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    October 20, 1887

    “Short-sighted Reasoning” The Signs of the Times, 13, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Quite recently we read an article entitled “Keeping the Sabbath-day Not a Success,” written by one who was himself once a Sabbath-keeper. The writer spoke of the greater number of Sunday-keepers, and mentioned the other points of a superior prosperity on the part of Sunday-keepers over Sabbath-keepers, and said:-SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.1

    “If, now, keeping Saturday is so highly pleasing to God, why does he not prosper it more? If Sunday observance is such a sin in the sight of God, why does he so remarkably bless those who persist in it?”SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.2

    This is one of the most common arguments against the Sabbath-keeping and in favor of Sunday observance, and it is an argument that doubtless carries more weight with than any other. The reason for this is that it is more easily comprehended than any other; it does not require a logical mind to grasp it. But the style of the argument is by no means new, and we would like to refer our readers, who may be troubled over it, to an instance of the use of exactly the same argument about twenty-five hundred years ago. The circumstances were these:SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.3

    A number of the Jews, disregarding the express command of the Lord, had gone down to Egypt to live, and had fallen in with the customs of the country, and were burning incense to the Egyptian gods. Jeremiah, being divinely inspired, expostulated with them for their wickedness, reminding them of the judges that had been brought upon Israel in the past, for departing from God, and saying that God would bring similar punishments upon them.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.4

    “Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, as for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.” Jeremiah 44:15-18.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.5

    This is a fair specimen of worldly reasoning,-of the reasoning of those who think that all accounts must be settled as they go along. The psalmist came very near making the same mistake once. Said he:-SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.6

    “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Psalm 73:2, 3.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.7

    And then he goes on to tell how that they have no bands and death, they are not in trouble as other men are, and they have more than heart can wish. But when he went into the sanctuary and understood their end, he learned that God does not settle up his accounts with people as they go along. The people who seemed the most prosperous may be in the greatest danger.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.8

    If prosperity in Sunday-keeping proves that God is pleased with that practice, then the prosperity of the Jews, when they were worshiping idols, proved that God was pleased with such practices. But everyone will say that God was not pleased with them, even though they enjoyed a temporary prosperity. How did they know that? Because God said so; the first commandment forbids the worship of other gods, and the second commandment declares that he cannot endure idolatry. In the same way we know that God is not pleased with Sunday-keeping, even though those who practice it may have prosperity. His commandment enjoins the observance of the Sabbath of the Lord,-the seventh day of the week, the only Lord’s day,-and he is pleased only when his commandment is obeyed.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.9

    The fact is, that wealth and numbers are not real success and prosperity. It cannot be known in this life whether or not any man has made life a success. The successful life is that one which is crowned with life eternal. Only when the Lord comes, and brings to light the hidden things of darkness, and makes manifest the counsels of the heart, will it be known who has made a success of life, or what course of action has been crowned with success. But we may know now what course of action, if faithfully persisted in, will be crowned with success, for God’s word tells us: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Therefore, let no one be turned aside from this course by the prosperity of those who are walking in a way of their own choosing. There prosperity is not real, only seeming. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” W.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.10

    “The California Camp-Meeting” The Signs of the Times, 13, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    This meeting began Thursday evening, October 6, and is just drawing to close as we write this report, Monday night, October 17. By unanimous vote of the congregation the meeting was held one day longer than the original appointment, and yet it seemed too short for all that needed to be done. In some respects this was one of the most successful camp-meetings ever held in California. The weather was all that could be desired. A hot north wind, the first three days of the meeting, caused some discomfort; but we have never attended a meeting where the weather was more uniformly fine.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.11

    The meeting was the largest one ever held on the Pacific coast. Besides the large preaching pavilion, there were three hundred and ten tents pitched. Of this number one tent, 50x77 feet in size, was used for children’s meetings, and for the primary divisions of the Sabbath-school; another, 50x70 feet in size, was divided into twenty apartments for lodgers; a sixty-foot tent served as a bookstand. When the vote was taken last year to purchase a tent 100x150 feet in size, many thought that the move was a little wild, but this meeting proved that it was bought none too soon. On the second Sunday, when Sister White spoke from Matthew 6:24-34, the tent was filled to its utmost capacity, and a large crowd stood outside. A census taken in the early part of the meeting. Showed that twelve hundred and fifty people were encamped; but it afterwards transpired that a few tents have been missed, and quite a number came to the ground afterward.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.12

