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A Written Discussion ... Upon the Sabbath

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    ELDER J. H. WAGGONER’S THIRD AFFIRMATIVE

    1. Your comment, “as given on Sinai,” on the precept, “Thou shalt not kill,” has no practical meaning, since it was “binding from the beginning,” and of course binding on those who did not hear it at Sinai.WDUS 17.2

    2. Revelation 1:10. refers to the Sabbath, and it only, if “the Bible and the Bible alone” is our standard. If we are left to be guided by inferences or tradition it is immaterial to what it refers.WDUS 17.3

    3. Eld. V. now makes a wide difference between his reason given, and his reserved “argument” for saying that Genesis was written after certain events transpired. But when he gave those reasons he said it was shown “by such considerations as these.” Doubtless that is so!WDUS 17.4

    4. Bro. Vogel is a critic,-and he seems to be determined that we shall realize it. He criticizes my use of the word constitute, because I use it aside from the idea appoint. True, they may be used synonymous, and they may not. The distinction I made was this that the Seventh day was constituted a rest day, by the particular act of resting, before it was sanctified or appointed. This strictly correct, both in fact and in language, and I have no fears that my readers will “be bewildered” or have any difficulty in understanding me, even If am not always precise as Bro. V. But onward a little in his article I read: “While his resting on any day would constitute it a rest day (sabbath) i. e. a day in which he ‘had rested,’ it would not constitute it a sacred rest day,” or day to be observed. Here he makes exactly the same distinction that I made between constituting it a rest day merely, and appointing it for observance. Why is this? Is he bewildering his readers? is he “not clear in his distinctions?” or is this a piece of hypercriticism, taking time to no purpose?WDUS 17.5

    5. Another point involves both criticism and logic, and is most remarkable. He says: “He (Eld. W.) tells us the sabbath was directly enforced after the exode.” Of course, then, before the exode it was indirectly enforced.” O, of course! That is to say that no precept can be directly enforced at two different times! Perhaps he will yet claim that the precept “Thou shalt not kill,” is directly enforced in the New Testament, and “of course” it was not directly enforced at Sinai! and then what becomes of his statement at the head of his article? No one will deny that baptism was directly enforced at Cesarea on Cornelius. “Of course, then, it was indirectly enforced” on the day of Pentecost! Is Eld. V. also “bewildered?” or must our time be consumed on mere catches and plays upon words? To quote his own language, “I trust we will have no more of it.”WDUS 17.6

    6. His questions relative to the seventh day being “a sabbath in the sense of its being a holy day, in virtue of God’s resting on it, before he blessed it,” may amuse the fancy of those who are satisfied to be amused; but he might have saved his time if he had more carefully read my argument wherein I distinctly assert the contrary. Again, he expresses fear that I am misled by the term sabbath; that I confound “a rest day,” with “a sacred rest day,” and he comments at length on the difference. But he has not stated-he cannot state-that difference more explicitly than I have. I have constantly made the resting the ground and reason of the sanctification; and God himself so declared it.WDUS 18.1

    Eld. Vogel’s line of argument marked 1 to 4 is inconclusive. The first point will be noticed if it shall be attempted to show that there is any point in it.WDUS 18.2

    The second: There is no evidence in Genesis 2:24. of any “comment” of Moses. When Adam named his wife Eve. (chap 3:20.) it was because he knew “she was the mother of all living;” that is, that a race was to spring from her. And he could as well know that “fathers” and “mothers” would, yes, must exist. To say he knew nothing of “progeny” is to directly contradict his reason for naming his wife Eve. Nor is there any “anticipation” of facts occurring, for it only states what “shalt” or ought to be—in the future.WDUS 18.3

