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

    January 20, 1888

    “The Spirit of Anti-Christ. No. 5” The Signs of the Times, 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We come now to our own time and to so-called Christian countries. In the third chapter of 2 Timothy the apostle describes the condition of the mass of the professors of religion, in the days immediately preceding the coming of Christ. He says:-SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.1

    “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:1-7.SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.2

    Compare this list of sins with the list given in Romans 1:20-32, which were characteristic of the ancient heathen, and with the list of “the works of the flesh,” in Galatians 5:19-21, and it will be seen that all are the same,-the product of the same spirit. We shall have to recur to this text again, when we come to show the danger that threatens the churches at the present time; but first we must show the cause of this state of things to be Spiritualism, the same in modern as in ancient times. Now read further concerning these wicked ones in the last days, who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof:-SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.3

    “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” 2 Timothy 3:8.SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.4

    The only ones besides Pharaoh, of whom we have any account that they resisted Moses, were the magicians whom Pharaoh called to his aid. Hence Jannes and Jambres are the names of the magicians who used their enchantments to confirm Pharaoh in his rebellion against God. It is sufficient to refer to the account in Exodus 7 and 8. When Moses performed miracles to prove his divine commission, the magicians and sorcerers did the same, up to a certain point. Their rods became serpents (chap. 7:10, 12); they turned water into blood (Chap. 7:19-22); they brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt (chap. 8:5-7); but when the third plague came,-the plague of lice,-they could not do the same with their enchantments, but were forced to say, “This is the finger of God.” Chap. 8:17-19. By the aid of the devils whom they worshiped, they performed miracles which served to harden Pharaoh’s heart against the truth; but they were not allowed to proceed very far before their folly was made manifest. Notice also, in this connection, that while the magicians could, with their enchantments, bring calamities, they could not cause those calamities to depart. This is in keeping with the character of the master whom the magicians served. Satan is the destroyer; to build up and do good is no part of his work.SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.5

    The work which the Egyptian magicians did is the very work that modern Spiritualism is doing. That modern Spiritualism is accompanied by wonders, must be admitted by everybody who has given the subject any candid investigation. It is true that there is a great deal of fraud connected with it. Many persons who are unable to conjure up the evil spirits at will, seek the notoriety of genuine mediums by counterfeiting genuine manifestations. Nevertheless there are Spiritualistic manifestations that are not the work of sleight-of-hand performers. Many things have been accomplished which show the presence of a power not human. Of the many phenomena of Spiritualism, it will be sufficient to refer to slate-writing, as that is probably as good evidence of spirit power as has yet been afforded, and, under certain conditions, affords the least opportunity for collusion.SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.6

    The phenomenon of slate-writing has been manifested under conditions that absolutely precluded the possibility of any human intervention in the matter. The report of the Seybert Commission to investigate Spiritualism, says that when this writing is done the slates must always be concealed, and must be in contact with the medium, thus affording opportunity for the clean slates to be replaced by slates upon which messages have previously been written. But this is not so. The writing is often produced when the slates are at a considerable distance from any person, and under gaslight or in open daylight. It is a very common thing for people to bring their own slates, which they know are perfectly clean, lay them upon the floor in plain view, and several feet away from the medium, and have the writing produced while they watch. On one occasion, in the city of San Francisco, two slates that were perfectly clean were fastened together, with a pencil point between them, and were hung upon a lighted gasjet, in the presence of a large congregation. Without any person being within reach, the scratch of the pencil was distinctly heard, and in a few minutes the slates were found to be covered with legible writing.SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.7

    At another time two slates were fastened together as above described, and when they were opened, the surface of one was found to contain messages in twelve different languages, namely, English, Germany, French, Spanish, Italian, Egyptian, and old Asiatic or Assyrian cuneiform writing. We have in our possession a fac-simile of the writing upon the slate. The slates were clean when the séance began, which was held in open daylight, and they were kept in sight all the time. More than this, the medium through whose influence the writing was obtained, had no knowledge of any language, except the English; and no person present had any knowledge of any language besides English, further than a smattering of Spanish and French. Therefore it is absolutely certain that no human being could have produced the writing upon the slate. The question is, Who did the writing?SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.8

