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    July 21, 1887

    “Our Senses Not Infallible” The Signs of the Times, 13, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In speaking and writing on the subject of Spiritualism, and the lying wonders that will be manifested by it just before the end, we have often said that in order to stand firm during that trying time, one must have such an implicit, fixed faith in the Bible that he will trust it rather than his senses, and even against the evidence of his senses. A recent published statement to this effect was noted in a leading Spiritualist journal, with the request that we should tell “for what purpose our senses are given us.” This we shall endeavor briefly to do, negatively at least, not especially for the benefit of the questioner, but for thousands of others, who may not be in the snare, but who may be in danger of it through their too great confidence in their own sensations.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.1

    It requires not much thought to convince one that he can know very little by his unaided senses. For instance, our senses would tell us that the earth is stationary, and that it is the sun and moon that move. There is not a sense, even allowing that we have seven instead of five, by which we could tell that the sun does not actually sink into the ocean at night, and in some mysterious way slip around to the east in time to start the next morning on another trip overland. The native Indians have the sense of sight and of hearing far more acutely developed than we have, yet they have never discovered the rotation of the earth. Once, we are told, the question was discussed in a certain tribe that had heard the new-fangled notion from a white man. An old Indian philosopher took steps to settle the question effectually. He drove a stake into the ground, and then placed a round stone on top. In the morning the stone was found in its place on the top of the stake, and the whole tribe knew at once that there was nothing to the white man’s notion that the earth revolves, for if it did, would not the stone have fallen from the stake during the night?SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.2

    We repeat: The senses of savages are far more acute than those of others, yet a knowledge of the movements of the heavenly bodies exists only among civilized nations. Why is this? The skeptic will no doubt laugh at our reply, but we have not the slightest doubt that it is because civilized nations have the influence of the Bible. It is because of the direct or indirect influence of the Bible that nations are civilized, even though they may not acknowledge this influence. We can trace the increase of knowledge right along with the increased circulation of the Bible. In the Dark Ages, when the Bible was almost unknown, scientific knowledge was at a low ebb, yet may hundreds of years before, a book had been written, which said: “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” Job 26:7. And the same writer said that the winds have weight. Job 28:25. Where did he get his knowledge? From God.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.3

    We are not claiming for the Bible that it is in the popular sense a scientific book. That is, it is not designed as a text-book on philosophy; it was written for a different purpose. But we do claim that it is scientifically correct, and that it is the foundation of all knowledge. It is only the literal truth when the Bible says: “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Without stopping to dwell on this point, we will simply say that, notwithstanding the infidel taunts that Christianity has done nothing for science, the men who have added the most to our store of real knowledge, as Newton and Kepler, were devout Christians, and the vague hypotheses and groundless assumptions that have had to be abandoned, were devised by men who scouted the Bible.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.4

    Our senses are not infallible. “Optical illusions” are among the most common occurrences. The moon has a fixed, unvarying size, yet there are probably no two persons to whom it has exactly the same appearance. One will say that it looks as large around as a cart-wheel, while another will say that it looks no larger than the bottom of a quart cup. Of a dozen persons who hear a statement, scarcely any two will repeat it exactly alike.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.5

    Yet it will be said, and truly too, that we cannot perceive anything except through some one or all of our senses. It is only by means of our senses, after all, that we are able to realize the fact that the earth is round, and that it revolves on its axis and moves through space. But let it be remembered that this knowledge comes to us only after our senses are educated; and faith is the prime agent in this education. We may say that we use our reason in determining the truthfulness of any statement that is made to us; but we have to accept certain things on trust as a basis for our reasoning. Certain things must be accepted simply on the authority of the one who tells them to us, before we can have any starting-point for our reason. The science of mathematics, which calls for the exercise of pure reason, depends upon certain principles which the child must take upon trust. And the whole of our knowledge of nature depends upon faith. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.6

