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    November 23, 1888

    “Prayer that Prevails” The Signs of the Times, 14, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is some very important instruction given in regard to prayer, in the eighteenth chapter of Luke. What stronger assurance that prayer will be answered can be asked for than that given in the parable of the unjust judge? Note the contrast that is drawn. “There was in a city a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man.” His own ease and self-gratification absorbed all his thoughts. From sheer heartlessness he paid no attention to the poor widow’s appeal. But she was importunate; she could not give up her claim. No doubt her little property was in the hands of some extortioner, and her living depended upon the judge’s decision. It was a matter of life and death with her. She presses her claim at unseasonable hours. At last the judge, fearful lest his selfish ease will be seriously interfered with, avenges her of her adversary. He granted her request, although he had no interest in it, simply to get rid of her.SITI November 23, 1888, page 708.1

    Now mark the contrast. “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.” Not for the same reason that the unjust judge avenged the poor widow, but because he pities as a father, and his ear is ever open to the prayers of his children. The invitation is: “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee.” Let the fearful one take courage. Do not hesitate to cast upon him the burden that, although too heavy for your own unaided strength, seems too small to be noticed by him. Surely he who takes note of the tiny sparrow’s fall, and numbers the hairs of our heads, will not refuse to notice the simplest matter that affects the interest of one of his children. If we fail to ask aid in the smallest affairs of life, we must displease God. It is a virtual denial of his willingness to interest himself in little matters. But we should consider that God is infinitely greater than we, and the things that to us seem very great are very easy for him to perform. We cannot grasp the infinite, therefore it is idle to speculate upon what things are great and what small, in the eyes of God. better far to take God at his word and “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,” to let our requests be made known unto God.SITI November 23, 1888, page 708.2

    But good and evil are ever side by side. It is easy for the human heart to be deceived, and to mistake self-confidence for faith. This is illustrated in the Pharisee’s prayer. We seldom hear the Pharisee’s sentiments expressed so plainly, but who is not in danger of harboring them? That spirit is as much to be guarded against in our conversation as in our prayers. Many people do not speak of their own good deeds, but loudly condemn the faults of others, in order that their hearers may think that they themselves are free from such failings. Is not this Pharisean spirit the secret of all gossip concerning scandals? People naturally prone to evil deeds, love to dwell upon and magnify the faults of others, for by so doing they lost sight of their own. They make out so bad a case against their neighbor that their own short-comings seem small in comparison. We all need to heed the injunction, “Let no man think more highly of himself than he ought to think.” The publican’s prayer was answered, while the Pharisee’s was not heard, for “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” Who wishes to have the mighty God for his adversary? Let us all read carefully and heed James 4:6-11.SITI November 23, 1888, page 708.3

    “The Papacy. (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times, 14, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And shall wear out the saints of the Most High.” When we come to this particular, the evidence is overwhelming. Both time and language would fail to do justice to the matter. Prominent among Papal atrocities is the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day. On the 24th of August, 1572, was begun in Paris one of the most horrible, cold-blooded massacres that history records,-that of the Huguenots. The king himself, Charles IX., took part in it, shooting down many of those who were attempting to escape the fury of his soldiers. The number slain throughout France this occasion is placed by the best authorities at seventh thousand. To show Rome’s connection with the massacre, we quote the following from Wylie:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.1

    “At Rome, when the news arrived, the joy was boundless. The messenger who carried the dispatch was rewarded like one who brings tidings of some great victory, and the triumph that followed was such as old Pagan Rome might have been proud to celebrate.... Through the streets of the Eternal City swept, in the full blaze of pontifical pomp, Gregory and his attendant train of cardinals, bishops, and monks, to the Church of St. Mark, there to offer up prayers and thanksgiving to the see of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church.... On the following day the pontiff went in procession to the Church of Minerva, where, after mass, a jubilee was published to all Christendom, ‘that they might thank God for the slaughter of the enemies of the church, lately executed in France.’”-History of Protestantism, book 17, chap. 16, paragraph 15.SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.2

    But the saints were to be worn out. This implies more than outright slaughter. We quote one paragraph from the account of the imprisonment of the Waldenses, when, at the command of Louis XIV., who was the obedient servant of the Pope, they had been driven from their valleys:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.3

    “We know not if ever before an entire nation were in prison at once. Yet now it was so. All of the Waldensian race that remained from the sword of their executioners were immured in the dungeons of Piedmont! ... And how were they treated in prison? As the African slave was treated on the ‘middle passage.’ They had a sufficiency of neither food nor clothing. The bread dealt out to them was fetid. They had putrid water to drink. They were exposed to the sun by day and to the cold at night. They were compelled to sleep on the bare pavement, or on straw so full of vermin that the stone floor was preferable. Disease broke out in their horrible abodes, and the mortality was fearful. ‘When they entered these dungeons,’ says Henri Armand, ‘they counted fourteen thousand healthy mountaineers, but when, at the intercession of the Swiss deputies, their prisons were opened, three thousand skeletons only crawled out.”-Id, book 16, chap. 13, paragraph 18.SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.4

    In the above instance we see how an entire nation was literally worn out, yet we have scarcely more than hinted at the atrocities visited upon the innocent Waldenses. How many millions of martyrs have been put to death in the name of Christianity, by that most unchristian and antichristian power, the Papacy, will never be known until the dead, small and great, stand before God. In this way, perhaps, more than by its wonderful pretensions and blasphemous titles, has the Papacy spoken great words against the Most High; because, since it professes to be Christian, it has caused the enemies of Christ to revile the Christian religion, which they ignorantly supposed to be responsible for so many outrages. The Papacy has done more to make infidels than all other causes combined.SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.5

