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    June 10, 1889

    “Front Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A writer in the Missionary Review says that out of 3,000,000 converts in all the foreign mission fields, 30,000 have gone as workers in the field, or one out of every 100, while Protestant Christendom has sent forth but one out of every 5,000. The odds are greatly in favor of the converts from among the heathen.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.142

    The Christian life is a warfare, therefore do not be discouraged when trials and temptations come. Have you failed to realize all that you hoped to attain ere this? Do not lose courage; thank God for the help that he is giving you, and trust him for still greater blessings. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.143

    The California Prohibitionist says:-SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.144

    “Adherents of high license admit that it incites to the illicit selling. But they say this can be prevented by the earnest endeavor of honest officials. True, but would not the same amount of honest endeavor wholly prevent the sale, and so make prohibition prohibit?”SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.145

    The question is pertinent and we would like to hear it answered by some ardent advocate of high license.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.146

    According to the Church News (Catholic), the ruins of the tower of Babel have been turned to some account at last. The Carmelites of Baghdad have recently erected a statue of the Virgin Mary on the highest portion of the wall which remains standing. Considerable doubt formerly existed in the minds of many antiquarians as to whether the tower of Babel in reality ever had any connection with the ruins which now go by its name, and some have gone so far as to state that even the cite of Babylon (supposed to be the ancient Babel), is at present unknown. But of course this difficulty is now all cleared away by this action of the Romish Church. In her supreme wisdom and infallible judgment she has for ever decided the matter by celebrating a mass on the spot, and then setting up the statue of the “blessed lady,” as before referred to. Well, so be it. Inasmuch as Babel means confusion, and the name is perpetuated in the Greek word Babylon, we can conceive of no more appropriate place for the great mysterious Babylon, the mother of harlots, to set up her idolatrous shrines, and practice her iniquitous mysteries than she has found in this instance.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.147

    The Japan Christian Advocate says: “The assassination of Viscount Mori, Minister of State for Education, with subsequent explanations given for the deed, would indicate a deep-rooted devotion among a certain class of Shinto believers. It may indeed be that the quiet, unobtrusive cult of ancient Japan may prove in the end to be a stronger adversary of Christianity than even Buddhism. Buddhism is, after all, an alien religion; Shintoism is the original Japanese religion, and is to be found nowhere else. From time immemorial it has held its own, and has for all these ages lived to sustain a national reverence for the emperor.”SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.148

    Massachusetts is the most illiterate State of the Union. Cardinal Manning, in his article on public schools in America, refers to this; but, as the Churchman says:-SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.149

    “It is mainly owing to the cardinal’s own brethren, who have taken possession of it to an overwhelming extent, that the State has changed from having the smallest number of illiterates of any State in the Union, compared with its population, to the one which has the greatest number. It is the immigration from the French parts of Canada and from the south and west of Ireland, which has filled the cities and manufacturing towns of Massachusetts, and of the adjoining States, with their present illiterate population. The number of native illiterates, leaving out the foreign element entirely, would not be one-hundredth per cent. of the population. A larger proportion of the new-comers from Canada and Ireland can neither read nor write.”SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.150

    Education or enlightenment of the people has never been a part of Rome’s mission. Her mission is to enslave and blind.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.151

    It is stated by a French missionary who has been through Ecuador that the Indians there, though nominally free, are really in a state of slavery. They are bought and sold, bequeathed by will, seized by a creditor in payment of debt, and really in no way distinguishable, in such respects, from a beast of burden. The state of things has been brought about by the law which allows an Indian to sell himself into slavery when he is unable to satisfy his creditor in any other way, and once a slave he is rarely able to extricate himself. His wife and children share his miserable lot. The greater part of the Indians, this missionary says, are reduced to this condition, and live a life of the utmost degradation and misery. As Ecuador is a strongly Catholic country, the Pope, who has of late been posing as an ardent anti-slavery advocate, might show his faith by his works, and order his vassals to use their influence for the abolition of slavery in that country. We have no idea, however, that the crafty Leo will trouble himself about the matter in the least; it will be much easier for him to do nothing, and then with a great flourish of trumpets carry off the honors after others have done the work.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.152

    “Manner of Christ’s Coming” The Signs of the Times, 15, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The subject of the second coming of our Lord is one which has ever been ear to the Christian heart, and so plainly do the Scriptures teach the doctrine, that, notwithstanding all the unbelief there is in the world, few comparatively who profess any faith whatever in the sacred word are found to deny that Christ will come again. But strange as it may seem, while the Scriptures are equally clear as to the manner of his coming, the subject is far less clearly understood than the fact of that coming. We propose, therefore, to show what the Scriptures teach upon this important subject, first, however, reminding the reader that every text which speaks of the manner of our Lord’s coming is also positive evidence that he will come as promised in John 14:1-3 and Hebrews 9:28.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.153

