Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    March 3, 1887

    “‘The Coming of Christ’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Under this title, after speaking of the several unscriptural and fanciful interpretations which are given to the promise of our Saviour, “I will come again” (John 14:3), the Methodist Recorder says:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 128.4

    Other interpreters regard it, and we think correctly, as referring it, and we think correctly, as referring particularly to the personal appearing of Christ at the end of the world. It is a broad, comprehensive promise, intended not only for the apostles, but for believers in every subsequent age. It is the same as if he had said, “I will not stay always in Heaven; I will, after awhile, at a time which it is not now proper to reveal, come back to you.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 128.5

    The object of Christ’s departure from his disciples, as he plainly informs us, was that he might prepare a place for them. And the object of his coming again, he declares, will be to receive them to himself, that where he is, there they may be also. This very clearly shows that his coming again does not refer to his appearance to his disciples after his resurrection, nor to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, but to his second coming, at the end of the world, to be glorified in his saints, and admired by all them that love him.SITI March 3, 1887, page 128.6

    This visible, personal coming of Christ is that which was announced by the angels to his disciples at his ascension. “This same Jesus,” said they, “which is taken up form you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” This is in harmony with the entire teachings of God’s word on the subject. The apostle Paul assures us that “unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” And, “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” “For,” says he again, “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 128.7

    When Christ instituted the last Supper, he commanded his followers to observe it in remembrance of him, until his coming again. The volume of divine truth closes with the blessed assurance of his coming. “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 128.8

    This is the glorious hope of the church and of every true believer, the return of the Saviour-the coming of the Bridegroom. The church shall not always mourn her absent Head. Believers in Jesus shall not always be left in orphanage. The Master says, “I will come again.” Blessed assurance and hope!SITI March 3, 1887, page 128.9

    “‘A Weighty and Timely Utterance’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner



    The next head under which Mr. Bailey “proves” his proposition is the testimony of the Fathers. And right here a quotation from the Examiner and Chronicle, a standard Baptist paper, is to the point. Some years ago a correspondent of this paper, signing himself Rev. Philetus Dobbs, D. D., stated that he had received a letter from a young minister, asking how he should prove a thing when there is nothing with which to prove it; and a portion of his reply is as follows:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.1

    “I regard, however, a judicious use of the Fathers as being on the whole the best reliance for anyone who is in the situation of my querist. The advantages of the Fathers are twofold: First, they carry a good deal of weight with the masses; and secondly, you can find whatever you want in the Fathers. I do not believe that any opinion could be advanced so foolish, so manifestly absurd, but that you can find passages to sustain it on the pages of these venerable stagers. And to the common mind one of these is just as good as another. If it happens that the point that you want to prove is one that never chanced to occur to the Fathers, why you can easily show that they would have taken your side if they had only thought of the matter. And if, perchance, there is nothing bearing even remotely or constructively on the point, do not be discouraged; get a good, strong quotation, and put the name of the Fathers to it, and utter it with an air of triumph; it will be all just as well; nine-tenths of the people do not stop to ask whether a quotation bears on the matter in hand. Yes, my brother, the Fathers are your stronghold. They are Heaven’s best gift to the man who has a cause that cannot be sustained in any other way.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.2

    The aptness with which this applies to the case in hand will be seen as we proceed. But first we want to give a few quotations to show in what esteem that Fathers are held by some of the best writers, who are themselves first-day observers. We first quote from Mosheim. Speaking of certain works by Clement, Justin Martyr, Tatian, Theophilus, etc., he says that these works are lost, and adds:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.3

    “But this loss is the less to be regretted, since it is certain that no one of these expositors could be pronounced a good interpreter. They believed the language of Scripture to contain two meanings, the one obvious, and corresponding with the direct import of the words, the other recondite, and concealed under the words like a nut by the shell; and, neglecting the former as being of little value, they bestowed their chief attention on the latter; that is, they were more intent on throwing obscurity over the sacred writings by the fictions of their own imaginations, than on searching out their true meaning.”-Ecclesiastical History, book 1, cent. 2, part. 2, chap. 3, sec. 5.SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.4

    Archdeacon Farrar in his latest work, “History of Interpretation,” says of the Fathers:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.5

    “There are but few of them whose pages are not rife with errors,-errors of method, errors of fact, errors of history, of grammar, and even of doctrine; this is the language of simple truth, and not of slighting disparagement.”-Pp. 162, 163.SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.6

    On page 164 of the same book, Farrar says:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.7

