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    October 12, 1888

    “The Condemnation of Sin” The Signs of the Times, 14, 39.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A correspondent writes: “Please harmonize John 3:17 and Romans 8:3. The former text declares that God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, while the latter text seems to teach that the law had not of itself the power to condemn sin, and that it was necessary for Christ to come in order that sin might be condemned.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.1

    We very gladly proceed to help our querist out of his difficulty, stating by way of preface, however, that we cannot harmonize any two texts in the Bible, because it is already done. The Holy Spirit did that when it moved the holy men of old to write. There is the most perfect harmony between all portions of the Bible; all we have to do is to study to appreciate the harmony that already exists. We would state further, also, that it will not do to rest satisfied with what “seems,” on a casual reading, to be the meaning of some of Paul’s utterances. He was writing “some things hard to be understood;” but that need not discourage us, for they may be understood by study; and the blessed truth which they contain well repays the hardest toil. But to the question.SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.2

    It is the law of God that condemns sin and sinners. There is nothing else that can or ever could. Says Paul: “The law worketh wrath;” “the wages of sin is death.” The very instant the first sin was committed, whether in Heaven or on earth, the law of God condemned the act. To say that it was necessary for Christ to die, or to offer to die in order that sin and sinners might be condemned, is a gross perversion of God’s word, and a fearful charge against his justice. The simple statement of Christ himself is sufficient to settle this point:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.3

    “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:14-17.SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.4

    The lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness is given as a parallel to the offering up of Christ. Now to say that God gave his Son to condemn sinners, is the same as to say that Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, in order that the bite of the fiery serpents might be fatal. But God sent his Son in order that those who should believe on him should not perish, which shows that if he had not been sent, the whole world would have perished. God sent his Son to save, not to condemn. There was condemnation enough, but in the eighteenth verse Christ declares that “he that believeth not is condemned already.” What the world needed was not condemnation but salvation.SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.5

    Just think for a moment what is implied by the theory that it was necessary for Christ to come in order for the world to be condemned. That implies that there was no sin before Christ was given as man’s ransom; for where there is no condemnation there is no sin. And so the real teaching of the theory is that God looked upon the world that was uncondemned, and said, “I’ll condemn them; I’ll send my Son to die for them, and then they cannot escape condemnation.” A theory that charges such a thing upon God is certainly God-dishonoring if not blasphemous. And besides it shuts off the whole world from salvation; for if Christ,-the only name under Heaven given among men whereby we can be saved,-condemned men, then certainly there would be no hope. But it is not so, for “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us;” and “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.6

    When then does Romans 8:3 mean? Let us read it carefully: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” To anybody who has even a slight acquaintance with the laws of language, a single reading of the text is sufficient to show that it is not complete. The apostle Paul does not always confine himself to grammatical rules. In this instance, instead of giving the predicate of the sentence, he leaves it to be understood, and throws in an explanatory clause. The idea is that what the law could not do, God did by other means. We shall see that both the context and other passages warrant only this view.SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.7

    What could not the law do? It could not make men free from sin. Why? Because it is that by which sin is made known. Read Romans 3:19: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under in the law [that is, within the sphere of the law]; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” This text also destroys the theory that God gave his Son to condemn the world. It is the law of God that makes all the world “guilty before God.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.8

    But what the law could not do, God did without the law, as we have before stated, and as Paul shows in the third of Romans. After stating, as just quoted, that the law shows all the world to be guilty before God, and that therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified, or made righteous, he adds: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference; 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.” Romans 3:21-24.SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.9

    Thus we see that what the law could not do, namely, free a man from the condemnation of sin, God does by his own free grace alone. And this passage tallies with Romans 8:3, as to how God does it. It is done 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.” So in the text which is the subject of query, Romans 8:3, the apostle’s incomplete sentence states that God does for man what the law could not do, and then tells how he does it, in the following words: “Sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.10

    But to free man from condemnation is to free him from sin, and this taking away of sin is what is meant by condemning sin. The word in this connection carries the same idea as in 2 Peter 2:6, where it is said that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were condemned with an overthrow. Now turn to Romans 6:4-7, and we shall find something directly on this point. The apostle says:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.11

