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    September 29, 1887

    “Is There Such a Thing as Death?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We find on our desk a letter from a professed “holiness” man, the editor of a “holiness paper”, taking us to task in no measured terms for teaching that man is not alive when he is dead. The writer thinks that such teaching is “scientifically devilish,” and says that if there is not a hell there ought to be one for people who will thus deceive the people, which charitable statement he makes for our special benefit. We pass this by as but the natural result of the Pharisaism which says, “Come not near to me; for I am better than thou,” and notice the question at issue, for there is no doubt but that some people do honestly stumble over some of the points which our critic mentions. For the benefit of such we write.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.1

    We will repeat the statements which appeared in the SIGNS, with which fault is found; “Life and death are exactly opposite terms. Life means existence. So long is a man has breath, he has life, no matter what his circumstances may be,” etc. This we reaffirm. For Scripture proof that “life” and “death” our terms exactly opposite in the meaning, we quote the following: “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.” Isaiah 28:1.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.2

    Here we find life and death directly contrasted. If Hezekiah had died, he would have ceased to live. Again, read Deuteronomy 30:19:-SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.3

    “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.4

    Also Deuteronomy 30:15:-SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.5

    “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.6

    Here is life and blessing promised to the good, and death and cursing promised to the evil. Inasmuch as good and evil and blessing and cursing are directly opposite terms, it follows that death and life are also placed in contrast. The contrast is the same as in Romans 8:13: “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if the true the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.7

    Read also Revelation 20:4, 5:-SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.8

    “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reign with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead live not again until the thousand years were finished.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.9

    Note that some who had been dead now “lived,” and more than this, they “lived again,” showing that there had been a cessation of life. There are two periods of living brought to view, separated by an interval of death, or of not living. Here again we seen death placed in contrast to life. Now know what it is that causes life or death. When God formed man of the dust of the ground, he “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7. It is the presence of breath that continues life. Job said: “All the while my breath is in me, and the Spirit of God is in my nostrils; my lips shall not speak wicked this, my time tongue utter deceit.” Job 27:3, 4. That which is here called the “spirit of God” is, as the margin says, “the breath which God gave him.” Job’s assertion was that he would not utter deceit as long as the breath which God gave him remained with him; in the other words, as long as he lived. He knew that after the breath left him he could not utter either deceit or truth, the same Spirit that inspired Job, also moved another holy man to say: “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man in whom there is no help. His breath go forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:3, 4. Another writer also said: “The living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything.” Ecclesiastes 9:5.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.10

    So then that is the exact opposite of life, in that the living have breath and consciousness, while the dead have no breath, and do not know anything. But now the objection is urged that there are places in the Bible where the word “dead or “death” is used without the meaning of non-existence or unconsciousness. As a sample objection, we quote the words of our “holiness” critic. He says:-SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.11

    “Will you please inform me if the apostle meant non-existence when he said, ‘Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God’? Did the prophet mean that he was speaking to non-existence when he said, ‘Awake thou that sleepeth, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light’? And the word of God said to Abimelech, ‘Thou art but a dead man,’ he meant to say that he was speaking to a non-existence? When the father said, ‘This my son was dead’ (Luke 15:24), he meant he was non-existent? he had been in a state where ‘he had no breath’?-and the apostle meant they had no ‘breath,’ when he said, ‘who were dead in trespasses and sin’”? Ephesians 2:1.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.12

    The trouble with our critic is that he does not seem to know that words may have a secondary meaning, or that there is such a thing as a figure of speech. We have known people to argue the same way about the word “day.” They would deny that the days of creation were literal days of twenty-four hours, because the term “day” is applied to the whole time in which the gospel is preached,-“now is the day of salvation.” That is, because the word “day” is sometimes used for a long period of time, they would deny that it is ever used with reference to a period of twenty-four hours; because a word is sometimes used in a secondary sense, they would deny that it could have any primary application! If our objector should ask us what a stone is, I might answer in the words of Webster’s Dictionary: “A mass of connected, earthy, or mineral matter.” And then he would reply, “Are you not ashamed to try to deceive people with such half truths? When Paul says that Jesus Christ is the chief corner-stone, does he mean that Jesus Christ is a mass of concreted, earthy, or mineral matter?” And then he might go on to argue that because Jesus is called a stone, it is utterly misleading to speak of a stone as being a mass of earthy matter. But would he claim that nothing can be called a stone unless it is like our Lord? Of course he would not. Everybody knows what a stone is, and its characteristics. And so when Christ is spoken of as being the chief corner-stone, they recognize at once that the idea meant to be conveyed is that he is something enduring, one upon whom it will do to build.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.13

