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A Written Discussion ... Upon the Sabbath

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    ELDER J. H. WAGGONER’S FIFTH NEGATIVE

    1. I much regret that the publishers in Quincy, Ill., omitted the Greek characters from my quotations from Clarke and Bloomfield on John 19:14. This not only obscures them, but entirely destroys the sense of my paragraph referring to them. On this point, Eld. Vogel’s conjecture as to how a change might have been made, amounts to nothing; and it is a poor relief that he can quote some authorities in his favor; for the reader will agree with me that a position denied by such scholars as Bloomfield, Clarke, Anderson, and ‘the best commentators,’ as Bloomfield says, is hardly safe to rest upon as ground of inference for positive duty!WDUS 143.1

    2. He seems to fear I will pursue an unwarranted course in closing, and plainly shows what he considers would be such, in saying he has made arguments which I have no more opportunity to notice! In this we have another measure of the man. As if he could present arguments at any time which I cannot answer, even to the close. It may gratify the curiosity of the reader to turn back and examine Eld. Vogel’s closing negative on the first proposition; but he will hardly realize the disagreeableness of the task of meeting a man who is so egotistical and arbitrary that he cannot endure to have another enjoy equal rights with himself.WDUS 143.2

    3. His explanation of his position on Hebrews 5:13, 14, leaves him worse than before. He compares his inferences with Paul’s ‘gathering’ of ‘deductions,’ when Paul was writing by direct inspiration! This shows the weakness and folly of his transferring to Paul the charge of ‘pious frauds.’ It rests only on himself.WDUS 143.3

    4. He objects to my quoting from Campbell and McGarvey, because the proposition relates to what ‘the Scriptures teach,’ and hints of what he could have done had he understood the matter. But the reader will remember that in his very first affirmative he quoted twelve authorities and referred to four others, and especially recommended the writings of Campbell, and advertised them! I might properly have objected to his quoting mere human authorities to prove what ‘the Scriptures teach,’ but when he fails to give an of iota of Scripture proof for Sunday, I have a right to show its origin by any testimony I please. His ‘simplicity’ is indeed great if he cannot see that his course is anything but creditable to himself, and betrays a consciousness of the weakness of his position. (Not to be excelled, I will do the favor to the reader, of saying of a book which Eld V. mentioned, that the History of the Sabbath, by J. N. Andrews, is a thorough vindication of Bible truth, and exposure of the falsities of the Sunday theory, published at the Review and Herald office, Battle Creek, Mich. Send for a catalogue.)WDUS 143.4

    5. Without any just reason, for it was irrelevant, he referred to what somebody, unknown to us as either a speaker or writer, believed. But when I disprove his position by Campbell and McGarvey, lo! they acknowledge no human authority! But ‘McGarvey on Acts’ is a recognized denominational work amongst them. And again I say, omit his quotations from human authority, and his inferences would be too bald to be presentable.WDUS 143.5

    6. Being ‘sons,’ no ‘rules’ for keeping Sunday are required! All that he has said on this subject may be adopted by the Catholic for every dogma of that church. As well might we say, that the ‘principle’ of baptism being established, no rules are required to govern its observance, but we are left to our ‘deductions’ for that. Let us see. 1. Sprinkling is spoken of by the prophet when referring to this dispensation-even sprinkling with water. 2 Peter based the reception of a promise upon baptism, and said, the promise is to you and to your children. 3. Following this, we find that whole households were baptized. From these, and others, I can frame a better inferential argument than Eld. V. has for Sunday, and sustain it by as many ‘great men.’ Let him show some established facts before he apostrophises the ‘memorable day.’ Let him show that God blessed or sanctified it before he talks about ‘a blessed sacredness.’ This is begging what he needs to prove; all ‘pretty talk,’ but in an argument it is no higher than pious cant, and is fittingly rebuked by the words of the Savior: “In vain do ye worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”WDUS 143.6

