetuous spirit because Samuel did not appear at the appointed time, he rushed before God presumptuously, and undertook the sacred work of sacrifice. While equipped for war, he built the altar and officiated for himself and the people. This work was sacredly given to those appointed for the purpose. This act was a crime in Saul, and such an example would lead the people to have a low estimate of the religious ceremonies and ordinances sanctified and appointed of God, prefiguring the sinless offering of his dear Son. God would have his people have a holy regard and sacred reverence for the sacrificial work of the priests, which pointed to the sacrifice of his Son.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.34

    “God proved Saul by intrusting him with the important commission to execute his threatened wrath upon Amalek. But he disobeyed God, and spared the wicked, blasphemous king Agag, whom God had appointed unto death, and spared the best of the cattle. He destroyed utterly all the refuse that would not profit them. Saul thought it would add to his greatness to spare Agag, a noble monarch splendidly attired; and that to return from battle with him captive, with great spoil of oxen, sheep, and much cattle, would get to himself much renown, and cause the nations to fear him, and tremble before him. And the people united with him in this. They excused their sin among themselves in not destroying the cattle, because they could reserve them to sacrifice to God, and spare their own cattle to themselves.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.35

    “Samuel informed Saul that his rebellion was as the sin of witchcraft. That is, when one commences to travel in the path of rebellion, he yields himself to be controlled by an influence that is in opposition to the will of God. Satan controls the rebellious mind. Those who are thus controlled lose a calm trust in God, and have less and less disposition to yield loving obedience to his will. Satan becomes more and more familiar with them, until they seem to have no power to cease to rebel. In this respect, rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.36

    “Saul’s stubbornness in persisting before Samuel that he had obeyed God, was an iniquity and idolatry. His love to carry out his own will was more desirable to him than to obtain the favor of God, or the approbation of a clear conscience. And when his sin was opened clearly before him, and his wrong definitely pointed out, his pride of opinion, his excessive self-love, led him to justify himself in his wrong course, in defiance of the reproof of Samuel, and the word of the Lord by the mouth of his prophet. Such obstinacy in a known transgression, separated him forever from God.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.37

    “He knew that he had gone contrary to God’s express command; yet when reproved by God through Samuel, he would not humbly acknowledge his sin, but in a determined manner uttered a falsehood in self-justification. If he had humbly repented, and received the reproof, the Lord would have had mercy and forgiven Saul of his great sin. But the Lord left Saul for his stubbornly refusing to be corrected, and for uttering falsehoods to Samuel, his messenger. Samuel told Saul that, as he had rejected the word of the Lord, God had rejected him from being king.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.38

    There is one thing noticeable in the case of Uzzah’s being smitten before the Lord. It cannot be said that David did not have a proper sense of the sacredness of the ark. It seems that a new cart was especially prepared upon which to convey the ark. It probably had never been used for any other purpose. David also sang and gave praises before the ark with all his might. But the sin committed was in the disregard of the law which said that the ark should be borne by the priests. Uzzah was a Levite but not a priest. All the circumstances seemed to be in harmony with the mind of God except this provision for carrying the ark upon a cart, instead of by the proper means, which would have avoided all danger, such as Uzzah apprehended from the stumbling of the oxen, and the shaking of the ark. This incident illustrates the grand truth that a conscientious zeal never can take the place of obedience in God’s sight.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.39

    Another important truth is brought out by this circumstance, namely, that God does not hold people responsible when they do not have the light. God’s miraculous providence was over the ark when it was first sent to Beth-Shemesh, although it was then draw upon a cart; for the Philistines had no knowledge of how the ark should be carried; but to the people of Israel, God had made known the manner in which he was pleased to have it conveyed.SITI June 2, 1887, page 331.40

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    One of Oakland’s wholesale wine merchants, who certainly is qualified to speak understandingly, says that “more wine is being used in families than ever before.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.1

    At Sacramento, Cal., tent-meetings are being conducted by Elder E. R. Jones, with a good interest and steady attendance. The tent is located on the corner of Sixteenth and I Streets.SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.2

    A question that was asked concerning a point in the prophecy of the eight and ninth of Daniel was answered for this number of the SIGNS, but the answer was necessarily held over until next week, on account of pressure of other matter.SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.3

    We hope that none of our readers will skip the Home Circle Department this week. It does not contain a story, but it is filled full of good sound sense which will profit all who will heed it. Parents and children both should read it. Don’t skip it because it is long, and doesn’t look like a story.SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.4

    We call special attention to the article on the preceding page, concerning the canvassing work. A perusal of it should convince anyone that in spite of the great demand for trashy reading, a living may be made even now by selling good books,-books that are devoted solely to expositions of Scripture. And how much better a man, must feel after selling a good book, which the people need, than after selling something that is worse than nothing.SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.5

    Those who have asked for an explanation of 2 Corinthians 3:7 and onward, will find it in the body of the paper this week. We have no idea that the subject is made so plain that anybody can understand it without the exercise of any thought; but we think that a careful reading of this article, and perhaps a little study, will enable any reader to arrive at an understanding of the text. The article is not by any means exhaustive, and if after carefully reading it anyone should find himself still in the dark on any point, we shall be glad to give the matter further consideration, if he will let us know what his difficulty is.SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.6

