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    June 16, 1887

    “Born of God” The Signs of the Times, 13, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There are few texts that have been the subject of more anxious inquiry than 1 John 3:9: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” This is made much of by the self-styled “holiness” people, who use it to bolster up their own claims to perfection. They seem to take it for granted that they are specially referred to in the text, and think that all one has to do to be beyond the reach of sin is to profess to be born again. On the other hand, there are some who think that such a condition as the text describes is impossible in this life, and that it refers to the life to come, claiming that the new birth is at the resurrection. A question having been asked as to the meaning of the text, we take space for a brief exposition of it.SITI June 16, 1887, page 353.1

    In the first place we would say that being “born of God” is a change that takes place in this life, and not at the resurrection. John says in this same chapter (verses 1, 2): “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” Men are not by nature children of God. Paul says that the “children of disobedience,” who walk according to the lusts of the flesh, “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind,” are “by nature the children of wrath.” Ephesians 2:2, 3. To the unbelieving Jews, who sought to murder Christ because he reproved their wicked deeds, the Saviour said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” John 8:44. Now since “all have sinned” and are consequently by nature the “children of wrath,” children of the devil, it follows that those who are now the sons of God have become so by the new birth.SITI June 16, 1887, page 353.2

    Again, being born again is a prerequisite to obtaining the life to come. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Except a man be born again, ye cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. And he repeated the statement in these words: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Verse 5. These texts not only show that the new birth takes place before the resurrection, but they also set us on the track of what the new birth is.SITI June 16, 1887, page 353.3

    We learn that in the new birth both water and the Spirit have a part. This reminds us of what Paul says in Romans 8:11-14: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” The possession of the Spirit shows that we are sons of God, and that we are Christ’s. Romans 8:9. It is called “the Spirit of adoption.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 353.4

    The first work of the Spirit upon the hearts of men, is to “reprove the world of sin.” John 16:8. Conviction of sin, if not stifled, will necessarily drive the soul to Christ (see Romans 7:24, 25; 8:1); and Paul says that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. But if a man in Christ is a new creature, it must be that he has had a new birth; therefore we know that one who is born of God is one who is in Christ.SITI June 16, 1887, page 353.5

    Now read Romans 6:1-3: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” And also Galatians 3:26, 27: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Here we learn, what has already been stated, that sons of God are they who are in Christ; and we learn also that we put on Christ, or are ushered into Christ, by baptism. Now connect with these texts 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13, where baptism and the Spirit are coupled together, as in John 3:5. It reads: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 353.6

    Thus the Spirit convicts of sin; the convicted sinner repents and flies to Christ for cleansing from sin; he shows his acceptance of Christ by being baptized, and rises to walk in newness of life, a new creature in Christ, if he abides in Christ. This is the new birth, or, as it is commonly called, conversion.SITI June 16, 1887, page 353.7

    But what has this to do with the statement in 1 John 3:9 that whosoever is born of God sinneth not? We shall see, when we have examined one or two texts more which relate to the new birth. We have already seen that the Spirit of God is the prime factor in effecting the new birth. It first works upon the heart, to convict of sin. But how does the Spirit convict of sin? Through what does it operate? In Ephesians 6:17 we are told that the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. Then since the word of God is the Spirit’s sword, it must be by means of the word that the Spirit convicts of sin. In support of this conclusion we read Hebrews 4:12, 13: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 353.8

    Then the word of God,-and by this the law is specially referred to,-has much to do in the work of conversion, or the new birth. Without it, the Spirit could make no impression on the heart; and so the psalmist ascribes to it a leading place in the work of conversion, saying, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 19:7. Now we are prepared for a text which will bring us right back to the one with which we started. We quote 1 Peter 1:22, 23: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently; being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 353.9

    In these texts last quoted we find the word of God brought to view as the seed by which men are begotten sons of God. Now read once more the text which we are studying: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Why does not such an one commit sin? Because the seed by which he was begotten remains in him. And what is that seed? The word of God and the Spirit of God.SITI June 16, 1887, page 353.10

    That the possession of the word of God in the heart is a guard against sin, is shown by the psalmist, who, speaking of the righteous man, says: “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” Psalm 37:31. And again he says: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11.SITI June 16, 1887, page 354.1

    This statement about the law of God being in a man’s heart, reminds us of what the Lord Jesus said, through the psalmist, of himself: “Then said I, Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:7, 8. Now since David says that the law in the heart keeps a man’s feet from slipping, we will examine a notable instance in the life of our Saviour, to see how it works.SITI June 16, 1887, page 354.2