    Campbell’s remarks, which he quotes about the Lord’s supper and the Lord’s day, are exceedingly faulty, and show that Campbell was inconsistent with himself. Because no prescribed form is given for eating the supper, therefore, no rule is required for keeping Sunday! But of the supper we have the express act and law the institution; for the Sunday we have neither. A ‘babe’ can see this difference.WDUS 144.1

    Again, there is no question as to whether the Lord could adopt the heathen traditions as Christian ordinances: but, is there proof that he has done it? That the heathen consecrated Sunday might not ‘estop the Lord,’ but where is the proof that the Lord consecrated it? It does not exist, ‘and he knows it.’ As to the use of bread and wine in the supper, the Lord expressly enjoined it; but not so of Sunday. In name, dedication and observance, it is only of heathen origin.WDUS 144.2

    7. He says the work of Jesus in redemption is finished ‘for us,’ and ‘it is now ours to take it.’ But can we ‘take’ the redemption of the body, without a further direct work of Christ? See 1 Thessalonians 4. His quotations on the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice do not touch the point, and if he does not know it, it is but another evidence of his boasted ‘simplicity.’ Can we resurrect ourselves by virtue of what Christ has done for us? And can we be saved without his present mediation? Reader, this is a fair sample of the evasions which I have had constantly to meet throughout the discussion.WDUS 144.3

    8. He referred to my disproof of the grounds of his inference, and said the opposing lawyer might deny, but still the man was hanged on circumstantial evidence. But if the colleagues of the leading prosecutor should rise up and deny that the ‘circumstances’ existed, as claimed, the opposing lawyer would not have much to meet! And this is exactly the case here. His inferences, which are his only dependence, I disprove by Sunday-keeping authors-man of, at least, as much candor as Eld. Vogel, and far greater study and critical knowledge. The reader can readily see the weight of this point.WDUS 144.4

    9. To affect indignation is more convenient than to explain the fact, or to disprove, that some ‘are determined to be pleased’ with anything that favors Sunday. And if he is satisfied with his own argument, he presents a remarkable instance in himself. If I am wrong, why do such contradictions combine? Why are they ‘of the churches’ so well pleased with his effort, when they deny the very foundation of his argument? Who will answer? And I would say to him, that a man may do many things at great hazard, which are good in themselves, and yet have an impure motive for other actions. I do not measure the truth by men, however good they may claim to be. God knows the heart, and he will judge all by ‘his commandments.’ Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. Perhaps he has forgotten that Israel, at the hazard of their lives, braving the wrath of the king, confessed the Lord and left Egypt at his command, yet fell in the desert. This is for ‘our admonition.’ “Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.”WDUS 144.5

    10. My “call for proof that the Jews ended their weeks at sunrising on Sunday will be unheeded.” I expected it, for what could he do where no proof exists? To say that he has given proof of it is simply an untruth. Having never seen any intimation of such a thing before, I referred it to some who, like Paul, have ‘profited in the Jew’s religion,’ and are thoroughly acquainted with Hebrew literature, who unhesitatingly assert that the Jews had no such reckoning. He is deserving of something besides ‘pity’ in this. The candid and God-fearing will look with suspicion upon a theory which is supported by such means. I cannot do this justice by any comment, and I leave it with all other ‘pious frauds’ (minus the pious!) for which an account must be rendered to him who requires faithfulness in speaking his word, and who will crown only those who ‘strive lawfully.’ Jeremiah 23:28; 2 Timothy 2:5.WDUS 144.6

    11. There are no first and second fulfillments of the prophecy of the new creation, for there are not two new earths. Nor does Isaiah speak of births in that prophecy, as Eld. V. asserts. My proofs on this point stand untouched, and are a complete refutation of his professed argument for Sunday as a memorial.WDUS 144.7

