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    December 15, 1887

    “The Spirit of Antichrist. No 4” The Signs of the Times, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    If we examine the heathen world, we shall find that the deception by which Eve fell was the same by which they plunged into abominable idolatries. Pride, the exaltation of self to the place of Deity, resulted in degradation; for “pride goeth before destruction,” and “when pride cometh, then cometh shame.” Paul also is authority for the statement that when one is “lifted up with pride,” he is in danger of falling “into the condemnation of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:6.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.1

    Although there was heathenism centuries before the time of Plato, we may take the heathenism of his day as a type of all, since it was he who first systematized the so-called philosophy of the heathen. Everybody knows that one of the cardinal points of Plato’s philosophy was the theory of the immortality of the soul; but perhaps comparatively few realize that this doctrine of his sprung directly from the idea that the soul of man is itself supreme, a part of God. We quote the following concerning his teaching:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.2

    “There is no doctrine on which Plato more frequently or more strenuously insists than this,-that soul is not only superior to body, but prior to it in point of time, and that not only as it exists in the being of God, but in every order of existence. The soul of the world existed first, and then it was closed within material body. The souls which animate the sun, moon, and stars existed before the bodies which they inhabited. The pre-existence of human souls is one of the arguments on which he relies to prove its immortality.”-Prof. W. S. Tyler, of Amherst College, in Schaff-Herzog Cyclopedia.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.3

    By the following quotation from Priestly’s “Heathen Philosophy,” it will be seen that this doctrine of the pre-existence of human souls, upon which Plato built his doctrine of their immortality, is in reality a claim that the soul is self-existent, or, in other words, that each soul is a god:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.4

    “‘Every soul,’ he says (Phoedrus) ‘is immortal. That which is always in motion is from eternity, but that which is moved by another must have an end.’ Accordingly he maintained the pre-existence as well as the immortality of the soul; and in the East these two doctrines always went together, and are always ascribed to Pythagorus; the soul and the body being supposed to have only a temporary connection, to answer a particular purpose. ‘The soul existed,’ he says (Dr. Lea, lib. 10), ‘before bodies were produced, and is the chief agent in the changes and the management of the body.’ Agreeably to this doctrine, Plato maintained that all the knowledge we seem to acquire here is only the recollection of what we know in a former state.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.5

    The heathen philosophy, therefore, was simply a deification of the human. The mind of man was made the “lord of itself and all the world beside,” a part of God, and consequently answerable only to itself. Now what was the result of this self-exaltation? The apostle Paul gives the answer. Speaking of the heathen, he says that they were without excuse,-SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.6

    “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves; who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.” Romans 1:21-25.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.7

    “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Pride, which caused the fall of Satan, was at the bottom of their degradation. To be sure they had knowledge, and made great progress in the arts, but they attributed whatever knowledge they had to their own innate superiority. They looked within for everything, and began to worship themselves, because in their conceit they couldn’t imagine anything else in the universe so worthy of worship as themselves. Thus that which they did know contributed to their folly, because they cut themselves loose from the only source of wisdom. The light that was in them became darkness, and the darkness was very great. Now read a further consequence of their claim that they possessed the attributes of Deity:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.8

    “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful; who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:28-32.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.9

    Quotations from history might be given to any extent, to show that the first chapter of Romans does accurately describe the moral condition of the ancient heathen world; but they are not necessary to our present purpose. We merely wish to show that the working the spirit of antichrist is the same in all ages of the world; that since the elevation of man to an equality with Deity by claiming for him inherent immortality, was the cause of the moral degradation of the ancient heathen, the same thing in this age will result in the same way. Compare the quotation in the preceding paragraph with Galatians 5:19-21, and it will be seen that the two lists of sins are almost identical, and that when men became so swelled up with pride that they fancied themselves gods, and thus cut themselves loose from God, the abominable practices into which they fell were simply the outcroppings of their own human nature which they were worshiping instead of God.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.10

