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A Written Discussion ... Upon the Sabbath

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    For want of space some passages in Eld. W.’s third affirmative remain unnoticed. These shall first receive attention.WDUS 72.4

    Psalm 19:7. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Is it the office of “primary law” to convert the soul? David is here, then, speaking of the Mosaic code as a whole, whose perfection or completeness is manifest in this that it contains a remedial system, “converting the soul,” as captives are caused to return (Jeremiah 32:44-33:11) and ruined cities restored [Daniel 9:25]; for in these passages the same original word is used. That “the law of the Lord” embraces the whole Mosaic code I have already shown from Luke 2:22-24, where it is interchanged with “the law of Moses.” Hence it includes the law of the priesthood, and is thus again shown to be in part “remedial.” Hence also its “perfection” is only relative, suited to that age; but in an absolute sense “the law made nothing perfect,” Hebrews 7:18; there was therefore need of a “change.” “For if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second,” Hebrews 8:7. Paul is rather severe on those who now look to “the law” for justification: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Galatians 5:4.WDUS 72.5

    Ecclesiastes 12:13. “Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.” To say nothing against “duty” as a supplement here, and how “happiness” would be at least as good if not better, I call attention to the fact that the Lord has “commanded” many things not found in the decalogue. Each man, whether Jew, Gentile, or Christian, is under obligation to attend to the things commanded to him. Many “commandments,” as keeping the passover, concerned only the Jew; so of the sabbath.WDUS 72.6

    Isaiah 51:6. “My righteousness shall not be abolished,” has no reference to the ten commandments. It is equivalent to the “salvation” of the same verse. It is a prophecy concerning the gospel and the “eternal salvation” of which Christ is the “author.” Hebrews 5:9.WDUS 72.7

    Romans 3:21. “But now the righteousness without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. This passage also my brother completely mistakes. When a person complies with every requirement of a law he is righteous, since that law does not condemn him, and this is the righteousness of the law [Romans 10:5.]; he is also “perfect” and “holy” as measured by that law, whether the law itself is perfect or imperfect. Hence to argue the absolute perfection of a law from the fact that the one obeying it is perfect as measured by that law, is a sophism. “The righteousness without the law,” i. e., without perfect obedience to the law, “is now [i. e. in the gospel] manifested.” How? By forgiveness upon faith in Christ. This is “witnessed by the law.” Where? Genesis 15:6, Abraham “believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Compare Romans 4:3. Thus we see that Paul had not brother W.’s narrow view of the law, but he included even Genesis in it. ‘Witnessed by the prophets.’ Where? Habakkuk 2:4, ‘The just by faith shall live.’ Compare Psalm 32:1-2 and Romans 4:6-8.WDUS 72.8

    Romans 2:17-18, is also misapplied when confined to the ten commandments. It is the same law which we have just seen includes even Genesis. While still speaking of this law Paul quotes in Romans 3:9-18, from the Psalms, Proverbs, and Isaiah, and says in the next verse 19 that these are quotations from the law. This, to borrow two words from Paul, ought to ‘stop’ my brother’s ‘mouth.’WDUS 73.1

    Romans 3:1-6. To find proof in this that the ten commandments are to be the rule, in the future judgment is to interpret into the passage what cannot be interpreted out of it. Paul simply says that God is not unrighteous in punishing transgressors, else He could not judge the world, since judgment implies punishment. But not one word does he say about the law by which men will be judged. If the law of the context is to be assumed as the rule then the whole Mosaic code is that rule, which is absurd since all men are not under it.WDUS 73.2

    Romans 3:9-19 does not prove the Gentiles amenable to the ten commandments. I have already shown that in this place Paul quotes from the Mosaic law as a whole. But as a whole it was only given to the Jews, and ‘we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law.’ Therefore, ‘all the world’ here refers only to the whole Jewish world and to ‘every mouth’ therein. For similar uses of this expression see Luke 2:1; Acts 11:28.WDUS 73.3

    Verse 9, ‘We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin,’ does not prove that the ten commandments were given to the Gentiles. The Jews were proved sinners by the Mosaic law (ch 2:21-24), and the Gentiles by moral principles so far as they had by them been discovered and set forth in their civil laws [ch 2:12]. ‘For as many as have sinned without [revealed] law shall also perish without [revealed] law... For when the Gentiles which have not the law [by revelation], do by nature [by their native ability to discover moral relations and obligations] the [moral] things contained in the law, [given to them], are a law unto themselves: which show the [moral] work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.’ Romans 2:12-15. It is not to be supposed that they could discover every moral item of the Mosaic code, but many of them they could and did. So Paul says; and by these they are proved guilty, not having lived up to them. See ch 1:18-32. But no positive institution can be thus discovered, since it has no moral element, but rests simply on the will of God. Hence they know nothing about the passover or the sabbath, and will not be judged with respect to these.WDUS 73.4

