Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    August 11, 1887

    “The Making of the Sabbath” The Signs of the Times, 13, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    At the Baptist Ministers’ and Layman’s Conference, recently held in Oakland, one of the ministers read a paper on the “Seventh-day Sabbath,” which was, as usual, highly satisfactory to those who have their minds already made up that Sunday is the only Sabbath. We have looked with interest for the publication of the paper, but finding that nothing worthy of an extended review. The writer claims that the seventh-day Sabbath was only a Jewish institution, that it originated at the exode and ended at the cross, and that the Sunday Sabbath is an institution by itself, having no connection whatever with the fourth commandment. In this latter proposition the writer is correct, for the Sunday institution certainly has nothing to do with the fourth commandment, except to be condemned by it; and since all moral duty is contained in the ten commandments, it follows, from this Baptist writer’s admission, that there is no moral obligation attaching to the observance of Sunday.SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.1

    That the author of the article in question has no knowledge of the seventh-day argument, will be evident to anyone who reads the following:-SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.2

    “The Sabbatarian bases his theory largely upon the following passage:-SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.3

    “‘And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day for all his work which yet made. And God bless the seventh day, and sanctified yet; because that in it he had wrested from all his work which God created and made.’ Genesis 2:2, 3. It will be observed that these words contain no precept or command. We have in them a simple historical statement, and that is all. The substance of the statement is this: God ended his work on the seventh day; on that day he rested, and in so doing he blessed and sanctified it.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.4

    It is true that a great deal does rest upon Genesis 2:2, 3. It is also true that that passage contains no precept or command, and that it contains only a simple historical statement. But it is also a fact that it contains a simple historical statement that the commandment was given enforcing the observance of the seventh day. This we shall show, and in so doing we shall also show how the author of the paper referred to has utterly failed to comprehend either the Scripture or the argument based upon it. He says:-SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.5

    “The substance of the statement [in Genesis 2:2, 3] is this: God ended his work on the seventh creation day; on that day he rested, and in so doing he blessed and sanctified it.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.6

    It is possible that there are many others who have read the Scripture thus carelessly. Let such read it again with us, carefully: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” That is very far from saying that God rested on the seventh day, and that “in so doing he blessed and sanctified it.” The blessing and the sanctification are entirely distinct from the resting, and were subsequent to it. God blessed and sanctified the seventh day, “because that in it he had rested.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.7

    Three acts went to make the Sabbath a holy day for man’s observance: 1. God rested upon the day. This made it a Sabbath, for Sabbath means rest. It made it the Sabbath, or rest, of the Lord; but if nothing more had been done, men would have been under no obligation to keep it. 2. “God blessed the seventh day.” This was done after his rest upon it, for he blessed it because he had rested in it from all his work. 3. God sanctified the seventh day. This also was done after the rest; and in this simple statement that God sanctified the seventh day, we find the evidence that God did, at the close of this rest, command man to keep holy. The following evidence is offered in proof:-SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.8

    The word sanctify means, “to make sacred or holy; to set apart wholly or religious use; to consecrate by appropriate rights; to hallow.” Now a thing cannot be set apart for a holy or religious use, unless the ones who are to so use it are informed of each setting apart; in fact, setting it apart must necessarily consistent in the notification to the people, and the commandment to observe the day thus set apart.SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.9

    This definition is in harmony with Scripture usage. In Exodus 19:23 we read as follows concerning Mount Sinai, just before the Lord came down upon it: “And Moses said on to the Lord, The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai; for thou of chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mountain, and sanctified it.” In verse 12 we have an inspired comment on the meaning of “sanctify” as used in this first. The Lord said to Moses: “And thou shalt set bounds under the people round about, say, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mouth, or touch the border of it; whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death.” Thus we find that sanctifying the amount consisted in setting it apart by bounds, and forbidding the people to pass over those bounds. In like manner sanctifying the seventh day consisted in setting it apart by the sanctions of God’s word, and in forbidding the people to overstep the bounds and trample upon the Sabbath.SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.10

