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A Written Discussion ... Upon the Sabbath

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    That my charge of Bro. W.’s “begging the question” is just, is simply a matter of fact which every reader has the means to verify. And Eld. W.’s verdict, “he (I) most signally failed,” does not in the least disturb me. I write for the masses; yet I am not without hope, faint though it be, that, when the heat of the battle is over and he takes a calm survey of the field, he may conclude differently. It is easy to say “he draws on his imagination” for facts, but the proof of this would be in better taste, and perhaps not so cheap. Understand, however, gentle reader, Eld. W. does not write for effect! But Bro. V., who is but a young man, knows no better than to do just so naughty a thing. His untamed blood makes him accept a system of such “lawless tendency” as to make killing no crime; and in his crudity he does things that “no scholar will claim!”WDUS 38.1

    1. Exodus 16.—[1.] The section which Eld. W. quotes from Crosby, with reference to the article, that author printed in small type to show that it figures but little in the case. [2.] Exodus 16. does not come under that section since it is neither poetry nor impassioned prose, but legal information, which demands “perspicuity.” [3.] The fact that the last mention of the sabbath in this chapter, the only instance of “renewed mention” in it, has the article, shows that the rules I quoted apply and are strictly followed. [4,] The Hebrew, concerning which Eld. W. maintains a respectful silence, has no such exceptions as he would force on the Greek text, and this places my position beyond all dispute. I rather think this “mine” is still [a] mine.WDUS 38.2

    That I have not drawn upon my imagination for facts as to “mutual understanding” or “general notoriety” is clear from the facts adduced at the close of my first affirmative. I know not how to account for Eld. W.’s charge of manufacturing facts.WDUS 38.3

    So also his assertion that the yearly sabbaths “were never mentioned in any other manner” than indefinitely was made without sufficient attention to facts. [1.] Nearly every mention of them by Moses was either a first mention or a remention for the purpose of additional legislation, which is nearly an equivalent. [2.] If this were even not the case the absence of the article would be adequately accounted for by the weekly sabbath’s taking it by “emphatic distinction.” [3.] But in this matter of fact Gesenius, whose ability Eld. W. has pronounced as “beyond dispute,” testifies against his universal negation and in my favor. “The sabbath is a name for the great day of atonement in the seventh month, Leviticus 23:32.” Lex. under sab. [4] See also Isaiah 1:13. What “an element of weakness” my statement is!WDUS 38.4

    Eld. W. “appeals to the reader whether it is reasonable to suppose that the people gathered a double portion of manna on the sixth day according to the order of the Lord, see v. 5, and ‘all the rulers’ were entirely ignorant of the reason of their so doing.” This appeal will be in order whenever I say that the rulers knew nothing of the command in v. 5. I simply said that they were ignorant of a sabbath to follow, as is clear from the manner in which Moses introduced it to their notice. “Is it not rather reasonable,” continues W., “that the rulers, as faithful overseers, reported to Moses that the will of the Lord had been done?” That is to say, every time the people turned round in obedience to a command “all the rulers” put off post haste to inform Moses! How reasonable! But what is conjecture as compared with facts?WDUS 38.5

    To say that “the rulers were informed the day before” the seventh and the people on the seventh is not equivalent to saying that the people were not informed till “sabbath morning.” The day began with the evening among the Jews [Leviticus 23:32,] and orders for the day are usually issued when the day begins. There is no limit to absurd conclusions that can be drawn for an opponent by manufacturing premises for him.WDUS 38.6

    “How long refuse ye to keep my commandments” by no means necessarily “implies a continued desecration of the sabbath.” Is the sabbath commandments? That it is one of many, I grant; and this new and test commandment was no better kept than others had “long” been. That’s all. 2. Eld. W. thinks that “the passover was given to Israel expressly to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt,” and that therefore the sabbath can not be commemorative of that event. But strictly speaking the passover commemorated only one item of their deliverance, the passing over of the death-angel, while the sabbath covered their deliverance in general. So baptism commemorates the death, burial and resurrection of Christ in general [Romans 6], and the Lord’s Supper His death in particular.WDUS 38.7

