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    November 10, 1887

    “Is There any Excuse?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “If the sin of ignorance is a sufficient excuse for Christians when endeavoring to live up to the gospel light, why not a sufficient excuse for the heathen who have not the light, and never did have? a fact which is easily proved in many instances. “G. I. H.”SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.1

    Our correspondent doubtless meant to say, “If ignorance is a sufficient excuse for sin,” etc., instead of, “If the sin of ignorance is a sufficient excuse;” for certainly no sin could excuse itself. But in either case, our answer would be this:-SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.2

    1. There is no excuse for any sin whatever. Sin is inexcusable in any person; and there is no authority for saying that God will excuse any sin in anybody. True, Paul says of his career as a persecutor, “I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13), but this shows that Paul was not excused for his sin which he committed in his ignorance. If he had not repented, he would not have found mercy. His sin of ignorance had to be pardoned. He says further: “And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” Verse 14. If it had not been for the exceeding abundance of the grace of God, through faith in Christ Jesus, his sin of ignorance would have caused his ruin.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.3

    2. Again, the following provision for the people in ancient times, shows that sins of ignorance are not excused, but that they must be atoned for:-SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.4

    “And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which the Lord hath spoken unto Moses, even all that the Lord hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the Lord commanded Moses, and henceforward among your generations; then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour unto the Lord, with his meat offering, and his drink offering, according to the manner, and one kid of the goats for a sin offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance; and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord, for their ignorance; and it shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were in ignorance.” Numbers 15:22-26.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.5

    3. In Psalm 19:12, 13 we read the following words: “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me; then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” This is part of a prayer which David offered to God. This brings to view a case different from that supposed in Numbers 15:22-26. There the people were directed to offer sacrifices indicative of repentance, when the sin committed in ignorance came to their knowledge; but David’s prayer is for cleansing from sins of which he was ignorant at the time. He knew that he must have committed sins of which he was not aware, and he recognized the fact that they were sins, and that he needed forgiveness for them as well as for those sins of which he was conscious. These instances show clearly that God does not excuse sin. Every sin whether known or unknown must be atoned for by the blood of Christ; there is no other way by which anybody can be freed from its guilt.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.6

    4. The above conclusion does not militate against the statement that men are judged according to the light that they have received. No man will be condemned for not doing what he did not know, and had no means of knowing, was commanded. Both are judged by the light which they have received. If they have conscientiously lived up to that, it will be well with them, for their secret sins will be forgiven. But it is claimed that the heathen have no light at all. This is a mistake, as will be seen from certain scriptures which we shall quote.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.7

    In Romans 1:18-20 we read: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” From this we learn that there are no people who may not know that there is one God, of infinite power and goodness; that “he giveth to all life and breath and all things;” and that for this reason they ought to worship him. And from Acts 17:27, and context, we learn that if men would thus recognize the power of God, and seek to know more of him, they would find him, because he is not far from every one of us. See also Romans 10:6-8. The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.8

    Again, in the second chapter of Romans, Paul shows exactly by what every man is judged, and condemned or justified. He speaks of those who have the revealed word of God, and of those who have it not, saying: “For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;” “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” Verses 11, 12, 16.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.9

    But lest someone should question the impartiality of this, and should ask how men who have not the written word of God, could be justly condemned, the apostle throws in an explanation in verses 13-15, as follows: “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves; which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.”SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.10

    The meaning of the passage is simply this: There is nobody who does not know the difference between right and wrong, to some extent. The heathen who have never heard of the Bible or the gospel, know that there are some things that they ought not to do. This is shown by the fact, to which Paul refers, that their consciences condemn or approve, according as they have done ill or well, and they also accuse or else excuse one another for their deeds. Now if the heathen have a little knowledge of right and wrong, no matter how little it may be, and do not live up to even that little, it is manifest that justice demands that they should be condemned, just the same as it demands the condemnation of the man who had greater light but has not lived up to it.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.11

