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    September 8, 1887

    “What Constitutes Burial?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The excuses which people can devise in order to bolster themselves up in a wrong practice, are legion. An excuse is not an argument, although it commonly passes for one. The Congregationalist of June 2 quotes the following from a tract published by W. Erbury; 234 years ago, saying, for by way of comment, that the writer “pushed immersionists hard for a conclusion more rational than agreeable.” He said:-SITI September 8, 1887, page 550.1

    “How are you ‘buried with Christ by baptism’ when Christ’s burial was not his going into the earth and rising suddenly as you do out of the waters; but his burial must be three days and three nights which is a mystery you know not; let the Anabaptists lye so long in the waters, then I’ll say they are dipt under!SITI September 8, 1887, page 550.2

    And this is thought to be a disagreeable pressure of immersionists. It must then be considered the strongest argument in behalf of sprinkling. Let us therefore analyze it.SITI September 8, 1887, page 550.3

    1. Granting for the moment that his point against immersion is well taken, his argument would amount to this: “Immersion in water is not in the likeness of Christ’s burial, because those immersed do not stay underwater as long as Christ was in the earth; therefore sprinkling is a likeness of Christ’s burial!” This is the common way of self-justification. When one is accused of wrong-doing, he points to someone else, and says, “Well, he is doing wrong too;” and then he feels that he has fully cleared himself of the charge brought against him, and proof that he is in the right. Such methods are childish in the extreme.SITI September 8, 1887, page 550.4

    2. Our author not only denies that immersion is baptism, but he denies that immersion is dipping. Says he: “Let the Anabaptists lye so long in the waters, then I’ll say they are dipt indeed.” As much as to say that a thing cannot be said to be dipped in water unless it remains there a few days! Our Pedobaptist friends will have to give us a new vocabulary, so that we may know what word to use in the place of “dip,” when we wish to speak of anything placed in the water for only a moment. When Christ was importuned to tell who should betray him, he replied: “He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.” John 13:26. And the same person continues: “And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” Would our ancient author, and the Congregationalist, which sustains him, claim that the sop remained in the dish three days and three nights before it was given to Judas? Certainly not, for they know that the whole supper lasted but a portion of one evening. But the sop was “dipt,” for the Scripture so declares. Then a thing may be said to be dipped, even though it remains immersed only a moment. It ought not to be necessary to go to Scripture to prove a thing which is proved by the language of common sense; but many people imagine that Bible language has a different meaning from that of common sense.SITI September 8, 1887, page 550.5

    3. This also shows the absurdity of supposing that immersion cannot exhibit the likeness of Christ’s burial unless the person immersed remains under water as long as Christ was in the earth. “Baptize” means to immerse, to plunge, to dip; and just as a finger is dipped, even though it remains in the liquid but a moment, so a person is baptized although he is in water but a moment. Christ would have been buried, even if he had been raised immediately after being placed in Joseph’s tomb; so a man who is buried in the water for only a moment is as surely “buried with him by baptism,” as though he remained under the water forever. And added to all this is the tacitly admitted fact that baptism must be a likeness of the burial of Christ, and that nothing but immersion does represent that event. W.SITI September 8, 1887, page 550.6

    “The National Reform Association” The Signs of the Times, 13, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “EDITORS SIGNS OF THE TIMES: In the SIGNS OF THE TIMES, as well as in the American Sentinel, I frequently see articles in opposition to the National Reform Association for some of its principles. Would it not be well to give your readers an opportunity to see the position of the Society and the principles it propagates? Then the readers can judge for themselves. The true character of the Association can be known by its own Constitution. Below I give you the preamble. It is as follows:-SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.1

    “‘Believing that Almighty God is the source of all power and authority in civil government, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Ruler of the Nations and that the revealed Will of God is of Supreme authority in civil affairs;SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.2

    “‘Remembering that this country was settled by Christian men with Christian ends in view, and that they gave a distinctly Christian character to the institutions which they established;SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.3

    “‘Perceiving the subtle and persevering attempts which are made to prohibit the reading of the Bible in our Public Schools, to overthrow our Sabbath laws, to corrupt the Family, to abolish the Oath. Prayer in our National and State Legislatures, Days of Fasting and Thanksgiving and other Christian features of our institutions, and so to divorce the American Government from all connection with the Christian religion;SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.4

