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    THE OPPOSITION

    By the spring of 1849 the subject of the Sabbath began to attract considerable notice from Advent believers, who, seeing that the first day of the week could not be sustained by divine authority, were falling back to the position of no Sabbath in the Christian dispensation. And it may be worthy of notice, that this is the result everywhere the Sabbath question is discussed. The reason why the regular Baptists have taken this position more generally than any other denomination, may be because of their relation to the Seventh-day Baptists, who have more or less brought the subject to their notice. As an illustration of this point, when William E. Arnold, of Rochester, N.Y., in 1844, stated to Elder Joseph Marsh his convictions of duty to observe the seventh day as the Sabbath, Elder Marsh replied that the first day of the week, as the Sabbath for Christians, was clearly proved from the word of God, and the unvarying practice of the Christian church. Mr. Arnold invited him to give the subject especial attention. He promised to do so and report the next Sunday. His report was simply this: That he had examined the subject, and had become satisfied that the Sabbath was Jewish, and that there was none for Christians.LIFIN 275.2

    The change from the first day to no Sabbath cannot be regarded in any better light than a change from bad to worse, and it is a matter of grief that thousands, finding themselves utterly unable to sustain the observance of first-day, take refuge from the pointed arrows of truth in this comparatively strong hold of unbelief. The masses are ignorant of the facts relative to the first day of the week. They think the New Testament abounds with direct testimony that it is sacred time. Elder Joseph Bates asserted in a grove, in Connecticut, in 1849, that there was not one text in the New Testament which taught a change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. An intelligent-appearing gentleman interrupted by saying, “There are more than twenty.” “Well,” said Bro. Bates, “will you please give us one?” The gentleman replied, “I can give you twenty.” Bro. B. urged, “If you can give twenty, you can certainly give one. We wait for one; only give us one text.” The gentleman was silent; and Bro. B. went on with his subject.LIFIN 276.1

    It is a fact the first day of the week is mentioned in the New Testament only eight times, and is not in a single instance spoken of as a sacred day. Inspiration gives it the simple title of first day of the week. See Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2.LIFIN 276.2

    It is also a fact that inspiration in the New Testament gives the seventh day of the week the sacred title of Sabbath, fifty-nine times, and in every instance refers to the day on which God rested, and which he sanctified and blessed. See Matthew 12:1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12; 24:20; 28:1; Mark 1:21; 2:23, 24, 27, 28; 3:2, 4; 6:2; 15:42; 16:1; Luke 4:16, 31; 6:1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9; 13:10, 14, 15, 16; 14:1, 3, 5; 23:54, 56; John 5:9, 10, 16, 18; 7:22, 23; 9:14, 16; 19:31; Acts 1:12; 13:14, 27, 42, 44; 5:21; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4.LIFIN 277.1

    Those who examine the subject are generally compelled to admit that there is no inspired testimony favoring a change of the day. Some, however, cling to the idea that the change is sustained by the example of Christ and the apostles. As far as the example of our Lord is concerned, they can refer us to but two instances of his meeting his disciples on the first day of the week. The first occasion was when he appeared to them on the evening of the day of his resurrection; and they were astonished to learn that he had risen from the dead. The second was eight days after this, and hence could not be upon the first day of the week; and neither of these meetings, so far as we have any proof, were from previous appointment, or designed for religious worship.LIFIN 277.2

    And there is no evidence that the apostles regarded the first day of the week as a day of worship. There is no record of a single instance of their holding a meeting in the daytime of the first day of the week. It is true that Paul met with his brethren, at Troas, on a first-day evening to break bread. That meeting continued all night on the first day of the week. The night is the first half of the twenty-four hour day. Therefore that meeting was held on what we call Saturday night. The next morning, Sunday, Paul started on his long journey to Jerusalem, and spent the last half of that day in traveling on foot, and sailing with his brethren toward Mitylene. Thus we have apostolic example for regarding the first day as a proper day for secular business.LIFIN 277.3

    Neither can 1 Corinthians 16:2, serve the cause of first-day observance. This text does not refer to a single element of the Sabbath. Holy time, rest from labor, and public assembling for divine worship, are not intimated therein. Justin Edwards, in his Notes on the New Testament, comments on this text thus: “Lay by him in store; at home. That there be no gatherings; that their gifts might be ready when the apostle should come.”LIFIN 278.1

    With this now contrast New Testament testimony relative to the Sabbath. Our Lord recognized the existence of the Sabbath at the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, as verily as the seasons of the year. “And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter neither on the Sabbath day.” He refers to a definite day. Not one day in seven and no day in particular, but the day of the Sabbath. In Mark 2:27, he says, The Sabbath was made for man.LIFIN 278.2

    In Luke 23:56, is the record of the disciples’ resting the Sabbath day according to the commandment. This act of resting on the Sabbath was after the crucifixion, and the record of it was made by inspiration nearly thirty years later still.LIFIN 278.3