    “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.12

    The apostle is here speaking of the same class that he speaks of in Romans 8:1-3, namely, those who are in Christ. To such there is no condemnation. And why? Because in them sin has been condemned or destroyed. And what is the consequence? The apostle answers, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4. In other words, “That henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans 6:6.SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.13

    Thus we see what the condemnation of sin is. It is the destroying of the body of sin, in order that we may serve God. Before that is done, the individual cannot do even the good that he may want to do, as Paul shows in the latter part of the seventh of Romans. That is done when the person becomes crucified with Christ-is united with him by death. When that is done, he is freed from condemnation, and not till then can the righteousness of the law be fulfilled or manifested in him. And this wonderful work is done because Christ himself was made sin for us, although he knew no sin; and he suffered for sins,-the just for the unjust,-“that he might bring us to God; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!” W.SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.14

    “The ‘Church Fathers’” The Signs of the Times, 14, 39.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In his epistle to the Galatians, the apostle Paul said: “Though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8. Although the apostles were fallible men, the gospel which they preached and which they have delivered to us, was perfect. The reason for this is thus given by Paul: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 4:5. The apostles in their teaching adhered closely to the terms of their divine commission as uttered by Christ, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, ... teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commandment you.” Matthew 28:19, 20. So long as they did this, they simply transmitted the light which came to them direct from Heaven, and so their teaching could not be other than perfect. If they had preached themselves it would have been far different, for they were human.SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.15

    Those who have read the article on the “Apostolic Church” in numbers 37 and 38 of the SIGNS, will understand that by the term apostolic church we mean simply the church in the days of the apostles. The presence of the apostles did not insure perfection in the church, though it did insure perfect teaching; but the fact that men have perfect teaching does not make them perfect unless they follow that and nothing else. Now there are certain men who have acquired great celebrity as “Church Fathers.” This term, strangely enough, is never applied to the apostles, to whom it would seem to be more applicable than to any other men, but to certain men who lived in the first few centuries of the Christian era, and who exerted a great influence on the church. As a matter of fact, the true church has but one Father, even God; therefore whatever church recognizes any men as its Fathers, must be a church of merely human planting, having only human ordinances.SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.16

    It is claimed that the “Fathers” must be competent guides, since they lived so near the days of Christ and the apostles. This is a tacit admission that the gospel which was preached by Christ and the apostles is the true standard. But that has been recorded in the New Testament; and therefore, instead of being obliged to depend on the testimony of any who lived this side of their time, we can go direct to the fountain-head, and can draw therefore the gospel in as pure a state as though we had listened in person to the teaching of inspired men. The cases of Demas, of Hymenaeus and Philetus, of Diotrephes, and others, should be sufficient to teach anybody that mere proximity to the apostles did not fill people with the light of divine truth. Those men are proofs that the light may shine in darkness, and the darkness may not comprehend it. Therefore we must judge of the so-called Fathers, not by the time in which they lived, but by what they did and said.SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.17

    But while the Fathers are held in high repute by many, and especially by those who know little of them except by garbled quotations made from their writings in support of unscriptural dogmas, it may be well to hear what a few of the most reputable authors have to say about them. We cannot do better than to begin with Dr. Adam Clark, who, in his comment on Proverbs 8, speaks of the Fathers as follows:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 614.18

    “But of those we may safely state, that there is not a truth in the most orthodox creed, that cannot be proved by their authority, nor a heresy that has disgraced the Romish Church, that may not challenge them as its abettors. In points of doctrine their authority is, with me, nothing.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.1

    It is this characteristic of the Fathers which makes them so valuable to advocates of a cause which has no Scripture evidence in its support. Let a person once get the idea that the testimony of the Fathers is of value, and you may prove anything to him that you chose. In the National Baptist there appeared an article by the “Rev. Levi Philetus Dobbs, D.D.,”-Dr. Wayland, the editor,-in reply to a young minister who had asked how he could prove a thing to his congregation when there was nothing with which to prove it. Among other things the writer said:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.2