    “‘Viewing with grave apprehension the corruption of our politics, the legal sanction of the Liquor Traffic, and disregard of moral and religious character and those who are exalted to high places in the nation;SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.5

    “‘Believing that a written Constitution ought to contain explicit evidence of the Christian character and purpose of the nation which frames it, and perceiving that the silence of the Constitution of the United States in this respect is used as an argument against all that is Christian in the usage and administration of our Government;SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.6

    “‘We, citizens of the United States, do associate ourselves,’ etc.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.7

    “The Object of the Association is given in the second article of the Constitution as follows:-SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.8

    “‘The object of this Society shall be to maintain existing Christian features in the American Government; to promote needed Reforms in the action of the Government; touching the Sabbath, the institution of the Family, the religious element in Education, the Oath, and Public Morality as affected by the Liquor Traffic and the other kindred peoples; and to secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as will declare the Nation’s allegiance to Jesus Christ and its acceptance of the moral laws of the Christian religion, and so indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of our Government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.’SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.9

    “Now, as a friend of truth and of our common country, I respectfully ask you to designate which of the foregoing paragraphs or sentences you believe to be false or erroneous. Then, if it be your pleasure, I will try to defend them; for I believe they contain only the truth. And I am persuaded that the welfare of the nation depends, under God, largely upon their acceptance and practice by the people.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.10

    “N. R. Johnston.”SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.11

    It is not at all strange that articles in opposition to the National Reform Association are frequently seen in the American Sentinel, since that paper is devoted solely to the opposition of the work of the National Reform Association. It is the only paper in existence that has for its sole object the defense of American institutions and for liberty of thought and conscience, and which opposes the work of the National Reform from a strictly Christian standpoint. As a consequence, its readers have had, and do continually have, abundance of opportunity to learn the position and principles of the National Reform Association. The SIGNS OF THE TIMES, however, has necessarily a wider range of subjects to deal with, and although it is opposed to the work of the National Reform Association, it has not, in the little that it has contained upon that subject, given its readers any extended idea of the character of that organization. We are therefore very well pleased to publish the above extract from the National Reform Constitution, and to comply with our friend’s request to designate which of the paragraphs or sentences we believe to be false or erroneous. We shall also be pleased to let our readers see what defense our correspondent can make for them. From personal acquaintance with him we are sure that his defense will be made in a candid and courteous manner; and his position as regular correspondent of the Christian Statesman, and member of the National Reform Association, may be taken as an assurance that he will represent that Association in the best possible manner. We shall now proceed to note the points which we believe to be false or erroneous, and to give the reasons for our belief.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.12

    1. The first statement, namely, “that Almighty God is the source of all power and authority in civil government,” may be true or false according as it is interpreted. It could be interpreted to mean that God has ordained that there be civil government among men, or that he himself exercises over ruling power, or as Daniel says “removeth kings and setteth up kings,” we accept it as true. But if it be interpreted to mean that all civil authority comes direct from God, and that he himself directs and controls civil government, then it is manifestly untrue. Every nation on the earth has a civil government, but there is no nation on earth of which God is direct ruler, nor has there been any nation whose civil powers was derived directly from God, since the children of Israel rejected God by choosing a king for themselves. It is a fact, as Paul says, “the powers that be are ordained of God,” but it should be remembered that this does not mean that they are necessarily ordained as God’s deputies in the moral government of the world, but that it means simply that government in general is in accordance with God’s design. Proof of this is found in the fact that when Paul wrote these words, pagan Roman was mistress of the world, and the Emperor Nero, who represented that greatest of all earthly Governments, was the very embodiment of wickedness and cruelty. Yet even the Roman Empire governed by the infamous Nero was better than anarchy.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.13

    2. With the second statement, namely, that “the Lord Jesus Christ is the ruler of nations,” we take direct issue. We have no hesitation whatever in pronouncing this to be false, because it is contrary to the Scriptures. Out of the abundance of scriptural proof on this point, we shall at present refer to only the following:-SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.14

    (a) Christ is now acting as priest and not as king. Hebrews 8:1. He is sitting at the right hand of God, but it is as “a priest upon his throne.” Zechariah 6:13. His work now is that of an intercessor. Hebrews 7:25; 9:24.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.15