    “Without deep learning, without linguistic knowledge, without literary culture, without any final principles either as to the nature of the sacred writings or the method by which they should be interpreted,-surrounded by Paganism, Judaism, and heresy of every description, and wholly dependent on a faulty translation,-the earliest Fathers and apologists add little or nothing to our understanding of Scripture.... Their acquaintance with the Old Testament is incorrect, popular, and full of mistakes; their scriptural arguments are often baseless; their exegesis-novel in application only-is a chaos of elements unconsciously borrowed on the one hand from Philo, and on the other from Rabbis and Kabbalists. They claim ‘a grace’ of exposition, which is not justified by the results they offer, and they suppose themselves to be in possession of a Christian Gnosis, of which the specimens offered are for the most part entirely untenable.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.8

    Dr. Clarke in his comment on Proverbs 8 says of the Fathers:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.9

    “But of these we may safely state that there is not a truth in the most orthodox creed that cannot be proved by their authority, nor a heresy that has disgraced the Romish Church that may not challenge them as its abettors. In points of doctrine their authority is with me nothing.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.10

    Chambers’s Encyclopedia says of the Fathers:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.11

    “Of those who head the list, the Apostolic Fathers-so called from their supposed connection with Christ and the apostles-very little need be said, as their writings, which are mostly of an ascetical character, have come down to us in a corrupt and mutilated state, and as the writers themselves owe their chief celebrity to the times in which they happened to live.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.12

    We might add many more testimonies to the incompetency and unreliability of the Fathers, but we will pass to notice the special ones which are referred to by Mr. Bailey. He begins thus:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.13


    “Barnabas was a fellow-laborer with Paul. Several of the epistles of Barnabas have been published, believed by many of the best scholars to be genuine, though not inspired. Yet as a witness of the customs of the early churches, we may believe his testimony. General epistle of Barnabas 13:9, 10: ‘Lastly he saith unto them, Your new moons and your Sabbaths, I cannot bear them. Consider what he means by it; the Sabbaths, says he, which ye now keep are not acceptable unto me, but those which I have made, when, resting from all things, I shall begin the eighth day, that is, the beginning of the other world. For which cause we observe the eighth day with gladness, in which Jesus rose from the dead, and having manifested himself to the disciples, he ascended into Heaven.’ Did not Barnabas know what day the early churches were to keep as the Christian Sabbath?”SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.14

    We are strongly of the opinion that Mr. Bailey has never seen a set of the writings ascribed to the Fathers. He says “several of the epistles of Barnabas have been published.” We have two editions of the Anti-Nicene Fathers, and in neither of them is there more than one epistle ascribed to Barnabas. All the church historians of which we have any knowledge speak of “the epistle of Barnabas,” but never of the epistles. But that is a matter of no consequence, for if there were forty “epistles of Barnabas” the world would only be so much the worse off. We will now investigate this so-called “epistle of Barnabas,” and its author. Bishop Arthur Cleveland Coxe, in his introductory note to the epistle of Barnabas, published by the Christian Literature Publishing Company, says:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.15

    “The writer of this epistle is supposed to have been an Alexandrian Jew of the times of Trajan and Hadrian. He was a layman; but possibly he bore the name of ‘Barnabas’ and so has been confounded with his holy apostolic namesake.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.16

    The original introductory note by those who translated the epistle for the Edinburgh edition contains the following:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.17

    “Nothing certain is known as to the author of the following epistle. The writer’s name is Barnabas, but scarcely any scholars now ascribe it to the illustrious friend and companion of St. Paul.... On perusing the epistle the reader will be in circumstances to judge of this matter for himself. He will be led to consider whether the spirit and tone of the writing, as so decidedly opposed to all respect for Judaism-the numerous inaccuracies which it contains with respect to Mosaic enactment; and observances-the absurd and trifling interpretations of Scripture which it suggests-and the many silly vaunts of superior knowledge in which its writer indulges-can possibly comport with its ascription to the fellow-laborer of St. Paul. When it is remembered that no one ascribes the epistle to the apostolic Barnabas till the times of Clement of Alexandria, and that it is ranked by Eusebius among the ‘spurious’ writings, which, however much known and read in the church, were never regarded as authoritative, little doubt can remain that the external evidence is of itself weak, and should not make us hesitate for a moment in refusing to ascribe this writing to Barnabas the apostle.... In point of style, both as respects thought and expression, a very low place must be assigned it. We know nothing certain of the region in which the author lived, or where the first readers were to be found.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.18

    The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia says of this epistle:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.19

    “The opinion to-day is that Barnabas was not the author. The epistle was probably written in Alexandria at the beginning of the second century, and by a Gentile Christian.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.20

