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    December 7, 1888

    “The Fruit of the Spirit” The Signs of the Times, 14, 47.

    E. J. Waggoner

    If we compare the fruit of the Spirit with the result obtained by following the teachings of the Bible, we shall find that they are identical. Paul says that all Scripture 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. So if a man will profit by the reproofs and instruction found in the word of God, he will be perfect, lacking in no good thing. But a man cannot be more than perfect, and anything different from perfection is imperfection. The fact that any belief or practice is not indorsed or sanctioned by the Bible, is sufficient to condemn it. If it is not found in the Bible, it is not a part of the outfit necessary to make a man perfect.SITI December 7, 1888, page 740.1

    In Galatians 5:22, 23 we read, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” These fruits of the Spirit are the results which come from following the guidance of the Spirit. We will examine them in detail, and see if they differ in any particular from the word of God.SITI December 7, 1888, page 740.2

    The first thing mentioned is love. Very many persons entirely mistake the Bible meaning of love. With many it consists in a sort of good feeling, an indefinable condition, the principal feature of which is that the person feels happy and extremely well satisfied with himself. But the kind of love that the Bible brings to view does not depend solely on the emotions, but is very practical. John says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3. Again, “And this is love, that we walk after His commandments.” The keeping of the commandments is the test of love. Paul says, “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Who ever heard of a law being fulfilled by its violation? Some persons think that they have so much love to God that he will accept it as a substitute for keeping the law; but we here learn that love is the keeping of the commandments. How a person can love God, and refuse to keep all his commandments, is a mystery that no one has ever been able to explain. Those who make such a profession lay themselves liable to the charge in 1 John 2:4.SITI December 7, 1888, page 740.3

    We see, then, that the result of following the Holy Spirit is to keep the commandments. But this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13. And we shall find that while love is the keeping of the commandments, all the other things mentioned by Paul in Galatians 5:22, 23, as the fruit of the Spirit, are the natural results of keeping the commandments. Joy and peace are mentioned next; and they attend the keeping of the law. The psalmist says, “Great peace have they which love thy law.” Psalm 119:165. Again we read, “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:18. Here, too, the Spirit and the word agree.SITI December 7, 1888, page 740.4

    Long-suffering and gentleness are given as part of the fruit of the Spirit. Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 13:4, that charity (love), which we have seen is simply the keeping of the law, “suffereth long, and is kind.” He also says that it “vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up;” and as we have seen, meekness is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. Goodness is also part of the fruit of the Spirit; and Paul tells us that love “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 740.5

    Again we read that “where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17. But James says that the law of God is a “law of liberty.” James 1:25; 2:12. And David says that those are at liberty who keep the law. Psalm 119:45. Here, again, we see perfect harmony.SITI December 7, 1888, page 740.6

    Again Paul says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14. John tells us that those whom God in his great love calls his sons, and who have a hope to see him as he is, purify themselves. 1 John 3:1-3. And Peter completes the chain of testimony by saying, “Seeing ye have purified our souls in obeying the truth,” and he adds that this purifying is done “through the Spirit.” 1 Peter 1:22.SITI December 7, 1888, page 740.7

    But it is not necessary to multiply proofs. That there can be no inharmony between God’s word and his Spirit is so self-evident that no one who professes to be a Christian should presume to question it. Indeed, the Bible is the work of the Holy Spirit itself. We read, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21. May the Lord help us humbly to follow the leadings of the Spirit, that we may be guided “into all truth” (John 17:17), and finally share the promise of our Father to “see him as he is.” W.SITI December 7, 1888, page 740.8

    “The Goodness of God” The Signs of the Times, 14, 47.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The expression, “God is good,” is one that is in very common use among Christians, yet we are morally certain that very few receive the benefit from it that they might. To very many the expression brings more dread than trust, and the reason is that they have an erroneous, or at least a limited, idea of what is meant by the term “good.” They connect goodness with sternness or inflexible justice, having an incorrect idea even of justice. Many people look upon a good man as one who is so far above the common lot of people that he cannot sympathize with them. They feel as though he could not make any allowance for their infirmities. As a matter of fact, the opposite of this is the case. But with this false idea of goodness, it is no wonder that men are repelled from God. Be it known, however, that God does not repel any. Those who feel that they cannot approach God, have only themselves to blame, for the Bible declares that the goodness of God leads to repentance. Romans 2:4.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.1

    From this passage it is evident that the term “goodness” includes more than simple stern virtues. Says Paul, in the passage just referred to: “Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” To be good is to be kind and loving as well as virtuous.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.2

    This quality of goodness is brought out by the apostle in Romans 5:7: “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.” Some might think this is a contradiction, but it is not. The words “righteous” and “good” are entirely different. The idea is that no matter how upright a man may be, no matter how honest, one would scarcely die for him; but some might be found who would be willing to die for a benevolent man, one whose whole life has been devoted to acts of kindness to others.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.3