    The book of Acts shows what the apostles did. Which day of the week did they observe as the Sabbath? The writer of the book of Acts records instances of the apostles’ holding meetings upon the Sabbath. On one occasion when Paul had been addressing a mixed assembly, “the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them, the next Sabbath,” showing that it was understood even by the Gentiles, that the Sabbath was Paul’s regular day of worship. Acts 13:42. And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together, to hear the word of God. Verse 44.LIFIN 278.4

    At another time Paul and Timotheus, on the Sabbath, went out of the city of Philippi to a place “by the river side, where prayer was wont to be made,” and held a public meeting. Lydia believed, and was baptized, and her household. But was the Sabbath Paul’s regular preaching day? Was this his manner? Let chapter 17:2, answer. “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.”LIFIN 279.1

    Chapter 18:1-11, contains important testimony on this subject. Paul at Corinth abode with Aquila and Priscilla, and worked with them at tent making. “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” Verse 4. How long did he remain at Corinth? “And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” Verse 11. Here is apostolic example for seventy-eight successive Sabbaths. And it will be seen by verses 5-8, that the apostle occupied the synagogue a part of these Sabbaths, until the Jews opposed and blasphemed, then he went into the house of Justus, where he preached the remaining portion. Here, dear reader, is apostolic example in harmony with the divine precept, showing its application and force in the present dispensation.LIFIN 279.2

    The cross of Sabbath-keeping in the face of decided opposition, when its friends were few, was very great.LIFIN 279.3

    Thousands became convinced that apostolic example was in harmony with the fourth precept of the decalogue; but the numbers who had the moral courage to act up to their convictions, were found to be comparatively few. And no sooner was a by-path opened around this cross by way of no-Sabbath, than multitudes eagerly pressed into it. Some of those who taught the Sabbath abolished labored to obliterate all distinction between typical institutions and moral principles, and to show that everything in the form of law recorded in the Old Testament was abolished. Others could not go so far, but took the position that the seventh-day Sabbath was of the same nature as the feast days of the typical system, and expired with them. These could not see any reason why the precepts of the decalogue, excepting the fourth, should be abolished. In their nature they are adapted to man, throughout all dispensations of his fallen condition. They exactly meet his wants. He cannot dispense with them. Why, then, should the crucifixion of the Saviour of sinners do them away? These could see how typical institutions, pointing to the death of Christ, could cease at the cross, but could not understand how moral precepts, applicable to the entire period of man’s fallen state, could be effected by the death of the Son of God.LIFIN 280.1

    The mistaken view that the Sabbath was typical, had long been held by the churches; hence this class could more easily receive the idea that when Paul says, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come,” Colossians 2:16, 17, he includes the Sabbath of the Lord. The apostle here speaks of sabbath days, or sabbaths. Leviticus 23, shows seven Jewish sabbaths, to be celebrated at their appointed times, “besides the Sabbaths of the Lord.” See verses 37 and 38. Here the distinction between the two kinds of sabbaths is seen. Paul refers to those which are classed with meat, drink, new moon, etc., and not to the Sabbath which the Lawgiver has wisely associated with nine moral precepts. The “Sabbath Manual,” by Justin Edwards, speaks with clearness and ability upon this point, and also in reference to the days spoken of in Romans 14:LIFIN 280.2

    “Under the Jewish dispensation were incorporated two kinds of laws. One was founded on obligations growing out of the nature of men, and their relations to God and one another; obligations binding before they were written, and which will continue to be binding upon all who shall know them, to the end of time. Such are the laws which were written by the finger of God on the tables of stone, and are called moral laws.LIFIN 281.1

    “The other kind, called ceremonial laws, related to various outward observances, which were not obligatory till they were commanded, and then were binding only on the Jews till the death of Christ.LIFIN 281.2

    “There were also two kinds of Sabbaths, or days of rest. One was a day of weekly rest; and the command to keep it holy was placed by the Lawgiver in the midst of the moral laws. It was called, by way of eminence, ‘The Sabbath.’ The command to keep the other sabbaths was placed by the Lawgiver among the ceremonial laws, because it was like them, as the command to keep the weekly Sabbath was like the laws with which it was associated. One class were fundamental, permanent, universal, moral laws; the other class were local, temporary, ceremonial laws. One had their origin in the nature and relations of man; the other in the peculiar circumstances in which, for a time, a peculiar people were placed. One would be binding in all ages, upon all who should know them; and the other would be binding only upon the Jews till the death of the Messiah.LIFIN 281.3

    “The Jews, at the coming of Christ, being in a state of great spiritual darkness and grievous apostasy from God, did not well understand the nature and objects of their laws. Often they overlooked the spirit, and were superstitiously devoted to the forms. Some, after they embraced the gospel, thought that the ceremonial as well as the moral laws were binding; others, more enlightened, thought that they were not. This led to contentions among them. Paul, in the fourteenth chapter of Romans, presented such considerations as were adapted to lead them, in this matter, to a right decision.LIFIN 282.1

