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    September 15, 1887

    “Preachers” The Signs of the Times, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Great harm comes to the church and public morality when preachers and other teachers hide themselves away from sight, become, in other words, recluses. But harm almost as great arises from their too prominent identification with affairs that do not properly belong to them. The latter difficulty is, perhaps, the present one, the many reforms and goodish movements of the period tempting them to help in their advancement. The middle ground is the right one, with a heavy leaning to the side of the gospel as a gospel of salvation.SITI September 15, 1887, page 565.1

    “‘That They May All Be One’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is no one thing to which Christians are exhorted more strenuously than they are to unity. Indeed it is the one thing essential. Without unity they have no means of proving to the world the truth of the religion which they profess. Christians are those who are united to Christ, and if they are united into Christ,-members of one body,-they must necessarily be united to one another. Therefore union is the great test of Christianity.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.1

    But when we say this, we do not mean that all who profess Christianity must necessarily be united. We can conceive of union that would be far worse than dissension. We refer to a union upon something contrary to the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Such a union would be no evidence of Christianity, as anybody can see. It must be, therefore, that when our Saviour prayed that all his professed disciples might be one, he designed that their union be a union upon the truth of God as revealed in his word. And this is still more evident from our Saviour’s words in another part of that same prayer, where he said: “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.”SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.2

    These thoughts were suggested by reading a letter which we recently received, and which the writer deplored the fact that some are keeping the seventh day of the week,-the Sabbath of the Lord,-while the majority of Christians observe the first day of the week. He wished that there might be unity in this respect, and hoped that the time would soon come when Christians should unite in bringing about the fulfillment of our Lord’s prayer, “that they all may be one.” Inasmuch as he pleaded quite strongly for Sunday observance, we conclude that he wants those who keep the seventh day to unite with the majority, and thus fulfill our Saviour’s desire.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.3

    It is not an unfrequent thing for people to accuse the seventh-day keepers of bringing in dissension, and of being the cause of there being a division among professed Christians. Now to us the case looks very much as follows: a teacher sends her score of pupils out to play, with instructions for them to keep within a certain inclosure, and an express injunction for them to keep together and be united in their play. Very soon they propose a game if carried out would make it necessary for them to go outside the inclosure. They all start over the fence, except two who refuse to disobey their teacher. The others beg them to come along, stating that the teacher will not care, because so many of them have already gone outside, and then they remind the two of the teacher’s injunction that they should keep it together. But still the two refuse to go outside, and so the play is hindered, and the good feeling with which they all started out is marred. The teacher, hearing the dispute, goes out to see what is the matter, and is told by the majority that all the trouble is caused by those two obstinate ones, who refuse to act in harmony with them. Now we think that almost anyone will say that the two are all right, and that the trouble is all caused by the majority who refuse to obey the simple command of the teacher. The teacher also would say that when she enjoined them to keep together, she meant that they should keep it together in the place marked out for them. No one would say that the eighteen ought to be praised for being united in an act of disobedience.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.4

    Well, God has enjoined upon all who profess to be learners from him, that they should be one; but when he tells them that, he expects that they will be one and obey his law. It would be too much to suppose that he would reward them for being united, if they were united in disobedience. Indeed, he has said that union in disobedience is displeasing to him, for we read: “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished; but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.” Proverbs 11:21. Numbers do not make a sin respectable in the eyes of God. He had more pleasure in Noah than in all the antidiluvian world besides. In fact, Noah was the only one with whom he was pleased, and the reason is given thus: “For thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” Doubtless Noah was accused of being a disturber of the people; but it was better to be a disturber on the side of right than to be joined to the multitude in error.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.5

    In later times, when the Jewish nation had nearly all gone into idolatry, there was one faithful man, who refused to join their iniquitous union. The Israelites were a very united people at that time, and did not want to have any disturbing element among them. And so when Elijah came to warn them again, Ahab said to him, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” Elijah did not accept the accusation, but stated the matter in its true light, saying, “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house [have trouble Israel], in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.” 1 Kings 18:17, 18.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.6

