This is a question which has more or less engaged the attention of the whole christian world!
FIRST QUESTION WE MIGHT ASK, WHEN WAS THE SABBATH INSTITUTED?
Those who are in the habit of reading the Scriptures just as they find them, and of understanding them according to the established rules of interpretation, will never be at a loss to understand so plain a passage as the following: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Gen. ii: 3. Moses, when referring to it, says to the children of Israel. “This is that which the Lord hath said, to-morrow is the REST of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord.” Exod. xvi: 23.
Then we understand that God established the seventh day Sabbath in Paradise, on the very day when he rested from all his work, and not one week, nor one year, nor two thousand five hundred and fourteen years afterwards, as some would have it. Is it not plain that the Sabbath was instituted to commemorate the stupendous work of creation, and designed by God to be celebrated by his worshipers as a weekly Sabbath, in the same manner as the Israelites were commanded to celebrate the Passover, from the very night of their deliverance till the resurrection of Jesus from the dead; or as we, as a nation, annually celebrate our national independence: or as type answers to antetype, so we believe this must run down, to the “keeping of the Sabbath to the people of God” in the immortal state.
It is argued by some, that because no mention is made of the Sabbath from its institution in Paradise till the falling of the manna in the wilderness, mentioned in Exo. xvi: 15, that it was therefore here instituted for the Jews, but we think there is bible argument sufficient to sustain the reply of Jesus to the Pharisees, “that the Sabbath was made for MAN and not man for the Sabbath.” If it was made for any one exclusively it must have been for Adam the father of us all, two thousand years before Abraham who is claimed as the father of the Jews was born. John says, the old commandment was from the beginning—1; ii: 7.
There is pretty strong inference that the antideluvians measured time by weeks from the account given by Noah, when the waters of the deluge began to subside. He “sent out a dove which soon returned.” At the end of seven days he sent her out again; and at the end of seven days more, he sent her out a third time. Now why this preference for the number seven? why not five or ten days, or any other number? Can it be supposed that his fixing on upon seven was accidential? How much more natural to conclude that it was in obedience to the authority of God, as expressed in the 2d chap. of Gen. A similar division of time is incidentally mentioned in Gen. xxix; “fulfil her week and we will give thee this also; and Jacob did so and fulfilled her week.” Now the word week is every where used in Scripture as we use it; it never means more nor less than seven days (except as symbols of years) and one of them was in all other cases the Sabbath. But now suppose there had been an entire silence on the subject of the Sabbath for this twenty-five hundred years, would that be sufficient evidence that there was none. If so, we have the same evidence that there was no Sabbath from the reign of Joshua till the reign of David, four hundred and six years, as no mention is made of it in the history of that period. But who can be persuaded that Samuel and the pious Judges of Israel did not regard the Sabbath. What does God say of Abraham? that he “obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws.” (See what he calls them in Exo. xvi: 27, 30.) This, of course, includes the whole. Then Abraham reverenced God’s Sabbath. Once more, there is no mention of the circumcision from the days of Joshua till the days of Jeremiah, a period of more than eight hundred years. Will it be believed that Samuel and David, and all those pious worthies with the whole Jewish nation, neglected that essential seal of the covenant for eight hundred years? It cannot be admitted for a moment. How then can any one suppose from the alleged silence of the sacred history that Adam, Enoch, Noah and Abraham, kept no Sabbath because the fact was not stated? If we turn to Jer. ix: 25, 26, we find that they had not neglected this right of circumcision, only they had not circumcised their hearts; so that the proof is clear, that silence respecting the keeping any positive command of God, is no evidence that it is not in full force.
Again, if the Sabbath was not instituted in Paradise, why did Moses mention it in connection with the creation of the world? Why not reserve this fact for two or three thousand years in his history, until the manna fell in the wilderness, (see Exo. xvi: 23) and then state that the seventh day Sabbath commenced, as some will have it? I answer, for the very best of reasons, that it did not commence there. Let us examine the text. “And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread as on any preceding day, and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them this is that which the Lord hath said, to-morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath, bake that which ye will bake, &c. &c.” If this had been the establishing of the holy Sabbath and Moses had said to-morrow shall be the Sabbath, then would it have been clear; but no, he speaks as familiarly about it as we do when we say that to-morrow is the Sabbath, showing conclusively that it was known before, or how could the people have known that they must gather two day’s manna on Friday the sixth day, unless they had had some previous knowledge of the Sabbath? for Moses had already taught them not to “leave any of it until the morning”—v. 19. The 20th verse shows that the Sabbath had not yet come since their receiving the manna, because it spoiled and “bred worms by the next morning;” whereas, on the Sabbath morning it was found sweet and eatible—24th v. This was the thirtieth day after leaving Egypt (1st v.) and twenty days before it was given on Sinai. The weekly Sabbath then was appointed before this or before the days of Moses. Where was it then? Answer in the second chapter of Genesis and no where else; and the same week on which the manna fell, the weekly Sabbath was revived among or with God’s chosen people. Grotius tells us “that the memory of the creation’s being performed in seven days, was preserved not only among the Greeks and Italians, but among the Celts and Indians.” Other writers say Assyrians, Egyptians, Arabians, Britons and Germans, all of whom divide their time into weeks. Philo says “the Sabbath is not peculiar to any one people or country, but is common to all the world.” Josephus states “that there is no city either of Greeks or barbarians or any other nation, where the religion of the Sabbath is not known.” But as they, like the great mass of God’s professed people in christendom, paid little or no heed to what God had said about the particular day, (except the Jews, and a few others) they (as we are informed in history) adopted peculiar days to suit themselves, viz: the christian nations chose to obey the Pope of Rome, who changed the seventh day Sabbath to the first day, and called it the holy Sabbath; the Persians selected Monday; the Grecians Tuesday; the Assyrians Wednesday; the Egyptians Thursday; the Turks Friday, and the Jews the seventh day, Saturday, as God had commanded. Three standing miracles a week, for about forty years annually, ought to perpetuate the Sabbath. 1st, double the quantity of manna on the sixth day; 2d, none on the seventh; 3d, did not spoil on the seventh day. If it does not matter which day you keep holy to the Lord, then all these nations are right. Now reflect one moment on this, and then open your bible and read the commandment of the God of all these nations! “REMEMBER! (what you have been taught before) the Sabbath day to keep it holy;” (which day is it Lord?) “the SEVENTH is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger, that is within thy gates.” Who is the stranger? (Gentiles.) Now the reason for it will carry us back to paradise. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is; and rested on the SEVENTH; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant; it is a SIGN between me and the children of Israel forever.” (Why is it Lord?) “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the SEVENTH day he rested and was refreshed.” Exo. xx and xxxi.—Which day now will you choose? O, says the reader, the seventh if I knew which of the days it was. If you don’t know, why are you so sure that the first day is right? O, because the history of the world has settled that and this is the most we can know. Very well then, does not the seventh come the day before the eighth? If we have not got the days of the week right now, it is not likely that we ever shall. God does not require of us any more than what we know; by that we shall be judged. Luke xxii: 55, 56.
Once more; think you that the spirit of God ever directed Moses when he was giving the history of the creation of the world, to write that he (God) “blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work.” unless he meant it to be dated from that very day? Why, this is as clear to the unbiassed mind as it is that God created man the sixth day. Would it not be the height of absurdity to attempt to prove that God only intended Adam should be created at some future period, or that the creation of the heavens and earth was not in the beginning, but some twenty five hundred years afterwards? All this would be as cogent reasoning as it would be to argue that God did not intend this day of rest should commence until about twenty-five hundred years afterwards. (The word Sabbath signifies rest.)
It follows then irresistibly, that the weekly Sabbath was not made for the Jews only, (but as Jesus says, for ‘man’) for the Jews had no existence until more than two thousand years after it was established. President Humphrey in his essays on the Sabbath says, “That he (God) instituted it when he rested from all his work, on the seventh day of the first week, and gave it primarily to our first parents, and through them to all their posterity; that the observance of it was enjoined upon the children of Israel soon after they left Egypt, not in the form of a new enactment, but as an ancient institution which was far from being forgotten, though it had doubtless been greatly neglected under the cruel domination of their heathen masters; that it was re-enacted with great pomp and solemnity, and written in stone by the finger of God at Sinai; that the sacred institution then took the form of a statute, with explicit prohibitions and requirements, and has never been repealed or altered since; that it can never expire of itself, because it has no limitation.”
In Deut. vii: 6-8, God gives his reasons for selecting the Jews to keep his covenant in preference to any other nation; only seventy at first—x: 22. God calls it his “Sabbath,” and refers us right back to the creation for proof. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth and sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh,” &c. Here then we stand fixed by the immutable law of God, and the word of Jesus, that “the Sabbath was made for man!” Paul says, “there is no respect of persons with God.” Rom. ii: 11. Isaiah shows us plainly that the Jew is not the only one to be blessed for keeping the Sabbath. He says “Blessed is the man (are not the Gentiles men?) that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it.” “Also the sons of the stranger, (who are these if they are not Gentiles?) every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, (does he mean me? yes, every gentile in the universe, or else he respects persons) even them will I bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer; for my house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” Isa. lvi: 2, 6, 7. If this promise is not to the Gentile as well as the Jew, then “the house of prayer for all people” is no promise to the Gentile.
Now we ask, if God has ever abrogated the law of the Sabbath? If he has it can easily be found. We undertake to say without fear of contradiction, he has not made any such record in the bible; but on the contrary, he calls it a perpetual covenant, a “sign between me and the children of Israel forever,” for the reason that he rested on the seventh day, Exo. xxxi: 16, 17. Says one, has not the ceremonial law been annulled and nailed to the cross? Yes, but what of that? Why then the Sabbath must be abolished, for Paul says so! Where? Why in Cols. 2d chapter, and xiv. Romans. How can you think that God ever inspired Paul to say that the seventh day Sabbath was made void or nailed to the cross at the crucifixion, when he never intended any such change; if he did, he certainly would have deceived the inhabitants of Jerusalem, in the promise which he made them about two thousand four hundred and forty-six years ago! Turn now to Jer. xvii: 25, and tell me if he did not promise the inhabitants of Jerusalem that their city should remain forever if they would hallow the sabbath day. Now suppose the inhabitants of Jerusalem had entered into this agreement, and entailed it upon their posterity (because you see it could not have been fulfilled unless it had continued from generation to generation,) to keep the Sabbath holy, would not God have been bound to let Jerusalem remain forever? You say yes. Well, then, I ask you to show how he could have kept that promise inviolate if he intended in less than six hundred and fifty years to change this seventh day Sabbath, and call the first day of the week the Sabbath, or abolish it altogether? I say, therefore, if there has been any change one way or the other in the Sabbath, since that promise, it would be impossible to understand any other promise in the Bible; how much more reasonable to believe God than man. If men will allow themselves to believe the monstrous absurdity that FOREVER, as in this promise, ended at the resurrection, then they can easily believe that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh to the first day of the week. Or if they choose the other extreme, abolished until the people of God should awake to be clothed on with immortality. Heb. iv: 9.
Now does it not appear plain that the Sabbath is from God, and that it is coeval and co-extensive (as is the institution of marriage) with the world. That it is without limitation; that there is not one thus saith the Lord that it ever was or ever will be abolished, in time or eternity.—See Exod. xxxi: 16, 17; and Isa. lxvi: 22, 24; Heb iv: 4, 9. But let us return and look at the subject as we have commenced in the light of Paul’s argument to the Romans and Collossians, for here is where all writers on this subject, for the change or the overthrow of the seventh day Sabbath attempt to draw their strong arguments.
HAS THE SABBATH BEEN ABOLISHED SINCE THE SEVENTH DAY OF CREATION? IF SO, WHEN, AND WHERE IS THE PROOF?
The text already referred to, is in Rom. xiv: 5, 6.—”One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day to the Lord, he doth not regard it.” Does the apostle here mean to say, that under the new or Christian dispensation it is a matter of indifference which day of the week is kept as a Sabbath, or whether any sabbath at all is kept? Was that institution which the people of God had been commanded to call a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable, now to be esteemed of so carnal a nature as to be ranked among the things which Jesus “took out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” If this be true, then has Jesus, in the same manner, abolished the eight last verses in the fifty-eighth of Isaiah, and the 2d, 6th and 7th verses of the 56th chapter have no reference to the Gentile since the crucifixion. O Lord help us rightly to understand and divide thy word. But is it not evident from the four first verses in the same chapter of Romans, that Paul is speaking of feast days; Hear him explain. “Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink.” 15, 17 v, also 20, 23. Giving them again in substance the decrees which had been given by the Apostles in their first conference, in A. D. 51; held at Jerusalem. See Acts xv: 19. James proposes their letter to the Gentiles should be “that they abstain from pollution of Idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood;” to which the conference all agreed. Now please read their unanimous decrees (xvi: 4,) from twenty-three to thirty verses. “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.” “That ye abstain from meats offered to Idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication, from which if ye keep yourselves ye shall do well.” Reading along to the 13th of the next chapter, we find Paul establishing the Churches with these decrees; (see 4, 5,) and at Philippi he holds his meeting, (not in the Jews Synagogue) but at the river’s side, on the Sabbath day. A little from this it is said that Paul is in Thesalonica preaching on the Sabbath days. Luke says this was his manner. What was it? Why, to preach on the Sabbath days (not 1st days.) Observe here were three Sabbaths in succession. xvii: 2. A little while from this Paul locates himself in Corinth, and there preaches to the Jews and Greeks (or Gentiles) a year and six months every Sabbath. Now this must have been seventy-eight in succession. xviii: 4, 11. Does this look like abolishing the Sabbath day? Has anything been said about the 1st day yet? No, we shall speak of that by and by.
