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    June 23, 1887

    “Effects of Erroneous Opinions” The Signs of the Times, 13, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is very common for those who are quite loose in their belief, or who do not believe much of anything, to ease their consciences by saying, “God will never condemn a man on account of his opinions; it is how a man lives that determines his condition at last.” How these people acquired such intimate knowledge of God’s plans, so as to be able to speak so definitely of what he will or will not do, is not apparent; for it is very evident from the Bible that a man’s opinions have a good deal to do in deciding his final destiny.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.1

    It seems never to occur to those who use the expression quoted above, that they are strangely inconsistent with themselves. The very ones who use such language will speak very slightingly of one who “has not the courage of his convictions,” that is, one who holds opinions which he dare not act out. Such a man they justly accuse of leading a double life; and yet they seem to think that God will be perfectly satisfied with a man who leads such a life.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.2

    But the great mistake is in supposing that a man can hold opinions which will not to a greater or less extent influence his actions. The statement by Watts, that “the mind’s the standard of the man,” is but another way of expressing the truth uttered by Solomon, that as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” A man cannot entertain vile thoughts and still have all his actions pure. Neither can a man entertain erroneous opinions without acting in accordance with them, unless his circumstances hinder him; and in that case he is entitled to no more credit than the thief in prison is to be commended for not stealing.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.3

    In times past people have suffered severely on account of their opinions. When Paul says, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace,” he says in effect that the inhabitants of Jericho perished because they believed not. If they had believed, they might have been saved as well as the harlot Rahab. But they were of the opinion that their gods were stronger than the God of Israel. Somebody might have said to them, “It doesn’t make any difference what ideas you have about God; it is your actions that will determine your final lot.” But their ideas of God had everything to do in shaping their actions and their erroneous ideas led them into practices which caused their ruin.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.4

    Again, we read of the children of Israel: “For some, when they had heard, did provoke; howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he [Christ] grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:16-19. Here we have the plain declaration that it was the unbelief of the Israelites that shut them out of the promised land. “They could not enter in because of unbelief.” But would they not have been allowed to enter in if they had not sinned? Certainly; and they would not have sinned but for their unbelief. Their sin was a necessary consequence of their unbelief.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.5

    How was it with the inhabitants of Sodom? When Lot, who believed the warnings of the angels, went out to tell his relatives that God was going to destroy the city, “he seemed as one that mocked.” They regarded him as a fanatic; very likely they thought he was losing his mind, and would have to be cared for. But the Lord did destroy the city, and all those who disbelieved perished with it. It was their opinion that they were safe enough, and in consequence of their erroneous opinion they perished.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.6

    We may learn a lesson from them. Indeed their case is recorded for our admonition. Christ says: “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” Luke 17:28-30. All over the land the coming of the Lord is being proclaimed. The same word of prophecy foretells that his coming is now very near. Yet these things are to thousands as idle tales. Those who preach the nearness of the second advent are regarded as fanatical. It is the common opinion that the world is just in its infancy. Men say, “Well, it doesn’t make any difference how we believe in regard to the coming of the Lord, if we only live right.” But still the truth exists that only “unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28. Why will this be so? Simply because those who do not believe that his coming is near at hand, will not be getting ready for it.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.7

    Let no one delude himself with the idea that he has “a right to his own opinions,” and that he can believe what he pleases and still be safe at last. It is true that so far as other men are concerned, he has a right to his own opinions; that is, he is not answerable to any man for what he believes; but all men are answerable to God for their opinions. No man has a right to hold an opinion contrary to what God has revealed in his word. And those who shall cling to their self-assumed right to believe what they please, will find at the last that it was a dearly-bought privilege. Among those who “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death,” the unbelieving occupy a prominent place. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” W.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.8

