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A Written Discussion ... Upon the Sabbath

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    By reason of a mistake in the direction, I did not receive Eld. Vogel’s second negative for a long time. To obviate delay I mostly prepared my third affirmative before receiving it. A few points deserve notice.WDUS 68.5

    Eld. V. and myself have kept up a friendly correspondence during our discussion. In one of these private notes I expressed regret for some things he said in his closing reply on the first proposition. He answered that it was not a final summing up, and I had a chance to set right what appeared to me to be wrong. I needed no intimation from him to assure me that this was my right and privilege; and justice required that I should do so. Yet now, because I exposed his sophistry and hypercriticism, he publicly accuses me of pursuing a dishonorable course in discussion! This convinces me of that which I before feared, that there is a certain peculiarity in him which prevents his doing justice to an opponent.WDUS 68.6

    His assertion that I am not capable of giving a correct criticism on the Hebrew, is a small matter, while I have proved that he has not made a reliable statement in regard to it. He is astonished that I should so “blunder” with Green’s Grammar before me, and refers to “section 246, 3.” As that section and number does not contain the whole scope of the use and omission of the article it cannot prove that I blundered in claiming a definite construction on Exodus 16:23. But, if it does not cover the entire field then he has blundered in claiming a definite construction on Exodus 20:10. There is nothing in that section to disprove my quotation from Gesenius. But he acknowledges that I am not alone in this “blunder”—that “better scholars than he [I] have blundered” thus before. But in what company does he place me in this? In that of Gesenius and “the old grammarians and lexicographers, Hebrew and Greek.” Verily, I am content. It is truth that the whole extent of my blunder is that I quoted and correctly applied a statement of the lexicon of Gesenius. But Eld. V. says Winer gives a list of examples to the contrary. What of that? Cannot an array of examples be given to show that definite nouns do not always have the article? The complexion of a fact is wondrously changed according as it is for or against him! Gesenius does not claim that this is invariable in usage. Eld. Vogel did positively deny that there were exceptions to the rule he quoted; but I have proved that there are. Has this any bearing on his reliability as a critic of the Hebrew?WDUS 69.1

    Green gives the names of thirteen grammarians whom he consulted in preparing his grammar, adding, “besides others of less note.” If Winer was consulted at all he belongs to this class. Green also says that his “work is mainly based upon the three leading grammars of Gesenius, Ewald and Nordheimer;” and while he gives precedence to Ewald only over Gesenius as a grammarian, he says, “Gesenius is unquestionably the prince of Hebrew lexicographers.”WDUS 69.2

    The reader will bear me witness that I have never thrust any profession of scholarship before him. I confess my entire dependence on the accredited authorities. Even in English I pay my respects to Dr. Webster! If the “young and untamed blood” of Eld. V. is able to carry him as by intuition, through the mazes of Hebrew criticism, leaving Gesenius and his compeers behind as mere “blunderers,” we will only congratulate him, and trust to aid and experience to teach him to bear his honors with more meekness than he can at present command.WDUS 69.3

    On the term “Lord’s day,” Eld. Vogel says: “Under the former dispensation the Father was meant by the term Lord, under this dispensation the term refers exclusively to Christ,” and refers for proof to 1 Corinthians 8:6, which says that to us there is “one Lord Jesus Christ.” Certainly there is only one “Lord Jesus Christ,” but it is strange that any man with an open Testament before him should make the above assertion. In a partial examination of the N.T. I noticed over three-score places where the term is applied to the Father; a few I quote. Jesus said “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.” Matthew 11:25. “Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ.” Acts 3:19-20. “Against the Lord and against his Christ.” Acts 4:16. “The kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.” Revelation 11:15. Can I not with good reason quote, “My firm conviction is that Eld. V. is incapable of making a safe criticism based on”—a plain reading of the New Testament? Does he ever “blunder?” By such reckless statements he tries to set aside the proofs I gave on “the Lord’s day.”WDUS 69.4

    There is yet another important scripture fact bearing on this point. Of Jesus Christ as “the Word” John says: “All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1-3. See also Colossians 1, and Hebrews 1:1-15. “By whom (the Son) he (the Father) made the worlds,” and verse 10, “And thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thy hand.” Now as the Son of God was actively present in the making of the world in six days, so was he also in resting, and blessing and sanctifying the seventh day. The work being equally that of the Father and the Son, so of necessity was the rest day. This separating between the son and the Father, and putting one in conflict with the other is a necessity of that theory. Jesus is Lord of the sabbath by the work of creation, and according to his own declaration. Mark 2:28. And it is the only day concerning which either the Father or Son ever put forth such a claim. Eld. V. may use all the sophistry he pleases, but he will never point to one text of scripture which contradicts this statement.WDUS 69.5