    “And think to change times and laws.” The Papacy has not hesitated to lay impious hands even upon the laws of God, and has remodeled the ten commandments to suit herself. To allow for her image worship, she has expunged the main portion of the second commandment, adding the remainder to the first, and has divided the tenth in order to make the number good. She also openly boasts of having changed the fourth commandment, as the following will show:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.6

    The first question of chapter 23 of “The Catholic Christian Instructed” is this:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.7

    “What are the days which the church commands to be kept holy?”SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.8

    And the answer is,-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.9

    “1st, The Sundays, or the Lord’s day, which we observe by apostolical tradition, instead of the Sabbath,” etc.SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.10

    Again the question is asked:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.11

    “What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday, preferable to the ancient Sabbath, which was the Saturday?SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.12

    Answer-We have for it the authority of the Catholic Church, and apostolical tradition.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.13

    It may be said that there is no undue assumption of authority here, since “apostolical tradition” is given as the reason for the church’s celebration of Sunday instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. But the Catholic Church does not claim that it has any warrant from the Bible for its practice. The next question is:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.14

    “Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?”SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.15

    In answer to this, reference is made to three passages of Scripture, in which the first day of the week is mentioned, and then the answer continues:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.16

    “But neither one nor the other tells us that this first day of the week was to be henceforward the day of worship, and the Christian Sabbath, so that truly, the best authority we have for this is the testimony and ordinance of the church. And therefore those who pretend to be so religious observers of the Sunday, whilst they take no notice of other festivals ordained by the same church authority, show that they act by humor, and not by reason and religion; since Sundays and holy days all stand upon the same foundation, viz., the ordinance of the church.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.17

    Without stopping to discuss whether or not the Bible authorizes the change from the Sabbath of the commandment to the first day of the week, it is sufficient to note that the Catholic Church claims that it has made the change by its own authority, thus arrogating to itself the power to undo the decrees of God. That it does expressly set itself above the Bible, is further shown by the following from “A Sure Way to Find Out the True Religion:”-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.18

    “Lastly, the keeping holy the Sunday is a thing absolutely necessary to salvation; and yet this is nowhere put down in the Bible; on the contrary, the Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy’ (Exodus 20:8), which is Saturday, and not Sunday; therefore, the Bible does not contain all things necessary to salvation, and, consequently, cannot be a sufficient rule of faith.”-Pp. 95, 96.SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.19

    But the Bible is a more sure and sufficient guide in all things.“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16. 17. “Every word of God is pure; he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”Proverbs 30:5, 6. Whatever varies in the slightest degree from the Scripture standard, must be wrong. He who adds to his words will be found to be a liar. Now, since the Papacy does add to the words of the Lord, and boasts of its power to do so, it follows that it is one with that sytem of religion of which Paul says that its votaries “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator.” Romans 1:25. It puts a man in the place of God, and boasts of its power to change the words of God, and to command the consciences of men, contrary to the decrees of God; and thus it exalts itself above God. What greater words could be spoken against the Most High?SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.20

    Since the Bible alone is the true standard of faith and morals, it is very evident that when any power sets itself above the Bible, corruption must follow. The history of the Roman Catholic Church shows that this is absolutely true. The power that sets itself above God necessarily sets itself against God; but as God is the embodiment of all goodness, that which is opposed to him must be the embodiment of all wickedness. Therefore, according to the prophetic declaration concerning the assumptions of the Papacy, we should expect to see in it the very depths of iniquity. A very few quotations will be given concerning the apostasy which resulted in the full development of “that Wicked,” “the man of sin.” Dr. Wylie, in his “History of Protestantism,” says:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.21

    “The moment inspired men cease to address us, and that their disciples and scholars take their place-men of apostolic spirit and doctrine, no doubt, but without the direct knowledge of their predecessors-we become sensible of a change; an eclipse has passed upon the exceeding glory of the gospel. As we pass from Paul to Clement, and from Clement to the Fathers that succeeded him, we find the gospel becoming less of grace and more of merit. The light wanes as we travel down the patristic road, and remove ourselves farther from the apostolic dawn. It continues for some time at least to be the same gospel, but its glory is shorn, its mighty force is abated; and we are reminded of the change that seems to pass upon the sun, when after contemplating him in a tropical hemisphere, we see him in a northern sky, where his slanting beams, forcing their way through mists and vapors, are robbed of half their splendor. Seen through the fogs of the patristic age, the gospel scarcely looks the same which had burst upon the world without a cloud but a few centuries before.”-Book I, chap. 2, paragraph 11.SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.22

    The Doctor was more charitable than the facts will warrant, in saying that the Fathers were no doubt men of apostolic spirit and doctrine. They were at best but half heathen, whatever their intentions may have been, for they drank from the muddy pool of heathen philosophy instead of at the pure fountain of divine revelation; and their great effort was to assimilate Christianity and pagan philosophy. In this they succeeded but too well. W.SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.23

    (To be continued.)

