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    February 10, 1888

    “The Spirit of Antichrist. No. 8” The Signs of the Times, 14, 6.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Some may think we have made a wildly extravagant statement in saying that the time is not far distant when the majority of professed Christians will be enrolled under the banner of Spiritualism, but we shall present ample proof to show that the so-called orthodox churches are even now ripe for Spiritualism, and wait only till it shall have put on a little more of the livery of Heaven, in order to accept it. In proof of this assertion, I shall quote only from those who are authorized to speak for the churches.SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.1

    First, let it be remembered that with almost all the religious denominations of the world, the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul, is a cardinal point of faith; and we have shown that this doctrine is the corner-stone of Spiritualism, and that a belief in it logically tends to all the vagaries and abominations of heathen Spiritualism. A writer in the World’s Advance Thought, speaking of the phenomena of Spiritualism, says:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.2

    “I can understand why materialists are unable to believe the possibility of such startling proofs of immortality; but why they should be called in question by Christians, when they come to prove the very foundation claim of their faith, and the one of all others which most taxes credulity, I cannot understand.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.3

    That is, he can readily understand why Spiritualism is not accepted by those who do not believe in immortality at all; but he cannot see why those who believe in natural immortality for all men, and that there is no such thing as death, should refuse to accept the testimony which proves (?) it. But we shall see that they are not so skeptical as some think.SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.4

    A writer in New Thought, under the heading, “Who Are Spiritualists?” says:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.5

    “As a matter of fact Spiritualists are found among the advocates of almost every system of religion, and all the peoples of the earth. It is received alike by orthodox and so-called heterodox Christians, by theists and deists, on its own testimony of facts. Thousands who believe in a personal God and the divine inspiration of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, are as really Spiritualists as those who deny both....SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.6

    “Thousands do not think it necessary to leave their churches in order to consistently advocate the spiritual philosophy. Very many would be more active in the cause were it not for the wholesale denunciations of the churches, and of all Christian Spiritualists especially, by some who make themselves offensively conspicuous in our ranks, both as writers and speakers.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.7

    That this is not the vain boasting of an enemy who wishes to cast a reproach upon the churches, will be seen by what follows. We begin with the largest body of professed Christians, the Catholics. When Monsignor Capel, the famous agent of the Roman Propaganda, and sometime chaplain to Pope Pius IX., was lecturing in California, he had something of a discussion with one G. P. Colby, a Spiritualist. Colby set forth the beliefs of Spiritualism, and charged Capel with misrepresentation. The following is a part of the Chronicle’s account (Sept. 7, 1885) of the priest’s reply:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.8

    “Monsignor Capel took up Mr. Colby’s chief statements seriatim. He at first expressed surprise that the latter had not tried to ascertain what he in the first place had said before replying to it. Much that was attributed to him was the merest parody of his real words. He was a believer in immortality. If he were not, the Catholic Church would not tolerate him within her bosom for a moment. It was brought against the Catholics that they believed themselves in daily communication with the angels and saints. But the angels and saints were spirits. To Catholics the spirit world was as clear as the light of a gas jet. They walked the streets accompanied by guardian angels. The dead were in their eyes disembodied spirits who surrounded the throne of God. They prayed to them as well as to the saints and angels. To say that they did not hold communication with the spirit world, would be contrary to the whole evidence of the history of the church. Monsignor Capel denied that he had expressed a disbelief in spiritism. He had simply left out of the category of possible supernatural manifestations all biological phenomena. Aside from these, Spiritualism was but a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, and it had been in the world from the beginning.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.9

    Thus we find that, on the testimony of one of its foremost representatives, the Catholic Church is wholly Spiritualist. But we should know that without this testimony, for its prayers for and to the dead, and its host of “saints” to whom adoration is paid, are sufficient evidence of the fact. In his “Life of Pope Leo XIII.” (page 44), Dr. Bernard O’Reilly says of the habit that Catholics have of naming their children after Scripture personages and churchmen:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.10

    “It was thought, in the firm and universal belief of the real though invisible communion between the spiritual world of the blessed in Heaven and their brethren still struggling on earth, that the bestowing of these dear and honored names on children in baptism secured them special protectors in Heaven, and was to them a powerful motive, when grown to manhood and womanhood, to honor by Christian lives the sainted names they bore.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.11