    Now would the objector claim that when the Lord said to Abimelech, “Thou art but a dead man,” he meant that he was in the same condition that Lazarus was in when the Saviour said of him, “Lazarus is dead?” Or that when Paul says, “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God,” those to whom he is speaking are in the same condition as were the Assyrians after the angel of the Lord had smitten them, when it was said of them, “They were all dead corpses?” Of course he will not; for the most rabid Spiritualist, who denies that there is any such thing as death, will admit that the man who is in the condition commonly called death, is in a different condition from the one to whom that change has not come. Then it is admitted that there is such a thing as death, and that the dead are not alive.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.14

    Now let us consider each passage that is quoted above. “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Note here that the word “death” indicates the absence of life. And so is the primary idea of death,-absence of physical life,-that the apostle uses in his figure. An entire article would be needed to properly explain the gospel truth here referred to; it would be sufficient here to say that the death is the same as in Romans 6:2, 7; 4, 6, namely, that the person is dead vicariously. He was a sinner under sentence of death, Christ has actually died,-ceased to exist,-for sin; and the sinner has accepted the death of Christ in his behalf, and has indicated such acceptance by baptism, and now the law considers him as though the penalty had been executed, justice is satisfied; the man has been put to death, in Christ, has “risen with Christ,” and is now considered as another man.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.15

    Again, take the texts, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give the light,” and, “You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. Those who are sinners are condemned already; they have sentence of death in themselves. Their death is sure, unless they repent, and so, by anticipation, they are called dead. The same explanation applies in the case of the word that came to Abimelech: “Thou art but a dead man.” The thing which he had started to do, if persisted in, would surely result in his death, and so he was counted the same as dead already. But notice that these words mean nothing unless there is a fixed, definite meaning to the word “death.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.16

    In the parable of the prodigal son, the father is represented as saying, “This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” The son had been absent from home for a long time, and his father had had no word from him, nor any trace of him. He had been as completely separated from his father as though he had really been dead. And his father had mourned for him as dead. Therefore the father speaks of him as having been dead. So far as any communication between them was concerned, he was the same as dead. And this again makes prominent the condition of the dead-they are separated from their friends, and are silent; there can be no communication between them. This is the idea that is naturally conveyed by the word “death;” then so common is it that when the father in the parable would convey the idea of utter separation and the long silence that had existed between him and his son, he could best indicate it by saying that he had been dead.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.17

    It is only the fact that words have a fixed, definite meaning, that enables us to use them in figures of speech. If they had no fixed meaning, there would be no meaning conveyed by the figure. The reason why we have no difficulty in understanding the passages of Scripture that are quoted in this article, is because there is a fixed meaning to the word “death,” to which the mind involuntarily recurs.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.18

    And so we adhere to our scriptural statement that death is the opposite of life; that life is existence, and that death is the absence of existence. He who does not accept this, is in duty bound to tell what death is, and to give the texts which we are to depend on as giving the primary idea of death. W.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.19

    “Baptism, According to Liddell and Scott” The Signs of the Times, 13, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Greek Lexicon of Liddell and Scott, has always been recognized as a standard lexicon of the Greek language. The work has passed through several editions, and the seventh edition has lately been issued by the Harpers, of New York. The work has been enlarged, and has been carefully revised, not only by the authors, but by some of the best Greek scholars of America. It may therefore be considered as representing the best scholarship of the world. It has occurred to us, therefore, that it would be of interest to our readers to know the definition that is given to the word baptism, the Greek form of our English word baptize. Messrs. Liddell and Scott are both professors in Oxford University, England, and therefore cannot be accused of being biased in favor of immersion. We give not only the word baptize but also kindred words.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.20

