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    December 11, 1905

    “His Life’s Crisis.—No. 2” The Signs of the Times, 20, 50, 602, 603.

    ATJ

    By A. T. J.

    The morning dawned—Harry’s first Sabbath. He had not yet learned that the Sabbath is a delight. It came to him as a crushing, compelling force. He saw some of the members of his church pass the window, and his heart sank as he contrasted the friendly smile and salutation with which they always greeted him, with the coldness and reserve that he knew would meet him when it became known that he had begun to keep what was contemptuously spoken of as the “Jewish Sabbath.”SITI December 11, 1905, page 602.1

    He was not able to keep his convictions secret. True, he did not have any duties to perform on Saturday, but he had been in the habit of helping the head teacher dig his garden in the morning, and as he had been very regular in this matter, he realised that his absence would be sure to cause remark. He shut himself up in his room and proceeded to study his Bible. He reviewed the argument in “Field’s Handbook of Christian Theology” on the change of the Sabbath, and saw how unsatisfactory it was. Yet it seemed to hint that to observe the seventh day was to go backward instead of forward. Then he remembered that Christ was the “One Lawgiver” who had spoken from Sinai. This he had learned from “Field’s Handbook,” pages 81 and 82. And therefore it was his Saviour who had spoken the fourth commandment, and therefore the Sabbath must be the Lord’s day.SITI December 11, 1905, page 602.2

    A little of the beauty and the “delight” of the Sabbath was thus revealed to him. It was beginning to appear less of a burden.SITI December 11, 1905, page 602.3

    There was a knock at the front door. The mistress of the house answered the knock, then came and put her head in at Harry’s door.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.1

    “Mr. Hart wants to see you,” said she, looking very stern.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.2

    Harry was at the door in a moment.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.3

    “I called to see if you would like to study with me, to-day,” said Mr. Hart.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.4

    That took away much of the feeling of loneliness. For two or three hours Harry sat in Mr. Hart’s lodgings, while Mr. Hart opened to him the Scriptures. When he went back to dinner there was a note waiting for heal, requesting his attendance at the head teacher’s residence.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.5

    Harry went in fear and trembling.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.6

    “I suppose, sir,” said Harry, when the teacher came to the door, “that you wonder why I did not come to dig in the garden this morning.”SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.7

    “Oh, no,” he answered kindly.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.8

    “The fact is, sir,” said Harry, “I have learned that the seventh day is the Sabbath, and I believe there is no authority in Scripture for Sunday observance; so, of course, I could not do any work to-day.”SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.9

    “Indeed!” said the head teacher, “that is a very serious step to take. Just come in, and I will see what my authorities have to say on the matter.”SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.10

    So Harry followed him into his library. Several works were consulted, but “Smith’s Ecclesiastical History” was the one that was most to the point.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.11

    After reading its argument for the change of day, the bead teacher said:“I will admit, Mr. Irvine, that that is very unsatisfactory.” He closed the book. But study about this matter, get advice upon it, pray about it, before you finally decide; for it will seriously injure your prospects if you decide to keep Saturday fur the Sabbath.”SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.12

    And Harry went back to his lodgings to study and to pray.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.13

    The sun set, and brought Harry Irvine’s first Sabbath to a close—a Sabbath that had been too much tilled with perplexities and harassing thoughts to be a real day of rest.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.14

    After tea Harry heard a voice at the door asking the master of the house, “Is Mr. Irvine in?”SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.15

    Harry recognised it at once as the voice of his minister. “Now for it!” he said to himself as he went to the door.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.16

    “Mr. Irvine,” said the minister, “at the local preachers’ meeting held yesterday it was voted that you be given work in this circuit as a local preacher. I came to see if that is in accordance with your wish.”SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.17

    “Yes, sir,” said Harry, “it was the dearest wish of my soul. But I fear I cannot take it now. Last night I learned that the seventh day is the Sabbath.”SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.18

    “Yes, I heard about it,” said the minister. “Your chief came to me and told me of the trouble you are in. Don’t think of this as a breach of confidence on his part, for he loves you as he would if you were his own soul.” He placed his hand affectionately on Harry’s shoulder. “Young man,” said he very earnestly, “look after the good of your soul, and don’t bother your head about that old Jewish Sabbath.”SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.19

    And with this advice the minister left him.SITI December 11, 1905, page 608.20

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