    And on page 83 he speaks of Stanislas Kostka as “the boy saint whom Catholic Poland reveres as its patron and protector in Heaven.” There is probably not a reader of these lines who could not from his own knowledge of the Catholic Church add many like evidences. So we have the great Roman Catholic Church as essentially a Spiritualist church, and claiming to be such. We turn now to Protestantism.SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.12

    The Sunday Times has undoubtedly as wide a circulation as any religious journal in the land, and possibly larger than any other. It is undenominational, although its leading editor is a Methodist, but it is taken and read by Sunday-school teachers and scholars of all denominations, and among its correspondents are the leading divines and educators of both Europe and America. In an editorial in the issue of August 20, 1885, we find the following under the heading, “What Our Dead Do for Us:”-SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.13

    “Much of the best work of the world is done through the present, personal influence of the dead. And in our estimate of the forces which give us efficiency, we ought to assign a large place to the power over us, and in us, of loved ones whom we mourn as wholly removed from us. When death takes away one on whom we have leaned, ... the temptation to us is to feel that his work for us is done, and that henceforth, while we live on here, we must live on without his presence or aid. Yet, as a practical fact, and as a great spiritual truth, our dead do for us as constantly and as variously as they could do for us if they were still here in flesh; and they do for us very much that they could not do unless they were dead.SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.14

    “Some of the saintly faces of fathers and mothers, which are a benediction to all who look at them, could never have shone as now with the reflected light of Heaven, unless they had been summoned to frequent upward lookings through the clouds, in loving communion with their children in Heaven. There are manly and womanly children, who are more serious and earnest and devoted in their young life struggles, because of their constant sense of the overwatching presence of their dead parents.... And so the dead live on here, for, and with, and in, those who mourn and remember them as gone hence forever.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.15

    “Our living friends do much for us, but perhaps our dead friends do yet more.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.16

    “In the bitterness of our keenest grief over the loss of our loved ones, there may be the consoling thought that we do not lose the stimulus and the inspiration of their memories, nor part, even for the time being, with the more sacred influence of their example, and of their spiritual fellowship.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.17

    The most ardent professed Spiritualist could not give utterance to more pronounced Spiritualist doctrine than this. The Sunday School Times has an “Open Letter” Department, in which correspondents may freely ask questions or express their opinions on any subject. It often contains sharp criticism on statements that have appeared in the paper, but no criticism on the sentiments quoted above, has ever appeared. On the contrary we have seen quite a number of commendatory notices of the article.SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.18

    The California Christian Advocate of September 2, 1885, contained a letter from the editor, who was visiting in Oregon. In giving an account of his doings, he said:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.19

    “We visited the cemetery, and enjoyed for a little while communion with the dead.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.20

    The Advance, of Chicago, is the Congregationalist journal of the West, and is one of the leading church papers in the country. In the issue of July 9, 1885, the editor said:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.21

    “God’s people never work alone. No child of his is ever left unaided. A great company which no man can number is sent forth to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation. Just what they do, or how they help, we may not know, but that they do help and interpose to protect and guide us, we surely believe.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.22

    After referring to Hebrews 1:14, which teaches that the angels are all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation, the editor continues:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.23

    “But are our departed friends among the number of those engaged in this ministry? Do those who have once lived in the flesh, and on this earth, form a part of this great host? A fair inference from the Scriptures will, it seems to us, give an affirmative answer to this question. We do not say that this is an authorized doctrine, but such inference is a fair one. No one has authority, either from nature or revelation, for the assertion that when the good die they cease to have any interest in the affairs of this world. [Compare Job 14:19-21.] The assumption that they never return to this earth is wholly unwarranted. Indeed, no one can be sure that they ever leave its busy scenes. They may simply pass beyond the range of our few senses. That ‘undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns,’ is good Shakespeare, but it is not good Scripture.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.24

    And the above extract from a Congregationalist journal is “good” Spiritualism. If it is not out and out Spiritualism, then there is no such thing. But we have more. The New York Observer is a staunch Presbyterian journal, one of the oldest and most influential in the United States. The following Spiritualist verses appeared in its issue of July 22, 1886:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.25