    After Jesus was baptized, he was led into the wilderness to be tempted. After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, the devil said to him: “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Matthew 4:3. How did Jesus meet this temptation? Not with parleying, but with the words, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” That settled the question once for all.SITI June 16, 1887, page 354.3

    Then the devil took Jesus up and placed him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down.” Again the prompt reply came: “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord th God.” Here again, from the fullness of the word which was hidden in his heart, Jesus drew a weapon which foiled this attack of the enemy.SITI June 16, 1887, page 354.4

    Once more the devil plied his temptation. Taking Jesus into a high mountain, he showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, promising them all to him if he would but for one moment worship Satan as God. Quick as though came the words from the lips of Jesus, “Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 354.5

    Notice that Jesus met every temptation with a text of Scripture. But these temptations were suffered and recorded for our benefit, that we might learn how to resist.SITI June 16, 1887, page 354.6

    Again: Faith is said to be the Christian’s shield. Ephesians 6:16: “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” But faith cannot be separated from the word, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. One’s faith is just equal to the amount of the word that he has-not committed to memory, simply-but hidden in the heart. Now we can understand 1 John 5:18: “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked on toucheth him not.” The object of a shield is to protect the person from fling missiles. In ancient times, when men fought with swords and bows, the man who received all the blows on his shield kept himself, so that he was not touched. So in the Christian warfare, the one who receives the assaults of Satan upon the shield of that faith which is the outgrowth of God’s own word, will keep himself untouched. Thus it was that Christ came off unscathed in his contest with Satan.SITI June 16, 1887, page 354.7

    Once more: In John 15:7 we read: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” That is a comprehensive promise. “Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” What will be the constant request of the one who abides in Christ? It will evidently be for more of a likeness to him. David expressed it when he said: “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4. Dare anyone say that such desires will not be gratified. They must be because Jesus said: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6. Not filled with a good, happy feeling; not filled with complacency; not filled with self-conceit; but filled with righteousness-right doing-obedience to God’s commandments; as righteousness is inseparably connected with meekness. Zephaniah 2:3; Psalm 25:9.SITI June 16, 1887, page 354.8

    From this brief study it will be seen that 1 John 3:9 does call for perfect obedience. So does the whole Bible. That book makes no provision for a little sin to be retained. Christ died that he might present to himself, that is, find when he comes for it, “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27. This is the requirement. And surely if one abides in Christ, and if the word of truth by which he was turned from sin, still remains in him, it will continue to have the same effect that it had at first, and will keep him from sin. This does not mean that the individual will necessarily be perfect in knowledge, nor that he will be in a position where there is nothing more to gain; but it does mean that so far as he has knowledge of the law of God he will walk in it. He will be one of the “undefiled in the way.” Psalm 119:1.SITI June 16, 1887, page 354.9

    Such an one will never boast of his goodness. He will be too much occupied in keeping from falling, to boast, and how will he keep from falling? “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” The more he beholds Christ, the more will he feel his own nothingness in comparison; this will beget humility; humility will beget trustfulness; and trustfulness will bring strength. Thus he will be “strong in the Lord and in the power of his might,” and, going on from strength to strength, will at last appear in Zion before God. W.SITI June 16, 1887, page 354.10

    “What Is the Resurrection?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In answer to a question upon the resurrection, the Christian Union says: “Resurrection, or ‘rising up’ (as the word means) is the entrance of the spirit into the embodied life of the world to come.” This is Spiritualist doctrine, but it is held by very many who profess to be orthodox. There seems to be a sort of fascination about it, although we cannot conceive wherein the fascination consists, unless it is in the fact that the doctrine contradicts the Bible. Let the reader who is inclined to accept the Christian Union’s definition of the resurrection, but who has a regard for the Bible, notice the following scriptures:-SITI June 16, 1887, page 358.1

    1. Matthew 20:17-19: “And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him; and the third day he shall rise again.” Paul also says that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4. And he also states that this was “the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:4. The Spiritualist theory says that the resurrection is the rising of the soul from the body, at death; the Bible says that the resurrection of Christ was not till three days after his crucifixion. Which is more worthy of belief?SITI June 16, 1887, page 358.2