    But what if the heathen should live up to all the light that he has by nature? Then he certainly cannot be condemned. The one who lives up to all the light that he has, will receive more light, as did Abraham, who feared God, although he had been surrounded by heathen from his infancy; and because he lived up to that light which he had, God revealed himself to him in a more marked manner. And as with the Christian, so with the heathen who does every duty of which he has any knowledge; his sins of ignorance will be forgiven. But it must be evident that sins of ignorance do not figure in the case at all, so long as a person is sinning against light, no matter how small that light may be. That is to say, it is not necessary to bring the whole law against a man who knows but part of the law, when he does not live out that part. The part that he knows and does not perform is sufficient to condemn him.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.12

    The idea suggested by the question of our brother, namely, that many of the heathen “have not had a fair chance,” is becoming quite popular. The inevitable result of entertaining it is either to impeach the justice of God, or else to claim that another probation will be provided for those heathen. And from this the transition is easy, and many people are making it, that for people in so-called Christian lands there will be another probation; and this speedily runs into universalism. But there is no excuse for any of these errors; God is just; he is “no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him;” and he gives to every man that comes into the world sufficient knowledge to enable him to fear God and keep his commandments. W.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.13

    “The Testimony of the Dying” The Signs of the Times, 13, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The so-called testimony of the dying is one of the strongholds into which the advocates of no actual death for man retreat, when they have been driven from every position which they have taken from the Bible. When it is demonstrated that the Scriptures teach that man does really die and go to the grave, and that the moment he dies he loses all consciousness and power of thinking, and that until the resurrection he remains in the grave, where there is “no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom,” they will cite instances where the dying have declared that they saw Jesus, or the angels, or even some of their friends who were already dead, and who were coming to welcome them, and have said that they were going directly to Heaven; and then the question will be asked, “Can’t you accept the testimony of the dying? Do you think that a dying man would tell a lie about where he is going?” This appeal, made in such confidence, and in a pathetic told, very often satisfies people that the dead are conscious, and that they go to Heaven immediately upon their death, even when these same people know that the Bible emphatically contradicts such ideas.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.14

    We wish to examine this testimony, and see just how much weight it is entitled to. In the first place, we must rule out all the cases in which the dying person is or has been delirious, for certainly no one would wish to base any theory upon the statement of a person not in his right mind. But allowing that there has been no delirium, we must even then take the ecstatic ejaculations of the dying with a great deal of allowance, although the veracity of the individuals may be beyond question. The reason is, that although the mind may not wander, it is from the very nature of the case weakened. It is exceedingly rare, perhaps impossible, at the close of an illness which is about to result in death, when all the physical organs are relaxed, that the mind should retain its full vigor and clearness. It is often said of people that they retain all their senses to the last, and this is undoubtedly true, but that they retain their mental faculties to their fullest extent, is impossible. And so many of the broken statements of the dying as to what they see and hear, may be set down as a result of hallucinations. Proof of this may be found in the cases of those who have been nearly dead from drowning or freezing, or from some other cause, and who have recovered. Such ones relate the happy sights which they saw, and the blissful sounds which they heard, and state that to be called away from them to real consciousness seemed a rude awakening.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.15

    There is no reasonable doubt, therefore, but that ninety-nine one-hundredths of the cases in which the dying are said to have seen and heard wonderful things must be ruled out altogether from the so-called testimony of the dying. And even the other one-hundredth is very doubtful testimony, since in no case can it be known that anything has actually been seen. We will proceed on the supposition, however, that there are some cases in which certain forms are actually presented to the dying person, and will consider in their order the cases where the dying person has said that he was going immediately to Heaven, and were Jesus and angels, or the forms of dead friends, are said to have been seen.SITI November 10, 1887, page 678.16