    We love union, but we hope that we may never accept of any union that will involve a violation of the plain precept of God. Rather would we stand in the law of the Lord, calling the multitude to return and walk in the old paths. W.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.7

    “Once a Sin Always a Sin” The Signs of the Times, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A friend asks us concerning the curse in Deuteronomy 27:23, against a man marrying his mother-in-law, wishing to know if that prohibition is still in force, or if it is part of the law that was nailed to the cross of Christ. He says, “Does all from the 14th verse to the end of the chapter stand good, except the 23rd verse? Is so, why?”SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.8

    We say most emphatically, None of it has passed away. The words at the close of the chapter: “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them,” apply to all the precepts therein recorded, without exception. There is no more reason for saying that verse 23 does not apply now, than there is for saying that the 15th verse is out of date. To say that these verses are part of that which Christ took out of the way, nailing them to his cross, is equivalent to saying that Christ is the minister of sin. For even heathen nations recognize the fact that to set light by one’s father or his mother (see verse 16) is a sin. If this law is done away, then it would follow that it is all right for one to smite his neighbor, provided he does it in such a way as not to be found out. See verse 24. No; these curses are in full force to-day, and it is as surely a sin for one to marry his mother-in-law, as it is to make a graven image to worship, to smite a man secretly, or to take a reward to slay an innocent person.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.9

    The curses recorded in Deuteronomy 27:15-26, are all for violation of some one or other of the ten commandments. This can be seen by an examination of the passage itself and also by comparing verses 11-14 with Deuteronomy 11:26-29. The latter passage reads thus: “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day; and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. And it shall come to pass, when the Lord thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.” Now by reading Deuteronomy 27:11-14, we find that the curses which follow were to be pronounced in harmony with the above injunction, and with the statement that God set a curse before those who should transgress his commandments.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.10

    The simple fact is, and it should be remembered by all, that no man can be blessed now for doing what would once have brought him under the curse of God. God’s will is ever the same. He never pronounced a curse upon any thing except sin, and no one was ever cursed except for sin. And since God cannot change, the standard of right and wrong must ever be the same. Whatever would bring a man under the curse of God four thousand years ago, will bring one under that same curse to-day. Wherever in the Bible you find a curse attached to the performance of a certain thing, be assured that that thing is to be always and forever avoid by the children of men.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.11

    “‘They Overpass the Deeds of the Wicked’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    These words were used by the inspired prophet (Jeremiah 5:28) concerning the professed people of the Lord in ancient Jerusalem. The careful reader of the context, however, will readily see that their sole application is not to the ancient Jews, but that Jeremiah, while looking at the Jews, saw in prophetic vision far beyond them, and beheld another people in the last days walking in the same path. That the prophecy concerning Jerusalem has equal reference to the church in the last days, may be seen by reading from the beginning of the fourth chapter, and especially verses 19-31 of that chapter.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.12

    If anything more were needed to prove that the iniquity which brought destruction upon ancient Jerusalem will be duplicated in the last days, we have only to quote the plain language of the apostle Paul, in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:-SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.13

    “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.14

    The last sentence shows that these things will be seen among those who profess to be followers of God. Within the past three weeks, three different things have come under our notice, which vividly illustrate some of the things mentioned by the apostle as characteristic of the last days. First of all, as illustrating the phrase, “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God,” we quote the following which appeared in the column of Church News in the Oakland Tribune of September 3:-SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.15

    “A CHURCH ENTERTAINMENT

    “Yesterday afternoon was devoted by the ladies of the Church of the Advent, East Oakland, to the selling of fancy work, toys, candy, and other useful ornamental articles at a bazaar open in Washington Hall. In the evening a short literary programme was given, after which dancing was indulged in until 11 o’clock. Refreshments were served during the afternoon and evening. About 11 o’clock the company was called together to attend an auction of cakes. W. S. Goodfellow acted as auctioneer, and succeeded in getting a goodly sum of money into the church treasury by the sale of the delectable merchandise.”SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.16