    We have received a letter from a gentleman in San Francisco giving his ideas on evolution, and asking that we state our views on the same subject; or, as our questioner himself puts it: “I ask that you will kindly state what are your views upon the deductions and upon the ideas, or theories, of scientific men, based on scientific facts.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.7

    To answer this question fully would require far too much time and space. We can only say that we have no faith whatever in evolution; it is contrary to the word of God; and as it is not possible that any fact should contravene the word of God, the “deductions” of scientific men concerning it are not “based on scientific facts.” The world is full of unbelief and all manner of wickedness, but the Bible is full of precious truths which are able to make us “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Paul exhorts Timothy to “avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so-called,” and we cannot do better than to heed the admonition.SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.8

    The comprehensiveness of the law of God attests its divine origin. Men make laws, and find after a while that they have to be amended. Why? Because circumstances arise which the framers of the laws did not foresee. But the law of God needs no amending, for infinite wisdom foresaw every circumstance that might arise, and framed commandments which covered every possible case. Take the sixth commandment as a sample. Hatred and anger are violations of this commandment. See Matthew 5:21, 22; 1 John 3:15. Now if the Lord had simply forbidden anger or hatred, or some other thing which the commandment forbids, he would have had to multiply commandments to cover every phase of sin. But it is an axiom that the greater includes the less, and therefore the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” forbids not only the actual taking of human life, but every thought which if cherished and allowed to work itself out would result in murder. Everything of human make is narrow and imperfect, but the commandment of God “is exceeding broad.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.9

    Very often after a discourse we hear some person say, “I liked that sermon; it is just what I have always believed.” This is usually said with an air which indicates that the speaker thinks he has given the preacher and his sermon a wonderful compliment. It is, in fact, nothing of the kind; the person is simply complimenting himself, and, like all who compliment themselves, he thereby reveals a state of mind which is not at all praiseworthy. When he says he believes, he indicates that no matter how scriptural the sermon might be, he would not like it if it contained ideas contrary to his former belief. It shows a trace of that spirit which Paul said should be so common in the last days, which shall lead men to heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts. 2 Timothy 4:3. Happy is the hearer whose honest desire is to “hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord,” and who will like every scriptural discourse or printed article, even though it is contrary to his preconceived ideas; and happy is that preacher who, regardless of the likes of the people, will heed the command of God, to go and preach “the preaching that I bid thee.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.10

    We are told that the new Andover theory in regard to future probation “is working serious injury to the life and activity of the churches.” What else could be expected? If those who have “not had a fair chance” in this life are sure of having the gospel preached to them, after death, in greater purity than it could possibly be done by mortal men, why should the churches worry themselves over the condition of the heathen either at home or abroad? And why should the unconverted be anxious to improve present gospel privileges? The doctrine of probation after death is one of the lies which Satan has invented to strengthen the hands of the wicked, “that he should not return from his wicked way.” Ezekiel 13:22.SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.11

    “Evolution vs. the Bible” The Signs of the Times, 13, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A lecture on “Evolution” was delivered in San Francisco one evening last week by Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, said to be the one “who discovered, independently of Darwin, the laws of evolution.” He claimed that “any other than an animal origin for man’s body is inconceivable and contradictory.” This proposition he proceeded to “demonstrate” in the following manner:-SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.12

    “If all other animal forms have been derived from one another by the natural processes which have been pointed out, and which has brought up the animal structure so near to that of man that, as Prof. Owen remarked, to define what distinguishes the ape from the man is the anatomist’s difficulty, how can he suppose that the final steps never occurred at all, but that by an entirely new process of creation, of which there is no shadow of a proof, man sprang, de novo, into existence, yet bearing in every part of his structure countless indications of his animal origin? To believe this is to believe that the Creator of man created him so as to mislead us, and is, to any unprejudiced mind who will study the facts, utterly incredible.”SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.13

    We suppose that in such demonstrations the “if” is spoken under the breath, so that the condition shall have the appearance of an axiom. If the lower animals have been derived from one another by successive steps, then it is incredible but that man must have been similarly derived! Well, we will accept that, but how are we to know that the lower animals were derived from one another by passing from lower to higher forms? Why, we must take that for granted, to be sure; we must accept it because “there is no shadow of proof” that the various animals sprang into existence by a new process of creation. So Dr. Wallace tells us. But must we throw aside that ancient record which says that in the first week of time God caused the waters and the earth to bring forth every living creature, and that out of the dust of the ground he “created man in his own image?” Why, certainly, if you are going to accept evolution; for you must know to begin with that evolution has no use for anything so old-fashioned as the Bible.SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.14

    Yet many professed Christians accept the doctrine of evolution! What can be the condition of men who will exchange the “full assurance of faith,” by which “we know that the worlds were framed by the word of God,” for a theory which entirely denies the Bible, and has no stronger foundation than an “if”?SITI June 2, 1887, page 336.15

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