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    WHEN first the rapid march of Time began,
    And God achieved his ever-wondrous plan,
    When heaven and earth the royal summons heard,
    And came, obedient, at the Almighty’s word,
    Sky, land, and sea, and forms of beauty there,
    Raised their glad anthems on the silent air;
    Then did the Morning Stars loud songs employ,
    And all the sons of God shouted for joy.
    When planets, glimmering on the brow of night,
    The orb of day, with his refulgent light,
    And rolling earth, each taught their varied bounds,
    Commenced, majestic, their eternal rounds-
    Six days alone this glorious work employed;
    God on the seventh a sacred rest enjoyed.
    Calmly and grand the six days’ labor close,
    The seventh beholds the Deity’s repose.
    Oh! wondrous day, when the creative power
    Ceasing, as dawned that calm auspicious hour,
    The Lord in holy, contemplative mood
    Surveyed his finished work, and called it good.
    ‘T was meet the day on which the King did rest Should thus be hallowed, sanctified, and blest.
    ‘T was meet that man, from God’s example given,
    Should yield each seventh day to him and Heaven.
    So was the hallowed season set apart
    To be observed by every loyal heart.
    WFS 11.1

    Thus full and clear the Sabbath was made known,
    Firm as the pillars of Jehovah’s throne.
    With the fair earth it left its Maker’s hand,
    And with the earth will co-existent stand.
    If any think that they can prove as fact,
    The Sabbath was not fashioned by this act,
    All who are so disposed may freely try it;
    For there’s the record, and they can’t deny it.
    WFS 12.1

    As yet, upright in innocence man stood,
    Not yet engulfed in sin’s polluting flood,
    Still pure in heart he walked the earth abroad,
    And face to face held converse with his God,
    No error yet had slightest foothold found
    Within the precincts of that hallowed ground.
    In this pure season was the Sabbath given
    When earth was but the outer court of Heaven.
    ‘T was not a type, foretelling sin to come,
    A sad reminder of man’s fearful doom,
    When e’en his soul by sin’s polluting breath
    Was doomed, unless redeemed, to certain death.
    As yet, man needed no redeeming grace,
    Nor type of that as yet could here find place. A child of Eden is the Sabbath fair,
    Its natal breath, that garden’s sinless air,
    Unchanged by what has since marred nature’s face,
    And made redemption needful for our race.
    WFS 12.2

    And when to earth Heaven’s Royal Monarch came,
    His car the clouds, his steeds devouring flame,
    When Sinai’s towering mount obsequious bowed,
    And swelling trumpet answered thunders loud,
    When thus the King of kings his footstool pressed,
    And trembling earth proclaimed her mighty guest,
    ‘Mid all these heralds of almighty power,
    ‘Mid all the grandeur of that awful hour,
    God spake his just, eternal law to man;
    And thus, in plainest truth, this precept ran:
    WFS 13.1

    The Sabbath day remember: then shall close
    The days of weekly toil, for calm repose.
    For earthly labor, stern, six days are thine,
    The seventh is God’s holy day divine;
    For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,
    And gave all beings and all creatures birth,
    And on the seventh enjoyed a sacred rest;
    Wherefore the Sabbath day Jehovah blest.
    WFS 13.2

    Thus was the Sabbath precept given then
    As something which had long familiar been;
    Not as a fabrication, new and rare,
    For that occasion made and people there;
    And God’s own finger points us to its birth, When he from out the void made heaven and earth.
    WFS 13.3

    Since then the sacred institution stands,
    Old as the world and broad as all its lands,
    Since made when Time’s great circuit first begun,
    ‘T will last, of course, as long as Time shall run.
    Since made for him, the father of mankind,
    For all his offspring, ‘t was, of course, designed.
    Absurd to think such institution given-
    Link most divine, connecting earth with Heaven,
    A sacred chain, joining, in due degree,
    Man with his God, time with eternity;
    Given for the good of all who dwell below,
    Designed o’er all its blessings to bestow-
    Absurd to think that it was destined, then,
    For but a portion of the race of men;
    Or to be pinioned by the bounds of space,
    Or reverenced only by a single race!
    Say, you who claim, and speak as though you knew,
    That it was given only for the Jew,
    Were our first parents Jews? If so, then how
    Are not all earth’s great nations Jewish now?
    Or, if long years successive rolled away,
    Ere national divisions held their sway,
    And ere the Jews arose, who were to know
    What blessings from the holy Sabbath flow,
    For whom alone it was designed, you say-
    Why made so long before ‘t was needed, pray?
    WFS 14.1

    Narrow and groveling must that theory prove,
    Which thus would limit God’s eternal love;
    Which thus would dictate man’s omniscient Friend,
    And say how far his blessings shall extend.
    But narrower-minded still are those who say
    That God should e’er his Sabbath take away;
    That he, what first unbounded wisdom planned,
    A blessing for mankind in every land,
    What he to herald, did such pomp employ-
    Should finally repent of and destroy.
    Those who, with such plain facts before their eyes,
    Still view this noon-day question on this wise,
    To make their crooked views harmonious,
    And talk consistently, must reason thus:
    WFS 15.1