    These three things, resting, blessing, and sanctifying, made the Sabbath of the Lord of lasting obligation upon all people. Yet notwithstanding the bounds that were set about the seventh day, men have dared to break through it and trample the holy Sabbath under their unholy feet. And this, although the penalty against breaking through the bounds about Mount Sinai was not more severe or more sure to follow than the penalty against breaking through the bounds set around the Sabbath. But “because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11.SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.11

    And now, to all who have broken through the bounds, and have trampled upon God’s holy Sabbath, the long-suffering and merciful Father says: “If thou turn away by foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and called the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 58:13, 14. W.SITI August 11, 1887, page 486.12

    “When Does the Sabbath Begin?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    This has been a puzzling question to very many. They cannot understand why Sabbath-keepers should begin their rest at the setting of the sun, while other people regard the day as beginning at midnight. Some have thought that was an arbitrary distinction more for the purpose of peculiarity than anything else; but a little reference to the Scriptures will suffice to clear the subject of all doubts.SITI August 11, 1887, page 488.1

    In the first place, we have evidence that the first day of time began in the evening. That is, the dark portion of the day preceded the light portion. “The evening and morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5. That this was necessarily the case, can be seen from the order of events in the creation.Time, as distinguished from eternity, commenced with the first creative act of God. The first act was the bringing of the earth into existence. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. That this occupied by a brief space of time, and not a long, extended period, is proved by the context, also by Psalm 23:6, 9: “By the word of the Lord for the heavens made; and although most of them by the breadth of his mouth.” “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” But at that time there was still light, nothing but intense darkness, for we read that “darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The next half was to create light. “And God said, let there be light, and there was light.” Genesis 1:3. God thus ordained that darkness and light should henceforth succeed each other in continuous round, and a period of darkness and one of light, called respectively night and day, should constitute one entire day. This completed the first day’s work. The first day began with darkness, and ended as darkness began once more to overspread the earth. As though to establish beyond question the fact that this was to be the order of all days, it is stated of the first six days that the “evening and morning” constituted the day. But if the first six days commenced with the evening, and ended with the following evening, it is evident that every succeeding day, the Sabbath with the rest, must begin and end in the same manner. This is further verified by Leviticus 23:32, where the Lord says, “From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 488.2

    Having settled the fact that the day begins and ends at evening, the only thing necessary to understanding of the main question is to find when it is evening. This is easily settled by the following passages: “But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrificed the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun.” Deuteronomy 16:6. “And the king of Ai hanged on a tree until eventide; and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcass down from the tree.” Joshua 8:29. Also, Joshua 10:26, 27: “Joshua smote the them, and slew them, them on five trees; and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 488.3

    These texts plainly the show that the evening and the setting of the sun are identical. In the New Testament we have additional testimony. In the first chapter of Mark we have an account of the events of one Sabbath in the life of Christ. First he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and taught. Verse 21. Here he found a man with an unclean spirit, whom he healed. Verses 23-27. Then he left the synagogue, and went to the house of Simon, whose mother-in-law he healed. Verses 29-31. The rest of the people, however, dared not ask him to heal their sick during the hours of the Sabbath, but waited till its close. We read in verse 32, “And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and then there were possessed with devils.” Thus we see that the people unanimously regarded sunset as the close of the Sabbath, and if sunset was the close of the Sabbath of course sunset twenty-four hours earlier must have been the beginning. This was the divinely appointed order.SITI August 11, 1887, page 488.4

    The question then a arises, How does it happen that people nowadays begin and end the day at midnight? The answer is this: When men became idolaters, and did not like to retain God in their knowledge (Romans 1:28), they soon lost all knowledge of the institutions and commandments of God, so that their forms of worship and of daily life differed entirely from those of God’s people. Each nation had gods of its own, and customs peculiar to itself. The Persians and the Syrians woshiped the sun, and began the day at sunrise. That the Jews, during their captivity, did not lose their reckoning, and conformed to that of the Babylonians, is proved by the passage in Mark already quoted. The Romans, for some reason, selected midnight as the time for the beginning and ending of their day. The barbarous tribes that conquered Rome accepted her customs, and transmitted them to their descendants. Thus the Roman method of beginning the day has become the settled custom in Europe and America. Since it is an established custom, it is necessary, in order to be understood, to conform to the usage in speaking with others, also in business, since the custom is fixed by law. But in the observance of the Sabbath, God’s order is unchangeable. Those who accept the Sunday festival, which is a man-made institution emanating from Rome, may be allowed to keep it in such a manner as man decrees; but those who keep God’s rest day-the memorial of his creative power-will take the day just as God gave it, and not offer a substitute by attaching a portion of two days together. W.SITI August 11, 1887, page 488.5