    Lest some should by any possibility get a wrong impression, we will explain that the “Church of the Advent” is the name of an Episcopal house of worship, and has no reference whatever to Adventist. In regard to the above notice, some may say, “It shows, to be sure that they are lovers of pleasures, but how does it show that they are ‘lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God’?” Just this way: Although professedly for the cause of Christ, the pleasures indulged in were such as are utterly incompatible with love to God. It was a pleasure which is only of the world. Now John says: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15. Therefore the indulgence in such amusements at all, at any time or for any purpose, is evidence of absence of love to God. But such things are common nowadays, and we pass to another phase.SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.17

    Indeed New York Observer of September 1, we find the following item:-SITI September 15, 1887, page 566.18

    “Strange things are done in the name of charity. The ‘champion’ prize-fighter of America, Boston delights to honor, recently gave an exhibition of his skill in the fistic art for the benefit of a Roman Catholic benevolent society in Rhode Island. Some charitably disposed persons in Paris, France, have improved upon the Sullivan scheme by instituting ‘a grand cock-fight for the benefit of the poor.’”SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.1

    Certainly nothing more than this is needed to prove the correctness of the appellation, “fierce,” those who in the last days are content with only a form of godliness. To be sure the prize-fighter in Rhode Island was under the auspices of the Catholics, but they are now, by the most of the so-called Protestants, recognized as a “branch of the Christian Church.”SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.2

    But all these acts of wickedness and worldly pleasures are over past by a thing which was done in Illinois about a month ago. It was a “crazy supper” given by the ladies of the Methodist church. No description could do justice to it, and so we give below as nearly as possible a fac-simile, reduced in size of course, of the hand-bill which announced it:-SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.3

    The Magic MCON is BREAKING,
    Like a conqueror from THE east,
    THE waiting we Rid awaking.
    To A golden. Fairy feast-shakeSPEARE.
    The LADIES of the M. E. Church,
    assisted by their many friends,
    will give a CRAZY SUPPER At the ARMORY,
    SULLIVAN, ILLINOIS, WEDNESDAY EVE., AUG. 3, 1887
    BEGINNING AT 5:30 O’CLOCK P. m. and
    “We won’t go home ‘till morning;”
    Is it not Written, “Every vacuum must be filled?”
    “Let no guilty man escape?” So come along.
    Hear the words of the Prophet Jerry My Oh,
    “The young MAN and HIS girl can’t live on dry bread alone.”
    So the crzy, maizy MENU will consist, among other things,
    Of Tongue, Chicken Salad, and just Everyday chicken,
    Ham, Pickles, Jelly, Cake, Ice Cream, Tea, Coffee, etc.,
    And will be served in many crazy, mazy, hazy waze.
    “And the light shone down on brave women and fair men.”-Burns.
    Give ear, Oh ye inhabitants of Sullivan and vicinity,
    to the voice of DAVE, the SWEET RINGER,
    “make a joyful sound on the ‘Psaltery and the Buttery,
    the TIN horn and the Cob Pipe,“
    such excellent music will be furnished.
    ADMISSION AND SUPPER, 25 CTS.
    Friends, Romans, Countrymen, WE come not here to talk,
    But to invite YOU to eat, drink and be merry.
    THE JOHN L. SULLIVAN NEWS PRINT.
    SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.4

    One of the original bills, of which the above is an exact copy, is in our possession, having been sent us by our friend Elder A. O. Tait, who was holding meetings in the town of Sullivan when the crazy revel took place. The shape of the hand-bill we cannot reproduce, but it is sufficient to say that it is fantastic, and fully in keeping with the matter which it contains, giving evidence that those who got it up were eminently qualified to conduct a “crazy” supper.SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.5