    “The New Law” The Signs of the Times, 13, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    An exchange says: “Many persons seem to think that because the ten commands were done away, we have no moral precepts to guide us. I will, therefore, in a few words, show that nine of the commands-all the moral part-are adopted or re-enacted in the new law (New Testament) which is now our authority in place of the old law that it supercedes and annuls.” There are many people who entertain, just such ideas as are expressed in this quotation, and therefore before we examine that which the writer gives as a substitute for the decalogue, we wish to show how erroneous such assumptions are.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.9

    (a) It is assumed that the ten commandments were done away. But this is in direct contradiction of what the Scriptures say of God’s purpose concerning the law, and of its nature. First read a few statements: “Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them forever.” Psalm 119:152. “Thy word is true from the beginning; and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever.” Verse 100. “The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand [margin, “are established”] fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” Psalm 111:7, 8. Again, our Saviour said: “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17. If it is asked how this can be, the briefest examination of the nature of the law will give the answer.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.10

    (b) The law of God is the righteousness of God. This is indicated in Isaiah’s prophecy: “The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make if honorable.” But Isaiah 51:6, 7 shows beyond all question that the law is God’s righteousness. We read: “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner; but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law.” The people who know righteousness are they in whose heart is the law of God; the obvious meaning is that they know righteousness because the law is in their heart; and this will be made still more evident further on. The righteousness which is known by the law of God is God’s righteousness; and when that truth is grasped, we scarcely need to be told that it will not be abolished, for that would be to tear God from his throne. Now we can understand how it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than for a particle of the law to fail.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.11

    (c) The law of God is his will. Paul says: “Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law.” Romans 2:17, 18. This is perfectly in harmony with the statement that the law is God’s righteousness, for God is righteous, and his will must be righteous. That the ten commandments are referred to by “the law” is evident from verses 21-23. Now since the ten commandments are the righteousness of God, and his will, it necessarily follows that they cannot be abolished. Be it understood that when “the law” is mentioned, there is no discrimination, but the whole law is referred to. David had reference to the whole law when he said: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Now if a part of the law were abolished, it would be no more perfect.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.12

    But it is useless to speak about the possibility or probability of the abolition of any part of the law; for it would be impossible to abolish any portion of it. God himself could not abolish any portion of it; for that would be to abolish his own goodness, and “he cannot deny himself.” So long as God’s throne is in Heaven, and his kingdom rules over all, so long must the ten commandments, the law of his kingdom, remain intact.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.13

    2. It is assumed that only nine of the ten commandments were moral, and that the fourth was not. But this assumption is itself fatal to the assumption that the ten commandments were done away; for a moral law cannot be done away. Moral duties grow out of the nature of God, and they can not be done away so long as God is God. He who admits that nine of the ten commandments are moral thereby admits that they cannot be abolished.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.14

    Let us make this point a little more clear. If a law is abolished, then the duty which it once enjoined is no longer a duty, and that which it forbade is no longer a crime. Now take the seventh commandment. If that were ever abolished, even though it were afterward re-enacted, there must have been a time when it was not an immoral act to commit adultery! So also of the eighth commandment: if that were abolished, then it was not wrong to steal. But no right-minded person can conceive of a time when it would be right to kill, steal, or commit adultery. Now if it could never be right for all people to live promiscuously, as to persons and property, or for human life to be considered as of no value, or for God’s name to be held in no repute, then it follows that the commandments which forbid such things must always be in force. It is impossible for anyone who has any just conception of morality to imagine such a thing as a moral law being abolished.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.15

    Having seen that moral commandments cannot be abolished, let us consider the fourth commandment in particular. It is claimed that it is not moral. Did it ever occur to anyone to wonder why God should insert a non-moral commandment in the midst of moral precepts? It would be much easier to answer the statement that it is not moral, if those who say so would tell us what is necessary to constitute a moral precept. “Moral” is defined as “relating to duty or obligation.” Well, the Sabbath commandment was given by the Creator of the universe, and certainly it is man’s duty to obey. We cannot conceive of anything that could have more effect in making a commandment moral than that it came from God, for he is the source of all morality.SITI June 23, 1887, page 374.16