    Mosheim says:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.21

    “The epistle of Barnabas, as it is called, was in my judgment the production of some Jewish Christian who lived in this century [the first] or the next, who had no bad intentions, but possessed little genius and was infected with the fabulous opinions of the Jews. He was clearly a different person from Barnabas, the companion of St. Paul.”-Book 1, cent. 1, part 2, chap. 2, sec. 21.SITI March 3, 1887, page 134.22

    These last two quotations show how little is known about the man who wrote this epistle. One supposes that he was a Jew, the other a Gentile, and none pretend to know when he lived.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.1

    McClintock and Strong’s Encyclopedia says:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.2

    “An epistle has come down to us bearing the name of Barnabas, but clearly not written by him.... The writer evidently has unacquainted with the Hebrew Scriptures, and has committed the blunder of supposing that Abraham was familiar with the Greek alphabet some centuries before it existed.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.3

    Dr. Kitto in his “Encyclopedia of Religious Literature” says:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.4

    “He makes unauthorized additions to various parts of the Jewish Cultus; his views of the Old Economy are confused and erroneous; and he adopts a mode of interpretation countenanced by none of the inspired writers, and at utter variance with every principle of sound criticism, being to the last degree puerile and absurd. The inference is unavoidable that Barnabas, ‘the son of prophecy,’ ‘the man full of the Holy Spirit and of faith,’ was not the author of this epistle.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.5

    Dr. Schaff, “History of the Christian Church,” sec. 121, says:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.6

    “A genuine production of Barnabas would doubtless have found a place in the Canon, with the writings of Mark and Luke and the epistle to the Hebrews. Besides, the contents of this epistle are not worthy of him. It has many good ideas and forcible testimonies, such as that in favor of the observance of the Christian Sabbath, but it goes to extremes in opposition to Judaism, and indulges in all sorts of artificial, sometimes absurd and allegorical fancies.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.7

    But what if he does? What if the epistle is a forgery made by some unknown and irresponsible person? What if its writer was an ignoramus who indulged in the most absurd notions? He gives “valuable testimony” in favor of the observance of the “Christian Sabbath,” and that is sufficient to secure the epistle a place in “Christian literature” as long as time lasts. It will not be long, we apprehend, before these principles will be carried out to a greater extent, and the vilest man will be welcome in so-called Christian churches, if he is only zealous in his observance of Sunday, and in persecuting those who do not observe it.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.8

    But what about this “valuable testimony” given by this fellow who steals the name of Barnabas? Why, he says that “we keep the eighth day with joyfulness.” Perhaps some admirer of this epistle will tell us when the “eighth day of the week” comes, and how Sunday can be both the first day and the eighth day of a week of seven days. We might quote from the epistle abundance of matter demonstrating the truth of what has been said about it, but much of it is unfit for publication in these columns. We will however give one quotation, which the author of the epistle regarded as much more valuable testimony than that concerning the “eighth day.” In the last part of chapter nine he says:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.9

    “Learn, then, my children, concerning all things richly, that Abraham, the first who enjoined circumcision, looking forward in spirit to Jesus, practiced that rite, having received the mysteries of the three letters. For (the Scripture) saith, ‘And Abraham circumcised ten, and eight, and three hundred men of his household.’ What then was the knowledge given to him in this? Learn the eighteen first, and then the three hundred. The ten and the eight are thus denoted-ten by I, and eight by H. You have (the initials of the name of) Jesus. And because the cross was to express the grace (of our redemption), by the letter T, he says also. ‘Three hundred.’ He signifies therefore Jesus by two letters, and the cross by one. He knows this who has put within us the engrafted gift of his doctrine. No one has been admitted by me to a more excellent piece of knowledge than this, but I know that ye are worthy.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.10

    With this we leave the pseudo-Barnabas. W.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.11

    (To be continued.)