    But while the bill shows the church people who got it up to be “lovers of there own selves,” and “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God,” it proves to a demonstration that the epithet “blasphemers” is fully merited by these last-day professors. Passing by the extracts from the drunkard’s song, “We won’t go home ‘till morning,” which shows that their revel, beginning at 5:30 P.M., was to last all night, we call attention to the abominable caricature of the language of sacred Scriptures. Isaiah’s prophecy of the forerunner of the Messiah, in which are found the words, “Every valley shall be exalted,” (Isaiah 40:3, 4), is distorted into “Every vacuum shall be filled,” and made to apply to the filling of the stomachs of unholy gormandizers. The name of that holy man who before his birth was designated as a prophet of God, is caricatured as “Jerry My Oh,” and then to him are attributed the words, “The young man and his girl can’t live on dry bread alone.” And then, worst of all, if we can mark degrees in such blasphemy, is the parody of the name of the psalmist, and of the language of the Psalms, in the sentence: “Give ear, Oh ye inhabitants of Sullivan and vicinity, to the voice of Dave the Sweet Ringer, ‘make a joyful sound on the ‘Psalter-y and the Butter-y, the tin horn and the Cob Pipe.’”SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.6

    We venture the assertion that there is not an infidel club in the United States that would dare put forth such a blasphemous caricature of sacred things. Truly the words of the prophet whom they have ridiculed apply to them: “For among my people are found wicked men; they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit; therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine; yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked; they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.” Jeremiah 5:26-28.SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.7

    It is not because we take pleasure in exposing the evil deeds of others, that we give such prominence to these matters, but that we may fulfill the injunction of Isaiah 58:1, and if possible to rouse those who are not wholly given over to such abominations, to the fact that the end cannot be far off. There is another point also, that we should make. When we say that the passage of a Sunday law would result in the persecution of those who conscientiously observe the seventh day, we are told that fact cannot be, because Christians will not persecute, and worldlings will have no interest in the matter. Leaving “worldlings” aside, what clemency, we ask, can humble commandment-keepers expect from “Christians,” who have no sense of the sacredness of the Bible? What better are such professors than “worldlings”? And when the matter comes to the test, no more zealous advocates for a rigid Sunday law can be found than these same ones who walk in “lusts, ... revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.” Having no real godliness in themselves, they will think to make up for it by excessive zeal for a form thereof.SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.8

    Further, Solomon says, “They that forsake the law praise the wicked” (Proverbs 28:4); and they who praise the wicked must, as a necessary consequence, despise the good; therefore it is as clear as the noonday sun that professors who are guilty of such blasphemy as these which we have noticed, or who suffer them without stern rebuke, well, when the power is placed in their hands, the foremost in persecuting those whose godly lives and teaching condemn their course.SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.9

    When the Saviour was on earth he drove from the temple those who made it a place of merchandise. Soon he is coming again, and terrible will be the fate of those who do abominable deeds under the garb of religion. The prevalence of these things of which we have spoken should serve simply to cause the servants of God to humble themselves, to seek righteousness, and meekness, that they might be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger. “Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word: Your brethren that he did you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” Isaiah 66:5.SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.10

    Therefore, “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” Luke 21:34. W.SITI September 15, 1887, page 567.11

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The SIGNS of September 1 contained the appointment for a camp-meeting to be held near Caldwell, Idaho Territory, beginning September 13. We have just received word that the date has been changed. The meeting will be held one week later September 20-25.SITI September 15, 1887, page 576.1

    A writer in be Evangelical Churchman, of Canada, makes a strong plea for the Canadian Legislature at its next session to pass an Act authorizing the Governor-General “to issue a proclamation prohibiting all Sunday railway traffic throughout the entire dominion, at such a date as a similar Act shall come into operation in the United States.” He says that “when the people of the United States know that Canada has passed an Act against Sunday railway traffic, which must remain inoperative until their own Congress passes a similar Act which in connection with the Canadian one would stop all Sabbath desecration by railway and steamboat companies, and when they are appealed to as they will be by pulpit and press, they will say, ‘This thing must be done.’” This appeal by pulpit and press is even now being made, loud enough to be heard even to Canada. How long will it be before the thing shall be accomplished?SITI September 15, 1887, page 576.2