    The presence of Brother and Sister White, right after the meeting had been in progress four days, added much to the interest of the meeting. Indeed, the large attendance was mostly due to the fact that it had been announced that Sister White would be present. On this account many came who had never attended a camp-meeting before.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.13

    We have never before held a meeting in California which was so well advertised, nor one which was so well planned in all its arrangements. The restaurant tent was arranged so that the helpers could perform their work with less inconvenience than usual; and the healthful food which was prepared was highly appreciated. Two electric lights in the preaching tent, and three more at convenient places outside, afforded all the light that was needed, and saved much trouble that is usually spent in caring for lamps.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.14

    The spiritual interests of the people were looked after as being the main object of the meeting. The large amount of business connected with the Conference, Tract Society, and Sabbath-school, gave less time for this, and for instruction in various branches of work that was desired, yet there were some precious seasons. On each Sabbath of the meeting several hundred came forward in response to a call for those who wished the prayers of God’s people, and the work for them was carried on in the various districts into which the campus was divided. Thirty-nine were baptized, and nearly as many more candidates will be baptized at their home churches. Twice each day a meeting was held for the children, in which many sought and found the Saviour.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.15

    There was a seeming a break in one portion of the meeting, owing to dissatisfaction which the devil had been planting in the minds of some of the brethren; but a thorough investigation resulted in establishing the confidence of the people and the work to a degree probably never before felt; so that although there was some time seemingly lost, all felt that great advancement had been made.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.16

    Sister White eloquently presented the needs of the missions in Europe, and the difficulties under which the work there is struggling, and the people responded with pledges and cash donations to the amount of over $8,500 beside, a goodly amount of jewelry.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.17

    The Sabbath-schools held on the ground were most interesting. The membership the first Sabbath was 1,156, but on the second Sabbath there were 1,307 in the school, and the number of classes was 181. The class contributions the first Sabbath amounted to $207.75, and the second Sabbath to $213.65, making a total of $421.40, which all goes to the South Africa Mission. It being seen that the $1,000 pledged to the African mission by the Association at last year’s session, would be more than doubled by the close of the present year, it was voted by the association to donate at least $2,500 of the Sabbath-school contributions for 1888 to the city mission recently started in London, England, provided the International Association would consent.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.18

    The camp was thoroughly canvassed, and many subscriptions were taken for the various periodicals, but the number has not been ascertained at present writing. The cash sales at the bookstand amounted to over $850, besides the orders which were taken.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.19

    The secretary’s report showed a marked increase in the amount of tithes paid in the Conference, there being more than $12,200 more this year than last year. If the brethren and sisters shall remember the earnest exhortation that was given them on the matter of bringing all the tithes into the storehouse, and also resolutions which they made, as we believe they will, we may see a much greater increase next year.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.20

    It was with regret that the Conference and Tract Society dropped Elder Haskell from the presidency, but it was felt to be imperative, as his full attention will be taken up for the next year at least with the work in England. He has labored long and faithfully for the cause in California, and has taught the people how to work. He will ever be held in loving remembrance, and will be heartily welcomed back whenever his duties will permit him to return. Our prayers shall go up for him and the work in which he is engaged, and we know that he will not forget the work here, even if he is not officially connected with it. The brethren and sisters leave for their homes with good courage in the Lord, determined to gain daily victories by his help. W.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.21

    “Bible Study” The Signs of the Times, 13, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is a vast difference between reading and studying. A person may read the Bible through a hundred times and still know really nothing about it, and may not be able to quote a single verse correctly. To learn a passage or chapter by heart, even, is not necessarily studying; it may be simply parrot work. To study means to closely examine; to apply the mind to a certain thing; to read and examine for the purpose of learning or understanding. A person may be able to relate, when questioned, everything that is recorded in a certain chapter, without having given it any real study. He may learn the bare facts without that close examination that is required to understand the lesson which they are designed to convey.SITI October 20, 1887, page 630.22

