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A Written Discussion ... Upon the Sabbath

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    Eld. Vogel’s second affirmative is before me. In this he makes four points, marked IV to VII, which I notice in order.WDUS 34.8

    “IV. The sabbath was given by Moses in a sense that circumcision was not.” In the sense that he intends, this is not proved. Indeed, I think I never saw an argument of the same length containing so many non sequiturs-so many large conclusions from small premises-as his article under consideration. But the sabbath was given in a sense that circumcision was not. It was given by the voice of Jehovah when he spake his “ten words” in the hearing of all his people. It was twice written by the finger of God on the tables of stone, as one of the immutable precepts of the Most High. No mere type or shadow ever had such honor.WDUS 34.9

    Eld. V.’s argument on this point is based on the marginal reading of John 7:23. He says, “The king’s translators placed ‘without breaking the law of Moses’ in the margin, accompanied by parallels (||), to indicate that in their judgment it is equal to the rendition in the body of the work.” This sentence, “accompanied by parallels (||),” stands in the above as giving weight to the marginal reading. The parallel (||) has no significance whatever, being only a mark of reference, and answers the same purpose as the asterisk (*), or the figure (2) in this text in my Bible, which is London print. Eld. V. shows a peculiar aptness to throw in such coloring sentences, which may well raise a suspicion of his argument. Truth does not need them.WDUS 34.10

    1. There is no contrast raised by the Savior between the sabbath and circumcision. Nor is there evidence nor reasonable inference that Jericho was taken on the sabbath. The “first day” and the “seventh day” are mentioned in the cases of the feasts, as in Leviticus 23:4-8; but they are the first and seventh days of the feast; not of the week. So Jericho was to be compassed seven days, and the record refers to the days of the compassing, and not to the days of the week.WDUS 34.11

    2. Tholuck’s paraphrase is of no weight at all, because he makes the Savior say that to circumcise a man (child) on the sabbath was a violation of the sabbath, which he does not say. He vindicated his acts of healing on the sabbath because they were “lawful.” Matthew 12:10-13. Even admitting the marginal reading—“without breaking the law”—this paraphrase contradicts it. It is evidently used for effect—not for its relevancy.WDUS 34.12

    3. It is often the case that the marginal is the better reading, but not in this. It is here inadmissible. On this text I quote:WDUS 35.1

    Am. Bible Union.—“That the law of Moses may not be broken.”WDUS 35.2

    Wakefield.—The same.WDUS 35.3

    Alexander Campbell’sLiving Oracles.”—That the law of Moses may not be violated.WDUS 35.4

    Murdock’s translation of the Syriac.—The same.WDUS 35.5

    Campbell and Macknight.—The same.WDUS 35.6

    Anderson’s translation, (Disciple), Same as Bible Union.WDUS 35.7

    Diaglott.—“So that the law of Moses may not be violated.”WDUS 35.8

    Do. interlineal rendering.—“Hina that mee not luthee may be loosed ho the nomos law Moseos of Moses.”WDUS 35.9

    And so Olshausen.—“Hina mee luthee ho nomos Moseos, is to be understood thus, in order that the law should not be broken.”WDUS 35.10

    Clarke, (comment.)—“That the law might not be broken which had enjoined the circumcision to take place at that time. Leviticus 12:3.”WDUS 35.11

    Parkhurst, Robinson, Liddell & Scott, Greenfield, Groves, Donnegan, etc, give as the definition of hina, that; so that; to that end; in order that. And of hina mee, that not; lest; lest that. No authority gives any “various reading” to the Greek. Several of the authors cited above were “no sabbath” in theory. Every one can see that the common version is strictly correct, fixing the “law of Moses” to circumcision.WDUS 35.12

    4. Another point is settled by this text. Eld. V. said that” ‘madest known’ is a kind of equivalent for ‘gavest,’” and then said that that which was known could not be made known. But Ezekiel 39:7. disproves that assertion. Here the Savior says Moses gave them circumcision, and says also it was “of the fathers,”—they had it from Abraham. If it came down to them from Abraham, and was observed by them before the Exode, how could Moses give it to them? But the Savior says he did. Here is a settler for Eld. Vogel’s misconception of Nehemiah 9. It was not the original giving.WDUS 35.13

    “V. The sabbath was a type.” This he confidently affirms, and I as confidently deny it. His remark, “I am not now concerned respecting what the sabbath was a type,” shows commendable discretion! To endeavor to find the antitype of the weekly sabbath is a hopeless task. On this point he rests his case on Colossians 2.; that he misconstrues the text is easily shown.WDUS 35.14