    In the above paragraph we came near using the term “law-abiding” to express the character of the righteous man, whose virtues did not draw people to him in tender love. It would not have been really wrong to do so, for righteousness is right-doing, conformity to the law. And yet the righteousness which is not thoroughly permeated with kindness and tender love, is a righteousness that springs more from compliance with the letter of the law than with the spirit of it; for “love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:10. The law of God is a law of love, for God is love.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.4

    In the thirteenth of 1 Corinthians the apostle Paul gives some of the qualities of love, which is nothing but the keeping of the commandments of God. “Charity love suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” All that God requires of us is conformity to his own character, yet we are exhorted to be “kind one to another, tender-hearted.” In so doing we approach most nearly to the character of God, for he is the pattern of tenderness that is set before us. We are to forgive one another even as God hath for Christ’s sake forgiven us.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.5

    “God is love.” This does not mean that God has love for his creatures, but that he is love itself. Now since God is love, and his law is simply a transcript of his character, it follows that goodness is tenderness; and when people feel to shrink from God because of his incomparable goodness, it shows that they are yet strangers to true goodness. Take all the knowledge you have either by experience of imagination, of kindness, gentleness, tenderness, and love, and multiply that by infinity, and you have the goodness of God which leads to repentance.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.6

    Perhaps the words of the apostle in 2 Corinthians, 5:19 may make the matter plainer to some: “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” The whole world unites in praising the gentleness of Christ. He “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38. The character of God is a most lovable one. How he sympathized with the suffering and the sinful! At the grave of Lazarus he wept; when he saw the multitude scattered as sheep having no shepherd, he was moved with compassion; when the loathsome leper came to him, he shrank not away, but touched him, imparting at once with that touch of sympathy and love both healing and forgiveness; and how wonderful is the tender compassion that is manifested in his dealing with the woman taken in adultery. Most of all does his love shine out at the close of his earthly career, when for those who had reviled him, mocked him, spit upon him, scourged him, mangled his head with thorns, and brutally crucified him, he prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do!” Who that rightly considers his life and death can fail to be drawn towards him? And yet, “God was in Christ.” Christ was here simply as a representative of the Father; and so perfect was the resemblance that he could say, when asked to show the Father: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” John 14:9.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.7

    The goodness of Christ is the goodness of the Father. Who can help feeling that the call, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” is like the reaching out of the mother’s arms for the tired child to nestle in her bosom? And yet when Christ uttered those words it was the voice of the Father speaking through him. So we see that the goodness of God, which leads to repentance, is gentleness; for tenderness, and gentleness alone can win, and God draws sinners to him. And this gentle goodness not only leads to repentance, but clothes the soul with strength, as David sings in the following wonderful verses:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.8

    “He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation; and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.” Psalm 18:34, 35.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.9

    How much sorrow and unrest we get to ourselves from our failure to rightly understand the goodness of God! “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.10

    “For the love of God is broader
    Than the measure of man’s mind;
    And the heart of the Eternal
    Is most wonderfully kind.
    SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.11

    “If our love were but more simple,
    We should take him at his word;
    And our lives would be all sunshine,
    In the sweetness of our Lord.”
    SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.12

    “A Proverb Disputed” The Signs of the Times, 14, 47.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is no doubt a wholesome fact covered by the homely old adage that “a lie will travel a league while truth is putting on its boots.” But the traveling ability of the lie doesn’t hold out. It starts too lively and travels too fast for its bottom. The adage very properly speaks only of a single league. Truth always understands its business better. It knows too much to start in a hurry. It takes time to get ready. It travels in “league boots,” a league at a step, and of course soon overtakes the lie, to find that its lively start and its rapid travel early in the race have seriously impaired its wind. Generally it knocks that lie upon the head at once, and leaves it a shame and a stench by the wayside. When it doesn’t, it brands its forehead in big letters, and leaves it to stagger out an unhonored existence. The moral of this is that we may safely truth Truth to take care of itself after it is fairly put in the field. It will certainly outwear all its antagonists, however lively and witty they may have been at first, and however discouragingly slow it may have appeared in getting on its boots and in starting. Scurrility, and what too often passes for wit, leave only transient impressions.-Evangelist.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.13

    The truth expressed in the above paragraph is too often lost sight of. We do not always see the truth vindicated at once; but while error may enjoy a brief triumph, the lovers of truth may well possess their souls in patience, knowing that,SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.14

    “Truth crushed to earth will rise again;
    The eternal years of God are hers.”
    SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.15

    “The Papacy. (Concluded.)” The Signs of the Times, 14, 47.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When the last of these Arian powers was overthrown (A.D. 538), there was nothing to hinder the bishop of Rome from occupying the proud position for which he had so long been striving. Speaking of the way in which the Roman bishop gradually usurped power over other churches, D’Aubigne says:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.16