    2. Matthew 27:62-64: “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead.” Notice the direct contrast between the Spiritualist theory of the resurrection and the Bible teaching. According to the Spiritualist theory, the resurrection of Jesus took place as soon as he breathed his last breath upon the cross. But here we find that the next day after the crucifixion the Jews desired a guard so that the disciples might not steal his body away and so claim that he had been raised from the dead according to his prediction. From this we learn that when Jesus, his disciples, and the Pharisees spoke of the resurrection from the dead, they all had the idea but that some time after death the body should be restored to life. And the Bible nowhere recognizes anything as resurrection, except restoration of the body to life. Just imagine the Pharisees asking for a guard to prevent the spirit of Christ from leaving the body! The Spiritualist theory makes nonsense of the Bible.SITI June 16, 1887, page 358.3

    3. John 6:40: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” These are the words of Christ. The Spiritualist teaching is that everyone is raised at what is called death; Christ says that believers shall be raised at the last day. No “advanced thinker” would be so wild as to claim that the spirit does not leave the body of any man until the last day, yet Christ says that that is when the resurrection will take place. And lest some should claim that the “last day” refers to the last day of a man’s earthly life, we quote the words of Christ in John 5:28, 29: “Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” This shows that the resurrection is a coming forth from the grave.SITI June 16, 1887, page 358.4

    4. 1 Corinthians 15:51-54: “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” No comment could make it plainer that the resurrection takes place at the last trump, and that it consists in the raising of the body to life.SITI June 16, 1887, page 358.5

    We might cite additional texts by the score, showing the same thing. Shall we not believe the Bible doctrine of the resurrection, rather than the Spiritualist theory? Reason alone would say that we ought, since it is the Bible alone that reveals the fact that there will be a resurrection. And does it not seem strange the Spiritualists, and those who follow their teaching without taking their name, will prate loftily about the resurrection from the dead, while all the time they deny that there is any such thing as death? Surely “the legs of the lame are not equal,” and all who depart from the simplicity of Bible doctrine are deplorably lame. W.SITI June 16, 1887, page 358.6

    “What Absurd Thing Shall Come Next?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We had often head of the mind-cure theory, but now we see it. We always thought it was a mess of nonsense, but now we know that such only it is. We have before us the “formula” by which prescriptions are to be compounded for the cure of all diseases that humanity is heir to. What? “humanity” did we say? Oh, no, there is no humanity! It is all divinity. And “diseases” did we say? It is all a mistake. There is no such thing as disease, nor ache, nor pain-all this is a hoax. You get your finger caught as in a vice; it is not pinched, it does not hurt-it can’t hurt, for don’t you know that “matter has no life, and is insensible to pain or pleasure?” You only believe it hurts, and that is all. In fact matter “has no real existence” anyhow, and how can anything be really affected that has no real existence? “Matter is only an appearance like an image in a mirror;” and do you suppose that your reflection in a mirror could have its hand cut with a buzz-saw, or its finger mashed with a hammer? Do you suppose its tooth or head ever aches? Does it ever have the dyspepsia or neuralgia? Why, of course not. Well, then, are you so lost to all true ideas of sense or perception as not to know that “you are not material,” and that that about you which appears to be matter “is only an appearance like an image in a mirror”? And are you so dull as to suppose that an appearance can ache, or swell, or be inflamed, or be sick? If you are, you must get bravely over all that, for “pain and sickness exist only as beliefs, and come from consulting the appearance instead of clinging to the reality?SITI June 16, 1887, page 360.1

    Gentle reader, do you wonder whether we are not just “making this up”? Do you wonder whether there is anybody in this wide world who would put forth in sober earnest, and apparently with the expectation of being believed, such utter senselessness? If you do then you may safely lay aside all wonderment, for such is the case, and it is all sober fact. Let us proceed:-SITI June 16, 1887, page 360.2

    “The belief you have entertained of neuralgia, constipation, hoarseness, etc., is a profound error from beginning to end.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 360.3

    We know better, for we have had them all-not all at once, but one or two at a time-and instead of it being only a belief that we had them, it was a painful reality.SITI June 16, 1887, page 360.4

    “You are a spirit... you cannot commit sin, be sick, or die.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 360.5

    Wrong altogether. We are not spirit, we are flesh, subject to all the laws of flesh. We can commit sin, and are afraid we shall (especially if we read much more of this stuff), and we often have, and are sorry for it. We can be sick, and must be very careful that we be not, as thousands of people are. We can die, as everybody, except two persons, has died that ever has lived in this world, and multitudes are dying daily, and as multitudes shall die.SITI June 16, 1887, page 360.6

    “You are perfectly well [yes, we are], ever have been [no, we have not], ever will be.” Thank you for the conclusion; hope we may be, yet we doubt it much.SITI June 16, 1887, page 360.7

