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    07 VAIN PHILOSOPHY

    IT is a fact, and not to be concealed,
    Which first-day leaders have themselves revealed,
    That ‘t is no point with them what ground they take,
    Provided they can some objection make
    Against the seventh; to prove that that’s not right,
    Is what they labor for with all their might.
    To gain this end, so zealous do they grow,
    Bend all their mind, and all their thoughts bestow,
    That they o’erlook this fact, most plain to see,
    That all their shifts and turns will not agree;
    But on they rush nor heed their reckless pace,
    Till contradiction stares them in the face.
    WFS 52.1

    Full many strenuous advocates we see
    Of Sunday-keeping, strict as well may be;
    But while so strict lest first-day they shall break,
    Hear what objection to the seventh they make:
    They claim that time, with varied scenes of change,
    Has served men’s reckoning all to disarrange;
    Hence none can tell which day the seventh day stood;
    Therefore, we cannot keep it if we would.
    But you pretend to keep the true first day, Do you know when that comes? Oh, yes, you say,
    The day when Christ arose has well been known;
    E’er since that time, as plainly can be shown;
    ‘T is then a little strange, as seems to me,
    Since on the first day, people all agree,
    Since all are certain when that day comes round,
    No one can tell us where the seventh is found!
    You know when Sunday comes? Then say no more;
    For Sabbath is the very day before.
    WFS 52.2

    But, says another, ere he count the cost
    Of his assertion, there’s a day been lost;
    Hence, what men first-day now are pleased to call,
    Is really the true seventh, after all.
    WFS 53.1

    A day been lost! and yet men all agree!
    I marvel greatly how the thing can be.
    Suppose one town alone should chance to make,
    And all agree, in such a gross mistake.
    Abroad like lightning would the news be hurled,
    And soon ‘t would be the wonder of the world.
    To think, then, all on earth, for so they view it,
    All lost a day and no one ever knew it,
    Is far beyond conception;-in a word,
    This theory is preposterously absurd.
    Doubtless all were asleep when this took place!
    Perhaps in some mesmeric, strong embrace!
    But we would say, as being nearer true,
    Those, rather, are asleep, who hold this view.
    WFS 53.2

    Again, says one, the Sabbath ne’er has been
    Permitted to be changed by laws of men.
    In all they’ve done, in all their various ways,
    They’ve only changed the reckoning of the days.
    WFS 54.1

    In answer, you’ll admit, ere this, the Jew,
    Which the true seventh day was, full certain knew.
    And they have, strictly, from that very time,
    Scattered through all the world, in every clime,
    Preserved their reckoning; and in harmony
    With others and themselves, they all agree.
    If then there’s been this change, in ages gone,
    The Jews, the wide world o’er, have reckoned wrong.
    Mohammedans, their sixth day holding high,
    Christians, their first-day lauding to the sky,
    Each zealous for the day they deem the best,
    Each in their count agree with all the rest.
    Whate’er did one, the other did befall;
    If one has blundered, they have blundered all.
    This most as bad would be as ‘t is to say
    That all the world have blindly lost a day.
    WFS 54.2

    And there are those, not seldom to be found,
    Who sagely tell us that the world is round!
    And therefore as time differs east and west,
    All cannot keep, at once, a day of rest.
    We know the world is round, as they declare,
    “And like a ball seems swinging in the air.”
    And, doubtless, God knew well his wondrous plan, Before he made the Sabbath day for man.
    To urge, then, this objection, surely must
    Make God imperfect, and his law unjust.
    But if this really an objection be,
    Those who have urged it most, forgot to see,
    That all the force against the seventh it had,
    Came against first-day equally as bad.
    WFS 54.3

    Suppose some sovereign, to whom were due
    Honor and reverence, should journey through
    His loyal realm, and it was told the throng
    To do him reverence as he passed along.
    Should then his distant subjects rise and say
    That to their Prince they could no reverence pay,
    Because it would not the same moment be,
    With those who first his majesty would see,
    Would such a reasonless excuse evince
    Love and obedience to their sovereign prince?
    Theirs it would be to quell so false a claim,
    And pay their loyal tribute when he came.
    WFS 55.1

    So with the Sabbath, in Jehovah’s plan,
    Designed for all the world, and made for man:
    God has appointed, if we so may say,
    The world’s great time-piece, made to rule the day;
    That brings to all, where’er their place is found,
    The seventh day, in every weekly round.
    Then be it ours, with humble hearts and tongues,
    To do the Sabbath reverence when it comes; Nor strive from vain philosophy to draw
    Insults to God and his majestic law.
    WFS 55.2

    Thus having noticed various objections,
    We shall be suffered now a few reflections.
    WFS 56.1

    Those who are rambling off to nature’s laws,
    Striving to gather from effect and cause,
    Some reasons, as they fondly trust, which may
    Stand as objections to the seventh day,
    Show, by their course, undoubted proof and true,
    That they’ve no Bible to support their view;
    And being over-anxious to succeed,
    They run full tilt against their Sunday creed.
    Blindly contending, till at last ‘t is found,
    They’ve torn their own loved theories to the ground.
    As oft I’ve seen some angry urchins rise,
    With deep vexation working in their eyes,
    And aim so spiteful at a dodging foe
    That they themselves upset and overthrow.
    WFS 56.2