    “Sunday-Law Meeting in Oakland” The Signs of the Times, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    According to previous appointment in the newspapers of Oakland and San Francisco, a meeting in the interest of a Sunday law was held in Oakland, on the evening of the 18th ult. This meeting was called for the purpose of “discussing the merits” of the bill which was introduced into the Legislature February 15, by Mr. Knox, of Los Angeles. Unlike the convention that was held in San Francisco, last fall, and which was reported in the SIGNS of December 9, this meeting was remarkable for the unanimity of sentiment expressed. The meeting seemed to have been carefully planned, and everybody knew just what was expected of him. The principal speakers of the evening were Mr. Fox, an Oakland criminal lawyer, and Rev. Dr. M. C. Briggs, of Napa. The stand was occupied by quite a number of the leading clergy of Oakland, who manifested their approval of the sentiments expressed, by frequent applause.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.12

    As showing how careful the managers of the meeting were to secure perfect harmony, we will state that at the close of the meeting some resolutions favoring a Sunday law were read, and, as reported in the papers, were adopted by “a rising and almost unanimous vote.” But we were there, and saw the proceeding. The chairman called for all who favored the resolutions to arise. Perhaps more than half the congregation arose, when the chairman immediately announced, “Carried,” without giving any a chance to dissent except by keeping their seats. This is possibly a good way to get a vote “without a single dissenting voice,” in order to spur on unwilling legislation, but it is not a good way to convince thinking people of the justice of a cause. Any cause that cannot endure a free expression of opinion, and that is not so strongly intrenched in reason and justice as to be willing to court the fullest investigation, ought to fall by its own weight.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.13

    The bill under consideration is known in the lower House as Assembly Bill, No. 520, and reads as follows:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.14

    “SECTION 1. There is hereby added a new section to the Penal Code, to be known as section two hundred and ninety-nine, which shall read as follows:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.15

    “299. Every person who shall expose to or offer for sale any goods, wares, or merchandise, or shall keep open any store, workshop, or other place of business, bar, or saloon, or shall sell or give away to be drunk as a beverage any spirituous, vinous, malt, or other intoxicating liquor, upon the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, is guilty of a misdemeanor.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.16

    “SEC. 2. There is hereby added a new section to the Penal Code, to be known as section three hundred, which shall read as follows:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.17

    “300. Every person who shall engage in any riot, fighting, horse-racing, gaming, or other public sports, exercises, or shows, on Sunday; and any person who shall keep open on Sunday any place where such public sports, exercises, or shows are carried on, is guilty of a misdemeanor.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.18

    “SEC. 3. There is hereby added a new section to the Penal Code, to be known as section three hundred, which shall read as follows:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.19

    “301. Every person who shall either labor himself or compel his apprentice, servant, or other person under his charge or control, to labor or perform any work, other than works of necessity or charity, on Sunday, is guilty of a misdemeanor.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.20

    “SEC. 4. This Act shall not extend to any person who conscientiously believes that the seventh day of the week ought to be observed as a Sabbath, and who actually observes such Sabbath; provided, that in the pursuit of his labor or business he disturbs no other person.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.21

    “SEC. 5. Each violation of any of the provisions of this Act shall be construed to constitute a separate and complete offense; and for each violation the person or persons offending shall be liable to the penalties provided for any law.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.22

    “SEC. 6. This Act shall take effect immediately.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.23

    Mr. FOX, the first speaker, read the first four sections of this bill, and then announced himself as unqualifiedly opposed to section 4. Said He: “The strongest argument in favor of a Sunday law is based on the law of nature. It is an argument which is presented by God himself. Everything that lives must have a weekly day of rest, or must suffer. This is a divine command, made manifest through all nature. Hence all civilized nations should provide for the observance of that command; and you cannot provide for it unless you make the day of rest universal. Therefore the Sunday law must not except anybody.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.24

    This bit of sophistry was greeted with uproarious applause, the clergy on the stand using both hands and feet vigorously. We cite this to show the spirit actuating those who plead for a Sunday law. We were privately informed by one of the reverend gentlemen who was instrumental in getting up the meeting, that the managers were not responsible for the sentiments expressed by Mr. Fox, and that they did not indorse him. We told him that if that were the case they should have disavowed such sentiments at the time. Instead of a word of dissent, however, the other speaker of the evening came out still more emphatically, mentioning Seventh-day Adventists by name, and said that although he had respect for them as a people, no exemption should be made in their behalf; and this statement was also received with applause. If the advocates of Sunday laws are in favor of justice, they have an unfortunate way of showing it.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.25

    Let the reader carefully examine the proposed law, and then consider Mr. Fox’s “strongest argument,” by which he “proved” the impossibility of making any exception in favor of Sabbath-keepers. The bill provides that no work whatever, except works of necessity or charity, shall be performed on Sunday by anybody, unless he has actually rested on the seventh day of the week. Thus the proposed law, if carried into effect, would insure a weekly rest of one day to every individual in the State; and yet the speaker claimed that the “law of nature” which demands a weekly rest could not be obeyed if section 4 were retained. Is not “sophistry” a mild term to apply to such “argument”? He virtually claimed that this “law of nature” demands that the weekly rest shall fall on Sunday; that if men rest on Saturday instead of Sunday they will suffer physically! The only “law of nature” which demands that men shall rest upon Sunday, and on no other day, is the natural depravity which is in the heart of man, which receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.26