    “How cheering the thought that spirits in bliss
    Do bow their bright wings to a world such as this.
    They leave the sweet joys of the mansions above,
    To breathe ‘oer our bosoms the message of love.
    SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.26

    “They come when that pilgrim has rested from woe,
    To gild the dark couch of the mourner below.
    They smile on the weeper, and brightly appears
    The rainbow of hope through the mists of his tears.
    SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.27

    “Oh, blessings upon them wherever they fly.
    To brighten the earth or illumine the sky.
    Heaven grant us, when parted from life and its cares,
    A pinion of light, and a mission like theirs.”
    SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.28

    No more direct Spiritualist doctrine was ever taught in any Spiritualist paper. Yet there are few professed Christian believers in the natural immortality of man, who would not call it orthodox. Then how far is the Christian world to-day from Spiritualism? Who can tell? W.SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.29

    “Protestant Praise of Catholicism” The Signs of the Times, 14, 6.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The New York Independent, one of the most well-known and influential religious journals in the world, gushes after the following style over the Pope’s Jubilee:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.30

    “To Joachim Vincent Pecci, Bishop of Rome, and Pope of the Catholic Apostolic and Roman Catholic Church, health and an evangelical benediction! A priest of blameless life for fifty years, wise, moderate, successful as priest, governor, archbishop, nuncio, cardinal, Pope, we send him our Christian salutation. Prelates, priests, and peoples of his own communion, gladly pay him homage. We simply offer him kindly greetings in the name of Christ, to whom both Pope and Protestant bow in reverent adoration. Gifts and congratulations pour in upon him from Christian, Turk, and pagan, in honor of the jubilee of his priesthood.... The time was when Popes hurled their unapostolic anathemas against followers of Christ, and Protestants hurled them back with access of intensity, if possible. But Leo XIII. is a kindly Christian gentleman, who loves light, and peace, and purity, and progress. Lumen in Celo is his motto; and that his reign will be as a light in the Catholic heavens, is in no wise improbable. He has been Pope just ten years, and these years have been so many years of progress for his church.... He has made peace with France, and Germany, and Switzerland; he has brought about an era of better feeling in Italy; he has reformed many abuses, raised the tone of the church, and gained a strong influence in the councils of Europe.... And so we wish Pope Leo, of that name the thirteenth, continued health, a long reign, and Godspeed in his liberalizing policy.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 86.31

    Can our readers believe that the above, and considerable more of the same, is from a professedly Protestant journal? Where is the Protestantism? What is said about the prosperity of the church, and the progress of its influence, under Leo XIII., is all true; but is that something to rejoice over? If in time of war, a leader on one side should report with every appearance of joy, that since General X had taken command of the enemy’s forces, they had made rapid and continual progress, would he not be considered as harboring traitorous feelings toward his own country? Let it be remembered that the liberties of the people have never been more trampled upon than when wise, learned, and personally upright Popes have ruled, and that the triumph of Catholicism always means death to civil and religious liberty.SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.1

    We have no fear that the Pope will ever be regarded in this country as he is in Europe, or that the Catholic Church, as such, will ever gain the supremacy in the United States; but what we do fear, and with good reason, is that Protestantism will become so saturated with the principles of Catholicism as to overthrow the liberties of the American people. We do not mean that Protestantism will ever pray to the virgin Mary, or adopt the confessional, or any other Romish dogma that it has not now, but that it will become intoxicated with the lust for power, which is the distinguishing characteristic of Romanism. Catholicism, stripped of its belief that the church should be recognized as supreme in politics, as well as in religion, would be nothing to be feared. If there is to be a union of religion and State, as the National Reformers now put it, we would just as willingly see the Catholic religion elevated to that position as the Protestant. The American people do well to look out for the encroachments of the Papacy; but we fear lest while they are watching the enemy that is approaching from Rome, degenerate Protestantism will steal a march on them and gain the citadel of their liberties. W.SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.2

    “The Rich Young Ruler” The Signs of the Times, 14, 6.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Commentary.
    (February 26.-Matthew 19:16-25.)