    12. He says Buck gives ‘five N. T. reasons’ for Sunday keeping. But Buck acknowledges they do not amount to a ‘law,’ and they are only of human devising. ‘The Scripturesnever give any reason for it, ‘and he knows it.’ Learned men find more ‘reasons’ than that for infant baptism, for the invocation of saints, for papal supremacy, etc., but they are not proof. ‘Do the Scriptures’ give proof of the institution? That is what is demanded.WDUS 144.8

    I will now examine his several points of argument as follows:—WDUS 145.1

    I. On the Lord’s day. He infers that the term refers to Christ only. it is but an inference, for it no more mentions Christ than it mentions the day of the week. But he laid the foundation for this inference in the wild statement that ‘the term Lord belongs exclusively to Christ in this dispensation.’ To this I replied that it referred to the Father in more than three-score places in the N. T. Next, he said it referred to Christ in an ‘official sense;’ that the Father “resigned, or gave his position to Christ during this dispensation, so that he is now ‘Lord of all.’” This is the climax of all his absurdities. The Father never ‘resigned’ any position. He never held, ‘officially,’ any position now occupied by Christ-he never was ‘mediator,’ as Christ now is. Christ is not now ‘Lord of all’ to the exclusion of the Father, but is ‘by the right hand of God exalted,’ that ‘men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father.’WDUS 145.2

    He said; “If Kurios refers to the personal appellation of Jesus (Acts 2:36), then Kuriakos signifies pertaining to Jesus as Lord”WDUS 145.3

    If his assertion were true, that it refers exclusively to Christ, then the statement would be at least plausible; but it is not. Taking the Revelation alone, Kurios refers to the Father thirteen times; to the Son, five times; it is three times used where it may refer to either; once where it refers to neither. So far as facts are concerned, the testimony is entirely against him. Now I say-if Kurios refers to the appellation of the Father, as we know it does, then Kuriakos signifies pertaining to the Father. Having taken the text out of his hands, I will say that I could admit all his claim without detriment to my position, for if it did refer only to Christ, I have already proved that Christ is Lord of the Sabbath, by his own words, and the work of creation. But the disproof of his assertion here is fatal to his Sunday theory, for he does not pretend that sufficient evidence is found elsewhere for the ‘foundation’ of his institution. With him, everything depends upon the correctness of his assertion that “the term Lord refers exclusively to Christ.” That being lost, his cause is lost beyond the possibility of recovery; for his assumed proof is only a ‘deduction,’ and the life of his deduction rests upon an assertion which has not even a shadow of truth in if. I might safely rest the case here; but I will follow him further.WDUS 145.4

    II. Having assumed that the first day is the Lord’s day, without offering any Scripture proof, he next draws from 1 Corinthians 16:2 that it was the day of Christian assemblies. But I have most conclusively proved, by Sunday-keeping authorities (in this sense I used ‘partisans’), that nothing of the kind is found in this text; that the inference is forbidden by the construction of the scripture. And, again, while his proposition depends upon the correctness of his inference, which I have disproved, I might admit his statement without detriment to my position; for the text does not speak of the Lord’s day, nor of the sacredness of any day, nor of anything peculiar to a sacred day, even if they had to assemble to perform the duty indicated.WDUS 145.5

    III. He infers that Acts 20:7, shows the first day to be a day of observance, whereas it does not speak of the Lord’s day; it does not speak of a sacred day; nor of the observance of any day. Not a fact is stated in this chapter inconsistent with my position on the Sabbath, or true Lord’s day. Not a fact is stated to sustain his inferences. On the contrary, it is clear that it was not observed by Paul and his companions as a day of rest, or ‘sacredly observed;’ having kept the Sabbath with the church at Troas, and being about to continue on his journey on the morning of first-day, he has a parting meeting with them on the evening of that day. To evade these facts, Eld. V. claims a change in the reckoning of the day, based on two points: (1) On John 19:14, which is proved untenable by the best authorities; and (2) That the Jews ended the week at sunrise on Sunday morning; a statement which ought to cause his face to mantle with shame.WDUS 145.6