    But first and continually let it be remembered that the testimony of the Bible is emphatic upon the point that the dead know not anything; that they are sleeping a dreamless sleep, from which they can be awakened only by the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God at the last days; that their thoughts perish as soon as their breath leaves the body; and that none can go to Heaven until Christ comes for them in the glory of his Father, with his angels. If this is constantly borne in mind, then no one who believes the Bible can be moved in the least by the testimony of anybody, whether dying or in the full possession of all his powers. The Bible must be the decisive standard of appeal and all cases. If we give up the plain declarations of the Bible for the statements of individuals, then the Bible is no longer to us a sacred book, and we virtually deny its inspiration. Let the word of God be held as true, even though every man is thereby proved a liar.SITI November 10, 1887, page 679.1

    Now who are they who say upon their death-beds that they are going at once to Heaven? Why, it is those who all their life-time have been taught that men go to Heaven as soon as they die. Nobody ever heard of such a thing as that a believer in eternal life only through Christ, to be received at the resurrection of the just, has upon his death-bed seen visions of angels coming for him to take away to Heaven. But why not? It will not be denied, even by the most earnest advocate of the natural immortality of man, that many very good men have held to the doctrine of conditional immortality. Then if the angels do come for the dying, whose eyes and ears are often unable to catch their forms and voices, why are not such visions granted to the believers in conditional immortality? The question suggests the answer, which we have already given, that such visions are hallucinations, which naturally follow the bent of the person’s mind. And so the statement of a dying man, to the effect that he is at once going to Heaven, is of no more value than the statement that the righteous go to Heaven at death, made by the same man in health. The fact that a man is dying, does not add one whit to the force of the statement that he may make concerning the future. He will say just what he has been taught to believe, and we must go to the Bible to find out whether or not the statement is true.SITI November 10, 1887, page 679.2

    In the adherence of the so-called testimony of the dying, in spite of the testimony of the Bible, the thoughtful person will see the leaven of Spiritualism working. Spiritualists ignore the Bible, for the testimony of those who claim to be the spirits of the dead. But this is in reality but little different from taking the statement of the living, in contradiction of the Bible. When people base their belief as to the condition of man after death, upon what a dying man says, notwithstanding the fact that the dying man’s statement contradicts the Bible, it will not be long before they will accept the testimony that is given by what appears to be the same person after his death, and which tells them that the Bible itself is but a fable. In short, when one sets aside the testimony of the Bible for any cause whatever he is on the high road to Spiritualism, with all that implies.SITI November 10, 1887, page 679.3

    We have, indeed, the record of one man who shortly before his death saw Heaven opened and the Saviour standing at the right hand of God. But the case of Stephen is entirely different from that of a dying man that is brought forward, because, (1) Stephen was not a dying man when he saw this. It was his statement of what he saw that caused the Jews to stone him to death immediately. (2) Stephen did not say that he was going to Heaven or anything of the kind. He had been arraigned before the Sanhedrim for preaching Christ, and this vision of heavenly things was to vindicate the truth of his words, to confound the opposition, and to give him courage for the ordeal just before him; and (3) the record says that after Stephen had had this view of heavenly things, he was stoned by the Jews and “fell asleep.” He did not enter at once upon the enjoyment of those heavenly scenes, but the vision faded from his view as he fell asleep and lost all consciousness of things either earthly or heavenly. As with Paul, so with Stephen, the crown of life was laid up for him, to be given at the appearing and kingdom of Jesus Christ.SITI November 10, 1887, page 679.4

    It need not be concluded that no good person ever has visions of heaven; that no one has, like Stephen, a view of heavenly realities to strengthen him in the power of death. But that is no evidence that the one who sees such things is going at once to enjoy them. “But,” says one, “what a disappointment it would be to the good soul who has been taught that he will go to Heaven at death, if he should see heavenly things, as Stephen did, and should not go at once to enjoy them!” Not at all. How can there be any disappointment when there is unconsciousness? When the approach of death causes the scene to fade from the sight, and the person sinks into the unconscious repose of death, it is the same to him as though he had seen nothing. There is no disappointment, for there is no knowledge. The time spent in the tomb, whether it be days or centuries, is to the unconscious sleeper as no time at all, and if his last conscious moment was brightened by a view of Heaven, the first moments after his awakening will usher him into the reality; so that there is no chance for disappointment though centuries may have intervened between his death and the resurrection.SITI November 10, 1887, page 679.5