    Now we come to the phenomena of Spiritualism, and we will take the phenomena of materialization, which is the we plus ultra in the “proof” of Spiritualism. There are only three senses available in testing the claims of this phenomena,-seeing, hearing, and feeling. By these it may be ascertained that the spirits that appear are real beings. But this does not settle the case at all, for we do not question the fact that real beings do appear, and will appear more frequently as the end approaches. The real question is, Are these beings what they profess to be,-the spirits of men who have once lived on this earth? The only help that one can get from his senses in determining this point is through looking at them and hearing their testimony. As to the first, we know that cases of mistaken identity are very common, and that it is possible for a man to so disguise himself as to deceive his most intimate friends, making them think that he is somebody else; or, on the other hand, a stranger may so change his appearance as to impose on people, and make them believe that he is some one of their acquaintances. This being the case, it is evident that seeing the appearance of one’s dead friend is by no means positive evidence that it is indeed that friend.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.7

    If it is said that the spirits tell things that were known only to the hearer and the departed friend, that is easily explained by the Bible doctrine that “they are the spirits of devils.” Once allowing that there are angels, both good and bad, who are of a higher order of creation than man, and who are invisible to our natural sight, and the conclusion is necessary that they must know many things that we do or say when we think we are unseen and unheard.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.8

    Then we come to the testimony of the spirits themselves. We may hear them say that they are indeed our friends who have been long dead. But this appeal is not to our senses but to our trust in their word. They say that they are the spirits of dead men, and the Bible says that they are the spirits of devils. So it is simply a question of evidence, and we must decide as to which is the more reliable. But Spiritualists themselves admit that the testimony of the spirits is unreliable. The editor of the Golden Gate says:-SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.9

    “Whoever surrenders his individual judgment, and places his trust implicitly upon the communications of spirits, as given through promiscuous mediumship, is almost certain to be deceived. It matters not how confiding his trust, or implicit his faith, nor how sincere or honest he may be in his intentions, he will find the average spiritual message a broken reed, if he attempt to lean upon it to the exclusion of the staff of his own reason.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.10

    Again, in his issue of May 6, 1886, he gave a fae simile of some slate writing done by the spirits, and in commenting upon it he said:-SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.11

    “It is not claimed that this writing was done, in all instances, or even in any instance, by the spirit giving the name. Much of it, no doubt, is done by the medium’s control, or by spirits skilled in the manipulation of the pencil tips; and such spirits act as mediums for those less proficient in the matter. This explains the poor grammar and orthography sometimes witnessed in communications from spirits who, in earth life, we know would never have committed such mistakes.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.12

    That is to say that the awkward language in a communication received from Webster is due to the acknowledged fact that Webster never wrote it! A very good reason. But when it is admitted by Spiritualists themselves, that communications from the spirits are untrustworthy, the last plea for the evidence of our senses in determining their character, is voluntarily withdrawn.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.13

    In contrast with the confessedly false testimony of the spirits, we have the testimony of the Bible, which is not yea, and nay, but yea and amen. It is always consistent with itself, which is one of the highest evidences of truth. That book assures us that “the dead know not anything” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) for when “his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth,” and “in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:4. We are told that “the dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence,” (Psalm 115:17); that “his sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them” (Job 24:21); and that “neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:6. It also tells us that these wondrous miracles that are alleged to be performed by departed spirits of men, are the work of “the spirits of devils” (Revelation 16:14); and this tallies exactly with the Spiritualist’s statement that the spirits are untrustworthy; for the devil is a liar and the father of it; it is his nature to lie.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.14

    Therefore we repeat that when the devil shall come down “with great power, knowing that he hath but a short time,” and shall work “with all power, and signs, and lying wonders,” the only safeguard any person will have will be his faith in the sure testimony of the Bible. Our senses will be appealed to, to bear witness of the reality of these miracles, and so far as the senses themselves can determine, the spirits will be what they profess to be; but we must remember that our senses may be deceived, and can therefore do nothing but distrust their evidence, and depend on that higher evidence-implicit faith in God’s word. Happy will it be for those who are now trusting that word so implicitly, and testing it so fully by a practical application of its teachings to their lives, that when that trying time comes they will turn to it as the most natural thing to do, and will meet every attempt at deception with the words, “It is written.” W.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.15