    Romans 3:20. ‘By the law is the knowledge of sin,’ does not prove the ten commandments still binding. For, [1] as already shown the ten commandments as such and exclusively, are not here referred to. [2] This simply declares that the existing law convicts of guilt; and this is true whether that law is perpetual or temporary; moral, positive, or both.WDUS 73.5

    That this is a general proposition, referring to no law in particular, but to all law in general, is further evident from the Bible Union version, which reads thus: ‘By works of law shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by law is the knowledge of sin.’ The article is wanting in the original before law, and while it may sometimes be supplied without material injury to the sense, here undoubtedly it should not be. But for the sake of shortening the controversy I will not press this point.WDUS 73.6

    From the preceding there follow these conclusions:WDUS 73.7

    1st. That my brother has wholly misinterpreted these passages, restricting them to the ten commandments, whereas their true sense requires a broader application.WDUS 73.8

    2nd. That a theory which cannot be maintained without such a perversion of the Scripture is radically false, unscriptural and anti-scriptural.WDUS 73.9

    3rd. That the Mosaic code is a unit, one whole law, of which the ten commandments are but a part.WDUS 74.1

    4th. In further confirmation of this conclusion, and in addition to all I have before said on this point, I beg leave to cite two more passages of Scripture:WDUS 74.2

    [1.] ‘He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses,’ Hebrews 10:28. Here Paul alludes to Deuteronomy 17:2-6, where this language is found and the ten commandments are spoken of. Thus Paul declares the decalogue a part of Moses’ law.WDUS 74.3

    [2.] In 1 Kings 2:3, David urges Solomon to ‘keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses.’ He who will not be convinced by such testimonies as these is beyond the reach of argument.WDUS 74.4

    Elder Waggoner’s fourth affirmative having not yet arrived, I will begin a second negative argument.WDUS 74.5

    II. The ten commandments are abolished.WDUS 74.6

    Be it distinctly understood that I do not argue for the striking out of a single moral principle contained in the decalogue. Moral principles are eternal as Jehovah. Hence Paul says in effect that whenever the abrogation of a divine law is spoken of it must not be taken to the extent of obliterating moral principles. Hebrews 12:27. Hence the ten commandments are only abolished in so far as they were statutory, i. e., positive. Hence that which is wholly positive as the sabbath, is entirely abolished; and that which is in part positive and in part moral, is only abolished in part.WDUS 74.7

    Is there, then, a positive element in all the ten commandments? Yes, the use made of them at Sinai is positive; and I give the following as proof:WDUS 74.8

    1. In my last affirmative on the second proposition I have shown them all to be to some extent positive. I shall not here reproduce that argument, but simply refer the reader to it.WDUS 74.9

    2. The arguments which I shall produce to prove their abolition are undeniable proof that they are positive; for it is out of all character to speak of abolishing that which is wholly moral. But the Scriptures do speak of the abolition of the decalogue; therefore it is positive.WDUS 74.10

    3. In still another way do the Scriptures declare the ten commandments positive. They call them ‘statutes,’ time and again, but a statute is positive. ‘Statute. An act of the legislature of a state or country, declaring, commanding or prohibiting something; a positive law.’-Webster. Mark well, however, that a statute may have a moral basis; i. e., aside from its statutory value it may also have a moral value. Thus, it is a moral duty that we give of our means to carry out God’s purposes among men. The statutes of the law required a tenth; this was positive, resting solely on the will of God, the Legislator; and because it was positive it was abrogated with the rest of the law. The moral principle of giving alone remains now. Nor has this principle been again expressed in a statutory way, specifying a definite amount, but it stands solely on its moral basis, leaving it to the promptings of love to say how much to give [Acts 5:4; 2 Corinthians 8:8; 9:7]. Nevertheless, the abolished ‘statute’ of tithes is still profitable; not that it speaks with authority now, but as a counselor it suggests and admonishes us as to what was once Gods will, so that we may suspect ourselves as not under the control of love, or a willing mind, but under selfish covetousness when we fall below a tenth.WDUS 74.11

    4. That the ten commandments sustained a relation to the Jews which they did not to the Patriarchs and Gentiles is unmistakably implied, yea, asserted in Deuteronomy 5:2-3. ‘The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us even us, who are all of us here alive this day.’ But as moral principles, so far as they contained them, they were known to the fathers or patriarchs, as can be abundantly shown. What then is this new value they received? Not moral, certainly, but a positive or statutory value.WDUS 74.12

    We are now ready to proceed with the arguments for the abolition of the ten commandments.WDUS 74.13