    “Piety Without Display” The Signs of the Times, 13, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Commentary.
    (August 28.-Matthew 6:1-15.)

    The best manuscripts have “righteousness” instead of “alms,” in verse 1, and this seems to be the truer meaning of the text, for righteousness includes all right actions, and no good deed of whatever kind should be done for the purpose of winning the applause of men. In the verses following, three divisions of righteousness are considered, namely, almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, none of which should be done with the design of attracting attention. A deed, however right itself, loses all the quality of righteousness when it is done simply for display. This is evident from the statement that those who do thus have no reward from God. Ostentatious piety is not piety and all, but it is simply an exhibition of selfishness. It is a fact that there may be as much of selfishness displayed in the giving of alms as in the withholding of them.SITI August 11, 1887, page 490.1

    “Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.” This does not mean, as a careless reader might suppose, that they shall have a reward, or that a certain kind of reward is in store for them, but that they already have their reward.The new version expresses the exact idea in the words, “They have received their reward.” They gave alms to be seen of men; men sought them, and that constitutes their reward; it is all the reward they wanted.SITI August 11, 1887, page 490.2

    The command in verse 3 coincides with the exhortation of Paul and in Romans 12:8: “He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity;” and again with his statement in 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of the necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.” The man who gives liberally, with a sincere motive, will not seek for the applause of men. On the contrary, he will rather avoid public notice, because, by measuring himself by the true standard, he will realize that what he does is in reality very insignificant. Yet insignificant though a deed may be in itself, and hidden from the eye of everybody, it does not escape the eye of God, and the promise is, “Thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 490.3

    The same rule applies to praying. True prayer is the desire of the heart made known to God. In it the person appears as a petitioner making known his urgent wants. Such prayer is always heard; but of those who pray simply an order that others may applaud their piety, or their elegant language, the significant statement is made, “Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” They do not ask with the expectation or with the desire that their petitions shall be granted, and consequently God takes no notice of their prayers. All that they desire from their prayers is to be heard of men, and the fact that men hear them, constitutes the answer to their prayer. Nevertheless, such persons are not mere harmless utterances that passed entirely unnoticed by the Lord; they are violations of the third commandment, which says: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” They constitute the worst kind of profanity, since the petitioners use the name of the Lord to exalt themselves.SITI August 11, 1887, page 490.4

    “But thou, when thou prayest, enter it into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father, which is in secret; and thy Father which see if in secret shall reward thee openly.” This must be understood as a principle rather than an explicit command for every occasion of prayer. It does not mean that it is wrong to pray in public, but that one should not pray in public for the sake of publicity. We have in the Bible many instances of public prayer: Solomon prayed before the thousands assembled at the dedication of the temple. 2 Chronicles 6:12, 13. The Levites prayed publicly, as recorded in Nehemiah 9:4-38. When Paul separated from the Ephesian brethren he prayed with them all. Acts 20:36. He also gave thanks to God in the presence of all the passengers and crew on his notable sea voyage to Rome. Acts 27:35. And Christ himself prayed with his disciples many times, and at the grave of Lazarus he prayed not only in the presence of his disciples, but of a great company of Jews. Moreover, in the fourteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, we have explicit instructions concerning public prayer. All of these things show that public prayer is not only not forbidden, but is enjoined as a duty. But even in public prayer, if it is sincere prayer, the spirit of privacy is maintained, for the individual is as it were shut in with God, and loses thought, to a certain extent, of those who are present.SITI August 11, 1887, page 490.5

