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    Contents

    1887

    January 6, 1887

    “A Few Principles of Interpretation” The Signs of the Times, 13, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The SIGNS OF THE TIMES is an expository journal. The main object for which it was established was to present Scripture truth in the simplest and clearest manner possible. During the coming year it will be our endeavor to make it meet this object more fully than ever before, and as a preliminary, we wish to lay down for our readers a few of the principles which we shall invariably follow in our interpretation, and which, if followed, in a prayerful and candid spirit, cannot fail to lead a person to a proper understanding of the sacred word.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.1

    1. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. We accept this fully, and apply it to the entire Bible. The Bible does not simply contain the truth, but it is the truth, and the whole truth. Aside from the Bible there can be no moral or spiritual truth and light. And whatever disagrees with the Bible, whether it be in the realm of morals or of science, must be false. The principle here laid down must underlie all sound Biblical exegesis. If this be not admitted, it can be of no use to any to study the Bible.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.2

    2. The Bible is one connected, consistent, harmonious book. It is composed of many books, but these books form only one Book. They are not independent one of another. This Book was written by many different persons, yet it has only one author, and that is the Spirit of God. The different parts are inspired by the same Spirit, and have one purpose; there is a vital connection between them. They are characterized by oneness of thought. As Christ prayed that his disciples might be one, so that the world might know that the Father had sent him (John 17:21), so the perfect harmony between the various parts of the Bible is proof that it came from God. If we accept the Bible as the inspired word of God we must expect to find it harmonious throughout, for God cannot deny himself. So whoever wishes to study the word of God with any degree of satisfaction, must first fix in his mind the fact that the Bible cannot contradict itself.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.3

    As a corollary to this principle it might be stated that the Bible does not need to be “harmonized.” To attempt that is a thankless task, because the Bible is already harmonized. It is an instrument that was tuned by the Almighty himself, and every string vibrates in harmony with every other. All that the Bible student has to do is to study the harmony that already exists. If two texts seem to be contradictory, the student may rest assured that he does not understand one or the other, or perhaps either one. But when the position which he holds on one text is upheld by other texts bearing on the same point, and is not contradicted by any other text; that is, when a position taken in regard to any text is consistent with the entire Bible, that of itself is evidence that that position is correct; for the Bible could not agree with a false position.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.4

    3. The Bible must interpret itself. By the Bible man may be “thoroughly furnished unto all good works;” hence it cannot need the addition of matter outside of itself.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.5

    4. One part of the Bible cannot be fully understood when taken by itself, apart from its connection, or without reference to the remaining portion of the Bible. This might also be called a corollary to the second proposition laid down. If the Bible is one connected whole, then all the parts are necessary to the formation of that whole. There is a mutual dependence between all the parts, and therefore in considering one part, attention must be given to the other parts. True, we may not misunderstand one portion of the Bible even though we study it by itself; but it is certain that we cannot have a complete understanding of it until we study it with reference to the Bible as a whole. This principle is as true of an entire book of the Bible as it is of a single text. There is no book of the Bible upon which light is not thrown by every other book in the Bible. To say that any two books in the Bible have no connection, is almost equivalent to saying that the Bible is not all inspired by the same Spirit.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.6

    5. Terms used in one place in the Bible, with a certain signification, must have the same meaning attached to them in every other place where they occur, provided the same subject is under consideration. If this be not true, then we have no certain means of knowing what the Bible teaches. Let us apply this principle. In the eighth chapter of Daniel we find a symbolic prophecy in which certain days are mentioned. Now to say that these days mean literal days of twenty-four hours each, would make nonsense of the prophecy, for we should have several great kingdoms covering a period of only a little more than six years. But in Ezekiel 4:3-6 we find another prophecy, also symbolic, in which a day is expressly declared to stand for a year. So we conclude that in every prophecy where a day is used as a symbol, it signifies a year.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.7

    In like manner we find horns used as a symbol in the seventh and eighth chapters of Daniel, in both of which chapters they are plainly declared to symbolize kingdoms. Therefore we justly conclude that whenever in the Bible a horn is used as a symbol, it represents a kingdom or nation.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.8

    Let the reader study these principles well, and get them fixed in his mind, and they will help him out of many a difficulty in his study of the Bible. We think these principles are sufficient for present consideration. Next week we shall present a few more that are equally important. W.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.9

    “The Underlying Motive” The Signs of the Times, 13, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The New York Observer of December 18, 1886, says:-SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.10