    (b) Christ himself likened his going to Heaven and returning again, to a nobleman that “went into a far country to receive for himself taking them and to return,” and who after a time “returned having receive the kingdom.” Luke 19:11-15.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.16

    (c) God the Father is represented by the prophet David as saying to Christ, “Sit at thou my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalm 110:1. And Peter (Acts 2:34-36) makes application of this to the present time, when Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. If he were now the ruler of nations, he would not expect anybody else to make his foes his footstool.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.17

    (d) Christ does not receive his kingdom until just before he returns to this earth, and he receives it not from men but from the Father. See Daniel 7:13, 14; 12:1. The first of these passages, with the context, unmistakably refers to the last great Judgment, and it is at the close of this that Christ appears before the Father to receive “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him.” The latter text speaks of the standing up of Michael, who is Christ. Now the standing up of a king is an expression used in Scripture to indicate the taking of the reins of government. See Daniel 11:2. But the prophet says that when Michael shall stand up, that is, taking his kingdom, there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time, and at that time everyone of God’s people shall be delivered.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.18

    (c) The Father himself says to the Son, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for they possession.” Psalm 2:8. And the next verse states that when he thus becomes the ruler of nations he shall “break them with a rod of iron,” and “dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” This dashing and breaking of the nations will constitute the time of trouble such as never was.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.19

    (f) In harmony with these statements, we read that under the sounding of the seventh trumpet, during which time the nations are angry, the dead are judged, the reward is given to the saints, and the wrath of God is manifested in the destruction of them which corrupt the earth, great voices are heard in heaven saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and ye shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15-18. In Revelation 19:11-21 we have a prophetic description of the smiting of the nations and the ruling of them with a rod of iron, with the statement that then he bears the title, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” And Christ himself (Matthew 25:31-46) states that when the final separation between the righteous and the wicked takes place, when the wicked are sent into everlasting punishment and the righteous are called to eternal life, it is when he shall come in his glory and all the holy angels with him, and that then “he will sit upon the throne of his glory.”SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.20

    All these texts, which constitute but a small part of the argument, show almost conclusively that Christ is not now ruler of nations; that he will not be the ruler of nations until he receives the kingdom from his Father just before his second coming in power and great glory; that when he receives it he will smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and slay the wicked with the breath of his lips, and will call the righteous to inherit his kingdom with him. Therefore, for any individual to say that Christ is now ruler of nations, is to deny the plainest declarations of Scripture; and to make the claim, as many National Reformers have done and still do, that men can have any part in getting the kingdom to Christ, is nothing less than blasphemous presumption.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.21

    3. With the statement that “the revealed will of God is of supreme authority in civil affairs,” we also take direct issue. That the union of Church and State is a pernicious thing, is so generally conceded that National Reformers themselves are careful always to deny that their movement tends toward any such result; nevertheless the statement which we have just quoted contain the whole substance of Church and State union. For, it must be admitted that the Bible is a religious book. It was given to men for the sole purpose of teaching them the true religion. But the religion and the true church are inseparable. There may be a church and not religion, but there cannot be religion and not the church. In a word, the revealed will of God is the true religion, and is the standard of the true church. Therefore, if that will be recognized as of supreme authority in civil government, that government would be an ecclesiastical government; in other words, it would be a union of Church and State.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.22

    The revealed will of God cannot by any possibility be of supreme authority in human Governments, for that will require that men shall be perfect not only in our outward actions, but in thought. It requires that men shall not be angry, that they shall not indulge in the least degree of hatred or envy, that they shall not be covetous, and it declares that the harboring of such evil thoughts is just the same as the commission of outbreaking sin. Now when it is stated that any document is of authority in civil affairs, it is implied that the power to enforce the provisions of that document, and to punish those who violate it, rests with the men at the head of civil affairs. But there is no man, or set of men, who has the power to determine whether or not a man is covetous, or whether he is cherishing hatred or other evil in his heart; therefore we say that it is utterly impossible that the revealed will of God should be the authority in civil affairs. Civil government is for the purpose of keeping men civil, and not of making them moral. When it attempts to interfere in the matter of morals, it assumes prerogatives that belong to God alone.SITI September 8, 1887, page 551.23