    But there are only too great opposing forces,-Christ and antichrist,-and when men cast off their allegiance to God, they necessarily enlist under the banner of Satan. And so while the heathen were exalting self, they were in reality worshiping the devil. It could not be otherwise. In harmony with this conclusion, are the words of Paul: “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God; and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” 1 Corinthians 10:20. The psalmist, also, describing the apostasy of the Israelites, says that they “were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols, which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils.” Psalm 106:35-37. From Leviticus 17:7 and Deuteronomy 32:15-7, also, we learn that when the Jews forsook the Lord, and practiced heathen worship, they sacrificed to devils.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.11

    Heathenism everywhere, and in all ages of the world, is simply some form of devil worship. The ancient heathen, like modern Spiritualists, consulted with “familiar” spirits, as we learn from Deuteronomy 18:9-12:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.12

    “When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord; and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.13

    The most noted of these places where the ancients consulted with familiar spirits were the oracles of Apollo, at Dodona, Delphi, and Trophonius, in Greece. The priests and priestesses who conveyed the message of these oracles to the people, would in these days be called mediums, clairvoyants, etc. It is well known that the philosopher Socrates had a familiar spirit, a demon, without whose advice he would do nothing.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.14

    From the Gospel in All Lands (September, 1887) we take the following extract concerning the religion of the inhabitants of Java:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.15

    “The native Javanese... are Mohammedans as much as anything. In former times they were Buddhists and Brahmins. They worship their ancestors, and seem to have gathered something from every system of religion with which they have come in contact. The number of the spirits worshiped is almost without limit. In nearly every place there is a patron spirit to whose influence the good or bad fortune of the village is ascribed.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.16

    Concerning the religion of the inhabitants of Ceylon, the same authority says:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.17

    “Buddha has a multitude of followers among the Cingalese. But mild and moral as his doctrines are, they have failed ‘to arrest man in his career of passion and pursuit,’ and many of his so-called followers have stolid indifference to religion of any form. ‘Yet, strange to say, under the coldness there are superstitious fires whose flames overtop the icy summits of Buddhist philosophy, and excite a deeper awe in the mind of the Cingalese. Hence it demon-worship, their earliest form of religion, is still extant. Devil-priests, on every domestic occurrence, and in their calamities, are called in, and their barbarous ceremonies performed. Devil-dancers are implicitly relied upon in times of sickness, and before the patient they personate the demon which is afflicting him, and spend the night in performing fiendish rights, and in the morning exorcise the demon and go away with the rich offering, praying that the life of the sufferer may be spared. Buddhist priests connive at this worship, and even practice it, because they cannot suppress it.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.18

    Like the Javanese, Chinese, also, as is well known, worship their ancestors, and their gods, like those of the heathen of Greece and Rome, are simply deified dead men and women, whose fame is thus perpetuated. Anybody who has been in a Chinese “Joss House,” has seen, among the images of supposed ancient heroes and sages, a “good devil” and perhaps a “bad devil,” whose favor must be gained, or whose wrath propitiated; and one can scarcely pass through a street in a Chinese village without seeing burning papers which are designed to drive the evil spirits away. And so if all the nations of heathendom were passed in review, it would be seen that the Scripture writers were correct in their statements that the heathen sacrifice to devils. W.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.19

    “A Holy Day, Not a Holiday” The Signs of the Times, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian Church News (Oakland) says:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.20

    “The Seventh-day Adventists believe that Saturday ought to be kept as a holiday of rest now by all Christendom, but they are not willing to affirm it openly and publicly.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.21

    Possibly the News thinks that it has warrant for such a statement; if so, we are happy to tell it, and others who may be equally misinformed, the exact truth about the matter.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.22

    In the first place let it be understood that Seventh-day Adventists hold to no belief which they are not willing to affirm openly and publicly. Such a charge is a little out of the usual order, for they are usually complained of as being too ready to urge their belief upon the attention of others. They hold to nothing which they are not willing to have brought to the light of day, and upon which they do not invite the freest criticism, believing that truth will survive every attack upon it, and will shine brighter for those attacks; and they do not wish to hold any doctrine which is not truth.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.23

    Secondly, it is a gross error to say that “Seventh-day Adventists believe that Saturday ought to be kept as a holiday of rest now by all Christendom.” Nothing in the world is further from their desire. They do believe that the seventh day of the week, commonly called Saturday, ought to be kept as the Sabbath of the Lord, not simply by all Christendom, but by all the world; the obligation rests upon the infidel and the heathen, as well as on the professing Christian, because when God said: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do ay work,” he addressed the whole world, and not any special class. “The Sabbath was made for man,” and therefore the obligation to keep it rests upon all mankind.SITI December 15, 1887, page 758.24