    “The ‘Epistles of Ignatius’” The Signs of the Times, 14, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Among the early writings to which appeal is frequently made in behalf of the Sunday institution are the “Epistles of Ignatius.” But before we make any statements or quotations concerning Ignatius or the epistles ascribed to him, we will give the only passage in the epistles which is supposed to teach the observance of Sunday. It is the ninth chapter of the epistle to the Magnesians, and, as translated, reads as follows:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.24

    “If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s day, on which also our life has sprung up again by him and by his death-whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master-how shall we be able to live apart from him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for him as their teacher? And therefore he whom they rightly waited for, being come, raised them from the dead.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.25

    The writer of the article, “The Lord’s Day,” in Kitto’s “Encyclopedia of Religious Literature,” after mentioning several alleged testimonies in favor of Sunday, says:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.26

    “We must here notice one other passage of earlier date than any of these, which has often been referred to as bearing on the subject of the Lord’s day, though it certainly contains no mention of it. It occurs in the epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians (about A. D. 100). The whole passage is confessedly obscure, and the text may be corrupt.... The passage is as follows:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.27

    ....SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.28

    “Now many commentators assume (on what grounds does not appear) that after xuritsen the word ... is to be understood. On this hypothesis they endeavor to make the rest of the sentence accord with a reference to the observance of the Lord’s day, by further supposing en he to refer to hera understood and the whole to be put in contrast with sabbatou tes in the former clause.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 710.29

    “Let us now look at the passage simply as it stands. The defect of the sentence is the want of a substantive to which auto can refer. This defect, so far from being remedied, is rendered still more glaring by the introduction of hetra. Now if we take ... as simply ‘the life of the Lord,’ having a more personal meaning, it certainly goes nearer to supplying the substantive to auto. Again, hen he may well refer to zoen, and xuritche zoen meaning our Lord’s life, as emphatically including his resurrection (as in Romans 5:10, etc.), presents precisely the same analogy in the spiritual life of the Christian as is conveyed both in Romans 5, Colossians 3:3, 4, and many other passages. Thus upon the whole the meaning might be given thus:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.1

    “‘If those who lived under the old dispensation have come to the newness of hope, no longer keeping Sabbaths, but living according to our Lord’s life (in which, as it were, our life has risen again, through him, and his death which some deny), ... how shall we be able to live without him? ...SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.2

    “In this way (allowing for the involved style of the whole) the meaning seems to us simple, consistent, and grammatical, without any gratuitous introduction of words understood; and this view has been followed by many, though it is a subject on which considerable controversy has existed. On this view the passage does not refer at all to the Lord’s day; but even on the opposite supposition it cannot be regarded as affording any positive evidence to the early use of the term ‘Lord’s day’ (for which it is often cited), since the material word rehma is purely conjectural.”-Encyclopedia of Biblical Literature, art. Lord’s Day.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.3

    Thus we have the testimony of an unprejudiced witness, a scholar and critic, and an observer of the first day of the week, to the effect that the oft-quoted passage from Ignatius makes no reference whatever to the first day of the week, sometimes erroneously called “Lord’s day.” But whether it does or not is a matter of very little importance, as we shall see when we have examined all the witnesses in the case. We have given this extract that the reader may see that, however the epistle be regarded, it affords no aid or comfort to the adherents of Sunday, since it makes no allusion whatever to the day. But the candid man who knows the truth about the writings of Ignatius would not consider the Sunday cause strengthened in the least, even if they contained the most explicit and unequivocal reference to it. We shall now proceed to learn what we can of Ignatius and his epistles.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.4

    The “Encyclopedia Britannica” says:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.5

    “The information we get in regard to Ignatius, up to the time of Eusebius, is exceedingly scanty.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.6

    “McClintock and Strong’s Encyclopedia” says:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.7

    “We have no trustworthy accounts of the life and ministry of Ignatius. The chief authority is the ‘Martyrium Ignatii,’ but even those who assert the genuineness of that work admit that it is greatly interpolated.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.8

    Uhlhorn, in the “Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia,” says:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.9

    “The only sources from which any information can be drawn about this celebrated person are the epistles circulating under his name. Eusebius knows nothing more of him than what can be extracted from the epistles, with the exception of a few short notices by Irenaeus and by Origen, which he also knows. But the list which he gives of the bishops of Antioch is doubtful with respect to its chronology.... What tradition else has preserved concerning Ignatius-the story that he was the child spoken of in Matthew 18:5, and other fictions by Simeon Metaphrastes and Vincentius-is completely worthless.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.10

    From the above, then, it would seem as if not very much would be known with certainty, since we get all our information from the epistles, and the epistles themselves are of somewhat doubtful authority. But let us hear more concerning them. In the introductory notice to the epistles, we find the following statements by the translator:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.11

    “There are, in all, fifteen epistles which bear the name of Ignatius.... It is now the universal opinion of critics, that the first eight of these professedly Ignatian letters are spurious.... But after the question has been thus simplified, it still remains sufficiently complex. Of the seven epistles which are acknowledged by Eusebius, we possess two Greek recensions, a shorter and a longer. It is plain that one or the other of these exhibits a corrupt text, and scholars have for the most part agreed to accept the shorter form as representing the genuine letters of Ignatius.” “But although the shorter form of the Ignatian letters had been generally accepted in preference to the longer, there was still a pretty prevalent opinion among scholars, that even it could not be regarded as absolutely free from the interpolations, or as of undoubted authenticity.... But whether the smaller themselves are the genuine writings of Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, is a question that has been much disputed, and has employed the pens of the ablest critics. And whatever positiveness some may have shown on either side, I must own I have found it a very difficult question.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.12

    Dr. Killen thus briefly and clearly sets forth the history of the Ignatian epistles:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.13

