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    May 18, 1888

    “The Throne of David” The Signs of the Times, 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Again we return to the children of Israel in the land of Canaan. We pass by the time of the judges, of their apostasies and consequent afflictions, and come to the time when the kingdom had been established, and given to David. The record says that “when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies” (2 Samuel 7:1), the king proposed to build a house for the Lord. The prophet Nathan approved of his project, but afterwards, at the command of the Lord, he told him that he should not build the house. After briefly rehearsing his dealings with the children of Israel, the Lord said:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.1

    “Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.” 2 Samuel 7:10.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.2

    Note this text carefully. When these words were spoken to David, the children of Israel had been in the land of Canaan four hundred years, and at that very time David, as king of all Israel, was in quiet possession of the land, for, “the Lord had given him rest round about from all is enemies;” and yet, ignoring all this, the Lord promised to plant his people in a land of their own, and to give them rest from their enemies. What could the Lord have meant by that? Simply this, that the possession of the small territory of the land of Canaan, was not the rest that God designed for his people. Not yet had the promise to Abraham been fulfilled, and the Lord had not forgotten it.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.3

    At this time the Lord identified David with the promise, almost as closely as was Abraham. The Lord said to him:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.4

    “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever.” 2 Samuel 7:16.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.5

    And in praising God for the largeness of his promise, David said:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.6

    “Then went king David in, and sat before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come.... Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God; for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever; and thou, Lord, art become their God.” 2 Samuel 7:18-24.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.7

    Starting with this specific promise that David’s kingdom should be established forever, and that Israel should be a people forever, we shall very briefly trace the history of that kingdom. We find that it continued prosperous and undivided only through the remainder of his reign, and through the reign of his son Solomon. When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam succeeded to the throne. 1 Kings 11:43. No sooner was Rehoboam seated upon the throne than the people came to him to learn what would be the policy of his reign, and asking that he would lighten the burdens imposed on them by his father. Following the counsel of the young men, Rehoboam replied: “My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke; my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” 1 Kings 12:14.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.8

    “So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse; to your tents, O Israel; now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents. But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.... So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel; there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.” 1 Kings 12:16-20.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.9

    This division of the kingdom was effected in the year 975 B.C. It was in fulfillment of a prophecy made to Jeroboam, by Ahijah, which is recorded in the eleventh chapter of 1 Kings. The reason why the greater part of the kingdom was to be taken away from the house of Solomon, was thus stated by the prophet:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.10

    “Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee; (but he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel;) because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.” 1 Kings 11:31-33.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.11

    Thus the kingdom, with the exception of one tribe, was taken from the house of David, on account of Solomon’s terrible idolatry; and to Jeroboam the Lord said:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.12

    “And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.” 1 Kings 11:37, 38.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.13

    But Jeroboam did not heed the words of the Lord. As soon as he came to the throne, he made two calves for the people to worship, so as to keep them from going to Jerusalem to worship the Lord (1 Kings 12:26-30); and although he was reproved by the prophet of the Lord, he “returned not from his evil way,” but “made Israel to sin,” for which reason the Lord cut him off. Read 1 Kings 13 and 14.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.14

    The succeeding kings were no better; for among all the kings of Israel we find not one good man. They were all idolaters, and some of them were men of the vilest character, without a single redeeming trait. The children of Israel sinned against the Lord “and walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel;” “and they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree; and there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger.” “And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.” See 2 Kings 16:7-23.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.15

    So in the year 721 B.C. after the kingdom of Israel had continued 254 years, and had made a record of wickedness, which has probably never been exceeded by any nation, the Lord removed them “out of his sight.” In that year the king of Assyria took Samaria the capital of the kingdom, “and carried Israel away into Assyria,” and filled their places with “men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim.” 2 Kings 17:24. From this date the kingdom of Israel has no more a place in history.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.16

    The history of the kingdom of Judah was somewhat different. Some of the kings were as wicked as any of the kings of Israel, and some of them were men of eminent piety. There was a succession of apostasies, of judgments, and of repentance and apostasy. Toward the close of its history the prophet Jeremiah said:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.17