    “We are glad to find the Central Labor Union of this city taking action on one point in line with the intelligent Christian sentiment of the country. This action is in regard to the enforcement of the Sunday laws. The present movement in favor of Sunday closing was undertaken, it is understood, partly in response to the appeals of labor organizations. These appeals were based, not on religious or moral grounds, but on the necessity to laboring men of one rest-day in seven. The friends of Sabbath observance will be pleased to receive help even up to this point.”SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.11

    This is another proof of the fact that all classes of people are getting ready to unite in demanding a rigid observance of Sunday. The churches are, with few exceptions, a unit on this matter; the various temperance societies are pledged to it; Labor Unions and Knights of Labor are calling for it; even anarchists, all of whom are infidels or Spiritualists, are swinging into line. Surely there is need for some one to lift a warning voice against the tyranny that seems about to be imposed on the people.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.12

    The Christian Union of a late date also says:-SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.13

    “It is very clear that if our Sabbath is to be preserved at all-and we are sanguine of its preservation-the non-religious sentiment of the country must be brought in to reinforce the religious demand for Sabbath rest; and it is increasingly evident that this is entirely practicable.”SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.14

    Yes, that is very evident. But why should we, or anybody else, be compelled to accept a Sabbath which is not “ours.” Those who claim Sunday as their Sabbath, may keep it if they will, but we don’t own any Sabbath, and don’t intend to own any. The Lord has a Sabbath, however, which he expects us to keep, and we intend to keep that, and no other.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.15

    But look for a moment at the selfishness of the proposed action in favor of Sunday. Here is a man who would like to keep Sunday, but who thinks that he cannot keep it unless they have a law compelling him to do so. The reason for this is that his neighbors do not keep Sunday, and if he rests on that day they will get ahead of him in business. To be sure there have been men who have been willing to lose everything in maintaining what they believed to be right, but his Sunday religion is not of that kind. And so, in order that he may not lose a cent by doing what his unenlightened conscience tells him he ought to do, he insists that his neighbors must be compelled to do the same thing, even though the enlightened conscience of some of them may tell them that they ought not to do so.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.16

    The whole Sunday movement is prompted in large measure, not by love for truth, or what is supposed to be truth, but by love of self. And inasmuch as the Sunday-sabbath is purely a human institution, having its origin in selfishness, this is as high a motive as we ought to expect. W.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.17

    “Manner of Christ’s Coming” The Signs of the Times, 13, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Bible furnishes a sufficient answer to every theological vagary that men can devise. One of the modern ideas is that the Lord has already come, and that Christians, or at least those who call themselves such, are already in the immortal state. This idea is not really new, for Paul had to combat it eighteen hundred years ago. Writing of profane and vain babblings he said: “And their word will eat as doth a canker; of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” 2 Timothy 2:17, 18. Indeed, if church history be diligently studied it will be seen that all the “new theology” of these days, is only a revamping of the musty ideas of the church “Fathers,” who were really the “fathers” of all heresy.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.18

    But there is no dogma of modern spiritualistic theology that is more directly contradicted by the Bible than is the one that Christ either has come the second time, or that he comes as often as a good man dies, or that in some way his second coming is a mysterious affair of which nothing can be known until it has taken place. In the chapter which contains the Sabbath-school lesson upon which comments are made in another column, we find the following plain and emphatic words of our Saviour himself:-SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.19

    “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:23-27.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.20

    This one text is sufficient to enable any one to determine the literalness of Christ’s coming. First, false christs will arise; men will say to us, “Christ is out here in the desert;” the command is, “Go not forth;” others will say, “He has appeared in such and such a meeting;” the command is, “Believe it not.” But why may we not believe some of these tales? Why should we not investigate all of them, lest perchance Christ should come and we not know of it? Simply because he will not come in a secret manner. “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” No one can fail to see the vivid lightning flash that covers the whole sky; even though the eyes be closed, that wonderful glare cannot be wholly shut out. And the coming of Christ will be like the lightning’s flash, for brilliancy, because he “shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels” (Matthew 16:27); or, as Paul says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.21

    We said that no one can avoid seeing the vivid lightning flash. So no one can avoid seeing the Son of God when he comes. The apostle John says: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” Revelation 1:7. Although those who have rejected Christ will be loath to see him; although “they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth” (Isaiah 2:19), and will cry to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:16), they will not be able to escape his piercing gaze, nor to shut out from their eyes his terrible and overwhelming glory.SITI January 6, 1887, page 6.22

    In that day there will be no need of anybody’s saying, “Lo, here is Christ, or lo, there.” There will be no chance for mistake. “For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16. That trumpet’s mighty sound will shake the earth; the graves will be opened; those who sleep in Jesus shall rise first, clothed in immortality, while the living righteous ones will be changed “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” and all together will be caught up to be forever with the Lord.SITI January 6, 1887, page 7.1