    A person has learned a thing only when he has made it his own-a part of himself; when he can add to things which he has previously learned, and see the relation between them; or when he has it fixed in his mind as a nucleus, around which to gather other facts. The Bible is a book in which the writings of many individuals, covering many hundreds of years, unite to form one harmonious whole. All the different Bible writers have one common object in view; there is a oneness of purpose seen in all their writings. No one portion of the Bible can be isolated from the rest, and its meaning be fully grasped. It is only when we compare Scripture which Scripture, that we get the full benefit of Bible study. If the text of a Sabbath-school lesson is found in a certain chapter, and the pupil confines his attention to that chapter alone, he has not thoroughly studied his lesson. The texts bearing on one subject should be treasured up in the mind, and others added to them, and woven together like the various threads of a fabric, till the whole subject stands out clear and distinct. Then the relation of different subjects should be kept in mind.SITI October 20, 1887, page 631.1

    In this way a given amount of study will accomplish vastly more good than the same amount of study without any definite purpose. Of course it will take time to arrive at even a moderate understanding of all the great truths of God’s word, and for this very reason the time should be improved to the best advantage. With persevering study, however, and the wisdom which is promised to those who pray in faith, even the most unlearned may become acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, which alone are able to make us “wise to salvation”-“thoroughly furnished unto of good works.” W.SITI October 20, 1887, page 631.2

    “Brief Comments” The Signs of the Times, 13, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner


    The number of times that the Lord tells Joshua to be strong and of good courage is worthy of note. After telling him that he will be with him even as he was with Moses, and that he will not fail him, the Lord says, “Be strong and they could courage” (chapter 1:6) then follows the assurance that he shall divide the land among the Israelites. In the next verse he says again, “Only be thou strong and very courageous.” Then follows an admonition to do according to all that was written in the law, and to meditate upon that day and night; and then exhortation is again given: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed.”SITI October 20, 1887, page 631.3

    The Lord does not desire that his people should give way to discouragement. The same exhortation that was addressed to those who were about to enter into the earthly Canaan, is applicable to the Israel of God, who are striving for an inheritance in the heavenly Canaan. “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed.” Why not to be discouraged? Are we not weak? and is not our enemy powerful? Would it not be presumptuous in us to feel strong and confident? Yes; it would if we depended only on our own strength; but unfortunately we have also the same promise that was made to Joshua. It is this: “For the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” And he has also said, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” The Christian should ever realize this glorious truth: “The eternal God is my refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Knowing this, how can he become discouraged? The apostles exhortation is, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10.SITI October 20, 1887, page 631.4


    It is sometimes claimed that there is no such thing as holy time; that is absurd to think that one day is really any better than another; that men can make any day a holy Sabbath by resting upon it. It would be interesting to hear such ones explain Joshua 5:15. The case is similar to that of Moses at the burning bush. Joshua had seen the man standing by Jericho, and had learned that he was the “captain of the host of the Lord.” “And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest holy. And just what did so.” Now did the ground become holy because Joshua took off his shoes, or was it holy before? The answer is, It was holy before, for the Lord said so. Then it seems that there may be a difference between things of the same kind. There was no outward difference between the ground on which Joshua was standing and the ground in other places, yet there was a difference. One was holy, on account of the presence of the Lord, the other was not. The ground on which Joshua stood would have remained holy even if he had not removed his shoes. So it is with the Sabbath. The Lord has made it holy, and it will remain holy whether man regards it or not. The failure to discriminate between the holy and the profane is that which brings the judgments of God upon mankind.SITI October 20, 1887, page 631.5


    “Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.” “So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” Some, in their eagerness to overthrow the Sabbath of the Lord, have found in this occurrence a loss of time. But there was no time lost. It was simply a lengthening of the day. If such a miracle should occur on the Sabbath, it would simply lengthen the Sabbath. Two days were not combined in one, but it was one long day. “And there was no day like that before it or after it.”SITI October 20, 1887, page 631.6