    Spiritualists tell us that this writing was done by the spirits of men who once lived on this earth, and that such phenomena are proof that death does not put an end to conscious existence. But reason and revelation are both opposed to such an explanation. We have learned from the Bible that “the dead know not anything,” and that as soon as their breath goes forth their thoughts perish. We know that there is neither work nor device nor knowledge nor power, in the grave, whither all men go. But we know that there are spiritual beings whose nature is entirely different from that of man, who were created before man was, and that some of these beings, having sinned, and been cast down from their high estate in Heaven (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6), have ever since, together with their leader, Satan, been warring against the truth. These are the beings to whom we attribute this phenomena of Spiritualism, whether slate-writing, materialization, or anything else.SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.9

    But then Spiritualists will ask, How do you know that these spirits are evil spirits? And if these are evil spirits, then how do you know but that the beings who appeared to ancient prophets and the apostles, were also evil spirits? The answer to this is simple; we tell what kind of spirits they are by trying them. The apostle John says: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” 1 John 4:1. And in trying these spirits we follow the directions given in Isaiah 8:19, 20: “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.” Tried by this rule, the spirits that produce the phenomena of modern Spiritualism, like those that produced the wonders of ancient heathenism, are proved to be the spirits of devils. We shall allow the spirits and Spiritualists to speak for themselves.SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.10

    We have already shown the similarity between modern Spiritualism and ancient heathenism, and we quote the following to show that Spiritualists themselves acknowledge that heathenism and Spiritualism are the same thing:-SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.11

    “The oracles of Delphi were nothing more nor less than the utterance of spirits through the lips of sensitives.”-Gold Gate, January 22, 1887.SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.12

    Again in the same journal, September 17, 1887, we find the following concerning Confucius:-SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.13

    “In common with the majority of his countrymen, he believed in spirit communion, and we shall find that all orientals are Spiritualists rather than idolaters when we understand them; their images are only symbols like the statutes in Catholic churches.”SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.14

    We have already shown that all heathenism is devil-worship, therefore there need be no question as to the origin of Spiritualism, since it is identical with heathenism. W.SITI January 20, 1888, page 38.15

    “The Transfiguration” The Signs of the Times, 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Commentary.
    (February 5.-Matthew 17:1-13.)

    The lesson last week closed with these words: “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16:28. That our Saviour did not refer to his coming at the end of the world is evident from the fact that in his discourse on that event, in Matthew 24, he foretold a long period of persecution that was to intervene; and that he did not refer, as some have supposed, to the day of Pentecost or to the destruction of Jerusalem, nor to the spread of the gospel, is evident, because (1) Christ did not come in any sense of the word either at Pentecost or at the destruction of Jerusalem; (2) the spread of the gospel is not the coming of Christ in any sense of the word; and (3) the gospel work had already been begun by Christ and had indeed been carried on from the days of Abel.SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.1

    In 2 Peter 1:16-18 we are set upon the track of that which our Saviour did really refer to in Matthew 16:28. That text reads as follows: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.2

    The apostle here refers to the transfiguration scene which took place about a week after Christ’s statement found in Matthew 16:28, and the account of which immediately follows those words. That account reads as follows: “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Matthew 17:1-5.SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.3

    Remembering that Peter referred to this event as proving the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that it follows closely upon Christ’s statement that some standing there should see him coming in his kingdom, and that just before he made that statement he was speaking of his second coming (Matthew 16:27), we must conclude that in the statement made in verse 28, Christ referred, not to his actual coming at the end of the world, but to a miniature representation of that coming.SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.4

    In his “Life of Our Lord” (p. 321), Samuel J. Andrews makes the following clear statement of the case:-SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.5

    “The promise that some then standing before him should not taste death till they had seen ‘the Son of man coming in his kingdom’ (Matthew 16:28), or had seen ‘the kingdom of God come with power’ (Mark 6:1), was fulfilled when, after six days, he took Peter, James, and John into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them. These apostles now saw him as he should appear when having risen from the dead, and glorified, he should come again from Heaven, to take his great power and to reign. They saw in the ineffable glory of his person, and the brightness around them, a foreshadow of the kingdom of God as it should come with power; and were for a moment ‘eyewitnesses of his majesty.’ 2 Peter 1:16. Many errors still remained to be removed from their minds, especially respecting the time of its establishment (Acts 1:6), but the great fact of its supernatural character they could not mistake.”SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.6

    Now let us briefly notice the details of this wonderful scene, to see how they agree with what we are told of the second coming of Christ in his kingdom.SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.7

    1. “A cloud overshadowed them.” So of Christ it is said, “Behold, he cometh with clouds.” Revelation 1:7. He departed in a cloud, and he is to return just as he went away. See Acts 1:9-11.SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.8