    “To silence the cries of the churches, Rome found new allies. Princes, who in those troublesome times often saw their thrones tottering, offered their adherence to the church, in exchange for her support. They yielded to her spiritual authority, on condition of her paying them with secular dominion. They left her to deal at will with the souls of men, provided only she would deliver them from their enemies. The power of the hierarchy in the ascending scale, and of the imperial power which was declining, leaned thus one toward the other-and so accelerated their twofold destiny.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.17

    “Rome could not lose by this. An edict of Theodosius II. and of Valentinian III. proclaimed the bishop of Rome ‘ruler of the whole church.’ Justinian issued a similar decree. These decrees did not contain all that the Popes pretended to see in them. But in those times of ignorance it was easy for them to gain reception for that interpretation which was most favorable to themselves-History of the Reformation, book 1, chap. 1, paragraph 29, 30.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.18

    To show plainly the object of these wars against the Arian powers, and what was gained by them, we make two brief quotations from Gibbon. After having rehearsed the defeat of the Vandals and the capture of Carthage by the Romans, the historian speaks as follows concerning Justinian:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.19

    “He received the messengers of victory at the time when he was preparing to publish the pandects of the Roman law; and the devout or jealous emperor celebrated the divine goodness, and confessed, in silence, the merit of his successful general. Impatient to abolish the temporal and spiritual tyranny of the Vandals, he proceeded, without delay, to the full establishment of the Catholic Church. Her jurisdiction, wealth, and immunities, perhaps the most essential part of Episcopal religion, were restored and amplified with a liberal hand; the Arian worship was suppressed, the Donatist meetings were proscribed; and the synod of Carthage, by the voice of two hundred and seventeen bishops, applauded the just measure of pious retaliation.”-Decline and Fall, chap. 41, paragraph 11.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.20

    The victory of Belisarius over the Ostrogoths (A.D. 538) is thus described:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.21

    “The Goths consented to retreat in the presence of a victorious enemy; to delay till the next spring the operations of offensive war; to summon their scattered forces; to relinquish their distant possessions, and to trust even Rome itself to the faith of its inhabitants. Leuderis, an aged warrior, was left in the capital with four thousand soldiers; a feeble garrison, which might have seconded the zeal, though it was incapable of opposing the wishes of the Romans. But a momentary enthusiasm of religion and patriotism was kindled in their minds. They furiously exclaimed that the apostolic throne should no longer be profaned by the triumph or toleration of Arianism; that the tombs of the Cæsars should no longer be trampled by the savages of the North; and, without reflecting that Italy must sink into a province of Constantinople, they fondly hailed the restoration of a Roman emperor as a new era of freedom and prosperity. The deputies of the Pope and clergy, of the Senate and people, invited the lieutenant of Justinian to accept their voluntary allegiance, and to enter the city, whose gates would be thrown open for his reception.... The first days, which coincided with the old Saturnalia, were devoted to mutual congratulation and the public joy, and the Catholics prepared to celebrate, without a rival, the approaching festival of the nativity of Christ.”-Id., paragraphs 22, 23.SITI December 7, 1888, page 742.22

    These quotations show most conclusively that in A.D. 538 the bishop of Rome did become literally “the Pope,” i.e., the father, or head and ruler, of the churches. The last opposing horn had then been plucked up, and the Papacy was free to enter upon that career of ecclesiastical tyranny for which it had long been preparing; and the “mystery of iniquity” which had been working so long was given full liberty.SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.1

    But since the supremacy of the Papacy was to continue twelve hundred and sixty years, it is evident that it must have been checked in the year 1798 A.D. Let us see if at that time anything happened to justify this conclusion. From “Chambers’ Cyclopedia,” article “Pius,” we quote:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.2

    “At length the [French] Directory ordered the invasion of Rome; Berthier entered the city, February 10, 1798, and took possession of the castle of St. Angelo. Pius [VI.] was called on to renounce his temporal sovereignty, and on his refusal, was seized, February 20, and carried away to Siena, and afterwards to the celebrated Certosa, or Carthusian monastery, of Florence. On the threatened advance of the Austro-Russian army in the following year, he was transferred to Grenoble, and finally to Valence on the Rhone, where, worn out by age and by the rigor of confinement, he died in August, 1799, in the eighty-second year of his age and the twenty-fourth of his pontificate.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.3