    “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Matthew 19:16. From the parallel accounts in Mark 10:17-27 and Luke 18:18-27, we learn that it was a young man who asked this question, and kneeled down before the Saviour. This would indicate real earnestness on the part of the young man. He really wanted eternal life, but, as the sequel proved, he wanted it in his own way. He thought that he could earn eternal life by his good works, and he wanted those good works to be such as should be agreeable. There are many thousands who will come short of eternal life, who would like to have it, and who would have it if they themselves could make the conditions.SITI February 10, 1888, page 90.1

    But before Jesus paid any attention to the young man’s question, he asked him one, in turn. Jesus caught up the expression, “Good Master,” and asked: “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God.” He who sees in this any tendency on the part of Christ to depreciate himself, or to disclaim the possession of absolute goodness, comes far short of learning the lesson intended to be conveyed. Jesus was good. Peter says that he “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth;” and that “when he was reviled, [he] reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not.” 1 Peter 2:22, 23. Isaiah’s prophetic description of him was that “he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” Isaiah 53:9. John says: “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5. Paul says that God “made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. If there had been the least trace of sin in him, he could not have been manifested to take away our sin, and we could not in him attain to the perfect righteousness of God. The fact that we may be made the righteousness of God in him, shows that his righteousness was nothing less than the righteousness of God. To his disciples he declared that Satan had nothing in him (John 14:30), and to the curious, prying Pharisees, who did nothing else, but play the spy upon him, that they might find something against him, he asked, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” John 8:46. It will not do to say that Jesus was one jot below divine perfection.SITI February 10, 1888, page 90.2

    It must be held as a settled fact, then, that Jesus was absolutely good; that he was the perfection of goodness. Then since, according to his statement to the young ruler, “there is none good but one, that is, God,” it must be that Jesus is God, and that this was the fact that he wished to impress on the young man’s mind. And the Scriptures everywhere bear out this conclusion. Says John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1. And Isaiah, foretelling his birth, said: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. Thus it is that his righteousness was the righteousness of God. The law of God was in his heart, because it was his own law, emanating from him as well as from the Father. “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9. Christ’s object in asking the young man, “Why callest thou me good?” and then making the statement that he did, was to see whether he called him “good” as a polite compliment, or because he recognized him as God. Moreover, this question and statement showed that he spoke with authority, so that when the young man turned away, he knew that he was turning his back on the Son of God.SITI February 10, 1888, page 90.3

    “But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” The man who does this is perfect, for “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 19:7. They are “the righteousness of God,” which we are to be made in Christ Jesus. Almost the last words of Revelation are: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. To keep the commandments is the highest ideal that any man can set for himself, it is the divine ideal. God himself requires no more of any man, for we read: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:14.SITI February 10, 1888, page 90.4

    The young man was surprised at the answer which he received from Jesus. “He saith unto him, Which?” He knew the commandments of God, and felt sure that he had always kept them perfectly; and so he doubtless thought that Jesus must have reference to some higher commandments. He could not imagine that anyone would tell so good a man as he was that he must keep the commandments. To his astonished inquiry, Jesus replied: “Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 19:18, 19. All of the commandments of the second table of the law were quoted by Jesus, except the tenth. “Thou shalt not covet,” and that was included in the summary of the entire six, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Nothing was said of the first table of the law, which specifies our duties to God. This was not by any means because any one of those precepts is unnecessary, for these four commandments combined make the first and greatest commandment. But Jesus quoted the second table, because the keeping of that, or the failure to keep it, could be most readily seen. Jesus would try him on the lesser duties, and if he failed there, he would of course come short on the greater. Says John: “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” 1 John 5:4.SITI February 10, 1888, page 90.5

    To Christ’s enumeration of the commandments, the young man replied: “All these have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet?” This was a great deal to say, yet the young man said it in all sincerity; and there is no doubt but that so far as any man could discern, his life had been above reproach. That there was something attractive about the man, is evident from Mark’s statement that, “Jesus beholding him loved him.” Of course Jesus loved all men; but this specific statement implies that Jesus loved this young man in an especial manner. He loved him for what he was, and for the possibilities of usefulness that he saw in him; and therefore he wished him to take the one step lacking to make him perfect.SITI February 10, 1888, page 90.6