    “I regard, however, a judicious use of the Fathers as being on the whole the best reliance for anyone who is in the situation of my querist. The advantage of the Fathers are twofold: First, they carry a good deal of weight with the masses; and secondly, you can find whatever you want in the Fathers. I do not believe that any opinion could be advanced so foolish, so manifestly absurd, but that you can find passages to sustain it on the pages of these venerable stagers. And to the common mind one of these is just as good as another. If it happens that the point that you want to prove is one that never chanced to occur to the Fathers, why, you can easily show that they would have taken your side if they had only thought of the matter. And if, perchance, there is nothing bearing even remotely or constructively on the point, do not be discouraged; get a good strong quotation, and put the name of the Fathers to it, and utter it with an air of triumph; it will be all just as well; nine-tenths of the people do not stop to ask whether a quotation bears on the matter in hand. Yes, my brother, the Fathers are your stronghold. They are Heaven’s best gift to the man who has a cause that cannot be sustained in any other way.” March 7, 1878.SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.3

    While the above is written in a humorous vein, it is strictly in harmony with the quotation taken from Dr. Clarke, and is in harmony with the facts in the case.SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.4

    We quote again from Mosheim. Speaking of certain works by Clement, Justin Martyr, Tatian, Theodotius, and others, he says that these works are lost, and adds:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.5

    “But this loss is the less to be regretted, since it is certain that no one of these expositors could be pronounced a good interpreter. They all believed the language of Scripture to contain two meanings, the most obvious and corresponding with the direct import of the words, the other recondite and concealed under the words, like a nut by the shell; and negating the former, as being of little value, they bestowed their chief attention on the latter; that is, they were more intent on throwing obscurity over the sacred writings by the fictions of their own imaginations, than on searching out their true meaning.”-Ecclesiastical History, book 1, cent. 2, part 2, chapter 5.SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.6

    In one of his latest works, “The History of Interpretation,” Archdeacon Farrar says of the Fathers:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.7

    “There are but few of them whose pages are not rife with errors, errors of method, errors of fact, errors of history, of grammar, and even of doctrine. This is the language of simple truth, not of slighting disparagement.”-Pp. 162, 163.SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.8

    Again on page 164 of the same book, Farrar says:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.9

    “Without deep learning, without linguistic knowledge about literary culture, without any final principles either as to the nature of the sacred writings or the method by which they should be interpreted-surrounded by Paganism, Judaism, and heresy of every description, and wholly dependent on a faulty translation-the earliest Fathers and apologists add little or nothing to our understanding of Scripture.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.10

    These quotations from Farrar have more than ordinary weight in this matter, for, besides the Catholic Church, there is no other church that depends so much upon the Fathers as does the Church of England, or Episcopal Church.SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.11

    In the last quotation from Farrar, this expression occurs: “Surrounded by Paganism, Judaism, and heresy of every description,” etc. This seems to be forgotten by most people who laud the Fathers. They speak of them as living near the time of the apostles, but overlook the fact that they lived still nearer to another time, namely, the time of gross paganism.SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.12

    “But,” says one, “there is this element in their favor, and against the idea that they were influenced more by paganism than by Christianity, and combated paganism; they studied the works of the apostles, and so took on their character.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.13

    This is a great mistake. As a matter of fact, the so-called Fathers studied the works of pagan philosophers far more than they did those of the apostles. They were “philosophers” themselves; and while they did indeed make a show of combating paganism, the weapons which they used were drawn from pagan philosophy more frequently than from the Bible. On this point De Quincey, in his essay on “The Pagan Oracles,” says:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.14

    “But here and everywhere, speaking of the Fathers as a body, we charge them with antichristian practices of a twofold order: Sometimes as supporting their great cause in a spirit alien to its own, retorting in a temper not less uncharitable than that of their opponents; sometimes, again, as adopting arguments that are unchristian in their ultimate grounds; resting upon errors the refutation of errors, upon superstitions the overthrow of superstitions; and drawing upon the armories of darkness for weapons that, to be durable, ought to have been of celestial temper.... On behalf of God, they were determined to be wiser than God; and, in demonstration of scriptural power, to advance doctrines which the Scriptures had nowhere warranted.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.15

    In his account of the Christian church in the second century, Mosheim says of “the controversial writers who distinguished themselves in this century:”-SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.16