    “The history of the Ignatian epistles may well remind us of the story of the Sibylline books. A female in strange attire is said to have appeared before Tarquin of Rome, offering to sell nine manuscripts which she had in her possession; but the king, discouraged by the price, declined the application. The woman withdrew; destroyed the one-third of her literary treasures; and, returning again into the royal presence, demanded the same price for what were left. The monarch once more refused to come up to her terms; and the mysterious visitor retired again, and burnt the one-half of her remaining store. Her extraordinary conduct excited much astonishment; and, on consulting with his angurs, Tarquin was informed that the documents which she had at her disposal were most valuable, and that he should by all means endeavor to secure such a prize. The king now willingly paid for the three books, not yet committed to the flames, the full price originally demanded for all the manuscripts. The Ignatian epistles have experienced something like the fate of those Sibylline oracles.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.14

    “In the sixteenth century, fifteen letters were brought out from beneath the mantel of a hoary antiquity, and offered to the world as the productions of the pastor of Antioch. Scholars refused to receive them on the terms required, and forthwith eight of them were admitted to be forgeries. In the seventeenth century, the seven remaining letters, in a somewhat altered form, again came forth from obscurity, and claimed to be the works of Ignatius. Again, discerning critics refused to acknowledge their pretensions; but curiosity was roused by this second apparition, and many expressed an earnest desire to obtain a sight of the real epistles. Greece, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt were ransacked in search of them, and at length three letters are found. The discovery creates general gratulation; it is confessed that four of the epistles, so lately asserted to be genuine, are apocryphal; and it is boldly said that the three now forthcoming are above challenge. But truth still refuses to be compromised, and sternly disowns these claimants for her approbation. The internal evidence of these three epistles abundantly attests that, like the last three books of the Sibyl.They are only the last shifts of a grave imposture.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.15

    Let us set this matter clearly in our minds. But little is known of Ignatius except what is learned from these epistles, and it is charged that these epistles are spurious. How, then, it may be asked, do we know that such a person existed? 1. There is slight reference made to him in one or two other documents. 2. If there had not been such a person, it is not probable that letters would have been put forth bearing his name. The Catholic Church has never hesitated to manufacture history or doctrine when it could not find what it wanted already written. These documents have always been given the name of some person of good repute, and they served the purpose of the church as well as if they were genuine. Now when we remember that this same “mystery of iniquity” was working even as far back as the days of Paul, we need not be surprised that, less than a century later, writings already in existence were garbled, and that designing persons wrote epistles and signed the names of eminent men to them, in order to give them currency. Indeed, we find in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 that this very thing was done in the days of Paul, and that the apostle’s own name was used to give currency to false doctrine.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.16

    Therefore while we may believe that such a man as Ignatius lived, and that he suffered martyrdom for his faith, we need not believe that he wrote the egotistical trash that is attributed to him. Indeed, we cannot believe that he wrote it, if we regard him as a holy man.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.17

    We now proceed with the testimony. In the preface to his “Ancient Church,” Dr. Killen says of the Ignatian epistles:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.18

    “If we accredit these documents, the history of the early church is thrown into a state of hopeless confusion; and men, taught and honored by the apostles themselves, must have inculcated the most dangerous errors. But if their claims vanish, when touched by the wand of truthful criticism, many clouds which have hitherto darkened the ecclesiastical atmosphere disappear; and the progress of corruption can be traced on scientific principles.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.19

    Neander says of the so-called “Epistles of Ignatius;” “Even the shorter and more trustworthy edition is very much interpolated.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.20

    And Dr. Killen closes up his remarks on the subject of the epistles as follows:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.21

    “It is no mean proof of the sagacity of the great Calvin, that, upwards of three hundred years ago, he passed a sweeping sentence of condemnation on these Ignatian epistles.... His language respecting them has been often quoted, but we feel we cannot more appropriately close our observations on this subject than by another repetition of it. ‘There is nothing more abominable than that trash which be in circulation under the name if Ignatius.’”-Ancient Church, period 2, sec. 2, chap 3, paragraph 12.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.22

    After these strong statements the reader will doubtless have some curiosity to read a little of this “trash.” Accordingly, we give a few extracts from it. In the epistle to the Ephsians, chapter 1, we find the following:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.23

    “On hearing that I came bound from Syria for the common name and hope, trusting through your prayers to be permitted to fight with beasts at Rome, that so by martyrdom I may indeed become the disciples of him ‘who gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God’ (ye hastened to see me).”SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.24

    The writer seems to have an idea that only by martyrdom could he be a true disciple of the Lord, and he manifests an unseemly haste for it, which we are sure would not be the case with a holy man who was really expecting martyrdom.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.25

    In the following paragraphs he again expresses his ardent desire to be eaten up:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.26

    “I write to the churches and impress on them all, that I shall willingly die for God, unless ye hinder me. I beseech of you not to show an unreasonable goodwill toward me. Suffer me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, and let me be granted by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may have nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep (in death), I may be no trouble to anyone. Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Entreat Christ for me, that by these instruments I may be found a sacrifice (to God).”SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.27

    “May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me; and I pray they may be found eager to rush upon me, which also I will entice to devour me speedily, and not deal with me as with some, whom, out of fear, they have not touched. But if they be unwilling to assail me, I will compel them to do so. Pardon me (in this): I know what is for my benefit. Now I begin to be a disciples.”-Epistle to the Romans, chap. 4. 5.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.28

    There are many passages similar to the above. They prove, what we find from the most unexceptionable testimony is the case, that the idea very early began to prevail that a martyr was more sure of gaining Heaven than one who simply lived a good life, and died a natural death. The idea was that whatever sins the individual had upon him were washed away by the shedding of his own blood. As a consequence many fanatical people eagerly sought martyrdom, and it came to be considered as almost a mortal sin to flee in time of persecution. The idea that the martyrs were cleansed from sin by their own blood finds its modern counterpart in the famous “blood atonement” among the Mormons. It is unnecessary to do more than remind the reader of the limited views of the atonement of Christ, which must have been held by such people.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.29