    Should these objections, then, as some contend,
    Be urged to prove the Sabbath at an end,
    Before such arguments as these are heard,
    That point must first be settled by the word;
    Settled in face of proof on every hand,
    Though heaven and earth should pass, God’s law would stand.
    WFS 56.3

    It is a serious fact, when men are driven
    From Bible ground, the only standard given,
    That then, whatever arguments they find, Drawn from whatever source, whate’er their kind,
    Provided for their side they seem to tell,
    To all appearance, suit them just as well.
    ‘Tis hard for men, whatever their position,
    To break the cords of long-observed tradition;
    And error, cherished long, e’en when confessed,
    With deep reluctance leaves the human breast.
    Yet strange that men, in view of proof so plain,
    Precept on precept, line on line again,
    Through error’s devious maze should grope their way,
    And trample still upon the Sabbath day.
    Strange that on truth so weighty, and defined
    Of all-absorbing interest to mankind,
    Eternal with the precepts God has given,
    Through love of which we gain a right to Heaven,
    Which, above all that sheds its light abroad,
    Holds man in close connection with his God-
    Strange that on this they careless should be found,
    And on such flimsy proof their theories ground;
    Or listen to Tradition’s siren song,
    And scarcely ponder whether right or wrong;
    Should rest, untroubled, their eternal all,
    On man-made theories, which must surely fall.
    And stranger still, that they, presumptuous, then,
    Should, with these doctrines and commands of men,
    With baseless reasonings, and all senseless things,
    Fight the stern precepts of the King of kings! Did men but know it, in their reckless strife,
    They’re laboring hard to lose eternal life.
    Said God’s beloved Son, Would we secure
    Eternal life, keep the commandments pure.
    And he, the Wise Man, says, in truth and beauty,
    “Fear God, and keep his law, is man’s whole duty.”
    Let error’s advocates, henceforth, be dumb;
    For here’s their condemnation-light has come.
    Light which reveals the devious course they’re in,
    And now they have no cloak for further sin.
    Too many causes, trivial though they be,
    Keep men from acting on what light they see.
    Too many, anxious honor to sustain,
    Will shun the truth to save their worldly gain.
    The mote of earthly interest fills their eye,
    And hides from view the world’s of bliss on high.
    And ah! too many, when before their eyes
    The narrow way and cross begin to rise,
    Though ample views of truth they once have got,
    Will shut their eyes, and say they see it not.
    Those, only, who are bold to bear the cross,
    To count earth’s honor and its pleasure dross;
    Who to its lying songs will give no ear,
    Nor bow, a paltry slave, to worldly fear;
    Who bravely stand, and battle for the right,
    ‘Mid all the darkness of earth’s moral night,
    Nor shrink to strike, with an unsparing hand, Against the sins of a degenerate land;
    Servants of God Most High, to him alone
    Pay their due homage, and allegiance own;
    Alone obedient to his righteous laws,
    And zealous, only in his glorious cause;
    They will receive the welcome from their Lord,
    They, reap the harvest of a rich reward.
    To those who, through obedience, seek for Heaven,
    This is the promise Christ himself hath given:
    “Blessed are they who his commandments do; 1Revelation 22:14.
    For they the pearly gates shall enter through;
    They shall the city in its glory see,
    They shall have right to Life’s unfading tree.”
    Palm-wreaths of victory shall the conquerors hold,
    And star-gemmed crowns and harps of glit’ring gold.
    There in that world of fadeless glory, bright,
    With angel-bands, arrayed in silvery white,
    Sabbath succeeding Sabbath, years unknown,
    Shall God behold them worship at his throne. 2Isaiah 66:23.
    WFS 56.4

    Oh! when the scenes of earthly strife are past,
    When from th’ long contest we emerge at last,
    When God himself shall rise in peerless might
    To vindicate his truth and show the right,
    Then will it be a priceless joy to know
    That in the moral darkness here below,
    When men their faces ‘gainst the Lord had turned, And from their hearts his love and precepts spurned,
    We tried his moral law to keep in view,
    And prove ourselves of loyal hearts and true.
    WFS 59.1

    Father in Heaven, thy precepts will we love,
    That honor seek that cometh from above,
    Thy Sabbath keep with ever fresh delight,
    A day of gladness in thy holy sight.
    Yea, while as pilgrims here we pass along,
    Thy statutes still shall be our cheerful song.
    And when thy saints shall all to Zion come,
    Bathed in the bliss of their eternal home,
    When crowned with songs and everlasting joy,
    Heaven’s hallelujahs all their harps employ,
    O grant us with that happy throng a place
    To look with joy ecstatic on thy face,
    To make in Heaven our Sabbath joys complete
    While worshiping in rapture at thy feet.
    WFS 60.1

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