    We might cite another instance which shows that to take the revealed will of God as the supreme authority in civil affairs, would be to unite Church and State. The Bible, which teaches the revealed will of God, says that it is the duty of men to believe on Christ and to be baptized. Now if National Reform ideas should be adopted, the Government would not only have a right, but it would be under obligation, to require every citizen and everyone who desired to be a citizen, to be baptized. In other words, baptism would be the evidence of naturalization, just as it is the evidence of church membership, and so the Church and the State would be identical. But it needs no argument to show that such a state of affairs would simply make hypocrites of ninety-nine-one-hundredths of the people.SITI September 8, 1887, page 552.1

    Again, the apostle Paul says: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. It is manifestly the duty, as it is declared to be the will of God, for everybody to give thanks for the blessings which they daily receive. Now if the revealed will of God is to be of supreme authority in civil affairs, then civil rulers must enforce that will, and compel every man in the nation to give thanks. Of course they could not compel people to give thanks privately, but they could force them to church to offer thanks nominally, or by proxy, just as people now celebrate Thanksgiving Day. But such enforced thanksgiving would be a mockery, and it is not the will of God that people should thank him with their lips, while their hearts are far from him.SITI September 8, 1887, page 552.2

    4. The second paragraph of the preamble contains a bit of sophistry and an assumption which is entirely at variance with the golden rule. It assumes that because the people who came over in the May-flower, for the National Reformers do not go back of that date, were professed Christians, and because the founders of the early colonies made church membership a test of citizenship, and subjected those who differed with them in belief to the same persecutions to which they had been subjected as dissenters from the ecclesiastical organizations of the Old World, therefore this Government ought to be professedly a Christian Government. But when they make this argument, which is a standard with them, we ask them, who was here first? Long before the arrival of the May-flower or the voyage of Columbus, this country was inhabited by powerful tribes of Indians, all of whom were pagans. Therefore if the National Reform argument were good for anything that would prove that the religion of this country should be paganism. But the argument does not amount to anything.SITI September 8, 1887, page 552.3

    National Reformers seem to be blind to the fact that if there scheme should prevail, and they should carry it out as they propose, making a profession of Christianity the basis of citizenship, and declaring indifference to Christ to be treason to the State, they would run directly counter to many things which they now profess to desire. For instance, they profess to be staunch friends to the native Indians, and to the Chinese who are here. They declaim loudly against the injustice that is done to both of these races, and yet if their ideas were carried out, both the Indians and the Chinese would be out-laws and both would be subject to persecution, by the side of which all that they have had to suffer would be considered pleasure.SITI September 8, 1887, page 552.4

    5. Our Government has no Christian features. The Constitution of the United States expressly forbids any religious test of any kind being required as a qualification for office or citizenship. The appointment of days of thanksgiving and the election of chaplains to pray in legislative bodies, are optional, and are practices that would be far more honored in the breach than in the observance, for they are only a mockery. Thus the National Reform preamble is self-contradictory in that it speaks of the Christian features of our institutions, and the Government’s connection with the Christian religion, while at the same time it admits the fact that the Constitution which is the basis of the Government, is utterly silent concerning Christianity for any other religion.SITI September 8, 1887, page 552.5

    6. We affirm most positively that the object of the National Reform Association, as set forth in its constitution, is not merely erroneous, but is unchristian and directly opposed to the spirit of the gospel. Its object is to amend the Constitution of the United States so that it will declare the nation’s allegiance to Jesus Christ, and its acceptance of “the moral laws of the Christian religion,” whatever they may be. This means, in plain language, that the Constitution is to be so amended that the officers of this Government may compel everyone who desires to be a citizen to profess Christianity, and to disfranchise all others. If it does not mean this, it does not mean anything. We have the statement of National Reformers themselves that this is just what it does mean. But the Christian religion knows nothing of any such coercive measures as this. The gospel call is, “Whosoever will, let him come.” The ministers of Christ are simply ambassadors whose duty it is to entreat people to become reconciled to God, but who have no authority to compel any. Therefore we say that the day that sees the consummation of the National Reform designs, will mark the blotting out of Christianity in this country, except among the few who will dare to dissent from such an iniquitous form of government. That national Christianity, so-called, is the enthronement of antichrist, is proved by the Dark Ages, which followed immediately upon the professed conversion of Constantine, and the lifting of Christianity to the throne of the world.SITI September 8, 1887, page 552.6