    “Thus said the Lord unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; and say unto them, Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates; Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction. And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein; then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain for ever.” Jeremiah 17:19-25.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.18

    A few remarks concerning God’s purpose with Israel may be in place here. He chose Abraham because Abraham had a heart to serve him, and would keep the light of God’s truth from dying out. He called the Israelites out from Egypt, so that they might serve him; and he made them the depositories of his holy law, in order that they might hold up the standard of truth to the surrounding nations. In numerous places we learn that provision was made that the strangers who wished to serve the Lord could become a part of Israel, and heirs of the promise equally with the descendants of Abraham. If the children of Israel had been true to their high calling, and had not departed from God, or, having departed and repented, had remained faithful, they would ever have continued as a nation. And the text that we have just read indicates that in that case Jerusalem itself would have stood forever as the capital of the kingdom. What transformation it would have undergone to make it suitable for the eternal habitation of the saints, we cannot tell. On the other hand, the following judgment, if they should depart from God, was uttered by Jeremiah:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.19

    “But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” Jeremiah 17:27.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.20

    These warnings were not heeded. In the twenty-fifth chapter of Jeremiah we find the announcement of their captivity, because of their refusal to obey God. And the twenty-seventh chapter contains the record that the Lord told the king of Judah, and the kings of the surrounding nations, that he had given their lands to the king of Babylon, and that they should submit to him. Jeremiah was commanded to say to the messengers of the kings:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.21

    “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters; I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come; and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.” Jeremiah 27:4-7.SITI May 18, 1888, page 294.22

    This was in the reign of Zedekiah, after Nebuchadnezzar had besieged Jerusalem once, and had taken part of the people captive. But Zedekiah would not obey the Lord, neither would he submit to the punishment which the Lord put upon him through Nebuchadnezzar. The record says: “And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord. And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God; but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the Lord God of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 36:12, 13.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.1

    The record continues:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.2

    “Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place; but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age... And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof... To fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah.” 2 Chronicles 26:14-21.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.3

    This was the complete overthrow of the kingdom of Judah. Although after seventy years of captivity, all who wished were given full liberty to return to Jerusalem, and the city and the temple were rebuilt, no king since that time has ever sat upon the throne of Israel. The Jews were in Babylon till that empire was overthrown by the Medes and Persians, B.C. 538. Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia, gave them permission to return to their own land, but they had no king, and they existed only through the sufferance of the kings of Persia. Alexander the Great showed them favors, and to him they acknowledged allegiance. When the empire of Greece was divided at the death of Alexander, they were subject by turns to different kings until finally they turned to the rising Roman power for complete protection, and remained subject to them as long as they had any existence as a nation. But before we speak of their final fate, we must look at a prophecy concerning the kingdom, which was uttered by Ezekiel toward the last of Zedekiah’s reign. After foretelling the invasion by the king of Babylon, the prophet said:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.4

    “And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God; remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it; and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” Ezekiel 21:25-27.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.5

    In this prophecy the history of the world from that time until the end of time is briefly told. When the diadem was removed from the head of Zedekiah, the kingdom passed into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Not simply the narrow limits of the kingdom over which Zedekiah ruled, but all the kingdoms of the earth, or, rather, the dominion of the whole earth, was given to Nebuchadnezzar. See Jeremiah 27:5-7; Daniel 2:37, 38. Then, said the Lord, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn it.” Three kings reigned in Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar, and then the first overturning took place, and the empire of the world passed into the hands of the Medes and the Persians. See Ezra 1:2. This took place B.C. 538. The Persian Empire, for the Median portion was overshadowed by the Persian element, lasted for 297 years, until B.C. 331. Then the second overturning took place, and the empire of Greece had the universal control in the earth. See Daniel 2:39. After the death of Alexander the empire was divided into four parts, each striving for supreme control; but by the year 168 B.C. the third overturning had taken place, and the world came under the dominion of the Romans. This was to be the last overturning, said the prophet, “until he come whose right it is,” when it should be given to him. The one whose the earth is by right, is Christ, for the Father has said to him, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee... the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” Psalm 2:8. Moreover Christ has purchased the possession by bearing the curse which came upon it in consequence of Satan’s maliciousness, and which constituted the evil one’s sole claim to it. Thus he bought Satan’s technical and usurped claim, and became sole heir to the whole earth. But the promise to give the dominion to Christ did not have reference to his first advent, as will appear from the following:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.6