Before this he was in Antioch. “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue the GENTILES besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.” xiii: 42, 44. Here is proof that the Gentiles kept the Sabbath. Now I wish to place the other strong text which is so strangely adhered to for abolishing or changing this Sabbath along side of this, that we may understand his meaning. “Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days.” Coll. ii: 14, 16. Now here is one of the strong arguments adhered to by all those who say the seventh day Sabbath was abolished at the crucifixion of our Lord: while on the other hand by the great mass of the Christian world, (so called,) the seventh day Sabbath ceased here, and in less than forty-eight hours the change was made to the first day of the week. Now remember Paul’s manner, (before stated) itinerating from city to city and nation to nation, always preaching to Jews and Gentiles on the seventh day Sabbath, (for there is no other day called the Lord’s Sabbath in the Bible.) Now if the Apostle did mean to include the Sabbath of the Lord God with the Jewish feasts and Sabbaths in the text, then the course he took to do so, was the strangest imaginable. His manner always was, as recorded, with the exception of one night, to preach on the very day that he was laboring to abolish. If you will look at the date in your bibles, you will learn this same apostle had been laboring in this way as a special messenger to the Gentiles, between twenty and thirty years since (as you say) the Sabbath was changed or abolished, and yet never uttered one word with respect to any other day in the week to be set apart as a holy day or Sabbath. I understand all the arguments about his laboring in the Jewish Synagogue on their Sabbath, because they were open for worship on that day, &c., but he did not always preach in their Synagogues. He says that he preached the Kingdom of God, and labored in his own hired house for two years. He also established a daily meeting for disputation in the school of Tyranus.—Acts xix: 9. Again he says, I have “kept back NOTHING that was PROFITABLE unto you. (Now if the Sabbath had been changed or abolished, would it not have been profitable to have told them so?) and have taught you publicly, and from house to house.” “For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL the council of God.”—Acts xx; 20, 27. Then it is clear that he taught them by example that the Sabbath of the Lord God was not abolished. Luke says it was the custom (or manner) of Christ to teach in the synagogues on the Sabbath day. iv: 16, 31. Mark says, “And when the Sabbath day was come he began to teach in their synagogue.” Mark vi: 2.—Now if Jesus was about to abolish or change this Sabbath, (which belonged to the first code, the moral law, and not the ceremonial, the second code, which was to be nailed to his cross, or rather, as said the angel Gabriel to Daniel, ix: 27, “he (Christ) in the midst of the week shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease,” meaning that the Jewish sacrifices and offerings would cease at his death.) Jesus did not attend to any of the ceremonies of the Jews except the passover and the feasts of tabernacles. Why did he say, “Think not I am come to destroy the law or the prophets? I am not come to destroy but fulfill. One jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled.” “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments” &c. Did he mean the ten commandments? Yes; for he immediately points out the third, not to take God’s name in vain; sixth and seventh, not to kill nor to commit adultery, and styles them the least. Then, the others, which include the fourth, of course were greater than these. Matt. v; 17-19, 21, 27, 33, and were not to be broken nor pass away. Then the Sabbath stands unchanged.
Almost every writer which I have read on the subject of abolishing or changing the seventh day Sabbath, calls it the Jewish Sabbath, hence their difficulty. How can it be the Jewish Sabbath when it was established two thousand years before there was a Jew on the face of the earth, and certainly twenty-five hundred before it was embodied in the decalogue, or re-enacted and written in stone by the finger of God at Sinai. God called this HIS Sabbath, and Jesus says it was made for man, (not particularly for the Jews.)
“Well,” says one, “what is the meaning of the texts which you have quoted, where it speaks of Sabbaths?”—Answer: These are the Jewish Sabbaths! which belong to them as a nation, and are connected with their feasts. God by Hosea makes this distinction, and says, “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.” These then belong to the text quoted, and not God’s Sabbath. Do you ask for the proof? See xxiii Levit. 4. “These are the FEASTS of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons, EVERY THING UPON HIS DAY”—37th v. (May we not deviate a little? If you do it will be at your peril.) Fifteenth and sixteenth verses give them a fifty day’s Sabbath; twenty-fourth verse says: “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying in the seventh month in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.”
“Also on the tenth day of the seventh month there shall be a day of atonement. It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest.” 27, 32.
“Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month when ye shall have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days. On the first shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. 39th v. And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the FEASTS of the Lord.” 44th v. Now here we have FOUR kinds of Jewish Sabbaths, also called “FEASTS of the Lord,” to be kept annually. The first fifty days or seven weeks Sabbath ends the third month, seventh. In three months and twenty-four days more commences the second Sabbath, seventh month, first; the next, the tenth; the last the fifteenth of the month. Between the first two Sabbaths there is an interval of one hundred and twelve days; the next two, ten days, and the next, five days. Now it can be seen at a glance, that neither of these Sabbaths could be on the seventh day any oftener than other annual feast could come on that day. These then are what Hosea calls HER Sabbaths. Paul calls them HOLY DAYS, new moons, and sabbaths; and this is what they are stated to be. The first day of the seventh month is a new moon SABBATH, the tenth is a Sabbath of rest and Holy convocation, a day of atonement, and the fifteenth a feast of Sabbaths. Do you ask for any more evidence that these are the Jewish Sabbaths, and that God’s Sabbath is separate from them? Read then what God directed Moses to write in the third verse: “Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation, ye shall do no work therein, it is the Sabbath of the LORD in your dwellings.” Now Moses has here declared from the mouth of the Lord, that these are ALL the feast of the Lord, (there is no more nor less) and every thing is to be upon his day, and he has clearly and definitely separated his Sabbath from the other four. But let us look at the text again. Coll. ii; 14-16. See 17 v. “which are a shadow of things to come.” What did the apostle say were shadows? Why, meat, drink, holy day, new moon, sabbath days. 16th v. Heb. ix: 10. What does he mean by shadow? See Heb. x: 1, 2. Just what I have stated on page 14. Now here we have one clear, positive point. If the seventh day Sabbath is included in the 17th verse, then it must be a shadow; if it is not a shadow, then Paul has no reference to it, and it stands forever! Moses says the ten commandments were written by the finger of God on tables of stone; whatever God has done with his own hand is stamped with immortality, and is as enduring as the sun, moon and stars. Psl. viii: 3. But if the 4th commandment, the Sabbath of the Lord is a shadow then all the other nine commandments must be. Let us look at what are called by our Lord the least commandments, the 6th and 7th. “Thou shalt not kill.”—”Thou shalt not commit adultry.” Math. v: 19, 21, 27. Are these shadows? Is there an individual with common sense in the world that dare risk his reputation in such kind of logic? Then it is as clear as a sun beam that all the others are tangible substances, and will continue in full force while immortality endures; especially the 4th commandment, the Sabbath. See Isa. 66: 23, Heb. iv: 9, Rev. 22: 14. And in the 28th and 29th chapters of Numbers the sacrifices and offerings for each of these days are made so plain, beginning with the Sabbath, 9th v. that we have only to read the following to understand. 26. xxix: 1. First day, seventh month, (new moon;) 7th v., 10th day Sabbath; 12th v., 15th day Sabbath, and 35th v., 23d day Sabbath. I will endeavor to present it in a clearer point of view:
Feast by fire connected with the Lord’s and the Jewish Sabbaths.
The Daily or continual [always] 2 lambs morning and evening.
3 quarts of flour for a meat offering, 21⁄2 pints of oil, 5 pints of wine—xxviii: 3-7.
THE SABBATH DAY. 2 lambs, and six quarts of flour with oil. Here follow the Jewish feasts with their Sabbaths:
1st.—7th week Sabbath, 2 bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat, 24 quarts of flour—xxviii: 16, 17.
2d.—7th month Sabbath, 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 kid, 36 quarts of flour—xxix: 1-5.
3d.—10th of 7th month Sabbath, 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 2 kids, 36 quarts of flour—7-11.
4th.—15th of 7th month Sabbath, 13 bullocks, 2 rams, 14 lambs, 2 kids, 41⁄2 bushels of flour—12-16.
5th.—8th day Sabbath, 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat, 36 quarts of flour—35-39.
“And Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the Lord commanded Moses.” Here is the 8th day Sabbath, which makes 5 Jewish Sabbaths, every one of them differing from the other and the Lord’s Sabbath, no more connected with them than in the xxiii of Levit. just named. Here then is an unanswerable argument for a separation of the Jewish from the Lord’s Sabbath, and shows conclusively what Paul calls “shadows” in ii Col: 17, and Hosea “her Sabbaths.” And in the days of Nehemiah when Ezra had read the law to the people, viii (more than one thousand years after they were promulgated,) they bound themselves under an oath “to walk in God’s law which was given by the hand of Moses, the servant of God.” “And to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord, our Lord.” x: 29. And that there might be no misunderstanding about the kind of Sabbaths, they say, “If the people bring ware or any victuals on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the Sabbath or on the holy day,” (31 v.) but they would “charge themselves yearly with a third part of a shekel” (to pay for) “the burnt offerings of the Sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts,” &c. (33 v.) for the house of God, including what has already been set forth in Leviticus and Numbers. Now as their feast days commenced and ended with a Sabbath, so when their feasts ceased to be binding on them these Sabbaths must also, and all were “nailed to the cross.” Now I ask if there is one particle of proof that the Sabbath of the Lord is included in these sabbaths and feast days?—Who then dare join them together or contradict the Most High God, and call HIS the Jewish Sabbath? Theirs was nailed to the cross when Jesus died, while the Lord’s is an everlasting sign a perpetual covenant. The Jews, as a nation, broke their covenant. Jesus and his disciples were one week (the last of the seventy) that is seven years, confirming the new covenant for another people, the Gentiles. Now I ask if this changing the subjects from Jew to Gentile made void the commandments and law of God, or in other words, abolished the fourth commandment? If so, the other nine are not binding. It cannot be that God ever intended to mislead his subjects. Let us illustrate this. Suppose that the Congress of these United States in their present emergency, should promulgate two separate codes of laws, one to be perpetual, and the other temporary, to be abolished when peace was proclaimed between this country and Mexico. The time comes, the temporary laws are abolished: but strange to hear, a large portion of the people are now insisting upon it that because peace is proclaimed that both these codes of laws are forever abolished; while another class are strenuously insisting that it is only the fourth law in the perpetual code that’s now abolished, with the temporary and all the rest is still binding. Opposed to all these is a third class, headed by the ministers and scribes of the nation, who are writing and preaching from Maine to Florida, insisting upon it without fear of contradiction, that when peace was proclaimed this fourth law in the perpetual code was to change its date to another day, gradually, (while some of them say immediately) and thenceforward become perpetual, and the other code abolished; and yet not one of these is able to show from the proceedings of Congress that the least alteration had ever been made in the perpetual code. Thus, to me, the case stands clear that neither of the laws or ten commandments in the first code, ever has or ever can be annulled or changed while mortality is stamped on man, for the very reason that God’s moral law has no limitation. Jesus then brought in a new covenant, which continued the Sabbath by writing his law upon their hearts. Paul says, “written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” 2 Cor. iii: 3. And when writing to the Romans he shows how the Gentiles are a law unto themselves. He says, they “shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their consciences always bearing them witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another,” (when will this be Paul) “in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” ii: 15, 16. How plain that this is all the change. The Jews by nature had the law given them on tables of stone, while the Gentiles had the law of commandments written on their hearts. Paul tells the Ephesians that it was “the law of commandments contained in ordinances,” (ii: 15) not on tables that were nailed to the cross. If the ten commandments, first written by the finger of God on stone, and then at the second covenant on fleshy tables of the heart, are shadows can any one tell where we shall find the substance? We are answered, in Christ. Well, hear Isaiah. He says, “that he (Christ) will magnify the law and make it honorable.” xlii: 21. Again, I ask, where was the necessity and of what use were the ten commandments written on our hearts, if it was not to render perfect obedience to them. If we do not keep the day God has sanctified, then we break not the least, but one of the greatest of his commandments. Before we leave this part of our subject let us examine 2 Cor. iii: 7, 9, 11, 15. I have been told that these verses clearly prove the abolition of the 10 commandments. It is admitted by all our opponents, that the change which they so much insist upon, respecting the commandments, took place at the crucifixion of our Lord. It is clear from ii Col: 14 that the hand-writing of ordinances (the law of Moses) was then taken out of our way, and all that was contrary to us, but the 10 commandments were never contrary to us, especially the 4th, the Sabbath, for “it was made for man.” The 2d or Gospel Covenant Paul tells the Hebs. is written upon our hearts. viii: 10. This is the same ten commandments; then instead of being taken away or abolished they are still nearer to us. See also 3d v of 2d Cor: iii. If Paul was laboring here to show the abolition of the ten commandments in A. D. 60, (look at the top of your bible for the date) pray tell me if you can what he meant by writing to the Romans the very same year and telling them that “the law was holy, and the commandments holy, just and good.” That he meant no other than the Law and Commandments in the decalogue, see xiii: 8, 9. About four years after this he is exhorting the Ephesians to the keeping the 5th commandment. He says it is the “first commandment with promise.” vi: 2. The same year that he writes the Romans he dates his 1st Epistle to the Cor. in ch. vii: 19, and says circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, (what is, Paul?) but the keeping the commandments of God. Now all this was certainly more than twenty-five years after the crucifixion. Is not the proof then positive and forever established that Paul’s preaching is right to the point in establishing the commandments of God instead of abolishing them? If I have not made it plain here, I would just say once more, that the Apostle’s argument where he refers to the abolition of the law in Rom., Cor., Gall., see v: 14, Eph. and Heb. he always means the carnal commandments and laws of Moses, and not the commandments of God, as he has shown. See Acts xxi: 20, 21. Here is circumcision, and the customs, the law of Moses, and not one breath about the Sabbath. But if you will trace back to the xviii: 4, 11, you will see that instead of abolishing THE Sabbath, Paul had just come from Corinth, where he had been preaching for 78 Sabbaths in succession. O Lord help thy people to see THESE truths and keep thy law! Still, there are many other texts relating to the law, presented by the opposite view, to show that the law respecting the Sabbath is abolished. Let us look at some of them. But it will be necessary in the first place, to make a clear distinction between what is commonly called the moral and ceremonial law.
