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    04 THE SABBATH NOT ABOLISHED


    TRULY may it be said, when we perceive
    The many theories which the world believe,
    Theories upreared against the Sabbath, bold,
    Their name is legion, their effects untold.
    One point there is most prominently known,
    Around which has the arch-deceiver thrown
    His varied snares, and spread his artful schemes,
    To lull mankind into delusive dreams.
    Where thus to plant his power he’s not at loss,
    But takes his station at the Saviour’s cross.
    WFS 25.1

    Thus, it is claimed: that Christ on Calvary’s hight,
    Annulled God’s royal law, the rule of right.
    Others, who still would claim a law for men,
    Say that the Sabbath, only, perished then.
    Some say that all the ten commands were dead,
    But nine were re-enacted in their stead;
    WFS 25.2

    And so it happened as it came about,
    That, lo, the Sabbath precept was left out.
    WFS 25.3

    Thus on one point we find such theories queer,
    Behold a perfect Babel, even here!
    Some may be honest while they thus contend, And think ‘t is truth they’re trying to defend;
    But they may find, when to the crisis brought,
    ‘Tis harder work to prove it than they thought.
    WFS 25.4

    First, if God’s law is wholly done away,
    Where is your rule of moral action? say!
    May’st thou now murder, lie, and swear, and steal,
    And yet no sin commit, nor guilty feel?
    None will assert it. What then shall we do?
    To say there is no law would be untrue.
    If then there is a law which none can doubt-
    Why, there’s the Sabbath, which must be got out!
    WFS 26.1

    By stubborn facts, they thus are driven to say,
    That Christ renewed all but the Sabbath day.
    When did he do it? Oh! say you, secure,
    Throughout his public ministry, be sure!
    But here’s a slight objection, friend; just hark:
    I’ll show you where you’ve overshot the mark!
    If at the cross, God’s law first ceased to be,
    ‘T was good up to that time you will agree;
    But nine were re-enacted here you say,
    Before the ten were ever done away!!
    One favored race had nineteen precepts then,
    They must, indeed, have been most moral men!
    WFS 26.2

    The folly of this view, all can but see;
    And those who hold it still must stubborn be.
    A school-boy, blind as that, we should expect,
    Would be sent home for want of intellect. Driven then from this absurd position, next,
    To save themselves, they fabricate this text:
    That when the ten commands were done away,
    The nine were given again without delay.
    In this, another bright idea they broach,
    Worthy of ridicule and all reproach:
    To think that the same blow which crushed the ten,
    Should instantly bring nine to life again.
    WFS 26.3

    One illustration take, to show most clear,
    How learn’d Theology has reasoned here:
    Suppose you have a finger, bruised and sore,
    Which must come off; you cannot bear it more.
    The surgeon comes, obedient to your call,
    And chops off all your fingers, thumbs and all,
    Then undertakes to join the others on,
    Well pleased to think the sore one now has gone.
    If any one an act like this should try,
    You’d say he was a fool, and so should I.
    Equally bad, your view that God did then,
    To get out one command, strike out the ten.
    WFS 27.1

    Compelled again to leave their luckless ground,
    One theory more necessity has found;
    One more foundation for their feet opprest-
    And lo, this is as bad as all the rest.
    As fierce as drowning men catch at a straw,
    So they seize everything by which the law
    Can be opposed; or which will aid their view, That part is done away, and part holds true.
    They now assert, The apostles this have done,
    They’ve re-enacted all the ten but one;
    The Sabbath precept, only could not stay,
    As that the Lord designed to do away.
    WFS 27.2

    One question, now we ask: If this be true,
    How long before God’s law was given anew?
    How long before the revised edition came,
    That men might know their duty, and their blame?
    How long might men live on all law forgot,
    Doing unholy deeds, yet sinning not?
    Ah, here’s the point, that, with unyielding claims,
    Binds down this theory in eternal chains.
    You will not claim, a moment e’er was found,
    When men were not to moral duty bound.
    If such suggestions any should throw out,
    ‘T would bring their sanity to serious doubt.
    WFS 28.1

    This theory, then, though vaunted ne’er so bold,
    We find fallacious; it will never hold.
    Would God his holy law, abolish, then,
    And leave the matter in the hands of men?
    Leave them to say what parts henceforth shall stand
    And let the world receive it at their hand?
    There’s one lawgiver, say the Scriptures, true; 1James 4:12.
    But there are twelve! according to this view.
    WFS 28.2