    These events are near at hand. The signs in the heavens, which Christ announced as indicating his coming near, have been fulfilled. And now that we are in the time when Satan may be expected to work with “all power and signs and lying wonders;” when as an angel of light he will profess to be Christ, it is needful that we indelibly fix in our minds those truths concerning Christ’s second coming, which alone will keep even the elect from being deceived. If we store our minds with the simple truths of the Bible, we shall have wherewith to unveil the deceptions of Satan; and thus God’s word will be a light to our feet and a lamp to our path. W.SITI January 6, 1887, page 7.2

    “A Fulfilling Parable” The Signs of the Times, 13, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Commentary.
    (Sabbath, January 22.)

    “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Matthew 24:32-34. This parable occurs in the midst of one of the last discourses given by our Lord. As indicated in the heading of this note, the parable relates to the present time, and therefore claims our earnest attention. In order to appreciate its force, we must briefly glance at the preceding part of the chapter.SITI January 6, 1887, page 10.1

    The twenty-third chapter of Matthew records the woes which Christ pronounced against the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, and his prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, because of her rejection of all that was good. When he went out of the temple, his disciples called his attention to the wonderful buildings of the temple, the pride of the Jewish nation. “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Verse 2.SITI January 6, 1887, page 10.2

    “And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Verse 3. Here we have two distinct questions. The first, “When shall these things be?” That is, When shall the temple be overthrown? The second, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” It is possible, and from the close connection of the questions seems quite probable, that the disciples supposed that the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple would be at the coming of Christ and the end of the world. But whether they thought so or not is immaterial. In his answer, Christ most plainly indicated that the two events were to be widely separate.SITI January 6, 1887, page 10.3

    It is worthy of notice that the disciples did not question as to whether or not Christ would come again. They well knew that he was to come at the end of the world, when the resurrection would take place. See John 11:24. Their question had reference only to the time of his coming, and the signs which should indicate its nearness. So in the answer, to which the entire chapter is devoted, Christ does not proceed to teach them that he will come, but, considering that as well understood, he proceeds to tell how it may be known when his coming is near.SITI January 6, 1887, page 10.4

    But first he utters a caution: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Verses 4, 5. In verses 23, 24 he repeats this warning. On this point we can do no more at present than to call attention to the fact that Christ did not reprove his disciples for asking, “What shall be the sign of thy coming?” On the contrary, he gave a very full answer. Then surely it must be right to think about the time of Christ’s coming.SITI January 6, 1887, page 10.5

    The Saviour then presents a brief view of the world between the two advents, and mentions a few facts relative to the condition of the world in the time immediately preceding his second coming. Thus in verses 15, 16 he answers the first question of the disciples, telling them when to expect the destruction of Jerusalem. Compare Luke 21:20. After that, “Then,” said he, “shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:21, 22. This can refer to nothing else than the great persecution which the “elect,” the people of God, suffered during the Dark Ages. Under Pagan Rome the saints suffered severely, but the persecution by the heathen was trifling compared with that practiced by professed Christians, after an apostate Christianity had been lifted to the throne of the world. The persecution of true Christians by professed Christians took place within the 1260 years of Papal rule, from 538 to 1798 A.D. At times the persecution was lighter than at other times, but all the time the saints were being worn out, until the Reformation had taken sufficient hold of the people to cause it to cease. This took place in the eighteenth century, some years before the expiration of the 1260 years of Papal supremacy. As the Papacy had not arrived at its full strength when it was exalted, so its power gradually waned until it was debased. And thus, those days of persecution were “shortened.”SITI January 6, 1887, page 10.6

    Right in the little season between the cessation of the great persecution and the close of the 1260 years, in 1798, occurred one of the notable signs of the second coming of Christ-the darkening of the sun and moon. Matthew records this as coming “immediately after the tribulation of those days” (Matthew 24:29); but Mark is more definite, and says that it should take place “in those days, after that tribulation.” Mark 13:24. This was fulfilled in that supernatural darkening of the sun which cause May 19, 1833. True, there have been many light meteoric showers, but this was one the like of which has never been seen, either before or since, and can be fitly described only in the language of the prophet: “And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” Revelation 6:13.SITI January 6, 1887, page 10.7