    Skeptics find an abundance of food for caviling in this miracle, as, indeed, they may in any. But the Bible student need not be troubled about it. To say that it could not occur, is in reality to deny that God is the creator of the heavens and the earth; for if God made the planets it is certain that he can control them. It is said that God instituted fixed laws by which they should be governed. Very true; but did he put those laws out of his own power? The maker of a threshing machine designs that it shall work according to a certain plan; yet he can stop the machine without altering the plan. One thing is certain; the universe did not create itself. Although the mind of man cannot conceive of its extent, nor fathom the laws by which it is governed, there must be a Creator who is infinitely greater than the universe. “He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.” It is evident that the Creator can do as he pleases with what he has created.SITI October 20, 1887, page 631.7

    To disbelieve in miracles is to deny the existence of God, for God would cease to be God if he did not work miracles. Do you inquire how this can be? Simply thus: A miracle is a wonder,- something beyond the comprehension of those who witness it. It is entirely contrary to any laws of nature of which we have any knowledge. Even with this definition there are miracles constantly taking place around us, for no man can explain the one-hundredeth part of the physical phenomena which are matters of common observation. Now to say that God cannot perform a miracle is equivalent to saying that he cannot do anything that finite men cannot understand. In other words, it is saying that God is altogether such an one as ourselves. It is a deplorable fact that many professed believers in God and his word will throw discredit upon both by attempting to “explain” miracles. We know not which to pity the more, their ignorance or their presumption.SITI October 20, 1887, page 631.8

    If it is asked how it is possible that such a miracle as the stopping of the sun could be performed without disarranging the whole planetary system, I would reply, “I do not know; I cannot imagine; if I could, it would cease to be a miracle.” The disbelieve in miracles arises from the fact that men are too proud to acknowledge that there is anything which they cannot understand. He who believes only what he can comprehend and explain will have a very short creed. It is no shame for man to confess that he cannot by searching by about God. W.SITI October 20, 1887, page 631.9

    “Thoughts on John 10:27-29” The Signs of the Times, 13, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” This Scripture should fill every follower of Christ with encouragement. So long as they hear his voice, and follow where it leads, they are safe. No one, not even Satan, can snatch them away. God is “greater than all.” Though trials and temptations become, “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. Christ also says: “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. And to strengthen the assurance, he adds: “I and my Father are one.” When both the Father and the Son unite for man’s salvation, what confidence may we feel!SITI October 20, 1887, page 632.1

    But while we gain courage from the fact that he is “able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,” we are not to be presumptuous. Jesus said, “No man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand,” but he did not say that no man could take himself out. This Scripture has been perverted, and made to teach that no follower of Christ can fall away. That this view is incorrect, is shown by many passages. We are exhorted thus: “Hold that fast which thou hast, at no man take thy crown.” Revelation 3:11. We are told also, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13. For a positive testimony, see Hebrews 6:4-6. Our Lord says also: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6. See also Revelation 4:2-5; 3:16.SITI October 20, 1887, page 632.2

    The case, then, stands thus: So long as we hear the voice of Christ, and are content to follow him, trusting him humbly and implicitly, no harm can befall us; his strength will enable us to repel all attacks; but when we begin to trust ourselves, we take ourselves out of his hands; or, if refusing longer to listen to his voice, we are cast out. Let us all heed the words of the apostle Paul: “Because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear.” W.SITI October 20, 1887, page 632.3

    “Not a Prophet, But an Angel” The Signs of the Times, 13, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In a Spiritualist contemporary we find the following:-SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.1

    “Did not the angel that appeared to Saul declare that he was one of his brethren the prophets?”SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.2

    We once heard of a hackman who attempted to pass himself off as a Quaker at the time of a convention of Friends, in order that he might secure their patronage. He succeeded so far as to give his carriage filled with the visiting Friends, but when he came and asked, “Where’s thous baggage?” they saw that he was unfamiliar with the language of Quakers, and, disgusted with the attempted deception, at once sought another conveyance. In like manner the question above quoted shows that the writer, in attempting to prove Spiritualism from the Bible, has no knowledge of the book. We don’t remember that we ever saw in an infidel or Spiritualist paper a correct reference to any biblical event.SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.3