MORAL AND CEREMONIAL LAW
Bro. S. S. Snow, in writing on this subject about one year ago, in the Jubilee Standard, asks “by what authority this distinction is made.” He says, “neither our Lord or his apostles made any such distinction. When speaking of the law they never used the terms moral or ceremonial, but always spake of it as a whole, calling it the law,” and further says, “we must have a ‘thus saith the Lord’ to satisfy us.” So I say. I have no doubt but thousands have stopped here; indeed, it has been to me the most difficult point to settle in this whole question. Now let us come to it fairly, and we shall see that the old and new testament writers have ever kept up the distinction, although it may in some parts seem to be one code of laws.
From the twentieth chapter of Exodus, where the law of the Sabbath was re- enacted, and onward, we find two distinct codes of laws. The first was written on two tables of stone with the finger of God; the second was taken down from his mouth and recorded by the hand of Moses in a book. Paul calls the latter carnal commandments and ordinances, (rites or ceremonies) which come under two heads, religious and political, and are Moses’s. The first code is God’s. For proof see Exo. xvi: 28, 30. “How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws: see for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath —and so the people rested on the Sabbath day.” Also in the book of Leviticus where the law of ceremonies is given to the levites or priests, Moses closes with these words “These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai”; in Heb. vii: 16, 18, called carnal commandments.
Again, “the Lord said unto Moses, come up to me into the Mount, and be there; and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written.” Exo. xxiv: 12. Further he calls them the ten commandments—xxxiv: 28. And Moses puts them, “into the ark”—xl: 20. Now for the second code of laws. See Deut. xxxl: 9, 10; and xxiv: 26. “And when Moses had finished writing the law, he commanded them to put this book of the LAW (of ceremonies) in the side of the ark of the covenant to be read at the end of every seven years.”—This is not the song of deliverance by Moses in the forty-four verses of the thirty-second chapter. For, eight hundred and sixty-seven years after this, in the reign of Josiah, king of Israel, the high priest found this book in “the temple,” (2 Chron. xxxiv: 14, 15) which moved all Israel. One hundred and seventy-nine years further onward, Ezra was from morning till noon reading out of this book. Neh. viii: 3; Heb. ix: 19. Paul’s comments.
Bro. Snow says in regard to the commandments, “The principles of moral conduct embraced in the law, were binding before the law was given, (meaning that one of course at Mount Sinai) and are binding now; it is immutable and eternal! They are comprehended in one word, LOVE.” If he meant, as we believe he did, to comprehend what Jesus did in the xix. and xxii. chap. Matt. 37-40, and Paul, and James, and John after him, then we ask how it is possible for him to reject from that code of laws, the only one, the seventh day rest, that was promulgated at the beginning, while at the same time the other nine, that were not written until about three thousand years afterwards, were eternally binding; without doubt, the whole ten commandments are coeval and coextensive with sin.—Again he says, “We readily admit, that if what is called the decalogue or ten commandments be binding on us, we ought to observe the seventh day, for that was appointed by the Lord as the Sabbath day.” Let us see if Jesus and his apostles do not make it binding. First then, the distinction of the two codes by Jesus.
The Pharisees ask the Saviour why his disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? His answer is, “Why do ye transgress the commandment of God?” and he immediately cites them to the fifth commandment, Matt. xv: 4. Again, “the law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached,” &c.—Luke xvi: 16. Jesus was three years after this introducing the gospel of the kingdom, unwaveringly holding his meetings on the Sabbath days, (which our opponents say were now about to be abolished; others say changed,) and never uttering a syllable to show to the contrary, but this was and always would be the holy day for worship. Mark says when the Sabbath (the Seventh day, for there was no other,) was come, he began to teach in the Synagogue, vi: 2. Luke says, “as his custom was, he went into the Synagogue and taught on the Sabbath day.” iv: 16, 31. Will it be said of him as it is of Paul on like occasions, some thirty years afterwards that he uniformly held his meetings on the Sabbath because he had no where else to preach, or that this day was the only one in the week in which the people would come out to hear him? Every bible reader knows better; witness the five thousand and the seven thousand, and the multitude that thronged him in the streets, in the cities and towns where they listened to him; besides, he was now establishing a new dispensation, while theirs was passing away. Then he did not follow any of their customs or rites or ceremonies which he had come to abolish.
I have already quoted Matt. 5: 17, 18, where Jesus said he had come to fulfil the law, and immediately begins by showing them that they are not to violate one of the least of the commandments, and cites them to some—see v: 19, 21, 27, 33. Again, he is tauntingly asked “which is the great commandment in the law: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” xxii: 36, 40. Here Jesus has divided the ten commandments into two parts, or as it is written on two tables of stone. The first four on the first table treat of those duties which we owe to God—the other six refer to those which we owe to man requiring perfect obedience.
Once more, “One came and said unto him, good master what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? He said, If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments. Then he asked him which. He cited him to the last part of what he called the second, loving his neighbor as himself.” If he had cited him to the first table, as in the xxii, quoted above, he could not have replied “all these have I kept from my youth up.” Why? Because he would have already been perfect, for Jesus in reply to his question, what he should do to inherit eternal life, said he must “keep the commandments.” Matt. xix: 16-20.—Is not the Sabbath included in these commandments?—Surely it is! Then how absurd to believe that Jesus, just at the close of his ministry, should teach that the way, the only way, to enter into life, was to keep the commandments, one of which was to be abolished in a few months from that time, without the least intimation from him or his Father that it was to take place. I say again, if the Sabbath is abolished, we ask those who teach it to cite us to the chapter and verse, not to the law of rites and ceremonies which are abolished, for we have already shown that the Sabbath was instituted more than twenty-five hundred years before Moses wrote the carnal ordinances or ceremonies. God said, “Abraham kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Gen. xxvi: 5. This must include the Sabbath, for the Sabbath was the first law given, therefore if Abraham did not keep the Sabbath, I cannot understand what commandments, statutes, and laws mean in this chapter. Jesus says, “As I have kept my Father’s commandments,” John xv: 10. Did he keep the commandments? Yes. Mark and Luke, before quoted—(but more of this in another place.)
In John vii: 19, Jesus speaks of “Moses law,” “your law,” x: 34. Again, “their law.” xv: 25. Here then we show that Jesus kept up a clear distinction between what God calls my law and commandments and Moses law, “their law,” “your law.” Let us now look at the argument of the Apostles. Paul preaching at Antioch taught the brethren that by Jesus Christ all who believe in him “are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses.” Acts xiii: 39.
The Pharisee said “that it was needful to circumcise them and commend them to keep the Law of Moses.” xv: 5.
Again, when Paul had come to Jerusalem the second time, (fourteen years from the time he met the Apostles in conference where they established the decrees for the churches. See Acts xx: 19; Gal. ii: 1,) the Apostles shewed him how many thousands of Jews there were which believed and were zealous of the law; “And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles, to forsake Moses and the customs.” xxi: 20, 21. Any person who will carefully read the eight chapters here included, must be thoroughly convinced that the Apostle’s troubles were about the law of ceremonies written and given by Moses, and nothing to do with the ten commandments. For you see a little before he comes to Jerusalem, he had been preaching at Corinth every Sabbath for eighteen months. xviii: 4, 11. And this, be it remembered, was more than twenty years after the Jewish Sabbaths and ceremonies were nailed to the cross.—And you see that Paul was the man above all the Apostles to be persecuted on account of the abolition of the Jews’ law of ceremonies, for he was the “great apostle to the Gentiles:” and if the “Sabbath of the Lord our God” was to have been abolished when the Saviour died, Paul was the very man selected for that purpose. It is clear, therefore, that he did not abolish the seventh day Sabbath among the Gentiles. This same Apostle tells the Romans “that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” x: 4. Again, that “sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law but under grace.” vi: 14. Once more: He says the Gentiles having not the law, are a law unto themselves.—Why? Because, he says in the next verse, it shews the law written on their hearts. The law of ceremonies? No that which was on tables of stone. ii: 14-16. We might quote much more which looks like embracing the whole law. Let us now look at a few texts in the same letter, which will draw a distinguishing line between the two codes of laws. Paul, in the vii ch. 9-13v, brings to view the carnal commandment, and the one unto life, and sums up his argument in these words: “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” In the 7v he quotes from the decalogue. Again, he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. How? Why thou shalt not steal, nor commit adultery, nor bear false witness, nor covet, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Rom. xiii: 8, 10.—This then is what the Saviour taught the young man to do—to secure “eternal life.” Matt. Once more, in concluding a long argument on the law in Rom. iii: 31 he closes with this language: “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid ye, we establish the law.”—What law is here established? Not the law of rites and ceremonies. What then, for Paul means some law. It can be no other than what he calls the law of “life,” of “love,” the ten commandments. How could even that be established twenty- nine years after the crucifixion if one of the greatest commandments had been abolished out of the code, that is the Sabbath.
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians teaches that “circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.” vii: 19. Again, in his epistle to the Galatians, his phraseology is somewhat changed, but the argument is to the same point, although some passages read as though every vestage of law was swept by the board when Jesus hung upon the cross. For instance, such as the following: “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God it is evident, for the just shall live by faith, and the LAW is not of faith, but the man that doeth them shall live by them.” “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” “But before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.” “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ that we might be justified by faith, but after that faith has come we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Gal. iii: 11-23, 23-25. Again: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.” 10v. Now are we to understand from these texts that whosoever continueth in the law is cursed, and that the law the whole law, was abolished when Christ came as our schoolmaster, he being the “end of the law?” Rom. x: 4. If so, how is it possible for any man, even Paul himself, to be saved. But we do not believe that Paul taught these brethren any different doctrine than what has already been shown in the Acts, Romans, and Corinthians, and also the Eph., Phil., Col., and Heb. If he did not mean the law written by the hand of Moses, distinguishing it from the law of the ten commandments, written by the finger of God on tables of stone, then pray tell me if you can, what he means (in the closing of this argument,) by saying, “For all the LAW is FULFILLED in one word, even this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” v: 14. Surely he is quoting the Saviour’s words in Matthew xxii: 39, relative to the commandment of the Lord our God.—To his son Timothy he says: “Now the end of the commandment is charity,” (love) meaning of course the last part of the ten commandments. In vi: 2, he says: “Bear ye one anothers burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Does this differ from the law of God? Yes, a little, for it is the new commandment, (some say the eleventh.) See John xiii: 34. “A new commandment I give unto you, (what is it, Lord?) that ye love one another.” And also xv: 12. The other is to love our neighbor as ourself.—John says: “And this commandment have we from him (Christ,) that he who loveth God loveth his brother also.” John iv: 21, and ii: 8-11. In his letter to the Ephesians he says: “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity even the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” ii: 15. See the reverse in vi: 2 v. To the Collossians he asks, “Why as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances which all are to perish with their using?” And says: “Touch not, taste not, handle not.” (Does Paul here teach us to forsake the ordinances of God, instituted by the Saviour—Baptism and the Lord’s Supper? Yes, just as clearly as he does to forsake the whole law.)
When writing to the Hebrews more than thirty years after the crucifixion, he calls these ordinances carnal, imposed on them (the Jews) until Christ our High Priest should come. ix: 10, 11. He also calls the law of commandments carnal too, and says: “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandments going before, for the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did.” vii: 16, 18-19. “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the BOOK and all the people.” ix: 19. Now we see clearly that the book of the law of Moses, from which Paul has been quoting through the whole before mentioned epistles, is as distinctly separate from the tables of stone (or fleshly table of the heart,) as they were when deposited in the Ark thirty-three hundred years ago. Therefore we think that here is clear proof that he has kept up the distinction between the “handwriting of ordinances” (meaning Moses’ own handwriting in his book,) and the “ten commandments writen by the finger of God.”
Let us now turn to the Epistle of James, said to be written more than twenty- five years after the law of ceremonies was nailed to the cross, and see if he does not teach us distinctly, that we are bound to keep the commandments given on tables of stone. He says, “the man that shall be a DOER of the perfect law of liberty shall be blessed in his deed.” i: 25. “If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well.” Why? Because the Saviour in quoting from the commandments, in answer to the Ruler, what he should do to inherit eternal life, taught the same doctrine. Matt. xix: 19. Further: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, shall be guilty of all.” In the next verse he quotes from the ten commandments again, namely, Adultery and Murder (what the Saviour in the fifth chapter of Matt. calls the least, that is the smallest commandment,) and says if we commit them we become transgressors of the law. Of what law? Next verse says the law of liberty by which we are to be “judged.” ii: 8, 11.
Now will it not be admitted by every reasonable person that James has included the whole of the ten commandments, by calling them the perfect law of liberty. 2d, “The royal law according to the scripture,” and 3d, “the law of liberty by which we are to be judged.” (Royal relates to imperial and kingly.) Perfect means COMPLETE, entire, the WHOLE. Then I understand James thus: This law emenated from the king, the Supreme Ruler of the universe, and to be perfect must be just what it was when it came from his hand, and that no change had, or could take place, (and remember now, this is more than twenty-five years since the ceremonies with the Jewish Sabbaths were nailed to the cross,) for the very best of reasons, until the Judgment, because he shows we are to be judged by that law. Then I ask by what parity of reasoning any one can make the law of the ten commandments perfect, while they at the same time assert that the fourth one is abolished? and that on no better evidence than calling it the Jewish Sabbath. Now let us look at the Apostle John’s testimony.