    As with the other commandments, so with the fourth; we cannot conceive of a time when to violate it would not be sin. The Sabbath commandment is the first of which we have the record of its being given to man. In Eden at the close of creation it was sanctified. It “was made for man.” It was based on the unalterable facts of creation (Genesis 2:2, 3); so that the only way it could be abolished would be to abolish the fact that the earth was created, which is of course impossible.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.1

    It is sometimes claimed that the fourth commandment is not like the others, because, while they are to be kept every moment of time, it requires a duty only once a week. Such have read the commandment to little purpose. The very first word, “remember,” covers every moment of a man’s life. Not only during the twenty-four hours of the Sabbath is the fourth commandment to be kept, but during all the hours of the week. The man who does not remember the Sabbath every working day, will not keep the Sabbath when it comes. The fourth commandment covers the six days of labor as well as the seventh day of rest; and when we consider that it alone of all the ten, names and specifies the giver of the law, we cannot fail to see that it is the very heart of the moral law. Take it away, and there would be nothing to point out the authority of the lawgiver.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.2

    We will now examine the new law, as given by our exchange. It is as follows:-SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.3

    1-One God; Ephesians 4:6 and 1 Corinthians 8:6.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.4

    2-Idolatry forbidden; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 10:7-14, and 1 John 5:21.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.5

    3-Swearing forbidden; James 5:12.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.6

    4-Sabbath; nowhere enjoined, either by precept or example.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.7

    5-Obedience to parents enjoined; Ephesians 6:1-2, and Colossians 3:20.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.8

    6-Murder forbidden; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:21; 1 Peter 4:15; 1 John 3:15.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.9

    7-Adultery; Romans 13:9; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Hebrews 13:4; James 4:4.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.10

    8-Steal not; Romans 13:9; Ephesians 4:28.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.11

    9-False witness; Romans 13:9.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.12

    10-Covetousness forbidden; Romans 13:9; 1 Corinthians 6:10; Ephesians 5:5.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.13

    We have copied the above exactly and are not responsible for the reference to Romans 31 (corrected). The first “commandment” of this new law tells us that there is one God. Very well, we can believe that, but the mere statement that there is one God does not involve any duty. The devils themselves can and do keep such a commandment as that. See James 2:19. The fact is, the texts cited contain no semblance of a commandment, as anybody can see for himself.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.14

    Those scriptures which are referred to as containing the second commandment, refer simply to the first. The second commandment forbids bowing down to images, or the representation of God, by something in heaven or earth. Nothing to this effect is found in the New Testament. Without the Old Testament it would be utterly impossible to convict the Catholic of sin when he makes obeisance to the image of the Virgin Mary or of Christ.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.15

    The sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth commandments, as given in the “new law,” are simply quotations from the Decalogue given upon Sinai, and do not purport to be anything else. We are told that, just as the new constitution of California contains many things that were in the old one, so the new law contains many things that were in the decalogue of Sinai, and that therefore we must consider these commandments as part of the new law. But now that the new constitution of California is in force, men do not quote anything from the old one; whereas Paul is quoting directly from the ten commandments of Sinai, and is not giving a new law, nor quoting from some other law in the New Testament. Moreover he declares (Romans 7:7) that long before this was written, he was convicted of sin by the law which says, “Thou shalt not covet.”SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.16

    As to the fourth commandment, we find it taught by the example of Christ and the apostles (Luke 4:16; Acts 13:14; 17:2; 18:4), and also by precept. Matthew 24:20. But this is not why the Sabbath should be kept. It should be kept because “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it.”SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.17

    One more point should be noticed concerning this alleged new law. That is, that it is quoted from four different men, who wrote about thirty years after Christ. Allowing that they had a right to make laws, and that the scriptures quoted constitute the new law, we should have a period of about thirty years between the crucifixion, when it is alleged that the old law was done away, and the giving of the new law. Thirty years in which there was no moral law whatever! Thirty years in which it was not wrong to swear, kill, steal, lie, and commit adultery! To such lengths of absurdity will men go in their attempts to evade a plain but unpleasant duty.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.18