    To say that such a law as was pleaded for at that meeting would not be unjust, and would not result in the persecution of those who conscientiously observe the seventh day of the week, is an insult to the intelligence of thinking people. Read the speech of Senator Crockett on pages 131, 132 of this paper, for a refutation of such a claim.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.27

    The speakers were careful to let it be understood that they did not want a religious law, but a civil law. They did not want any law in behalf of religion, but only to help the poor laboring man. This is a bit of sophistry that looks so plausible that it will catch very many. Of course they want a civil law, for a State law could be nothing else. But Sunday is a religious institution; we do not mean that it is a divine institution, but that it is purely a church ordinance, and therefore a religious institution, even though human in its origin. Now a State law compelling men to keep Sunday is a civil law, to be sure, but a civil law establishing a custom of religion. Such laws constitute, so far as they extend, a union of Church and State. Baptism is purely a religious ordinance, but a State law compelling all men to be baptized would be a civil law. But such civil laws are what we protest against. We do not believe in the State stepping out of its sphere to interfere in matters purely religious.SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.28

    But it was not possible for those who took part in the meeting to conceal their desire for a law upholding Sunday in its religious aspect. In his opening prayer, Dr. Gray prayed that the people might be made to feel the necessity of “hedging about with legal enactments that holy day which came to us from Sinai.” (?) The Doctor must have misspoken himself, for it is not the seventh day, but the first, that they desire to have upheld by civil law, and he well knows that the Sunday-sabbath has no more connection with Sinai than has the Friday rest of the Mohammedans. But nevertheless he showed what he wanted. He also prayed that the people of this city, and the legislators, might “realize the sanctity of the Lord’s day.” And Dr. Briggs, in his speech, complained that moral instruction was relegated to the churches, and then the people were allowed to go their own ways on Sunday, so that they could not get at them to give the needed moral instruction. That is to say, the gospel which they preach has not power enough to reach the masses, and they want a law enforcing Sunday observance, so that people will be drawn to church on Sunday for want of any other place to go. With such a desire in the minds of the Sunday-law advocates, how long would it be before they would beg for a law compelling all people to go to church on Sunday, if they should find that in spite of the rigid Sunday law, the people persisted in neglecting church privileges?SITI March 3, 1887, page 135.29

    We have still further evidence that it is not simply in the interest of good order, and to insure rest for the laboring man, that the Sunday law is wanted. Mr. Fox said: “Strike out section 4 [loud “Amens” from the ministers behind him], because it gives everybody a choice of two days; and then those who don’t want any Sunday won’t have any.” True; pass a law requiring all people to keep Sunday, excepting those who keep the Sabbath, and then those who believe in keeping the seventh-day instead of the first, won’t keep Sunday! Of course not; and that is what some, at least, of these Sunday-law advocates object to. We can inform them that whatever law they pass, those who conscientiously believe that “the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord,” will not keep Sunday. When civil laws run in direct opposition to the plainly expressed commandment of the Lord, duty is very clear.SITI March 3, 1887, page 136.1

    We have not space in this article to notice all the “arguments” that were put forth to show the absolute necessity of a strict Sunday law. They were all as strong as those which we have mentioned, and we shall refer to them in future articles. We wish it distinctly understood that we do not antagonize persons, but principles. We do not charge the reverend gentlemen who plead so strenuously for a strict Sunday law, with having a desire to oppress any people because of their conscientious convictions. We are perfectly willing to concede that they are deceived as to what would be the inevitable result of such a law as they desire; and we write for the purpose of enlightening people as to what the result will be. The bill if passed with section 4 struck out, would cause the most bitter persecution to arise against those who observe the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. It would be persecution of conscience’ sake as much as any persecution instigated by the Inquisition. If the bill should be passed as it stands, it would grant, at the most, religious toleration, and not such religious liberty as should be guaranteed in this land of boasted freedom. It would leave the conscientious Sabbath-keeper liable to be arrested at the instance of every hyper-sensitive person who might fancy himself disturbed by quiet labor on Sunday; and although many of these charges might not be sustained, no end of trouble would be caused.SITI March 3, 1887, page 136.2