    Oh! why not take the word that God has given,
    When he declared that sooner earth and heaven Should pass away, than darkness should prevail,
    And e’en a tittle of the law should fail?
    Why not believe the word that Christ employed,
    That he came not to render null and void
    The law or prophets? that was not his aim,
    Not to destroy, but to fulfill, he came. 1Matthew 5:17.
    Why strive t’amend, as though it were impaired,
    The law the Psalmist, perfect, has declared? 2Psalm 19:7.
    Shall man attempt, with blind and bungling move,
    What is already perfect, to improve?
    WFS 28.3

    Better ‘t would be, ye railers at the law,
    If your own weakness, verily, ye saw;
    If ye would hear the teachings of God’s word,
    And live obedient to all ye heard.
    Better ‘t would be t’obey God’s holy will,
    And own the Sabbath precept binding still,
    Before ye make, in all ye do and say,
    Such wretched work to have it done away.
    WFS 29.1

    One law there was, we’re ready to declare,
    Which came up to the cross and perished there.
    A ceremonial law, and which, we find,
    Was for that dispensation sole designed.
    Law of commands, in ordinances contained,
    Shadows of things to come it was ordained.
    Christ is the body, whither all did tend;
    And when the substance comes, the shadows end.
    A law it was, made only for that land, And written in a book by Moses’ hand.
    This law, no longer needed from that day,
    Was nailed unto the cross, and done away;
    Hence, the partition-wall was broken through,
    That kept distinct the Gentile and the Jew.
    Hence all in Christ have now an equal claim,
    And henceforth, Jew and Gentile are the same.
    If we are Christ’s then are we Abraham’s seed,
    According to the promise, heirs indeed.
    Therefore let none by this dead law abide,
    Or henceforth take its precepts for their guide.
    Let no man judge you by its ritual maze,
    Its new moons or its feasts, or sabbath days;
    These were but shadows; these but bondage bring:
    The law of God is quite another thing.
    Between them, there is given distinction broad,
    In all the teachings of the word of God.
    The royal law, the law of ten commands,
    On its eternal basis firmly stands;
    Stands as it ever stood, pre-eminent,
    The constitution of God’s government.
    ‘T is holy, just, and good; if we fulfill
    This law of liberty, we do his will.
    The ceremonial law, in works contained,
    For types and shadows was express ordained.
    In the old dispensation was its place:
    And if we trust it now, we fall from grace. All unintended for the gospel day,
    It came up to the cross, and passed away.
    Those who between them no distinction find,
    Must be indeed most pitifully blind;
    Who claim that one law only was employed,
    And therefore, at the cross, was all destroyed.
    All who these separate laws thus blend together,
    Can’t make their arguments outweigh a feather.
    WFS 29.2

    But why are men unwilling to admit
    That God’s unaltered law is binding yet;
    That neither all, nor yet a part is slain,
    But unimpaired its precepts all remain?
    ‘Tis simply this: The fourth command doth say,
    The Sabbath comes upon the seventh day;
    So they would cast the law itself aside,
    To shun the day that God has sanctified.
    WFS 31.1

    O Fourth Command! what trouble hast thou been,
    Source of vexation to the sons of men!
    How have they tugged and toiled, with various plans,
    To break thy power, and shirk thy just demands!
    Have chafed and fretted to secure their aim,
    And render null and void thy obvious claim!
    Vast circuits they through logic’s fields have run,
    And found themselves at last where they begun!
    Have loud proclaimed thy day of rule was o’er,
    And that thy law was binding now no more!
    Then brought forth reasons for their theories wise,
    WFS 31.2

    Which fools might laugh at, maniacs despise!
    Still true are thy demands, thy claims still good,
    Though men would fain avoid them if they could.
    All who regard them not, must soon confess,
    And reap the harvest of their sinfulness.
    Firm and immutable as Heaven’s decree
    Thou e’er hast stood, and thou shalt ever be.
    Among those holy laws thy place is known,
    Which God’s own finger graved upon the stone,
    Still thy requirements hold that we must rest
    Upon the seventh day, which God has blest;
    His fixed decrees he ne’er will disarrange;
    For God can never lie, and never change.
    WFS 32.1

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