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April 8, 1889
“The True Sabbath Day” The Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago) 18, 15 (6,372), p. 4.
Efforts Made by the National Reformers to Change the Day and Their Reasons.
The lectures on religious legislation which have been given nightly at No. 28 College place by Elder A. T. Jones were continued last night, the closing one to be given to-night. The speaker began by saying that the Sabbath is fast becoming a subject of legislation and of civil law, and when it is made so, questions will arise both of interpretation and law. The Sabbath is not a civil institution and can not be made so, hence, if legislation is decided upon, it must become a matter of interpretation by the courts, and as Senator Blair’s bill calls the Sunday “the Lord’s day,” it will be necessary for the courts to go to the Bible to ascertain why it is called this, and the courts will begin to interpret Scripture for you and I; but no court, or set of men, have any right to interpret the word of God for any man.DIO April 8, 1889, page 4.1
Article 2 of the constitution of the American Sabbath Union endorses the Sabbath found in ... Sabbath from desecration.” Herrick Johnson claims also that “it is useless to put the Sabbath on a basis of expediency.DIO April 8, 1889, page 4.2
is in the fact that it is a divine institution. God wants us to keep all the Sabbath, not merely rest, while Mr. Shepard of the New York Mail and..., claims that “the demand for this legislation rests solely on its divine origin.” This is enough, the speaker said, to show that these parties appeal to the fourth commandment for there authority, but now let us appeal to it and see what it says. No work can be done on that day, the seventh day, the very law that these men say we must turn our backs upon. Now, how can they apply it to Sunday, the first day? I read from Judge Cooley’s digest: “What a court has to do it to declare the law as written, and the meaning is fixed when it is adopted and is not changed when a decision is to be rendered under it.” Now, did God intend the first day of the week to be kept when he made it? Read the sixteenth chapter of Exodus and you will find that no manna fell on the seventh day, and the Lord kept this up for forty years. Could the children of Israel keep the first day, then, if they tried? No; the manna would not keep over night any time, but on the sixth day they gathered a double quantity, which sufficed for two days, and nothing fell on the seventh, so that by three special miracles God pointed out for forty years the day he wished them to keep.DIO April 8, 1889, page 4.3
GOD THEN INTERPRETED THE LAW
when He gave it, and in a way, that showed them the day he meant them to keep, and according to law itself, then no other day can be kept under this commandment. I will show ... changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and he answered “that there was a meeting after the resurrection on the first day of the week,” and afterward admitted that three or four of these meetings is all the authority for the change. Thus, we see, he undermines this ... principle of Judge Cooley, and this undermines every safeguard we have in law. These few meetings, Mr. Johnson claims, is sufficient to overrule all the interpretations of God. Judge Cooley says that a court which would allow public sentiment to cause them to swerve from the original interpretation of the law is guilty of reckless disregard of official office and public duty. Now, if it is so of civil law, what is it toward God, in attempting to doDIO April 8, 1889, page 4.4
THE SAME WITH GOD’S LAW?
Judge Cooley also says that “in all written law the intent of the law given is the one to be enforced.” What was God’s intent in the fourth commandment? That the seventh day should be kept. Some claim the people chose the seventh day then, and after the resurrection changed it to the first, but read that sixteenth chapter of Exodus again and you will see that God commanded it, the people having no choice in the matter. Further, when the Savior came he kept the same day and enforced its observance, never intimating or preparing for a change of any kind. In the trial of Andrew Johnson the decision was that “when a law is plain there is no room for constructions, and the meaning must be enforced—the meaning that appears upon the face of the instrument—that is the one alone we are at liberty to enforce.” It is obedience God wants, not construction or interpretation; and if those men would go to work to obey and teach the people to do so, the people under their charge would ... The speaker then read at length from legal ... construction is to be put upon the language of a statute, and then called attention to the simplicity of the words and plainness of the meaning of the fourth commandment.DIO April 8, 1889, page 4.5
THE ONLY QUESTION WHATEVER
that we have to find out under that law is what day is the seventh, and it tells us which one it is—the seventh is a circle of seven—following six days of labor of God. Now, then, see how unnatural and forced it is to say that the commandment means “one day in seven.” They say so in order to put into its place any day they please. They make it indefinite to get rid of the seventh day, and then whirl about and make it definite to get in the first day. If we admit that God made the commandment indefinite, He made it so intentionally, and if so, no man has a right to make it definite, and when they try to do so they put themselves above God and usurp authority they never had. If Christ is “Lord of the Sabbath” and the “seventh day is the Sabbath,” then the son of Man is Lord of the seventh day, and if so, John being in the spirit on “the Lord’s day,” then John was in the spirit on the seventh day. This conclusion can not be changed, because the first two statements can not be denied. But further, what was the reason God made the seventh day the Sabbath? Because God made the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh day, and we are to keep that day because God blessed it and made it holy. Now can not we prove our right to keep it from every ruling of law I have read?DIO April 8, 1889, page 4.6
THE SABBATH IS A SIGN
between God and man to draw men to himself as their Creator, and that reason is just as firmly established to-day as when first given. But these would-be legislators change the day and change the reason for the commandment, yet that commandment was given before men sinned, and would remain even if man had never sinned. Further it is not possible for God to change it. The commandment is based upon facts, and it will never cease to be a fact, and God Himself can never change that fact. God can not remain the Creator and substitute one of His work days and call it His rest day. So the power that is trying to do what God can not is that form of power that seeks to exalt itself above God, and that is a papacy.DIO April 8, 1889, page 4.7