    Notwithstanding Bro. W.’s labored efforts to show that Deuteronomy 5:15. was not written on the two tables of stone, Moses still insists [v. 22] that it was, and I am inclined to believe him.. “Forgive me this wrong.” Nor is Exodus 20:3-17 the original copy, Eld. W.’s assertion to the contrary notwithstanding, since Deuteronomy 5. testifies that it is defective. The original was written on tables of stone.WDUS 39.1

    The rest of Deuteronomy 12:9 was a promise and is the rest of Canaan; it has nothing to do with the rest of Deuteronomy 5:11-15, which is a command and refers to the seventh day. “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”WDUS 39.2

    Now let us see how my “therefore” “must fail” me. “Every moral obligation,” says Eld. W., “was enforced upon them [the Israelites] by the same special reason-with the same ‘therefore,’” as the sabbath in Deuteronomy 5:15; and this he thinks proves to much for me. Compare Leviticus 19:35-37.WDUS 39.3

    God deals with the human race somewhat as parents have to deal with their children. A son old enough to grasp it needs only to be told that it is morally wrong to steal and it suffices, but it is a waste of words to endeavor to impress the immorality of such a deed upon a five-year-old. He obeys either simply because it is forbidden by the authority of the parent, or because he fears the penalty. A moral basis is too abstract for him; he needs to have it given in a concrete or tangible form, i. e., as a positive command. Now before the fall man’s ability to grasp moral relations was all that God made it; after the fall it was somewhat blunted, but not yet so degraded by a course of sin as to be incapable of receiving moral relations on their proper basis; hence God annexed no temporal penalties, not even to murder. I know well what use some make of Genesis 4:14 and 53-24., but know also that a proper construction of those passages establishes no temporal penalty for murder.WDUS 39.4

    After the race had shown itself unfit to be governed in this way, God swept it from the earths, and gave to the survivors some moral relations, as the unlawfulness to kill, Genesis 9:5-6., in a kind of positive form.WDUS 39.5

    Finding this still insufficient, or rather, mankind in general failing to regard much as sin which stood merely on a moral basis, God took Israel and placed for them moral obligations generally on a positive basis [see Deuteronomy 28. et al.] that in this school they might be prepared for the Gospel [Galatians 3:24] which governs by general principles [Philippians 4:8.,] restoring all moral obligations to their moral basis simply. [Here is my prohibition of killing without “direct enforcement.”] Hence Paul says, The law “was added [to the promises made the fathers] because of transgression, till the Seed should come,” [Galatians 3:19.;] and [Romans 5:20.] “The law entered that the offence might abound;” not that mankind might sin more, but that they might see sin where before they did not; nor that the law disclosed new moral principles, but that it put old ones on a legal basis, i. e., gave them in a concrete or positive form, as to children. Hence we find moral obligations enforced under Moses as if they were new, because they were new in that form, “the law entered,” “was added;” and in this form other nations did not have these principles. Where, then, is the absurdity of Eld. W.’s 1st and 2nd conclusions from my premises, when fairly understood? And how does my “therefore” fail me?WDUS 39.6

    If the sabbath were a moral institution it would always have existed, and then Deuteronomy 5:15 would only have placed it upon a new or legal basis “till the Seed should come.” But it is, as has been shown, a commemorative and therefore positive institution; hence the word “therefore” points to its origin. Here I feel the ground so solid under me that I would be willing to risk both the first and second propositions on this single text, Deuteronomy 5:15.WDUS 39.7

    The “therefore” of Leviticus 19:37. does not make commemorative institutions of moral precepts, but only places them upon a positive basis, since no moral principle can ever be commemorative; but the “therefore” of Deuteronomy 5:15 makes the sabbath commemorative of deliverance from Egypt, because it is a positive institution, just as the paschal feast is made commemorative by the “therefore” of Exodus 12:17., according to my brother’s own reasoning.WDUS 39.8