    For this reason, we propose to do all in our power to agitate this matter. It is scarcely possible that a Sunday law can be passed at this session of the Legislature; but the friends of such a law say that they propose to begin now to work the matter up in season for the next session. We shall work with them; and while they show one side, we will show both sides. This is not a local matter, but one that concerns everybody; for the same arguments are used wherever Sunday laws are proposed. We desire that the matter shall be so fully canvassed that no one can be ignorant as to the natural working of Sunday laws; so that when such laws are finally adopted, as the prophecy foretells that they will be, no one need work for them except those who are perfectly willing to see persecution practiced upon the conscientious minority. W.SITI March 3, 1887, page 136.3

    “Andrews’ History of the Sabbath” The Signs of the Times, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    This highly valuable book, after passing through two editions, has been revised, and enlarged by the addition of another chapter, and now appears for the third time, not in its former small type and plain black binding, but printed in large, clear type and bound in handsome and substantial style.SITI March 3, 1887, page 137.1

    As many of our readers are aware, this work, by the late Elder J. N. Andrews, is the most complete history of the Bible Sabbath, and also of the first day of the week, ever written. And as it gives a multitude of facts not published elsewhere in the English language nor in any one book, and not attainable by any except hose who have access to the largest libraries in this and other countries, no one can be said to be thoroughly intelligent upon the Sabbath question till he has read this work.SITI March 3, 1887, page 137.2

    As a writer, Elder Andrews had few equals and no superiors in his chosen field; and his “History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week” bears evidence upon every page, not only of is ability to present in a thoroughly readable and interesting manner a subject often considered dry, but also of his ripe scholarship and of his great historical accuracy. Every statement made is supported either by plan and appropriate texts of Scripture, or by the most reliable historical reference.SITI March 3, 1887, page 137.3

    Containing as it does a complete history of the Sabbath for 6,000 years, and of the first day of the week from the earliest periods, the book is one of rare value, and it should be in the hands of the people everywhere. The work contains 548 pages, a table of contents, a perfect index of subjects, an index of authors quoted and also one of Scripture texts used, besides a fine steel engraving of the author. The size of the page is 51/2 by 81/2 inches, and the general style and appearance of the book entitle it to a place in the finest libraries; while its literary merits cannot but favorably impress all who read it.SITI March 3, 1887, page 137.4

    If the friends of the Bible Sabbath do their duty, hundreds of copies of this book will be sold in the future where scores have been in the past. This work is now in a shape that it can be handled as a subscription book; and in the hands of those whose hearts are in the work, it will no doubt sell as well as any religious publication. The Sabbath question is now being discussed all over the land as never before, and now is the time to sell the “History of the Sabbath.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 137.5

    The book is bound in three styles: cloth, with sprinkled edges, price $2.00; library, marbled edges $2.75; half Morocco, gilt, $3.75.SITI March 3, 1887, page 137.6

    For terms to agents, write to Pacific Press, Oakland, Cal., general agents for all territory west of the Rocky Mountains, or to Review and Herald, Battle Creek, Mich.SITI March 3, 1887, page 137.7

    “The Lord’s Prayer. ‘Who Art in Heaven’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner


    The fact that God is in Heaven is often used to indicate his power and majesty. The expression occurring in the model prayer indicates that whoever prays should recognize the greatness of the Being whom he addresses. “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. We quote a few texts to show the comprehensiveness of the expression, “Who art in Heaven.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 139.1

    Psalm 103:19: “The Lord hath prepared his throne in the Heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” Psalm 115:3: “But our God is in the Heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” These texts show the power of God. The same thing is found in 2 Chronicles 20:6: “O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in Heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?” Whenever it is designed to indicate the power and majesty of God, his dwelling-place in Heaven is mentioned.SITI March 3, 1887, page 139.2

    Psalm 11:4: “The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in Heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” Here God’s dwelling-place in Heaven is mentioned to show his omniscience.SITI March 3, 1887, page 139.3

    Jeremiah 23:24: “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill Heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” Here the omnipresence of God is indicated, as also in 1 Kings 8:27: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the Heaven and Heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded.” And also Isaiah 66:1: “Thus saith the Lord, The Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?”SITI March 3, 1887, page 139.4

    Ecclesiastes 5:2: “Be not rash with thy mouth and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in Heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few.” Here the fact that God is in Heaven is given as a reason for sobriety and carefulness of speech.SITI March 3, 1887, page 139.5