    One of the most comforting promises in the Bible is given in this connection to those who pray in secret, namely, “Thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” This seems to be an unconditional promise; for sincere prayer, asking in the name of Jesus for those things which a person really needs, will always be heard answered, and it is not to be presumed that one would go by himself to engage in prayer with any other than a sincere motive. The prayer is made in secret, but the reward is open. Men may know nothing of the agonizing petitions, but they cannot fail to see the grace which is abundantly bestowed in consequence. It may not be amiss, however, in this connection, to state that prayer is not necessarily secret because the individual prays in a room by himself. We have known people to make a great display of their “secret devotions.” They were careful to let people know when they retired for prayer, and very often if such announcement was unnecessary, because there voice would be raised to such a pitch that everybody in and about the house must hear. We can see no difference between such prayer and prayer upon the street corner. Of course there is no wrong attached to the individual if someone chances to over hear his prayer; but he who prays professedly in secret, but with the expectation that others shall notice prayer, comes very far from obeying the injunction of the Saviour, “When thou prayest thou shalt not be as the hypocrites.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 490.6

    In the seventh verse our Saviour teaches that mere words do not constitute prayer. God is not moved by the eloquence of man, but by his needs, and a man’s real need may often be expressed better in few words than in many. The heathen, we are told, thought that they should be heard for their much of the speaking. Examples of this are found in 1 Kings 18:26 and Acts 19:34. Some even have carried this matter of vain repetition to such a pitch that they use what is called a prayer-wheel. Writing off the petition, they fasten it to the rim of the wheel, which they cause to revolve for rapidly before their idol, every revolution being a prayer. The difference between this sort of prayer and many prayers of professed Christians is only in degree. In Catholic catechisms and books of religious instruction, we find vain repetitions actually enjoined. The multiplied repetition of Ave Maria or the Pater Noster is counted as a great virtue, and the one who says the most prayers supposed to be the most pious. But such prayer, not withstanding the fact that the Lord’s Prayer itself is repeated, are destitute of any semblance of real prayer. A parrot might be taught to repeat the Lord’s Prayer, and he might mutter it over a thousand times a day, and yet there would be no prayer in it. The unreasonableness of such vain repetitions is shown by the statement that “Your father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him.” It is not necessary for us to pray in order that the Lord they know what we need, but that we may bring ourselves into a proper condition to receive the things which we need.SITI August 11, 1887, page 490.7

    The question often arises in the minds of some, “What is the use of praying at all?” They argue that we cannot change the mind of God, that praying is useless since God knows what we want before we ask, and, further, that the universe is governed by fixed laws, and that therefore praying will not affect matters in the least. To this last it can be answered that there are no laws which are not subject to God. To say that what we call the laws of nature cannot be changed or suspended if necessary to the answer of prayer, is to say that God is restricted by the things which he rules, which is an absurdity. Moreover, there are instances innumerable in which in direct answer to prayer the laws of nature have been suspended. The raising of the dead is a case in point. In answer to the first objection, it is enough to say that although God desires only the welfare of his creatures, and he knows what they need without being told, he does not force upon people what they do not want, even though they really need it. And when a person who recognizes his need, and really wants that which will supply it, and feels that he cannot get along without it, the natural impulse is to ask for it, and then it is that God gives his special blessings.SITI August 11, 1887, page 491.1

    Verses 9-13 contained the model prayer. In introducing it the Saviour said, “After this manner therefore pray ye.” This indicates not that the prayer which follows is to be invariably used, although it is very often fitting to use it, but that it should serve as a model for our petitions. Since it is the petition, framed by divine wisdom, it must necessarily and does cover everything which man needs, both temporal and spiritual. It is because of this comprehensiveness that the Lord’s Prayer may be repeated by all classes of people, both young and old, in all time. It never grows old. It is the only prayer ever written which was worthy of being repeated by others than the one who composed it. This is because it is the only prayer ever composed for man by a divine being. Praying in which petitions made by men are used, must necessarily be largely mechanical, and therefore destitute of the real essence of prayer, which is the sincere desire of the individual at that present time. When a man is in extremity he will have no difficulty in forming his own petition, and he would have no use for a petition made by someone else. A prayer-book would have been of very little use to Peter when he was sinking in the Sea of Galilee.SITI August 11, 1887, page 491.2