    3. Nehemiah 9:13-15.—[1.] I did not say that “madest known” is a full equivalent for “gavest” or “commandest,” but that it is “a kind of equivalent;” i. e., it means all that they do with the additional thought of giving or commanding for the first time. Let the reader remember this also when Eld. W.’s strictures on John 7. are read. [2.] But, says my brother, the Lord “came down on Mt. Sinai, etc,” and I have the sabbath made known in the wilderness. Are you sure, brother, that the text says He made known the sabbath on Sinai? By the same course you prove this I engage to prove that He then and there gave them manna in “the wilderness of Sin,” and water from the rock “in Rephidim!” Do you see how “Eld. Vogel undermines his own theory?” [3.] Ezekiel 39:7. [and he might have added xx., 5 9.,] “So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel,” does not in the least disturb me. [a.] Grant, for argument’s sake, that “make known” here denotes a re-calling of attention to things formerly known. Have I not admitted that it sometimes has this force? And did I not prove that in Nehemiah 9. it cannot have this meaning? But suppose I had not, is the first meaning of a word to be set aside for a secondary one without an imperative necessity? [b.] But even in these instances “made known” is used in its primary sence. “The Lord is known by the judgments which He executeth,” Psalm 9:16. And did He not, as I have shown, make pre-existent moral principles [His judgments] known in a legal or new form? Consider also the import of Exodus 6:3-7. “I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty; but by my new name Jehovah [i. e., in my new character] was I not known to them.... I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God.”WDUS 40.1

    4. Let us now look after those “colored sentences” respecting John 7:22-23. I have somewhere seen a quotation from the king’s translators to the effect that parallels [||] denote parallel marginal readings, and a dagger [†] an equivalent reading, i. e., a reading in different words but the same sense. If it becomes necessary I will seek and produce their own language. That my statement is true any reader can satisfy himself by examining a common reference Bible. The substance of my statement is found in the following quotation from the preface of Dr. Geo. Campbell to his Gospels, as an apology for a new translation: “Has the margin in the English Bible, which in a very great number of passages gives the reader his choice of different translations, ever been found to endanger the faith of his people?”WDUS 40.2

    Eld. W. quotes from various translators in favor of the reading in the body of the Bible; but they all held the sabbath to be a moral institution, and so, when there was a choice of rendering so far as the mere words were concerned, they translated in harmony with their convictions, and left it for commentators to harmonize the context. Many commentators come to this passage with the same prepossession and labor to explain; but such explanations!WDUS 40.3

    I do not deny that hina mee ordinarily signifies that not, but it is also true that hina is often used for other particles, and by no N. T. writer more freely than by John, and at times it is even redundant or so nearly so that its force cannot be readily indicated in English. If its use were simple and uniform why should the best N. T. lexicographers devote a page or more to its discussion? The marginal reading cannot, therefore be condemned, if the connection demand it. And that it does this I attempted to show in my last paper. I invite Eld. W.’s attention to my argument.WDUS 40.4

    That there is a contrast between circumcision and the sabbath cannot be evaded in view of the expression “not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers.” It implies that one is of Moses and the other not. True, they are both of God, He spoke both into existence-in the same sense there is no contrast. But one originated before the time of Moses, and the other-when? Here is a contrast, and one fatal to my brother’s theory.WDUS 40.5

    It makes no practical difference on what day Jericho was spoiled; there was marching or work for a whole week, and of course on the sabbath. But did Eld. W. ever consider that by adopting his reasoning I could show that he cannot tell what day of true time the Jews observed as a sabbath? It was the seventh day after the first falling of the manna, but on what day did the manna first fall? Here the record is silent, just as silent as on what day the march about Jericho began.WDUS 40.6