    “‘Baptized for the Dead’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “If Christ did not preach to the spirits of the dead in prison, as explained in Vol. 13, No. 17, and the dead are unconscious, then what does 1 Corinthians 15:29 mean? E. J. G.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.16

    That text reads as follows: “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” We do not know what view our friend has of this; but if he thinks it has any bearing whatever on the condition of man in death, he must believe in the theory of a probation after death. We will not take the space here to again show the fallacy of that theory, but will give the simplest exposition of the text in question.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.17

    The whole chapter is a defense of the doctrine of the resurrection. The apostle has nothing directly to say of the condition of man in death, for that is unnecessary; the very fact that he is demonstrating the truth of the resurrection, shows that he regarded the dead as unconscious. For if the dead were to be unconscious-that is, if they were not really dead-there would be no necessity for a resurrection. Incidentally, however, the apostle shows the condition of the dead when he says that if there be no resurrection, “then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” That is to say that the promised resurrection is all that stands between the dead in Christ and eternal extinction.SITI July 21, 1887, page 438.18

    Christian baptism is an act expressive of faith in the death and resurrection of Christ. See Romans 6:3-14. It is also an act representative of faith in the future resurrection, for the resurrection of Christ was a pledge of the general resurrection. He says, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” So when a person is baptized he shows (1) his belief that he is a sinner under sentence of death; (2) his acceptance of the condemnation as just; (3) his belief that Christ “was delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification;” and (4) that by being thus baptized into Christ’s death, and rising to walk in new ness of life, he will finally have a resurrection from the dead, and will live with Christ. Paul’s argument is evidently addressed to those who professed Christianity, and who believed in baptism, but who questioned the doctrine of the resurrection. To such he shows the inconsistency of their position, by proving that if there be no resurrection, Christ is not raised, and if Christ be not raised, those who are fallen asleep in Christ are perished; and since if they are baptized it is only into a dead Christ, their being baptized amounts to nothing, since baptism derives all its force from the resurrection.SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.1

    “Virtue at a Discount” The Signs of the Times, 13, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is nothing that can equal the certainty of some people, concerning things that have never been revealed, unless it is their condition of blissful uncertainty concerning things that are clearly set forth in the sacred word. For instance, notwithstanding the plain wording of the fourth commandment, it is a rare thing to find one who knows that the seventh day of the week, Saturday, is the Sabbath of the Lord, and ought to be kept holy, while the same ones who express so much doubt on this point, are very sure that any man who has died in the belief that the soul is immortal, has gone to Heaven.SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.2

    An instance of the positiveness is given in a matter-of-course way in the Congregationalist account of the closing exercises of Andover Theological Seminary. After the professors had completed their work of examination on the subject of eschatology, the board of visitors began their catechizing thus: “Are Socrates and Plato in Heaven?” And the reply came back promptly, “Yes, sir.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.3

    Unfortunately we are not told why Socrates and Plato are so undoubtedly enjoying the bliss of the saved, so we must examine their character for ourselves. Socrates wrote nothing, and about all we know of his teaching is what we learn from Plato, who was his echo. One or two statements, however, will throw a little light on his character. In the first chapter of his “Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures,” Dr. Horne, speaking of the ancient heathen philosophers, says:-SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.4

    “Truth was but of small account among many, even of the best heathen; for they taught that on many occasion a lie was to be preferred to the truth itself! To which we may add that the unlimited gratification of their sensual appetites, and the commission of unnatural crimes, was common even among the most distinguished teachers of philosophy, and was practiced even by Socrates himself.... ‘The most notorious vices,’ says Quinetilian, speaking of the philosophers of his time, ‘are screened under that name;’ and they do not labor to maintain the character of philosophers by virtue and study, but conceal the most vicious lives under an austere look and singularity of dress.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.5