    Baptize, “a dyer or dipper.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.21

    Baptize, “to dip in or under water.” The following instances of its use are given (we omit the Greek terms, and give only the translation): “of ships, to sink or disable them;” “to the drenched;” “soaked in wine;” “over head and ears in debt;” “being drowned with questions, or getting into deep water;” “to draw wine, by dipping the cup in the bowl;” etc.SITI September 29, 1887, page 598.22

    Baptisis,a dipping; baptism.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.1

    Baptisma, “baptism, the usual form in the New Testament.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.2

    Baptismos, “a dipping in water, ablution; baptism.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.3

    Baptistarion, “a bathing place, swimming bath; the baptistery in a church.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.4

    Baptistas, “one; a baptizer;” “ho Baptists, the Baptist.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.5

    Baptos, “dipped, dyed.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.6

    Bapto, “to dip in water, Latin immergere.” The word is used by Homer, of a blacksmith who tempers steel by plunging it into water.SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.7

    From this we can see that to talk about the “mode of baptism” is absurd, if reference is had to sprinkling or pouring. The term, “the mode of baptism,” can only have reference to whether the individual shall be baptized forward or backward. It would be as proper to call sprinkling diving into the water, as it would be to call it baptism. We have seen little children run about in water two or three inches deep, and say that they were swimming; that was childish imagination, but it was no more absurd than for one man to sprinkle a few drops of water on another’s head and then say that he has baptized him.SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.8

    But strong as is the etymological argument for immersion, it is surpassed by the argument from the nature and object of baptism, as set forth in the Scriptures. When once the design of baptism is understood, the absurdity of calling sprinkling baptism is very apparent. In fact, sprinkling has no significance whatever, and there is not the slightest ground upon which it can be defended, except that it is the custom of the people. But “the customs of the people are vain.” W.SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.9

    “Another View of the Sabbath” The Signs of the Times, 13, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Only last week we answered at some length a letter which was written for the purpose of showing that Sunday is the Sabbath. How far short the letter came from showing anything of the kind, our readers can judge. This week we have a somewhat similar task. From a Congregationalist pastor in Wisconsin we have received a very courteous letter stating the reasons why he cannot see that the seventh day is the Sabbath. The ground covered is entirely different from that covered by the letter and answer of last week, and so we present it at once. Certainly no apology is needed for giving line upon line, and repeated explanations, upon so important a subject as that of the Sabbath. Here is the letter:-SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.10

    “EDITOR SIGNS OF THE TIMES-Dear Brother: Your paper was sent to me for several months, and among many articles on the Sabbath question I noticed one in the issue of January 20, entitled, ‘Why Don’t They See It?’ Now I assure you that it is just as wonderful to me why you do ‘see it’ as you do. I should like to state a few points, as briefly as I can, in answer to that article and others like it:-SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.11

    1. The commandment does not say that we are to keep the seventh day of the week, but work six days and keep the seventh, i.e., one-seventh of our time, as one-tenth of our income belongs exclusively to the Lord.SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.12

    2. Because the Jews had a certain day as the Sabbath is no reason why we should keep that day any more than we are bound to keep it just as they did, or observe any other part of the ceremonial law.SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.13

    3. The Lord blessed the Sabbath day by making it a blessing to mankind to keep it. Those who keep as the Sabbath the first day of the week are just as truly and greatly blessed as those to keep the seventh day of the week. Both keep the ‘seventh day’ and obey the fourth commandment.SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.14

    4. Even if there was no other reason for retaining the day that we now observe, and there are most excellent ones, it can be shown from the Bible (our only guide) that Saturday is the day the Jews kept. It is not sufficiently true to warrant a division in the church of Christ.SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.15

    5. A men is no better, morally, for keeping the seventh instead of the first day of the week. Obedience to any of God’s commands, including the fourth in the decalogue, does make a man a purer, nobler, better man; but not so with this requirement of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.16