    That the “Epistles of Ignatius” were written by someone who was anxious that the bishops should have a chance to lord it over God’s heritage, is evident from the following extracts:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.30

    “It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord himself.”-Epistle to the Ephsians, chap. 6.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.31

    “It becomes both men and women who marry, to form their union with the approval of the bishop that their marriage may be according to God, and not after their own lust.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.32

    “Give ye heed to the bishop, that God also may give heed to you. My soul be for theirs that are submissive to the bishop, to the presbyters, and to the deacons, and may my portion be along with them in God!”-Epistle to Polycarp, chap. 5, 6.SITI November 23, 1888, page 711.33

    The following “great mystery” which this pseudo-Ignatius reveals, shows that the writer was a fit companion for Hermas and the pseudo-Barnabas:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.1

    “Now the virginity of Mary was hidden from the prince of this world, as was also her offspring, and the death of the Lord; three mysteries of renown, which were wrought in silence by God. How, then, was he manifested to the world? A star shone forth in heaven above all the other stars, the light of which was inexpressible, while its novelty struck men with astonishment. And all the rest of the stars, with the sun and moon, formed a chorus to this star, and its light was exceedingly great above them all. And there was agitation felt as to whence this new spectacle came, so unlike to everything else (in the heavens). Hence every kind of magic was destroyed, and even, bond of wickedness disappeared; ignorance was removed, and the old kingdom abolished, God himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life. And now that took a beginning which had been prepared by God. Henceforth all things were in a state of tumult, because he meditated the abolition of death.”-Epistle to the Ephesians, chap. 19.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.2

    And, lastly, we quote the following jargon as evidence of the senseless egotism of the one who wrote this “trash:”-SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.3

    “Am I not able to write to you of heavenly things? But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are but babes (in Christ). Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive (such doctrines), ye should be strangled by them. For even I, though I am bound (for Christ), yet am not on that account able to understand heavenly things, and the places of the angels, and their gatherings under their places of the angels, and their gatherings under their respective princes, things visible and invisible. Without reference to such abstruse subjects, I am still but a learner (in other respects); for many things are wanting to us, that we come not short of God.”-Epistle to the Trallians, chap. 5.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.4

    If this were the age when insane persons were regarded as sacred beings, and as being possessed of divine inspiration, we should not wonder at the great esteem with which this stuff is held by many people; but as it is, there is a mystery about it. When people who have access to the works of the world’s master minds, to say nothing of the sublime truths of the Bible, spend their precious time studying the writings of the so-called Fathers, it seems as though they must be possessed of something akin to that mental and moral depravity which leads the school boy to devour the dime novel. W.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.5

    “The Commentary. The Second Epistle of Peter” The Signs of the Times, 14, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    2 Peter 2:10-22.
    (Lesson 7, Sabbath, Dec. 8.)

    1. What does the apostle Peter say of the character of the false teachers who in the last days shall cause many to err from the truth?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.6

    “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children.” 2 Peter 2:10, 12-14.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.7

    2. What shows their contempt for authority? Verse 10.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.8

    “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” “But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” Jude 8, 10.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.9

    3. How does their conduct in this respect contrast with that of beings who are really great?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.10

    “Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.” 2 Peter 2:11.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.11

    4. What example of Christ’s have we concerning speaking evil even of the wicked?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.12

    “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” Jude 9.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.13

    5. What positive commandment have we concerning our attitude toward those holding high positions?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.14

    “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God.” Romans 13:1.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.15

    “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” 1 Timothy 2:1, 2.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.16

    6. Are we at liberty to make an exception in the case of wicked rulers? 1 Timothy 2:1, 2.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.17

    “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men.” Titus 3:1, 2.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.18

    7. Whose example does the apostle say these false teachers follow?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.19

    “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” 2 Peter 2:15.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.20

    “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Jude 11.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.21

    8. Relate in brief the circumstances of Balaam’s connection with the children of Israel. See Numbers, chapters 22, 23, 24.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.22

    9. What is said of the instability of such ones, and of their final end?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.23

    “These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.” 2 Peter 2:17.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.24

    “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear; clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” Jude 12, 13.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.25

    10. By what means do they allure souls to destruction?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.26

    “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.” 2 Peter 2:18.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.27

    11. What do they promise those who follow them?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.28

    “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption; for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” Verse 19.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.29

    12. Yet into what bondage do they bring their dupes?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.30

    “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.31

    13. To what are people made subject through fear of death?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.32

    “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:14, 15.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.33

    14. What is it that causes death and the fear of it?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.34

    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.35

    15. Then what is it that brings men into bondage?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.36

    16. Who alone can give freedom?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.37

    “For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death.” Psalm 102:19, 20.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.38

    “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.” Isaiah 61:1.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.39

    17. Where alone is true liberty found?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.40

    “And I will walk at liberty; for I seek thy precepts.” Psalm 119:45.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.41

    18. What profit is it to a man to be freed from the pollutions of the world, if he afterwards returns to them?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.42

    “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” 2 Peter 2:20, 21.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.43

    19. Then what should be done by each one who has come to the knowledge of Christ?SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.44