    But Seventh-day Adventists do not believe that Saturday ought to be kept as a holiday by anybody. It is a holy day, made such by the Creator himself, and so it ought to be kept. To observe the seventh day as a holiday,-a day of amusement, joy, and gaiety,-would be to violate the commandment of God, and we not only believe, but we know that that commandment ought to be strictly observed by every person in the world. This we and all Seventh-day Adventists are willing and anxious to declare openly and publicly, at all times and in all places. Let it be forever remembered, however, that when we say that all men ought to keep the seventh day, we do not mean to intimate that they should be forced to do so, nor that anybody should attempt to force them to keep it. This follows as a natural consequence of the fact that the Sabbath is a holy day and not a holiday. Civil laws cannot make a holy day, neither can they enforce the observance of a holy day. If the State were to attempt to enforce the observance of a holy day, it would at the best succeed in making men hypocrites, but it could not secure the proper observance of the day. And since anything less than the proper observance of the Sabbath is sin, it is evident that for the State to attempt to enforce the observance of the Sabbath would be to strengthen men in sin, by making them believe that the outward observance of the Sabbath, which is all that the State could exact, is all that God requires. It would, in fact, be compelling men to sin. Therefore, even if Seventh-day Adventists were in the majority, which we are sure they never will be, we should be utterly opposed to any movement looking toward the enforced observance of the seventh day.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.1

    While we are free to declare our belief in regard to Sabbath, we are just as free to declare our sentiments in regard to Sunday. Sunday was from the beginning of its career only a holiday, the “wild solar holiday of all pagan times.” The Catholic Church adopted it, along with many other heathen customs, from the pagans, by which she so conciliated them that they gave her their allegiance; and the Protestant churches have received it as a legacy from the Catholic Church.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.2

    Since the most that can be said for Sunday is that it is only a holiday of the church, without any divine sanction whatever, there is no obligation resting upon anybody to keep it. It has no more sacredness than Monday or Tuesday, or any other working day of the week. This we are willing to affirm openly and publicly, and we have no fear that our statement will be disproved. But although Sunday is not a sacred day, it is a religious institution, an institution of the church. Therefore when the State makes laws enforcing its observance even as a holiday, it goes beyond its right. To compel men to observe Sunday is to compel them to commit sin; for men will not rest upon two days of the week, and if they are compelled to rest on Sunday, they are thereby forced to labor upon the Sabbath, thus disobeying the command of God. Moreover, even though men would observe both days, if their conscience would not allow them to disobey God, Sunday laws would still be iniquitous, because they tend to elevate Sunday above the other working days of the week.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.3

    Therefore we are willing to affirm openly and publicly that we are utterly and uncompromisingly opposed to Sunday laws of every kind and degree. We are opposed to them not because it would interfere with our rights as citizens, but because they are against the rights of every citizen. The Gospel gives to every man the fullest liberty of choice as to whether or not he will obey God. “Whosoever will, let him come,” is the gospel call, and this invitation carries with it the negative, that whosoever is not inclined may stay away from the waters of life. Now when the State makes laws concerning any establishment of religion, it cuts directly across this freedom of choice. It compels some to do that which their conscience tells them they ought not to do; it forbids others to change their practice when their conscience shall become enlightened; and compel others to conform to a religious practice, when they have no conscience at all in the matter. If anybody wishes a more explicit declaration of our position upon this matter, we are prepared to give it, and to answer any questions that may be asked. W.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.4

    “Is It Temperance or Sunday?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Independent, in its notice of the recent meeting of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, at Nashville, Tenn., makes the following comment on the resolution which was passed in favor of Sunday liquor laws:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.5

    “It is our opinion that the great fight against liquor will be made more successfully on a much broader platform than that of a Sunday law. It is possible to make so much of the Sunday feature of the law as to ensure the cause, and of this there is some danger.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.6