    It is a well-known fact that Socrates had a dream, or familiar spirit, from whom he derived all his knowledge, and upon whose counsel he depended for direction in the affairs of life. In other words, Socrates was a Spiritualist, and his life was perfectly in accord with the teachings of Spiritualism when they are carried out to the fullest length. We have the authority of Potter’s “Antiquities of Greece” for the statement that “it was frequent in some parts of Greece to borrow one another’s wives. At Athens, Socrates lent his wife Xantippe to Aleibiades.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.6

    Of Plato’s morals we learn an abundance from his own teachings. He it was who formulated the pernicious doctrine that was held in principle by all heathen, and is a cardinal doctrine of modern Spiritualism, that man is the sole judge of his own actions; that truth is inherent in the human soul, or, in other words, that man himself is God. Consistently with a doctrine which opens the way for the fullest gratification of one’s passions, we find that Plato advocated community of women, and the education of them the same as men, and together with them, even so far as exercizing together in the gymnasium naked. He also advocated perjury in matters of love, advocated also that “on an expedition soldiers should be allowed unbounded license both with respect to women and boys, as by this means they will be more inflamed to gain the victory.” He himself was no more austere in his personal life than was his master, Socrates, and made no secret of his association with prostitutes.SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.7

    Yet these are the men whom modern theology unhestitatingly grants a place in Heaven, thus anticipating the sentence of God, the Judge of all. And why do they do this? Solely because to them the Christian church owes the doctrine of the inherent immortality of the soul. All their vice and immoral teachings are condoned, and they are translated to the third Heaven simply because they taught that the soul was immortal. Surely such teaching places virtue at a discount, and really puts a premium upon vice. Nowadays when a man dies, no matter if he had been perfectly indifferent concerning religion, if it can be remembered by anyone that he ever expressed a belief in the immortality of the soul, he is at once set down as undoubtedly a Christian, although his belief in immortality had no connection whatever with Christ.SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.8

    Socrates and Plato are accounted as saved because they taught the doctrine of the inherent immortality of the soul. Now it is susceptible of the clearest proof that their immortality, which would most surely shut them out of Heaven (Ephesians 5:5) unless they repent, of which there is not the slightest evidence, was the direct result of their belief in the immortality of the soul. Here is the proof:-SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.9

    The apostle Paul tells us that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23. Now their belief in immortality was not based upon faith at all. It was based solely on self-conceit and egotism. They had so exalted an idea of their own attainments, and of the powers of their own mind, that they could not conceive of anything in the universe greater than man. They thought that the mind of man was “lord of itself and of all the world beside;” and that all knowledge was inherent in the human soul. Thus while they professed belief in the gods, and even in one supreme God, they had no higher conception of God than that he was like themselves (Psalm 50:21); for they thought that they themselves were part of God, and their gods were dead men. But if knowledge was inherent in the human soul, it must be, they reasoned, the latent knowledge that was acquired in some anterior state of being; and if man was a part of God, he must be immortal; that is, mind being supreme could have neither beginning nor end. Thus their belief in the supremacy of the mind of man was inseparable from their belief in the immortality of the soul; the two were one. But their exaltation of the human mind led them into the grossest licentiousness, for they thought that whatever the mind conceived must be right and proper. Thus “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” They had faith only in themselves, and that was, of course, no faith at all; and this self-exaltation led them into sin.SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.10

    At some future time we shall show, what is here implied, that all the evil that has cursed this earth sprung from the teaching of the immortality of the soul. We are aware that some will regard such language as almost blasphemy, but they will change their minds when they study the subject from the Bible standpoint. Let no one think that we are not believers in immortality. We believe that Christ “brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” and that all who truly believe in Christ will be clothed with immortality when he comes. We believe in immortality that is received through faith, which exalts Christ, and not in immortality which a man has without faith, which exalts man and ignores Christ. A belief in immortality through Christ, is Christianity; a belief in immortality without Christ, is paganism, even though it be taught in a professedly Christian theological seminary. W.SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.11