    1. At the first advent of Christ the Romans ruled the whole world (Luke 2:1); and that empire continued, powerful and undivided, for nearly four hundred years afterward. Although the Jews rejected Jesus, they had not the power to put him to death, and he was formally condemned and executed by the Romans.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.7

    2. Just before his crucifixion, Jesus wept over Jerusalem, saying:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.8

    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23:37-39. W.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.9

    “The Day of the Lord” The Signs of the Times, 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Under the heading “Fulfilled Prophecy,” the Christian Oracle undertakes an exposition of Acts 2:16-21, in which it claims that that day of Pentecost was the “great and notable day of the Lord,” of which Joel prophesied. Says the Oracle, “If it was not the ‘day of the Lord,’ then the day of the Lord has never yet come.” With this we most heartily concur. Yes, we gladly agree with this statement, while we protest against the idea that the day of Pentecost was the day of the Lord; for if the day of the Lord had come at some time in the past, then our salvation, and that of other people whom we hope to meet in Heaven, would be an impossibility. In proof of this, we will first compare two portions of Scripture. The first is from the prophecy of Isaiah:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.10

    “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God.” Isaiah 61:1, 2.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.11

    The second is found in Luke 4:16-21, which says of Jesus that,SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.12

    “He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Luke 4:16-21.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.13

    Now why did Jesus close the book as soon as he had read the words, “to preach the acceptable year of the Lord”? Simply because if he had read the next line he could not have said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Those who heard him “wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth,” because he was “full of grace and truth.” He came announcing a “great salvation,” which was afterwards “confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” and the call has been reiterated since that time by whosoever has heard. Since ten days before the day of Pentecost, Christ has been at the right hand of God, ready to “save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25); there will come a time, however, when he will “put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,” and “according to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies” (Isaiah 59:17, 18); but that time will be when there is “no intercessor.” That is to say, when the day of the Lord comes, the day of salvation will be in the past.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.14

    To this end the prophet Zephaniah speaks when he says:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.15

    “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Zephaniah 2:1-3.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.16

    The prophet Ezekiel says:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.17

    “The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Howl ye, Woe worth the day! For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.” Ezekiel 30:1-3.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.18

    Isaiah says: “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.” “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” Isaiah 13:6, 9.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.19

    But perhaps some may say that these quotations are all from the Old Testament, and were written long before the day of Pentecost. Very true, but was a single one of their specifications fulfilled on that day? was that day of Pentecost “a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness”? was it a day to cause all the inhabitants of the land to tremble? was the land then laid desolate? and were all sinners then destroyed by the “fierce anger” of the Lord? To all of these questions everyone must answer, No. Then the day of Pentecost was not “the great and the notable day of Lord,” and by the same things it is evident that the day of the Lord has not yet come.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.20

    Texts showing the nature of the day of the Lord might be quoted by the score, but we will quote only one more, and it should settle the question, even with the editor of the Oracle. The same Peter who preached the sermon on the day of Pentecost, wrote an epistle more than thirty years afterward, in which he used these words:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.21

    “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.22

    This text alone, from the most prominent speaker on the day of Pentecost, shows the folly of calling that day the day of the Lord. Such an exposition may not be an example of “handling the word of God deceitfully,” but it is certainly an instance of handling it very carelessly. It is an instance of a custom that is altogether too common, that of jumping to conclusions without stopping to see what is the word that cometh from the Lord.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.23

    The editor of the Oracle closes with these words: “‘The day of the Lord’ has to us a light of hope and joy, and does not of necessity mean death and desolation.” Which causes us to think that he might profit by the following words, which seem to be specially addressed to him:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.24

    “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” Amos 5:18-20. W.SITI May 18, 1888, page 295.25

    “Mormonism” The Signs of the Times, 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following from the Methodist Advocate, of Chattanooga, does not afford much ground to hope that the plague-spot of Mormonism in the heart of our country is diminishing in size:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 296.1