    We will take up these five points in the order in which they are given:-SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.17

    1. For the sake of bringing out a point, we will suppose for the moment that the commandment does not specify which day of the week should be observed. Our brother admits that the ten commandments are all binding, so that the fourth commandment is authority for observing Sunday. But if it does not designate the particular day to be observed, it follows that every man tay decide that matter for himself. If it be true that the commandment requires the observance of only an indefinite seventh part of time, then there is certainly no authority for Sunday-keeping any more than there is for keeping Monday or Tuesday. We do not know just what position our brother would take, but we do know that all Sunday advocates whom we have heard or read on the subject, are quite agreed that it is necessary that all Christians should observe Sunday. Indeed, our brother himself deprecates a division in the church of Christ, on this point. But why should there not be a division? What is there to call for unity? If the only place where Sabbath-keeping is enjoined does not tell us what day to observe, what reason is there for being united? Why should not every day in the week be kept by different ones if they feel so inclined? Oh, it is urged, and very justly, too, if everybody should choose his own day, there would be confusion, and it would be utterly impossible for either public or private business to be carried on. Well, then, if it is necessary that there should be unity in the matter of Sabbath observance, and we fully agree that it is necessary, then it is necessary that someone having authority should decide which day of the week shall be observed. Now there is no man or body of men that has this authority. If God, in giving the commandment, has given every man the liberty to choose the particular day upon which he will rest, tnohe man has any right to coerce another in the matter. It is self-evident that the only one who has any authority in the matter is the One who gave the commandment. If, as all agree, it is quite essential that there should be unity in the matter of Sabbath observance, then to say that God did not recognize this necessity, and provide for it, is to charge him with shortsightedness. The fact that unity is essential (and Christ himself declared that Christians should all be one), shows that God has provided for unity; and where can we find that provision if not in the commandment?SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.18

    Now we claim that the fourth commandment itself very definitely specifies which day of the week shall be observed: “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.” Where shall we begin this round of seven days,-six days of labor and one of rest? Evidently at the beginning of the only division of time which consists of seven days, that is, of the week. Any child who knows that “seven days make one week” would, on reading the commandment without comment, say at once that Saturday is the day which it enjoins.SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.19

    But we have an inspired comment on the commandment, which is sufficient to end all controversy. Luke, after giving the account of the crucifixion and burial of Christ, says: “And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath true on.” Luke 23:54. Then he says when the women saw the sepulcher, and how the body was laid, “they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher,” etc. Luke 23:56; 24:1. From Mark 16:1 we learn that “the Sabbath was past when” the women came to the sepulcher; and from Matthew 28:1 we learn that this “first day of the week,” upon which they came to the sepulcher, was immediately following that Sabbath day they kept “according to the commandment.” But the day before the first day of the week is the seventh day of the week. Therefore it is as clear as words can make it, that to rest upon the Sabbath day “according to the commandment,” we must rest upon the seventh day of the week.SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.20

    Remember, the question is not as to whether we should keep the seventh day because those women or anybody else did, but simply as to what the commandment requires. Our brother has admitted that the fourth commandment is the sole authority for Sabbath-keeping, and we have shown from the Scriptures that the commandment declares the seventh day of the week to be the Sabbath, and requires all men to keep it. Who can fail to see it?SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.21

    We might stop right here, and consider that all the points have been noticed; for since the commandment clearly implies the observance of the seventh day of the week, all questions of custom, etc., amount to nothing. But we will briefly reply to be other points of the letter.SITI September 29, 1887, page 599.22

    2. Of course the practice of the Jews is of no authority with us; neither is the practice of the Christian church. If we do not keep the seventh day because the Jews did, but because the Lord commands us to. This is an authority that may not be lightly disregarded. Perhaps our brother is unconscious of the fact, but in his implied statement that the requirement to keep the seventh day is only a ceremonial precept, he is discrediting all the other nine precepts of the decalogue. We should not like to have the opinion become prevalent that the sixth commandment was only a ceremonial precept for the Jews; for in that case this country would not be a safe place to live in.SITI September 29, 1887, page 600.1