    2. “His face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Mark says that “his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them;” and Luke says that “his raiment was white and glistering.” So of Christ’s coming we are told that it shall be “in the glory of his Father.” One, prophetically describing that coming, says: “His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had bright beams out of his side.” Habakkuk 3:3, 4, margin. John, who afterward had a view of his coming, said, “His eyes were as a flame of fire.” Revelation 19:12. And Paul speaks of “the brightness of his coming” as being so great as to destroy the wicked. None but those who have been strengthened by the Lord can behold the glory of his coming and live.SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.9

    3. When he comes the second time he comes to take his people to himself, and this he does by raising the righteous dead, and translating the living. Says Paul: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. Again he says: “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52.SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.10

    When Christ comes on his throne of glory, with a cloud of angels, to give reward to the righteous, there will be two great classes of them: those who shall be translated without seeing death, and those who shall be raised from the dead. These, when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, shall also appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:4. Now representatives of these two classes were with him on the mount of transfiguration. If they had not been, it would not have been a true representation of the “power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” as Peter says it was. All Bible readers are familiar with the fact that Elijah (the Hebrew form of the name which in Greek is Elias) was translated without seeing death. See 2 Kings 2:1-11. The record says that as he and Elisha went on, and talked, “behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into Heaven.” So Elijah was there with Christ in the mount, as a representative of those who, when Christ comes, shall be caught up to meet the Lord without tasting death.SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.11

    Concerning Moses, we have the record: “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor; but no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day;” Deuteronomy 34:5, 6. Turn now to Jude 9, where we read: “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” What could cause a dispute between Christ (who is Michael) and the devil, concerning the body of Moses? Only this one thing, that the devil has the power of death (Hebrews 2:14); he brought sin into the world, and death comes by sin; those who die he considers as his lawful prey, and he refuses to open the house of his prisoners (Isaiah 14:16, 17), which is the grave. He is the strong man keeping guard over his house; but Christ is the stronger than he, who has entered into his house, overpowering him (Luke 11:21, 22), and who now has the keys of death and the grave. Revelation 1:18. This power Christ gained by his death (Hebrews 2:14); but long before his death and resurrection he had this power by virtue of the promise and the oath of God, which were the surety that he would be offered. Knowing these facts, and reading that Christ contended with the devil over the body of Moses, we are forced to the conclusion that their dispute was concerning the resurrection of Moses, Satan claiming that Christ had no right to take him. But in every contest with Satan, Christ has come off victorious, and so Moses was raised from the dead, and appeared with Christ on the holy mount, as the representative of those who, at the second coming of Christ, shall be brought from their graves to ever be with the Lord.SITI January 20, 1888, page 42.12

    If there should still be a lingering doubt in the minds of any that Moses was really raised from the dead, and they should think that it was only his disembodied spirit that appeared on the mount, we will state (1) that the transfiguration is expressly declared by Peter to have been a representation of “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and that at that time he and James, and John were “eyewitnesses of his majesty,” which shows that it was a view of Christ in his kingly glory; (2) it is absolutely certain that when Christ comes there will be no such thing as disembodied spirits, because, says Paul, he “shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21), and this change is performed for both the living and the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:51. When the saints are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, it is with their own bodies glorified like the body of Christ. Therefore, (3) since, as shown above, the transfiguration was a representation, on a small scale, of this glorious event, it is certain that Moses must have been there in person, and not in shadow.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.1

    The transfiguration stands for us, as it did for the apostles, as a sure pledge of Christ’s second coming in power and great glory; and yet “we have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19. Let us study this sure word of prophecy, that we may walk in the light, and be prepared for the dawning of the “perfect day.” W.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.2

    “Abel’s Sacrifice” The Signs of the Times, 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. What was the name of the first son of Adam and Eve?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.3

    “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Genesis 4:1.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.4

    2. What was the name of the second son?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.5

    “And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” Verse 2.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.6

    3. What, occupation did each follow?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.7

    4. What offering did Cain bring to the Lord?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.8

    “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.” Verse 3.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.9

    5. What was Abel’s offering?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.10

    “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.” Verse 4, first clause.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.11

    6. How did the Lord regard Abel’s offering?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.12

    “And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” Verse 4, last clause.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.13

    7. How did the Lord regard Cain’s offering?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.14

    “But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” Verse 5.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.15