    There remains only for our consideration the case of those who, when dying, say that they see their friends who have died before, and that they beckon them to come. Of course much, and perhaps all, of this may be set down to hallucinations. When people have been taught to believe that the dead are conscious and in Heaven, and have thought much of meeting them in death it is very natural that the hallucinations of their weakened minds should take such a form. But we will allow, although it can never be proved, that there are cases in which the dying do actually see what appear to be their friends to have died before them; and the question will arise, “How do you dispose of such testimony?” We reply that we dispose of it just as we would dispose of similar testimony given by any person in full health. We know that many persons have attended Spiritualist séances, and have seen what appeared to be the forms of their dead friends, and that they have received from them messages. Now what do we conclude in such a case? Simply that the spirits of devils have assumed the appearance of those dead friends in order to strengthen the living in their belief in the inherit immortality of the soul, and to weaken their faith in the plain testimony of the Bible. And if such forms should appear to the dying outside of a Spiritualist séance, we should say the same thing, for we know both from reason and revelation that it is impossible for dead people to move or talk or think.SITI November 10, 1887, page 679.6

    It will be objected that Satan could have no object in thus deceiving those who are at the point of death, and that if he had an object, it would be cruel for the Lord to allow either the dying or the living to be so deceived. To this double objection we reply: (1) Since Satan is a deceiver, and his whole aim is to cause men to disbelieve the word of God, it would be the most natural thing for him to take advantage of the erroneous opinions of the dying, to confirm the living in the same erroneous opinions. (2) As to the justice of God in allowing such deceptions to take place, we have only to say that God is in nowise responsible for them, for he has given sufficient warning against them. In the Bible he has again and again warned men against such deceptions, and has given us the truth by which we may detect error. Now if men neglect or despise the warning which God has given men, who dare lay it to the charge of God if they are deceived? They need not be deceived if they heed the words of God. But if they choose to listen to their own imaginations, or to heathen speculations, or to any statement that contradicts the word of God, they invite deception, and have only themselves to blame if that deception results in their ruin.SITI November 10, 1887, page 679.7

    It is possible, of course, that certain ones may have, just as they are about to die, a vision of the resurrection, and, if so, this would account for their seeing their friends who had died before them, and who would appear in the first resurrection. But this would not, of course, add anything to the claim that the good go to Heaven at death. Whether those who might have such a vision, would understand that it represented the resurrection, or would think that their friends have actually come from glory to meet them, would make no difference with the fact. Even though, if such a vision were given, the one who had it should declare that his friends were coming from heaven to meet him, that would not make it so. The Bible furnishes all the knowledge that we have or can have on the state of the dead, and its evidence is unequivocal.SITI November 10, 1887, page 679.8

    The object of this article is to emphasize the words of the prophet: “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:19, 20. Remember that God’s word is true, and that outside of that there is no truth, and that conscientiousness on the part of the speaker does not add any force to his words if they are contrary to the teaching of the Bible. W.SITI November 10, 1887, page 679.9

    “The Sabbath, the Lord’s Day” The Signs of the Times, 13, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There are those at the present time who tell us that the fourth commandment does not require the observance of the seventh day of the week, but of simply one day in seven, no matter which day of the week. Now this is either so or else it is not so. It is certain that Jesus knew what the commandment requires, and it is also certain that the day on which the disciples passed through the field and ate the grain was the seventh day of the week, familiarly known in the Bible as the Sabbath day,-the day which the Jews kept, and do still, in obedience to the fourth commandment. Now if it were true that the fourth commandment does not require that the seventh day of the week be kept, what a good chance there was here for Jesus to tell the Jews so. He could justify his disciples, by informing the criticizing Jews that “in the higher Christian thought, Sabbath observance is listed above the formality of days.” But he did nothing of the kind; he recognized that day as the Sabbath day, and never on any occasion was there any question between him and the Jews as to the day of the Sabbath.SITI November 10, 1887, page 682.1