    The third; Not a single text quoted justifies his construction of Genesis 2:3. The parenthetical remark in John 11:2., “It was that Mary that,” etc., directs the mind to another occasion and to a circumstance not then transpiring. In Matthew 10:4. the word of transition, “also,” has the same effect. These texts are unlike Genesis 2:3., and it is wrong to use them as he has, for, the reference in Genesis 2:3., in regard to the sanctification of the seventh day, is only to facts in the immediately preceding connection. Genesis 10., comes properly under the head marked “4.” It is a line traced down, and chap 11. returns to trace other events. Now in a record of “their generations,” some length of time is necessarily involved, for several generations are given; whereas, the confusion of tongues occurred but a little more than one hundred years after the flood. Therefore there is no disarrangement of chronological order in verse 5. As to the claim on the word Gentiles the translation is altogether too questionable to warrant it. It simply means nations.WDUS 18.4

    Genesis 3:20. is the only text cited from that book which has a show of aid to his claim on the theory of anticipation. It contains the same causal*The original publication had the spelling “cansal.” word that is in Genesis 2:3. So far all right. Let us farther trace the parallel.WDUS 18.5

    “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because (future fact anticipated) she was the mother of all living.”WDUS 18.6

    “And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because (future fact anticipated) that in it he had rested from all is work which God created and made!!”WDUS 18.7

    Now if this could only be made to read, And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because-he brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, what a splendid proof text it would be for Bro. Vogel’s theory! The truth is, the construction of Genesis 2:3., as it refers to nothing but the immediately preceding context, excludes the idea of prolepsis, and Eld. Vogel more than half confesses it, notwithstanding his argument on that point. What, then, must be thought of his labored effort to put my remarks so “severely” against Moses, while he acknowledges what I claim, that there is really no prolepsis, and says that it falls under another head? It evidently was to affect the minds of the readers; a course generally pursued by those who are conscious of the weakness of their cause. I fear indeed that the record of Moses has fallen into bad hands-but they are not mine!WDUS 18.8

    The fourth: It is true that the sacred writers often carry down a chain of events, and then return and take up another, even from the place of beginning. He needed not to say, “Even in prophecy,” for it is very common in prophecy. How far did Moses come down in this line, from Genesis 1:1., to ch 2:3? Though completed work creation, to the establishment of the week-which was known to, and recognized by the patriarchs-and to the appointment or the rest day; which appointment was based entirely upon the facts just recorded.WDUS 18.9

    But there is quite too much assumed in regard to Moses bringing down one line of events and then returning to the beginning to take up another, as may be shown hereafter.WDUS 18.10

    According to a promise, I now farther notice a point in his first article. He seems to be aware of the strength of the argument for the creation sabbath, and attempts to turn away its force in a singular manner. Admitting that the Lord rested on the seventh day from the work of creation and that the Lord’s rest is the Lord’s sabbath (who will deny it?) he says: “There may have been a sabbath there for the Lord to keep, and for Him only.” As keeping a weekly sabbath necessarily supposes alternations of labor and of rest, and as the Lord’s work was that of creation, and that only, it follows that the Lord could only keep the sabbath by continuously creating on six days! Let him deny who can that the Lord’s sabbath dates from the seventh day of creation week. There was its origin-there it was made. Did God make the sabbath for himself? Did the Savior say “The sabbath was made for God?” Why not “hear him?” It was “made for man.” God could not keep the sabbath because he did not continue to work after the first six days. But man could rest from his own work and continue to keep God’s sabbath in commemoration of God’s resting from his work.WDUS 18.11

    Again, Bro. V. admits my position, saying, “As man performed no work creation he could not rest, could have no sabbath then.” That it was I claim; it was the Lord’s sabbath because of the work of creation, and his only. The sabbath was never based on man’s work. And here we discover the strength of the truth for which I contend. It was the Lord’s sabbath, and no other, which man was commanded to keep holy. “The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord the God; in it thou shalt not do any work,” “Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep.” The Lord’s sabbath-the creation sabbath-and not their own was enjoined in the commandment. No person can point to a single reason for its being the Lord’s sabbath except the facts of creation. Was the seventh day made the sabbath (rest day) of the Lord at any time but at creation? If so, let it be shown. And the rest day of the Lord is the only weekly sabbath enjoined in the Bible.WDUS 19.1