    3. We have already shown that the commandment requires the observance of just one particular day of the week. The statement that those who keep the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath, and those to keep the first day of the week, both keep “the seventh day,” is a self-evident absurdity. The statement contradicts itself, and needs only to be repeated to be refuted. The Lord “blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it;” and so far as blessing to mankind is concerned, we have no warrant for expecting a blessing except in obedience to the commandment of the Lord. See Deuteronomy 11:26-28. A truly humble person will be blessed even though he is ignorantly violating some precept; but the blessing is not for his disobedience, even though it is unintentional, but for his obedience of every known duty. But no one can be blessed because of disobedience; he who has the light, and does not walk in it, may claim to be blessed; but he only is blessed whom the Lord approves.SITI September 29, 1887, page 600.2

    4. Notice the fallacy of our brother’s fourth point. He claims that it cannot be shown that Saturday is the seventh day, and then says that this is a reason why we should keep Sunday! Mark, he does not say that Saturday is not the seventh day, but only claims that it cannot be shown to be the day that the Jews kept. But that proves nothing for Sunday. Even if it could be positively shown that Saturday is not the seventh day, that would not prove Sunday to be the day to be observed; it would not prove a thing concerning Sunday. Truly the Sunday-sabbath rests on nothing at all, else its friends would give some reason for its observance.SITI September 29, 1887, page 600.3

    Can our brother show that the Jews are keeping a different day now from the one they kept in the time of Christ, or for two thousand years before that time? Will he dare intimate that they have changed their day of rest? Of course he will not. The Jews who observe any day, still keep the same day, that has always been kept by the Jews. They now keep the day which we call Saturday, and that is the day that they always have kept. Then Saturday is the day that the women kept “according to the commandment,” which Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John call the Sabbath, and which our Lord himself observed “as his custom was.” There is nothing in this world more sure than that the seventh day of the week is the day which God commanded all men to keep holy, and it is equally certain that the day which is commonly called Saturday is that seventh day. To say that God has ever allowed it to become impossible for men to tell why they should obey one of his fixed press precepts, is to charge God foolishly.SITI September 29, 1887, page 600.4

    5. All we have to say to this is, that a man is better morally for obeying the moral law; and the fourth precept of the moral law declares that the seventh day is the Sabbath, and requires men to keep it holy. As well might Jonah have said that he would not be any better morally for going to Nineveh than to Joppa. What difference did it make where he went, so long as he went somewhere? Just this difference: the Lord told him just where to go, and when he did not go there he disobeyed the Lord. That was an immoral act, because it was an act of disobedience to the plain command of the Lord.SITI September 29, 1887, page 600.5

    We trust that what has already been written shows clearly upon what basis the observance of the seventh day of the week rests. It is not a requirement of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES. This paper has no requirements. But it does have an interest in trying to induce men to obey the requirements of the Lord. We heartily agree with our brother that “obedience to any one of God’s commandments, including the fourth in the decalogue, does make a man purer, nobler, better man;” and we are sure that that command cannot be obeyed except the individual does just what the requires. We know that obedience does not consist in doing one thing when the Lord has required another; observance of the first day of the week cannot by any possibility be construed as obedience to a commandment which requires the observance of the seventh day of the week. We submit this as a self-evident proposition. He who thinks that it can be so construed, must settle the matter with the Lord, and not with the SIGNS OF THE TIMES. It is He that has made the requirement, and not us. W.SITI September 29, 1887, page 600.6

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We have an interesting communication from Elder C. L. Boyd, Cape Town, S. Africa, which will appear next week. Lack of space prevents its publication this week.SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.1

    The Youngstown (O.) Daily Telegram of September 9 contains an account of the Spiritualist Camp-meeting at Cassandaga, N.Y., which says: “The attendance has been so large on Sundays as to entirely overflow the amphitheater. If Spiritualism should be proven false, the fool killer would have to employ a large force of deputies, for it seems as though the majority of people nowadays believe in it.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.2