    The only question on this occasion was as to whether or not the disciples had properly kept the Sabbath. Jesus did not set aside the Sabbath, or seek to lower the Sabbath in any way whatever, but he showed them something about Sabbath observance that they had entirely missed. They made the Sabbath a hardship, a thing which God did not design. If they had heeded the words of a great prophet who wrote more than seven hundred years before, they would have regarded the Sabbath as “a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable.” Isaiah 58:13. But then, if they had heeded the words of Isaiah at all, they would have accepted Christ when he came. And so they would, in fact, if they had really regarded the words that Moses wrote. In those unbelieving Jews was exemplified the fact that may be verified to-day in thousands of instances, that a false idea in regard to the law, and lack of real appreciation of Christ, go together.SITI November 10, 1887, page 683.1

    Jesus recognized a law for the Sabbath, when he said: “It is lawful [agreeable to law; conformable to law; allowed by law] to do well on the Sabbath day.” Now there is only one law concerning the Sabbath, and that is the fourth commandment; therefore we must conclude that to do well on the Sabbath day is conformable to the fourth commandment. And who could think otherwise, since “the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and a good”? We are forbidden only to do our own work, but commanded to do the Lord’s work, and this presupposes the taking of the food that is necessary for strength. God does not desire any of his creatures to suffer. His law was not given as a yoke of bondage, but just the contrary. It was in love that was given, as Moses said: “The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints; from his right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand; and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.” Deuteronomy 33:2, 3.SITI November 10, 1887, page 683.2

    We are told of the Sabbath, by some commentators, that Jesus came “to own it, to interpret it, to preside over it, and to ennoble it by merging it into the Lord’s day.” He did indeed own it, as he had a right to, for he made it. We read that “by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16, 17. Then it was he who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and rested the seventh; it was he who blessed and sanctified the seventh day, so that that day was emphatically his day; and he owned it, saying, “For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” Let no one forget for a moment that Jesus was speaking of the seventh day of the week, the day which is sometimes contemptuously spoken of as the Jewish Sabbath, and that he claimed as his day. Then since the seventh-day Sabbath was the Lord’s day; how was it possible to “merge the Sabbath into the Lord’s day”? It was such already, and had been such since creation.SITI November 10, 1887, page 683.3

    But someone will suggest that after the crucifixion the first day of the week became the Lord’s day. Query: Will not someone show proof that the first day is or ever was the Lord’s day, instead of suggesting or asserting? But notice: Jesus here stated a fact concerning the Sabbath. He fully agreed with the Jews as to the day of the Sabbath, and he claimed it as his own day. He differed with the Jews only in the way it should be kept. Now since, when Christ was teaching, the fourth commandment required the observance of the seventh day of the week, it must require it ever since the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, unless some change was made in the wording of it; for it is too evident to need argument that a given set of words cannot mean one thing at one time and another thing at another time. So, then, the seventh day of the week, the day which the Jews ever have observed, although not very strictly in these days, is still the Sabbath, is still the Lord’s day. W.SITI November 10, 1887, page 683.4

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is said that more than $140,000 has already been contributed toward the celebration of the Pope’s jubilee mass. What a wicked man the Pope must be, since it requires so much money to obtain pardon for him.SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.1

    From an article in the Winsted Press, extolling Bethlehem, we extract the following, which may be of interest to those who are inclined to think that there is really something good in Buddhism:-SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.2

    “Theosophy, mental science (sometimes called ‘Christian science’), esoteric Christianity and Buddistic metaphysics are, we believe, substantially one and the same thing, and we may also include their intimate relative, known here as Modern Spiritualism, the difference between them being no greater than that which invariably arises from different interpretations of the same idea by different individuals under differing environment.”SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.3

    Says, the Congregationalist:-SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.4

    “We have never liked the separation of the ministry into the two classes of pastors and evangelists.”SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.5