    In view of the clear testimony concerning the making of the sabbath at creation, the words of our Savior, Mark 2:27., are very significant. “The sabbath was made for man.” When was the sabbath made for man? Most assuredly when it was made, and not at some time. The Savior’s words must have respect to some relation between man and the sabbath; and whatever superstitious gloss he intended to remove; whatever tradition he designed to correct, it yet remains true that that relation between man and the sabbath originated when the sabbath was made, namely, at creation. God made the world to be inhabited; Isaiah 45:18.; and he made the sabbath for man—for earth’s inhabitant. In every step—in the resting, the blessing and the sanctification—he had man in view, according to the Savior’s words. But to say the sabbath was made at one time, and indicated for man 2,500 years afterward, is to contradict the words of Jesus.WDUS 19.2

    An important sabbath testimony (often perverted) is that which presents the sabbath as “a sign.” It has been claimed that it was a sign between the Jews and the Gentiles to keep a distinction between them. This is not true any farther than it is true that obedience to God always separates to him “a peculiar people.” What is thus affirmed of the sabbath may with equal propriety be affirmed of any other moral duty. But the Scriptures never present the sabbath as “a sign” in any such light. In Exodus 31:17. the Lord says. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever.” It is never said in the Bible that it is a sign between the Jews and the Gentiles, but between the Lord and his people. To take the name of God out of this text and insert “the Gentiles” in its place is as presumptuous as it is name of the Lord out of the fourth commandment and make it read, “The seventh day is the sabbath sabbath of the Jews.” But with some it has seemed to make no difference whether the name of Jew or Gentile be used as a substitute if the name authority of Jehovah can only be disconnected from the sabbath.WDUS 19.3

    But of what is it a sign? what is its object? Read the text: “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” We notice here, as everywhere in the Scriptures, that sabbath truth and sabbath obligation center in the work of creation and the right of Creator. And it is true that the word “refreshed” does not indicated relief from fatigue; neither does “rest,” when applied to the Lord. But refreshed is additional to rested, and indicates the delight he took in his rest day.WDUS 19.4

    It can only be a perversion of this text and an outrage on just reasoning to say the sabbath is a sign between Jews and Gentiles because Jehovah made the world in six days and rested the seventh day! See also Ezekiel 20:20.; “And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” The creation sabbath is the Creator’s sign or memorial. In many scriptures the power to create and the work of creation are set forth as the distinguishing characteristics of the true God. And the sabbath is the sign of the exercise of that power. See Jeremiah 10. wherein the idols and the worship of the heathen are described. “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, they shall perish.” “The portion of Jacob is not like them, for he is the former of all things.” And the apostle Paul used the same fact to distinguish the true God from the multitude of false gods worshiped in Athens; Acts 17. Whom they ignorantly worshiped as “The Unknown God,” him Paul declared unto them in these words: “God that made the world and all things therein.” See also Acts 14:15.; Revelation 14:6-8.WDUS 19.5

    It is an undeniable truth that commemorative institutions are the very best means of imparting and perpetuating a knowledge of important events. No other event in the great struggle for American Independence is so well known by all the American people as the signing of the Declaration of Rights; and why? Because the fourth of July has been celebrated as a memorial day Books of history and monuments of stone are but feeble reminders compared with a memorial day. As long as the fourth of July is celebrated so long will the work of our fathers be distinctly remembered. Their patriotism their sufferings, and their triumphs can never be lost be the people while the day is observed. And so of the sabbath of the Lord. He declared it was a sign that it might be known that he was the Lord God; that he was the Creator of heaven and earth. Had it been uninterruptedly and universally observed, the knowledge of the true God-the Creator-could never have been lost to the nations of the earth. Truly, its importance cannot be overestimated.WDUS 20.1

    According to the limitations which we have placed upon ourselves I must now dismiss this proposition. Many points necessarily remain unnoticed. But I hope the reader will not pass lightly over it. The subject is important. The text book is the word of the Most High. Reverence becomes us in all our examinations of its sacred pages. I pray that a sense of our responsibility and a view of the great tribunal to which we are hastening may ever be before us; that our lives may be framed in reference to these solemn things. To this end may we all heed the admonition of the divine words: “Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.WDUS 20.2

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