    The question is frequently asked, “Why did God make a devil?” The answer is, He did not. He never made any being who was not perfect and pure. Satan was the chief of the angels who “kept not their first estate” (Jude 6), but who sinned and were delivered into chains of darkness to be reserved unto Judgment. 2 Peter 2:4. Some unthinking person is likely to ask, “Why did God let him sin?” Simply because God made him an intelligent creature and not a machine. God does not delight in sin, and it is certain that he did not want Satan to sin, but when Satan determined to sin there was no way to prevent it without destroying his identity; for if by almighty power he had been restrained from open rebellion, the desire itself would have been sin all the same. The fact is, Satan sinned, and God’s disapproval of the act has been shown ever since, and will yet be shown in the most marked manner possible, when Satan, with all his hosts, shall be destroyed.SITI September 15, 1887, page 576.3

    In answer to the question, “Has it ever been a doctrine of the Presbyterian Church that unbaptized infants were lost?” a correspondent of the Interior says: “It has never been. On the contrary, Presbyterians have protested always against the doctrine.” Well, then, we should like to know why they baptize infants. It is very certain that adults are baptized in order that they may be saved; for whatever carping there may be about baptism as a saving ordinance, we have the declaration, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned;” also the command, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” See also 1 Peter 3:21, 22. The command is imperative for all who believe to be baptized; there is no exception made. To say that men who neglect baptism stand an equal chance of being saved with those who are baptized, would be to deny the necessity of that ordinance. And so when Pedobaptists admit, what they cannot deny, that infants who are not “baptized” will be saved as well as those who undergo the ceremony, they admit that the ceremony is entirely unnecessary, and if unnecessary, it is wrong. The so-called baptism of infants, which is in reality no baptism at all in any sense of the word, is a gross perversion of a sacred ordinance, and a mockery which has about it none of the elements of solemnity.SITI September 15, 1887, page 576.4

    “What Shall be Done?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    P.A.F. asks: “What is a woman who is a Seventh-day Adventist, and whose husband is an infidel, to do if he requests her to buy or sell on the Sabbath day? Will not sin be imputed to her if she complies? Also her young children desire to keep the Sabbath, but the father will not let them do it. What shall she do? If she should resolve to live apart, she would lose the children entirely.”SITI September 15, 1887, page 576.5

    We do not know everything, and cannot undertake to tell people what their duty is in special cases, but so far as we have any light, the woman’s course seems plain, although not necessarily easy. 1. She should keep the Sabbath. Her husband is not in the place of God to the woman; God’s plain command far outweighs her husband’s request or even command. There is no human obligation which can set aside one obligation to God. 2. Sin would most certainly be imputed to the woman, as well as to anybody else, if she violated the Sabbath. 3. She should do with her children the best she can, by precept and example. If the father will not allow them to keep the seventh as they wish, she cannot help the matter. If she should leave, her influence over them would be at an end. Moreover, she has no scriptural warrant for leaving, and to do so would be unjustifiable, and would bring reproach on the cause. A woman may not leave her husband simply because he is not a Christian. Possibly she herself cannot keep the Sabbath as well as she would if she were alone, but by her quiet, godly life, she may save her children, and possibly her husband too.SITI September 15, 1887, page 576.6

    One thing ought always to be remembered; very often fierce lions appear in the path just ahead of us, making it seem impossible to advance; when we push straight ahead, we find that they are changed. People are lost because of trials and dangers which they saw but were afraid to meet, rather than by those which they pass through. All of which is summed up in the words of the apostle Paul: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.SITI September 15, 1887, page 576.7

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