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    July 6, 1888

    “Life and Death Opposite Terms” The Signs of the Times, 14, 26.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the last words which Moses at the command of the Lord spoke to the children of Israel, he said:-SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.1

    “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply; and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” Deuteronomy 30:15-19.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.2

    In this text we have the most positive evidence that life and death are exactly opposite states. It should be unnecessary to quote anything to prove such a self-evident proposition, yet it is well known that in the face of the statement that “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” many claim that the wicked, as well as the righteous, will have eternal life. If it be true that both righteous and wicked are to have everlasting life, then life and death must mean the same thing, for the Bible says that life is for the righteous and death is for the wicked.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.3

    We do not say that it is claimed that the wicked will have life under the same conditions as the righteous, but that they will have as long life as the righteous. But this we say is contradictory of Scripture. The Scripture promises life to the righteous, and death to the wicked. These terms are unqualified except as to duration,-both are eternal. Therefore, if it be claimed that the wicked will live eternally, it must be claimed that life and death are identical in meaning.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.4

    But the scripture just quoted shows that they are not identical. They are as widely separated as the antipodes. They are no more alike than are blessing and cursing. “See,” says the Lord, “I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.” Who will claim that good and evil have anything in common? No one certainly who has any regard for God’s word. Well, death and life are just as far apart as are good and evil. Life follows good, and death follows evil. Again the Lord says: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing.” Who will say that blessing and cursing are identical terms? There is no question but that they are as far apart as the east is from the west. But life is the blessing wherewith God blesses those who love him, and the curse pronounced upon the disobedient is death.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.5

    Notice a clause in the last verse of Deuteronomy 30. After admonishing the people to cleave unto the Lord, Moses says: “For he is thy life, and the length of thy days.” Question-If God is the life of his people, and the length of their days, what will become of those who do not cleave to the Lord? It must be that they will not have life nor length of days. This is what the Bible teaches. Paul says that those who “know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” shall “be punished with everlasting destruction.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9. He says again that Christ “hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10), which leads to the conclusion that all who do not accept the gospel will know nothing of life and immortality.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.6

    Again the apostle John says: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” So far will the unbeliever be from having life, that he shall not see life. And this is literally true. This life amounts to nothing, unless it is used as a preparation for eternal life. It is hard enough at the best. In childhood even, when the world seems brightest and when the spirit is buoyant, there are troubles as great as the child can endure. As age comes on, cares increase, and the words of the patriarch, that “man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward,” are proved to be true. The life which we live in this earth is not real life. There is not a man who knows, even at his best, anything of the freshness and vigor of that life which will be felt by those who drink of the river of the water of life, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life. One moment of that life will contain more of vigor and joyous energy than threescore and ten years of this present life. And so the man who rejects God and the gospel, and who consequently is punished with destruction, may truly be said to have never seen life.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.7

    Christ is the life-giver. He came to earth and died for no other purpose than that men who were doomed to death might have life. “I am come,” said he, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. To say that we can have eternal life without Christ, is to rob him of his highest honor. Who that loves Christ can refuse to worship him as the giver of our life, as well as of all good things? W.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.8

    “The Promise of His Coming” The Signs of the Times, 14, 26.

    E. J. Waggoner

    That there was once upon this earth a man called Jesus of Nazareth, scarcely anyone will now deny. Whatever conflicting views different ones may hold concerning his nature and office, all agree on this one fact. That he was taken, “and by wicked hands crucified and slain,” is quite generally conceded. All, however, are not aware that the admission of these facts is virtually an admission of the inspiration of the Bible, but so it is. Those very things, which no human wisdom could foresee, were recorded by holy prophets hundreds of years before they occurred. This fact shows that those prophets were inspired, or, as Peter declares, they “spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.9

    But this much being true, we must admit further that that which they wrote of the mission of Jesus was also true. Paul sums it up in brief when he says that “to him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:43. Christ is, then, as all Christians agree, the “only begotten Son of God;” he is “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world;” he is the divine Word that, having been with God in the beginning, was made flesh and dwelt upon the earth. John 1. The incidents of his life, his subjection to his parents, his baptism, his temptation in the wilderness, his wonderful teachings, his marvelous miracles showing at once his tenderness and his power, his betrayal and crucifixion, and finally his triumphant resurrection and ascension to Heaven,-these are familiar to hundreds of thousands.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.10