    “The Gospel of the Kingdom, and the End” The Signs of the Times, 13, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Our Saviour taught us, in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, that the gospel should be preached in all the world, and then the end would come. How is it that the gospel was preached to every creature under heaven in Paul’s day (Colossians 1:23) and the end is not yet? Please explain. A.J.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.12

    We think that the explanation may be found in a portion of Matthew 24:41 which our correspondent did not quote, and in the context of the same passage. The text reads: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” “This gospel of the kingdom” can be nothing else than that of the preaching of the coming of our Lord in his kingdom. Now while it is true that Paul and the other apostles taught that Christ would come again, they did not set his coming forth as an event immediately to take place, but on the contrary warned the people against the idea that his coming was immediately at hand. Knowing, as the apostles did, that the day of the Lord could not come until after the great apostasy, and the revealing of “the man of sin,” “the son of perdition,” the Papacy, it is not possible that they should preach “this gospel of the kingdom,” just as it must be preached when the kingdom is about to be set up. They taught the people to look forward to it as being the grand consummation of all their hopes, but they did not teach them to expect it in their day.SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.13

    But the explanation is found chiefly in the context of Matthew 24:14, which shows when that passage applies. In this and the preceding verses of the chapter, beginning with the fourth, Jesus has given a brief answer to the question, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” It is very evident that verses 4-11 cover in brief the same ground that is covered in verses 21-47. “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Verse 7. This did not take place in Paul’s day, nor for many years after. In Paul’s day the Roman Empire was a unity, and there was no general uprising such as is indicated in this verse. The reference is unmistakably to the conflicts of nations and kingdoms which resulted in the overthrow of the great Roman Empire, and the establishment of the Papacy, which was but the beginning of sorrows.SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.14

    This conclusion is verified by verses 9, 10: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” After the rising up of nations and kingdoms, and the establishment of the Papacy, which was the beginning of sorrows (verse 8), came the terrible persecution, during which the saints of God were delivered up to be slain, and they were hated of all nations for the sake of Christ.SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.15

    Then verses 11-14 brings to view the terribly lax state of morality that will exist even in the professed church of God in the last days (see 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5, 12, 13), when the love of many shall wax cold, and then comes the statement that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Verse 14. Now it seems evident that this statement is entirely independent of the general one made by Paul. This one refers to a special time. In the days of Christ and the apostles the world had wonderful light. The gospel in its purity was carried everywhere. (See Acts 2:8-11.) But the great apostasy almost drove the knowledge of the gospel from the earth, and in the Dark Ages generations of men lived in darkness greater than that of many of the heathen before the time of Christ. But a reform was prophesied. The Reformation begun by Luther and others was to go on until the work of reformation should culminate in the Third Angel’s Message, which should bring the gospel of the kingdom to all nations; and when all the world had received the warning message, and the whole earth had been lightened with its glory, then should the end come.SITI July 21, 1887, page 439.16

    This prophecy has nearly reached its complete fulfillment, and the end is close at hand. And now it behooves all to heed the admonition, “Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” W.SITI July 21, 1887, page 440.1

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following from the Independent is a very sound opinion of a widely prevalent practice. With that the advice might be followed in all the pulpits in the land:-SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.1

    “The minister that is constantly on the lookout among current events for the topics of sensational sermons on the Sabbath, and uses his Bible mainly for texts on which to hang the sermons, is almost anything but a preacher of the gospel. He had better read his Bible more and study current events less. He will thereby better edify the church, and be the means of saving more souls.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.2

    Sunday evening, July 10, the eminent Baptist preacher, Dr. J. D. Fulton, of Brooklyn, N. Y., delivered an address in Oakland on “Romanism in America.” It was an excellent portrayal of the encroachments of the Papacy in our country and upon our institutions. Yet we cannot see any prospect that the Doctor’s remedy will prove adequate to conquer the disease-that is, to have Rome and Romanists all to turn Protestant. The Doctor’s diagnosis was most excellent, but his prescription we are confident will never prove effectual.SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.3