    “Probably but few persons are aware of the extent to which the Mormons are pushing their work here in the South. It is not generally known that the national plague-spot has an agency and an office right here in Chattanooga, and that there are probably five hundred of these fellows preaching their abominable doctrines, and proselyting the more ignorant of the Southern whites. So far as we are aware they have not as yet received any revelation in regard to the colored population. From this point they are annually shipping hundreds of the poor deluded creatures whom they claim as converts, to Utah Territory, to strengthen numerically that sworn enemy of the national Government.”SITI May 18, 1888, page 296.2

    “The Commentary. The Bondage in Egypt” The Signs of the Times, 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. When Joseph had made himself known to his brethren, what did he tell them to do?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.1

    “Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt; come down unto me, tarry not; and thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast; and there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.” Genesis 45:9-11.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.2

    2. What liberal offer did Pharaoh make?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.3

    “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; and take your father and your households, and come unto me; and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.” Verses 17-20.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.4

    3. What timely caution did Joseph give his brethren?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.5

    “So he sent his brethren away, and they departed; and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.” Verse 24.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.6

    4. How did Jacob feel when his sons returned with this story?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.7

    “And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, and told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.” Verses 25, 26.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.8

    5. What finally induced him to consent to go?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.9

    “And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them; and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived; and Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go and see him before I die.” Verses 27, 28.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.10

    6. When he started, what encouragement did the Lord give him?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.11

    “And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father; fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation; I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again; and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.” Genesis 46:1-4.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.12

    7. How many were there who went down into Egypt?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.13

    “Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.” Acts 7:14.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.14

    8. How long did they live there in peace? Compare Genesis 41:46; 45:11; 50:26.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.15

    9. How did the children of Israel prosper in Egypt?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.16

    “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.” Exodus 1:7.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.17

    10. What took place some time after Joseph’s death?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.18

    “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” Verse 8.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.19

    12. What did they do to the Israelites?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.20

    “Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.” Verse 11.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.21

    13. How did this affect them?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.22

    “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” Verse 12.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.23

    14. What did the children of Israel have to suffer at the hands of the Egyptians?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.24

    “And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour; and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.” Verses 13, 14.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.25

    15. Of what prophecy was this a fulfillment?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.26

    “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.” Genesis 15:13.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.27

    16. What cruel order did the king of Egypt make?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.28

    “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.” Exodus 1:22.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.29

    17. Relate the story of one child who was saved from the king’s decree. Exodus 2:1-10.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.30

    18. What led the parents of Moses to do as they did?SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.31

    “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.” Hebrews 11:23.SITI May 18, 1888, page 298.32


    “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” This text has been brought quite prominently before the public, recently, by the discovery of the mummy of Ramses II., “the Pharaoh of the Oppression.” Some have affected considerable contempt for this discovery, claiming that it is a myth, because, as they say, the Pharaoh of the oppression was drowned in the Red Sea. Such ones either forget that the “new king” who “knew not Joseph” was the great oppressor of Israel, inasmuch as he first enslaved them, or else they imagine that he was identical with the one who opposed the work of Moses and Aaron. But Exodus 2:24 tells us that the Pharaoh whose daughter found Moses, died before Moses was sent to deliver Israel. It was this Pharaoh whose mummy has recently been found in Egypt, and which is now in the museum of Bulaq.SITI May 18, 1888, page 299.1

    In connection with their discovery, considerable light is thrown upon the statement that “there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” He was literally “a new king,” inasmuch as he was the founder of a new dynasty. He was not an Egyptian, but an Assyrian, and therefore it could not be expected that he would be moved by any sentimental consideration of what Joseph had done for Egypt. The memory of Joseph’s service for the country might have prevented a native king from oppressing his countrymen, but would have no weight with a foreigner. With this view of the case, Isaiah 52:4 becomes perfectly clear: “For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.”SITI May 18, 1888, page 299.2