    1. I have already stated, and here challenge its refutation, that it requires just as express legislation to transfer from one dispensation to another a positive enaction, law, or institution, as it did to first establish it. It is therefore simply a matter of course that the ten commandments were abolished to the extent that they are positive or statutory. And since the sabbath was purely a statute, it is wholly gone.WDUS 74.14

    2. Since the law is a unit and is politico-ecclesiastic, the ten commandments as used in the law are also of a political character; and in this character they are of course positive or statutory. But the New Dispensation is purely ecclesiastic, hence it cannot receive the political laws of the Old; they were therefore necessarily abolished in their statutory aspect. Hence the sabbath is entirely abolished since it was purely statutory.WDUS 75.1

    Or, to state it differently, the word covenant in Deuteronomy 5:2-3 is used in the sense of constitution. It was the only word which the Hebrews had to express the idea. The decalogue is the constitution of the Mosaic laws; i. e., it sustains the same relation to the law that the constitution of the United States sustains to our laws. Some of their laws, as Exodus 31-33, are an elaboration of that constitution, are laws based directly on it; others were merely in harmony with it. Whatever, therefore, is the nature of the law as a whole, is the nature of the ten commandments; i. e., if the law as a whole was manifestly political so was the decalogue, the constitution. And if this was mainly political it had to be abolished to the extent that it was such, since the New Dispensation is purely religious and ecclesiastic.WDUS 75.2

    Was, then, the law political? I answer, yes. And if this answer is demonstrable the abrogation of the decalogue is established. Now for the proof.WDUS 75.3

    [1.] Paul expressly calls the Jewish compact or confederation ‘the commonwealth of Israel’ [Ephesians 2:12]. But the law was the only bond of union in this ‘commonwealth;’ therefore it was political.WDUS 75.4

    [2.] There is not a single reference in all the law to the future life, but all its rewards and punishments look to this life. See Deuteronomy 28. This precisely is the nature of a secular compact, but not of a purely religious institution.WDUS 75.5

    [3.] This is further evident from the fact that God stood to the Hebrews in the relation of a political ruler, law giver and king. For when they said to Samuel, ‘Make us a king to judge us like all the nations,’ Jehovah replied: ‘They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.’ 1 Samuel 8.WDUS 75.6

    [4.] That the law was chiefly political in its bearings, and religious only in a limited and restricted sense, is further apparent from the fact that many of the transgressions thereof were purely of a civil or secular character, or, in the style of Paul, affected only ‘the flesh;’ and the rights and sacrifices in atonement for these were of a like character, being adequate to their remission without borrowing efficiency from the blood of Christ, so that Paul was warranted in saying, ‘The blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifieth to the purifying [purging] of the flesh’ [Hebrews 9:13]. This, however, is not to be confounded with transgressions of such laws as had the religious mingled with the civil, the guilt of which, to the extent that it invaded the domain of the religious, affected ‘the conscience,’ and whose sacrifices for expiation had to this extent to borrow efficiency from the blood of Christ [Hebrews 9:9; 10:4].WDUS 75.7

    [5.] It was because all the laws of the Mosaic code were political or civil, some wholly and others only in part, yet mainly, that such enlightened teachers as Paul could offer animal sacrifices for the remission of guilt without inconsistency [Acts 21.] even after Christ was recognized as the true and only sacrifice for ‘the purging of the conscience’ or for atonement of sins which looked in their consequences to a future existence and judgment. They were offered on political grounds and for political offences, as we could still celebrate the fourth of July, after our government were changed to a monarchy. On any other ground such conduct as that of Acts 21:26, defies explanation.WDUS 75.8

    III, My third argument for the abrogation of the ten commandments is as follows:WDUS 75.9

    [1.] They are called ‘the covenant,’ Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 4:3; 9:9-11.WDUS 75.10

    [2.] They are further described as ‘the covenant of the Lord which he made with our fathers when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.’ 1 Kings 8:9 and 21.WDUS 75.11

    [3.] God said, ‘I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.’ Jeremiah 31:31 34.WDUS 75.12

    [4.] Paul says that this ‘new covenant’ has been made, and that the old has ‘vanished away.’ Hebrews 8:6-13. He who presumes sumes to say that it still stands must give God the lie.WDUS 75.13

    IV. Christ ‘abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of the commandments in [their] ordinances.’ Ephesians 2:15. And since the sabbath was nothing but an ordinance, a positive command, it is wholly gone. In bold contrast with this is my brothers position, that on which the life of his theory depends: ‘The law of which the sabbath commandment was a part, was not abolished, but is now binding!’ Reader, whom will you believe, Bro. Paul or Bro. Waggoner?WDUS 76.1

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