    The Mirror says that “a Catholic prayer cannot be too circumspect in dealing with unhappy differences that are liable to crop out now and then in an institution embracing men of every cast of mind and temperament.” And that is a fact; for it is by no means a pleasant thing for anybody, either Catholic or Protestant, to retract honestly expressed convictions without being convinced that they are erroneous; but that is just what Catholic papers must do if in dealing with unhappy differences they chance to express opinions not entertained by the Pope or even by the bishop of the diocese in which they are published. Truly, papers which support infallibility should be both circumspect and servile; they must be the latter if they would remain Catholic; and a good degree of circumspection renders the servility much less apparent though none the less real.SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.4

    A paper recently read before a Boston missionary society speaks thus of the native Christians in the Sandwich Islands:-SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.5

    “Commercial prosperity and a misguided king have done much to increase the temptations to wrong-doing, mainly in the way of liquor-drinking, a revival of heathenish dances and official corruption, which have been fostered and even pressed on the people by the king and his ministers.... Still there are probably no people who yield more readily to good influences than the Hawaiians; ... and they are always and everywhere ready to join actively in church and Sunday-school work when it is made attractive.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.6

    And in this respect they are not at all unlike thousands of professed Christians in more favored lands. It is a pretty hard matter to find any great number of people anywhere who are willing “to join actively in church and Sunday-school work” unless “it is made attractive.” And that is why there is so much show and so little reality in the religion of the present day. The people not only in Hawaii but everywhere are “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God,” and that is why we have so much “church work” that simply ministers to the passions and appetites of those who are drawn into the church because religion “is made attractive.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.7

    If all the modern devices for making the church attractive, from the oyster supper to the latest invention, the “donkey social,” were once and forever banished from Christendom, there might be fewer names upon the church books, but it is pretty certain that there would be more in the Lamb’s Book of Life.SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.8

    The following from the Independent is, we believe, strictly according to the facts in the matter. We have no doubt that much the same line of thought has occurred to almost everyone who has thought upon the subject at all. It seems that in most theological seminaries the Bible is the thing that is studied the least. And so far as we have been able to observe the evil is not corrected even when the students leave the seminaries and get into the pulpit:-SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.9

    “It has often occurred to us that our theological seminaries do not sufficiently, especially in the matter of theology, teach the theology of the Bible as the word of God. The young men are taught systematic theology, dogmatic theology, and polemic theology, but in our judgment not sufficiently taught the theology of the Word. We have been struck with this defect when they appear before councils or presbyteries, and are examined as to their qualifications for the Christian ministry. In far too many instances, indeed almost as a general rule, so far as our observation has been extended, they have been unable to give their reasons from the Bible for what they believe. Put them to the task of citing proof-texts for their opinions, and they usually show a lamentable defect in their education. They do not seem to be as familiar with the word of God as they ought to be. The language of the Scriptures does not readily occur to their lips. This proves that they have not been thoroughly trained in Biblical knowledge, which we regard as absolutely primary in all training for the gospel ministry. For this kind of knowledge there is no substitute. It is the sine qua non, and should take the precedence of everything else.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.10

    Mrs. Leavitt, who is making a journey around the world in the interests of the World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, sends the following word from Siam:-SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.11

    “DEAR REVEREND MISSIONARY BOARDS: Pray do not send out any more wine-bibbing, cigar-smoking missionaries; there is bad example enough in all these lands from ungodly men of Christian lands who are in Government employ and engage in business. Let Christian missionaries be so free from all these things that no poor soul or body can be injured by following their example.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.12

    That any such should ever have been sent at all, is entirely too bad. Yet we do not see exactly how it is that a wine-bibbing, cigar-smoking missionary in Siam is any worse than is a wine-bibbing, cigar-smoking minister in America. If such do not represent Christianity there neither do they here. And how missionaries, ministers, or people can practice such things and yet think themselves Christians is something we cannot understand. It shows an estimate of the virtue of Christ that is deplorably low.SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.13