    Thus we find that the expression in the Lord’s Prayer, “Who art in Heaven,” stands for a recognition of the power, the majesty, the omnipotence, and the omniscience of God. All these things should be borne in mind when we approach the throne of grace. This thought will tend to produce reverence and awe. Multiplication of words and “vain repetitions,” for which Christ condemned the heathen, arise from the fact that the petitioner thinks more of himself than he does of the one whom he is addressing. The heathen gods were so contemptible that the heathen worshiper could not help thinking more of himself than of his god; for heathen worship, in its inception, was self-worship. See Romans 1:21-23. But the God whom we worship sits upon the circle of the heavens, and he who has a just sense of his greatness will come with reverence into his presence, and will confine his words to just the things which he needs.SITI March 3, 1887, page 139.6


    This follows as a natural consequence of that which precedes. The one who remembers the words, “There is none like unto the God of Jerusalem, who rideth upon the heavens in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky” (Deuteronomy 33:26), will of necessity “fear that glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD.” W.SITI March 3, 1887, page 139.7

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    For the present, the address of Elder C. I. Boyd, is Battle Creek, Mich. care of Review and Herald.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.1

    All communications for the President of the North Pacific Conference or Tract Society, should be addressed to Elder John Fulton, box 18, East Portland, Oregon.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.2

    We hereby acknowledge the receipt of the Ninth Biennial Report of the State Board of Health of California, for which we are indebted to our friend, Hon. N. A. Young of San Diego. This report contains some valuable temperance mater of which we shall give the readers of the SIGNS the benefit.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.3

    The Interior sometimes views things just as they are, and when it does, the prospect which it sees is not very flattering. Following is an instance:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.4

    “The hope for the suppression of Socialism in Germany obviously does not lie in the Roman Catholic Church. Just now it is not easy to discover where it does lie. It might lie in the Protestant church, if that church would unite, and then, by works of humanity and love, prove that it had not lost both its life and its power. Of such a union and such efforts there seems to be no immediate prospect.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.5

    The same thing might be said of almost any other country.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.6

    It seems that the Pacific Coast is destined to be the place where spiritual manifestations shall most speedily attain the highest development. The Golden Gate says:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.7

    “Certain it is that California, and especially the region along the coast, is remarkably favorable for spiritual and mediumistic development. There is probably right here in San Francisco a larger proportion of mediumistic persons than in any other city in the Union, and some of these mediums are equal to the best in the world.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.8

    We presume that this is so; but we regard it as anything but a compliment to California to be told that the devil can work through people here better than he can anywhere else.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.9

    The Rev. Hugh G. Pentecost, of Newark, N. J., preached on a recent Sunday evening on Heny ege. Said he: “For my part it is clear that Henry George is in the straight moral position; and since the great body of humanity always ends in doing what is right, the time will probably come when all rents will go to the general Government.” We care nothing about this indorsement of Henry George, but we do object to the idea that “the great body of humanity always ends in doing what is right.” We are sorry to see people give assent to such a sentiment. There has not been a century since the fall, in which, the great body of humanity was not wholly wrong. Unless people submit to be directed by the law of God, they must go wrong. And we have not much reason to hope that the great body of humanity will make great progress toward the truth of God when those who should lead them in the way preach on Henry George and kindred subjects, instead of preaching Christ and him crucified.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.10

    The Oakland Enquirer of February 20 said: “Last night’s Sunday-law meeting excited considerable enthusiasm among those present, but it would be a difficult thing indeed to pass an act compelling those who regard the seventh day as the Sabbath to observe the first day. This is what all the speakers advocated, but they did not take counsel of discretion in doing it. There is a powerful element in the Christian churches, which would fight to the death against such a proposition.” We would fain believe that our contemporary is correct in its estimate of the feeling in the church in regard to a Sunday law. But not, in their demands that Sabbath-keepers should also keep Sunday, we are very sure that they did not take counsel of justice and religious liberty.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.11

    A correspondent of the New York Observer makes this confession, which must be very discouraging to those who are looking for a temporal millennium, when all men will be converted:-SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.12

    “We are compelled to believe by the stern army of facts and figures that at the end of this boasted century of missions, while not 3,000,000 converts, nominal and real, have been won to Christianity in pagandom, the heathen and Mohammedan are 200,000,000 more than they were at the beginning of the century; that the votaries of those faiths increase seventy times faster than the followers of Christ. The church is outstripped on its own methods. They evince in these modern days a propagandism and aggressiveness far superior. The necessity in the foreign field cannot be overtaken on the present line of church work.”SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.13

    Yet many church people will persist in saying that the world is growing better.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.14