    On 2 Timothy 3:16-17, he plays on the words, saying that “all scripture” is not now binding on us as it was on the Jews. But he entirely ignores the point I made which is that the scriptures which Timothy knew from a child-the Old Testament-thoroughly furnish the man of God “unto all good works,” containing as they do the immutable law of Jehovah. This truth may be covered up, but it cannot be destroyed, and it is a sure indication of the law of God.WDUS 70.1

    His position on the law, if he can be said to have any position, is a curiosity.WDUS 70.2

    (1.) He says the moral, ceremonial, and judicial were parts of the same law; hence “part” of that law is moral.WDUS 70.3

    (2.) He admits that what is moral cannot be abolished; hence “part” of that law to Israel cannot be abolished.WDUS 70.4

    (3.) He then quotes scripture to prove that “the law,” “the whole law,” was abolished; thus perverting the scriptures, and contradicting himself.WDUS 70.5

    (4.) He denies the distinction between moral and ceremonial law, saying the scriptures make no such distinction. The scriptures do not use the terms, but they clearly prove the existence of the two laws, which we correctly express by those terms. The scriptures do not speak of “probation,” nor of “moral character;” do these therefore not exist? But query, Do the scriptures speak of the “moral part,” and the “positive part” of the law? Does Eld. Vogel find these expressions in the scriptures? Is not this another specimen of his hypercriticism?WDUS 70.6

    Having asserted that all the law is abolished, does he not in this deny that any part of the law is moral? Did I not say truly that whatever abolishes the sabbath abolishes all moral law? If the law against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, theft, etc, is not moral, where shall we find moral law? Eld. Vogel, in asserting that these are abolished directly asserts that they are not moral. Reader, are you prepared to follow him in this?WDUS 70.7

    Once more; to prove (what he has now virtually admitted) that his position strikes a death blow at all morality, I instituted a comparison between marriage and the sabbath, in their origin and appointment. His answer was that he was not concerned whether or not marriage is moral! I think not! He has thus far shown a marvelous unconcern about all that exposes his theory, and about the fate of all morality when it stands in his way.WDUS 70.8

    He must presume largely on the blindness of our readers if he thinks to make them believe that I argued that all that is “duty” now originated before the fall. My distinctions between original and secondary obligations were clearly made. Nor did I intimate that all “divine law” grew directly out of the will and attributes of God. Baptism is a “divine law,” but my argument excludes it from the list of original duties. The Saviour explains his “new commandment.” “This is my commandment that ye love one another as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his live for his friends.” John 15:12-13. See 1 John 3:16. The moral duty of “love” did not originate in the New Testament; but to lay down life for a friend cannot be an “original obligation.”WDUS 70.9

    He admits that moral law grows out of the attributes of God. Yes, so manifestly so that whatsoever grows exclusively out of these attributes, not referable to the action or will of man, is moral. But the distinguishing attribute upon which the knowledge of the true God is often, in the scriptures, made to depend, is that of creative power. The reader well knows, on the authority of Jehovah himself, that the sabbath institution, the seventh day sabbath, grew solely out of this attribute; and is a memorial of the exercise of this power.WDUS 70.10

    He thinks I could make a better sermon if I stood where I could preach to my brethren from Galatians 4:10, “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.” Let us look at that in its connection.WDUS 70.11

    [1.] It is spoken to them of whose former practices Paul said they “did service unto them which by nature are no gods.” This could not refer to keeping the sabbath nor to anything which the true God ever required, but to the practices of heathenism.WDUS 70.12

    [2.] It includes observing “times,” which is expressly forbidden in Deuteronomy 18, and other places, and is designated as a heathen practice.WDUS 70.13

    [3.] Myself and brethren observe but one day in each week, the seventh, which the true God, the Creator, set apart at creation, and in the most solemn manner commended its observance.WDUS 71.1

    [4.] Eld. Vogel says the first day of the week should be “sacredly kept,” and therein he and his brethren keep just as many “days” in a year as we do-fifty-two. Did he know this?WDUS 71.2

    [5.] Alexander Campbell said the first “public authority” for keeping Sunday was of Constantine; and he enforced its observance in the towns and cities only, under the title of “venerable day of the Sun.” Sunday, not the Lord’s day.WDUS 71.3

    [6.] The Am. S. S. Union Bib. Dict. says the first day derived its name Sunday, from the heathen, who dedicated it to the sun, to which they held it sacred. And this was the only dedication and sacredness it ever had.WDUS 71.4

    [7.] And therefore Eld. Vogel and his brethren are subjects of the apostle’s comment in this text, as they observe a heathen “time;” a “day” instituted by, and only sacred to, “them which by nature are no gods.” And he is no nearer to the truth on any other text in Galatians than on this.WDUS 71.5