    8. What made Abel’s offering more acceptable than Cain’s?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.16

    “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain by which he, obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Hebrews 11:4.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.17

    9. What did Abel obtain by his offering? Ib.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.18

    10. What was the defect in Cain’s offering?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.19

    “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood there is no re-mission.” Hebrews 9:22.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.20

    11. Then since Cain did not take the proper steps to secure the remission of sins, what lay at his door?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.21

    “If thou doest well, Shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” Genesis 4:7.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.22

    12. Through whose blood alone may remission of sins he obtained?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.23

    “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Romans 3:23-25.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.24

    13. Then since Abel was accepted, in whom must he have had faith?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.25

    “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-12.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.26

    14. What is the highest attainment of faith?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.27

    “Therefore being justified by faith, we pave peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith? Romans 5:1; 1 John 5:4.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.28

    15. Since Abel was justified, was not his faith in Christ as perfect as ours can be?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.29

    16. What did Cain do to Abel?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.30

    “And Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” Genesis 4:8.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.31

    17. Why did he do this?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.32

    “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” 1 John 3:11, 12.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.33

    18. Of what scripture was Abel the first to demonstrate the truth?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.34

    “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.35

    19. Is it any wonder if the world hates the righteous?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.36

    “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you. The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:18-20.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.37

    20. How should the righteous feel when they are persecuted for their faith?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.38

    “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:11, 12.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.39

    21. What consolation has the Christian in all tribulation?SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.40

    “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the Lord ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.41


    “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts.” Hebrews 11:4. The difference between the two offerings was in the matter of faith. That is, it was faith in Abel, and a lack of faith in Cain, that made the offerings different. By bringing “of the firstlings of his flock,” Abel showed his faith in the fact that “without shedding of blood is no remission,” and in the Lamb of God, whose blood alone can cleanse from sin. By this sacrifice he obtained witness that he was righteous, here was a case of justification (making righteous) by faith. As with the woman in the days of Christ, so with Abel, his faith made him whole.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.42

    The same witness, and in exactly the same measure, may be obtained in this generation. Says Paul: “Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:15, 16. And the beloved disciple says: “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:9-11. This witness is not primarily a certain feeling of pardon, but is the assurance (Concluded on page 46.) of God’s word, than which there can be no better witness. He who believes this witness, and knows that his sins are forgiven because he has complied with the conditions upon which God has promised that he will certainly pardon, will find joy and peace in believing. But the joy and peace will never come until the witness of God is accepted, for the sole reason that it is the word of God.SITI January 20, 1888, page 43.43

    Although verses 6 and 7 of Genesis 4 are not quoted in the lesson, the thorough student will certainly read them in studying the context, and the thoughtful student will wonder what their force may be. From the Authorized Version the reader gets the idea that Abel’s desire would be to Cain, and that Cain would rule over him. But this seems forced and unnatural, because it is sin that the Lord is talking about, and Abel is not once mentioned in God’s talk to Cain at this time. Every Bible reader must have noticed that the masculine pronoun is often used to designate a neuter object, and by substituting the neuter for the masculine in this place the meaning will be more apparent. Following are the verses, with the marginal reading, as given in the Revised Version.SITI January 20, 1888, page 46.1

    “And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over it.” This is harmonious throughout. Cain had not yet committed his great sin, but he was envious of Abel. Those envious feelings if not repressed would result, as they finally did, in murder, for in envy murder lies concealed. So the Lord represented sin as a wild beast, just ready to spring upon its prey. It was there beside Cain’s door, and its desire was to him; but as yet he had the power to rule over it, and drive it away. In this we are taught to shun the beginnings of sin. “Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:14, 15. Therefore the thoughts should be carefully guarded. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. W.SITI January 20, 1888, page 46.2

    “Respected by the Ungodly” The Signs of the Times, 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “If any man serve, me,” says Christ, “him will my Father honor.” Who is the man that is really the most respected, even by the ungodly? Is it not that man who affords the strongest evidence of the sincerity of his heart and the fidelity of his life as a humble follower of Jesus Christ? Ungodly men may affect to despise him while they are in health, but let them be laid upon a bed of sickness and death, and then they will manifest their appreciation of his character by seeking the benefit of his counsels and his prayers. Whatever men may say, or profess to believe, in the depths of their hearts they revere a truly pious and consistent Christian. The declaration of the wise man is still true, that “the righteous is more excellent than his neighbor.” God will honor them that serve him in this life, and he will honor them forever in the life that is to come.SITI January 20, 1888, page 46.3