    It was to these things that our Saviour referred in the text quoted at the beginning of these notes. When the fig-tree, “and all the trees,” says Luke 21:29, puts forth leaves “ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.” No one needs to consult an almanac when he sees such signs; every one knows that they are sure precursors of spring. “So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Luke 21:31. Matthew (24:33) records it: “Know that it is near, even at the doors.” We are not to guess, nor to imagine, but to know. We are commanded to be just as sure of it as we are that summer is near when the buds begin to swell. Who then can say that it is fanaticism to say that we know that the Lord is soon coming? To doubt that his coming is near would be to make Christ a liar. Let us not be found so doing.SITI January 6, 1887, page 10.8

    “Even at the doors.” This is given as an incentive to watchfulness and right living. Says James, using the same figure: “Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned; behold, the judge standeth before the door.” James 5:9. Who dare indulge in bickering and strife? The Judge standeth before the door, and if he should open it and find us engaged in contention, or nursing selfishness and malice and envy, how deplorable would be our condition! Of such an one Christ says: “The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:50, 51. “Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Verse 42. W.SITI January 6, 1887, page 10.9

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The evangelist, Dr. Graves, writes thus to the Herald of Truth, about his work in Los Angeles: “Brother Dorsey has baptized every Sunday since I closed labors there.” Well, he may keep on baptizing every Sunday as long as time lasts, but he can never make it a Christian institution.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.1

    The Catholic Mirror says: “Strange as it may seem, counterfeit money, under the existing law, can be passed with impunity on Sunday.” No doubt the law has an eye to the eternal fitness of things. Sunday being a counterfeit Sabbath, has doubtless an affinity for other counterfeits, and the law-makers have taken this into consideration.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.2

    In his last report to the Christian Stateman, Secretary Wylie tells of a National Reform meeting which he held at Akron, Ind., and says: “The meeting was spiced up with a few questions by a Seventh-day Adventist.” That is all that he says of the matter. Now we now a few of his readers who would like to have a taste of that same spice. We have frequently read in the Stateman about questions propounded by Seventh-day Adventist or Seventh-day Baptists, but have never been favored with any of them. Why is it that they never go into the particulars of such cases? Perhaps if the brother who put those questions would send us the details of the affair, we might know why the spice of the meeting was not reported.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.3

    We are sorry to begin the new volume with an apology, but we are forced to do so. The type for our new dress was ordered weeks ago, but overland freight trains are uncertain, and the type did not come until long after it was due. Having made all calculations for the new type, we had no option but to wait for it. It did not arrive until after the time when the SIGNS usually goes to press. As soon as it came, we put on more than a double force, and by working without an hour’s intermission, we have succeeded in getting the paper out only two days late. Under the circumstances we think we are to be congratulated for our promptness, rather than blamed for our delay, and we believe that our friends will be considerate with us. We intend after this the paper shall be furnished to our patrons promptly on time.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.4

    At the last meeting of the Congregational club of Chicago, the subject under discussion was the relation of evolution to Christianity. Rev. J. L. Scudder said that the influence of science upon theology had been profoundly good. He said it had “forced theology back into its own proper field,” and even there had modified it for good by forcing it to become scientific in its own sphere. It will be noticed in this statement, that science has done all the crowding. Before it theology has meekly retired. It is now in “its own proper field.” Formerly theology presumed to understand the first and second chapters of Genesis, but science taught it not to interfere with matters too deep for it. Other parts of the Bible are also wrested from the feeble grasp of theology, and made “clear” by science. Some parts of the Bible, are still allowed to be within the province of theology, but that theology has become so “scientific” that it has learned better than to believe that the Bible means what it says. Modern theology is getting to be pretty poor stuff; it doesn’t amount to much either as science or as theology.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.5

    A correspondent of the Christian Standard says: “My conviction is that the Sabbath began at creation. It would be just as reasonable to say that the Lord’s day began two thousand years after Christ’s resurrection as to say the Sabbath began two thousand years after creation.” That man’s conviction is sound, but it should lead him a little farther. Why did the Sabbath begin at creation? The answer must be because it commemorated the finished work of creation. Then why should the Sabbath ever cease? Is it not as necessary for us to remember God’s power and goodness as it was for Adam? It certainly is. “But ought we not to commemorate Christ’s resurrection?” Most certainly; but we should do so in the divinely appointed way-by Christian baptism. That, and that alone, can fitly show our faith in the resurrection of our Lord.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.6