    But the simple fact is that Peter, James, John, and Paul had no more authority to enact or re-enact moral precepts than the Pope of Rome has. “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.” James 4:12. Isaiah tells us who this “one lawgiver” is; “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.” Isaiah 33:22. If any of the apostles had presumed to speak anything on their own authority, or to enact or re-enact any moral precept, they would have been acting the part of the “man of sin,” “the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” To say that the apostles presumed to institute moral precepts, is to basely slander them.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.19

    From this examination of the matter, and if space allowed it might be made much more thorough, we find that if there is any moral obligation in the world at the present time, it is by virtue of the ten commandments. If they have been done away, then there is no such thing as morality or immorality; there can be no such thing as character. But they have not been abolished; they cannot be abolished; and therefore to fear God and keep his commandments still constitutes the whole duty of man. He who presumes to sit in judgment on the law, and to absolve himself from obedience to any part of it, will find to his sorrow that there is one Lawgiver who is able to destroy. W.SITI June 23, 1887, page 375.20

    “Faith and Works” The Signs of the Times, 13, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A subscriber says: “Please harmonize James 2:24, 25 with verses 22 and 23 and verses 17 and 18 of the same chapter.” This is easily done, or, rather, there is no necessity for doing it, as they are already in harmony. The statement in each is practically the same. Beginning with verse 15 we read: “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works; show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.”SITI June 23, 1887, page 376.1

    Verses 15 and 16 forcibly illustrate the truth that words, without corresponding deeds, amount to nothing. Professions of sympathy for the distressed are worthless, unless some practical sympathy is shown. A man may, for a short time, get the reputation of being charitable, simply because of his fervent professions of sympathy for the poor; but if he is never known to render them any assistance, people soon come to regard his professions of sympathy as false, and become disgusted with them. Just so it is with faith, says the apostle. A man may profess faith in Christ, but if no works are manifest, there is no faith there.SITI June 23, 1887, page 376.2

    In the eighteenth verse he supposes a case. The man who has works may say to one who professes faith without works: Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works. But, according to verse 17, a man cannot exhibit faith without works; if he has no works, it is an evidence that he has no faith. But the fact that a man has good works is of itself evidence that he has faith, for good works are the invariable result of living faith.SITI June 23, 1887, page 376.3

    This is shown by verses 21-23: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness.” Some have thought that this contradicts Paul’s statement that a man is justified by faith only; but it does not. James explains how a man is justified by works, by the case of Abraham. His faith was manifest by works, and by works was made perfect. That is, his works showed that he had perfect faith. By proceeding to offer Isaac upon the altar, he showed his faith in the power of God to raise him from the dead, and thus to fulfill the promise, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” See Hebrews 11:17-19. James himself says by the offering of Isaac the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness,” thus showing that he was justified by faith and not by works; and so when he says that Abraham was justified by works, it is in a secondary sense, since it was the works alone which showed that he had saving faith.SITI June 23, 1887, page 376.4

    It was the same with Rahab. James says, “Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way.” James 2:25. Paul says, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” Hebrews 11:31. Now both are strictly correct. Rahab was justified by faith; but she would not have been justified by faith if her faith had been merely a simple assent to the fact that God was leading the Israelites. Such a belief as that would not have been real faith. But she had so strong a faith in what she had heard about God’s leading the Israelites into the land of Canaan, that she did the works required of her, and so in a secondary sense she was justified by works, since it was her works that testifies to the reality of her faith.SITI June 23, 1887, page 376.5