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The editor of the Pilgrim Press, a paper issued in the interest of the Congregational churches of Washington, D.C. says: “Undoubtedly the hypothesis of future probation has as much scriptural authority and reason for itself, as the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory. In fact the two are twin brothers, though, like all twins, not exactly alike, but with a strong family resemblance.SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.1

    It now transpires that the gift of a copy of the Constitution of the United States, which President Cleveland made to Leo XIII., was suggested indirectly by the Pope himself. This explains why among all the gifts there were no duplicates. The Pope is crafty, but we are surprised at the modesty of his request of the President. If he had suggested a more costly present would it have been made?SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.2

    The Christian at Work has admitted to its editorial columns, without comment, a two-column article by one of the secretaries of the National Reform Association, stating the aims of that Association, and giving a brief outline of the arguments which the National Reformers are wont to use. The Christian at Work has thus fairly committed itself to the work of the National Reform Association, and other religious journals are falling into line.SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.3

    A call has been issued for a national congress of Law and Order League, to be held in Philadelphia, on the 21st and 22nd of February. The chief object of the Law and Order Leagues is the enforcement of the laws against gambling and Sunday labor. It is expected that the coming meeting will be a most important one. Special invitations have been addressed to the President of the United States, to the Governors of the several States, to the members of Congress, and to the judges of the Appellate Courts throughout the Union. We shall await the outcome of this meeting with interest.SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.4

    The New York Observer has the following plain words, which no newspaper in the land can gainsay:-SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.5

    “The newspapers are mainly responsible for the perpetration of prize fighting, which can only be carried on now in most civilized countries in defiance of the law. The journals that send their representatives to the secret meeting places where these unlawful contests are held, in order that they may publish detailed accounts of the fighting, are in reality aiding and abetting crime, as much so as though they sent their representative, sneaking away in the night to keep a tryst with a thief, and write up the cracking of a safe. If the newspapers obtain information of a proposed fight in the ring, it is their duty to communicate the information to the authorities, in order that the crime may be prevented.”SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.6

    But this they will not do, for the reason that the prize ring is under the patronage of the whisky element, which also controls politics, and if the political “losses” should be too greatly offended, the newspapers’ popularity would cease.SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.7

    Of the 10,000,000 gallons of liquor of the vilest kind, that was sent to Congo in 1885, Germany and the Netherlands sent 600,000, New England 737,500, and Great Britain 314,800. Under the heading, “Rum and Ruin in the Congo Free State,” a contemporary religious journal gives the following account of the result of this export from “Christian” lands:-SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.8

    “One missionary complains the he finds great difficulty in assembling a sober congregation. Drink demoralizes faster than the Bible can reform the wretched victims of barbarism on the one hand, and of the white man’s conscienceless temptations on the other. ‘To procure it they will join,’ we are told, ‘In slave hunts, and massacre their nearest neighbors. Savage by nature, drink makes devils of them, and renders all prospect of raising them, vain.’ The Congo Free State that was founded a few years ago with so much of eager hopefulness and joy, is simply paralyzed by the demon clutch of alcohol. While Christian people are giving freely of their money and prayers and missionary efforts to disenthrall swarming millions from the dense ignorance and superstition and fetichism of heathenism, the liquor manufacturers and dealers from Christian lands are doing the devil’s work in awakening a pandemonium of drunkenness around the missionary stations.”SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.9

    “Sunday Prosecutions in Nova Scotia” The Signs of the Times, 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A brother has kindly sent us copies of Halifax (Nova Scotia) papers of December 30 and 31, which contain the account of the arrest and trial in the Police Court, of two men for working on Sunday. The offense with which they were charged was, “doing servile labor on the Lord’s day.” It appears that a policeman went to the shop of one of the men where he found him at work with the doors closed, tacking some gimp upon a sleigh, and that when the policeman requested him to cease his work he did so. Nevertheless he, and a fellow-workman were arraigned in the Police Court the next day, where they pleaded that they did not recognize Sunday as the Lord’s day, and that they had conscientiously rested on Saturday, the Sabbath enjoined by the fourth commandment. It was argued in their behalf that it is the inherent right of the subject to enjoy perfect freedom and liberty of conscience on matters of religion; that “the fourth commandment overrides all human law, and any act of the Legislature, compelling the keeping of the first day of the week by the Seventh-day Adventists, as the Lord’s day, is against liberty of conscience, and must therefore be ultra virce.”SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.10

