The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, vol. 71

The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Vol. 71


January 2, 1894

“England” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 71, 1.


E. J. Waggoner

The first thing to be thought of in every case is the message. In fact, we may say that the only thing that we as Seventh-day Adventists need to know is what is termed among us the third angel’s message, which is but another name for the closing up of the everlasting gospel. Paul determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified; and that was what gave him success. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 4.1

Even so will it be in these days. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. All men are in the same condition, having the same need; for God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26), and hath fashioned all their hearts alike. Psalm 35:15. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and all who believe are alike justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Since there is no difference in men, no matter in what part of the earth they dwell, God puts no difference between them in the matter of salvation, but purifies the hearts of all alike, by faith. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 4.2

What is known as the third angel’s message, or, better still, the threefold, closing message of the gospel, is simply the announcement that the Lord is soon coming, and of the power of God to prepare men for that event. “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.” “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever.” This is the message: Man is nothing, but God is everything; man is weakness, but God is strength; man is sinful, but God is righteousness; man is ignorant, but God is wisdom; man is as frail as the grass, but God is wisdom; man is as frail as the grass, but God has life in himself; and all that God is, he gives to every one who will accept him; for he “gave himself for us.” ARSH January 2, 1894, page 4.3

The message, then, is the announcement of the power of God, as contrasted with the weakness of men, and as working in weak and sinful men. It is the setting forth of the mind of Christ, and showing that as God was manifest in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, who emptied himself that the Father alone might be revealed in him, so he will reveal himself in the flesh of every one who will yield himself to God, that he may be emptied of self. Now the power of God is always the same. It cannot be measured, for it is infinite. To create the smallest thing, or to cleanse the least sin, requires nothing less than the power of God, and to create the entire universe, or to save the world, requires nothing more than that same power. All things are alike to God. Nothing is too hard for him. Jeremiah 32:17-19. With a word all things are accomplished by him, and it requires no more effort for him to speak the word that brings the universe into existence than to speak the word that causes of single blade of grass to grow. The same word that cast the devil out of Mary, a Jewess, also cast the devil out of the daughter of the Syro-phenician woman. “The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” Romans 10:12. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 4.4

In England there is exactly the same thing that is in every other country; namely, fallen human nature. This manifests itself in self-exaltation; for it was exaltation of self that caused the fall, and the farther men fall away from God, the more they exalt themselves. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 4.5

In America the spirit of self-exaltation is assuming more and more openly the form of the papacy, in setting forth man-made religion instead of the religion of Jesus Christ,-the power of man in the place of the power of God. The only difference between America and England is that the latter country already has what the former is striving for. There is and always has been, an established church in England, deriving its power from the civil government, and acknowledging the queen as its “supreme head.” In almost every question, Parliament or the prayer book indorsed by Parliament, and not the Bible, is appealed to as the source of authority. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 4.6

It is true that the Church of England includes only about one half the population of England. The other half are “dissenters.” These include all other professed Protestant bodies and Roman Catholics, as well as atheists, agnostics, and those who are indifferent. The policy of Roman Catholics, is well known; it is the same everywhere. While the professed Protestant bodies have not the connection with the State that the Church of England has, they stand in the same relation to the government that churches in America do. They seek to influence Parliament, and are, as bodies, thoroughly committed to the idea that Christianity must have the aid of civil power, and that politics is a part of religion. There is, it is true, a strong feeling in favor of the disestablishment of the Church of England, but this arises largely from a desire for equality. They think it is not fair that one denomination should have so much more favor from the government than the others. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 5.1

It might be mentioned, as a parallel to the appeals to Parliament by the Church of England, that the other bodies likewise appeal largely to precedent, custom, and the opinions of men, both living and dead. This is the same in every country, and shows the growing dependence upon man rather than upon God. It should be noted, also, that the controversy over the Bible is waxing stronger. There are ministers in England who are recognized as leaders in the church, whose great burden seems to be to keep the people from believing that the Bible is the word of God. They plead as pathetically with their fellows, not to lead the people to depend wholly on the Bible, as they would be expected to plead with them to accept it. and the sad fact is that there are very few who are not to some degree infected with the same spirit. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 5.2

Notwithstanding the fact that a union of Church State is largely taken as a matter of course in England, and Sunday laws abound, there is not nearly the stir over the matter that there is in America. The reason is that this state of things has not been questioned. Those who are acquainted with the situation in America will remember that the growth of religious legislation has been proportionate to the growth of the message. As the truth has been proclaimed, that Sunday stands as the symbol of man’s attempted usurpation of God’s power, the attempts to force that institution upon the people have increased. Where before there was indifference there now is intolerance. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 5.3

This should be sufficient to indicate what is necessary to be done in England. If the truth were proclaimed in England to the same extent that it has been in the United States, there would be seen the practical workings of Church and State union, to an extent that has scarcely been dreamed of in the latter country. The reason why the truth has not become more extensively known in England is not that those professing it have been indifferent, but that they were so few. There is in the United States one Seventh-day Adventist to about twenty-five hundred of the population, while in England the proportion is about one to ninety thousand. For a population two thirds as great as that of the United States, there are but seven ministers and a dozen Bible readers. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 5.4

The large cities of England, of which there are many, have scarcely been entered. The only one that has been given anything like thorough work, is Bath, with 60,000 inhabitants. Hull, with 200,000 inhabitants, has had some good work, but not sufficient to allow the truth to be even rumored over the entire city. The greatest portion of it is yet untouched. Two or three other smaller towns have had a little work years ago. The really large cities have been practically untouched. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 5.5

But if every other city in England were being thoroughly worked, the nation would not be half warned if London were neglected. There is no other city in the world, that occupies the same relation to the country in which it is situated, that London does to England. Work done in London will tell more on the country at large, and on the British empire, than twice the amount done anywhere else. It is not simply that the country follows the example of London, but that whatever is known in London is known everywhere. London is the center. Of the many religious papers published in England, I do not know of any that are published outside of London. There may be some, but they are not of enough importance to have a place in the Newspaper Directory. This will give a little idea of the relation which London sustains to the country at large. ARSH January 2, 1894, page 5.6

There is a growing congregation in North London, but it is as a drop in the ocean. Well may we pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into the harvest. If it were man’s work, the outlook would be discouraging; but it is God’s work, and it is sure to be done. The kind of work required is the same in England that is required in every other country on earth. It wants men and women filled with confidence in God, belief of the truth, and love for their fellow-men. Love to God and love to man, fully expresses our relation to the message and to the country. If all in every country, who profess the truth, would only feel themselves to be debtors to all men, the work would speedily be done. Let not the people in America feel that their duty is to America, while the Sabbath-keepers in England are alone responsible for England. Let none be absorbed in thoughts of “our country.” Our country is the heavenly country, where our citizenship is, and our only relation to this earth is to invite its inhabitants to become fellow-citizens with us. Wherever the greatest need is, there should our greatest interest be. Who is there that, instead of letting his light be dimmed and become useless by reason of the greater light of others by whom he is surrounded, will let his light grow brighter and clearer by setting it in the thick darkness? ARSH January 2, 1894, page 5.7