    We are not to understand from Genesis 15:13 that the Israelites were in Egypt four hundred years. The actual time spent in Egypt was only about two hundred and fifteen years, but they were sojourners in a land that was not theirs for a much longer period than that. As the four hundred and thirty years of Exodus 12:40 are to be dated from the promise to Abraham, so the four hundred years are to be dated from thirty years later, or about the time that Ishmael, “he that was born after the flesh, persecuted [Isaac] him that was born after the Spirit.” Galatians 4:20.SITI May 18, 1888, page 299.3

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Quite a sensation is said to have been created in the Methodist General Conference now in session in New York, by the introduction of the resolution to the effect that no one should be elected or consecrated bishop until he had taken a cast-iron oath to abstain from the use of tobacco. The resolution, was voted down.SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.1

    The little boy of whom the following story is told, was certainly a philosopher. He had been to the cemetery, and on his return he said:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.2

    “Mamma, where do the good people go to when they die?”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.3

    “They go to Heaven.”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.4

    “And where do the bad people go to?”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.5

    “They go to the bad place, my son.”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.6

    “And what kind of people do they put in the graves?”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.7

    It is too bad to think that a boy with so fine a mind as that should be discouraged in a search for truth, by being compelled to believe the stories that are commonly told the children under such circumstances.SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.8

    The editor of New Thought, a Spiritualist paper, does us the honor to say that the SIGNS OF THE TIMES is “the biggest liar” on its list of exchanges. To be regarded as a liar from the standpoint of those whose work it is to change the truth of God into a lie, is good evidence that we have been successful in our efforts to make the truth so plain that anybody can understand it. But to learn that out of two hundred papers ours has been the most successful in this respect, is more than we dared to hope. That same editor challenges us to go with him “into an investigation of the comparative merits of Spiritualism and Adventism.” What would be the use? We have no common ground from which to start. He would reason from his own self-consciousness, and we from the Bible; but he doesn’t believe in the Bible, and we don’t believe in him. So that ends the matter.SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.9

    The superintendent of a Connecticut Sunday-school says that their Sunday-school library, numbering upwards of eight hundred volumes, is composed mainly of fiction of the best quality that we have been able to find, “and wants to know how the children can be induced to draw the few books of travel, biography, etc., that the library contains, and what can be done “to cultivate more taste for such profitable books.” The Sunday School Times, to which the question is addressed, very sensibly says that the way to induce children to read more profitable books, is to have the library composed “mainly” of such books; that “one way, and a very good way, of cultivating the taste of children for books which are profitable reading for children, is by providing such reading for them, and not providing any other.” It seems strange that this simple remedy has never occurred to that Connecticut superintendent. The closing remarks of the Sunday School Times are so much to the point that we quote them:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.10

    “Surely no Christian man, in Connecticut or elsewhere, would say that children ought to be provided with only such food, at the home table, from the pulpit, or in the Sunday-school, as they happen to have a natural fancy for. Those who are responsible for the children we have, are responsible for the children’s training-including the training of the children’s taste.”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.11

    Yet that is just what many people do. Instead of traning children they allow them to follow their own inclinations, and then wonder why they do not develop better taste.SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.12

    For some time there have been negotiations between the Presbyterians of the North and those of the South, looking toward a union of the two bodies; but there does not seem at present to be much prospect of any such union. The Presbytery of Louisville has adopted the following resolution:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.13

    “Until our northern brethren can see their way clear to adopt a policy organizing the colored people of the Northern States into separate churches, presbyteries, and synods of their own, and until there shall be clearer and fuller understanding brought to bear upon the minds of many of our people in reference to their interpretation and application of these points of our common ecclesiastical law that now deal with secular and political questions, we judge that the quiet, peace, and prosperity of both churches will be best served by ceasing to educate or prosecute the question of organizing a union.”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.14

    Quiet and peace may come as a result of this step, but whatever prosperity comes will be fictitious. A church founded on caste may gain names, but it cannot gain souls. In Christ Jesus there is neither Jews nor Greek, there is neither bond or free, there is neither male nor female, but all are one.SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.15