    That Paul traveled on that Sunday is admitted by McGarvey, a Disciple Commentator. On this I might multiply authorities, but it is not necessary. I will mention only that Conybeare, so often referred to approvingly by Eld. V., also admits it. And, in regard to Eld. Vogel’s last assertion, that Paul traveled on both Sabbath and first-day previous to his arrival at Troas, I answer: it was a voyage which he had once sailed over in two days. See Acts 16:11; Conybeare and Howson, chap 20., p. 591. As it was but a two days’ sail, there is no evidence that they were sailing on the Sabbath; or, otherwise, they were delayed by unpropitious weather; for, had they made the journey direct, in the ordinary time, without hindrance, they would have arrived at Troas at least a full day before the Sabbath. But how different his journey from Troas, which was commenced by deliberate determination on the first day of the week!WDUS 145.7

    IV. He claims a recognition-mark, not even a mention-of the first day by the Holy Spirit descending on that day. Were this true it would not prove a recognition of the sacredness of the day, nor of the duty to observe the day, for no mention is made of either. And, the Spirit descended on other days besides that. But, the truth is, that Pentecost was not on first-day. This appears by the concession of the best authorities, and also by the fallacy of Eld. Vogel’s argument on Leviticus. Briefly I will notice his exposition of Leviticus 23.:—WDUS 146.1

    a. He says it was not ‘the morrow of the paschal Sabbath,’ but, as he gathers from the Greek, ‘the morrow of the first day.’ But, then, of course, it would be second day; for ‘the morrow of the first day,’ could no more be first day, than ‘the morrow of the Sabbath’ could be the Sabbath.WDUS 146.2

    b. But the first day is not there, either in Hebrew or Greek. That is another fiction of his romantic brain.WDUS 146.3

    c. The article is used only in that verse, because Sabbath is in predicate in every other instance in that chapter, and therefore the article is understood ‘by construction.’WDUS 146.4

    d. Every day is a ‘holy convocation’ on which a solemn assembly is convened. See verses 1-3.WDUS 146.5

    e. Analogy is all against the Sunday in Acts 2., even granting the day, for the Holy Spirit did not mention it, but the Pentecost, which means the fiftieth. Therefore if a day was to be honored and perpetuated it was that fiftieth day, which surely does not come weekly! It needs a reason for continuing a fulfilled yearly type by a weekly observance!WDUS 146.6

    f. Were it admitted that it was Sunday, it would disprove his reckoning, for he says it was the day succeeding the Sabbath, which ended at sunset. But he says the Sunday begins at sunrise: if that were true, there was an entire night of about twelve hours between the close of the seventh day and the beginning of the first day! which is only equaled in absurdity by his cutting one night in two at midnight, and calling it two different nights! See his argument on the Passover.WDUS 146.7

    g. If it was the weekly Sabbath, as he avers, then we have inspiration recognizing the Sabbatic character of the seventh day, seven weeks after the resurrection, which is a direct proof such as he would be glad to find for the first day. For,WDUS 146.8

    h. If the seventh-day Sabbath were abolished at the cross, as he averred, there could be no morrow after the Sabbath, seven weeks thereafter. The morrow after a day that did not exist would be only a myth.WDUS 146.9

    But again, the best authors admit that Pentecost was not Sunday, but the Sabbath; this admission is made even by eminent Sunday advocates, which they would not make did not the facts compel them to do so.WDUS 146.10

    Dr. Clarke says not a word upon the subject, which is an argument of itself; for he never failed to note when an inference could be drawn for Sunday.WDUS 146.11

    Prof. Hacket says: “It is generally supposed that this Pentecost, signalized by the outpouring of the Spirit, fell on the Jewish Sabbath, our Saturday.”—Com. on Original Text.WDUS 146.12