    “Jesus conquered all these beliefs in false seemings [that is, false, for he died], and was lifted up into a perfect person of the spiritual truth of being, and he said that if he was lifted up, he would draw all men unto him. Therefore, because he did reveal this Christ-life of spiritual truth to man, you have only to follow that thought of his in your thoughts to come, yourself realizing that you are perfectly well and cannot suffer from any inflamed nerves, or irritated vocal organs or bronchial tubes, which you call neuralgia and hoarseness; it is an illusion.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 361.1

    There, that is all we need to quote; there is much more to the same purpose, but this is enough. We can only say that if anything could possibly be more of “an illusion” than this theory of the mind-cure, we should like to know how any conception of it could be conveyed to the human mind. And when we realize that there are men and women who actually believe in such unmitigated nonsense as is set forth in this “formula,” we confess that our confidence in human nature is just about in the last stages of dissolution, for after that what is there, or what can there be, that men may not believe.SITI June 16, 1887, page 361.2

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In these days when so many people are claiming that the Sabbath law is abolished, we are glad to find some who will testify to the perpetuity of the Sabbath commandment even though they do not observe it. Thus the Interior of June 2 says concerning the fourth commandment:-SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.1

    “Observe (1) this Sabbath law is as old as Creation being found founded on the fact that God rested after he completed his creative work. (2) It will never cease to be binding on man. Christ did not abrogate it anymore than he abrogated the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ or any other precept of the moral law.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.2

    E. C. G. having read the articles on the millennium lately printed in the SIGNS, asks the following questions on Revelation 20:9:-SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.3

    “How can the wicked compass the camp of the saints about unless it is upon the earth? Does the beloved city come down from Heaven before the wicked are destroyed?”SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.4

    The wicked cannot at all compass the camp of the saints about unless it is on the earth. And the text itself shows that it will be on the earth when they do compass it about. “They went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city.” And as they compass “the beloved city” before they are destroyed, that of itself proves that the beloved city must have come down from Heaven before they are destroyed. This is at the close of the thousand years.SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.5

    We often hear people refuse to make pledges of means for the support of some missionary enterprise, on the ground that they don’t think it right to make a pledge. They always say that they intend to give something, though whether they do give or not is a question. The following from an English paper would seem to indicate that giving is a habit, and that those who have not the habit give nothing, while those who have the habit give to every worthy object:-SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.6

    “No fewer than thirty-one people of position in England declined to subscribe to the Church House on the ground that they wished to give their money to the fund for the poor clergy; yet it was found a day or two ago, on examining the list, that not one of them had sent a donation to the latter fund. On the other hand, fifty-seven subscribers to the Church House, whose contributions amounted to over 2,450, appeared as donors to the poor clergy fund of no less a sum than £3,630.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.7

    The Vienna correspondent of the London Times is the authority for the statement that a second edition of 120,000 copies of Rev. Isaac Salkinson’s Hebrew translation of the New Testament has been published. Of this number 100,000 copies have been bought by one man for gratuitous distribution among Hebrew-reading Jews all over Europe.SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.8

    “Making the Sabbath a Holy Day” The Signs of the Times, 13, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In one of the religious weeklies we find the following, which is part of a comment on the fourth commandment:-SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.9

    “On the seventh day our bodies and minds must rest; and our souls also. Our spiritual nature must hold communion with Heaven, thus making the Sabbath a holy day.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.10

    The thought here expressed is altogether too common. It is a grave mistake to suppose that we have anything to do with the degree of holiness of the Sabbath-day. No man can make a day holy, no matter how holy or how absorbed in spiritual contemplation he may be. If all the Christian people in the world should agree to set apart Wednesday for rest and religious meditation, and worship, that day would not be any more sacred than it is now. The seventh day is a holy day because God made it holy; he “hallowed it.” He alone could do this. It matters not if everyone in the world devoted the day to secular work and pleasure, the day would be just as holy as it was when God hallowed it. But the people themselves cannot be holy. This is the point: The action of people in regard to sacred things makes no difference with those things, but with the people themselves. By constantly reverencing holy things, men become holy; by disregarding holy things they injure themselves, but do not detract from the holiness of the sacred thing. Men cannot make God’s name any the less sacred by blaspheming it; neither could they make the name of Baal holy by reverencing it. So men cannot make the seventh day any less holy by devoting it to secular uses; and all the “consensus of Christian thought” that there is in the world, cannot attach a single iota of sacredness to Sunday.SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.11