    But the substitution of Saul for John is not so bad as is the statement that the angel declared himself to be one of the prophet’s brethren; and in this version of Revelation 22:9 he who finds himself in a company with a great many professed Bible Christians. And just because there are hundreds of professed Bible Christians who actually taken the Spiritualist ground that the angel who talked with John was one of his fellow-prophets, we will tell just what the angel did declare himself to be. The following is a literal translation of the Greek of Revelation 22:9:-SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.4

    “And he said to me: See (thou do it not) for I am a fellow-servant of thee and of thy brethren the prophets,” etc. The revised version has it: “For I am a fellow-servant with thee, and with thy brethren the prophets.” The simple meaning is that he was not one to be worshiped, but was a fellow-servant not only of John, but of all the prophets, and of those also who should keep the sayings the book.SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.5

    We cannot accuse the Spiritualist editor of knowing better than to quote the text the way he did, for he did not know where the passage is, nor to whom the words were spoken. But we are sometimes forced to question the honesty of ministers of the gospel, whose title of “D.D.” ought to signify that they have at least read the Bible through, and that they know how to translate easy Greek, who will refer to the angel of Revelation 22:9 as one of the old prophets.SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.6

    Our Spiritualist editor will no doubt say, “Well, the text doesn’t amount to anything anyway, because we are not dependent on the Bible for our knowledge.” Then why try to make it appear that it teaches Spiritualism? The reason is, that by so doing some professed Christians may be led to wholly accept that delusion, thinking that the Bible favors it. As a matter of fact, there is not a text in the Bible which gives the slightest countenance to Spiritualism; noonday sunlight and midnight darkness are not more opposite than are the Bible and that the doctrine.SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.7

    “Too Significant to Be Pleasant” The Signs of the Times, 13, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following protest we clip from the Christian Union, which says that it was written by “a leading Protestant divine.” The protest is just and timely, but that it will have any effect, there is no reason to hope. What indicates this, and also makes the necessity for a protest the more urgent, is the general indifference that is manifested over the matter. The Christian Union’s report, in the same issue that contains the protest, makes no mention of the occurrence; and the protest itself is put in the most obscure portion of the paper, as though the editors were ashamed or afraid to have it seen, but inserted it out of courtesy to the “leading Protestant divine.” Are there not more who will vigorously protest against American subserviency to Romish intrigues? or is Protestantism dead?SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.8

    “The celebration of the centennial of the adoption of our Federal Constitution in Philadelphia was an imposing occasion, and no doubt also a very profitable one for the City of Brotherly Love. All the exercises were on a scale commensurate with the greatness of the occasion, and were all successfully carried out. The appropriateness of the monster industrial and military parades, the reception of the Governor of the State of Pennsylvania and of the President of the United States, appealed to everyone’s patriotism. But there was one feature of the celebration made unduly prominent, that impressed many as utterly incongruous and out of place, and that was the place taken by the Roman Catholics as a religious denomination.SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.9

    “The formal reception given by Cardinal Gibbons placed him and his co-religionist in a false position before the American people. Why should he have assumed or been granted a more prominent part than any Presbyterian minister or Episcopalian or Methodist bishop? Why should he have had any part as the express representative of a religious denomination, especially on such an occasion, when the adoption of an instrument was celebrated, one of whose chief glories is that it acknowledges no ecclesiastical distinctions, and accords absolute religious equality to all?SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.10

    “The whole affair looked very much as if Cardinal Gibbons appeared as the head and representative of a distinct power on a plane with that of the Governors of the several States; in fact, it made the impression that the Roman Catholic Church was, or aspired to be, an organization political in its character, because putting itself on a part and level with other such organizations-the President representing the Union, Governor Beaver, Pennsylvania, and Cardinal Gibbons, the Roman Catholic Church!SITI October 20, 1887, page 638.11

