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Review of a Series of Discourses ... on the Sabbath Question

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    REVIEW

    Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your traditions? is a question asked by our Saviour, and which applies with peculiar force to those who oppose the Sabbath of the Lord. Tradition in its thousand forms, envelops the theological world as the smoke of Sodom did the plain of Jordan. Unpopular only by its name, man blindly clings to it, as a refuge from the reproofs of conscience and the dictates of God’s word. Its position has ever been the same-opposed to the commandments of God; hence its origin is apparent-it comes from the enemy of righteousness. The Scriptures represent him as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He opposed the truth of God by introducing a falsehood in Paradise; (Genesis 3:3-5;) he endeavored to destroy the upright man of the land of Uz without cause; (Job 1:8; 2:3;) he accuses the saints day and night, and moves his agents to make war on them that keep the Commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ; (Revelation 12:10, 17.)SDSQ 3.1

    The times in which we live are perilous indeed; for the mass of those who have the form of godliness deny the power thereof, and are lovers of pleasures, yes, and of their own selves, more than lovers of God; (2 Timothy 3:1-5.) Pride, the first sin of Satan, (Ezekiel 28:14-17,) and his chosen means of carrying on his last great deception, (1 Timothy 4:1,) sits like an incubus upon the churches of this day, whereby they are led to follow the fashions of the world, to substitute grandeur and display for spiritual worship, and to erect temples as gorgeous as those of paganism, wherein too often worship is offered as destitute of the Spirit of God as is the service in the temples of heathen lands. At altars consecrated to the service of God, the proud are called happy, and the rich are honored, while the poor, the meek, and the lowly are thrust out, unable to support such costly systems of worship, and meet the cash demands of modern ways of salvation. Teachers are in every place heaped together to preach smooth things, who turn from the truth unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3, 4; Isaiah 30:8-11.) The broad road is crowded with those who profess to know God, while the narrow way is yet an unfrequented track. And why unfrequented? It is unpopular! pride cannot enter there! but cross-bearing and self-denial mark the steps of its travelers. With the many the love of the world and a strong desire to treasure up unrighteous mammon have taken the place of the love of the Father; (Matthew 6:24; 1 John 2:15;) and while the world feels safe because it is so nearly in the track of them that profess to be the light of the world, (as they should be, Matthew 5:14-16,) both the popular church and the world are in moral darkness, each by the other blinded, and eventually must both alike fall into the ditch; (Matthew 15:14.) In such a time as this it is not matter of surprise that the righteous (as was Elijah) are accused of being troublers of Israel; (1 Kings 18:17, 18;) and as the spirit of persecution is engendered by blind guides and slothful shepherds that feed themselves and care not for the wants of the flock, we know that God looks upon these things, and has spoken of them by the prophets; (2 Timothy 3:12; Ezekiel 34:7-10;) and that soon he will cause their dispersions to cease, and smite the shepherds with the principal of the flock; (Jeremiah 25:34-37.)SDSQ 3.2

    Never were these scriptures more forcibly impressed upon our minds than while listening to a series of discourses by one who professes to be a watchman in Israel, who “strengthened the hands of the wicked that he should not turn from his wickedness, by promising him life,” while transgressing the commandment of God. (Ezekiel 13:22.)SDSQ 5.1

    The subject of this review is a series of five discourses delivered in the Methodist House in Battle Creek, on the evenings of March 31st to April 4th, 1857, by N. Fillio, of the Baptist denomination. His text was Colossians 2:16, 17, which will be examined in its place.SDSQ 5.2

    His opening remarks were on the nature of law, showing the difference between moral and positive law. On this point he endorsed the views advanced by the generality of theological writers. His expressions were: “Moral law is holy, just, and good-unchangeable and perpetual as the eternal throne. It exists in the fitness of things. What it claimed of our first parents it claims of us and will claim of all in all ages. It cannot be altered nor suspended.Positive law is neither good nor bad in itself; its virtue is in the enactment-it is a special enactment,and may be amended, abolished, suspended, or annulled. When its purpose is accomplished it ceases tobe binding.”SDSQ 5.3

    Thus far we find no reason to dissent; but from this point we must disagree, as his conclusions are not based on these facts, but are at variance with the Scriptures. That all may see without difficulty what the positions are that are being reviewed we shall put his remarks in smaller type, and prefix his initial, F.,to them.SDSQ 6.1

    F. “Positive law forbade the eating of the tree of knowledge, and enjoined sprinkling of blood on the doorposts.”SDSQ 6.2