    It is stated on good authority that of the 2,500 suits begun in the Circuit Court of St. Louis, Mo., during the past twelve months, 700,-nearly one-third,-were divorce proceedings. The worst feature of the case is stated in the following words, by the same paper that furnishes the above information: “No longer can it be said that the ban of social ostracism is the award of the divorced man or woman, and the world appears to place them on a part with other people relatively situated financially and socially.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.3

    The Presbyterian says:-SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.4

    “Men convince themselves that a thing is so because they would have it so. They sit in judgment upon the plans and purposes of God himself, and, by a ‘helpful treatment of sacred Scriptures’ supply what they conceive to be wanting in God’s administration of the universe himself hath made.”SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.5

    This is a serious charge to bring against the “leaders of religious thought,” but the most serious thing about it is that it is well deserved. The Bible is fast losing its hold upon the professed Christian church. When men take it upon themselves to “help” the sacred Scripture, they become judges of it; “but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law but a judge.” To add a single thought or doctrine to the Scripture is virtually to deny the inspiration of the entire book.SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.6

    The Independent makes the suggestion that every reader make it a standing rule to commit two verses of the Bible to memory, the first thing that he does in the morning of each day, and that during the day he repeat three verses to himself so frequently as to fix them strongly in his memory. We heartily second the suggestion. The task would not be a difficult one, and in the course of a year a good amount of precious matter would be stored in the mind. One who pursues such a course need never be lonely, for no matter where he is, he has something to think about; and we know of nothing else that will so effectually drive away evil thoughts. Try it.SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.7

    We commend, also, the Independent’s suggestion that the book of Romans be committed to memory in this manner. Seven months would suffice to accomplish the task, which would be performed so easily as to seem no task; and when learned in that way, the constant repetitions would insure that it would never be forgotten.SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.8

    Some people decry the committing of scriptures to memory, urging that is better to have an understanding of the sense of a passage than to have the exact words in the mind. Just as if the committing of the exact words would make it impossible to understand the sense! As a matter of fact, we know that having the text in mind, where it can be meditated upon any time, is the very best way to have the full force of it impressed on the mind. And we are equally certain that some portions of the Scriptures and especially the greater part of Romans, and its companion book, the Epistle to the Galatians, cannot be appreciated until they are in just that way. No mere reading will ever unfold their treasures to any mind.SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.9

    “When a wicked men dieth his expectation shall perish; and the hope of unjust men perisheth.” Proverbs 11:7. Thus saith the Scripture, and yet grave and learned Doctors of Divinity will persist in telling the people, from the pulpit and through the religious press, that the Scriptures give no intimation that any man’s probation closes at death, and because the doctrine is a pleasing one, and because the assertion is made by men who claim that they know all about the Bible, thousands of people are accepting it without taking the trouble to read for themselves what the Bible says. A terrible awaking awaits those who, having intelligence, and the light of truth within their reach, are content to let somebody else to do their thinking for them.SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.10

    A friend has sent us a copy of the Pacific Methodist which contains a communication “on the Sabbath question,” and suggests that we may want to answer it. An answer is not necessary, for it kills itself. As evidence of this we quote one item. The gentleman, who prefixes “Rev.” to his name, denies that the word “day,” in any place in Genesis 1 or 2, means a period of twenty-four hours, and offers “in proof” the following profound argument:-SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.11

    “The six days of Genesis 1, are each closed by the words evening and morning. According to Dr. Young’s Analytical Concordance, the same Hebrew words, translated the evening and the morning, are used to mark the periods of time both before and after the creation of the sun and moon. With Dr. Young agreed many other competent authorities on this point. The evening and the morning were certainly not measured by the revolution of the earth around the sun before the creation of the sun!”SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.12

    Astonishing! But we would like to ask if the day has been measured by the revolution of the earth around the sun at any time since the sun was created. If we are correctly informed, the day is measured by the revolution of the earth on its own axis, without reference to the sun, and that could be done before the sun was made as well as afterwards. The sun was made to rule the day that already existed; but the earth would revolve on its axis once in twenty-four hours, forming the day, if the sun did not shine at all. Who has the next astro-geological “reason” to bring against the commandment of the Lord?SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.13