    The Healdsburg school begins Monday, July 25. All who expect to attend this term should be there the first day if possible, much will be lost otherwise. Also remember the dedicatory services of the new meeting-house at Healdsburg, Sabbath and first-day, July 30 and 31. Meetings will commence Sabbath eve, the 29. Come to the meeting praying, and bringing the blessing of God with you.SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.14

    “Not a Godless Nation?—Why Not?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian at Work declares of France that “the nation is not godless,” and in proof of the statement adduces the fact that there was celebrated in the Paris churches “the other Sunday, the Fite Dieu, or God’s Festival.” It says:-SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.15

    “The Madeleine Church was especially decorated for the occasion and the ceremonies, closing with a procession, were performed with the scenic splendor of the Roman ritual.... The procession, as it wound along the church and descended the steps at the rear of the edifice, presented a most striking and effective picture, with the priests in gorgeous vestments, the acolytes, or altar boys, and choristers in their snowy surplices and crimson girdles, and the numerous school-children in white veils and dresses, who carried banners and pennons.... A well-dressed man who was looking on, neglected, either unintentionally or with design, to take off his hat. He was instantly set upon by a dozen persons, whose religious enthusiasm had been suddenly kindled by the music, the flowers, and the incense, and was severely beaten. He escaped, all bleeding, from their hands, and his clothes were torn almost to shreds.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.16

    On, no! France is not godless. Neither is China, nor Hindostan, nor any other Catholic or heathen nation. And in all these lands their “godliness” and their “religious enthusiasm” find expression in about the same way. In view of this report it is a happy thing that we have the assurance of the Christian at Work that France “is not godless;” otherwise we might be inclined to doubt whether such actions were a manifestation of the genuine righteousness that becometh a nation. But this undoubted assurance, supported by such signal proofs, we suppose establishes once for all the important fact that France is a godly nation; which fact, with the proofs, we commend to the National Reform Association. The United States alone among nations is “godless.” But in that respect may she remain forever just as she is. We have no desire to see here Popish processions or anything else that shall kindle the “enthusiasm” of violent national religionists.SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.17

    “Puritan ‘Rights’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Rev. Geo. C. Adams, writing from St. Louis to the Advance about the Sunday law, says:-SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.18

    “The charge is freely made that it is an effort to make a ‘Puritanical’ Sunday, and so it is; for the Puritan certainly believed in equal rights for all and was not willing to allow any privileged classes.”SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.19

    Yes, indeed! The Puritans of New England “certainly believed in equal rights for allPuritans, but they just as certainly believed in no rights at all for anybody else, not even the right to live, in New England. They were indeed “not willing to allow any privileged classes” except Puritans. In them were summed up all rights and all privileges, even to the right and privilege of hanging Quakers and witches, whipping Baptists and banishing dissenters of all kinds, under pain of death. Theirs was the right to compel people to go to church on Sunday and listen to sermons such as, said one of the victims, “was meat to be digested, but only by the heart or stomach of an ostrich.” Theirs was the right to be women to tie tails of carts and drag them through New England towns, at the same time lashing them upon the bare back with heavy two-handed ships made of three thongs “of twisted and knotted cord or catgut,” while one of the “privileged” preachers looked on and laughed at such an infliction as, if suffered to be completed, would have amounted to one hundred and ten lashes each, as the poor women were dragged through dirt and snow half-leg deep, and the weather bitter cold. And all because the women had the impudent presumption to claim the right and privilege of being Quakers. In this case when the poor, tortured women had been lashed through three towns with ten stripes each in each town, the people arose in their righteous indignation and set the “ghastly pilgrims” free.SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.20

    Oh, yes, the Puritan was indeed “not willing to allow any privileged classes!” But may Heaven protect this dear land from any revival of Puritan rule, or any other rule according to Puritan principles.SITI July 21, 1887, page 448.21

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