    Aside from his wonderful sacrifice, which demands the unending love of all creatures, the character of Jesus as a man was most lovable. His disciples who had been with him night and day for more than three years, had learned to love him devotedly, both for what he was and what he promised them. On him all their hopes centered. Their feelings were well expressed by Peter, who, when they were asked if they would leave Jesus, said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” We can imagine, then, to some extent, their grief when Jesus said to them: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me; and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” John 13:33. It was the blasting of all their hopes; their hearts were filled with anguish. Jesus, whom they loved, was to go away, and even though they should lay down their lives for him, he would not take them along.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.11

    But the compassionate Saviour would not leave his children in torturing suspense. Noticing their despondent looks, he said: “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.12

    “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” What can these words mean, but that the words which he was about to utter were the words of God himself, true and unchangeable? Whatever this promise means, then, it will as surely be fulfilled as that God is a God of truth. We can rely upon it implicitly.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.13

    And now as to the meaning of the promise. How could it be made more clear? The gist of it is contained in these simple words: “I will come again.” He was here then, a real being. The word “again,” meaning “once more,” implies a repetition of the same thing. That is, that he would come in the same form in which he then was,-glorified, of course, as we shall see,-but a real, tangible being,-Jesus of Nazareth. There is a great deal contained in the three verses which we have quoted, but at present we are concerned only with the simple fact that Christ has pledged his word to come again.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.14

    The time which Jesus spent on this earth, from his birth in Bethlehem until his ascension from the Mount of Olives, is known as the first advent, or coming) of Christ. There is no question but that he had been upon the earth many times before, but that was his first appearance in connection with the great plan of salvation. And so, although he has since been on earth continuously, by his representative, the Holy Spirit, his second coming must be limited to that one mentioned in the promise, “I will come again.” This promise cannot be fulfilled by anything except by his personal presence in glory. It will be his second coming in connection with the great plan of salvation-this time to complete the work by taking his people to himself.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.15

    That we are not mistaken in saying that Christ in comforting his disciples, gave promise of a second coming, is proved by the words of Paul, in Hebrews 9:27, 28: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” This places the matter beyond dispute.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.16

    This text also settles another much mooted question, that of a future probation. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment.” How long after death the Judgment takes place must be determined by other texts. The general truth is stated that men die but once, and that after that their future fate is determined by the Judgment. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” That is, since men have but one life,-or probation,-which ends with their death, so Christ was only once offered. His offering had reference only to men in this present life. If man was to have two or more probations, then it would be necessary for two or more offerings to be made in his behalf; but there was only one offering. At his advent, Christ was offered “to bear the sins of many.” The Lord “laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6. “In his own body” he bore our sins on the tree. 1 Peter 2:24. In order to save us from sin, he was made to be sin (2 Corinthians 5:21); the innocent One was counted as guilty in order that the guilty might be accounted innocent. The benefits of this sacrifice are now free to all who will accept it, while Jesus is pleading its merits before the Father. But when he comes “the second time,” he will be “without sin;” he will then no longer act as substitute for sinners; no longer will he assume any responsibility in their behalf. The sins of the righteous will have been blotted out, and those of the impenitent rolled back upon their own heads. There can then be no more probation for them unless Christ should again take upon himself their sins and make another sacrifice; for there is no salvation in any other. Acts 4:12. And since Christ makes but one offering, it follows that their sins remain upon them, to sink them into perdition.SITI July 6, 1888, page 406.17

    In the texts already quoted, there is sufficient proof that the promised coming is not at the death of the saints, neither the conversion of sinners. He appears “to them that look for him;” to those who “love his appearing.” And this coming is not death, for it is only the “second” coming; if death were that coming, then there would be many millions of comings, for not an instant of time passes in which men do not die. He said that he would come “again;” now we submit that this can with no propriety be applied to death, unless his first coming was death, and they were all dead when he was speaking for “again” signifies repetition.SITI July 6, 1888, page 407.1