    Thus we see that from 538 to 1798 A.D. there were twelve hundred and sixty years of unbroken power, plainly fulfilling the prophecy. At that time the power of the Papacy was broken; indeed, it might well have been thought to be utterly destroyed. In March 1800, however, another Pope was chosen, and the Papacy has continued ever since, but with diminished power. Immediately after the enunciation of the dogma of Papal infallibility, July 21, 1870, Victor Emmanuel took advantage of the withdrawal of the French soldiers from Rome, to make that city the capital of his kingdom. Accordingly he entered it on September 20 of the same year, and that day marked the close of the temporal dominion of the Pope of Rome, who ever since has sulked in the Vatican, where, in order more effectually to work upon the sympathies of the people, he professes to be a prisoner. From his retreat, like Bunyan’s aged Pope in his cave, he growls out at those who despise his pretensions, “You will never mend till more of you be burnt;” for his one ambition is the restoration of the Papacy to its former power.SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.4

    Whether this dream will ever be fully realized is not indicated in the prophecy under consideration; yet that, before the end, the power of the Papacy will increase far beyond what it is at the present, is plainly set forth in these words:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.5

    “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” Daniel 7:21, 22.SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.6

    For several years it seemed as though every vestige of the power of the Papacy was irrecoverably gone; but “the Scripture cannot be broken,” and now, although it has no territorial dominion, there is no kingdom on earth that approaches it in power. The Pope rules not only the vast host of Catholics in every land under the sun, nearly all of whom hold their allegiance to him above that which they owe to their civil rulers, but he rules nations. Not alone is his influence supreme in Catholic countries, but Governments professedly Protestant look to him for help in difficult places. Germany, which so long opposed him, is now virtually subject to his dictation; England has invited him to help her settle her troubles with Ireland; the Czar of Russia has made overtures to him, as he needs his help in dealing with nihilism. When the Papal delegates came to America to bring to Cardinal Gibbons the insignia of his office, a Government vessel was sent out to meet them, and, on its return with them on board, the Papal flag floated from the mast-head, in the place of the stars and stripes. On the occasion of the jubilee of Pope Leo XIII., Sweden and Italy were the only nations that did not send him presents and congratulations.SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.7

    The Christian Union (January 26, 1888) said that the presentation to Pope Leo XIII. of a copy of the Constitution of the United States, by the President, was “a sensible way of discharging what was, under the circumstances, almost a matter of national obligation.” And it gave, as a reason for this extraordinary statement, the still more extraordinary statement that “the Pope is a temporal prince, and the amenities which are paid to temporal princes are due him.” It further said: “It is not impossible that the time may come when the old antagonism of the Catholic and the Protestant may appear insignificant in view of the deeper antagonisms which shall make them essentially one.... Stranger things have happened in history than such a change of attitude as would be involved in the following of the Roman Catholic and the Protestant.SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.8

    About the same time the Rev. Dr. Henry M. Field, editor of the New York Evangelist (Presbyterian), said through his paper:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.9

    “The late President Hitchcock [of Union Theological seminary] often said to us when we discussed the dangers to society from socialists and communists, that we might yet come to look upon the Roman Catholic Church as the most conservative power in the country, if, by its influence over the Irish, it should keep them from running into the excesses by which so many of the French and Germans were carried away.... Here is a tremendous power exercised over millions of our countrymen, and it is the height of folly and fanaticism to alienate it from us by standing always in an attitude of antagonism.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.10

    Other Protestant divines say that Catholicism is the only power that can stay the tide of socialism and anarchy, and openly counsel an alliance between Catholicism and Protestantism. In the Christian at Work (April 12 and 19, 1888) Prof. Charles A. Briggs, of Union Theological Seminary, New York, had an article entitled, “Is Rome an Ally or an Enemy, or Both?” in which he noted a few points of difference in matters which he considered non-essentials, but said: “In all matters of worship we are in essential concord with Roman Catholics, and we ought not to hesitate to make an alliance with them so far as possible to maintain the sanctity of the Sabbath as a day of worship,” etc.SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.11

    And again:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.12

    “It is true that there is a great deal of immorality in the Roman Catholic Church in some countries, and we think it may be shown that as a rule Protestantism is productive of better morals than Romanism; but this, after all, is a question of more or less, and, to say the least, Protestantism has little to boast of. On all these questions it is of the highest importance that the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches should make an alliance.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.13

    As showing the progress toward this alliance, it is necessary only to state that during “Holy Week” of 1888, union services of the Catholic and all the Protestant churches were held in various cities in the United States. Various Protestant journals speak of the Pope as “Holy Father,” with him “a long reign and Godspeed in liberalizing policy,” and in many ways show their willingness to allow him whatever he may claim.SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.14

    One more item, and it is a most significant one, must suffice on this point. In “Protestant” Germany, in the city of Cassel, where the majority of churches are Lutheran, a Rev. Thummel was indicted sometime in the year 1888, for attacking the Papacy and calling the Pope antichrist. In moving for nine months’ imprisonment for Mr. Thummel, the prosecuting attorney said:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.15

    “The defendant refers (or appeals) to Dr. M. Luther. First, it must be considered that Luther lived three hundred years ago, and that meanwhile the customs, the tone, and tastes, etc., have changed. If Luther lived to-day, and should say and write the same things that he did then, he would undoubtedly, by reason of section 496 of the Penal Code, be condemned.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.16