    “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven; and come and follow me.” Mark records the thought a little more fully in these words: “One thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven; and come, take up thy cross, and follow me.” Here we have a refutation of the idea that Jesus taught that any man could gain Heaven simply by his own efforts to keep the commandments. The man who thinks that this can be done is at least in as bad condition as the young man was, and he may be a good deal worse off. Yet the fact remains that he who keeps the commandments shall have eternal life. To keep them is the whole duty of man, and God requires nothing more. Then why was not the young man sure of eternal life? Because he had not kept the commandments perfectly. He thought that he had kept them, but he had not. He had kept them as perfectly as it is possible for any man to do by himself, and that was all. The one thing needful to round out his life, and to make him a perfect commandment keeper, was to follow Jesus Christ, the sinless one, who was made to be sin for us, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Romans 10:4. Those who go about to establish their own righteousness will ever fall far short of attaining to the righteousness of God. We can be complete only in Christ. Our best efforts are far below perfection; but when we humbly follow Christ, divine grace comes down to meet our efforts, and thus, through faith, we out of weakness are made strong. See Hebrews 11:34. Nothing is required of any man, but that he should keep the commandments; but no man can keep the commandments except by the help of Christ.SITI February 10, 1888, page 90.7

    In the young man’s question, “What lack I yet?” we see evidence that he thought that eternal life could be purchased by good works. This is a sad mistake. Because of this mistaken idea, many men have gone on pilgrimages, have afflicted themselves, have done penance, and many other things all in vain. The Catholic Church has taken advantage of the natural cry of the soul that is anxious for eternal life, “What must I do to be saved?” to turn the attention of men to certain works. Thus it exhibits the spirit of antichrist, because it turns men away from the Lamb of God, who alone can cleanse from sin and make men righteous. Eternal life cannot be earned, it is too valuable. No man can give an equivalent for it. It cannot be obtained without good works, yet no amount of good works will buy it.” “The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” Romans 6:23. After we have done all, we are still unprofitable servants, and whatever we receive must be as the free gift of God.SITI February 10, 1888, page 91.1

    “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” This shows that he had not kept the commandments. He had not loved the Lord with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself. His ideas of eternal life were altogether too low. He wanted eternal life with full possession of his earthly estate, not realizing that the riches of Heaven infinitely surpass the treasures of earth. And those riches are obtained only through self-denial. If anyone would share “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” he must be willing to become even as Christ, who though he was rich yet for our sakes become poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. See 2 Corinthians 8:9. In the parable in Matthew 13:45, 46, we learn the only way that the kingdom may be obtained: “The kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant-man, seeking goodly pearls; who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” The young man had found the pearl of great price, but he was not willing to part with his present possessions, which were paltry in comparison, in order that he might gain it.SITI February 10, 1888, page 91.2

    “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23, 24. This statement must be accepted as literally true. The supposition that Jesus referred to a gate in Jerusalem, called the needle’s eye, through which a camel might with great difficulty pass, is sheer nonsense. Jesus meant just what he said. A rich man cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. The apostle tells us whom God hath chosen: “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” James 2:5. The man who can live in this world of sorrow and want, and still hoard up great possessions, cannot be a follower of the meek and lowly Jesus, who though he had not where to lay his head, went about doing good.SITI February 10, 1888, page 91.3

    Yet it is not a sin to be rich. Abraham, the friend of God, “was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” Job, of whom God said, “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil,” was “the greatest of all the men of the East.” But these men did not trust in riches, which is the great sin. See Mark 10:24. They had wealth, yet they did not consider it as their own, but were simply stewards for God. Yet in spite of all their liberality their property increased. Bunyan quaintly puts it thus:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 91.4

    “A man there was, though some did count him mad,
    The more he gave away, the more he had.”
    SITI February 10, 1888, page 91.5

    If God pours wealth upon such a person, he cannot be counted rich in the sense that the word is used in our Saviour’s words. Such a man may enter Heaven, but not as a rich man. He enters it because he is poor in spirit, in nowise puffed up because of his possessions, but regarding them as only the Lord’s. He will be his own executor, distributing his property in his life-time, and not “leaving it” when death forces him to leave it. W.SITI February 10, 1888, page 91.6

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 6.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The New York Observer puts the matter of communism in a nutshell, thus: “Christian communism is the cure for infidel communism. They are antipodes. The spirit of the one is stewardship-it says, ‘Mine is yours.’ The Spirit of the other is selfishness-it says, ‘Yours is mine.’”SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.1