“And hereby we do know that we know him if we keep his commandments. He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments is a LIAR, and the truth is not in him.” Now no man, more especially one who professes to abide by the whole truth, feels entirely easy if he is called a liar. Now John please explain yourself.—Hear him: “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment that ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the BEGINNING.” What do you mean by beginning? Turn to my gospel, 1st ch. “In the beginning was the word,”—”the same was in the beginning with God.” 1, 2. See Gen. i ch: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Then you are pointing us to the seventh day of creation, in which God instituted the seventh day Sabbath of rest, for the old commandment in the beginning. ii: 3. Certainly there is no other place to point to. Does not Jesus point to the same place for the beginning when marriage was first instituted. Matt. xix: 4. In my second letter to the church, I have taught the same doctrines: viz. “This is the commandment that as ye have heard from the beginnings ye should walk in it.” (practice it.) ii: 5, 6. “A new commandment I write unto you.” ii: 8 v. This is the one that Jesus gave us on that memorable night in which he was betrayed, after he had instituted the sacrament and washed our feet. He said “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another.” xiii: 34, 35. The first then teaches us, Love to God; 2d, to Love our neighbor as ourself; “on these two commandments (says Jesus) hang all the law and the prophets.” Then we understand this is the essence of the ten commandments, and if we do not keep the Sabbath we do not love God. Jesus says, “If ye love me keep my commandments.” We are repeatedly told that the Sabbath was changed or forever abolished, at the crucifixion of our Lord; and it is stated by the most competent authorities that John wrote this epistle about sixty years afterwards, and that about six years after this our blessed Lord revealed to him the state of the Church down to the judgment of the great day. In the xiv ch. Rev. 6-11, he saw three angels following each other in succession: first one preaching the everlasting gospel (second advent doctrine); 2d, announcing the fall of Babylon; 3d, calling God’s people out of her by showing the awful destruction that awaited all such as did not obey. He sees the separation and cries out, “Here is the patience of the Saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” And this picture was so deeply impressed upon his mind, that when the Savior said to him “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me,” he seemed to understand this, saying—”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.” Now it seems to me that the seventh day Sabbath is more clearly included in these commandments, than thou shalt not steal, nor kill, nor commit adultery, for it is the only one that was written at the creation or in the beginning. He allows no stopping place this side of the gates of the city. Then, if we do not keep that day, John has made out his case, that we are all liars. We say in every other case the type must be continued until it is superseded by the antetype: as in the case of the passover, until our Lord was crucified. So then, as Paul tells us, “there remaineth a keeping of the Sabbath to the people of God;” and that we believe will be in the Millenium, the seven thousandth year, so that the seventh day Sabbath and no other will answer for the type, and those who keep the first or the eighth day Sabbath cannot consistently look for the antetype of rest or the great Sabbath, short of one thousand years in future.
Again: Isaiah says: “To the law and to the testimony if they speak not according to his word it is because there is no light in them.” viii: 20. Now if the Gentiles are under no law, as is asserted, pray tell me what right, the Gentiles, have we to appeal to the law and testimony, or to this text.
In the xxiv. of Matt. our Saviour says to his disciples in answer to their questions, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the world? “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place,” &c. 15v. “Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.” 20v. The first question is, at what age of the world is this, where our Lord recognizes the Sabbath. 1st. It is agreed on all hands that this time to which he here refers, never transpired until the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, about 40 years after his crucifixion. 2d. Some others say down to the second Advent! The first mentioned is safe ground and sufficient for our purpose; nor need we stop to inquire why our Lord gave these directions, it is forever settled that he directed the minds of his followers to THE, not a Sabbath. Keep it in remembrance, that he told the Pharisees that he was Lord, not of a, but of THE Sabbath, meaning that one which of course had already been established. The 2d question is, did our Lord ever trifle with or mislead his disciples? The response is No! Then it is clear that if he taught them to pray at all, it must be in faith, and he of course would hear them and mediate with the Father to change the day of their flight. I ask what kind of a prayer and with what kind of faith would his disciples have asked to have this day changed, if, as we are told, it was abolished some forty years before, and they had, contrary to the will of God, persisted in keeping up the seventh day Sabbath. Any one who has confidence in God’s word, knows that such a prayer never would be answered. What if you do say the Jews always kept that Sabbath, and it was the same seventh day Sabbath that they kept when he was teaching them in their synagogues? I say so too! and that fact will be presented by and by, in its place. This does not touch the point. Jesus was here, giving instruction to his followers, both Jew and Gentile, respecting the Sabbath which they would have to do with. It is immaterial what kind of sophistry is presented to overthrow the point, nothing can touch it short of proving it a mistranslation. Jesus did here recognize the perpetuity of the seventh day Sabbath. And John will continue to make all men liars that say they know him, and refuse the light presented and disregard this commandment. If God instituted the Sabbath in Paradise and has not abolished it here, then it must be perpetual. If Paul’s argument in iii. Rom. that the law is established through faith, is correct, then it is perpetual. If James’ royal perfect law of liberty, which we are to be doers of, and judged by, means the commandments, then is the Sabbath perpetual. If the Apostle John has made out a clear case by citing us back to the beginning of creation, and by walking in and doing these commandments, we shall have right to the tree of life and enter in by the gates into the city; then it must be perpetual. If the earthly Sabbath is typical of the heavenly, then must it be perpetual. If not one jot or one tittle can ever pass from the law, then must it be perpetual. If the Saviour, in answer to the young man who asked him what he should do to inherit eternal life, gave a safe direction for Gentiles to follow, viz: “If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments” (and these included those commandments which his Father had given,) then, without contradiction the Sabbath is perpetual, and all the arguments which ever can be presented against the fourth commandment being observed before God wrote it on tables of stone to prove that it is not binding on Gentiles, fall powerless before this one sentence: If thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments. I say the proof is positive that the Sabbath was a constituent part of the commandments, and Jesus says the Sabbath was made for man. The Jews were only a fragment of creation.
“The principle is settled in all governments that there are but two ways in which any law can cease to be binding upon the people. It may expire by its own limitations, or it may be repealed by the same authority which enacted it; and in the latter case the repealing act must be as explicit as that by which the obligation was originally imposed.” Now we have it in proof that the Sabbath was instituted in Paradise, the first of all laws without any limitation, and no enactment by God to abolish it, unless what we have already referred to can be considered proof. One more passage which I have not alluded to, will show that it was not abolished at the crucifixion, for his disciples kept the Sabbath while he was resting in his tomb. See Luke xxiii: 55, 56. Let us now pass to another part of the subject. The third question:
WAS THE SEVENTH DAY SABBATH EVER CHANGED? IF SO WHEN, AND FOR WHAT REASON?
Here we come to a question which has more or less engaged the attention of the whole christian world, and the greater portion of those who believe in a crucified Saviour say that this change took place, and is dated from his resurrection. Some say subsequently, while a minority insist upon it that there is no proof for the change. Now to obtain the truth and nothing but the truth on this important subject, I propose to present, or quote from standard authors on both sides of the question, and try the whole by the standard of divine truth. 1st. Buck’s Theological Dictionary, to which no doubt thousands of ministers and laymen appeal to sustain their argument for the change, says: “Under the christian dispensation the Sabbath is altered from the seventh to the first day of the week.” The arguments for the change are these: 1st. “The seventh day was observed by the Jewish church in memory of the rest of God; so the first day of the week has always been observed by the christian church in memory of Christ’s resurrection. 2d. Christ made repeated visits to his disciples on that day. 3d. It is called the Lord’s day. Rev. i: 10.—4th. On this day the Apostles were assembled, when the Holy Ghost came down upon them to qualify them for the conversion of the world. 5th. On this day we find Paul at Troas when the disciples came together to break bread. 6th. The directions the Apostles gave to Christians plainly alludes to their assembling on that day. 7th. Pliny bears witness of the first day of the week being kept as a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ.”
“Numerous have been the days appointed by man for religious services, but these are not binding because of human institution. Not so the Sabbath. It is of divine institution, so it is to be kept holy onto the Lord.”
Doct. Dodridge, whose ability and piety have seldom or rarely been disputed, comments on some of the above articles thus: (Commentary p. 606.) “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” I Cor. xvi: 2. “Show that it was to be put into a common stock. The argument drawn from hence for the religious observance of the first day of the week in these primitive churches of Corinth and Galacia is too obvious to need any further illustration, and yet too important to be passed by in entire silence.” Again, p. 904, “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day,” &c. Rev. i: 10. “It is so very unnatural and contrary to the use of the word in all other authors to interpret this of the Jewish Sabbath, as Mr. Baxter justly argues at large, that I cannot but conclude with him and the generality of Christian writers on this subject, that this text strongly infers the extraordinary regard paid to the first day of the week in the Apostle’s time as a day solemnly consecrated to Christ in the memory of his resurrection from the dead.” There is much more, but these are his strong arguments. I shall quote some more from the Commentaries by and by. I wish to place by the side of these arguments one from the British Quarterly Theological Review and Ecclesiastical Recorder, of Jan. 1830, which I extract from ‘the Institution of the Sabbath day,’ by Wm. Logan Fisher, of Philadelphia, a book in which there is much valuable information on this subject, though I disagree with the writer, because his whole labor is to abolish the Sabbath; yet he gives much light on this subject, from which I take the liberty to make some quotations. But to the Quarterly Review of 1830:
“It is said that the observance of the seventh day Sabbath is transferred in the Christian Church to the first day of the week. We ask by what authority, and are very much mistaken if an examination of all the texts of the New Testament, in which the first day of the week or Lord’s day is mentioned, does not prove that there is no divine or Apostolic precept enjoining its observance, nor any certain evidence from scripture that it was, in fact, so observed in the times of the Apostles. Accordingly we search the scriptures in vain, either for an Apostolic precept, appointing the first day of the week to be observed in the place of the Jewish Sabbath, or for any unequivocal proof that the first christians so observed it— there are only three or, at most four passages of scripture, in which the first day of the week is mentioned. The next passage is Acts xx: 7. ‘Upon the first day of the week when the disciples some together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.’ All that St. Luke here tells us plainly is, that on a particular occasion the christians of Troas met together on the first day of the week to celebrate the Eucharist and to hear Paul preach. This is the only place in scripture in which the first day of the week is in any way connected with any acts of public worship, and he who would certainly infer from this SOLITARY INSTANCE that the first day of every week was consecrated by the Apostles to religious purposes, must be far gone in the art of drawing universal conclusion from particular premises.”
On page 178, Mr. Fisher says:
“I have examined several different translations of the scriptures, both from the Hebrew and Septuagint, with notes and annotations more extensive than the texts; have traced as far as my leisure would permit, various ecclesiastical histories, some of them voluminous and of ancient date; have paid considerable attention to the writings of the earliest authors in the Christian era, and to rare works, old and of difficult access, which treat upon this subject; I have read with care many of the publications of sectarians to sustain the institution; I have omitted nothing within my reach, and I have found not one shred of argument, or authority of any kind, that may not be deemed of partial and sectarian character, to support the institution of the first day of the week, as a day of peculiar holiness. But, in place of argument, I have found opinions without number—volumes filled with idle words that have no truth in them. In the want of texts of Scripture, I have found perversions; in the want of truth, false statements. I have seen it stated that Justin Marter in his Apology speaks of Sunday as a holy day; that Eusebius, bishop of Cesarea, who lived in the fourth century, establishes the fact of the transfer of the SEVENTH to the first day, by Christ himself. These things are NOT TRUE. These authors say no such thing. I have seen other early authors referred to as establishing the same point, but they are equally false.”
Here then is the testimony of four authors, two for the change and two against it, from the old and new world. No truth seeking, unbiassed mind can hesitate for a moment on which side to decide, after comparing them with the inspired word.
Doctor JENKS of Boston, author of the Comprehensive Commentary, (purporting to comprehend all other commentators on the bible,) after quoting author after author on this subject, ventures forth with his unsupported opinion in these words: “Here is a Christian Sabbath observed by the disciples and owned by our Lord. The visit Christ made to his disciples was on the first day of the week, and the first day of the week is the only day of the week or month or year ever mentioned by numbers in all the New Testament, and that is several times spoken of as a day religiously observed.” Where? Echo answers, where!
HEMAN HUMPHREY, President of Amherst College, from whose book I have already made some quotations, after devoting some thirty-four pages to the establishment and perpetuation of the seventh day Sabbath, comes to his fourth question, viz: “Has the day been changed?” Singular as this question may appear by the side of what he had already written to establish and perpetuate the seventh day Sabbath from the seventh day of creation down to the resurrection of the just, but as every man feels that it is his privilege to justify and explain, when precept and practice do not agree—so is it with President Humphrey, he can now shape the scriptures to suit every one that has followed in the wake of Pope Gregory for 1225 years. He says, “The fourth commandment is so expressed as to admit of a change in the day,”— thus striking vitally every argument he had before presented. Hear him—he says the seventh day is the Sabbath; “it was so at that time (in the beginning) and for many ages after, but it is not said that it always shall be—it is the Sabbath day which we are to remember; and so at the close, it was the Sabbath which was hallowed and blessed and not the seventh day. The Sabbath then, the holy rest itself, is one thing. The day on which we are to rest is another.” I ask, in the name of common sense, how we should know how or when to keep the Sabbath, if it did not matter which day. If the President could not see the sanctification of the seventh day in the decalogue, what did he mean by quoting Gen. ii: 3, so often, where it says “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.”