    The Independent is correct; if the fight against the liquor traffic is ever to be successful, it will have to be made on a basis much broader than that of a Sunday law. For although a Sunday liquor law might be secured, the liquor traffic would still be intrenched as strongly as ever, yes, even more strongly than ever. Perhaps this may not be apparent to all, for many imagine that to oppose the so-called Sunday liquor laws is to array one’s self on the side of the saloons, and against temperance. This can easily be shown to be an error.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.7

    In the first place, the passage of a Sunday prohibitory liquor law gives the liquor traffic a legal status on other days. It is true that it is not expressly declared that liquor selling is right on other days than Sunday; but the natural inference from law declaring it to be wrong to sell liquor on Sundays is that it is all right to sell it on other days. The mother says to her boy, “Johnnie, you must not play with your ball to-day; it is Sunday.” The only idea Johnnie would get would be that is wrong to play ball on Sunday; he certainly would never get the idea that it is not right to play ball at other times; and the mother would not expect him to. If the boy were doing anything that is wrong in itself, smoking, for instance, she would use different language. She would say, “You must not do that, my son;” and this she would say on Monday or Wednesday just the same as on Sunday. If she should say, “You must not smoke to-day; it is Sunday,” the boy would conclude at once that all the wrong consisted in doing the act on Sunday, but that his mother would not object to his smoking on any other day. Even, so to discriminate, and say that liquor shall not be sold on Sunday, is to say it in effect that liquor-selling is all right in itself on any other day than Sunday.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.8

    This idea is strengthened by the fact that those who oppose the “Sunday saloons” also oppose the Sunday newspaper, the Sunday railroad train, Sunday mails, etc., things which are perfectly legitimate in themselves. By classing the “Sunday saloon” with these other things, the professed temperance people lift it to the same level.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.9

    But it is argued by many that the Sunday prohibitory liquor law is a move in the right direction, and that it is best to take what they can get, hoping for more by and by. They say they expect to get prohibition some time, but they cannot get it all at once, and so they will take prohibition on one day. It is strange that the fallacy of this plea cannot be seen by everybody at a single glance. It is right here that we find the plainest kind of evidence that the Sunday liquor law is not a move in behalf of temperance, but is only a movement for the protection of Sunday. Suppose for a moment that the movement in this affair were all true temperance men,-men who believe that the liquor traffic ought to be prohibited because it is an evil, and only an evil, to society,-does anyone suppose that they would be content with closing the saloons on Sunday only? No; when once they had massed their strength sufficiently to close the saloons on one day in the week they would close them every day. If they want total prohibition, there is no reason on earth why they shouldn’t get what they want, if they have the power to secure prohibition one day in the week. With their hands once on the monster’s throat they would not relax their grasp until it was choked to death.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.10

    It matters not that many of those who strenuously favor a Sunday liquor law are honest in their intentions, and are really actuated by temperance principles, the fact remains that there are not enough of such ones to carry the thing, for if there were they would have absolute prohibition. Those who look no further than the protection of Sunday are largely in the majority. We say again that the securing of a Sunday prohibitory law is not a move in the direction of total prohibition, but rather against it; for the fact that a lot of professed temperance men have the power in their hands to prohibit the liquor traffic, and stop short with prohibiting it one day in the week, will give that traffic a prestige that it has never before had.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.11

    We conclude, therefore, that the whole thing centers around Sunday, and is prompted, with few exceptions, by no other motive than to protect that day from desecration. If any feel inclined to dispute this proposition still further, and claim that the only desire is to protect the homes of the people-that Sunday is a general holiday, and the saloons are allowed to keep open, the laboring men and the youth, being idle, will be enticed into them more than at any other time, we would call attention to the fact that the working men are at liberty from about 5 o’clock Saturday afternoon, and that from then until midnight they have seven hours’ holiday, during which time the saloons are in full blast, and still there is no attempt on foot to abolish the Saturday-night saloons. There is ample opportunity for the laborers to spend all their money in drink before Sunday morning, and too often this is done. If this is a “home-protection movement,” then let it cover all the time when homes are in danger. More than this, the youth are usually at leisure the whole of Saturday, yet the “temperance” zeal reaches no further than the suppressing the Sunday saloon. The more arguments men bring to bear to support the Sunday prohibitory law, the more is its real nature disclosed. We repeat, the movement is against temperance, rather than in its favor, and wholly in the interest of the Sunday. The following from the Christian Statesman, of December, 1887, will bear out this assertion. It occurs in the report of a national reform meeting in Philadelphia:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.12