    Tholuck’s paraphrase, Eld. W. says, “was evidently used for effect-not for its relevancy.” This is equivalent to saying that I designedly deal dishonestly. Did you see my heart, Bro. W.? I regret that so unchristian an expression should stain your piece. I recommend to your perusal Matthew 7:1 [original illegible] 2. But so far as the paraphrase is concerned, you will, upon repentance, allow me to think it in accordance with the marginal reading. “Ye transgress the law,” in Tholuck’s view, means that they transgressed in the same sense that Jesus did, which is simply no transgression, i. e., “without breaking the law of Moses.” But Eld. W. will hear from this passage again.WDUS 41.1

    5. The sabbath a type. That heortee [“holy day”] may refer to a feast which has no sabbaths connected with it is true; but does it refer exclusively, or even mainly to such feasts in Colossians 2:16.? As certainly as it there refers to those feasts which had sabbaths connected with them, so certainly does it include the yearly sabbaths. And as often as the 27 N. T. occurrences of heortee refer to such feasts as had yearly sabbaths connected with them, just so often is it an instance confirmatory of my position. Suppose, then, that Acts 18:21. refers to the Passover feast rather than to Pentecost, how does this help Bro. W.? Or suppose that the passage is spurious, does it not show the use of heortee? In this connection I also said something concerning Leviticus 23.; let Eld. W. remember it, for it stands sadly in his way.WDUS 41.2

    When I said that the sabbath’s being a type stripped Eld. W. of the last vestige of difference between the weekly and annual sabbaths, I, of course, did not mean that I had proved the weekly sabbaths to be annual, or the annual sabbaths to be weekly; these are mere accidents. But that it destroys every vestige of moral basis for the sabbath, and places it in the category of positive institutions, I meant and still insist upon. Moral institutions are not typical, nor typical institutions moral.WDUS 41.3

    But, says Eld. W., the sabbath points back and therefore cannot point forward! The passover also pointed back and yet was a type. 1 Corinthians 5:7.WDUS 41.4

    6. The sabbath pre-eminently Jewish. Much under this head needing a reply has been considered while speaking of Deuteronomy 5:15.WDUS 41.5

    That the sabbath is a sign “between God and the children of Israel” is expressly asserted. Nor is it a sign of creation. Exodus 31:17., when fairly construed, simply refers to the facts of creation for the frequency of the sabbath. The sabbath is a sign of God’s having singled out the Israelites as His special people: “It is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you., v. 13; see also Ezekiel 20:12-20. This fixes the matter and forbids W.’s construction of v. 17.WDUS 41.6

    And here I must notice a wrong use made of “peculiar.” In Scripture this word is not used in the sense now popular, but as Webster defines it, “Belonging solely or especially to an individual.” This did not prevent other people as individuals from becoming Jews, but it demanded of them a renouncement of their nationality and naturalization as Israelites.WDUS 41.7

    7. The sabbath not given to the Gentiles. That Isaiah 56. predicts a new day under the name of sabbath will be shown in its proper place. Until then I have not a word of reply to what Eld. W. says on this head. But his attempt to annihilate the distinction I showed to exist between the Jews and Gentiles, as such, respecting the keeping of the sabbath fails in this that it does not distinguish between a naturalized stanger, i. e., one made and treated as if by nature a Jew, and an unnaturalized one. The former was under every obligation which rested upon a Jew, but not the latter. The former, e. g., kept the passover [Exodus 12:48-49.,] but not the latter. The one might not eat that which died of itself [Leviticus 17:15.,] while the other might [Deuteronomy 14:21.], whether he was “within” or without the gates of Israel. This last reference will also show that I was right in my construction of “within” in Exodus 20:10., and Eld. W. slightly in the dark.WDUS 41.8

    The stranger who was not so naturalized “as one that is born in the land” was not distinguished from others by being an idolater, for many of them kept up the. Patriarchal worship, as Jethro, the Ninevites, Cornelius and Justus. They were those “other sheep” of whom the Savior spoke, who were “not of this (the Jewish) fold.” John 10:16.WDUS 41.9

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