    “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.45

    NOTES

    “They are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” The dignities, or, more literally, glories, here referred to are doubtless supernatural powers, whether good or bad. The Syrian has it, “They shudder not with awe while they blaspheme.” The meaning evidently is that these presumptuous, licentious teachers of what they claim is religion, have no regard for authority. This is shown by the first part of the verse, where it is said that they “despise government.” There is no special class of people to whom the specifications of this chapter will apply, except Spiritualists. Not that all Spiritualists are actually openly immoral; but there is not one who does not hold to doctrines that naturally lead to immorality. They teach that man is himself a part of God, and so is amenable to no power but himself; that he is a law to himself, and is his own judge. Now it makes no difference how much men practice their culture, refinement, elevation, and morality, when they shut themselves off from the only Source of morality. When men teach that the impulses of their own natures are the only law to be followed, they must eventually land in the pit of corruption.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.46

    But when men despise the government of God, it is but a step to the despising of all human authority. Indeed, when men do not regard the claims of God, whatever obedience they render to human laws is due solely to fear of immediate punishment. In the Bible honor to earthly kings is placed next to the fear of God. Says Peter, “Fear God. Honor the king.” 1 Peter 2:17. And the commandment to ancient Israel was:“Thou shalt not revile God, nor curse a ruler of thy people.” Exodus 22:28, Revised Version. It is worthy of note that most Spiritualists are open sympathizers with anarchy. Respect for authority is the prime factor in true religion. The man who is not afraid to speak evil of those who are in authority, who rails at those who are in official position, whether in Heaven, or in earthly governments, is a dangerous man. He may not do any great evil, because of lack of opportunity; but once let him have an opportunity, without the fear of physical punishment to deter him, and there is nothing to restrain him from going to the greatest lengths. It is a bad sign to see a man railing at even a wicked ruler. When Peter wrote, “honor the king,” and Paul wrote, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers” (Romans 13:1) wicked kings were reigning. But they occupied the place of authority and their official position was to be respected, however wicked they might be.SITI November 23, 1888, page 712.47

    Says the apostle: “They allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.” A man always falls, if he does fall, in the direction toward which he leans. Says Christ: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness.” Mark 7:21, 22. Now with these propensities existing naturally in the heart, it inevitably follows that when a man heeds the words of those who “despise government,” he will fall to the lowest depths of vice.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.1

    So the apostle continues: “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” These false teachers, and their same nowadays is legion, talk a great deal about “liberty.” They refuse to be bound down by laws. They tell their dupes to assert their godlike power and be free. It was thus that Satan tempted Eve. “Ye shall be like God,” said he, and he made her believe that the just law of God was arbitrary, and devised solely for the purpose of keeping man in an inferior position. Too late she found out the baseness of such a charge. “The bondage of corruption” is the worst bondage conceivable. Even in this life men find that liberty is found only in obedience to law. Daniel Wise truly said that “perfect liberty is perfect obedience to a perfect law.” Law is the best friend that man has. And “the glorious liberty of the sons of God” will be shared only by such as “keep the law of God.” They will have the freedom of God’s universe throughout eternity, while to those who seek liberty in following their own desires is reserved “the blackness of darkness forever.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.2

    “The Commentary. Israel Under Judges” The Signs of the Times, 14, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    NOTES ON THE INTERNATIONAL LESSON.
    ISRAEL UNDER JUDGES.
    (December 2.-Judges 2:23.)

    Only a generation had passed since the Israelites had vowed to devote themselves to the service of God. The inspired record declares that “the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that he did for Israel.... And there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim.” The startling testimony of history declares that the people of whom Moses had inquired, “What nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? and what nation is there so great that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” forsook the Lord to serve Baalim.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.3

    The only way that we can have any fair comprehension of the degradation this implies, is to compare the idolatry they had chosen to the sacred and glorious worship they had forsaken. The thought of such depths of debasement following such heights of exaltation fills us with horror and astonishment. It seems a thing incredible. The psalmist, speaking of the requirements of God’s service, says, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” The children of Israel had been chosen to obedience. For a time they shone as lights in the midst of the perverse and crooked nations of the world, reflecting the divine image. The blessings of Heaven were for them. But they did evil and served Baal. They forsook their God. Probably this was not done by a sudden departure. We know how apostasy comes: First it is a conviction stifled, a duty neglected, then a glorifying of self and a worshiping and serving of the creature more than the Creator, and then a sinking down into grosser and grosser sins till we are corrupted, full of wounds and bruises and putrefying sores. Says the prophet of one who had forsaken God, “A deceived heart hath turned him aside.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.4

    They served Baalim. Language fails to describe the degradation, the utter vileness, of the idolatry chosen by the people of God as a substitute for the worship of the Holy One of Israel. The worship of Baal, or the sun, was the most abhorrent of all heathen worship. It was the lowest of all idolatry, with which was connected licentious rites of the most debasing character. It afforded an opportunity for the display of the carnal nature to the full.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.5

    That the worship of the sun was the most abominable form of heathenism, is evident from the words of the Lord to the prophet Ezekiel. While the prophet was with the captives in Babylon, he was taken in vision to Jerusalem, and shown the abominable deeds of the Jews who still remained in that city. He was first shown the “image of jealousy” at the door of the inner court of the temple, and the Lord said to him: “Seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.” Ezekiel 8:6.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.6

    Then he was shown “every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall” of the temple, and seventy elders offering incense, and was again told that he should see even greater abominations.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.7

    Next he was brought to the door of the temple, and there saw the women “weeping for Tammuz,” the Babylonian Adonis, whose worship was conducted with the most lascivious rites, but was told that he should be shown greater abominations still. These last and greatest abominations are thus described:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.8

    “And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.” Verse 16.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.9

    The “Encyclopedia Britannica,” speaking of Baal, says:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.10