    “The Rev. Dr. Barr showed how a consistent national Christianity would throw open to religious influence large classes of men and women who are now utterly inaccessible. For example, there are from six to ten thousand saloon-keepers in the city, who, from the very nature of their business, cannot be reached with the gospel. A Christian Government would abolish their business, and leave them free to be reached like other men.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.13

    This, of course, looks toward entire suppression, but the principle is the same. In a meeting in the interests of a Sunday law, held in Oakland last winter, Rev. Dr. Briggs complained that the churches were charged with the duty of instructing the people in morals, and then, on account of the absence of any Sunday law, the people were free to wander into all places of amusement, so that the churches could not get at them. And whenever any “Sunday temperance” movement is sifted to the bottom, this will be found to be the ultimate object.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.14

    The Independent is right; if the professed temperance people of the country want to make any real headway against liquor, they will have to build a much broader platform than Sunday laws; for when their Sunday laws shall have been passed, liquor will be here still, and more strongly intrenched than ever. W.SITI December 15, 1887, page 759.15

    “Catholics and Hungarians” The Signs of the Times, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    An assembly of Catholic Hungarians has voted an address to the Pope. It favors granting temporal power to him. Semi-official journals protest against the address, which they say does not represent the genuine opinion of the Hungarian Catholics.SITI December 15, 1887, page 761.1

    “The Week of Prayer” The Signs of the Times, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We would again call the attention of our readers, especially of those who are in any way connected with the body of the Sabbath-keepers, to the week of prayer, which has already been referred to. December 17-24, inclusive, is the time appointed, and the day or evening following, being Christmas, is designated as the time for special offerings to be made to foreign missions. It is expected that during the week of prayer all the churches will hold meetings every day, or in the evening, if it is not possible for all the members to assemble in the day-time. For each day’s meeting a special article has been prepared. The subjects are the following:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 761.2

    For Sabbath, December 17, which is appointed as a fast-day, “The Importance of Devoting the Week of Prayer to the Special Work of Seeking God;” Sunday, December 18, “Steps by Which We place Ourselves in a Condition Where God Can Accept Us;” Monday, December 19, “The Blessing of God Brought to Us Through Faith;” Tuesday, December 20, “The Object of God’s Blessing, and How It Can Be Obtained;” Wednesday, December 21, “Missionary Work-in the Family, in the Neighborhood, and in the Church;” Thursday, December 22, “The Work in Great Britain and Scandinavia;” a Friday, December 23, “The Central European Mission;” Sabbath, December 24, “The Obligation, Privilege, and Blessing of Giving.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 761.3

    The Christmas exercises are expected to be such as shall harmonize with the spirit of the week of prayer. It is hoped that during that week all will have had such a sense of their dependence upon God, and of his abundant goodness, that they will feel it to be a very feeble expression of gratitude due, to give liberally for the missions, which are now languishing for want of means. It has been proposed that at the Christmas gathering, before the offerings are made, brief sketches of the different foreign missions be given; and a circular letter suggesting a programme for the evening, and giving statistics of the missions, has been prepared and sent out.SITI December 15, 1887, page 761.4

    Concerning the propriety of making gifts instead of receiving them on Christmas, nothing need be said. The plan has been tested abundantly. Some have thought that the children would be disappointed to see a Christmas tree with nothing on it for them; but our experience is that they are much better satisfied when the donations are for some worthy enterprise, and they are allowed to share in the giving, than when they are the recipients. With the latter plan there is always more or less envy, because some are more highly favored than others, while in the proposed plan there is no chance for envy; a lesson of unselfishness is taught, and the children prove the truth of the saying that it is more blessed to give than to receive.SITI December 15, 1887, page 761.5

    Sabbath-keepers who are isolated so that they cannot meet with others should spend the week of prayer in seeking God by themselves, following the course of the meetings as nearly as they can from a reading of the subjects. Their Christmas offerings may be sent to either of the Publishing Houses, or to the nearest Tract Society Secretary, and they will all be credited to the Foreign Mission Fund. W.SITI December 15, 1887, page 761.6