    Bishop Coxe, of Western New York, has been delivering a series of lectures on the works of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, the object of which, as indicated by the title, “The Reunion of Christendom,” is to show that “Christian union,” that is, a union of all the sects, can be effected only by a general acceptance of the dogma of apostolic succession. That is, every minister outside of the Catholic and Episcopal Churches, must admit that he has not been properly ordained, and must consent to receive ordination at the hands of someone who received of somebody else who received it at the hands of somebody else who was ordained by somebody else,-and so on back to the man who received ordination at the hands of one of the apostles. Only this little thing is needed in order to make Christendom a unit. In other words, all must receive ordination from the Catholic Church, and must acknowledge that the Roman Catholic Church received its commission from the apostles. And in that case they must admit that the slaughter of so-called heretics by the Catholic Church was a Christian act. There are a good many professed Protestants who are so anxious for “Christian” union that they will accept it on those terms; but as for us, we would rather be known as born directly of the Spirit, than to be obliged to trace our ancestry back through the Catholic Church.SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.16

    One of the Eastern Spiritualist papers has for a correspondent an “M.D.” who indulges his fancy by writing impossible stories illustrating the meanness and narrowness of Christians, and the inherent goodness of all Spiritualists. In a recent number he describes a séance at which a young lady previously opposed to Spiritualism was entranced and made to play more skillfully on the piano than she could when in her right mind. The following extract, of which the italics are ours, shows some of the wonderful things that can be accomplished by spirit aid:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.17

    “Under this influence she went to the piano, and displayed new and marvelous power in her performance. She played piece after piece of the richest and most difficult music. Several of the pieces were new both to herself, and to all the hearers. She performs several pieces in foreign languages, which she did not speak or understand. The whole circle were enchanted with this unexplained and remarkable mediumship, coming in so sudden a manner.”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.18

    No wonder they were astonished. To hear the piano played in English and then, without warning to hear the same instrument played in French, German, or Spanish, or possibly Chinese or Russian must be an event of one’s life-time. We are reminded of the young man who, on visiting France, found to his surprise that the roosters crowed in English! What wonderful thing will Spiritualism develop next?SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.19

    The New York Senate has, with only seven negative votes, passed a bill partially repealing the Saturday half-holiday law, leaving it in force only on June, July, August, and September. This is the law for which so many religious journals, notably the Christian at Work, so zealously worked, expecting great results from it. But the Independent, more shrewd than the others, says of the action just taken:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.20

    “This is better than to have the law apply to all the months of the year; but it plainly does not go far enough, since it leaves this piece of humbug and demagogy to be operative during one-third of the year. What should be done is to sweep the law from the statute-book altogether. The pretext of order which the law was originally passed at the commendation of Governor Hill, was that it would promote the interests of workingmen. His motive in making the recommendation was to court the labor vote of this State. Republicans fearing that they might lose by not tickling this vote, united with the Governor and the Democrats in enacting such a law. The whole thing was nothing but political trickery from the beginning to end.”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.21

    But this law was only a Sunday law in disguise, or, rather, the stepping-stone to a Sunday law, and what the Independent says of it may be said of all Sunday laws. Professedly they are in the interest of the workingmen, but actually they are “nothing but political trickery from beginning to end.”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.22

    The New York Observer says that “the license court of Philadelphia has been engaged for the past three or four weeks in going about with a lantern in search of an honest man among the liquor-dealers of that city.” “In twelve wards of the city it was decided to reject about seventy-five per cent. of the applications for a license, on account of the revelations that were made in regard to the character and previous record of the applicants.” The Observer further says:-SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.23

    “The facts brought out thus far in the investigation together constitute a record of dishonor, corruption, and shameless disrespect of the laws that it would be impossible to parallel in the conduct of any other business. It is shown that a large proportion of the liquor-dealers themselves are ruthless and professional criminals, and their places of business the resort of the lowest in vilest specimens of humankind.”SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.24

    It is highly probable that the saloon-keepers and the applicants for that position are themselves the most surprised that anybody over this investigation. They must wonder what has got hold of people to cause them to suppose that a moral character is necessary in order to sell whisky. Certain it is that if the license court of Philadelphia finds an honest man among the applicants for a saloon license, and grants him one, it will have contributed toward making one more dishonest man in that city. The liquor traffic makes criminals of men, no matter on which side of the bar they stand.SITI May 18, 1888, page 304.25

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