    “Humility Wanted” The Signs of the Times, 13, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Simulated Christianity is often so nearly like the genuine that it cannot be detected upon a short acquaintance, and yet there is generally something about it that arouses a suspicion that it is not just what it should be. A meek and quiet spirit must characterize every true Christian, and it matters not how loud the profession nor how great the manifestation of feeling, if humility dwells not in the heart, “this man’s religion is vain.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.12

    In view of the maximum of profession, and the minimum of possession, in religious circles to-day, the following truths incidentally expressed in a recent number of the New York Christian Advocate are to the point. Speaking of “De Imitations Christi,” a book written nearly five hundred years ago, probably by Thomas a Kempis, the Advocate says:-SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.13

    “The restless activity of this age needs the calmness of the “Imitatione,” and its call to stop and think and look within. The superficial views prevalent as to sin, and the easy-going sort of piety which flourishes, nowadays, need the earnest and penetrating teachings of this little book. And for the cant, narrowness, and pharisaic self-righteousness of much of the present so-called holiness literature-especially that circulated among Methodists-there needs to be substituted the sincerity, freshness, humility, and depth of spiritual insight, which constitute some of the chief charms of the “Imitatione,” and which have attracted to it devout minds of all communions.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.14

    “Scripture Verified” The Signs of the Times, 13, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Every new discovery by those who are busily engaged in the work of unearthing the monuments and records of antiquity, serves to make more evident the simple, straightforward truth of the Scripture narrative. The statement in Exodus 1:8, that “there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph,” is one that commentators have thought it necessary to almost apologize for. They have given learned explanations, showing in what figurative sense the words were to be taken. But now the mummy of that “new king” has been discovered, and visitors to the Bulaq Museum may gaze upon the features of that mighty tyrant who lived over three thousand years ago. We have not space to tell all the circumstances of the finding (they are given in the May Century), but it is sufficient to say that it is quite conclusively demonstrated that this king was not of Egyptian stock at all, but of Assyrian. He was the second of a new dynasty, but as his father reigned but a very few years, and did nothing of note, he was practically the first.SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.15

    This fact shows the appropriateness of the expression, “there arose a new king,” and the reader can readily see how a foreign usurper would not know Joseph, and would care nothing for the kindred of one who had done so much for Egypt. He owed the Israelites no debt of gratitude, and saw in them only a people whom he could use to advance the glory of his reign, and who, if left to themselves, might prove formidable adversaries.SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.16

    And this also throws light upon another text. In Isaiah 52:4 we read: “For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.” This verse has been supposed to refer to two distinct independent events, but the discovery shows that it is the statement of simple fact.SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.17

    This is only one of hundreds of instances where the correctness of Bible history has been demonstrated by discoveries of ancient records, and should serve to teach people that they need not get scared and begin to reject or apologize for the Scriptures when they find statements that they cannot understand.SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.18

    “Celibacy of the Clergy” The Signs of the Times, 13, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    L. A. T. asks if it can be proved that the Simon spoken of in Luke 4:38 is Simon Peter, the one whom the Catholics claim was the first Pope, and thinks that if it can be so proved, it will be very much against the Papal dogma that the clergy should not marry. We reply that the Simon of Luke 4:38 is none other than Simon Peter, as may be seen by reading Matthew 8:14, 15, where we find the same thing that is recorded in Luke. But this does not affect the Papal doctrine of the celibacy of the clergy. The Catholic Church does not profess to derive that point from the Bible, and consequently nothing that can be drawn from the Bible will have any weight with them. They are very well aware that Peter was married. In fact, it is not probable that there was one of the apostles who was not a married man; and Paul, in giving the qualifications of a bishop, says that he “must be blameless, the husband of one wife.”SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.19

    In the early history of the church, no such thing as the celibacy of the clergy was known. In the third century it began to be taught that a clergyman should not marry the second time. This was from a false conception of 1 Timothy 3:2. In the fourth century, as the “mystery of iniquity” was approaching its full development as the “man of sin,” decrees began to be issued forbidding the clergy to marry. For several centuries there was controversy over this subject, and perhaps the majority of Catholic priests were married, although councils were declaring against them. It was not till the pontificate of Gregory VII., A.D. 1673-1685, that the celibacy of the clergy was fully established in the Catholic Church, that Pope being the first who had the determination and the power to enforce his decrees. Those priests who were married were obliged to put away their wives. Many scandals ensued, and at the time of the Reformation these were so common among the clergy as to scarcely excite remark. There can be no doubt that while celibacy has been a fruitful source of the abominations of the Papacy, it has added to its power, since the priests, having no family ties, may be sent at a moment’s notice wherever their superiors indicate.SITI June 16, 1887, page 363.20

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