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The New York Observer has sent letters to 501 Congregational Churches in New England, asking how they stand concerning the doctrine of probation after death. Of the replies received, 430 express emphatic disapproval of the theory, and the Observer’s conclusion is that “not more than four to five per cent. of the churches of New England tolerate the hypothesis of post-mortem probation.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.1

    We have received from the publishing house in Battle Creek, Mich., a pamphlet of fifty-two pages, entitled, “Prophetic History of the World,” containing what we conceive to be an exposition of the seventh and eighth chapters of Daniel, in the Dutch language, and also an assortment of tracts in the same language. The tracts are the following: The Law and the Gospel-The Sabbath of the Bible-The Sanctuary of the Bible-The Sabbath made for Man-Seven Reasons for Sunday-keeping Examined-Which Day Do You Keep, and Why?-Is Man Immortal?-The Millennium-Who Changed the Sabbath?-The Sufferings of Christ-and two temperance tracts: The Curse of Our Nation, and Alcoholic Poison. We are glad that the Hollanders may now read the truth in their own language. People who are acquainted with any of that nationality should make a note of this.SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.2

    The subject of the discourse by Dr. Barrows, pastor of the First Congregationalist Church, San Francisco, a few Sundays ago, was, “The Sunday Question-the Present Needs and Hopes Concerning It.” In this discourse he is reported to have said:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.3

    “Catholicity is needed to obtain a true solution to this question. All we can expect is a civil moral law. If the Catholics, the Protestants, and the Jews all ask for it, where is the Legislature that would refuse? A breadth of view is necessary which will drop out of sight all our minor, individual views, and will unite us for the one common cause. This question is of supreme importance in this country at the present time, and we know of no other which equals it, except the temperance question.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.4

    We will not at present comment on the anomaly of “a civil moral law,” but will ask special note to be made of the fact that Protestants are seriously proposing an alliance with Catholicism in order to influence legislation in favor of Sunday. Leaving aside all question as to whether or not Sunday should be observed as the Sabbath, is it not evident that somebody’s rights are going to be infringed when Protestants and Catholics unite to influence legislation? When did Rome ever combine with any power, except to her own advantage? Is it not time for somebody to be are aroused?SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.5

    The following news item we clip from the Christian Union:—SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.6

    “The Rev. Dr. J. B. Fulton is still delivering his series of lectures against Romanism, and was recently attacked by a mob in Biddeford, Maine, which stoned the hall and drove the lecturer away. Dr. Fulton, however, was returned to Biddeford, by invitation of the Protestant clergymen of that city and Saco, and has begun another series of lectures on the same subject.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.7

    The story is told that a poor shoemaker used to attend the theological controversies, which were conducted in Latin. When asked what benefit he derived from the discussions, since he knew nothing of the language, he replied that he could always tell which party was in the wrong, because that party always got angry. If we did not have any knowledge of Romanism, we should know that it is a gross error, because it always replies with violence to any attacks upon it. Truth never uses any arguments but those of sober reason. Whenever in a religious body attempts to use physical force in defense of its dogmas, it may be set down as a fact that it is utterly impossible to uphold those dogmas from the Bible. The same principle applies in the case of the attempts of professed Protestants to secure laws enforcing Sunday observance. It is because they cannot uphold it by the Bible as a religious institution, that they wish to have it enforced as a civil institution.SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.8

    “Excessive Conscientiousness” The Signs of the Times, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    What the Independent terms “a curious case of conscientiousness” has just developed in Dubuque, Iowa. The facts, as given, are these:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.9

    “The ladies connected with the management of the Iowa Home of the Friendless have been in the habit of having a great ball every year, to raise money for their institution. This year, owing to a series of revival meetings in the city, the date of the ball was postponed until it was expected that the meetings would be concluded. As the meetings, however, were to continue, and the excitement of the coming ball was distracting the attention of the young people, several of the clergymen offered to canvass for money for the Home, if the ball should be given up, and expressed the opinion that a larger amount would thus be raised. No notice was taken of this offer. Then a number of ladies, some of them interested in the Home, offered to give it a thousand dollars on the same condition, this being a considerably larger sum than the ball usually netted.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.10