    These scriptures show how inseparable are faith and works. So closely united are they that the possession of one presupposes the possession of the other. Yet it must not be forgotten that faith is first. There can be no works where there is no faith. We read: “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith,” and, “the just shall live by faith.” This is literally true. It is also true, as Paul says, that “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9. Also when the jailer asked, “What shall I do to be saved?” Paul answered him truly, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31. This may be said to comprise all that is necessary for salvation, because works are included in faith; they follow it as surely as flowers follow the showers of spring. If a man has the faith of Abraham, he will do the works of Abraham; if a man really believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, he will bring forth works “meet for repentance.” W.SITI June 23, 1887, page 376.6

    “The Lord Not Slack” The Signs of the Times, 13, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8.SITI June 23, 1887, page 379.1

    This is a much abused text. It has no doubt been quoted, in part, at least, by thousands who have never read it; and of the thousands who have read it, probably comparatively few realized its force. We say the text is much abused, because it is almost always referred to to sustain some erroneous opinion. One will quote it as proof that “the day of the Lord” (see verse 10; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, etc.) is a thousand years long; but the text does not intimate anything of the kind, and from other texts it may clearly be shown that “the day of the Lord” is not a thousand years long. Another will quote it as proof that the days of creation were not literal days, but that they were periods of at least a thousand years. This is even worse than the other; for the sacred record shows beyond the possibility of an intelligent doubt that the days of creation were literal days of twenty-four hours each. Still others hold that the text shows that the coming of the Lord may not come for a thousand years or more. This also is a gross perversion.SITI June 23, 1887, page 379.2

    The real force of the text can only be learned from the context. The chapter is devoted wholly to the second coming of Christ. The apostle tells us that some will say, “Where is the promise of his coming?” The word “promise” here is evidently used in an accommodated sense, as meaning the prospect of the fulfillment of the promise; they can easily read the promise in the Bible, but they are skeptical as to its fulfillment, as is shown by their saying, “For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”SITI June 23, 1887, page 379.3

    The apostle cites the case of the flood, and says that the same word that formed the earth a liquid mass in the beginning, and stored up within it the elements of its destruction, still keeps it stored with fire reserved against the day of Judgment, and perdition of ungodly men. Just as surely as the world was once destroyed by water, so surely will it again be destroyed by fire.SITI June 23, 1887, page 379.4

    But, then, the objector will urge that it has been a long time since the signs which Christ gave (see Matthew 24) were fulfilled, and there seems to be almost as much to be done now as then. He is like the “evil servant” who says in his heart, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” To all such the apostle says that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” What does this mean? Simply this, that God, being infinite, and inhabiting eternity, does not regard time as we do, whose lives are but a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then passeth away. A thousand years are in his sight as one day. That is, compared with his eternity, a thousand years is but as a day would be to us.SITI June 23, 1887, page 379.5

    Does this, then, give any color to the idea that the coming of the Lord may be perhaps thousands of years distant? Not by any means; for the Scriptures plainly teach that after certain signs have taken place, Christ’s comning is near, “even at the doors.” Those signs have been seen; and now to the one who says that at the rate the truth has been going to the nations of the earth, it will require many, many years for all people to be warned, the apostle says that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years.” That is, in one day he can accomplish as much as in a thousand years, if he so chooses. He has infinite resources at his command, and he has promised that he will “finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,” and will make a short work on the earth. He who is able to raise up children to Abraham, of the stones of the earth, is able to raise up laborers sufficient to do in one week as much work in warning the world of Christ’s coming as has been done in the last hundred years. What he has promised he is able to perform; he has all time for his own; and since he has given his word, we may know that Christ’s coming is “at the doors,” no matter how much appearances may be to the contrary.SITI June 23, 1887, page 379.6

    The fact that a thousand years are with the Lord as one day, shows that “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Instead, therefore, of caviling at the promise of God, or wickedly saying in our hearts, “My Lord delayeth his coming,” we should thank God for his longsuffering in waiting for us to get ready for the coming of the Lord, and should cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, knowing that the night is far spent, and the day is at hand. W.SITI June 23, 1887, page 379.7