    “Is the last-named organization a State within the State? Is it at all analogous to a State of the Union or in the Union? Why was the distinction made for this one denomination more than for any other? Why should it have been made for any? That it appeared very plainly as if some special civil or political significance attached to Cardinal Gibbons and his church no one can doubt who saw the Cardinal in all the glory of his sacred vestments, like a Governor in his uniform, and marked how Mr. Cleveland formally attended his reception just as he did Governor Beaver’s. It was very significant to behold on such an occasion ‘the head of the nation shake hands with the prince of the church,’ as one of the daily papers described the scene. The whole thing was a little too significant to be pleasant.”SITI October 20, 1887, page 639.1

    “Confessing Christ” The Signs of the Times, 13, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Commentary.
    Notes on the International Lesson.
    (November 6.-Matthew 10:22-42.)

    “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” What is it to confess Christ? This is a most important question, for upon it depends our future happiness or woe. In the parallel passage in Mark 8:38 we read: “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” These texts show the importance of confessing Christ.SITI October 20, 1887, page 639.2

    Confessing Christ is something more than acknowledging his existence, or that he is the Son of God. Even the devils do this (Matthew 8:29), but it does not affect their character, nor will it avert their punishment. Neither does confessing Christ consist in making a high profession of Christianity. For, says Jesus, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23. Here we learn that those who have not only made a high profession, but who have been apparently shining lights, and have done much work, will be denied by Christ in the last great day. Then it must be because they have not confessed him; for all who confess him will be acknowledged by him. But he who does not confess Christ, denies him, (see Matthew 12:20), so that our Saviour’s words show us that a man may deny Christ while bearing the Christian name, and being what is called “a pillar in the church.”SITI October 20, 1887, page 639.3

    If now it is desired to know in brief what it is to confess Christ, turn and read Romans 10:9-11: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.1

    Confessing the Lord Jesus is the outgrowth of a heart belief in him. And what is heart belief in Christ? It is such a belief as produces righteousness, “for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” The belief that does not produce righteousness, is no belief at all. Righteousness is right-doing. It is the opposite of sin, for unrighteousness is sin. 1 John 5:17. But sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4. Therefore righteousness is obedience to the law of God. So Moses said, “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” Deuteronomy 6:25. Therefore we may understand that true belief in Christ leads invariably to keeping the commandments of God; and true confession of the Lord Jesus Christ is the utterance of one who has such a living, acting, practical faith in Christ.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.2

    What a wonderful promise, that if we confess him, he will confess us! And what will he confess concerning us when he comes? Here is the answer: “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” Hebrews 2:11, 12. Then when he comes in the glory of the Father, with all the holy angels, Christ will not be ashamed to greet as his brethren all those who have confessed him before men, by their lives of obedience, as well as by their words. He will claim such as members of his own family, heirs of God, and joint heirs with himself. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” We are now members of the family of Christ. If so, let us heed the apostle’s injunction to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called. Let us not disgrace the family, and cause the Head of it to be ashamed of us.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.3

    Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. Matthew 10:34-36.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.4

    Notwithstanding the above statement, it is true that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a “gospel of peace;” and this loving exhortation should be most carefully heeded: “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:23-25.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.5

    And this: “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew 5:39, 44.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.6

    Then how can there be strife and a sword, as the Saviour said, if these injunctions are followed? They exist just because these injunctions are followed. He does not say that it will be the Christian man who will be at variance with his father. This could not be, for variance is one of the things the possession of which will shut a man out of Heaven. Galatians 5:19-21. But men are naturally prone to evil; and they resent anything which condemns their course. So the sinful son will be at variance with his pious father; the father himself will be at peace with all men. “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” The man will not be a foe to those of his own household, but they will be his foes because of his goodness, just as Stephen was stoned because he was a Christian; just as Daniel was cast into the den of lions, because he prayed to God; just as “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” because “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse.” W.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.7

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The camp-meeting at Los Angeles, Cal., will begin October 26, and will continue twelve days.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.8

    We read in an exchange that “Yankton has been selected as the Roman Catholic sea for Dakota.” We suppose it is called a sea because the errors which will be propagated there will drown men in destruction and perdition.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.9