    “Against a Sunday law, but in favor of enacting a Sabbath Law,” is the heading of an article that appeared in the Oakland Tribune one day last week, protesting against the proceedings at the recent Sunday-law meeting. The heading is most misleading. We do not know any man or body of men who are in favor of enacting a Sabbath law. The Sabbath is upheld by the law of God, and needs nothing more. If it were proposed to enact a law enforcing the observance of the Sabbath, and there was any probability of its carrying, we should vigorously oppose it. Our opposition to the enactment of Sunday laws is not alone on the ground that Sunday has no divine sanction, and is a working day as much as Monday or Tuesday, but because we are against the principle of the State legislating in matters of religion. The enactment of Sunday laws stands for union of Church and State, and this should be opposed by all Christians.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.15

    Some people have queer ideas of what constitutes religious liberty. Here in California the good people are trying to get a law that will compel all people to keep Sunday, even though some conscientiously keep another day; yet the Sunday people do not see in that any infringement upon religious liberty. And now comes the Christian Church News, and claims that a constitutional amendment prohibiting the “manufacture, gift, or sale of spirituous, malt, or vinous liquors, except for medicinal, mechanical, chemical, or scientific purposes,” is oppressive because it does not provide for the use of intoxicating wine at communion. The editor says: “It is clearl an infringement upon religious liberty, and an attempt to set aside the conscientious convictions of men.” All of which causes us to conclude that with very many people “religious liberty” means liberty for themselves to do as they please, and compulsion for others to do likewise.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.16

    Said a clergyman to a seventh-day friend: “If you like to keep Saturday instead of Sunday, I could not say you would be breaking the law of God; but the people of God are against you.” Well, that is a little strange. If God is not against us for keeping the seventh day, how can his people be against us? Are not the people of God those in whose heart is the law, and who do his will? God’s people are those who walk with him; and two cannot walk together except they be agreed. Consequently his people cannot be against Sabbath-keeping. Moreover, if God is not against the keeping of the seventh day, then it cannot be wrong; for he is against all wrong; and if he is not against it, and it is not wrong, it must be right, and in harmony with his law, and so it is. See Exodus 20:8-11. And if God is not against seventh-day Sabbath-keeping, because it is in harmony with his law, and is right, he must be against Sunday-keeping, and it must be wrong; for two opposite practices cannot be right. We choose every time to be on the side of the Lord, even though we should be opposed by thousands calling themselves his people.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.17

    We hope that no one will delay to read the article beginning on the third page of this paper, entitled, “A Plea for Justice.” The article is a speech by the Hon. Robert H. Crockett, of Arkansas, delivered in behalf of the bill which he had introduced into the Legislature of that State, allowing observers of the seventh day immunity from the penalties of the Sunday law. For two years a rigid Sunday law has been in force in Arkansas, with the result that religious persecution was rampant. We have mentioned this persecution several times, and have given some of the particulars; but we are glad to be able to give this testimony from a disinterested person. We hope that the people of other States where Sunday laws are being pressed, will consider well the experience of the people of Arkansas. Notwithstanding the intolerance of the law, and the persecution which it engendered, there were not wanting professed ministers of the gospel, who wished to have the law remain unchanged. Colonel Crockett, who, by the way, is a grandson of the famous David Crockett, gave the bill in favor of liberty his personal attention in both Houses, and by his energy and eloquence secured its passage in the Senate by a vote of 26 to 2, and in the Assembly by a vote of 55 to 16. The cause of religious freedom is greatly indebted to him for his successful effort in its behalf.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.18

    Our readers are aware that a few weeks since the German Parliament refused to pass the Government measure known as the Septenate, a bill to provide for a large increase in the German army, and to provide for its maintenance for a period of seven years. Immediately upon the defeat of the bill, Prince Bismarck dissolved the Reichstag, and writs were at once issued for the election of a new Parliament.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.19

    The members of this new body have now been elected, and a majority is assured for the Government bill. This was accomplished, however, by the direct interference of the Pope himself. Hitherto the Papal influence has not been wanting in political matters even in our own country, but it has been exerted secretly through bishops and priests; but in this instance the “holy father” himself addressed a brief but mandatory letter to his vassals in Germany, directing them to support the Government candidates; hence Prince Bismarck’s victory.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.20

    The question of passing the Septenate bill was purely a political one, and concerned only the German people, who will be taxed to raise the immense sums which the new Reichstag will be asked to vote, and from whose ranks will be drawn the many thousands of additional men which the iron chancellor demands. And yet the l awful electors of the empire were not left to decide the question; it was decided not in Germany but in Rome; not by the people of a sovereign State but by the foreign head of an alien church. The fact is most significant, and shows how entirely even the great powers of the earth are at the mercy of the Papacy.SITI March 3, 1887, page 144.21

    Larger font
    Smaller font