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    J. T. C. writes: “As Oregon is about to vote on an amendment to the constitution, to prohibit the manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquors, what should Seventh-day Adventists do,-vote for it, or sit still?” We answer unhesitatingly, Vote for it, by all means. When prohibition is joined to a political party, there are many temperance people who cannot conscientiously vote for it, and this is especially true, when, as is usually the case, the party favors Sunday laws. But when the question of prohibition comes before the people on its own merits, as a simple amendment to the constitution, and not as a political issue, every good citizen should use all his influence in favor of it.SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.1

    The New York Observer remarks that there are at least two classes in that community who can “look upon the record of the last Legislature with feelings of profound satisfaction. They are the liquor dealers and the pool-sellers.” There is yet another class who, along with these two, ought to look upon that Legislature with profound satisfaction. To satisfy a capricious demand of the churches, that same Legislature made the Sabbath of the Lord a half-holiday. Perhaps, however, the satisfaction on their part will not be so profound as is desired until the Sabbath is made wholly a holiday, and the Sunday rigorously enforced upon all people. But with politics as it is, and with the start that they have, it is probable that their supreme satisfaction will not be long delayed.SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.2

    June 4, Cardinal Gibbons arrived in Baltimore from Rome, whither he went to receive the red hat from the Pope. His return was in such state as befitted “a prince of the church.” It is true that the Government did not send a revenue cutter to meet him, as was done for the Papal ablegate last fall, but the railroad company provided a special car for him, and all the officials of the city of Baltimore headed the immense procession which turned out to do him honor. After parading the streets to the music of no less than eleven bands, the procession halted at the cathedral; “his eminence” entered, and sat down upon his throne, when the clergy were graciously allowed to approach him and kiss his great ring. And all this was an “informed reception” tendered to a “prince” who “reigns” in Republican America.SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.3

    One of the chief characteristics of the denomination known as Disciples, is its teaching that the moral law is abolished. It is therefore with equal surprise and pleasure that we find the following in the Christian Standard, the leading journal of that denomination:-SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.4

    “All of the commands of the stone tables are ‘thou shalt nots’ and warnings. But there is the same love in the law as in the gospel. The difference is only one of expression, as when I warn one against venturing into a roaring flood, and when, on his leaping madly in, I follow to save him. In the law love warns; in the gospel it plunges in and saves.”SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.5

    The truth on that point could not be more clearly and tersely put. It expresses the exact relation of the law and the gospel. The law warns the man of the danger; when its warning has been unheeded, the gospel pulls the man out; then the law still warns him to keep out.SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.6

    Says Prof. W. H. Green, D. D., in the Sunday School Times of May 28:-SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.7

    “The obligation of the Sabbath is based upon the Lord’s example in the work of creation, and his blessing the Sabbath-day (Genesis 2:3), which, like every other blessing connected with creation, was pronounced at the time, and not deferred until the promulgation of the fourth commandment from Mount Sinai. The Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:27), not for the Jews alone. This command is of universal obligation, as truly as any other in the decalogue.”SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.8

    These statements do not derive their truth from the fact that they are made by Professor Green; they are true whether anyone believes them or not. They are a part of the Bible truths concerning the Sabbath, which the SIGNS is constantly teaching. Perhaps some who do not dare to trust their own judgment as to the truth of any statement, may accept what Professor Green says as a foundation upon which to build positive knowledge for themselves on the Sabbath question.SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.9