    From this prayer we learn that we are to come to God not as to a judge or a governor who is to be appeased, but as to a Father who is all sympathy and love. Many people have entertained a wrong idea from the parable of the unjust judge, recorded in Luke 18:1-7. The unjust judge at first refused to grant the request of the poor widow, yet he finally granted it because of her importunity. The idea too commonly drawn from this is, that if we persevere in prayer God will relent and answer repetitions; the parable is not designed to compare God with the unjust judge, but to make a contrast. If the unjust judge who neither feared God nor regarded man, would grant the widow’s petition, because of her importunity, then most assuredly God will avenge his own elect who cry earnestly unto him. This parable and the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer are sufficient in themselves to give Christians the most confidence when they pray. Add to this the fact that we have a merciful and faithful high priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and “was tempted in all points like this we are,” and we may “come boldly unto the throne of grace, a that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in times of need.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 491.3

    We have seen it stated that the term “Our Father” implies that all men are brethren, because children of the same Father. But this is a mistake. Paul says that we are all by nature the children of wrath “because we are” the children of disobedience. Ephesians 2:2, 3; 5:6. And as the devil is the author of sin, Christ directly charged the disobedient Jews with whom he was talking, of being the children of the devil (John 8:44); and in Matthew 13:38-42 he expressly states that those who do iniquity “are the children of the wicked one.” The apostle John also speaks of those who keep the commandments, and of those who transgressed them, and says, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil” (John 3:10), thus showing a direct contrast between those who have God for their Father, and those whose father is Satan. Moreover, we learned in Romans 8:14-17 and Galatians 4:4-7 that people become the children of God by adoption, and that the mark or seal of adoption is the Holy Spirit; but if they were by nature the children of God, they would not need to be adopted. Paul also declares that “if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 491.4

    “Thy kingdom come.” This is nothing less than a prayer for Christ’s second coming, for his coming and kingdom are associated together. 2 Timothy 4:1. When he was on earth, Christ told his disciples, who thought that his kingdom should immediately appear, that he was like a nobleman who “went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return” (Luke 19:11, 12), thus indicating his return to Heaven to receive his kingdom, and his second coming to gather the subjects of it. In harmony with this we find in Daniel 7:13, 14 a prophetic description of Christ appearing before the father and receiving “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him.” And Christ himself said that when he should come in his glory with all his holy angels with him, then would be the time that he should sit upon the throne of his glory, and that he would then say to the righteous, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:31-34. This kingdom is entirely distinct from the kingdom of glory, upon the throne of which God the Father sits, and before which Christ ministers as priest. That kingdom has already come, and if that were the kingdom referred to, in the Lord’s Prayer, it would be out of place to use that petition. But the kingdom referred to is the one of which the faithful followers of God are at present only heirs, waiting for the promised possession.SITI August 11, 1887, page 491.5

    “Thy will be done in earth, as it is it Heaven.” The will of God is simply the law of God, see Psalm 40:8 and Romans 2:17-20, where we learn that those who know the will of God are they who are instructed of the law. How the will of God is done in Heaven is told in Psalm 103:20: “Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, harkening unto the voice of his word.” When the will of God is done on earth as it is in heaven, it will be when all the works of the devil had been destroyed, and when the new heavens and the new earth have been given, wherein righteousness shall dwell. Then will be fulfilled the words of the prophet: “Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” Isaiah 60:21. Therefore the uttering of this part of the Lord’s Prayer, if the petitioner is sincere, indicates a complete submission to the will of God, and an earnest desire to keep every portion of the ten commandments.SITI August 11, 1887, page 491.6

    “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” In this is implied what is plainly stated in Matthew 6:14, 15: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Therefore it is utterly useless for any one to use this prayer, or to expect God to pardon his sins, unless he freely forgives all who have trespassed against him. Paul says (Ephesians 4:32), “Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, for giving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake have forgiven you.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 491.7