    But we have an inspired comment on this point in the last chapter of John. Christ had just signified to Peter by what death he should glorify God, when that disciple, turning about, saw John following, and asked, “What shall this man do?” “Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” Verse 22. Now if the coming of Christ is at the death of his saints, these words of Christ are equivalent to this: “If I will that he live until he dies, what is that to thee?” But such a substitution makes utter nonsense of the passage. Then when Christ spoke of his coming, he had no reference whatever to death. W.SITI July 6, 1888, page 407.2

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 26.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Bishop of Carlisle has characterized many of the sermons that he has listened to, as “a text floating in a vast quantity of weak soup.” No one can say that this is not an apt description. The question is, How much spiritual strength can people derive from such stuff?SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.1

    If the article from Elder Haskell, entitled “The Progress of the Work in England,” which will be found on another page of this paper, could be read in every Sabbath-school in the country, we feel sure that it would increase the interest of the members in the London Mission, and would have a corresponding effect on the contributions, which have been pledged to that work.SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.2

    One of the young Andover men who was rejected as a candidate for the American Board on account of his views on future probation, was recently ordained as evangelist and acting pastor of a church by a council of ministerial and lay delegates from eleven Boston churches. Opposition was manifested, but a large majority decided that his views in regard to the relation of the heathen to the gospel after death did not prevent him from being an acceptable pastor in the Congregational Church.SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.3

    The following from an article in the Christian Union, entitled “The Roman Church and the Schools,” written as a protest against some of the “liberal” positions that have been taken by that paper, expresses a style of thought that ought to be much more common than it now is:-SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.4

    “We seem to be in danger nowadays of sinking into ‘a mush of magnanimity.’ We dare not speak or hear a hard truth; if the truth doesn’t happen to be soft, it must be manipulated until it appears so. We want more teachers who do not like to say hard things, but will do it if needful; those who really believe that only truth is safe or saving. And the truth about Rome is that she is always the same at heart, however necessity modifies her actions. She is intolerance itself, as Protestantism is tolerance. She is ‘drunken with the blood of the saints’-not of the openly murdered thousands only, but of those uncounted who are known to have perished in her dungeons. One ceaseless cry goes up against her through all the ages; hers is a wickedness too colossal to be forgiven. These truths ought not to be stifled; it is not the place of charity to hide such deeds, and vigilance is still the price of liberty.”SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.5

    The great trouble with Protestantism is that it has degenerated on account of a mistaken idea of tolerance. It has become so extremely “tolerant” that it tolerates the most flagrant errors of Catholicism in its own person, and is thus becoming swallowed up by Catholicism. Protestantism is nothing if it does not vigorously protest against wickedness, and especially against all attempts to force people to be wicked, which is always done by those who attempt to force people to be religious.SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.6

    A brother in the northern part of the State writes to get an expression of our opinion upon the subject of voting. He wants to know if it is his duty to vote at the coming election. We presume he wants to know if it is right for him to do so. We can’t say what his duty is; there may be some peculiar circumstances in his case that we know nothing about. But we do not know of anything that should hinder his voting if he wants to. As yet this is a free country. We do not believe it is consistent for a Seventh-day Adventists to engage in political or any other kind of strife; but we know it is his right to deposit his ballot in a quiet manner, and it may often be a duty. While we have to live in this world, which cannot be indifferent to the government of the portion of it in which we live. Time will come full soon when it will be neither our right our privilege.SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.7

    A writer in the Nineteenth Century for May, states the following interesting fact, which serves to make more vivid and forcible one of the exhortations in the sermon on the mount:-SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.8

    “In the Bahamas one learns how the simile of casting pearls before swine may have been a familiar image to our Lord’s hearers in the far-off East. There the unclean beast was a forbidden animal, attended by lepers and outcasts, who no doubt flung the creatures any the food they could get, shell-fish-also forbidden food for Jews-amongst the rest. In the Bahamas none but the negroes eat the native pork, which is fed on offal, refuse, and whatever can be obtained. The flesh of the conch is the usual fare for pigs in the out islands, where conches are plentiful. In these conches pink pearls are found from time to time, and I have seen a large pearl that had been found in the pig’s trough, and which was scratched and discolored from having been champed by the hugs. Formerly, before pink pearls became an article of commerce in the Bahamas, and no search was made for them, it happened not infrequently that pearls were picked up in the hog pens. May not pearls from mussels or other shells have been found in a similar manner in Palestine, and thus have rendered the Saviour’s warning easily comprehensible to his listeners, the great mass of whom were common people?”SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.9