    The sprinkling of the blood was typical, and the law enjoining it was limited and local; and from these facts known respecting it we readily and justly conclude that it was positive; (see 1 Corinthians 5:7.) But in regard to the prohibition of the tree of knowledge we have not the like facts recorded. Of the nature of the tree we can know nothing, save by the very brief declarations in Genesis. But of its effects we can speak more understandingly, as we see the fruit of that action in the depraved dying nature conferred on the entire race by that transgression. We further know that the consequences of the transgression of certain moral laws descend to the posterity of the transgressor, but not so of positive laws. Positive law is founded on the transgression of moral law, and is constituted the means of averting the penalty of the violation of moral law. But positive law has no penalty. Hence, the evil accruing to the posterity of the sinner is solely the result of the violation of moral law. This position is confirmed by a reference to the Scriptures. The positive enactments of the past dispensation are denominated shadows. Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5; 10:1. They are efficacious only as they are founded on the transgression of moral law; for in them is a remembrance of sin. Hebrews 10:3. And they are significant only as they point to” the seed of the woman” in bruising the serpent's head, or the great work of human redemption; for the body is of Christ. Colossians 2:17. From this we remark, (1.) The consequences of eating the forbidden tree extend to the whole human family, and no transgression preceded it. (2.) The violation of the first and eighth commandments are involved in the act. (3.) Another duty, (dressing the garden,)is incorporated in the decalogue which contains a command to work; and slothfulness is assuredly a moral evil. Every consideration shows that principles of morality were involved in the paradisiacal laws.These remarks are necessary to remove the fog that is so often raised by the opponents of God's law when they examine the early history of our race.SDSQ 6.3

    F. “My first position is that the seventh-day Sabbath is a positive institution.”SDSQ 7.1

    Let this be borne in mind. We shall watch the argument closely to see if it is sustained by proof.SDSQ 7.2

    F. There is no light from nature-nothing in the fitness of things showing duty to observe seventh day orany other.’’SDSQ 7.3

    We are not entirely dependent on nature for a knowledge of our whole duty. Those who reject revelation, or deny the Bible, often turn away from the Sabbath and from many other plain duties. In this manner of reasoning the lecturer, though professedly a teacher of the Bible, lays a foundation for infidelity. Who shall judge what is fitting and right without consulting revelation? If it can be done we have no need of revelation, and the Bible is thus made a useless instrument. Let lovers of the Bible note this position. “To the law and to the testimony,” is our watchword.SDSQ 8.1

    F. “It signifies rest and nothing more.”SDSQ 8.2

    Sabbath signifies rest, but the seventh day Sabbath signifies something more than rest. Do not the words “the seventh day” convey some idea more than the simple term rest? They do. And God has attached more than that to the institution. God wrought-he rested-he sanctified-he commanded. These several facts are all urged in the teachings of the Bible on this subject. An observance of the Sabbath, keeping holy the day of God’s rest, (see Isaiah 58:13,) was and is obligatory on all, even though circumstances, such as sickness, etc. rendered it impossible for them to labor the other days. Thus the declaration of Mr. F. is fully disproved.SDSQ 8.3

    F. “Genesis 1:14-19. Lights were made for signs and seasons, but they did not mark the return of the seventh day; if they did they could not make its observance obligatory.”SDSQ 8.4

    True they could not; neither could they make any principle of right obligatory, but the Law of God could. An examination of Psalm 19, might have helped Mr. Fillio here. Verse 1 reads: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” This all will acknowledge, but this is not sufficient to meet the wants of man. The 7th verse says; “The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Converting is changing or turning from one thing to another; and if we are ever turned from wrong to right, it will not be by merely observing nature, but by studying the Law of God. Nature may inspire with feelings of devotion, but the law shows how acceptable worship may be rendered. Had Mr. Fillio been led by the light of this scripture he would have pursued a course far more wise and consistent than that taken in these lectures.SDSQ 8.5

    F. “Time does not posses a moral quality.”SDSQ 9.1

    This declaration may be considered evasive, better calculated to cover up than to bring out the truth. Moral is more properly used in reference to agents, as in the formation of character. Now we do not claim that the Sabbath is a free agent, and would not claim for it precisely what we would claim for free agents, but we do claim sanctity for it, by the will and power of God. The idea of the holiness of the Sabbath is plainly expressed in the Scriptures. Let us consider a few questions. Is it possible for God to impart a quality of holiness to time? The answer must be in the affirmative; certainly we cannot limit his power in any such respect. Second. Should he constitute it holy, could he express that fact in terms that we could understand? He surely could; for every one confesses to a knowledge of the idea who denies the fact. Third. If he could do it, and could reveal it, could language stronger and more definite be used than that used in reference to the sanctity of the seventh day? “And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” Genesis 2:3. “The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day.” Isaiah 58:13.SDSQ 9.2