    We also view with grave apprehension the corruption of our politics, and the immorality not only of those who are exalted to high places in the nation, but of the nation itself; but we know that politics cannot be purified nor immorality checked by legal enactment. There is only one remedy for immortality and corruption, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. By this alone men be saved either from the guilt of sin or the love of it. We do not say that the preaching of the gospel will purify politics by making politicians and all others moral men, for the Bible nowhere holds forth the hope that all men will ever repent, and it is expressly declares that the righteous will ever be few in number as compared with the wicked, and that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse.” See 2 Timothy 3:13; Matthew 7:13, 14; 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30, etc. But we do say that whatever of purification is ever accomplished must be solely by the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.SITI September 8, 1887, page 552.7

    We said in the beginning that we should be pleased to see what defense our correspondent can make for the aims of the National Reform Association, but we will slightly modify that statement. It does not give us pleasure to see men defending measures, the tendency of which is to lower the standard of Christianity, to give loose rein to bigotry, and to revive the persecutions of the Dark Ages. But if there is a modicum of good concealed somewhere in the National Reform Constitution, we shall be very glad to have it brought to light. W.SITI September 8, 1887, page 552.8

    “Love the Fulfilling of the Law” The Signs of the Times, 13, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    NOTES ON THE INTERNATIONAL LESSON.
    (September 25.-Matthew 14:12-16; Romans 13:8-14.)

    These two portions of Scripture are given respectively as a missionary lesson and a temperance lesson; but it is only by great twisting that either passage can be made to teach anything specially about either missionary or temperance work. We shall therefore take up the second portion of Scripture, and briefly comment on that, taking it in its obvious meaning.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.1

    “Owe no man anything, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8. Instead of, “He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law,” we should read, as in the Revised Version: “He that loveth his neighbor, hath fulfilled the law.” This shows that Paul has reference to the second great commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” This appears more positively by the following verse which reads: “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The apostle does not mean that there are no other commandments than these, but that this comprehends all the law of which he is speaking.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.2

    This passage proves beyond all chance for question, that civil governments have nothing to do with enforcing the first four commandments, which define man’s duty to God. For, the verses preceding treat of man’s duty to civil government, showing that men should yield the obedience to the powers that be; and now when he says that when a man loves his neighbor as himself he has fulfilled the law, it is proof that he has fulfilled all law of which human governments are empowered to take cognizance.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.3

    The Bible idea of love differs materially from that held by the majority of people, even among those who profess religion. Love is not a mere emotion, which only the individual himself can feel; but it is an active principle which makes itself felt by others. A person cannot love without doing. God’s love to the world was manifested in giving his Son to die for the world. Our love to God is shown by our willing obedience to him; and our love to our fellow-men is shown only by the kindness which we show them. That which does not manifest itself in deeds of service for another, is not love.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.4

    There is so much selfishness in the world, and it is so natural to the human heart, that few have any proper conception of what love is. There is only one true standard of love, and that is the divine. That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12. And Paul says that “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. This utterly overturns the common idea that was embodied in the Pharisaic saying, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemies.” The Bible rule is, “Love your enemies.” Therefore we are justified in saying that the one who loves his neighbor simply because his neighbor loves him, does not love his neighbor at all.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.5

    “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:10. This does not mean simply that we must refrain from doing actual injury to our neighbors, but that we must do them all the good we can. For if I have power to save my neighbor from any ill, and do not do it, it is the same as though I did him the injury. So Paul says in another place: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10. To the same intent, Solomon says: “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” Proverbs 3:27. And all is summed up in the Golden Rule: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.6

    “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:11, 12. Much useless speculation is indulged in by commentators, concerning what is meant here by “the night” and “the day.” The following from Dr. Clarke, is a fair sample: “If we understand this in reference to the heathen state of the Romans, it may be paraphrased thus: the night is far spent; heathenish darkness is nearly at an end; the day is at hand; the full manifestation of the Sun of righteousness, and the elimination of the whole Gentile world, approaches rapidly.” To perceive the fallacy of this conjecture, it is only necessary to remember (1) that the Gentile world have never been illuminated by the Sun of righteousness, and (2) that there is no promise that they ever will be. Moreover, armor is always for defense, and “armor of light” must be for a defense against darkness; but there would be no propriety in an exhortation to put on the armor of light, if the whole world was about to be illuminated. With such a prospect, it would be more appropriate to cheer the people with the charge to prepare to lay off the armor of light, as something no longer necessary.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.7