    An English writer, dwelling on the subject of the spread of Roman Catholic abominations, truthfully portrayed in the following words the servility of those who call themselves Protestants:-SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.10

    “These truths are too bad to be told.... For money, free trade, anything you please that is earthly, you may hold meetings, write books, be ‘earnest,’ and speak your mind. But for the free Bible-the right to tell what Popery was, is, and wants to be-you must hush to a whisper any voice you have, and still be reckoned a monomaniac. Is it not just possible that our wondrous delicacy is not from love but fear? Rather, perhaps, it is because that sort of tone pays best in general popularity. Nobody is so sure of applause as the man who is fiercely moderate.”SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.11

    All this is evidence of the wonderful power that Rome has over the minds of men. It is true that the Pope has no temporal power, but he never before had so much power in the world as he now has. This is in direct fulfillment of the prophecy which says, “And all the world wondered after the beast.”SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.12

    A recent article in the Berlin Germania, the leading Roman Catholic paper in Germany, says of the Reformation:-SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.13

    “That which the shameless monk of Wittenberg inaugurated about 350 years ago, is no longer looked upon as a reformation; no, it was a rushing into a bottomless pit. It is the most flagrant, the most radical, the most wicked revolution to which the world has ever seen. It was a revolution in the churchly, the religious, the learned, and in the historical worlds. The foundation of the so-called Evangelical Church has long since been understood by intelligent men. According to these Protestantism is nothing but a mere rejection of all and everything that is supernatural; it explains everything on the basis of all laws of nature, of material development, and not even the smallest nook is left open for the God of revelation.Its foundations are the purest thoughtlessness and religious nihilism; and on such a foundation only hate and empty words, only decay and destruction, in time and eternity, can be built.”SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.14

    When we remember that in a city in Germany, in which nearly all the churches are Lutheran, and where Lutherans form the bulk of the population, a man was recently fined and imprisoned for speaking against the Pope, the prosecuting attorney stating that Luther would not now be permitted to preach as he did; and when we read that in “Puritan” Boston, the Board of Education, a majority of which are professed Protestants, has thrown a certain history out of the school course, because in one short paragraph it tells the simple facts about Tetzel’s sale of indulgences, we wonder how long it will be before “the so-called Evangelical Church” will adopt the language of this Catholic paper.SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.15

    The school committee of the city of Boston is composed of thirteen Protestants (so-called) and eleven “liberal Catholics.” By a vote of a majority of this Board, Swinton’s “Outlines of History” has been removed from the Boston schools, and the sole ground of its expulsion is that it contains the following paragraph:-SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.16

    “When Leo X. came to the Papal chair he found the Treasury of the church exhausted by the ambitious projects of his predecessors. He therefore had recourse to every means which ingenuity could devise for recruiting his exhausted finances, and among these he adopted an extensive sale of indulgences, which in former ages had been a source of large profits to the church. The Dominican friars, having obtained a monopoly of the sale in Germany, employed as their agent Tetzel, one of their order, who carried on the traffic in a manner that was very offensive, and especially so to the Augustinian friars. The indulgences were in the early ages of the church remissions of the penances imposed upon persons whose sins had brought scandal on the community. But in process of time they were represented as actual pardons of guilt, and the purchaser of an indulgence was said to be delivered from all his sins.”SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.17

    It is certain that the facts could not be stated more dispassionately than they are here. That the Pope did sell indulgences, and that those indulgences were considered by the purchasers as license to sin, are matters of historical record; but the Catholic Church has so much influence in this country that it can cause “Protestants” to suppress history, when that history reveals any of her abominations. The Independent thinks that the Protestant members of the committee must have other reasons for displacing the book. The truth is that no Protestant members voted to exclude it. Men who do such things are not Protestants.The action taken by the Boston school committee is an indication of what will soon be done to men who dare denounce the abominations of Rome.SITI July 6, 1888, page 416.18

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