    Well now we do like it. And the one grand reason that we do like it is because the Scripture has made the separation. In naming the gifts which Christ gave “for the work of the ministry” Paul says, “He gave some, the apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” Whether the Congregationalist, or anybody else, likes it or not, it is right. It is according to the word and work of Christ.SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.6

    A writer in the Advance says:-SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.7

    “One of the worst results of the speculative mania seems to be the growing demoralization of the public conscience. Men, high in the church, as well as in respectable society, engage openly and unblushingly in these transactions, till the term ‘Christians at work’ was not inaptly applied to them by a Jewish dealer. How many young men were there who did not follow the career of Jim Fisk or H. S. Ives with a secret admiration, till startled by their fall? And how much truth is there in the following ‘instantaneous photograph’ of public sentiment:-SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.8

    “$1-“Thief!” $50,000-“Defaulter!” $100,000-“...!” $500,000-“Canadian Tourist!” $1,000,000-“Brillian Financier!”SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.9

    “Is it an exaggeration to say that we are fast becoming a nation of gamblers?”SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.10

    Yet people will shut their eyes to these facts, and will delude themselves with the idea that the world is growing better.SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.11

    Nearly everybody has heard of the lesson which a priest is said to have given to a woman who was addicted to evil gossip. Giving her a small sack full of feathers, he bade her go along the road and let them out as she went. She did so, and then returned. Then he told her to go over the ground and gather up the feathers; but she found this an impossibility. Some of the feathers had been caught by the wind as soon as they were released, and many of those that had lodged on the ground, had afterward been carried by the wind to other places. This is an apt illustration, and one that ought to have more consideration than it does. It is the easiest thing in the world to start a false report; a person may do it thoughtlessly, with no evil intent, by carelessly repeating a story which he has heard, without waiting to see if it is true. But it is an impossibility to counteract the effect of a false story once started. The one who maliciously invented it, or the one who thoughtlessly spread it, may sorely repent of the evil he has done; the wrong may be confessed, the slander publicly retracted, and each to whom he has told it may be privately visited. This may secure him pardon, but it will not heal the wound made. Somebody will still believe the story or will at least think that there must be some ground for it. There will be some who will not hear the correction, or, hearing it, will be less willing to accept the correction than they were to receive the original story. The wind will have blown the feathers of untruth to some place where they cannot be found. Evil is more easily believed of any man than good. Let a man be charged with being a thief, and though it be demonstrated that the charge is malicious, and without any foundation, yet there will be some who will always look upon the man with suspicion. They will argue that the story would not have been started if there had not been some cause for it. “No smoke without some fire,” they will say. True enough; but they forget that the tongue is set on fire of hell, and that it alone is responsible for most of the smoke which blind the eyes of men to the good that it is in their fellow-men.SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.12

    The Christian World (London) congratulate the members of the recent Church Congress on their liberality, and the “frank and tolerant spirit” which they manifested. This liberality was indicated by their allowing a Mr. Champion to champion Socialism, and “the Rev. Canon Taylor” to “vindicate the claims of Mohammedanism.” It thinks that there can be but little question as to the correctness of Mr. Taylor’s observation that “over a large portion of the world, Islam as a missionary religion is more successful than Christianity.” Archdeacon Hamilton, who followed Mr. Taylor, “freely acknowledged that over the inland portions of North Africa Christianity hitherto had not been able to compete with Islam.” How many more Church Congresses will convene before Mohammedanism will be recognized as an ally of Christianity? According to the National Reform idea that majorities ought to rule in matters of religion and conscience, Christianity ought to step out of Africa, and leave the field to Mohammedanism. In a world’s congress of religions, many countries could be represented only by Mohammedans. Why not by Mohammedans as well as by Roman Catholics?SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.13