    It is a fixed principle that a law must always carry with it a penalty; and of course the law-making power must prescribe the penalty. It is also true that the one who makes a law has the right and the power to pardon the transgressor. Now let us apply these principles to the idea that the apostles made laws for the guidance of Christians. If it is claimed that the apostles did enact the moral laws which people are now to follow, then it must also be claimed that they had power to execute the penalty of the law upon the transgressor, or to forgive him. But they are dead, and therefore if they were lawgivers, and their laws are to be enforced, they must either be somewhere administering the government of the earth, or else they must have committed their power to someone else on earth. This savors considerably of Catholic doctrine, and of Popery; but it is not the worst error into which they fall, who claim that the apostles made laws to take the place of the law of God. If they made laws which superseded the Sinaitic law, then of course the sacrifice of Christ, who was offered for the transgressions of the law, can be of no avail under the new law. Therefore it follows that if the law of God be done away, and a new law made by the apostles be in force, one of three things must exist: either there is no pardon for transgressors, or another sacrifice has been made, or else every sinner atones for his own sins. But neither of these can be the case; for besides the name of Christ, “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 3:12. There is no salvation in any other. It seems strange that people with reasoning faculties should say that the apostles made the laws which we are now to obey. Even a child must see that so long as God is king and judge of the universe, so long must the entire universe, not excepting the inhabitants of this little earth, be subject to his law. And he has but one law, and that is the perfect, holy, just, and good law which was spoken from Mount Sinai.SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.10

    When we speak slightingly of the “advanced thought” of this generation, we must not be understood as deprecating new ideas. There are two kinds of advanced thought. One is the kind which does not begin to advance till it has turned aside from the truth. When a man turns his face from the word of God, every step of his advance must be into deeper darkness. The farther he goes with his face from the word, the deeper is his darkness, and consequently the more “advanced” ideas he has, the greater is his exhibition of human folly. But the man who clings to the law may advance as much as he pleases. He will find in it enough for constant meditation. To such, knowledge is promised: “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” John 7:17. “For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous; he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.” Proverbs 2:6, 7. And “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18. The man who clings close to the law, may welcome new ideas; yea, he may earnestly pray, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalm 119:18.SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.11

    In the May Missionary Review Dr. McCosh tells the story of two young men, graduates of Princeton, both of whom were sons of missionaries, and were born in India, who started out last fall to visit the various colleges and theological seminaries, and invite students to declare themselves to be “willing and desirous, God permitting, to be foreign missionaries.” As the result of their work, 1,800 students, out of about 100 educational institutions, have signified their desire to become missionaries. Dr. McCosh thinks that the majority, at least, of those who have offered themselves are sincere and thoroughly in earnest, and says that if the movement is genuine it lays a great responsibility on the church. The point is that the church expects to convert the world, and can with difficulty secure the funds to support those who are already in foreign fields.SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.12

    “‘The Eighth Day’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is no greater cause for wonder in this age of wonders, than the inventions which men devise to bolster up Sunday keeping. We know of no so-called argument that has ever been invented that is more wonderful than that which makes Ezekiel 43:26, 27 a basis for Sunday observance. The wonder is that people with the ability to read and reason for themselves should seriously entertain it. The verses read as follows:-SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.13

    “Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves. And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord God.”SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.14

    This reference to “the eighth day” is said to be a prophetic statement that Sunday should be kept. We wonder (1) how people who cannot locate the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, can so readily tell on what day the seven days of purification were to begin, so as to make the eighth day come on Sunday; (2) how, after they have so begun their count as to make the eighth day fall on Sunday, they would manage to have the next eighth day come on Sunday also; (3) how they make “upon the eighth day, and so forward” refer to every eighth day; and (4) how they can find in a Jewish sacrificial ordinance the slightest reference to a rest-day of any kind.SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.15

    The argument from this text is so flimsy, so far fetched, and so absurd, that it seems like folly to notice it, yet honest people who were groping for light, have stumbled over it. One text will show the absurdity of the argument. In Leviticus 22:27 we read: “When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the Lorrd.” Now according to the Sunday argument from Ezekiel 43:27, this means that the young sheep or goat should remain with its mother seven days, and that on every eighth day afterward it should be offered for a burnt-offering! That is absurd, it is true, but no more so than it is to talk about keeping Sunday on every eighth day.SITI June 23, 1887, page 384.16

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