    History is making rapidly, and the student of prophecy will not have long to wait to see what shall be the end of all these things. Of one thing he may be certain, that “the triumphing of the wicked is short,” and when the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth shall say, “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow,” then shall her plagues come upon her in one day,-death and mourning, and famine, and “she shall be utterly burned with fire.” The more rapidly the power and influence of the Papacy revives, the sooner will the Lord consume “that Wicked” with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy it with the brightness of is coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8); and then “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Daniel 7:27. W.SITI December 7, 1888, page 743.17

    “The Week of Prayer” The Signs of the Times, 14, 47.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The most of our readers have no doubt noticed in the report of the General Conference the appointment of the week of prayer. Lest any should have forgotten it, we will make it again here. The order, in brief, is as follows: On Sabbath, December 8, the church, Tract Society, and Sabbath-school officers in every church, should assemble for consultation, and to lay plans for the successful carrying on of the work during the meeting. The time devoted to the special meetings is one day more than a week, since it includes two Sabbaths, beginning Sabbath, December 15, and ending Sabbath, December 22. Appropriate readings will be sent to each company, for every day’s meeting. These will serve to direct each meeting into a certain channel, in which prayer and testimonies should follow.SITI December 7, 1888, page 744.1

    Wednesday and Thursday, December 19 and 20, are set apart as days of fasting and prayer. While the entire week is to be devoted to the worship of God, these should be improved in seeking God in an especial manner. If our brethren and sisters have on these days the kind of fast that is described by Isaiah (chap. 58), in which they shall “break every yoke,” confessing and cutting loose from every sin which has bound them down, and kept them from enjoying the fullness of God’s blessing, then they will be well prepared to enter heartily into the services of Sabbath the 23rd, which has been appointed as a day of praise and thanksgiving.SITI December 7, 1888, page 744.2

    And then let them assemble on Christmas eve, and instead of selfishly receiving, let them, with a perfect heart, bring a willing offering for the foreign missions, and thus be twice blessed.SITI December 7, 1888, page 744.3

    Brethren and sisters of California, has not God greatly blessed you during the past year? Have you not received special blessings by his Spirit? If you have tasted that the Lord is precious, and have been made to realize something of “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” will it not be a great privilege to devote a thank-offering to his name? May the Lord abundantly bless all who seek him during the week of prayer.SITI December 7, 1888, page 744.4

    “Missionary Success” The Signs of the Times, 14, 47.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is not the business of Christian missions to convert the world, that is, to lead all nations to accept of Christianity. In the divine plan, Christians, are to preach the gospel to persuade men, to be the means, under God, of gathering “out of” the nations “a people for his name.” Acts 15:14. And that disciple who does this in God’s way, who, aided by the Spirit, preaches the word, shows men their lost condition, instructs them in the way of life, persuades them to accept of the only Saviour, Christ Jesus, and thus is the means of saving a few souls from their sins,-that missionary’s work is a success. His mission is not a failure. The mission of Christ to Tyre and Sidon, although but one person’s heart was reached, and that a poor Canaanite, was a success. Mark 7:24-31. Paul’s mission to Lystra was as much a success as it was at Berea or Corinth. The world will not be purified of wickedness till Christ comes; it is our mission as Christians to warn and persuade men to flee from the wrath to come and to accept of Christ. and when the redeemed are gathered “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation,” the work will be wholly a success, Christ’s triumph will be complete.SITI December 7, 1888, page 745.1

    “The Commentary. Second Epistle of Peter” The Signs of the Times, 14, 47.

    E. J. Waggoner

    2 Peter 3:7-12.

    1. State the argument which the apostle Peter says the last-day scoffers will urge against the doctrine of Christ’s second coming.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.1

    2. Show the falsity of their statement.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.2

    3. How is it that these scoffers are so blind? Compare 2 Peter 3:3, last part, with 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, and Hebrews 3:13. See note.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.3

    4. What has the word of the Lord spoken concerning the fate of this earth?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.4

    “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:7.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.5

    5. What is said of God’s relation to time?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.6

    “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Verse 8.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.7

    “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:4.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.8

    6. What important lesson may we learn from this? See note.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.9

    7. Why is it that God has so long delayed his threatened judgments?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.10

    “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.11

    8. Yet how are the majority of wicked men affected by his merciful patience?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.12

    “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.13

    9. What effect does the favor of God have upon these wicked scoffers?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.14

    “Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.” Isaiah 26:10.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.15

    10. Because the judgments of God are delayed, how does the condition of the wicked often appear, as compared with that of the righteous?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.16

    “For I was envious at the foolish, when is saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death; but their strength is firm.” “Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain and washed my hands in innocency.” Psalm 73:3, 34, 7, 13.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.17