    The simple truth is that this present evil world is a world of darkness. Says the prophet: “The darkness shall cover thee earth, and gross darkness the people.” Isaiah 60:2. God alone is light. Before the fall, all was light. As men departed farther and farther from God, darkness covered the earth more and more. So we are now living in the night. In this night of darkness, the Bible is given as a light to our feet, and a lamp to our path. Psalm 119:105. It is a gleam from the world of light, which will make the path of them who walk in it, to shine more and more unto the perfect day. Those who are the children of this world, are the children of the night; but those who receive the light from God’s word, are the children of the coming day. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.8

    But although it is now night, the day which is to dawn for the righteous will be to the wicked a night so dark that all the darkness they have lived in will be thought light in comparison. So the prophet says: “The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will inquire, inquire ye: return, come.” Isaiah 21:11, 12. When the day dawns and the daystar arises in the hearts of the righteous (2 Peter 1:19) it will be impossible then for the wicked to find any light from the word of God (see Proverbs 1:24-32; Amos 8:11, 12), but unto them will be reserved only “the blackness of darkness forever.”SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.9

    This time is near. No one knows how near, but it is certain that it is nearer than when we first believed. In view of this how necessary to heed the exhortation of the apostle: “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:12-14.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.10

    “California Camp-meeting” The Signs of the Times, 13, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The time and place of this meeting has been announced for some time, and we have no doubt but even now preparations are being made by many in different parts of the State to attend it. The committee have secured good grounds, easy of access, and quite centrally located. The ground is between Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth and Market Streets and San Pablo Avenue. The Market Street horse-cars pass on one side of the ground, and the San Pablo Avenue cable cars on the other. For several years we have not had a camp-meeting so easy of access by people living in the city where it was held.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.11

    But it is not simply a large outside attendance that we want. We want to see a general turnout of our people from all parts of the State. This ought to be the largest camp-meeting ever held in California. And if it is to be so, it is high time for everybody to be preparing for it. Begin at once to shape your affairs so that you can leave, and when you come leave your homes cares behind you. Come also with the intention of remaining during the entire meeting. Moreover do not imagine that physical preparation is all that is needed; do not think that you will get all the spiritual good you need after you arrive at the meeting. If you would receive the proper benefit from the meeting, you must seek the Lord before coming. Bring his Spirit with you. Do this, not only for your own sake, but for the sake of others. Remember that you should not be content merely to receive blessings, but must be active to impart good to others.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.12

    Perhaps some are thinking that they will wait and attend General Conference. We earnestly protest against any such idea. General Conference cannot be to you what the camp-meeting should be. Most of the time of General Conference must necessarily be devoted to the transaction of business, and you would not be materially edified by simply listening to business, even of the utmost importance, for three full weeks. Moreover, to the brethren and sisters in the California Conference, the business of this Conference is of greater importance than is the business of the General Conference. You are needed at the business sessions at the camp-meeting, and must not fail to be present.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.13

    Again we say to everybody, Begin to make the proper preparations now; come early; and stay until the close.SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.14

    “Religious Intolerance” The Signs of the Times, 13, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A short time ago we gave an account of a Catholic procession in France at which a man was beaten nearly to death for not taking off his hat as the procession went by. It will be remembered that that was given by the Christian at Work as proof that France is not a godless nation. In the same paper, August 18, we have an account of another such procession, this time in Spain, as follows:-SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.15