    Barnes says: “If the views of the Pharisees were followed, and the Lord Jesus had with them kept the Passover on Thursday, as many have supposed, then the day of Pentecost would have occurred on the Jewish Sabbath, our Saturday. Kuinoel Lightfoot. It is impossible to determine the truth on this subject, nor is it of much importance.”WDUS 146.13

    Jennings, in Jewish Antiquities, says: “Since Christ eat his last passover on the same day with the rest of the Jews, as we have already proved, namely on the, fourteenth of Nisan, which was Thursday; the next day, on which he was crucified, must be the feast of unleavened bread; therefore the sixteenth day, the Saturday, was the first day of the seven weeks betwixt that and the Pentecost; consequently the fiftieth day, or the morrow after the seventh sabbath or week, which was the day of Pentecost, must fall on the Saturday, or the Jewish Sabbath.”WDUS 146.14

    Olshausen says: “Now, since, according to the accounts given regarding the time of the feast, the passover, in the year of our Lord’s death, fell so that the first day of the feast fell from Thursday evening at six o’clock till Friday evening at the same hour, it follows of course that it was from Friday evening at six o’clock that the fifty days began to be counted. The fiftieth day fell, therefore, it appears, upon Saturday.”WDUS 146.15

    Ripley, in his Notes, says it “cannot be satisfactorily decided.”WDUS 147.1

    Smith, Bib. Dict., says it is a point disputed, but favors the view that it was the Sabbath.WDUS 147.2

    All these, as well as many others from whom I might quote, are strenuous Sunday men, and, knowing the use that is made of it, would have placed it upon Sunday would the facts allow. And to assert confidently, and make it the basis of duty, as does Eld. Vogel, that it was Sunday, is an unwarranted and bold proceeding, calculated to lead away from the revealed will of God.WDUS 147.3

    It may be asked, if we believe that it was the Sabbath, why we do not use it as an argument for that day. I answer, We do not need it. We have the commandment of God, and his own express reason, for keeping it, and there is no requirement to keep it because the Spirit descended upon it. Such conjectures we leave for those who delight to deal in them, or find them necessary to their cause. In ‘the law and the testimony’ we are ‘thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’WDUS 147.4

    And now, dear readers, I appeal at once to your reason and to your consciences: Are you willing to risk your acceptance with God on such a doubtful foundation as has been laid for the Sunday? I leave to your judgment the evidences of the Edenic origin of the Sabbath, of the perpetuity of the moral law, and of the recognition of the Sabbath by inspiration in the New Testament; while not a single fact has been given, not a precedent established, nor a necessary inference produced to prove that Sunday is to be ‘sacredly observed.’ In the entire absence of testimony in its favor, every scripture is reasonably and justly interpreted, without the forced construction of making them allude to something which cannot be proved to have an existence.WDUS 147.5

    Consenting to engage in this discussion in the midst of other pressing labor, traveling most of the time, so that but few of the articles reached me at any one post-office, away from my library and books of reference, I have regretted my unfavorable circumstances for such a work. The opposition has been presented as forcibly as it can be. But this investigation, under these conditions, has strongly confirmed my faith in the ten commandments as the moral law, and the perpetual obligation of the Sabbath of the Lord our God, and of the utter futility of the attempt to establish, by “the Scriptures,” the Sunday as a day of observance. Eld. Vogel assured me that he had “something new and better” than the old Sunday arguments; but in that respect I have been disappointed. The same old round of inferences has been traversed, showing conclusively that the opposition to the holy Sabbath has exhausted its resources without finding any proof that the Sunday is a gospel institution.WDUS 147.6

    As you make your decision on the question, remember that another decision is yet to be made. When “God shall bring every work into judgment,” your decision will be passed upon. If you decide in harmony with the revealed will of God, that day will confirm and establish your choice. But if you decide contrary to “the statutes of Heaven,” that day will reverse your decision, without leaving it possible for you to correct your errors.WDUS 147.7

    May God, by the aid of his Holy Spirit, enable you so to judge, so to act and to live, that of you the angel may proclaim: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.WDUS 147.8

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