    “Arbitration or War?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Considerable is now being said about settling disputes by arbitration. There is at the present time in this country a deputation from Great Britain, of twelve members of Parliament, for the purpose of working up a treaty between that country and the United States, which shall provide for the settlement of all disputes by arbitration. They were received by President Cleveland, who cordially indorsed their mission and wished them abundant success. He did not, however, feel sanguine that they would succeed in abolishing war at once. But there are others who expect soon to see war as a thing of the past.SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.14

    It is worthy of note that the next column but one to that which gives the account of the arbitration delegation, contains the recommendations of the Board of Engineers, concerning the coast defenses necessary in the United States, and their probable cost. The plan recommended, which will probably be adopted, involves an annual expense of about $2,000,000, to be apportioned among the principal sea-ports of the United States. This is a very moderate sum, considering the amount expended by other powers. This goes to show that while certain ones may talk enthusiastically over peace, and the settlement of all disputes by arbitration, no nation has any confidence in such talk. The spirit of war is in the air, and every nation on earth is feeling its influence.SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.15

    We do not favor war; we would be glad to see all disputes amicably settled, or, better still, to see no disputes at all; but we have no hope of seeing any such state of things until the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he has destroyed them that corrupt the earth. Wars grow out of the lusts of the human heart, and so long as men’s hearts are unchanged, wars will not cease. So long as men show no disposition to settle their private disputes by arbitration, but appeal to the courts, and to the far baser methods, so long may we expect nations to settle their disputes by an appeal to arms. Not only do we see no progress towards peaceful settlements of private difficulties, but we see disputes and quarrels increasing; and we see men fighting for the mere love of fighting, to a degree scarcely equaled in the feudal times when fighting was the sole occupation of men. The Bible says that in the last days man shall be fierce, and fierce men do not settle their disputes by arbitration. The only way to have no fighting is to have no disputes, and that condition of things will exist only in the new earth, where the inhabitants will all be of the same mind.SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.16

    “Entirely Too Familiar” The Signs of the Times, 13, 43.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian Advocate says:-SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.17

    “An ill-constructed school-house in New York City collapses before its completion, burying its builders in its ruins and causing much of death and suffering. The Roman Catholic priest for whose parochial uses it was being erected is among the victims. Blame is laid on the ‘building inspector,’ by whose connivance or oversight illegal expedients were resorted to which brought about this terrible accident. What is his defense? Simply this: He knew the priest had sufficient political influence to obtain a permit for any constructive irregularities he might choose to indulge in. Whether this be true or not is of less importance than the appalling fact-which none will deny-that such a charge may be brought against a priest without astonishing anyone. Roman Catholics justify the employment of all forces-moral and immoral-for the advancement of ‘the church;’ and Protestants are so familiar with the intermeddling of Rome with politics that they are no longer shocked by them.”SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.18

    Yes, Protestants are becoming entirely too familiar with the intermeddling of Rome with politics. In California one of the foremost preachers of the Methodist Church on the Pacific coast-C. C. Stratton, D. D.-goes on a mission to Archbishop Riordan, to gain the co-operation of the Catholic Church in a matter entirely political. In New York City the leading Protestant divines organize for political work, and propose to ask Archbishop Corrigan to serve on the committee which they appoint, to make their move politically effective. In the same State the fashionable watering-places preachers gathered at Saratoga, get together in a meeting in pass a motion commissioning the National Reform Association to secure if possible a basis of agreement with the Roman Catholic authorities, by which the public schools of the nation shall be given into the control of the Roman Church where ever the Catholics are in the majority.SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.19

    Yes, indeed, Protestants are becoming decidedly familiar with the intermeddling of Rome with politics. As greedily as these Protestant leaders are of political power, it is evident that they will be apt pupils, and under the tutorship of Archbishop Riordan, Archbishop Corrigan, Cardinal Gibbons, and “Roman Catholic authorities” generally, we may rest perfectly sure that this familiarity will be rapidly and vastly increased. Nor does this familiarity at all seem to breed contempt on the part of these Protestant preacher-politicians; it seems rather to increase their admiration for the “well-favored harlot.”SITI November 10, 1887, page 698.20

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