    We hope that none of the readers of the SIGNS will skip the “Notes on the International Lesson,” for the reason that they may not be studying those lessons. The notes are designed to be of a practical nature, and of no lss importance to the general reader than to the Sunday-school scholar. All who are interested in the considerat6ion of Bible truth should read these notes.SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.2

    The United States Commissioner of Labor has just rendered a report on strikes and lockouts. It appears that there has been a steady increase in strikes each year since 1881, except that there were fewer in 1887 than in 1886. The total number of employés involves in all the strikes for the entire seven years, is 1,318,674. In forty-six per cent. of the cases, the strikers gained their object. The result of the strikes, however, was a wage loss to employés of nearly $60,000,000, besides taking from the pockets of other employés, in supporting their fellow-laborers while on a strike, the sum of $4,420,595. It is extremely doubtful if a strike ever pays, while it is absolutely certain that, as a whole, they are decidedly unprofitable.SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.3

    The International Record furnishes some statistics concerning pauperism in the United States, which will doubtless surprise many. It shows that pauperism is more common among men than among women, and that it is much more common among white men than among negroes. The ratio of pauperism is greater in the North than in the South, and in the East than in the West. These statistics are given to verify the following statement: “If New England or Massachusetts be taken as a starting point, it matters not in what direction a line be drawn, the largest amount of pauperism will be found to exist in Massachusetts, and the smallest in the State farthest removed from Massachusetts; while the intervening States will exhibit, with scarcely an exception, a gradual decline in something like the degree of their removal from the extreme northeast.” Much of this may be accounted for by the fact that the foreign-born population furnishes three-fourths of the paupers, and that the worst of these naturally cluster about the point near which they land.SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.4

    In an article on Church Union, in the Christian at Work of January 12, Prof. George I. Crooks, D. D., of Drew Theological Seminary, said:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.5

    “The objects to be obtained by a co-operative union are not far off. We name here a more thorough evangelism, the protection of marriage as a divine institution, te protection of the Lord’s day as a Christian ordinance, and the repression of intemperance. The first of these was sufficiently discussed at the recent Washington conference. In the protection of marriage, the churches will be called on to deal with the loose divorce laws of many of our States. Their churchly function here will be to create a wholesome public opinion, to revive the Christian idea of marriage, which is in danger of perishing, and to prepare the way for legislation. In the protection of the Lord’s day, I, for one, should be glad if the united American churches were to give emphasis to the declaration that this is a Christian country, historically and politically. If we cannot unite on that, we can at least do something to revive the sense of obligation to observe the Lord’s day as sacred. We can do much to prevent the sweeping away of the legal protection which our American Sunday has hitherto enjoyed.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.6

    Question-If, as we are sometimes told, the only object of Sunday laws is to insure needed rest to workingmen, and that they are only “police regulations,” having no likeness whatever to religious legislation, why is it that the churches are so interested in the matter? and how is it that it is thought necessary that they should combine “to revive the sense of obligation to observe the Lord’s day as sacred’? He who cannot see that the current is setting toward religious legislation, does not discern the signs of the times.SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.7

    The Michigan Christian Advocate says:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.8

    “The civil authorities of Boston are said to be already planning for a magnificent reception for Singer Sullivan upon his return from England. In the meantime, a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ lies in a Boston jail for the awful crime of preaching in a public square without a permit, which the same civil authorities refused to grant. And this in the proud city of the Puritans! The preaching of the gospel shamefully entreated, as at old Ephesus or Philippi, and the chief gladiator of the town honored by the highest officers!”SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.9

    To this might be added the fact that a marble statue of the prize fighter has recently been unveiled, and the school-children of Boston have marshaled around it to admire it. Thus is art, for which so much is claimed as a refiner and civilizer, made to serve a brutalizer; for it is certain that all of the children who are taught to admire the statue of Sullivan, will insensibly be led to admire the methods by which he obtained such celebrity. Those who think that progress in art or in science will necessarily tend to elevate this generation, are trusting in a vain hope. Art did not save Greece from moral degradation, but the lesson seems lost upon this generation.SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.10