    In his first letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul warns the brethren against indulging in hopeless sorrow for their dead friends, as though they were lost. He assures them, “by the word of the Lord,” that those who live until the Lord comes will have no precedence over those who fall asleep in Jesus. We will not be with Christ any sooner than they are. And then he proceeds to tell how this can be. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.154

    We shall have occasion to use this text again, and we pass it for the present. Turning to the first chapter of Acts, we read the account of Christ’s ascension. In his gospel, Luke had previously written, “And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” Luke 24:50, 51. In Luke’s second narrative we have this account: “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.155

    There is no mistaking these words. Christ was there in person. In bodily form, while in the act of blessing his disciples, he ascended to heaven. And the angels declared that “the same Jesus”-“the Lord himself,” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-should come in exactly the same manner as had left the earth. Now, as showing the perfect harmony of the Bible narrative, we quote right here the words of John: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” Revelation 1:7. The one who claims that the coming of Christ is death, or conversion, or anything else than a literal return to earth, squarely contradicts these plain texts.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.156

    Our Saviour foresaw that before his return many would be engaged in this very work. In order to draw the attention of man away from the real advent of Christ, as described in the Bible, Satan and his angels will transform themselves, not merely into angels of light, but into the appearance of Christ himself, and will “show great signs and wonders; insomuch that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elective.” Matthew 24:24. They will claim that Christ is already come, and will work miracles to support the claim. How, then, can we be sure that they are not the Christ; here is the sure guide: “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:26, 27. The reason why it will be impossible to deceive the elect, is because they will remember and implicitly believe the plain declarations of the Bible.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.157

    These texts prove not only that the coming of the Lord is a literal event, but that it is yet future. Do you still say that it took place on the day of Pentecost? We answer that Paul’s words in Hebrews 9:28 were written many years after that time. None of the apostles had written a line at that time, and, since the resurrection of Christ, had engaged in no public work whatever. Is it claimed that the destruction of Jerusalem answers to the coming of the Lord, we remind you that the book of Revelation was written more than a score of years after Jerusalem was conquered by Titus; and in that book, besides the description already quoted (Revelation 1:7), almost the closing words are these: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.” Verse 20. These forbid the application of the promise to any event before the close of the first century.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.158

    Again, no event has ever yet occurred comparable to the coming of the Lord as described in the Bible. Peter, in answer to those who, professing to be able to see no signs of such an event, derisively asked, “Where is the promise of his coming?” says: “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 June 10, 1889, page 295.159

    The psalmist says: “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Psalm 50:3-5.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.160

    The heavens have not departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; not yet as the glorious appearing of the Son of man in those opening heavens dazzled every eye as does the vivid lightning flash. Not yet have “the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” Revelation 6:15, 16. The time is still future when the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God shall call the dead in Christ from their graves, and when the living righteous, with glad accord, shall unite in the exclamation: “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.161

    That they will not pass and leave saints and sinners alike unconscious of its arrival. The Lord comes, not as an intercessor, but as a king, “without sin.” There is thenceforward no more mercy for sinners-they receive according to their deeds; no more trials for saints-he appears to them unto salvation. This being so, it is manifestly fool-hardy in any one to say, “We shall know more about it when it comes than we do now.” Yes, we will; but those who put off their knowledge of it until it comes, will learn to their sorrow. While the signs that show that coming near are fulfilling all around us, let us search the Scriptures that we may be children of the light, and, having our lamps trimmed and burning, be able to hail our Lord with joy when he returns. E. J. W.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.162

    “Puritanic Prejudice” The Signs of the Times, 15, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Catholic Mirror says:-SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.163

    “One of the most significant things in connection with the recent national celebration of the Washington inauguration centenary was the fact that in New Hampshire, the only State in the Union where Puritanic prejudiced against Catholics finds expression in the statute books, the sole patriotic commemoration of the event was the celebration held in Manchester under the auspices of the Catholic Young Men’s Societies.”SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.164

    We have no sympathy with the spirit of intolerance which excludes anyone from participation in the affairs of State because of his religious views and are in favor of granting the full civil and religious liberty alike to Catholics and Protestants, but we cannot help thinking that Papists are the last people on earth who ought to find fault because religious prejudices find expression in the statute books. There is not a Catholic country in the world where such prejudice does not find just such expression.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.165

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 15, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We desire to call special attention to the appeal from the non-Partisan Constitutional Prohibition Organization of South Dakota, published on page 349 of this paper. We trust that it will be carefully considered, and that every reader of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES will do his whole duty in helping to secure constitutional prohibition for this new State.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.166

    On a recent Sunday a young man in this city had one of his feet crushed while attempting to leave one of the local trains. It might be supposed at first thought that this circumstance would furnish an argument for some of our zealous Sunday advocates, but perhaps its force may be destroyed by the fact that the young man was returning from church at the time of the accident.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.167