    He says that “sabbath days” here refer exclusively to the weekly sabbath, since the annual sabbaths are described by “holy day,” and asks, “What other office can we assign to heortee in Colossians 2:16.?”WDUS 35.15

    Heortee occurs 27 times in the N. T., rendered feast 26 times; holy day once, (this text.) Heortazo once, “Keep the feast.” There were (annual) sabbaths connected with their feasts; but a feast day was not necessarily a sabbath day; there were more feast days than there were sabbath days. Hence the distinction in this passage. (Acts 18:21., Clarke says, “most likely the passover.” But the whole clause is either rejected or marked doubtful by Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Sinaitic MS., it is entirely wanting in many MSS.) Heortee refers to the feast days; “sabbath days” to the annual sabbaths. They were alike in their origin. But Eld. V. exclaims exultingly, “Thus is he stripped of the last vestige of difference between the seventh day and yearly sabbaths.”WDUS 35.16

    Not so fast, dear sir. It happens that not a point of difference that I have claimed has yet been set aside.WDUS 35.17

    a. It was based on the facts of creation. No annual sabbath was referable to creation.WDUS 35.18

    b. It was the rest day of the Almighty. He did not rest from his work on any of the annual sabbaths.WDUS 35.19

    c. God spake it with his own voice from Sinai. He did not name any of the annual sabbaths.WDUS 35.20

    d. It was twice written by the finger of God on the tables of stone. No annual sabbath was placed there, nor written by him.WDUS 35.21

    e. It was put in the ark as a part of that moral code over which the priest sprinkled blood to make atonement. But the annual sabbaths were a part of that system which contained the priestly service.WDUS 35.22

    f. Its sanctification (setting apart, appointing,) rested solely on the work and acts of God. The other sabbaths were of the typical system, (restitutionary,) made necessary by the wrong doing of man. Not one of these points of difference can be moved.WDUS 36.1

    Eld. Vogel has said and reiterated that he has “shown” that there is no difference. If his assertion is a showing then he is right; otherwise not. He has found fault with me because I say the work of, and rest from, creation is the reason of the appointment of the sabbath. He may renew his complaint; I will a little farther elucidate this grand truth. Notice the terms used in the fourth commandment. Wherefore—for this reason; the Lord blessed—spoke well of, put honor upon; the sabbath day—the day of his rest from the work of creation; and hallowed it—set it apart, appointed it for observance. With these definitions in view I will contrast his words with the words of Jehovah.WDUS 36.2

    “Strictly speaking God’s resting had but little to do with the sabbath as a sacred rest.” Elder Vogel’s second reply.WDUS 36.3

    The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work: .... for [because] in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is and rested the seventh day; for this reason the Lord put honor upon the rest day and set it apart to a sacred use. This is exactly the signification of the terms used in the commandment. It is God’s own reason and his only reason for the appointment of the seventh day. Why not let the word of Jehovah settle this controversy? I confidently appeal to the reader as to whether I hazard anything in saying that God appointed the seventh day for this reason-that he rested thereon when he made heaven and earth. He expressly says so.WDUS 36.4

    Now for Colossians 2:16-17. Paul speaks of meats, drinks, new moons, feasts, and sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come. We can point definitely forward to the work of Christ in the annual sabbaths; but when we take the word of Jehovah for the sanctification of the weekly sabbath it points only back to creation. Paul’s qualifying sentence in Colossians 2:17. absolutely shuts out the sabbath from his list of types.WDUS 36.5

    “VI. The sabbath was pre-eminently Jewish.” And wherefore?WDUS 36.6

    “1. It was given in memory of their deliverance from Egypt.” No scripture says so. Its sanctification is never referred to anything of the kind. His inference from Deuteronomy 5:15. has been shown to be unwarranted.WDUS 36.7

    “2. It was commanded to their fathers.” And so were all moral duties without exception. He can no more prove that it was given to them only than he can prove that the precept to honor father and mother, or that forbidding profanity, was given to them only. No mention is made of blasphemy before the exode. Then the precept was “given to the Jews”—“commanded to their fathers.” Dare he undertake to show that it was given to any others? They were to honor their parents that their days might be long upon the land which he gave them—Canaan. Was this precept given to the Gentiles, or to any who did not inherit that land? Is it not Jewish also? And thus it is that whatever subverts the sabbath subverts all morality. On this declaration I take my stand, prepared to defend it.WDUS 36.8