    Quite recently Dr. Lyman Abbott published a “Confession of Faith” in the Christian Union, in which he took the position that there is no close of probation at death any more than at any other time. A Congregationalist pastor in Massachusetts wrote to Dr. Abbott, thanking him for expressing so perfectly his own eschatological views, and added: “I wish such a Confession of Faith could be infinitely manifolded and distributed among those who are cobwebbed with the faith which dwelt in ‘grandmother Lois.’” This faith which dwelt in grandmother Lois, is the faith which was in the Timothy, and which caused the apostle Paul to be filled with joy. See 2 Timothy 1:4, 5. But the “new theology” which counts Doctor Abbott as one of its ablest champions, proposes to emancipate people from all such faith! Could there be a more open confession that the theology which is becoming so popular is contrary to the Bible? To some this may not seem a very serious matter, because, as they say, the issue is simply one of doctrine, and is not practical. But we know that the real question is whether or not the Bible shall be accepted by a professed Christians as of final authority in matters of faith. It is fact being decided that it shall not be. But the Bible is the only thing which gives light in matters of morality, and when it is cast aside, and human reason substituted, what is going to hinder the people from plunging into all manner of immorality? Isn’t it time poor somebody to “cry aloud”?SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.14

    The annual killing of hunters in California and Oregon has begun and is going on at the usual lively rate. Almost every other day the dispatches announce the killing of a man for a bear or a deer, or else of a man killing himself by crawling through the brush, or through a fence, or getting out of a boat or wagon, and pulling his gun after him. of course it is all “accidental,” but for none of it is there a particle of excuse. As for the killing of a man for a bear or a deer, or for any other piece of game, it ought to be made a crime with a heavy penalty attached. If such hunters were made to realize that the penitentiary stood before them, they would be more careful to see, before shooting, whether the object of their aim was a man, or some other game. It is true that if this were so, there might occasionally a deer escape. But it seems to us that it would be better to kill fewer deer than more men. This may be old fogyish but so the thing appears to us.SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.15

    As for those who kill or maim themselves by dragging their guns after them, as they themselves pay the penalty of their own senseless carelessness, of course no laws are needed on that point. But to people who want to go a-gunning without killing themselves, it may be in order to suggest that it is just as easy to put your gun ahead of you and crawl up to it, as it is to put yourself ahead and drag your gun after you. It is just as easy, and a good deal safer. Yet it is altogether likely that for the present generation of gunners, this suggestion is gratuitous; because those who have sense enough to handle a gun will keep it before them, and those who have not sense enough will hardly profit by any suggestion that might be made.SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.16

    The following item, from the dispatches of September 17, should be published everywhere. If the crime-condoning juries everywhere were treated as were these who so richly deserved it, there would soon be a much more wholesome atmosphere about the criminal jurisprudence of the country. The case occurred in Kansas City.SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.17

    “Judge White’s charge to the jury in the case of John Snyder, charged with attempting to assault Ruth Rollard, aged seven years, was strongly in favor of conviction. After being out about five minutes, the jury return a verdict of guilty and fixed the punishment at six months in the county fail. The clerk had scarcely finished reading the verdict when Judge White, frowning angrily, thumped violently on the desk and exclaimed: ‘Mr. Clerk, read that verdict again.’ The verdict being read, the Judge inquired: ‘So say you all, gentleman of the jury?’SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.18

    “The answer was in the affirmative and the judge said: ‘Gentlemen, I shall take the liberty to set your verdict aside. If you had found the defendant not guilty I should have nothing to say, but when you find him guilty and assess his punishment at six months, you perpetrate an outrage. If you think men may take female children from the cradle for the purpose of gratifying their lustful desires, and then escape on an imprisonment of six months, you are a disgrace to the civilization of the day. You will all now be discharged from attendance and forever disqualified as jurors in this court.’”SITI September 29, 1887, page 608.19

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