    On page 634 will be found an interesting report from the Central European Mission, by the former editor of the SIGNS, who is now connected with that mission. The laborers in that field have difficulties to contend with of which we in this country realize but little.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.10

    In the Independent of August 25, Prof. Norman Fox has a review of Dr. Armitage’s “History of the Baptists,” in which he says: “As to infant baptism, scores of the ablest Pedobaptist scholars admit that it was unknown in apostolic times, while all know that it was not universal till some centuries after the death of the apostles.”SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.11

    This number of the paper is one day late, owing to the fact that nearly all the work done upon it was done during the camp-meeting, which editors, proofreaders, and compositors attended. It was gotten out under high pressure, much of the work being done in the night after meeting; so we beg the indulgence of our readers if it is not up to the usual standard.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.12

    Something must be done for Iowa. Why? Because since the Prohibition amendment was adopted, the supply of convicts for the penitentiary is diminishing, and the contractors of prison labor at Fort Madison are much embarrassed; they don’t know how to fill their contracts. There’’ nothing like an unlimited supply of whisky to keep state prisons full, and to make prison labor contractors happy.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.13

    A correspondent of the California Christian Advocate writes to know if the rule of the church requiring members to kneel during prayer in church cannot be changed so as to allow them to sit. He says that only a few old Puritans kneel before the congregation and that he had supposes they do so only out of respect to the rule; also that kneeling has been found to be a great deal of trouble, and there is often more or less damage to the valuable clothing. The tendency seems to be to make even the form of worship which is retained as easy as possible.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.14

    Here is a little story that may be read with profit by a good many:-SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.15

    “When Livingstone visited England after his great exploring tour, he was much praised for his sacrifices. It was true he had labored much, but what did he reply to this praise? ‘People talk of the sacrifices I made in spending so large a portion of my life in Africa. Can you call that a sacrifice which is only a small payment on that great debt to God which can never be fully discharged? Say, rather, that it is a privilege. I have never made a sacrifice.’”-Spirit of Missions.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.16

    And who has made a sacrifice? When we consider the sacrifice of Christ, who, though he was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich; and remember that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” who can talk about sacrifices made, much less to boast or mourn over them?SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.17

    In his recent address to the Boston Evangelical Ministers Association, Dr. Josiah Strong related the case of a minister who was pleading with his people for a larger manifestation of sympathy to the poor and destitute around them, when an influential church member rose, and said he wanted none of that class in his pew. The bold rejoinder came at once from him who believed he had been commissioned to preach the gospel to the poor: “I will not cease my plea, till the door of this church swings and to the slightest touch of the needy.” As a consequence of the pastor’s determination to preach the gospel to the poor, he was dismissed from the church. And yet the members of that church doubtless think that they are followers of Christ; they certainly call themselves Christians.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.18

    A call is being circulated for a conference of all evangelical Christians, at Washington, D. C., December 7, 8, 9, 1887, to study principally the following propositions:-SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.19

    “1. What are the present perils and opportunities of the Christian church, and of the country?SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.20

    “2. Can any of them be met by a hearty co-operation of all evangelical Christians, which, without detriment to any denominational interests, will serve the interests of the whole church?SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.21

    “3. What are the best means to secure such co-operation, and to awaken the whole church to its responsibility?”SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.22

    The call is signed by William E. Dodge, John Jay, C. A. Stoddard, Philip Schaff, Josiah Strong, James McCosh, R. S. Storrs, D. C. Gilman, Timothy Dwight, Howard Crosby, Gen. O. O. Howard, J. H. Vincent, Lyman Abbott, W. M. Taylor, and about seventy other ministers and representative laymen. It is expected that at least two thousand delegates will be present.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.23

    We have frequently been accused of a lack of charity, because we have said that Sunday laws are in no sense temperance laws; that the enactment of such laws is solely in the interest of somebody’s special religion, and not all in the interest of temperance; and that, in fact, they tacitly admit that the liquor traffic is alright except on Sunday. The following, which is a portion of a much lauded address recently made before the Young Men’s Christian Association of Oakland, by the Rev. J. H. Hector, pastor of the African M. E. Church of San Francisco, shows that we have not overstated the case in the least:-SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.24