Again, he says, “Redemption is a greater work than creation, hence the change.” Fifthly, God early consecrated the Christian Sabbath by a most remarkable outpouring of his spirit at the day of Pentecost. And that Jesus has left us his own example by not saying a syllable after his resurrection about keeping the Jewish Sabbath. He also quotes the four passages about Jesus and his disciples keeping the first day of the week. Here, he says, the inference to our mind is irresistible—for keeping the first day of the week instead of the seventh. And further says, it might be proved by innumerable quotations from the writings of the Apostolic fathers, &c. All this may be very true in itself, but it all falls to the ground for the want of one single precept from the bible. If Redemption, because it was greater than Creation, and the remarkable display of God’s power at the Pentecost, and Christ never saying any thing about the Jewish Sabbath after his resurrection are such strong proofs that the perpetual seventh day Sabbath was changed to the first day at that time, and must be believed because learned men say so, what shall we do with the sixth day, on which our blessed Saviour expired on the cross; darkness for three hours had covered the earth, and the vail of the Temple was rent from top to bottom, and there was such an earthquake throughout vast creation that we have only to open our eyes and look at the rent rocks for a clear and perfect demonstration that this whole globe was shaken from centre to circumference, and the graves of the dead were opened. Matt xxvii: 50, 53. You may answer me that Popery has honored that day by calling it good Friday, and the next first day following Easter Sunday, &c., but after all nothing short of bible argument will satisfy the earnest inquirer after truth.—The President had already shown that the Jewish Sabbath was abolished at Christ’s death. What reason, then had he to believe that the Saviour would speak of it afterwards.— So also the Pentecost had been a type from the giving the law at Sinai to be kept annually for about 1500 years, consequently it would be solemnized on every day of the week at each revolving year, as is the case with the 4th of July: three years ago it was on the fourth day and now it comes on the seventh day of the week. Further, see Peter standing amidst the amazed multitude, giving the scripture reason for this miraculous display of God’s power. He does not give the most distant hint that this was, or was to be, the day of the week for worship, or the true Sabbath, neither do any of the Apostles, then, or afterwards, for when they kept this day the next year, it must have been the second day of the week. We must have better evidence than what has been adduced, to believe this was the Sabbath, for according to the type, seven Sabbaths were to be complete, (and there was no other way given them to come to the right day,) from the day they kept the first or from the resurrection. Here then is proof positive that the Sabbath in this year was the day before the Pentecost. See Luke xxiii: 55, 56. If President H. is right, then was there two Sabbaths to be kept in succession in one week. Where is the precept? No where! Well, says the inquirer, I want to see the bible proof for this “Christian Sabbath observed by the disciples, and owned by our Lord.” W. Jenks. Here it will be necessary for us to understand, first how God has computed time. In Gen. i. we read, “And God said let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.” 14 v. 16 v. says “the greater light to rule the day,”—from sunrise to sunset. Now there are many modes invented for computing time. We say our day begins at 12 o’clock at night; seamen begin theirs twelve hours sooner, at noon; the Jews commence their days at 6 o’clock in the evening, between the two extremes. Are we all right? No! Who shall settle this question? God! Very well: He called the light day and the darkness he called night, and the evening and the morning were the first day. Gen. i: 5. Then the twenty-four hour day commenced at 6 o’clock in the evening. How is that, says one? Because you cannot regulate the day and night to have what the Saviour calls twelve hours in a day, without establishing the time from the centre of the earth, the equator, where, at the beginning of the sacred year, the sun rises and sets at 6 o’clock. At this time, while the sun is at the summer solstice, the inhabitants at the north pole have no night, while at this same time at the south it is about all night, therefore the inhabitants of the earth have no other right time to commence their twenty- four hour day, than beginning at 6 o’clock in the evening. God said to Moses “from even to even, shall you celebrate your Sabbath.” Then of course the next day must begin where the Sabbath ended. History shows that the Jews obeyed and commenced their days at 6 o’clock in the evening. Now then we will try to investigate the main argument by which these authors, and thousands of others say the Sabbath was changed. The first is in John xx: 19, “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews (mark it) came Jesus and stood in their midst, and said peace be unto you.” Here we understand this to be the same day of the resurrection. On that day he travelled with the two disciples to Emans, sixty furlongs (71⁄2 miles,) and they constrained him to abide with them, for it was towards evening and the day was far spent. Luke xxiv: 29. After this the disciples travelled 71⁄2 miles back to Jerusalem, and soon after they found the disciples, the Saviour, as above stated, was in their midst. Now it cannot be disputed but what this was the evening after the resurrection, for Jesus rose in the morning, some ten or eleven hours after the first day had commenced. Then the evening of the first day was passing away, and therefore the evening brought to view in the text was the close of the first day or the commencing of the second. McKnight’s translation says, “in the evening of that day.” Purver’s translation says, “the evening of that day on the first after the Sabbath.” Further, wherever the phrase first day of the week, occurs in the New Testament, the word day is in italics, showing that it is not the original, but supplied by translators. Again, it is asserted that Jesus met with his disciples the next first day. See 26 v: “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them, then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said peace be unto you.” Dr. Adam Clark in referring to this 26v, says: “It seems likely that this was precisely on that day se’night on which Christ had appeared to them before; and from this we may learn that this was the weekly meeting of the Apostles.” Now it appears to me that a little child, with the simple rules of addition and subtraction, could have refuted this man. I feel astonished that men who profess to be ambassadors for God do not expose such downright perversions of scripture, but it may look clear to those who want to have it so. Not many months since, in conversation with the Second Advent lecturer in New Bedford, I brought up this subject. He told me I did not understand it. See here, says he, I can make it plain, counting his fingers thus: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday—does’nt that make eight days after? and because I would not concede, he parted from me as one that was obstinate and self-willed. Afterwards musing on the subject, I said, this must be the way then to understand it: Count Sunday Twice. If any of them were to be paid for eight days labor, they would detect the error in a moment if their employer should attempt to put the first and last days together, and offer them pay but for seven. Eight days after the evening of the first day would stand thus: The second day of the week would certainly be the first of the eight. Then to count eight days of twenty-four hours after, we must begin at the close of the evening of the first, and count to the close of the evening of the second day; to where the Jews (by God’s command) commenced their third day. But suppose we calculate it by our mode of keeping time. Our Lord appears to his disciples the first time at the close of Sunday evening. Now count eight days after, (with your fingers or anything else,) and it will bring you to Monday evening. Now I ask if this looks like Sunday, the first day of the week?
Bro. Miller also gives his reasons for the change, in his lecture on the great Sabbath: “One is Christ’s resurrection and his often meeting with his disciples afterwards on that day. This, with the example of the Apostles, is strong evidence that the proper creation Sabbath to man, came on the first day of the week.” His proof is this: “Adam must have rested on the first day of his life, and thus you will see that to Adam it was the first day of the week, for it would not be reasonable to suppose that Adam began to reckon time before he was created.” He certainly could not be able to work six days before the first Sabbath. And thus with the second Adam; the first day of the week he arose and lived. And we find by the bible and by history, that the first day of the week “was ever afterwards observed as a day of worship.” Now I say there is no more truth in these assertions, than there is in those I have already quoted. There is not one passage in the bible to show that Christ met with his disciples on the first day of the week after the day of his resurrection, nor that the first day of the week was ever afterwards observed as a day of worship; save only in one instance, and that shall be noticed in its place. And it seems to me if Adam could not reckon time only from his creation then by the same rule no other man could reckon time before his birth, and by this showing Christ could not reckon his time until after his resurrection. It is painful to me to expose the errors of one whom I have so long venerated, and still love for the flood of light he has given the world in respect to the Second Advent of our Saviour; but God’s word must be vindicated if we have to cut off a right arm, “there is nothing true but truth!” I pray God to forgive him in joining the great multitude of Advent believers, to sound the retreat back beyond the tarrying time, just when the virgins had gained a glorious victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil! Go back from this to the slumbering quarters now; nothing but treachery to our Master’s cause ever dictated such a course! I never can be made to believe that our glorious Commander designed that we should leave our sacrifices smoking on the altar of God, in the midst of the enemies’ land, but rather that we should be pushing onward from victory to victory, until we are established in the Capital of His kingdom. Would it have been expedient or a mark of courage in General Taylor, after he had conquered the Mexican army on the 9th May last, to have retreated back to the capital of the U. States, to place himself and army on the broad platform of liberty, and commence to travel the ground over again for the purposes of pursuing and overcoming his vanquished foe? No! Every person of common sense knows that such a course would have overwhelmed him and all his followers with unutterable disgrace, no matter how unrighteous the contest. Not so with this, for our cause is one of the most glorious, tho it be the most trying that the sun ever shown upon since God placed it in the heavens. Onward and victory, then, are our watchwords, and no retreating back to, or beyond the cry at Midnight! But to the subject. Did our Saviour ever meet with his disciples on the first day of the week after the evening of the day of his resurrection? The xxi. ch. John says “they went a fishing, and while there Jesus appeared unto them.” In the 14th v. he says, “This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to the disciples after that he was risen from the dead.” Now turn to 1 Cor. xv: 4-7: Paul’s testimony is, “that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve, after that of above five hundred brethren at once, and then of James, then of all the Apostles.” These are all that are specified, up to his going into heaven. Now pray tell me if you can, where these men got their information respecting the frequent meetings on the first day of the week. The bible says no such thing. But let us pursue the subject and look at the third text, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” Now please turn back to Dr. Dodridge’s authority, he says the argument is too obvious to need illustration, that the money was put into common stock, and that this was the religious observance of the first day of the week. Now whoever will read the first six verses of this chapter, and compare them with Rom. xv: 26-33, will see that Paul’s design was to collect some money for the poor saints at Jerusalem, and their laying it by them in store until he came that way; for it plainly implies that they were at home, for no one could understand that you had money lying by you in store, if it was in common stock or in other hands. Again, see Acts xviii: 4, 11. Paul preaching every Sabbath day, at this very time, for eighteen months, to these very same Corinthians, bids them farewell, to go up to the feast at Jerusalem. 21 v. By reading to xxi. ch. 17 v. you have his history until he arrives there. Now I ask, if Dr. Dodridge’s clear illustration can or will be relied on, when Luke clearly teaches that Paul’s manner was, and that he did always preach to them on the Sabbath, which, of course, was the Seventh day, and not the first day of the week. Fourth text, John says: I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day. Here Dr. D. concludes with the generality of christian writers on this subject that this strongly infers the extraordinary regard paid to the first day of the week, as solemnly consecrated in Christ, &c. If the scripture any where called this the Lord’s day, there might be some reason to believe their statements, but the seventh day Sabbath is called the Lord’s day. See Exod. xx: 10.
Mr. Fisher, in speaking of the late Harrisburg convention of 1844-45, says, “The most spirited debate that occurred at the assembly was to fix a proper name for the first day of the week, whether it should be called Sabbath, the Christian Sabbath or Lord’s day. The reason for this dispute was, that there was no authority for calling the first day of the week by either one of these names. To pretend that that command was fixed and unchangeable, and yet to alter it to please the fancy of man, is in itself ridiculous. It is hardly possible in the nature of man, that a class of society should be receiving pay for their services and not be influenced thereby;—in the nature of things they will avoid such doctrines as are repugnant to them that give them bread.”
Now we come to the fifth and last, and only one spoken of in all the New Testament, for a meeting on the first day of the week. Luke says, “Upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow: and continued his speech until midnight.” Acts xx: 7. Now by following the scripture mode of computing time, from 6 o’clock in the evening to 6 o’clock in the morning, as has been shown, Paul to commence on the beginning of the first day would begin on what we call Saturday evening at 6 o’clock, and preach till midnight. After that he restores to life the young man, then breaks bread and talked till the break of day, which would be Sunday morning. Then he commenced his journey for Jerusalem and travelled and sailed all day Sunday, the first day of the week, and two other days in succession. xx: 11-15. Now it seems to me, if Paul did teach or keep the first day of the week for the Sabbath or a holy day he violated the sanctity of it to all intents and purposes, without giving one single reason for it; all the proof presented here is a night meeting. Please see the quotation from the British Quarterly Review. But let us look at it the way in which we compute time: I think it will be fair to premise, that about midnight was the middle of Paul’s meeting; at any rate there is but one midnight to a twenty-four hour day. We say that Sunday, the first day of the week, does not commence until 12 o’clock Saturday night. Then it is very clear, if he is preaching on the first day till midnight, according to our reckoning it must be on Sunday night, and his celebrating the Lord’s supper after midnight would make it that he broke bread on Monday, the second day, and that the day time on Sunday is not included, unless he had continued his speech through the day till midnight. Now the text says that on the first day of the week they came together to break bread. To prove that they did break bread on that day, we must take the mode in which the Jews computed time, and allow the first day of the week to begin at 6 o’clock on Saturday evening, and to follow Paul’s example, pay no regard to the first day, after daylight, but to travel, &c. If our mode of time is taken, they broke bread on the second day, and that would destroy the meaning of the text. Here then, in this text, is the only argument that can be adduced in the scriptures of divine truth, for a change of the perpetual seventh day Sabbath of the Lord our God to the first day of the week.
Now I’ll venture the assertion, that there is no law or commandment recorded in the bible, that God has held so sacred among men, as the keeping of his Sabbath. Where then, I ask, is the living man that dare stand before God and declare that here is the change for the church of God to keep the first instead of the seventh day of the week for the Sabbath. If it could be proved that Paul preached here all of the first day, the only inference that could be drawn, would be, to break bread on that day!
There is one more point worthy of our attention, that is, the teaching and example of Jesus. I have been told by one that is looked up to as a strong believer in the second coming of the Lord this fall, that Jesus broke the Sabbath. Jesus says, I have kept my Father’s commandments. It is said that he “broke the Sabbath,” because he allowed his disciples to pluck the corn and eat it on that day, and the Pharisees condemned them. He says, “If ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” Then they were not guilty. See Deut. xxiii: 25. He immediately cites them to David and his men, shewing that it was lawful and right when hungry, even to eat the shoe bread that belonged only to the priests, and told them that he was Lord of the Sabbath day. Here he shows too, that he was with his disciples passing to the synagogue to teach; they ask him if it is lawful to teach on the Sabbath day. He asks them if they had a sheep fall into the ditch on the Sabbath, if they would not haul him out? How much better then is a man than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days; and immediately healed the man with the withered hand. Matt. xii: 1-13. On another Sabbath day, while he was teaching, he healed a woman that had been bound of satan eighteen years; and when the ruler of the synagogue began to find fault, he called him a hypocrite, and said “doth not each one of you on the Sabbath day loose his ox or his ass from the stall and lead him away to watering; and all his adversaries were ashamed.” Luke xiii: 10-17. The xiv. chapter of Luke is quoted to prove that he broke the Sabbath because he went into the Pharisee’s house with many others on the Sabbath day to eat bread. Here he saw a man with the dropsy and he asked them if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath day. ‘And they held their peace, and he took him and healed him,’ and asked them ‘which of them having an ox or an ass fall into the pit, would not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day; and they could not answer him again.’ 1-6 v. And ‘he continued to teach them, by showing them when they made a feast to call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and then they should be blessed.’ Read the chapter, and you will readily see that he took this occasion, as the most befitting, to teach them by parables, what their duty was at weddings and feasts, in the same manner as he taught them in their synagogues.