    “‘One man,’ he says, ‘esteemeth one day above another. Another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.’ Both mean to honor God, and he will accept them. But what day does he speak of? ‘The Sabbath’ of the fourth commandment, associated by God inseparably with the moral laws? Read the connection. What is it? Is it, one man believeth he must worship Jehovah; another, who is weak, worshipeth idols? One believeth that he must not commit murder, adultery or theft, and another thinks he may? Were those the laws about which they were contending, and with which were connected the days that he speaks of? No; about those laws there was no dispute.LIFIN 282.2

    “But ‘One believeth that he may eat all things,’ (which are nourishing, whether allowed in the ceremonial law, which regulateth such things, or not); ‘another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not, judge him that eateth, for God hath received him.’ Those were not the laws about which they were contending, and with regard to which the apostle was giving them instruction. It was not the moral, but the ceremonial laws; and the days spoken of were those which were connected, not with the former, but with the latter.LIFIN 282.3

    “So, in the second chapter of Colossians, “Let no man judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths. The sabbaths spoken of are not the Sabbath associated with, Thou shalt not commit murder, or adultery, or theft; but the sabbaths associated with meats and drinks, and new moons, which were indeed shadows of things to come. But to take what he said about those sabbaths which were associated by God with the ceremonial laws, and which the apostle himself, in this very discourse, associates with them, and apply it, as some have done, to ‘The Sabbath’ which God associated with moral laws, is wrong.” pp. 133,136.LIFIN 283.1

    All types point forward to something connected with the work of redemption. They have no other design than this. Hence no type would ever have been introduced had not man fallen and needed a redemption. They all originate, therefore, this side of the fall. But the Sabbath was instituted before the fall, before man needed redemption, and before anything was, or could have been, reasonably given to foreshadow that work. All the types that were ever instituted had no meaning except as they recognized the work of Christ in redemption; but the seventh-day Sabbath was from creation a holy day, and all the facts to which the fourth commandment points would have been just as true as they are now if Christ had never died. While the types, among which were the typical sabbaths of the Jews, recognized man’s guilt, and signified God’s willingness to save, the seventh-day Sabbath would have occupied the same place it now occupies, and ever has occupied, even if man had never sinned. The typical sabbaths were shadows of things to come; the seventh-day Sabbath was and is a memorial of things past. The two classes of sabbaths point in opposite directions, and hence cannot be classed together. The one pointed forward to redemption; the other points back to creation. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” The seventh-day Sabbath therefore is not a type, if reason and revelation may decide this question.LIFIN 283.2

    William Miller’s views respecting the perpetuity of the Sabbath, and its distinction from the sabbaths of the Jews, is also worthy of notice.LIFIN 284.1

    “I say, and I believe I am supported by the Bible, that the moral law was never given to the Jews as a people exclusively, but they were for a season the keepers of it in charge. And through them the law, oracles and testimony have been handed down to us. See Paul’s clear reasoning in Romans 2:3, 4, on that point. Then, says the objector, we are under the same obligation to keep the sabbaths of weeks, months and years that the Jews were. No, sir; you will observe that these were not included in the decalogue.... Only one kind of Sabbaths was given to Adam, and only one remains for us. See Hosea 2:11. ‘I will cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.’ All the Jewish sabbaths did cease, when Christ nailed them to his cross. Colossians 2:14-17. ‘Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.’ These were properly called Jewish sabbaths. Hosea says, ‘her sabbaths.’ But the Sabbath of which we are speaking, God calls ‘my Sabbath.’ Here is clear distinction between the creation Sabbath and the ceremonial. The one is perpetual; the others were merely shadows of good things to come, and are limited in Christ.” - Miller’s Life and Views, pp. 161, 162.LIFIN 284.2

    Here let it be distinctly understood that those who hold that no change has taken place in the law of God, excepting in the fourth precept, have no right whatever to appeal to those texts usually quoted to prove the abolition of the entire code.LIFIN 285.1

    Those who took the extreme position that all ten of the commandments were abolished, relied with great confidence on what the apostle has said respecting the two ministrations. 2 Corinthians 3. These seemed to overlook the fact that a law is one thing, and the ministration of that law quite another thing. Paul is here contrasting two ministrations of the same law. He is contrasting the ministration of the law of God under Moses, (which was a ministration of condemnation and death,) with the ministration of the same law under Christ (which is the ministration of the Spirit). It is the ministration of death that is done away, to give place to the more glorious ministration of God’s law, called the ministration of the Spirit. But we would inquire, Why should all ten of the commandments of God be slain at the cross, even it it were necessary to abolish the fourth? All agree that nine are good, yea, indispensable for the Christian dispensation. Was it an oversight in the Lawgiver in placing the Sabbath in the midst of nine moral precepts? And did he have to slay the whole ten in order to get rid of the Sabbath? But if all ten were abolished at the cross, how is it that nine are still binding? “Why,” says the objector, “nine of them were re-enacted during Christ’s ministry, before the ten were abolished at his death!LIFIN 285.2