    “As the sun-god he is conceived as the male principle of life and reproduction in nature, and thus in some forms of his worship is the patron of the grossest sensuality, and even of systematic prostitution. An example of this is found in the worship of Baal-Peor (Numbers 25), and in general in the Canaanitish high places, where Baal, the male principle, was worshiped in association with the unchaste goddess Ashera, the female principle of nature.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.11

    Have we not marveled and inquired, How could these people go to such depths of debasement? Perhaps we have thought that such idolatry and defilement was a thing of the past, and belonged alone to those of earlier ages. Alas! that this is not true. These things were written for our admonition. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Not man, certainly, for the Lord declares, “I the Lord search the heart.” Let the Spirit of God be grieved away, let circumstances remove their restraint, let it become popular to serve Baal, and who will be like Elijah and the seven thousand who withstood the tide of idolatry? Even now if you could penetrate into the secret chambers as did Ezekiel you would see many who bear the name of Christ worshiping before Baal and Ashteroth. Yes, even in the gates of the house dedicated to God, the idols of pride, lust, and selfishness are worshiped publicly. Says Paul: “In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, ... having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” Even the professed church of Christ is to be defiled with the lovers of self, and these times are perilous times, for it is a time when Israel is sweeping off into the outgoing tide of idolatry, and only he will stand who is anchored to the eternal Rock.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.12

    “And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.” Were the children of Israel so blinded that they could not read in the nations the direful effects of idolatry? Did they not behold the image of the earthly, the sensual, the devilish, in those who had corrupted themselves with the gods they had served? Their gods were simply the image of their own debased and ever degrading nature. They bowed themselves down indeed, when they were making obeisance to such idols.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.13

    “And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers ... so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, ... and they were greatly distressed.” Again and again it has been demonstrated that “the way of the transgressor is hard.” Every transgressor experiences this bitter result, and yet the slave of Satan is deceived, beguiled again and again into the paths of sin. The children of Israel had been warned. God had set before them life and good, and death and evil, and they made their own choice. They sowed to the flesh, and of the flesh reaped corruption.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.14

    But God is long-suffering and plenteous in mercy. His heart of infinite love yearned for his rebellious children, and the next verse after the terrible description of their foul apostasy begins, “Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.” And still they did not acknowledge his hand. Perhaps it seemed to them as an ordinary thing that they were plucked from the power of their enemies, for “they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a-whoring after other gods.” Again they tasted the bitter fruit of transgression, bringing anguish upon their souls. The Lord heard their groaning by reason of those that oppressed them, and again in the abundance of his pity he delivered them.SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.15

    Israel’s course was like the fluctuation of the sea. They progressed to retrograde, and retrograded to return, but at last “they ceased not from their stubborn way.” The Lord had promised to drive out their enemies if they would walk in his ways, but now he declares, “I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died.” But, even in this stern and just sentence, runs a thread of divine compassion, for he adds, “That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk therein.” God could not give them up. Bad as they were, he saw in them the possibility of purity through the infinite merit of his grace. He would use the nations as scourges to chasten his people, that they might return to him who could cleanse their sins, and redeem their lives from destruction. It is thus he deals with us in this season of apostasy; but the day of his patience is fast hastening to its close. Says the prophet: “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.” Now is the time to tear down the idols, for soon a selfish but bitter cry will sound from the fearful and unbelieving, from liar and idolater. “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 713.16

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The festival ceremonies in honor of the three Jesuits who were canonized last January by Pope Leo XIII., were inaugurated on the 11th inst. in St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco. The ceremonies on that day were in honor of St. Peter Claver. The following Sunday was devoted to the veneration of “St.” John Berchmans, while on the last Sunday in the month like idolatrous homage will be paid to “St.” Alphonsus Rodriquez.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.1

    Among other things the New England Evangelist for October asks information-SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.2

    “As to the place in the Bible where we are taught that the first day of the week is a holy day, and to be observed by Christians as such, as the Sabbath was observed by the Jews.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.3

    All we can do is to pass the Evangelist’s query along. We know of no place in the Scriptures where anything of the kind is even intimated. We do, however, remember having seen a text which says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.... The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” There is no reason why anybody should get tangled on the Sabbath question: the teaching of the word of God is very plain upon that point.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.4

    Says an Eastern exchange: “In 1877, the import of opium into China reached the enormous amount of 9,825,611 pounds, and this means an increase of four hundred tons over the import of the preceeding year. And this work is fostered under the protecting care of a Christian Government.”SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.5

    To what base uses is the name Christian put when it is applied to even the best civil Governments which this world has ever seen. The simple recognition of Christianity by a State no more makes it a Christian nation than submitting to the rite of baptism makes an individual a Christian. We read not long since a statement that all the saloons in Constantinople are kept by Christians’ but it is false, the man who keeps a liquor saloon is not a Christian, and no more is the nation Christian that sustains the opium of liquor traffic.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.6

    “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation” are two of the characteristics of the Christian. The Lord has no use for a discouraged man; and it is certain that a gloomy, morose, despondent man cannot be a perfect Christian. This is evident from the exhortation of the apostle, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4. A man’s rejoicing is the evidence that he has hope, and if he has no hope, he is in a pitiable condition indeed. See 1 Corinthians 15:19. If a man really has hope in God, and in his promises, he must rejoice. If he doubts the fulfillment of these promises, and so fears that he may fail of them, then he does not really hope to receive them; but if he has a well grounded hope in God, he cannot help rejoicing. This does not imply that the Christian is to have vain self-confidence, as though, having once professed faith in Christ, nothing can cause him to fail. The psalmist says, “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” Psalm 2:11. We are to remember that we stand by faith, and so are not to be high minded, but to fear. But this kind of fear, distrust of self, only leads us to depend on Christ, who is everlasting strength; and so long as our trust is in him we are safe, and have good reason to rejoice. And so it is that our very fear and trembling may and should be turned into joy even hope.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.7