    A. G. C.-In the matter of what things are and what things are not allowable on the Sabbath, each one must be conscience for himself, taking the precepts in the Bible as a guide. Caring for domestic animals, feeding horses, milking cows, etc., is, of course, a necessary act, as it is an act of mercy. If a man is employed by a non-professor, we should suppose, under ordinary circumstances, that it would be proper for him to do such necessary chores on the Sabbath, especially if he lived at the home of his employer, and had the regular care of the animals. But these remarks would not apply to a case where there was no work but that of caring for stock. We cannot see how a Sabbath-keeping could consistently engage to work for an unbeliever on a dairy or a stock ranch, and perform his regular daily work on the Sabbath. We do not think that Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22, and 1 Timothy 6:1 apply to such a case as this. But we cannot tell people what their duty is in particular cases, even if we knew all the circumstances. Each one must make the application of principles for himself, being careful not to make too liberal an application when dealing with himself, however lenient he may be with others.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.7

    A correspondent asks what Paul has reference to in 1 Timothy 5:23: “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” The reference seems to be very clear. It seems that Timothy was not strong, and Paul advised him to use a little wine. There would be no trouble over this verse, if people had not imbibed the notion that the juice of the grape does not become wine until it ferments. This is a mistaken notion. The expressed juice of the grape is wine; if it has not fermented, it is sweet wine, just as the fresh juice of apples is sweet cider. Sweet wine is non-intoxicating, and is wholesome; it is often an aid to weak digestion. Therefore Paul advised Timothy to use a little of it. But fermented wine is not wholesome, and produces a decidedly bad effect on the stomach, and therefore we know that the text cannot have reference to fermented or alcoholic wine.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.8

    The New England Conservatory of Music, at Boston, Mass., conducted by Dr. E. Tourgie, proposes to give free instruction to those who are preparing for foreign work, who come bearing suitable indorsement. The instruction will include vocal and instrumental music, the art of teaching vocal music to children; a general knowledge of piano and reed-organ tuning and adjusting, such as will make it possible for them to meet the practical wants of isolated fields; and a knowledge of the fundamental principles of harmony, sufficient to enable them to arrange native music and write the accompanying parts. We feel sure that this generous offer will meet with a hearty response.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.9

    “The Signs for 1887” The Signs of the Times, 13, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    With the beginning of the volume we put on our new dress, we have a new type throughout, the general heading is new and enlarged, and the running titles, department heads, etc., are all new. In fact, everything about the paper is new, except the truths which it advocates; they are as old as creation, and yet even they are new. The columns have been slightly increased in length and diminished in width, thus giving the paper a more symmetrical appearance than formerly. The new dress has involved considerable outlay of means, but we have had in view, as at all other times, only a desire to please our patrons, and to make the paper one for which they could work with enthusiasm. We believe that the changes which we have made will materially aid those who are soliciting subscriptions. A canvasser ought to be able about to take subscriptions on the strength of the good looks of the paper alone.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.10

    But we do not design that anyone who may take the SIGNS OF THE TIMES because he is favorably impressed with its appearance and make-up, shall have occasion to revise his opinion when he begins to read its contents. We hope to make the SIGNS more readable than ever before, while at the same time Bible truth is presented in as clear and forcible a manner as possible. We think that this hope is not without good foundation, because, (1) satisfactory as the paper has been to his readers in the past, we see where improvements may be made; (2) correspondents who have heretofore helped give character to the paper, will still continue to enrich its columns; and (3) we have the promise from other able writers, that during the coming year they will contribute to the SIGNS.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.11

    The departments will be the same as heretofore. Under the head of General Articles, there will be each week an article from Mrs. E. G. White, which alone will be worth price of the paper. Besides this, there will be a good variety of contributed and selected matter.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.12

    The editorial department will contain expository articles, answers to questions on Bible subjects, brief comments on texts of Scripture, and notes on current events in the religious and secular world. While the SIGNS is purely a religious journal, the political kaleidoscope will be carefully watched, because in the actions of the nations of the world, divine prophecy is being fulfilled. True to our name, we shall always endeavor to discern and declare the signs of the times.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.13

    In the Missionary Department there will be reports from both the home and foreign mission field, with such descriptions of those fields as will make them and the work done in them seem more real to the untraveled reader.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.14

    The Commentary is really a branch of the editorial department, and will contain notes on the International lessons, and the comments on the Scripture covered by the lessons in the Youth’s Instructor. It is designed to make this department invaluable to Bible students everywhere.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.15

    We shall still continue to furnish matter on health and temperance, which will be of practical value to every individual; and the Home Circle will, as ever, be instructive while it amuses the children or beguiles a weary hour for the parents.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.16

    In short, it shall be our aim to so conduct the paper that those who read it may be better fitted to discharge the duties which they owe to themselves, to their families, to their neighbors, to their country, and to God, and may be directed into the path of life the eternal. With this aim before us, we have confidence to ask our friends for their assistance in placing the SIGNS OF THE TIMES before many thousand new readers during the year 1887.SITI January 6, 1887, page 16.17

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