    “A man of sound judgment who has due regard for truth, cannot extol them highly. Most of them lacked discernment, knowledge, application, good arrangement, and force. They often advance very flimsy arguments, and such as are suited rather to embarrass the mind than to convince the understanding.”-Ecclesiastical History, book 1, cent. 2, part 2, chap. 3, sec. 7.SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.17

    In the same chapter (section 10), Mosheim sums up the case concerning the Fathers as follows:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.18

    “To us it appears that their writings contain many things excellent, well considered, and well calculated to enkindle pious emotions; but also many things unduly rigorous, and derived from the stoic and academic philosophy; many things vague and indeterminate; and many things positively false, and inconsistent with the precepts of Christ. If one deserves the title of a bad master in morals, who has no just ideas of the proper boundaries and limitations of Christian duties, nor clear and distinct conceptions of the different virtues and views, nor a perception of those general principles to which recurrence should be had in all discussions respecting Christian virtue, and therefore very often talks at random, and blunders in expounding the divine laws; though he may say many excellent things, and excite in us considerable emotion; then I can readily admit that in strict truth, this title belongs to many of the Fathers.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.19

    After reading the above, we are not surprised that, in harmony with Dr. Clarke and the “Rev. Levi Philetus Dobbs,” Mosheim says:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.20

    “It is therefore not strange, that all sects of Christians can find in what are called the Fathers, something to favor their own opinions and systems.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.21

    This is strictly true; but although “these venerable stagers” sometimes stumbled upon the truth, they furnish the most aid and comfort to those sects which pursue the most unscriptural practices, as, for instance, the Catholics and the Mormons. It is very seldom that their testimony is quoted in behalf of any really scriptural doctrine or custom.SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.22

    Next week we shall pursue this subject somewhat further, and show that the Fathers used falsehoods in their controversies. W.SITI October 12, 1888, page 615.23

    “The Commentary. Second Epistle of Peter” The Signs of the Times, 14, 39.

    E. J. Waggoner

    2 Peter 1:1-4.
    (Lesson 1. Sabbath, Oct. 27.)

    1. To whom did Peter address his second epistle?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.1

    “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:1.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.2

    2. How is this “precious faith” obtained? Ib., last part.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.3

    3. What invocation did the apostle make in behalf of those whom he addressed?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.4

    “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” Verse 2.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.5

    4. What does grace do for those who accept it? Hebrews 4:16; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Titus 2:11.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.6

    5. Who alone have peace? Romans 5:1; Isaiah 59:8; 57:20, 21.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.7

    6. Then to what, in effect, is Peter’s invocation in verse 2 equivalent?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.8

    “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.9

    7. How are this grace and peace to be obtained? 2 Peter 1:2.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.10

    8. How much of that which is needful to the acquirement of life and godliness has God given to us?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.11

    “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” Verse 3.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.12

    9. How much does the apostle Paul say that God will do for us?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.13

    “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” Verse 3.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.14

    10. How is this aid brought to us? 2 Peter 1:3, last part.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.15

    11. What else is given by his divine power?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.16

    “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.” Verse 4, first part.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.17

    12. What may we gain by these “exceeding great and precious promises”?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.18

    13. What must we escape, in order to be made partakers of the divine nature?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.19

    14. Mention the greatest of these exceeding great and precious promises?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.20

    “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.21

    15. What does Paul say that we should do, in view of these promises?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.22

    “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.23

    16. Having become sons of God, what other promise necessarily follows?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.24

    “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:16, 17.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.25

    “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.26

    17. What must follow if a man really has this hope in him?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.27

    “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Verse 3.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.28

    18. What is “the corruption that is in the world through lust”?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.29

    “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15, 16.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.30

    “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:19, 20.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.31

    19. Then what change must take place to constitute one a “partaker of the divine nature,” a son of God?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.32

    “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.33

    “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26, 27.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.34

    20. What encouragement may we gain from a contemplation of the glory of God, which he will bestow upon his children?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.35

    “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” Ephesians 3:16.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.36

    21. Then how greatly may grace and peace be multiplied to us “through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”?SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.37