There is still another passage, and I believe the only one, to which reference has been made, (except where he opened the eyes of a man that was born blind,) for proof that he broke the Sabbath. It is recorded in John v: 5-17. Here Jesus found a man that had been sick thirty-eight years, by the pool of Bethesda, ‘he saith unto him rise, take up thy bed and walk,—therefore did they persecute Jesus and sought to slay him because he had done these things on the Sabbath day.’ 16v. ‘But Jesus answered them, my Father worketh hitherto and I work.’ If they did not work every hour and moment of time, it would be impossible for man to exist: Here undoubtedly he had reference to these and other acts of necessity and mercy; but the great sin for which professors in this enlightened age charge the Saviour with in this transaction, is, in directing the man to take up his bed, contrary to law. It is clear the people were forbidden to carry burthens on the Sabbath day, as in Jer. xvii: 21, 22, but by reading the 24th v. in connection with Neh. xiii: 15-22, we learn that this prohibition related to what was lawful for them to do on the other six days of the week, viz. merchandise and trading. See proof, Neh. x: 31; also unlawful, as in Amos viii: 5. We need not nor we cannot misunderstand the fourth commandment taken in connection with the other nine; they were simple and pure written by the finger of God; but in the days of our Saviour it had become heavily laden with Jewish traditions, hence when Jesus appeals to them whether it is lawful to do good and to heal on the Sabbath days, their mouths are closed because they cannot contradict him from the law nor the prophets. The Saviour no where interferes with them in their most rigid observance of the day; but when they find fault with him for performing his miracles of mercy on that day, he tells them they have broken the law; and in another place, “If a man on the Sabbath day receive circumcision without breaking the law of Moses, are ye angry at me because I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath day?” He then says, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” vii: 23, 24. Did he break the Sabbath? Now the law requires that the beasts shall rest; but what is the practice of many of those who are the most strict in keeping Sunday for the Sabbath. Sick, or well, ministers or laymen, do they not ride back and forth to meeting? Again, is it right and lawful to carry forth our dead on the Sabbath? or carry the communion service back and forth. The Apostle says, ‘believe and be baptized.’ Suppose this should be on the Sabbath and we were some distance from the water, would any one interfere with us if we carried our change of apparel with us and back again, or have we in so doing transgressed the law; if we have, it is high time we made a full stop. Jesus undoubtedly had good reasons for directing the sick man to take up his bed and walk, but I cannot learn that he justified any one else in carrying their bed on the Sabbath, unless in a case of necessity and mercy, such as he cited them to, as watering their cattle, and pulling them out of the ditch, and eating when hungry, and being healed when sick. Be it also remembered that when the Sanhedrim tried him they did not condemn him, as in the other cases cited; so in this, they failed for want of scripture testimony. He was the Lord of the Sabbath, and the law of ceremonies were now about to cease forever, the ten commandments with the keeping of the Sabbath therefore were to be stripped of these ceremonies and all of their traditions, and left as pure to be written on the hearts of the Gentiles as when first written on tables of stone, therefore Jesus taught that it was right to do good on the Sabbath day, and whoever follows his example and teaching will keep the seventh day Sabbath holy and acceptable to God. They will also judge righteous judgment, and not according to appearance.
There is but one Christian Sabbath named, or established in the bible, and that individual, whoever he is, that undertakes to abolish or change it, is the real Sabbath breaker. Remember that the keeping the commandments is the only safe guide through the gates into the city.
My friends and neighbors, and especially my family, know that I have for more than twenty years, strictly endeavored to keep the first day of the week for the Sabbath, and I can say that I did it in all good conscience before God, on the ocean, and in foreign countries as well as my own, until about sixteen months since I read an article published in the Hope of Israel, by a worthy brother, T. M. Preble, of Nashua, which when I read and compared with the bible, convinced me that there never had been any change. Therefore the seventh day was the Sabbath, and God required me as well as him to keep it holy. Many things now troubled my mind as to how I could make this great change, family, friends, and brethren; but this one passage of scripture was, and always will be as clear as a sunbeam. “What is that to thee: follow thou me.” In a few days my mind was made up to begin to keep the fourth commandment, and I bless God for the clear light he has shed upon my mind in answer to prayer and a thorough examination of the scriptures on this great subject. Contrary views did, after a little, shake my position some, but I feel now that there is no argument nor sophistry that can becloud my mind again this side of the gates of the Holy City. Brother Marsh, who no doubt thinks, and perhaps thousands besides, that his paper is what it purports to be, THE VOICE OF TRUTH, takes the ground with the infidel that there is no Sabbath. Brother S. S. Snow, of New York, late editor of the Jubilee Standard, publishes to the world that he is the Elijah, preceding the advent of our Saviour, restoring all things: (the seventh day Sabbath must be one of the all things,) and yet he takes the same ground with Br. Marsh, that the Sabbath is forever abolished. As the seventh day Sabbath is a real prophecy, a picture (and not a shadow like the Jewish Sabbaths,) of the thing typified which is to come, I cannot see how those who believe in the change or abolition of the type, can have any confidence to look to God for the great antetype, the Sabbath of rest, to come to them.
Brother J. B. Cook has written a short piece in his excellent paper, the ADVENT TESTIMONY. It was pointed and good, but too short; and as brother Preble’s Tract now before me, did not embrace the arguments which have been presented since he published it, it appeared to me that something was called for in this time of falling back from this great subject. I therefore present this book, hoping at least, that it will help to strengthen and save all honest souls seeking after truth.
A WORD RESPECTING THE HISTORY. At the close of the first century a controversy arose, whether both days should be kept or only one, which continued until the reign of Constantine the Great. By his laws, made in A. D. 321, it was decreed for the future that Sunday should be kept a day of rest in all the cities and towns; but he allowed the country people to follow husbandry. History further informs us that Constantine murdered his two sisters husbands and son, and his own familiar friend, that same year, and the year before boiled his wife in a cauldron of oil.—The controversy still continued down to A. D. 603, when Pope Gregory passed a law abolishing the seventh day Sabbath, and establishing the first day of the week. See Baronius Councils, 603. Barnfield’s Eng. page 116, states that the Parliament of England met on Sundays till the time of Richard II. The first law of England made for keeping of Sunday, was in the time of Edward IV. about 1470. As these two books are not within my reach, I have extracted from T. M. Preble’s tract on the Sabbath. Mr. Fisher says, it was Dr. Bound one of the rigid puritans, who applied the name Sabbath to the first day of the week, about the year 1795. “The word Sunday is not found in the bible,” it derived its name from the heathen nations of the North, because the day was dedicated to the sun. Neither is the Sabbath applied to the first day any more than it is to the sixth day of the week. While Daniel beheld the little horn, (popery) he said, among other things, he would think to change times and laws. Now this could not mean of men, because it has ever been the prerogative of absolute rulers like himself, to change manmade laws, nor the law of Moses, for that had been abolished 570 years before the Pope finally changed the Sabbath to the 1st day of the week. Then to make the prophecy harmonize with the scripture, he must have meant times and laws established by God, because he might think and pass decrees as he has done, but he, nor all the universe could ever change God’s times and laws. Jesus says that “times and seasons were in the power of the father.” The Sabbath is the most important law which God ever instituted. “How long refuse ye to keep my commandments, and my laws, see for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath.” Exod. xvi: 28, 29. Then it’s clear from the history, that this is in part what Daniel meant. Now the second advent believers have professed all confidence in his visions; why then doubt this. Whoever feels disposed to defend and sustain the decrees of that “blasphemous” dower, and especially Pope Gregory and the great Constantine, the murderer, shown to be the moral reformer in this work of changing the Sabbath, are welcome to their principles and feelings. I detest these acts, in common with all others which have emanated from these ten and one horned powers. The Revelations show us clearly that they were originated by the devil. If you say this history is not true then you are bound to refute it. If you cannot, you are as much in duty bound to believe it as any other history, even, that George Washington died in 1799! If the bible argument, and testimony from history are to be relied on as evidence, then it is as clear as a sunbeam that the seventh day Sabbath is a perpetual sign, and is as binding upon man as it ever was. But we are told we must keep the first day of the week for the Sabbath as an ordinance to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus. I for one had rather believe Paul. See Rom. vi: 3-5; Gal. iii: 27; Col. ii: 12.
A word more respecting time. See 31st page. Here I have shown that the sun in the centre, regulates all time for the earth—fifty-two weeks to the year, one hundred and sixty-eight hours to the week, the seventh of which is twenty- four hours. Jesus says there are but twelve hours in the day, (from sunrise to sunset.) Then twelve hours night to make a twenty-four hour day, you see, must always begin at a certain period of time. No matter, then whether the sun sets with us at eight in summer or 4 o’clk in winter. Now by this, and this is the scripture rule, days and weeks can, and most probably are, kept at the North and South polar regions. What an absurdity to believe that God does exonerate our fathers and brothers from keeping his Sabbath while they are in these polar regions, fishing for seals and whales, should it be with them either all day or all night. If they have lost their reckoning of days and weeks, because there was, or was not any sun six months of the time, how could they learn what day of the week it was when they see the sun setting at 6 o’clock on the equator, if bound home from the South? By referring to Luke, xxiii ch. 55, 56, and xxiv: 1, we see that the people in Palestine had kept the days and weeks right from the creation; since which time, astronomers teach us that not even fifteen minutes have been lost. God does not require us to be any more exact in keeping time, than what we may or have learned from the above rules, but I am told there is a difference in time of twenty-four hours to the mariner that circumnavigates the globe. That, being true, is known to them, but it alters no time on the earth or sea.
But, says one, I should like to keep the Sabbath in time, just as Jesus did. Then you must live in Palestine, where their day begins seven hours earlier than ours; and yet it is at 6 o’clock in the evening the same period, though not the same by the sun, in which we begin our day. Let me illustrate: our earth, something in the form of an orange, is whirling over every twenty-four hours. It measures three hundred and sixty degrees, or about twenty-one thousand six hundred miles round, in the manner you would pass a string round an orange. Now divide this three hundred and sixty degrees by the twenty-four hour day, and the result is fifteen degrees, or nine hundred miles. Then every fifteen degrees we travel or sail eastward, the sun rises and sets one hour earlier in the period of the twenty-four hours: therefore those who live in Palestine, one hundred and seven degrees east of us, begins and closes the day seven hours earlier, so in proportion all the way round the globe, the sun always stationary! Then the Sabbath begins precisely at 6 o’clock on Friday evening, every where on this globe, and ends at the same period on what we call Saturday evening. God says ‘every thing on its day,’ ‘from even unto even shall ye celebrate your Sabbath;’ ‘the evening and the morning was the first day.’ He is an exact time keeper! I say then, in the name of all that is holy, heavenly and true, and as immortality is above all price, let us see to it that we are found fearing God and keeping his COMMANDMENTS, for this, we are taught, ‘is the whole duty of man.’ The proof is positive that the seventh day Sabbath is included in the commandments.
Bro. Marsh says, “Keeping the Sabbath is embraced in this covenant, Deut. v: 1-6, made with the children of Israel at Horeb. It was not made with their Fathers (the Patriarchs) but with us, even us, who are all of US HERE ALIVE THIS DAY. v. 3. This testimony first negative, he made it not with our Fathers, and then positive with us, is conclusive. Not a single proof can be presented from either the old or new testament that it was instituted for any other people or nation.” Now it is clear and positive that if the Sabbath is not binding on any other people than the Jews, by the same rule not one of the commandments is binding on any other people, who dare take such infidel ground? Was not the second covenant written on the hearts of the Gentile, even the law of Commandments? which Paul says ‘is Holy, just and good.’ Thirty years after the crucifixion he directs the Ephesians to the keeping the fifth commandment, that they may live long on the earth not the land of Canaan. vi: 2, 3. Did not God say that Abraham kept his commandments, statutes, and laws? This embraced the Sabbath for circumcision, and the Sabbath were then the only laws, or statutes, or commandments written. The fourth commandment was given two thousand years before Abraham was born! Is not the stranger and all within their gates included in the covenant to keep the Sabbath? See Exod. xx: 10. And did not God require them to keep THE Sabbath before he made this covenant with them in Horeb? See Exod. xvi: 27-30. Does not Isaiah say that God will bless the man, and the son of man, and the sons of the stranger, that keep THE Sabbath? These certainly mean the Gentiles. lvi: 2-3, 6-7. Also, in the lviii. ch. 13, 14, the promise is to all that keep the Sabbath. To what people did the Sabbath belong at the destruction of Jerusalem, nearly forty years after the crucifixion? Matt. xxiv: 20. The Gentiles certainly were embraced in the covenant by this time! Why was it Paul’s manner always to preach on the seventh day Sabbath to Jews and Gentiles?