    11. What do they themselves think?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.18

    “The inward thought is, that their houses shall continue forever, and their dwelling-places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.” Psalm 49:11.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.19

    12. But how will it be in reality?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.20

    “Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him; but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.” Ecclesiastes 8:12, 13.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.21

    13. At what time shall the proud be humbled?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.22

    “For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.” Isaiah 2:12.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.23

    14. How will the day of the Lord come upon them?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.24

    “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.25

    15. What will they be saying when the time of their destruction thus suddenly bursts upon them?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.26

    “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.27

    16. What will take place in the day of the Lord? 2 Peter 3:10.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.28

    17. What does the prophet Isaiah say of that day?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.29

    “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt.” “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. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.” Isaiah 6, 7, 9, 10.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.30

    18. What is the testimony of Zephaniah?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.31

    “The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord; the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy; for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.” Chap. 1:14-18.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.32

    19. Is it a time to be desired?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.33

    “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” Amos 5:18-20.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.34

    20. What was said about it by a righteous man to whom the Lord granted a prophetic view of it?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.35

    “When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble; when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.” Habakkuk 3:16.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.36

    21. Who will pass through that terrible time unharmed?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.37

    “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Psalm 91:1, 5-10.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.38

    22. What will protect them?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.39

    “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Verses 2-4.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.40

    23. In view of the great events that are surely coming, what should be our constant thought?SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.41

    “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:11, 12.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.42


    “Lest your hearts be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” This is a most forcible expression, and the truth which it suggests should receive far more attention than it does. When a man deliberately resolves to pursue a certain course, even though he knows it to be wrong, he will very soon come to the firm belief that that course is right, and will, of course, be incapable of receiving the truth on the subject. All are familiar with the story of the old Indian chief who was quite favorably inclined toward Christianity as the missionary talked with him, until he was told that all men would rise at the last day. “What!” said he, “will all who have died in battle rise again? And shall I have to meet those whom I have slain?” Being answered in the affirmative, he exclaimed, “It isn’t so; I won’t have it so; they shall not rise.” After that no amount of reasoning could convince him that there would be a resurrection. In Dr. Mark Hopkins’s “Evidences of Christianity,” lecture 1, occurs the following apt statement of the way in which men’s desires overrule their reason:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.43

    “‘Men,’ says Hobbs, ‘appeal from custom to reason, and from reason to custom, as it serves their turn, receding from custom when their interest requires it, and setting themselves against reason as oft as reason is against them; which is the cause that the doctrine of right and wrong is perpetually disputed both by the pen and the sword; whereas the doctrine of lines and figures is not so, because men care not, in that subject, what is truth, as it is a thing that crosses no man’s ambition, or profit, or lust. For, I doubt not, if it had been a thing contrary to any man’s right of dominion, or to the interest of men that have dominion, that the three angles of a triangle should be equal to two angles of a square, that the doctrine should [would] have been, if not disputed, yet, by the burning of all books on geometry, suppressed, as far as he whom it concerned was able.’ ‘This,’ says Hallam, from whose work I make the quotation, ‘does not exaggerate the pertinacity of mankind in resisting the evidence of truth when it thwarts the interests or passions of any particular sect or community.’ Let a man who hears the forty-seventh proposition of Euclid announced for the first time, trace the steps of the demonstration, and he would believe it is true; but let him know that as soon as he does perceive the evidence of the proposition, so as to believe it on that ground, he shall lose his right eye, and he will never trace the evidence, or come to that belief which results from the force of the only proper evidence. You may tell him it is true, but he will reply that he does not know, he does not see it to be so.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.44

    The same thing is usually the case when the truth cuts across one’s cherished sins. Says Hopkins: “Let the mists that steam up before the intellect from a corrupt heart, be dispersed, and truths, before obscure, shine out as the noonday.” No man can think the thoughts of God unless he walks in the ways of God.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.45

    The “sure word of prophecy” tells us again and again that this earth shall be destroyed by fire, and that in that fire the ungodly shall be burned up. Scoffers say that they see no evidence that any such event will ever take place; but the apostle Peter assures us that the instrument of the earth’s destruction is already prepared, and is stored within it. Just as surely as the earth was once destroyed by water, so surely will it again be destroyed by fire.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.46

    “But these prophecies were spoken hundreds, and some of them thousands, of years ago, and there is no more evidence of their fulfillment now than there was when they were uttered.” Thus argues the scoffer; but it is a vain argument; (1) because it is not true, and (2) because of the following statement:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.47

    “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8.SITI December 7, 1888, page 746.48

    God “inhabiteth eternity.” The flight of time makes no difference with his plans. Compared with his eternity, the entire 6,000 years of earth’s existence is but a span. Says the psalmist, “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is passed, and as a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:4. Therefore the apostle concludes that “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness.” That which seems to men forgetfulness of the promise, is only a kindly delay to allow dilatory men to secure the promise. In God’s reckoning, it is only as the three days’ grace, which men allow for the payment of a promissory note.SITI December 7, 1888, page 747.1