    If it be said that the apostles re-enacted nine of the commandments for the gospel after their Lord ascended and the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them, we reply that according to this view there was a space between the abolition of the ten, at the cross, and the re-enactment of the nine; a space when there was no law, consequently no transgression, and men might blaspheme, murder, etc., and not commit sin! But if the objector takes the ground that the nine commandments were re-enacted at the cross at the time when he thinks the ten were abolished, then we shall understand him that Heaven aimed a blow that killed all ten of the commandments, and that the same blow, at the same moment, brought nine of them to life again! And all this to get rid of the Sabbath which Christ says was made for man.LIFIN 286.1

    By many it was assumed, 1. That Christ was the Christian’s lawgiver, and 2. That he has given in person and by his inspired apostles, a complete code of laws for the present dispensation. It was then asserted that as the law of the Sabbath was not repeated in the New Testament, the seventh-day Sabbath is not binding upon Christians. Deuteronomy 18:15-18, was offered as proof that Christ was our lawgiver, but it may be seen that the text teaches the reverse. “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.... And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”LIFIN 286.2

    Peter, speaking of Christ, says: “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” Acts 3:22.LIFIN 287.1

    Christ, as a prophet, or teacher, was like Moses. We now inquire, Did Moses legislate? Did he make laws for the people? He did not. Moses received words from the mouth of God and spake them to the people. There is no record that he ever assumed the position of an independent lawgiver; while the inspired word furnishes facts quite the reverse. In the case of the man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath, (Numbers 15:32-36,) Moses did not presume to decide his case, but left that for the great Lawgiver. “And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done unto him. And the Lord said unto Moses, the man shall be surely put to death.” See also Numbers 27:5-7; Leviticus 24:11-14.LIFIN 287.2

    That Christ, as a prophet, or teacher, was like Moses, we have the united testimony of Moses, (Deuteronomy 18:15,) the Lord, (verse 18,) and Peter, (Acts 3:22,) therefore he was not an independent lawgiver. Says the eternal Father, when speaking of his Son, “He shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” Jesus testifies of himself on this subject, and his testimony agrees with that of his Father. Mark well the following declarations of the Son of God:LIFIN 288.1

    “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” Chap. 7:16.LIFIN 288.2

    “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” Chap. 12:49, 50.LIFIN 288.3

    “He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” Chap. 14:24.LIFIN 288.4

    By these testimonies from the Father and Son, we learn that it was not the work of our Lord Jesus Christ to legislate; but he received the doctrines which he taught, from the mouth of the Father, and spake them to the people. In this respect, as a prophet, or teacher, he was like Moses. In both cases the Father is the lawgiver.LIFIN 288.5

    The transfiguration is referred to as proof that Christ is the lawgiver in the gospel age. It is said that the presence of both Moses and Christ, (the teachers of both dispensations,) and Moses’ being placed upon the background by the voice from Heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear him,” shows that Christ is the lawgiver of the present age, and that his teachings take the place of the law of God. But a very important personage is overlooked by those who take this position. It is the Father. He also appears at the mount of transfiguration. His voice is heard as the highest authority - “This is my beloved Son, hear him.” However much the glory of Christ excelled that of Moses, it did not eclipse the glory of the Author of the ten commandments. The great God spoke the ten precepts of his holy law in the hearing of all the people. He did not leave them with Moses to write and deliver to the people. Neither was it the work of the Son of God to deliver them, or any portion of them, the second time for the men of the present dispensation. Under circumstances of awful grandeur, the great Lawgiver spoke the ten commandments directly to the people, and wrote them in the tables of stone. Christ quotes several of them at different times to enforce the doctrines he taught. He treats them as the law of his Father, and affirms their immutability.LIFIN 288.6

    If it be said that the apostles in their writings have given a code of laws for the gospel age, we reply, that this view makes twelve lawgivers, whereas James says, “There is one lawgiver.”LIFIN 289.1

    See the commission to the eleven: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19, 20. Christ taught the apostles what he had received of the Father, and this they were to teach men to observe. Notice also the work of the Holy Spirit, and from whom it proceeds. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” Verse 16. The Holy Spirit came from the Father, and one object for which it was sent, was to call to the disciples’ memory the words of divine truth which the Son had received of the Father, and had spoken to them.LIFIN 289.2

    It is God, the great Lawgiver, that speaks to his people in both dispensations: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” Hebrews 1:1, 2.LIFIN 290.1

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