By what authority do you call the seventh day Sabbath, the Jewish Sabbath? The bible says it is the Sabbath of the Lord our God! And Jesus said that he was the ‘Lord of the Sabbath day.’ He moreover told the Jews that the Sabbath was made for MAN! Where do you draw the distinguishing line, to show which is and which is not MAN between the natural seed of Abraham and the Gentiles? “Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also!” Then Paul says ‘there is no difference,’ and that ‘there is no respect of persons with God.’ Is it not clear, then, that the Sabbath was made for Adam and his posterity, the whole family of man? How very fearful you are that God’s people should keep the bible Sabbath! You say, ‘let us be cautious, lest we disinherit ourselves by seeking the inheritance under the wrong covenant.’ Your meaning is, not to seek to keep the Sabbath covenant, but the one made to Abraham. If you can tell us what precept there is in the Abrahamic covenant that we must now keep to be saved, that is not embraced in the one given at Mount Sinai, then we will endeavor to keep that too, with the Sabbath of the Lord our God. If the Sabbath, as you say, is abolished, why do you, JOSEPH MARSH, continue to call the first day of the week the Sabbath. See V. T., 15th July. If you profess to utter the VOICE OF TRUTH from the bible, do be consistent, and also willing that other papers, besides yours and the Advent Herald, should give the present truth to the flock of God. I say let it go with lightning speed, every way, as does the political news by the electric telegraph. If the whole law and the prophets hang on the commandments, and by keeping them we enter into life, how will you, or I, enter in if we do not ‘keep the commandments.’ See Exod. xvi: 28-30. Jesus says, “therefore whosoever shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, shall be called the least in the kingdom,” &c. “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Amen!
GOD HAS MADE THREE EVERLASTING COVENANTS WITH MAN
The first one is the Covenant of Inheritance “confirmed unto Jacob for a law and unto Israel for an everlasting Inheritance.” See Psl. cv: 8-11. Acts vii: 3-6. Eph. i: 14.
Second is an “everlasting Covenant of Redemption.” See Isa. lxi: 8, 9. “I have made a Covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, thy seed will I establish forever.” Psl. lxxxix: 2-5. See also 34-37 vs. “My Covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David, his seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me—It shall be established forever as the moon and as a faithful witness in heaven.” Isa. says it is sure, lv: 3; liv: 13, 14. Ezekiel calls it a Covenant of peace. xxxiv: 25. In xxxvii ch. 25 and 26 v. he shows clearly that David is Christ, and this “Covenant of peace is an everlasting Covenant with his Israel, and will be known when his sanctuary is in the midst of them forever more.” 28 v. The very same is brought to view by Paul. Rom. xi: 26, 27.
These two everlasting Covenants are conditional, and in the future. The living saints of God inherit them by keeping the ‘commandments of God and testimony of Jesus’, which can be nothing more nor less than what Jer. and Paul calls the ‘new or second covenant.’ Jer. xxxi: 31-33; Heb. viii: 6-10; by us the Gospel Covenant, confirmed by Christ and his Apostles 1800 years ago. Dan. ix: 27; Acts x: 36-40; Heb. ii: 3, 4. The old or first Covenant was delivered to Moses at Mount Sinai 3337 years ago, and is about 1537 years older than the new, or second, or what we call the Gospel Covenant. Paul to the Heb. ix: 1, says, ‘This first Covenant had ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary,’ meaning the Old Tabernacle with all its appendages, (see 23 v.,) and was dedicated with the blood of bulls and goats. 18, 19 v. (Macknight’s trans.). See also Exo. xxiv: 8; Lev. xvi: 15. This same Covenant was the ten commandments ‘written on tables of stone by the finger of God.’ Exo. xxxiv: 27, 28; Deut. ix: 9-11. Paul calls it the Ark of the Covenant. Heb. ix: 4. Moses built a Tabernacle for it. Exo. xl: 3, 21. David had it in his heart to build a house for it. 1 Chr. xxviii: 2. Solomon built the house (the Temple) and put the Ark into it. 2 Ch. vi: 11. These ten commandments then, was the first Covenant. The Tabernacle and all its furniture was appended to it, and was called the Sanctuary, the building that contained it. This Covenant was broken by the Jews, with whom it was first made. Deut. xxxi: 15, 20; Jer. xxxi: 32; Ezek. xvi: 5, 9; and xvii: 19; Isa. xxxiii: 8. Now how evident it is that the Jewish nation did not destroy nor abolish this Covenant by breaking it. As well may it be said that the man who violates the law of his country has abolished or destroyed the whole law. No, no! men can no more destroy the law God has made than they can put out the light of the sun. They can destroy themselves, but God’s work can they never. Hear God speak and may his word annihilate every thought to the contrary: “The Lord thy God he is the faithful God, which keepeth Covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” Is not this as much as 63,000 years in the future? Will he break it, then think ye? No, you know it means forever! Deut. vii: 9. Do you still doubt. Let him speak once more. “My Covenant will I not BREAK nor ALTER [look at this, you that say God has altered this Covenant so as to change this Sabbath from the 7th to the 1st day of the week.] the thing that has gone out of my mouth.” Psl. lxxxix: 34. Then it is immutable! unchangeable! immortal! as well may man undertake to annihilate the sun. Jesus then, as I have shown, came to establish the new Covenant, and as I have before stated, he stripped off all these appendages, the law of ceremonies, the hand writing of ordinances, the carnal commandments (Paul,) from the first Covenant, the ten commandments, leaving them pure as when they first came from his Father’s hand, and nailed as Paul shows to the Col. all these ceremonies to his cross, at the same hour he sealed the new Covenant with his blood, called the everlasting Covenant. Heb. xiii: 20.
Paul in the viii. ch. on this Covenant, extracts from Jer. xxxi: 31-34, which shows us clearly what he means (see 8-12v,) and says in the 7 v., if the first one had been faultless then no place could be found for the second. 6 v. says this covenant is established on better promises because Jesus is the mediator of it. xii: 24. In x: 15, 16, he quotes from the viii. ch. to show that the Holy Ghost is also a witness. See how, in ii. Rom. 13-16, “when the Gentiles which have not the law, (that is the ten commandments on tables of stone) DO the things contained in the law (the ten commandments) they show the work of the law (the ten commandments) written on their hearts, their thoughts in the mean while accusing, or else excusing, (when, Paul?) in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by my gospel.” Then it must be now. Oh no, says the reader, Paul means at the day of judgment.—I am glad you admit that condemnation overtakes the transgressors of the law written on our hearts somewhere. For proof that he means the commandments read 21, 22 v.; you will of course understand that it is not the law of ceremonies, for these had been abolished more than 25 years before. See chronology A. D. 60. Now see Heb. viii: 10 again. “I will put my laws into their minds and write them in their hearts.” This is the very same, the commandment, the covenant, for there is no other law called God’s law that we can refer to in the bible but this. In Jer. xxxii: 40, the everlasting covenant which Paul quotes in xiii Heb. is the same promise as in Jer. xxxi.
Now in Ezek. xvi: 8. This is the first covenant to Moses; that it is broken see 59 v. 60-62, shows the second covenant as in Jer., read the history in the chapter.
In ch. xx: 37, where the promise is, “I will bring you into the bond (or delivering, see margin,) of the covenant.” At first view it would appear as though here was another implied, but I think the preceding verses, particularly the 12th and 20th, show it to be the covenant in which the Sabbath is included, or it may be the everlasting covenant of redemption, given to Jesus just previous to the resurrection. Paul clearly shows that there are but two covenants under the law in his allegory to the Galatians iv: 21-27, and these two must of necessity, as I have shown embrace the ten commandments. Now has this new covenant been broken by man as was the first? Hear Isaiah: “Behold the Lord maketh the earth empty, the inhabitants of the earth burned, and but few left.” Why? “Because they have broken the everlasting covenant.” See xxiii: 5. Read the whole chapter. Paul says that the professed church in the last days will be covenant breakers. 2 Tim. iii: 2-5. (Macknight’s translation.) This must of course be violating, especially, the fourth commandment, the Lord’s Sabbath. It would be the height of absurdity to attempt to apply it to the first day of the week, because this is included in the six working days, which God never sanctified nor set apart for an holy day.
Now what is to be appended to this everlasting covenant (called new not in respect of its date: it being made from everlasting, and will continue forever,) to ensure us an entrance into the gates of the holy city. Answer. The testimony of Jesus. Rev. xii: 17. “That old dragon the devil is pursuing the remnant (the last end) of God’s children, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” In the xiv: 12, John says the faith of Jesus, (same meaning.) Now what is this faith or “testimony of Jesus?” John shows that he was banished to Patmos for the “word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Rev. 1, 9, he says he “bore record of the testimony of Jesus,” “and what he saw.” 2 v. Just what Jesus had directed his disciples to do. See Math. xxviii: 19, 20. “Teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” This then is what makes the covenant new, appending to it the teaching or testimony of Jesus, after the ceremonial law had been “nailed to the cross.” Here it is perfectly clear that the everlasting covenant the ten commandments have undergone no change whatever. Indeed it is impossible that the law of God could be changed; do you say it is possible I may be mistaken? Then I will appeal to Jesus. He says “it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fail.” You say this is no proof, for the law of God is the word taught in the old and new testaments. See here then, in Matt. v: 17, 18. Is not this the same law as in Luke 16: 17? Yes. Very well then, see next verse, here he unhesitatingly calls them the commandments; for proof that he means the ten commandments, read 21st verse, “shall not kill,” now 27th “nor commit adultery,” then 33d, “nor take God’s name in vain.” His exposition of them as a whole is certainly as clear as this in Matt. xxii: 35-40, reduced to two precepts, love God, and love your neighbor, on these two hang all the law (ceremonial) and the prophets. Dont you see then that if this law is taken away, changed or abolished, that the prophets must fall with it, as certainly as a building would if the foundation was swept away?—The argument is clear that the prophecies cannot be sustained without the law. Again, see Luke x: 25-28. The lawyer says, “Master what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus “said unto him what is written in the LAW? how readest thou?” He begins and quotes the two precepts (the essence of the ten commandments) given by the Saviour in Matt. xxii. Jesus says “thou hast answered RIGHT, this do and thou shalt live.” Is this a safe rule for us? Yes, if you can believe the Saviour. I ask if it could be so if any of the law should fail? No, that would undermine the foundation. Then I have not appealed to Jesus in vain. If all of this does not convince you, just hear the Prophets. “The good man’s delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psl. i: 1, 2. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” xix. “The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” xix: 72. “Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them.” 165. Does the changing of the law by the little horn bring peace? “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.” Prov, 28: 9. Read this passage again. You that say the Lord is not so particular about his law, whether we keep this day or that for a holy day. He says “every thing upon his day.” “Seal the law among my disciples.” Isa. viii: 16. What for? “It will be binding on them in the new heavens and the new earth.” 66: 22, 23, “To the law and the testimony.” 20. What can you prove by it if it is changed or abolished? “He will magnify the law and make it honorable.” 42: 21. How could he do that if he was going to change or destroy it. “The people in whose heart is my law, fear ye not the reproach of men.” 51: 7. “After those days saith the Lord, I will put my laws in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.” Jer. 31: 33. Then we are certainly bound to obey them. “Her Priests have violated my law —and have put no difference between the holy and profane—and have hid their eyes from my SABBATHS, and I am profaned among them.” Ezek. xxii: 26. It is just so; we believe it, Lord. It is even among them that say they are looking for Jesus daily.
Hear the Apostles. “We establish the law.” Rom. iii: 31. “The law is holy, just and good.” What do you mean Paul? The professed Christian world dont believe your testimony: they are teaching that certain part of this law was changed or abolished 25 years before you made this assertion. See chronology. “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” xiii: 10. See Matt. vii: 12, and Gal. v: 14. James says it is a “perfect Royal law of liberty.” See page 26, ch. 1: 25, and ii: 8, 9, 10, 12, and iv: 2. This testimony is also rejected as an absurdity, being no better than Paul’s, 25 years out of date, for they will have it that the 4th commandment, the Sabbath, was changed at the Resurrection.
The commandments of God mean the same as the law.—”All his commandments are sure, they are established forever and ever.” Who then can change the Sabbath? “A good understanding have all they that do his commandments.” “Blessed is the man that delighteth greatly in his commandments.” Psl. cxi: and cxii. “O let me not wander from thy commandments.” xix: 10, and 35. “I will delight myself in thy commandments which I have loved.” 47. “Thy commandment is exceeding broad.” 96. “All thy commandments are truth.” 151. Can it be proved that God ever altered or changed the truth? Yes, if it can be proved that he changed the Sabbath. “O that thou hadst harkened to my commandments, then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” Isa. 48: 18. See Jesus’ exposition and reference to the commandments Matt. v: 19, xv: 3-6. We are told by those who can hardly bear a contradiction, that the 5th commandment means Jesus for father, and New Jerusalem for mother. Jesus shows it is our natural parents, and so does Paul to the Eph. vi: 1-3. See also Matt. xix: 17-19, and xxii: 35-40. Mark xii: 29-31, John xiii: 34, xiv: 31, and xv: 12. The last three quotations relate to his own commandment. See John’s testimony on this point. 1st John ii: 4, 7, iii: 21, 24. Rev. xii: 17, and xiv: 12. Now let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, “fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man,” “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.” Rev. xxii: 14, Ecc. xii: 13. Do you ask for the foundation for this mass of evidence? When Israel violated the holy Sabbath of rest given in the beginning, Gen. ii: 2, 3, 1 John ii: 7, the Lord said unto Moses, how long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? What are they, Lord? Answer, the seventh day Sabbath. See Exo. xvi: 27-30. Now if we trace the bible through in relation to the Sabbath we shall learn that the Lord’s threatenings, judgments, and promises, are more than ten fold in comparison with the other nine commandments. What is the reason of this? Answer, the keeping of God’s sabbath holy sanctifies and saves the soul! (Meaning, only through faith in Christ alone the Christian can walk in perfect obedience, and will be saved) but the keeping of one, or all the other nine without it will not.