    “3. It was a sign between God and the Hebrews only.” He says I completely killed the “man of straw,” that the sabbath was a sign between the Jews and Gentiles. [I said, “to keep a distinction between them.”] It is a man of straw that I have had to demolish every time I have met a man of Bro. Vogel’s views. When he said I had completely killed it, I thought perhaps he might let it rest. But, no; he has to use it to evade the force of my reasoning. In his illustration the Masons and Odd Fellows are made to represent the Jews and Gentiles. He says, “Let the pass-word of the Masons be used also by the Odd Fellows and it ceases to be a sign to distinguish the Masons.” There is your straw man again! it is the very point at which I struck. Where does the Bible say it is a sign to distinguish the Jews from the Gentiles? It is a sign to distinguish the true God. It is a sign because he made the world in six days and rested the seventh day; Exodus 31. It is a sign that they might know he is God. Ezekiel 20:20. He thinks I have appealed to this text in vain, because he entirely misapprehends it. After confessing that I had killed the man of straw, he sets it up and adopts it as his own!WDUS 36.9

    He says the sabbath was not general, for if it had been given to and observed by the Gentiles it would not have been a special sign. What does he mean by special? The sabbath was God’s sign of creation. Israel had covenanted to keep God’s commandments-the sabbath being one of them. Had they kept them they would have been to him “a peculiar treasure above all people.” Exodus 19:5-8. Why? Because “all people” had turned away from God. But had all people served and obeyed God this peculiarity would not have existed. If the Jews would know that he was God-the Creator-by keeping creation’s memorial, so would the Gentiles. In the N. T. Christians are designated “a peculiar people.” What would the reader think if I should argue that the gospel cannot be general in its design for if everybody should embrace it there would be no peculiar people? That is just what his argument amounts to.WDUS 36.10

    Again he says, “Thy stranger within thy gates” was to keep the sabbath; therefore strangers generally were not to keep it! Most singular conclusion! This does not indicate to whom the obligation extends, but, how far the individual responsibility of the householder extends.WDUS 37.1

    Isaiah 56:1-8. doubtless refers to the calling of the Gentiles, but that it teaches the introduction of a new sabbath is quite another thing. A careful reading of Isaiah will show that chapters 53 to 59. are consecutive prophecy. Briefly I notice. Chapter 53. describes the passion of the Savior; 54. the New Jerusalem; 55. the call to the gospel feast; 56:1-8, some blessings and duties concerning specified classes; 56:9.—and 57. the great apostasy; 58. the reformation, from first to last, ending with a sabbath reform, now, under God’s providence, in progress; 59. the end of the priesthood of Christ, the time of trouble, and the judgment. Now it will take more than Eld. V.’s assertion to make it appear that when the Lord says “my sabbaths” in chap 56, he means something different from his sabbath—his holy day—in chap 58; or that in either text he refers to a new, and unknown, and unexplained institution. Eld. Vogel says because the Gentile “may join himself to the Lord and keep his sabbaths” in the New Dispensation “hence it follows that under the old Dispensation the Gentile or stranger had no such right or privilege.” Most of his “hences,” “it follows,” and “therefores” are about of this kind. See Numbers 15:14-16., “And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever be among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord, as ye do, so shall he do. One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance forever in your generations; as ye are so shall the stranger be before the Lord. One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.” Thus is his conclusion disproved. That the Gentiles had the privilege of sojourning with them and enjoying religious privileges is also shown by Deuteronomy 23:15-16.; Exodus 12:48-49.WDUS 37.2

    The Lord said by Jeremiah, [12:14-17,] concerning his “evil neighbors” who spoiled the inheritance of Israel, that he would pluck them out of the land; yet “if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The Lord liveth, as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people. But if they will not obey I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the Lord.” Character was always more than birth in the sight of God.WDUS 37.3

    When the Lord promised the kingdom to David and his seed, he said he would visit their transgressions with the rod if they kept not his commandments. Psalm 89:20-32. Their enjoyment of the kingdom depended upon their obedience to the law of God, sabbath included; Jev. xvii. But they did not obey; they were “a disobedient and gainsaying people.” And Jesus said to them, “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Matthew 21:43. James says the kingdom is promised to them that love God; chap 2:5; and John says, “This is the love of God that we keep his commandments;” chap 5:3. And Jesus again in Matthew 5:17-21., refers the consequences of keeping or breaking the commandments to the kingdom of heaven. The conditions of the kingdom were never changed. The change of dispensation in respect to its object and effect will yet come up for investigation and this subject will be further considered.WDUS 37.4

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