    Though God at first supposed it would be best
    That all mankind should have a day of rest,
    Soon by experience he wiser grew!
    And saw for all mankind it would not do!
    So he confined it to a single place,
    And charged it only on a single race;
    And with such limits hedged it round about
    That soon its term of life should all run out!
    Just as in scenes of earth, we oft behold
    Some giant of the forest, tall and old,
    Which man a cumbrance deems, towering on high,
    Girdled about and left alone to die;
    ‘Mid dews and frosts of night and storms of day,
    To crumble slowly into sure decay.
    WFS 15.2

    Such, some would have us think, Jehovah’s plan,
    To treat the Sabbath, made at first for man;
    Confined at length with ceremonial dross,
    Forever doomed to perish at the cross!
    WFS 16.1

    But know, O man! such theories false to teach,
    Is God’s eternal wisdom to impeach!
    Know that he does not act from varying cause,
    Nor govern man with fluctuating laws.
    He changes not, nor fickle are his ways,
    His words are certain; hear, then, what he says:
    I will not alter what my lips e’er spake,
    And lo, my covenant I will not break.”
    Through his vast plans he does not ignorant move,
    And then amend them if they faulty prove;
    He ne’er will disregard or set aside,
    What once he made and blest and sanctified.
    ‘Tis not for man, frail brother of the clod,
    To charge such folly on Almighty God.
    WFS 16.2

    But yet again, hear what some classes say,
    To shun God’s law, and dodge the Sabbath day.
    They claim that he did not intend that we,
    In keeping one set day, so strict should be;
    But when he said, The seventh day is mine,
    He only meant a seventh part of time;
    That we should keep a seventh part as his,
    No matter where it comes, or when it is.
    Such is this theory; fairly stated, too; But by what logic do they prove it true?
    Loose reins it gives, at once, for men to use
    Their freedom, and observe what day they choose;
    Hence, one the first, and one the fifth, may say,
    Or second, third, or fourth, is Sabbath day;
    And yet they all will equally be true,
    If any seventh part of time will do.
    Thus would all order be to ruin hurled,
    And one great Babel triumph o’er the world!
    WFS 16.3

    Take one example, ye who hold this view,
    To test your theory, whether false or true;
    One illustration, fair, adapted well
    T’ explain this question, and its import tell:
    Seven fair and beauteous candlesticks behold;
    Six are of silver, but the seventh of gold.
    The question now is asked, if any know
    Which is the golden one in all that row.
    Thus represented fair, it seems to me,
    No one could doubt what his own eyes could see;
    And any man of common sense would say,
    The seventh is the one, without delay.
    But by your rule, this answer would not hold;
    You would exclaim, A seventh part is gold;
    ‘T is no one in particular so fair!
    Only a seventh part of all that’s there!
    WFS 17.1

    Just so absurd, indeed, it is to say,
    That God has no specific Sabbath day:
    That any day, for rest, a man may claim, And answer God’s requirements all the same.
    Thus you assert, as plainly may be seen,
    That God has uttered what he did not mean!
    WFS 17.2

    But, first, the ground-work all is laid amiss,
    Which this view presupposes; which is this:
    That man, by resting, makes it holy time;
    And well with such a theory does it chime;
    Then on whatever day a man may rest,
    That day to him is sanctified and blest.
    Learn, then, this simple truth, without delay;
    God’s act of resting did not bless the day,
    Or make it holy time: first he did cease
    From all his labor for a day of peace;
    Then for that he had rested, on its brow
    He placed the blessing which illumes it now.
    Then thinkst thou, man, by any act of thine,
    To make thy rest-day holy or divine?
    Canst thou a blessing grant? or hast thou power
    To render sacred e’en a single hour?
    And will they theories, built of brittle straw,
    Meet the demands of God’s eternal law?
    WFS 18.1

    He who on earth below, in Heaven above,
    Made and upholds and governs all in love,
    He who alone hath power, above, below,
    All life to give, all blessings to bestow,
    Eternal Lord, creation’s mighty King, To whom all people should their tribute bring,
    He on the seventh and on the seventh alone,
    Has placed his blessing-sanctified his own.
    When thou canst speak, and countless worlds shall rise,
    And fairest prospect spread before thine eyes,
    When thou canst bid the rolling earth be still,
    Or worlds move on obedient at they will,
    When thou canst hold creation in thy hand,
    And guide the universe with thy command;
    Mighty as God’s, when thou thine arm canst make,
    When earth thy voice shall like his thunders shake,
    Then only mayst thou think, presumptuous man!
    To make improvements on Jehovah’s plan!
    WFS 18.2

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