    The magistrate, in reviewing the case prior to passing judgment, quoted freely from old decisions in English courts. One was the following: “The law of England is the law of God; it is pure primitive reason, uncorrupted and unpolluted by human humors or human corruptions, writs or wills.” From this he concluded that since the law does requirement to abstain from labor on Sunday, it cannot be against liberty of conscience. Another notable decision we reserve for more extended comment.SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.11

    The result of the trial was that the two men were convicted of misdemeanor in performing servile labor on Sunday, December 7, and were fined $8.00 each or an alternative of four days in jail. We understand that it is the intention of the brethren to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. If this is done, we shall let our readers know the result.SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.12

    “The Jews and the Sabbath” The Signs of the Times, 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Jewish Times, of San Francisco, contains an article from a correspondent in Chicago, entitled, “The Transference of Our Sabbath.” The writer states that Sunday services in Jewish synagogues were first held in 1846, and were established as an acknowledgment of the fact that “men do work on Saturdays, consequently it is essential that Jewish truths be inculcated on the day they need not work.” He supposes the case of an international council called for the purpose of deciding upon a uniform day of rest, and says: “Our representatives would attend that congress; after advocating the claims of Saturday, and finding themselves beaten, they would, in the interests of civilization, accept the day decided upon by the majority.”SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.13

    Further on he speaks of the confusion that exists, and of the Sunday-temperance Movement, and says:SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.14

    “Why should we not rise to the occasion and as a great moral power take credit to ourselves as the pioneers of a movement for a uniform day of rest? Why not generously make a concession to the interests of civilization? The idea will develop itself. The Parliaments of the world will declare that Sunday is no longer a Christian institution but the Civil day of rest.”SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.15

    And then he throws the fourth commandment overboard completely, by saying:-SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.16

    “Judaism in its moral bearing will remain intact even if the Sabbath be held on Wednesday, for the Sabbath idea is to rest the seventh part of time in harmony with and in conjunction with our neighbors and all mankind.”SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.17

    Let no one henceforth call Saturday “the Jewish Sabbath.” Not merely because the Jews have nearly, if not quite, abandoned it, but because it never was the Jewish Sabbath. It always was, as it is now, the Sabbath of the Lord. For a time the Jews were honored by being made the depositaries of the Sabbath commandment, with the other nine; they had no proprietary interest in it, but were to make it known to others. They failed to do their duty in this respect, and now have lost it altogether. God never intrusts great light to any people for their sole benefit. It is only that they may transmit it to others. If they fail to do this, their light becomes darkness.SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.18

    In the above extracts we can see how rapidly the way is preparing for a universal Sunday law. The very people who, it would naturally be supposed, would antagonize it are asking for it. When it comes, the only ones who will be found protesting, will be the ones who are keeping both the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.19

    “Cigarette Pictures” The Signs of the Times, 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Perhaps the innate meanness of those who, for the sake of filling their pockets, pander to the most depraved appetites and basest passions of their fellow-men, is now here better exemplified outside of the brothel than in the manner in which certain manufacturers and dealers in cigarettes attempt to increase the sales of their crime and disease-breeding wares. Speaking of one of their most reprehensible practices, a prominent San Francisco daily recently said the following very sensible and pertinent things:-SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.20

    “A vile custom has grown up lately of making the cigarettes attractive to the callow youth who most affect them by putting into each box a picture. And such pictures as they are! ... They appeal to no sentiment except the purely animal, and are debasing and demoralizing in the extreme. The evil of such vile and lewd pictures circulating with perfect freedom among boys-and sometimes, it may be feared, among girls-cannot be overestimated or overstated.... It is time to begin a crusade against this debased form of so-called art, and to ruthlessly and uncompromisingly destroy every one of the vile things which pollute the minds and imaginations of the young.SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.21

    “For those who devise and put into circulation these obscene pictures no punishment can be too severe. No business enterprise can afford a shadow of excuse for those who have undertaken the task of debauching the youth of our land. Not content with poisoning the bodies of our children with the filthy cigarettes which they distribute far and wide, some of these enterprising manufacturers have undertaken to poison their minds as well, and to destroy them for the present and for the future. Let them be made to understand that they cannot bring indecency and lewdness to their aid in advertising their wares.”SITI January 20, 1888, page 48.22

    Larger font
    Smaller font