    This is the merest glance at the Lord’s Prayer, but it is all that we have the space for. To give it any adequate study, not less than an entire lesson should be spent upon each clause of the prayer. But perhaps even with this glance some may see a depth of meaning in the prayer which they have never before realized, and may be led to study it more carefully until they can pray it “with the spirit and with the understanding.” W.SITI August 11, 1887, page 491.8

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The dispatches state that the Pope has sent an autograph letter to the Emperor William in reply to a letter recently received from him. Nor is it forgotten to give the highly interesting information that “both letters are couched in very affecting terms.” “Very affecting” indeed, we have no doubt! Behold how these innocents love one another!SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.1

    The rector of one of the Episcopal Churches of San Francisco preached a few Sundays ago on “The Mission of Beauty.” Just what connection this has with the Gospel, we cannot discover, for we read of the Founder of the gospel that “he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” From the list of pulpit topics which we occasionally see, we should judge that the Bible is almost out of date. Yet there are people who can still find “wondrous things” in the word of God.SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.2

    The brethren in California will notice that the time of camp-meeting is changed from September 22 to October 3, to October 6-17. This postponement was made in order that we might be sure of the presence and help of Brother and Sister White, who could give us no assurance of being present earlier. We feel sure that the certainty of their presence will ensure a full attendance from all parts of the State. We do not apprehend any serious inconvenience on account of the lateness of the meeting, for the weather will be no colder then than in September, and the liability of an early rain is not much greater. At any rate, none should be deterred from coming to the meeting, by the possibility of a little physical discomfort. Come expecting nothing but good, and you will not be disappointed. The meeting will be in Oakland, but the site has not yet been decided upon.SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.3

    The new meeting-house at Healdsburg was dedicated Sunday, July 31. There was a good attendance of the citizens of the place, also of our own people. The sermon was preached by Elders J. N. Loughborough; the dedicatory prayer was made by Elder J. O. Corliss. Meetings were held beginning Friday evening and continuing day and evening till Sunday night. Good impressions were made in favor of the truth, and arrangements have been made by the church to have preaching regularly on Sunday evening until our State camp-meeting. They have now a most excellent house, the largest of the kind north of San Francisco, a place where it is a comfort and a pleasure to go. There is nothing fancy about the building, and nothing elegant-except its plainness-and we do not think we have ever seen a house more convenient in all its arrangements. Not only will the house be a great help in the work and service of the church, but it is an immense advantage in the college work. For two years the college has been cramped in its energies, and crippled in efficiency, for lack of room. Now the Sabbath-school department of the meeting-house will be used for classes in the school work and will afford ample room for all purposes. We congratulate the California Conference and the Healdsburg Church and College that they have such a comfortable, commodious, and convenient place of worship and for work.SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.4

    The Rome correspondent of the Catholic Mirror, writing under date of July 12, says:-SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.5

    “Monsignor Ruffo and his companions were well received in England, as you know from the reports of the English press. Mgr. Ruffo is convinced that the time is not distant when an amicable arrangement will be made between the English Government and the Papacy and official representatives accredited from both. The Queen was especially kind to the Papal envoy, and assured them that she remembered with great pleasure the visit made by the present Pope to Windsor [before he became Pope] after completing his mission in Belgium.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.6

    We have no doubt at all that the convictions of Mgr. Ruffo are well founded.SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.7

    Not long since at an installation service in one of the Central States, a minister preach or read word for word a sermon which was preached in the first Congregational Church in Chicago, by the Rev. Dr. Noble, and published in the Homiletic Monthly for March, 1880. Strangely enough, in that stolen sermon were the following words:-SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.8

    “There are the trades and professions-each with its distinctive code. There is a railroad ethic, and there is a tradesmen ethic, and there is a house builders ethic, and there is the newspaper ethic, ... and men are all the time dropping down into the narrow schemes of morals, and estimating conduct, not by the eternal rule of right, God’s will, but by some current custom, or miserable conventionalism, or low cunning expediency. I say to a man, why do you adulterate these goods? Why do you weave shoddy into these clothes? Why do you peg shoddy into those shoes? Why stamp your flour with a false brand, and put a label on the silk and the hat and the coat that you sell? His answer is, they all do it; it is one of the tricks of the trade, and something of this sort has to be done to make a living.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.9