    The SIGNS OF THE TIMES is in no sense a political paper, and takes no sides in any party contest. Nevertheless it keeps watch of the political field, especially nothing those phases which promise “reform.” A question which will soon claim general attention, as incidental to the National Reform, prohibition, and W. C. T. U. work, is that of women suffrage. The benefit that it is expected will be derived from this measure, is expressed as follows by a correspondent of the Christian Cynosure:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.11

    “It should be emphasized every day in the week that the women of our land, with the ballot in their hands, would ‘fix things,’ and sweep the country of beer and whisky, and secret societies into the bargain.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.12

    As we said before, we take no sides; but we can’t help thinking of this curious fact, namely, that Maine, Iowa, and Kansas have prohibition, and have no women suffrage, and that Wyoming Territory has long had women suffrage, but has no prohibition. Does this signify anything in the case?SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.13

    It is stated that “Father” S. Wagener, of Chicago, has renounced Romanism, and will, with Evangelist Harris, establish in that city a church of “Progressive Christians.” True Christians are always progressive, ever pressing “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Whether it means this in the case of the proposed Chicago church remains to be seen.SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.14

    “An Incentive to Wickedness” The Signs of the Times, 14, 6.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The somewhat trite saying, “While there’s life there’s hope,” contains more truth than most people realize. When Satan beguiled “the mother of all living,” almost his first words were, “Ye shall not surely die,” and Eve, seeing “that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise,” and willing to incur the divine displeasure if only she might gratify her curiosity and still live, “took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.15

    Satan’s greatest incentive to wickedness was sprung upon our race in the words, “Thou shalt not surely die.” “This secret dread and inward horror of falling into naught” is a most fearful thought, and with that removed, a vast majority of our race are willing to gamble, as it were, upon the chances of attaining felicity in some way, and at some time, in the eternity of conscious existence promised them by the enemy of all righteousness.SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.16

    “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” is the divine sentence, and whoever he be, whether philosopher or theologian, that teaches the natural and unconditional immortality of the soul, only re-echoes the words of the despoiler of Eden, and arrays himself against an eternal truth that underlies the very government of God. The poet sings:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.17

    “The soul secure in her existence smiles
    At the drawn dagger, and decries its point.”
    SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.18

    And alas! true it is, that millions of souls, supposing themselves secure in their existence, have defied the God of Heaven, stimulated by the delusive thought that, whether righteous or wicked, their lives would measure with the life of the self-existent and eternal Creator of all things.SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.19

    “More Protestant Flattery” The Signs of the Times, 14, 6.

    E. J. Waggoner

    On another page we have quoted and commented upon the Independent’s servile flattery of the Pope. The Christian at Work does not “gush” quite so much, yet it glorifies the head of “the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth,” in the following manner:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.20

    “Pope Leo XIII. may well feel profoundly grateful, and in the best sense happy, over the splendid and successful celebration of his Jubilee in commemoration of fifty years of service in his church as a Priest, Archbishop, Nuncio, Cardinal, and Pope. His life has been, even by the testimony of those who hate the papacy, above reproach and honest criticism. The whole Christian world, Protestant as well as Catholic, in looking upon this venerable man whose loyalty to God and zeal for the welfare of humanity are as conspicuous, as his freedom from many of the errors and bigotries of his predecessors is remarkable, is ready to exclaim, ‘The hoary head is a crown of glory if it be found in the way of righteousness.’ Nearly fourscore years of age, this great Ruler of a Church which Dr. Hodge, of Princeton, clearly recognized, without, however, endorsing its errors, as a branch of the true church of Christ, has richly earned the honors so lavishly bestowed the other day upon him.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.21

    It speaks of him as the “Holy Father” and “his Holiness,” and says further:-SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.22

    “Allying himself with boundless perseverance to the best ... in the historic creed of his church, and with the wisest and most pacific living authorities among his brethren; and bringing to these the cumulative force of a world-known character for integrity, moderation, discretion, and downright earnestness in doing good, he has been able to revolutionize in a large degree the retrogressive policy of the Roman Catholic organization.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.23

    Says the inspired prophet: “And all the world wondered after the beast.” “And they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?” We may not say that this prophecy is yet fulfilled, but such utterances as we have quoted from influential journals, professedly Protestant, certainly indicate its speedy fulfillment. When Protestants can glory in the advance of the Papacy, it must be that we are in danger from professed Protestantism.SITI February 10, 1888, page 96.24

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