    “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.38

    NOTES

    The marginal rendering of verse 1, the rendering given in the Revised Version, more nearly conforms to the Greek than does the text. While we may not use a marginal rendering as the basis of any doctrine, the absolute divinity of Christ is so well established by other scriptures that we know that he is justly entitled to be called God as well as Saviour. For instance, Isaiah says of the Son to be given, that “his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. John says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John 1:1, 14. God the Father addresses the Son as follows: “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.” Hebrews 1:8. And when the redeemed shall see Jesus their Saviour coming in the clouds of heaven, they will say, “Lo, this is ur God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.” Isaiah 25:9. Let none, therefore, find fault with the rendering, “Our God and Saviour Jesus Christ,” nor fear to worship as God Him whom all the angels are commanded to worship.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.39

    The stress which the apostle Peter lays upon a knowledge of God is quite noticeable. Twice in this lesson it is mentioned. He would evidently impress upon our minds the necessity of a personal acquaintance with God-of knowing him as he would an intimate friend-and of loving him not simply because of what he does, but because of what he is. “God is love,” and “we love him because he first loved us.” It is this perception of his character which first draws us to him,-“the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.” Romans 2:4. By this we are made partakers of the divine nature, that is, adopted into the family of God. As sons of God, it necessarily follows that our acquaintance with him must become more and more intimate. It is this intimate acquaintance with God which multiplies peace to us. “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace.” Job 22:21. In Galatians 4:6-9 the apostle Paul makes a knowledge of God equivalent to a state of sonship. It is evident, therefore, that the knowledge of God, of which the apostles speaks, is far more than the simple knowledge and belief that God exists as Creator of the world.SITI October 12, 1888, page 617.40

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 39.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is rather amusing to witness the efforts of the National Association of Liquor Dealers to make it appear that their business is respectable by passing resolutions that such is the case. “They cannot, however,” remarks the New York Observer, “escape the odium of their business.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.1

    October 4 Elder S. N. Haskell, Elder W. C. White, Mrs. E. G. White, and Elder A. T. Jones and wife left Oakland en route for Minneapolis, Minn., expecting to arrive in season for the Biblical Institute, October 17, on which later date the session of the General Conference begins. After Conference Elder Jones will probably spend some months in Battle Creek laboring in connection with the College. He hopes to return to Oakland next summer.SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.2

    Says the New York Evangelist: “Only a prompt, firm, and united stand will make head against present inroads upon the Sabbath, and other of our cherished American institutions.” The Evangelist does well in that, at least in this instance, it claims for Sunday no divine authority (for by Sabbath it means Sunday); though inasmuch as it was many centuries ago the wild solar holiday of the principal pagan nations, it is not easy to see how it comes to be an “American institution.” Most Sunday-keepers claim that the practice of keeping the first day of the week or the Sabbath has come down to us from the days of the apostles, and yet they contradict themselves by calling it an “American institution.” When, will someone please tell us, did America institute the practice of keeping the first day of the week? It is very easy to see the propriety of calling the Fourth of July an American institution, but not as the Sunday.SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.3

    Quite a sensation has recently been occasioned in Germany by the publication of extracts from the late Emperor Frederick’s diary. These extracts show that Frederick was the leading spirit in the formation of the German empire. Emperor William himself said: “My son has his whole heart in the new state of affairs, while I do not.” And just after the coronation of his father as emperor, Frederick wrote: “Even the greatest improvements will not undo that which has been gained. Such experiences as I have had in the last decade cannot be in vain I shall have a strong hold over the united nations, because I shall be the first sovereign who without reserve adheres to constitutional institutions.” Frederick also expresses the pride he felt in the reproach of being too humane to bombard the city of Paris.SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.4

    The Tribune of this city thinks that the Seventh-day Adventists are needlessly alarmed about the Blair Sunday Bill. The Tribune evidently does not understand the situation. The bill in question may fail to become a law, but that does not prove by any means that the serious consideration of such a measure is not a menace to religious liberty in this country.SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.5

    The systematic and persistent efforts which are being made by hundreds of thousands of people banded together in various churches, associations, and societies throughout our land to secure religious legislation in this country, should arouse every liberty-loving citizen to a sense of danger, and set him to work to enlighten others in regard to National Reform designs and practices.SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.6

    Senator Blair may be, as the Tribune intimates, a harmless “crank,” but there are many thousands afflicted with the same religious legislation mania, and there is a dangerous method in their madness. We cannot afford to settle down in fancied security when such measures are being seriously proposed in the Senate of the United States.SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.7