    It should not be forgotten that while a thousand years is with the Lord as one day, one day is as a thousand years. This is too often overlooked. While he may take a thousand years for the fulfillment of a promise, and then it will be the same as though performed the next day, he can do in one day the work of a thousand years. Therefore there is no warrant for settling down to carnal ease, thinking that it will necessarily be a long time yet before the work of God on earth can be accomplished. “For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness; because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.” Romans 9:28.SITI December 7, 1888, page 747.2

    “For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” This refers to a time when men will not simply be predicting peace and safety, but will proclaim that it has actually come. For many years men have been teaching that a millennium of perfect peace and righteousness would precede the coming of the Lord. The members of the National Reform Association say that when Christianity is recognized and enforced by law, then the millennium will have come, and that wars, famines, and pestilence will cease. In the National Reform Convention held at Monmouth, Ill., Sept. 29, 1884, and reported in the Christian Statesman of November 6, M. A. Gault said:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 747.3

    “We do not flatter ourselves when we say that the glorious millennial day will be ushered in by the triumph of this movement.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 747.4

    So when they shall have gained their object, the Scripture will be fulfilled, which says: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isaiah 2:2-4. Thus they will be saying, “Peace and safety,” and then suddenly, like a thief in the night, when they are unprepared, destruction from the Almighty shall come upon them. Read the remainder of Isaiah 2.SITI December 7, 1888, page 747.5

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 47.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Don’t fail to read the matter concerning the week of prayer, on page 744 of this issue. Read it first, for it is important that you begin to think about it in earnest.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.1

    The power of the mob in London was never shown more forcibly in anything than in the resignation of Sir Charles Warren, Chief of Police of that city. His withdrawal was at first supposed to be due to his failure to apprehend the Whitechapel murderers, but it is now asserted that it was brought about by the influence of the disorderly element in the metropolis of the civilized world, the capital city of “Christian England.” If this be true, a grave danger threatens London.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.2

    Picking up an Oakland daily paper a day or two ago, we read the heading, not the body, of a report of a slogging contest at the rooms of one of the “athletic” clubs. The heading ran thus: “Soto and Akers Fight Nine Lively Rounds in the Presence of a Throng of Gentlemen.” Gentlemen, indeed! Very gentle men they must be to sit with eager eyes and watch two men pound each other. Be it known that no gentleman will ever be a willing witness of a fight of any kind. If sloggers and their abettors are going to appropriate the title, it will soon be a disgrace to be called a gentleman.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.3

    Several of the powers of Europe are engaged in quietly dividing the Dark Continent among them. Belgium has the Congo State, England and Germany are taking possession of an immense territory between the great lakes and Zanzibar; and Portugal, too, is preparing to make considerable territorial acquisitions. The plan of this latter Government, as announced by the Foreign Minister, is to extend railroads to the very heart of Africa, reaching even Nyassa and the equatorial lakes. “All this,” says the Chicago Advance, “would help to civilize the Dark Continent, if it were not for the unfortunate fact that Portugal and Germany are both extending the awful liquor traffic among the natives.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.4

    It is stated that the Roman Catholic Church, while claiming 2,750,000 converts, or adherents, among the heathen, reports only 4,504 schools and 110,742 scholars, about twenty-one scholars to a school; while, according to their last general statistics, Protestant foreign missions have 11,880 schools and 645,886 scholars, an average of about fifty-eight scholars to each school. The number of scholars of Protestant foreign missionary schools is about six times the number of those in Roman Catholic schools of the same kind!SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.5

    “Such facts,” says the New York Evangelist, “would seem to justify the saying that the Romish Church holds that ignorance is the mother of devotion.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.6

    Several Chicago speculators were recently discussing their business methods, when one of them remarked: “The trouble with us speculators is, we keep flattering ourselves that we are merchants. The sooner we stop calling ourselves merchants, and begin to admit that we are gamblers and nothing else, the quicker we will come down to the commonsense basis.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.7

    It would be a good thing if the law-makers of the several States would take the same view of the matter, and protect the public from the rapacity of those who speculate and grow rich upon the necessities of the people. It would be a blessing which thousands would appreciate. If the several Legislatures that meet this coming winter will only turn their attention earnestly to framing much-needed legislation, they will have little time to spend upon Sunday laws and other schemes for enabling the majority to coerce the consciences of the minority.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.8