    “There is needed to tune up the gospel trumpet so that its tones shall sound unmistakably to the world. One thing, and I have noticed it particularly since I came to California, that this gospel trumpet should proclaim is that we must have the Sabbath, and a holy Sabbath. We want you Jews to stop selling second-hand clothing on Sunday. We want you Germans to stop selling your beer and running your beer gardens and picnics on Sunday. We want you Frenchmen to stop selling your wine and strong drink on Sunday. We want all of you who are now raising the devil and destroying our children on Sunday to stop it right off. We want to say to you, that while you may raise the devil and destroy our children six days in the week, you’ve got to rest on the seventh day [first day] and keep it holy.”SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.25

    We have always known that Sunday laws were not in the interests of morality or good order, but solely to gratify prejudice and bigotry; but we never before saw it so directly admitted.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.26

    In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul said: “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:22-24. And again he said: “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Chap. 2:2. These words were brought in very forcibly to our mind, by contrast, when we read that two ministers in Oakland, who have the largest congregations of any in the city, preached on a recent Sunday evening to young men upon the “Lessons to be drawn from the life of Governor Bartlett.” We do not know anything about the private life of Governor Bartlett; but we do know that if he had been the best man that has lived in the United States since it became a nation, he would not have been good enough to warrant a minister of the gospel in holding him up as a model for young men. Jesus Christ is the only being who ever lived on this earth, whose life is worthy to be taken as a model for men, either young or old, and “Jesus Christ, and him crucified,” is the only thing that can draw men to a nobler life. But the trouble is, that the preaching of Jesus Christ and him crucified is not the kind that “takes” with the people, and fills the churches on Sunday nights.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.27

    “Humbug Legislation” The Signs of the Times, 13, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Saturday half-holiday created by the New York Legislature last winter, has proved a failure. Several of the leading papers have referred to it as such. The Independent calls it outright, “a legislative humbug,” and a “silly law,” which is all that it is. The Observer says:-SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.28

    “The indications are that the observance of the Saturday half-holiday as a particular institution will have to be abandoned for the present, or postponed until the world has more leisure than it has now. Business men and trades-people generally are revolting against the custom and refusing to observe it any longer. The fact that Saturday afternoon was constituted a legal holiday by the last legislature makes no difference in the aspects of the case except in banks and exchanges. The enactment of the law was plainly a piece of folly and was done simply as a bid for the favor of the so-called ‘laboring class’ and not from any humane or philanthropic motives.”SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.29

    The same Legislature, and for the same reason, also made September 5 a State holiday under the title of “Labor-Day,” that is, a day for doing no labor. Of its celebration the reports all show about one way, of which the following account by the Congregationalist will give an idea of what Labor-Day amounts to:-SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.30

    “Labor-Day, so called, because so many people quit labor to parade and drink beer and stronger fluids, didn’t seem practically to amount to much here. Most of the real workers were at work. A large number of men and boys (some have estimated them as high as 25,000), in a go-as-you-please fashion, to the sound of music, carrying banners and various devices; but people generally showed little interest. A good many employers, pressed for those to fulfill their contracts, were irritated over the loss, and very few of the operators seemed very joyful. They had the air of men doing an uncomfortable duty. There was no violence, and little work for the police; but the lager beer and whisky dealers had all they could do to keep the procession up to the proper marching point, and their arms ached sometime after the show was over.”SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.31

    Of both these laws the Independent says:-SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.32

    “The motive prompting the enactment of the Labor-Day Law, like that promoting the enactment of the Saturday Half-holiday Law, was purely political. Governor Hill and the Republican Legislature were fishing for labor votes. This is the whole of it. The next Legislature of this State would to a sensible thing if it were to repeal both of these laws.”SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.33

    Of course it would, but it is safe to say that the New York Legislature will do no such sensible thing. It will be much more apt to do more of just such like, “fishing for votes.” Nor is the New York Legislature the exception.SITI October 20, 1887, page 640.34

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