    “The Spanish Republic under Prim sought to establish religious toleration; and it was so successful that when the revolution came, and Alfonso ascended the throne, he had to accept the fact as a fundamental law. But the new law is not always respected, as the following shows. As the reader doubtless knows, in cases of administering the right of extreme of unction to the dying it is customary in Spain to go in a procession through the streets, the priest carrying aloft the ‘custodia,’ and an acolyte ringing a hand-bell, at the sound of which all passers-by are expected to kneel until the procession passes. Since the establishment of religious liberty in 1868 it is no longer obligatory on all to conform to this custom, and consequently many, from conscientious scruples, refrain from doing so, although, if possible, they endeavor to get out of the way, so as not to give needless offense. But the other day a woman-a member of the Protestant community-was passing through one of the streets of the town, and upon turning a corner came into contact with ‘the procession of the host.’ Not prepared to kneel, and unwilling to appear disrespectful, she stepped aside into a doorway to let the procession pass; but the priest rushed after her, dragged her out, and with great violence endeavored to force her upon on her knees. Not succeeding in this, he handed her over to two policemen, and charged her before the Judge of First Instance with insulting the ‘established religion.’ The judge took the priest’s declaration [in writing], absolutely refusing to hear the poor woman, and ordered her off to prison to await her trial. Heaven knows when this ‘trial’ may come on, and so this poor woman and mother is excluded from her home for an indefinite period. It is gratifying to know, however, that the matter having come to the knowledge of influential parties in London, counsel has been secured and funds raised for the purpose of seeing that the poor woman receives justice.”SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.16

    France and Spain are two of the European countries in which the Christian Statesman and National Reform “cordially and gladly recognize the fact that the Roman Catholics are be recognized advocates of national Christianity and stand opposed to all the proposals of secularism,” and which “in a world conference for the promotion of National Christianity could be represented only by Roman Catholics.”SITI September 8, 1887, page 555.17

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 35.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In answer to inquiries, we would announce that the articles which appeared in the SIGNS last year, on “The Abiding Sabbath,” will soon appear in pamphlet form.SITI September 8, 1887, page 560.1

    If “A Reader,” who under date of August 27 sent us two questions to be answered, will kindly send us his name, we shall be pleased to answer his questions the best we can. We do not wish to publish the name, but we cannot reply to anonymous communications.SITI September 8, 1887, page 560.2

    The Rev. F. S. Hatch, of Hartford, Conn., telling in the Congregationalist of the success of the Connecticut law forbidding railway trains and traffic on Sunday, says that “Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists, and Roman Catholics have united with Congregationalists in the successful attempt to secure this reform.” He says the condition of affairs is not yet perfect, but that “it is a fresh illustration of the major truth that no evil in our midst can stand against the determination of the united Christian Church.” And if the supposed evil happens to be a good, it is all the same. This is a pointer which shows how this church affair may easily be made national when the work of National Reform shall have progressed a little further.SITI September 8, 1887, page 560.3

    There is in California a man by the name of Jesse Shephard, who is said to be a “musical phenomenon,” producing the most wonderful music, both vocal and instrumental, professedly under the inspiration of spirits. His home is now in San Diego, where he is said to have given some marvelous exhibition in connection with masses at the Catholic Church. The Golden Gate relates that he was recently in San Francisco, and sang at the nine o’clock mass in the French Catholic Church on Bush Street, and adds:-SITI September 8, 1887, page 560.4

    “The admission of so well-known a spirit medium to a participation in the musical services of a Catholic Church, would seem to indicate that there is less hostility towards the Spiritualism among the Catholics than there is among Protestants.”SITI September 8, 1887, page 560.5

    And why should there not be? The Protestant Churches received the doctrine of inherent immortality, which is the root of Spiritualism as a legacy from the Catholic Church. In a speech in San Francisco, two years ago, Monsignor Capel said that “to Catholics the spirit world was as clear as the light of a gas jet. They walked the streets accompanied by guardian angels. The dead were in their eyes disembodied spirits who surrounded the throne of God. They prayed to them as well as to the saints and angels. To say that they did not hold communication with the spirit world, would be contrary to the whole evidence of the history of the church.” However, Protestants are not far behind Catholics in their acceptance of Spiritualism, as we have abundant evidence to prove.SITI September 8, 1887, page 560.6

    An elder in the Disciple Church writes to the Christian Church News to know what should be done with members to keep their places of business open on Sunday. As that church professes to take the Bible as the sole guide, and is honest enough to acknowledge that there is no warrant in the Bible for calling Sunday a sacred day any more than other days, it is evident that nothing can be done in such a case. The church will have to wait until there is a law of the land enforcing Sunday observance, and then it will have a basis for the discipline of those who labor on that day. But before that time comes, many members of the churches will recognize the inconsistency of the church having to depend on human laws for the enforcement of its ordinances.SITI September 8, 1887, page 560.7

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