    The Lutheran Standard is credited with the statement that in some of the schools of Cambria County, Pa., Roman Catholic catechisms are used, as are also text-books prepared by Catholic priests. Twelve sisters of Charity wearing the peculiar costume of their order are employed as teachers. This is carrying things a step further than in Boston, where they only banished a text-book which stated in a very mild manner a well-known historical fact relative to the sale of indulgences by Tetzel in the days of Leo X.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.8

    It is with sincere regret that we learn of the death, on the 30th ult., of Rev. W. C. Van Meter, of Rome, Italy. We formed a very pleasant acquaintance with him while he was on the coast last summer, and his pleas for the Bible in Italy touched and interested many hearts. Following is a brief sketch of his life and labors:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.9

    He was born in Kentucky in 1820, converted at thirteen; in 1837 he entered Shurtleff College; in 1838, Greenville College, Ohio, where he remained until 1843; preached in Kentucky and in Illinois until 1854, when he removed to New York City, and began his important work there in connection with the Five Point Mission. In 1861 he founded the Home for Little Wanderers. He found homes in the West for two or three thousand children. In 1872 he was appointed by the A. B. P. Society as missionary to Rome. He held this work until 1878, since which time he has organized the Italian Bible and Sunday-school Mission, which he has had warm support from all denominations in England and America.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.10

    After an absence of nearly two months from the office we reached home Sunday evening, the 18th, just before the SIGNS was closed. Our party of forty from the East had a very pleasant trip. Quite a number came to work in the office. Prominent among these is Elder M. C. Wilcox, who comes to bear a share of the editorial work. His experience in the Review office at Battle Creek, Mich., and as editor of Present Truth in England, will enable him to render valuable help. Bro. C. H. Jones, president of the Pacific Press Company, returns from establishing the branch office in New York and from General Conference. While our trip East was most pleasant, and the friends both at Minneapolis and Battle Creek were kind beyond expression, we feel that “there’s no place like home,” and especially when that home is in Oakland. We would take this opportunity of again expressing our appreciation of the kindness of the Minnesota brethren during General Conference.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.11

    We find the people in the office happy and prosperous, and their hearty greeting makes us feel assured that with the blessing of the Lord, which we confidently expect, we shall have a more prosperous time the year to come than ever before.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.12

    A good work is being done for the church in Oakland. By appointment of the Conference Committee, Elder E. P. Daniels, after holding a series of fruitful meetings in Fresno, began work in Oakland on Sabbath, the 10th inst. The meetings have been held every evening since that time, with marked effect. After preaching three evenings, opportunity was afforded to the members of the church for personal testimony and confession of sin. This opportunity was eagerly embraced. Sabbath, the 17th inst., was quite generally observed as a fast-day, and in the meetings to which the day was devoted the power of the Holy Spirit was manifested as never before in the history of the Oakland church. After the close of the Sabbath-school, at half-past 10 A.M., there was no intermission, it seemed as though no one thought of such a thing. In order to accommodate all who wished to testify or confess, the meeting was divided in the afternoon, the young people going to a separate room. There is much rejoicing in consequence of this visitation of the Spirit, and all look upon the occasion as the dawning of a new era in this church. It is hoped that the influence of this revival will not be confined to this locality; but will be far reaching in blessing others. At the closing of this paper for the press, the meetings continue with unabated interest.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.13

    National Reformers complain bitterly because the Columbus (Ohio) Exposition was opened on Sunday, the 14th inst. In thus opening the exposition the managers thereof, says the Christian Statesman, are in disregard of their own promise and in violation of the law of God and of the State. The Statesman says: “We are glad to learn that many of the exhibits were closed, with the words displayed in large letters, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’” “The seventh day is the Sabbath,” might have been added, together with an explanation that by order of the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 364) the keeping of the first day was enjoined and the observance of the day specified in the commandment forbidden under an anathema. This would have enabled all to see at once the connection between the fourth commandment and the Sunday-sabbath, namely, that they have no connection whatever, for whereas the one is divine the other is entirely human.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.14

    Though discomfited in a like effort two years ago, the California ministers and churches are preparing to renew their demand upon the Legislature for the enactment of a Sunday law. The Committee of the M. E. State Conference of California have adopted the following, which appeared recently in their official organ:-SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.15

    WHEREAS, “The General Association of Congregational Churches of California,” at its meeting held in Sacramento, October 4-7, 1887, appoint “a committee to present an overture to the State organizations of different denominations,” requesting them to aid in a movement looking to the unification of Protestantism in a system of action against the great evils-intemperance, Sabbath desecration, etc., that curse of society and offense to the church of Christ, and,SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.16

    WHEREAS, Said committee has presented said overture to this Conference, asking the appointment of delegates from this body to take their place in a general committee on plans of work, to be constituted by like delegates from all evangelical churches, therefore,SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.17

    Resolved, That we do hereby express our sympathy with the movement proposed, and that we will appoint three of our number to co-operate with our sister churches in the general committee above named.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.18

    In view of the fact that this question is sure to be sprung upon the Legislature this winter, it behooves every lover of religious liberty to inquire what he can do to aid in disseminating the light of truth among the people.SITI November 23, 1888, page 720.19

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