    At the meeting of the Congregational club in San Francisco on a recent Monday, an Oakland minister read a paper giving reasons why the masses are not in the churches. One reason which he assigned was “the asceticism of the churches in regard to amusements and diversions”! As though any such thing existed in the church to-day to any considerable degree! The popular churches are certainly about as far removed from asceticism as anything can well be. They have yielded one point after another, until the line of demarktion between them and the world is scarcely discernible; indeed, the moral standard of the churches is little if any higher than that which is required by “society;” they both tolerate the same things. Dancing, card playing, and theater going are about as common in one as in the other; and it does seem strange that a Christian minister would advocate letting the standard still lower. Has it indeed come to this, that the churches must be filled at the expense of crushing out of them what little semblance of pure and undefiled religion still remains in them? Is so, surely we have fallen upon evil times.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.9

    At the last meeting of the Monday Congregational Club, in San Francisco, one of the ministers read a paper entitled, “Why the Masses Do Not Attend the Churches.” Among the principal reasons he cited “the unfortunate circumstances of our having no Sunday law.” “People,” said he, “go to saloons, and engage in gambling and lottery schemes, instead of going to church.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.10

    The gentleman doubtless revealed more than he intended to. He showed clearly the one real object of all Sunday legislation, namely, to fill up the empty churches. Men may tlak as much as they please about Sunday laws being mere “police regulations,” intended for the physical good of the people; but we well know, what they cannot always keep concealed, that they are for no other purpose than to compel people to listen to preaching which has lost its power to draw them. They assure us that they have no idea of compelling anybody to keep Sunday, or to attend church against his will; but their assertion is not in harmony with reason. Does anybody need to be told that when they have passed a Sunday law in order to fill up their empty churches, they will enforce not only the letter but the spirit of that law, and compel attendance on church service, when it is not done voluntarily? We trow not.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.11

    This matter of Sunday laws is now a live issue. In many State Legislatures, as well as in Congress, organized and persistent efforts will be made during the coming winter to secure the passage of such laws; and the friends of religious freedom should be on the alert.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.12

    The Christian Register (Unitarian), in discussing the Sunday question, says:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.13

    “Let Sunday be surrendered to the goddess of pleasure or greed, and selfishness and indulgence will tarnish its sacred uses. Lay down the principle that Sunday is to be used supremely for moral and religious culture, in the purest service of God and the unselfish service of humanity, and the matter of its observance is a matter of minor consequence.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.14

    Exactly; compel everybody to keep Sunday religiously, and “the manner of its observance” will then be “a matter of minor consequence.” But it must be guarded carefully against “greed and selfishness”-as it already is in more than one State, railroad companies, hotels, etc., being allowed to carry on business, while conscientious Sabbatarians are arrested and fined for doing ordinary labor upon Sunday after having religiously observed the seventh day. Sunday laws are not, as the Register asserts, in the interests of “the purest service of God and the unselfish service of humanity,” but they are directly in the line of religious bigotry and intolerance.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.15

    At the recent convention of the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Mrs. Mary T. Lathrop made one of the principal speeches, in the course of which she said, addressing the press and politicians of New York:-SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.16

    “You have sold out our civilization by the sea-coast, have imported pauper labor, for fear you would have to pay honest wages to workingmen. The manufacturers of this country, who are falling on the necks of laboring men, with many tears, during this political campaign, have been sending their paid agents over to Europe to bring this kind of people here, until you have trodden on our Sabbath, and sold out our civilization in these great Eastern populations to the Philistine.”SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.17

    It seems as though people are getting pretty well advanced, when they can reprove, others for traveling upon “our Sabbath.” God pronounces a blessing upon those who turn away their foot from the Sabbath, from doing their pleasure on his holy day; and when the American people shall enact laws against the violation of their Sabbath,-the rival of the Sabbath of the Lord,-we cannot see how much better they will be than the man of sin, “the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped.” Then we shall have not only Papal Rome, but Papal America.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.18

    The Pope has recently received hundreds of telegrams inquiring if he intends to quit Rome. Replies have been sent that nothing has been decided upon.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.19

    “Sabbath-school Lessons” The Signs of the Times, 14, 47.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The pamphlet containing the lessons for the Senior Division of our Sabbath-schools, for the first six months of 1889, is now ready, and orders to any extent will be filled as fast as ordered. The lessons are from the Old Testament, taking up some of the most striking features from the appearing of Moses before Pharaoh, with the demand that he should let Israel go, to the attempted cursing of that people by Balaam. The lessons are practical, and most of them have quite copious notes. They have received the careful criticism of a large committee of ministers and Sabbath-school workers from different parts of the country, and we believe that they are well calculated to benefit those who give them careful study.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.20

    The pamphlet, in accordance with the resolution passed at the late session of the International Association, has been put up in a form convenient to be carried in the coat pocket, which we think will add very much to its effectiveness. Students, as well as teachers, will find it greatly to their advantage to have the entire series of lessons, especially in time of review; so let the orders come in at once. Price, 10 cents. Address, Pacific Press, Oakland, Cal.SITI December 7, 1888, page 752.21

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