    The ladies gave this generous offer “earnest and prayerful deliberation,” and then respectfully declined it, and the following is a part of their reason therefore:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.11

    “As a band of Christian women, working for a charitable institution, we cannot consistently, or in justice to ourselves, admit or assume for any consideration that this innocent amusement that we have for years provided as a means to help us in support of our charitable work, can be in any way inconsistent or detrimental to a Christian life or character.... We earnestly recommend these young converts and those that may feel that this or any other amusement or recreation will be a blemish on that higher and better life to which all these things must be subservient, to lean not on any human arm for counsel or support, but as individuals to search their own consciences in the sight of their heavenly Father, and he will give them strength to follow its dictates fearlessly and cheerfully. And it was further resolved that it is not too late to abandon the proposed ball, preparations having already proceeded too far in that direction, and in justice to those who have labored hard and given much valuable time in order to make a financial success, we cannot further consider the proposition of the committee.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.12

    The Independent, with fine sarcasm, says that “the sensitiveness of these ladies for the rights of those of their number who have labored to make the ball a success, is something touching.” But it seems as though a little conscientious fear of endangering the salvation of souls, would have given better evidence of the true spirit of Christianity. In this affair we have an instance of how people may delude themselves into thinking that they are conscientiously serving God, when their every act proclaims them “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.13

    “Alden’s Manifold ‘Cyclopedia of Knowledge and Language” The Signs of the Times, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    To those who wish a cheap cyclopedia, and yet one which is sufficiently comprehensive for all practical purposes, we can heartily recommend this work, the first volume of which is before us. It is more than a mere cyclopedia, as the following extract from the Publisher’s Notice will show: “The ‘Manifold Cyclopedia’ undertakes to present a survey of the entire circle of knowledge, whether of words or of things, thus combining the characteristics of a cyclopedia and a dictionary, including in its vocabulary every word which has any claim to a place in the English language. It does not especially attempt originality of treatment, but aims rather to give the generally accepted views of the most eminent scholars of the world, upon all the topics discussed.” An excellent feature of the work is that the pronunciation of every name is indicated. The first volume contains 630 pages, and covers the ground from A to America. From this some idea can be gained as to the comprehensiveness of the work. The book is four inches by seven in size, single column, well illustrated. The price, 50 cents in cloth, and 65 cents in half morocco binding, with 10 cents additional for postage, places it within the reach of everybody. The volumes will be issued at intervals of about one month, and a specimen copy may be ordered and returned it not wanted. John B. Alden, publisher, 303 Pearl Street, New York.SITI December 15, 1887, page 768.14

    “Lesson Pamphlet” The Signs of the Times, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    At the late session of the International Sabbath-school Association, the following recommendation by the Lesson Committee was adopted:-SITI December 15, 1887, page 784.1

    “That the lessons for 1888 be written immediately and, after approval by the executive Committee, that they be published in two pamphlets, of twenty-six lessons each, for the use of Sabbath-school officers and teachers.”SITI December 15, 1887, page 784.2

    The lessons for the first six months of 1888 are now ready, and orders for the first of the above-mentioned pamphlets may now be sent in. this pamphlet will also contain the lesson that has been prepared for the use of the Senior Division at the camp-meetings. Price, post-paid, 10 cents. Send orders to Pacific Press, Oakland, Cal.SITI December 15, 1887, page 784.3

    It should be borne in mind that this pamphlet is only “for the use of Sabbath-school officers and teachers.” It is not designed for general circulation. Sabbath-school scholars will receive their lesson week by week as heretofore, and that is sufficient for their needs. But the Committee recognized the fact that it is often an advantage to teachers to know what is coming. by means of this pamphlet, moreover, ministers who are traveling from place to place visiting churches, and attending camp-meetings, may always be able to join with the school in the lesson for the day, although they may not have received any Instructor. Whenever a minister visits a school, the officers and teachers expect help from him, and valuable suggestions in regard to the lessons, and they have a right to expect this. But very often they are disappointed, because he “didn’t have any paper, and therefore couldn’t learn the lesson.” They will no longer have this excuse, and the schools may hereafter feel free to call upon a minister to teach a class whenever he visits them.SITI December 15, 1887, page 784.4

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