    Beer is the popular drink of the masses in England; almost everybody drinks, and, as might be expected, drunkenness is fearfully common. The following extract from a recent London dispatch giving an account of a minister in that city only depicts scenes which would soon become common in every American city were the pernicious doctrine to obtain generally that beer-drinking promotes temperance. Says the dispatch:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.8

    “An hour before the murder hundreds of public houses in Whitechapel had closed their doors and filled the neighboring streets with drunken men and dissolute women. An American who has not visited London can scarcely form an idea of the throngs of women, many mothers with babies in their arms, who crowd the bar rooms on Saturday nights, drinking and carousing with men. Soon after midnight, when the doors are closed by the police, these wretched people stagger homeward, and a street brawl has to be unusually vicious for the police to take any notice of it.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.9

    It is anything but creditable to San Francisco that a few days since when the police raided a certain gambling hall in that city, they found their 312 visitors. A daily paper says:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.10

    “Three hundred citizens, from merchants and brokers down to clerks and common gamblers, were caught and marched off to the city prison in squads, amid the cheers of the populace. Millionaires’ sons and petty larceny thieves were gathered in together.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.11

    But while the fact of the mere presence of so many business men and clerks in such a place is bad enough, there is a still worse feature, for it might be urged that the majority were there simply out of curiosity. But the fact that after the hall was cleared fifty revolvers and an untold number of Chinese lottery tickets were picked up by the officers shows that if any respectable persons were there they had allowed themselves to be found in very bad company.SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.12

    Perhaps if San Francisco would disarm there would be fewer murders in that city, and life and property would certainly both be the safer if there were fewer revolvers carried by irresponsible and vicious persons, and it is only in exceptional cases that any but vicious persons care to carry concealed weapons.SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.13

    The West Oakland Herald, a local church paper wants a Sunday law. It says:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.14

    “Sabbath desecration will make the masses immoral. All countries which have tried the experiment of abrogating God’s holy day have been overtaken by many woes. California stands alone, or almost alone, in its refusal to enact a Sunday law. This is not creditable to the intelligence, progress, nor morality of its people.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.15

    Yes, Sabbath desecration is immoral, for it is a violation of the moral law; and it is certainly true that the Jews, at least, brought ruin upon their nation by refusing to obey the law of God in that particular. But it does not follow that Sabbath-keeping should be enforced by civil law. Besides all that, the connection between the moral law and Sunday is not apparent, for, as all agree, Sunday is quite another day than the one specified in the fourth commandment. Sunday stands as an institution of the church, and it is certainly anything but uncreditable to California that she refuses to enact a law are requiring the observance of a religious institution. The State has nothing whatever to do with religion except to guarantee to even the humblest citizen the right to worship according to the dictates of his own conscience, and Sunday laws, instead of being in the interest of liberty of conscience, are always and everywhere opposed to such liberty.SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.16

    “Wholesome Truth” The Signs of the Times, 14, 39.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In 1796, when James VI. of Scotland (I. of England), was attempting to force Episcopacy upon Scotland, a number of the Scottish clergy had an interview with the king, and when his Majesty accused them of holding seditious meetings (for so he characterized the meetings of the church for its own purposes), and of alarming the country without reason, one of them, Andrew Melville, thus answered him:-SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.17

    “Sir, at divers times before I have told you, so now again I must tell you, there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland; there is King James, the head of this commonwealth, and there is Christ Jesus, the king of the church, whose subject James the Sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but a member.... We will yield to you your place, and give you all do obedience; but again I say, You are not the head of the church, you cannot give us that eternal life which we seek for even in this world, and you cannot deprive us of it. Permit us then freely to meet in the name of Christ, and to attend to the interests of that church of which you are the chief member.”SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.18

    Which was equivalent to saying that they recognized the king’s authority in civil matters, but that in matters of religion they acknowledged no sovereign but Christ. And that is just what the Lord himself taught when he said: “Render therefore unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” It is to be regretted that all men have not as clear views of the true relation of Church and State as were expressed by Andrew Melville to King James.SITI October 12, 1888, page 624.19

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