Now, dear reader, if you are still undecided about the keeping of God’s Sabbath, let me persuade you to read these two pages over again, and settle in your mind what you will do with this mass of testimony, directly from God; his Prophets; Jesus Christ and his Apostles. Dare you say you are now ‘living by every word of God,’ and yet reject all this, with what other testimony is here presented to prove the keeping of the seventh day Sabbath? Dare you run such a risk because the great mass of professed believers in Christendom are doing so? Do you think you can be saved by such a faith and practice? Your ministering spirit (if you yet have one,) says no, no! utterly impossible! Then receive the truth in the love of it. Do you perceive that the seventh day Sabbath is God’s first law for man? Gen. ii: 2, 3, and the very last promise he ever made to man of a future inheritance is based on the ‘doing of these commandments.’ It would not help your case at all if you could make out five thousand, instead of ten, commandments; for you would still have to include the ten to get them all.
What a beautiful delineation the cxix Psalm is, of this wonderful prototype delivered by God to Moses at Mount Sinai. The Commandments are rehearsed twenty-two times. The Law twenty-three. The Testimony twenty-three. The Statutes twenty-one. The Precepts twenty-two. The Judgments twenty-two. The Word thirty-eight. All referring to the Ark of the Covenant of God. See how perfectly David and Nehemiah links them together with the Sabbath in the xix Psl: 7-9; Neh. ix: 13, 14. ‘The Commandments, Law, Testimony and Judgments, are true and righteous all together.’ Proof—Commandments and Laws, Exo. xvi: 28-30; Testimony, Exo. xxv: 16; Isa. viii: 20; Word, Exo. xxxiv: 27; Mark vii: 10, 13; Statutes and Judgments, Deut. vi: 17, 20; x: 13; Lev. xviii: 5; Precepts, Neh. ix: 13, 14; Dan. ix: 5.
Who believes that the person that refrains from worshiping ‘idols or images,’ will be saved for that? or because he honors his father or mother? or because he is no murderer? or does not commit adultery, or steal, or bear false witness, or covet, or not swear? Thousands on thousands have conformed to some and even all the nine, that made no pretensions to religion. We must keep the whole if we would be saved; neither can we be saved by keeping the Sabbath alone. James says ‘If we fail in one we are guilty of the whole.’ God says ‘verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep—that ye may know that I the Lord do SANCTIFY you.’ Exo. xxxi: 13. Now I ask if there is any wise men among us that can tell us how the soul is sanctified unless he keeps the Sabbath HOLY. Ezekiel says the Sabbath was given that we might know that the Lord SANCTIFIES. xx. Says the reader, what do you think about those that have died in faith, keeping the first day Sabbath? Just as I do of those that never heard the everlasting gospel at the hour of his judgment. Look at the state of the world now, since they have rejected this message, the answer is plain then that condemnation comes, when light or present truth is presented and rejected. We may think our plea of ignorance may excuse us now. But just think of that awful hour, that gathering storm that is now clothing the moral world with darkness that may be felt. The sure and certain precursor of that tremendous “rush” when God roars out of Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, preparatory to the sign of the Son of man in heaven and the trump of the archangel and a great sound, with so much power that earth and sea will reel, and rock, and rend; and cast forth the righteous dead, and the living saints changed; all going up together to meet their glorified Lord. No plea of ignorance will then answer our purpose: thoughts then rushing through our minds with more than lightning speed, will touch every point as on the magnetic telegraph, and show us where and when we rejected the present truth. Good God help the honest ones to see it now, for then it certainly will be forever too late. That God’s holy Sabbath is a present truth I have not a shadow of a doubt; that it is stamped with immortality and will be present truth forever and ever, no mortal can dispute:—It was established in Paradise without limitation. Gen. ii: 2, 3. God says “my covenant will I not BREAK nor ALTER.” Jesus has shown that not one tittle of this covenant can be altered, and told his children (not the Jews only) how they should pray about the Sabbath 36 years after his death. A little farther in the distance stands John the last of the disciples pointing us to Paradise for the commandments. After wading through a few years tribulation, in vision he sees the new Jerusalem, the Mother of us all, the Paradise restored, and cries out “blessed are they that DO (that practice) his commandments, they are going into the city.” There they will keep the Sabbath without opposition, as at the beginning. Isa. 66: 23, Heb. iv: 9. This looks just like God’s work. Man has undertaken to “break and alter” this law by changing the Sabbath. It would be much easier for him to bail the ocean dry, and carry the water to Jupiter by the spoonful; and sweep the thick clouds from the heavens in a thunder storm with the wing of a raven. Who then can alter this covenant? Echo answers, who can alter this covenant?
Now who cannot see clearly that the main pillar and foundation of this Everlasting covenant is the ten commandments, the law of God, the constitution of the Bible: for every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, given first in Paradise, re-enacted with the nine additional commandments, written on tables of stone by the finger of God on mount Sinai, giving it the form of a statute, then delivered to Moses, broken by the Jewish, just as men break any law without destroying it. The same ten commandments and laws, called by Paul the new or second and everlasting covenant, confirmed by Jesus, and sealed with his own blood eighteen hundred years ago, written in our minds and our hearts from one generation to another to the present time, always understood when developed in the believer’s practising and doing them, with the promise annexed that such obedience will be rewarded by an entrance into the holy city. Rev. xxii: 14. Now in this covenant or ten commandments God has given us a perpetual covenant, a sign forever, and this is the seventh day Sabbath. See Exo. 31: 16. This may bear some comparison with the visions of Ezekiel and John. “Their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.” “I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name.” So with the Sabbath it is the main and essential thing. It is clearly that if we keep this holy as God has shown us, then we shall be SANCTIFIED. So we see a holy sanctified soul cannot violate the commandments. But if we reject the light and still persist in saying we will keep one of the working days holy which God never sanctified nor set apart for us, “how does the love of God dwell in that soul?” “If ye love me keep my commandments.” Now the history of God’s people for the last seven years, or more, is described by John in Rev. xiv: 6-13. An angel preaching the everlasting gospel at the hour of God’s judgment. This without any doubt represents all those who were preaching the second Advent doctrine since 1840. During this proclamation, there followed another angel, saying “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.” This angel was some of the same Advent lecturers, (for invisible angels dont preach to men.) And the third angel follows them, showing the curse that befell all such as “worship the beast or his image, or receive his mark,” that is, if they go back again. The same angel or voice that is brought to view in ch. 18: 4, you see he follows the one that announces the fall of Babylon, and cries, come out of her my people: this was a little before and during a cry at Midnight in the fall of 1844. And God’s people did respond to that call and come out, does any one ask where from? Answer, the professed churches and no where else. These churches then are Babylon! Now when this cry ended, John describes another very different company, in their patience, (or trying time,) keeping the commandments of God and the faith or testimony of Jesus; who are they? Why, the very same that came out of Babylon. Well, were they not all good christians that obeyed and came out of Babylon? They will be if they belong to this last company and pass through the trial. But did they not keep the commandments of God before this company was developed? Yes all but the 4th commandment. Therefore as I have shown, John gave us no credit for keeping the first for the seventh day Sabbath, neither could it be called keeping the commandments, for if we did it ever so ignorantly, even, we still violated the very essential law in the commandments, and all that John could say therefore was, that them which had the mark of the beast kept some of the commandments. James says “if we fail in one we are guilty of the whole.” Now that such a people can be found on the earth as described in the 12 v. and have been uniting in companies for the last two years, on the commandments of God and faith or testimony of Jesus, is indisputable and clear. I say here then is demonstrated proof that Babylon has fallen, and whoever undertakes to prove the contrary must annihilate this people, or “pervert the scriptures.” John further shows that this is a remnant (which of course means the last end) made war with, (his meaning is clear,) for “keeping the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” xii: 17. Here another question arises, why this people should be persecuted for keeping the commandments, &c., when all, even them which have the mark of the beast, profess to keep them. I suppose all that enrages the Devil and his army is this; that this remnant are actually practising what they believe is the testimony of God and the testimony of Jesus, selling what they have, giving alms, laying up their treasure in heaven, casting themselves entirely loose from this wicked world; doing as their master told them to do, “washing one another’s feet,” and as the apostles have taught, ‘greet all the brethren with an holy kiss,’ ‘salute every saint in christ Jesus.’ Living ‘by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God,’ practice keeping the Sabbath holy, just as God has told them in the commandments. But says the reader, there are tens of thousands that are looking for Jesus, that dont believe the above doctrines, what will become of them? Consult John, he knows better than we do; he has only described two companies. See xiv: 9-11, 12. One is keeping the commandments and faith of Jesus. The other has the mark of the beast. How? See page 45. Is it not clear that the first day of the week for the Sabbath or holy day is a mark of the beast. It surely will be admitted that the Devil was and is the father of all the wicked deeds of Imperial and papal Rome. It is clear then from this history that Sunday, or first day, is his Sabbath throughout christendom. And that he has succeeded among other civilized nations to sanctify and set apart for holy days every working day which God gave us, that he did not sanctify. See page 8th. He will be very careful therefore not to make war on any but those who keep God’s Sabbath holy. Contrast this with page 30. John shows that these will all be judged according to their works, or as their work shall be. But them that do (that practice) his commandments may enter in through the gates into the city. But do not some of the rest go in? He does not say they do. He says his reward is with him to give to every man according as his work shall be. Well, who are left out? See 15 v. “And whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Now see 4 of John ii. “He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar.” But does not the vii Rev. describe a great multitude saved after the 144,000? Yes, but I conclude that these were raised from the dead. The original design of sending out this work was to show that these commandments, the keeping of the Lord’s Sabbath, would save the living saints only at the coming of Jesus. Now that the keeping of the seventh day Sabbath has been made void by the working of satan, and is to be restored as one of the all things spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began, before Jesus can come, is evident. See Acts iii: 20, 21. “And they that shall be of THEE shall build the old waste places—thou shalt raise up the foundation of many generations, and thou shalt be called the REPAIRER of the breach, the RESTORER of paths to dwell in.” Isa. 58: 12. The two following verses show that keeping or restoring the Sabbath is the special work. Jesus says, “they shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven, that do and teach the commandments.” That there will yet be a mighty struggle about the restoring and keeping the seventh day Sabbath, that will test every living soul that enters the gates of the city, cannot be disputed. It is evident the Devil is making war on all such. See Rev. xii: 17. “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” Amen.
WHO ARE THE TRUE ISRAEL?
In the xxxi. ch. of Exod., God says, “wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant; it is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever.” 16, 17 v. Who are the true Israelites? Answer, God’s people. Hear Paul: “Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes of the Gentiles, also; from uncircumcision through faith” Rom. iii: 29, 30. God gave his re-enacted commandment or covenant to the natural Jew in B. C. 1491. They broke this covenant, as he told Moses they would, for which he partially destroyed and dispersed them; God then brought in a new covenant which continued the sign of the Sabbath, which was confirmed by Jesus and his Apostle about 1525 years from the first. See Heb. viii: 8, 10, 13; Rom. ii: 15. Their breaking the first covenant never could destroy the commandments of God. Therefore this new or second covenant, made with the house of ISRAEL, Heb. viii: 10, (not the natural Jew only.) is indelibly written upon the heart. Now every child takes the name of his parents. Let us see what the angel Gabriel says to Mary concerning her son: “The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever.” Luke i: 31, 33.
Now the prophecy: “There shall come a star out of Jacob and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel.” Num. Now 1735 years before Jesus was born, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, because he prevailed with him. This then is the family name for all who overcome or prevail. God gave this name to his spiritual child, namely, Israel. Then Jesus will “reign over the house of Israel forever.” This must include all that are saved in the everlasting kingdom. Further, Joseph was the natural son of Jacob, or Israel. In his prophetic view and dying testimony to his children, he says, Joseph is a fruitful bough, from thence is the shepherd the stone of Israel. Gen. xlix: 22-34. Then this Shepherd (Jesus) is a descendant, and is of the house of Israel. Does he not say that he is the Shepherd of the Sheep?—What, of the Jews only? No, but also of the Gentile, “for the promise is not through the law (of ceremonies) but through the righteousness of faith,” Rom. iv: 13. Micah says, “they shall smite the Judge of Israel, that is to be the ruler in Israel.” v: 1, 2. Now Jesus never was a judge nor ruler in Israel. This, then, is a prophecy in the future, that he will judge, and be the Ruler over, the whole house of Israel. All the family, both natural Jew and Gentile, will assume the family name, the whole Israel of God. The angel Gabriel’s message, then, is clear; David is the father of Jesus, according to the flesh, and Jacob, or rather Israel his father, and Jesus reigns over the house of Israel forever. Paul says, “He is not a Jew which is one outwardly but he is a Jew which is one inwardly.” Rom. ii. “There is no difference between the Jew and Greek, (or Gentile) for they are not all Israel that are of Israel, neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children.” Why? Because the children of the promise, of Isaac (is the true seed.) chs. ix and x. To the Gallatians he says, “Now to Abraham (the Grandfather of Israel) and his seed were the promises made: not to many, but as of one and to thy seed which is CHRIST—then says, then says, there is neither Jew nor Greek—but one in Christ Jesus, and if ye be Christ then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” iii. “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the ISRAEL of God.” vi. This, then, is the name of the whole family in heaven; Christ is God’s only son and lawful heir, none but the true seed can be joint heirs with Christ in the covenant made with Abraham. Ezekiel’s prophecy in xxxvii. ch., God says “he will bring up out of their graves the whole house of Israel.” “and I will put my spirit in you and ye shall live.” 11-14. If God here means any other than the spiritual Israel, then Universalism is true—for the whole house of natural Israel did not die in faith; if the wicked Jews are to be raised and live before God, then will all the wicked! For God is no respecter of persons: “And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forevermore.” 28 v. Here, then, we prove that the dead and living saints are the whole Israel of God, and the Covenant and Sign is binding on them into the gates of the holy city. Rev. xx: 14.
TWO QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERDS AND PRINCIPALS OF THE FLOCK, ANY WHERE AND EVERY WHERE;
When and where has God abolished his commandments and laws? namely the seventh day Sabbath as recorded in Exo. xvi: 28-30. When, and where did God ever sanctify the first, or any other day but the seventh to be kept for a holy day of rest? Will God ever justify any living soul for attempting to keep one of the six working days holy?