    The Congregationalist is rather a unique reason why modern scholars should familiarize themselves with the writings of the so-called church Fathers, namely, “that they may see how frail they were, and may observe the gross defects developed almost at once when the original congregationalism of the early church became subverted by human ambitions in a very different and a very human system.”SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.168

    And that is about the only benefit to be derived from the study of their productions. As Dr. Clarke says, there is not a “heresy that has disgraced the Romish Church that has not challenged them as its abettors,” and there certainly is not a truth which cannot be proven much more clearly and directly without their testimony than with it. There can, therefore, be no good reason for studying their writings, except the one given by the Congregationalist.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.169

    Animadverting upon Mr. Parnell’s unfortunate departure from the truth in the House of Commons some years since, the Congregationalist says:-SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.170

    “Mr. Parnell is accounted a Protestant, but we regret to see that he is reported unblushing to have avowed that, in a certain memorable instance, he modeled his conduct on the Jesuitical maxim that ‘the end justifies the means.’ That wicked notion is indeed older than the Jesuits. In the fourth century Chrysostom shaped his action by it, and stoutly defended it.... And, with him, Origen and Jerome explained Galatians 2:13, etc., as an instance of its use by Paul for the purpose of persuading the Jewish Christians of the need of circumcision. There is more moral ozone in the atmosphere of our day, which long since toned up the general standard of veracity to a plane of purity of motive and utterance kindred to that of the New Testament itself, and far surpassing the defective and effete standard of the early Christian Fathers.”SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.171

    Yet some are wont to go to the writings of the same Fathers to prove important Christian doctrines. Indeed, they are almost the sole reliance of the champions of the Sunday sabbath. But the standard of the Fathers was worse than effete; it was wicked, and no one knows it so well as those who are most familiar with the writings. Will the Congregationalist be consistent and hold only that which can be proved by the Scriptures?SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.172

    It would seem that the past week or two have been almost without a precedent in the way of destructive floods and storms, the effects of which have been felt more or less in all parts of the world. During the latter part of May, a terrific hurricane swept over New South Wales, Australia, accompanied by the heaviest rainfall ever known there, causing much damage to property, and some loss of life. Devastating floods were reported from Austria, France, and other portions of Europe about the same time. Heavy rain and hail-storms in some parts of Mexico destroyed a great deal of stock, and many persons were drowned. Severe storms throughout China have also caused immense damage both to life and property. In the United States heavy snow-falls have damaged growing crops in Michigan; West Virginia and Kansas have suffered from disastrous cyclones and tornadoes, Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois, and portions of other States have incurred much loss on account of unprecedented rainfall, doing great injury to the country.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.173

    All these disasters, however, sink into insignificance compared with the terrible story that comes from Pennsylvania. The news seemed almost too horrible to be true, but later dispatches have confirmed the matter, and the details are simply heart-rending. Near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, covering what was formerly the site of Conemaugh Lake, up among the Allegheny Mountains, lies a large artificial reservoir, the largest in America, extending over thousands of acres, and formed by an immense dam over 100 feet high, which has been extended across the valley, here something like 1,000 feet wide. The extraordinary rains of the two days preceding resulted in so increasing the volume of all the streams emptying into the reservoir that the dam could no longer withstand the pressure, and in the afternoon of May 31 the entire structure gave way, allowing the raging mass of water to sweep unchecked downward through the narrow valley, carrying death and destruction in its mad onward course to the towns and cities miles away.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.174

    South Fork, Mineral Point, Woodvale, and Conemaugh, were successively swept away by the angry flood. Then came the beautiful city of Johnstown, with its busy thousands, all unthinking of the terrible fate so soon to befall them. Here alone it is estimated that 1,500 people lost their lives; 1,000 houses were swept away in a twinkling, and as the great mass of floating debris lodged against the massive railroad viaduct at the lower end of the city, a second dam was thus formed and in a few minutes the water was 55 feet deep all over the plain covered but a moment before with human habitations. Two heavily loaded passenger trains which had been delayed by the rain, were washed away, and many passengers loss. To add to the horror, the mass of buildings crowded against the viaduct to the height of 50 feet, caught fire, and it is estimated that at least 500 persons perished in the flames. The whole occurrence simply beggars description, and the loss of life has been terrible. Incredible as it may seem, it is stated that the whole number of lives lost by the calamity is not less than 8,000, while some fear that even a higher figure will be reached. The loss of property will be many million dollars.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.175

    Truly it would seem that the events connected with the time of the end, as foretold by the Saviour are coming upon the world, and that we have reached the time when there is already upon the earth “distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” Luke 21:25, 26. Surely, the time of our redemption draweth nigh.SITI June 10, 1889, page 295.176

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