    This matter of plagiarism is getting so common that it will soon be pertinent to inquire, what is the code of the clerical profession? A man who could steal a sermon which itself condemned stealing, must have very little moral sensibility? And what can be expected of the people whose teachers are so morally obtuse? “Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words everyone from his neighbor.” Jeremiah 23:36.SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.10

    The following question and answer we take partly from the New York Christian Advocate:-SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.11

    “‘Question-Do you suppose that Lazarus remembered his experience in the other world after being raised from the dead?’SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.12

    Answer-You ask us what we ‘suppose.’ We suppose, first, that all inquiries on a subject of that kind are useless; we suppose, second, however, that they will be made to the end of time; third, we suppose that Lazarus did not remember his experience in the other world, because we suppose that he was dead in the same sense that a man who is drowned is dead before he is brought to life, and that he never would have come to life without our Lord’s voice or some miraculous power; but that he was dead in the sense that his spirit was permanently and entirely free from the body we don’t suppose, and therefore we suppose he did not know anything during the interval. And, finally, we don’t suppose that you will agree with this view.SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.13

    “N. B. The longer we live the less we suppose.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.14

    This is a much better answer than we expected to find in the Advocate. But the editor of the Advocate has evidently not yet live long enough to get over making foolish suppositions. For to suppose that a man who was so dead that nothing less than the voice of Jesus could bring him to life, was simply suffering from suspended animation, as in the case of a person nearly dead from drowning, is extremely foolish; and to suppose that the spirit had not left the body of a man who has been buried four days, and whose body had decomposed till it was offensive, is downright absurdity. More than this, it is directly opposed to the divine revelation, for Christ said plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” This “supposition” that Lazarus was unconscious simply because he was not dead enough to be conscious, is worthy only of the pagan philosophy which it seeks to support.SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.15

    It is announced from Rome that the Pope has decided to take part in the coming political elections in France, and that he hopes to secure a strong party in the Chamber of Deputies. Yes, he hopes to secure a strong party and the Chamber of Deputies so as to hold the balance of power and virtually control legislation in France and control it too from Rome. And France dare resent this political interference of a foreign religious power. How long will it be before the Pope will decide to take part in our political elections? Only let the National Reform religio-political party succeed in its design of establishing a constitutional basis for religious legislation, and this question will answer itself.SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.16

    “A Vigorous Statement and Challenge” The Signs of the Times, 13, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Independent has been on the fence on the question of probation after death, the editors not seeming to have any fixed opinion of their own; but the publisher, Mr. Henry C. Bowen, has a decided opinion of his own, and he expresses it in a straightforward manner. After giving details of a correspondence between himself and Prof. E. C. Smythe, in which it appears that Professor Smythe could not, in answer to Mr. Bowen’s request, give, without comment, any Scripture texts in support of this theory, Mr. Bowen says:-SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.17

    “We cannot forbear saying, in this connection, that in all of our acquaintance with the secret movements and sometimes strange performances of men connected with our various churches, sects, and denominations, and all the excitement and maneuverings of the politicians in our heated presidential campaigns, and the most hard-fought battles of the great thirty-years antislavery conflict, in the desperate and ceaseless efforts of men in all directions in the pursuit of worldly gain, we have never seen a more senseless, uncalled-for agitation than the one started a year ago by the Andover teachers and speculators in regard to future probation.”SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.18

    He then called on them to “show any warrant in the Bible for the mischief they have done and are doing, or for the special help and encouragement they are now giving to the teachers and preachers of universalism and other isms, indulging downright infidelity, or for the pernicious hopes given by them directly and indirectly, to the unconverted, the world over.” It is safe to presume that hereafter the editors of the Independent will know what position to take concerning the Andover speculations on probation after death.SITI August 11, 1887, page 496.19

    Larger font
    Smaller font