    Eld. Vogel said he knew of no text which calls the ten commandments the law. I quoted literally Exodus 24:12, which has the article in the original. And how does he endeavor to set aside the evidence of this text? He says the word law is qualified by the words “which I have written,” and it may take the article on that account! These words could as easily qualify “a law” or “a part of the law,” as “the law” if that were the idea. But he asserts that the Hebrews so understood it because “over the word ‘law’ is found the conjunctive accent kadhma.” Here again his pedantry crops out to as little purpose as before; for, 1, the accent is not kadhma, but pashta, which is a disjunctive accent; and, 2, the influence of the accents in that respect is imaginary rather than real. Jehovah wrote only the ten commandments on the tables of stone and he called them “the law.” Will Eld. V. next try to account for the fact that no more than this law was written on the tables of stone? Is his ingenuity equal to the task he has undertaken? He caught at a straw on Exodus 24:12, but even that eluded his grasp.WDUS 71.6

    On Jeremiah 7:22-23, he says, “My voice may apply to anything which God has commanded whether directly or through an agent;” and then argues around until he gets to the point of affirming that sacrifices and offerings were a part of the voice of God. But against his vain reasoning two facts stand sure; when God spake with his voice in the hearing of Israel he spake only the ten commandments; and, the Lord himself says he did not speak concerning sacrifices, etc., but he said, Obey my voice. Eld. Vogel here places himself in direct conflict with the word of Jehovah, rather than yield to a plain truth. I do not envy him in his position.WDUS 71.7

    I will collate some of the evidences of the Scriptures on the two laws.WDUS 71.8

    They could offer sacrifices, etc., and not keep the law, Jeremiah 6:19-20. And when God spake the law which he wrote on the tables of stone he said nothing concerning sacrifices. Jeremiah 7:22-23.WDUS 71.9

    There is one law to which the carnal mind is not subject because the carnal mind is enmity; Romans 8:7. The other law was called the enmity, Ephesians 2:15. These laws are in contrast.WDUS 71.10

    One law is spiritual; Romans 7:14. The other was carnal; Hebrews 7:16.WDUS 71.11

    One law was magnified and made honorable by the Saviour; Isaiah 42:21. The other he blotted out; Colossians 2:14.WDUS 71.12

    One he came not to destroy; Matthew 5:17. Of the other there was of necessity a change; Hebrews 7:18.WDUS 71.13

    One law is holy, just, and good; Romans 7:12. The other was not good; Ezekiel 20:25.WDUS 71.14

    One by which a man should live in keeping; Leviticus 17:5, etc. The other by which he should not live; Ezekiel 20:25.WDUS 71.15

    One law in which the godly delight; Romans 7:22; Psalm 119:24-92-97; Isaiah 58:13. The other a yoke which they could not bear; Acts 15:10; see verse 5.WDUS 71.16

    One law which is established by faith and not made void; (Katargoumen-Gr.); Romans 3:31. The other which is abolished; [Katargesas-Gr.]; Ephesians 2:15.WDUS 71.17

    On the abolition of the law of types we have no dispute; but I must deny the abolition of the moral law. Nor can I admit that “the law ended and the gospel began” on the day of Pentecost, as Eld. V. asserts. “The beginning of the gospel” may be found in Mark 1. See also the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 61., in Luke 4:18-21. And Paul says of the positive law of the O. T. that Christ “took it out of the way. nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:14; see also Ephesians 2:14-16. But query; did Christ nail it to the cross on the day of pentecost? Was the crucifixion on the day of pentecost? Eld. Vogel’s system will be complete when he can show that the resurrection was also on the day of Pentecost. Then he will surely have sufficient honor upon that Jewish yearly festival to warrant its perpetual observance, on every first day of the week.WDUS 71.18

    I have said that the law was the basis of the Abrahamic covenant, and is a rule of righteousness to the Gentiles; Romans 2:17-29. Paul also says in Galatians 3:13-14, “Christ hast redeemed us from the curse of the law ... that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.” By this we learn that,WDUS 72.1

    [1.] The curse of the law rests on all, Jews and Gentiles, which proves that they are all amenable to the law; for the law cannot curse those who are not amenable to it. See my remarks on Romans 3:9-19.WDUS 72.2

    [2.] The curse of the law must be removed before we can inherit the blessing of Abraham, which proves that they who are not in harmony with the law, or are its transgressors, cannot inherit the blessing of Abraham; and of course the Abrahamic promises have the law for their basis. Comp. Genesis 26:1-5. I have before shown that the gospel is a nullity without the law for its basis; and the Abrahamic covenant is identical with the gospel. So Galatians 3:13-14, is a confirmation of my position on Romans 2.WDUS 72.3

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