    F. “We have no means of knowing that any portion of time is better adapted to any purpose than another.”SDSQ 10.1

    Let him ask his neighbors if the fourth of July is better adapted to commemorate the Independence of this nation than any other. He would not easily persuade them to adopt another in its stead. And we would ask Mr. Fillio if he believes what he said, viz., that the first day of the week commemorates the resurrection of the Saviour? and would not any other day commemorate that event just as well? One of two things is certain, if the declaration here quoted is true, then there can be no propriety, as he claimed in observing the first day for any such purpose. But if there be any propriety in observing the first day, then this declaration is not true. But the Bible settles the point by giving us the Sabbath that we may retain the knowledge of the Creator. Exodus 20:8-11; 31:17; Ezekiel 20:12, 19, 20. Let all read these scriptures, and then judge if all nations would not have “retained God in their knowledge,” if they had kept the Sabbath. See Romans 1.SDSQ 10.2

    F. “We need rest, but the seventh day does not meet man’s wants. Man must rest when he needs it.”SDSQ 10.3

    Man must keep the Sabbath holy whether he needs rest or not. It is not only to meet his physical wants, but it is to be a “delight,” because it is “the holy of the Lord, and honorable.” Isaiah 58:13. His physical wants would be met by a rest that was not holy or sanctified, and upon which no special honor was placed.SDSQ 11.1

    F. “Proof is wanted that the church secures blessings by observing the seventh day. These are secured by walking; in the truth.”SDSQ 11.2

    Answered in Psalm 119:142. “Thy law is the truth.”SDSQ 11.3

    F. “Blessings would be secured as well by observing any other day.”SDSQ 11.4

    Yes, if God had sanctified and commanded the observance of another day, and thus placed us in the same relation to it. But here is the great difficulty; some “other day” will do as well. All agree to keep a day, but they seem averse to having God choose for them. Many are the pretexts for sliding on to another day. The celebrated Dr. Justin Edwards gives the following: “The primary and essential idea in the numbers “six” and “seven,” as used in the command, is that of proportion.... Men who call their first working day the second day of the week, and who, on the seventh day from that keep the Christian Sabbath, do as really comply with the spirit and letter of the fourth commandment.” etc. As many seem to rely on this position, I here take occasion to notice it.SDSQ 11.5

    The fallacy of this is easily seen, (1.) The word “seven” is not used in the commandment, but “seventh” which is ordinal, and does not convey the idea of proportion. His theory, the seventh part of time, would introduce confusion, should the days vary in length, as was the case in the days of Joshua. But when an ordinal number is used the reckoning is not disturbed by one day’s being protracted to twice the length of the others. It is “the seventh,” without regard to length or proportion. (2.) The scripture says that “God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions;” [Ecclesiastes 7:29;] but this invention of “turning things upside down,” calling the second the first, and the first the seventh, thus robbing God of his own and rendering as a substitute that which he has never required, while yet professing to obey his requirements, is about as ingenious as it would be to call Baal by the name of Jehovah and worship him according to the first commandment. (3.) It is hard to conceive how the first day can be kept according to the letter of a commandment which says the seventh day.SDSQ 11.6

    F. “It is claimed that the Sabbath “was made for man, to meet his necessities. Adam did not need rest. He could not be weary. “Weariness or fatigue is a proper result of transgression.”SDSQ 12.1

    The duty to rest, as laid down in the commandment, is based on the well-known fact that “God rested;” and to show the fallacy of the above declaration, it is only necessary to say that God’s resting was not the result of weariness or sin. He says: “it is claimed that the Sabbath was made for man;” and mark! the Saviour makes the claim; for these are his words, and we are willing to let candid, reasoning people judge whether that which was “made for man,” before the fall, was necessary or unnecessary. When people array themselves against the truth they expose their weakness by the inconsistent positions they take. He endeavors to show that,SDSQ 12.2

    1. The Sabbath was Jewish, and made for the Jews alone.SDSQ 13.1

    2. It did not meet man’s necessities; for Adam did not need rest! and, weariness is a consequence of sin.SDSQ 13.2

    That is to say, if those for whom the Sabbath was made were sinners and did need rest, it would have met their necessities. But the Jews, for whom he says it was made, were sinners and liable to fatigue; hence we might conclude it was founded on their necessities. Would it be unreasonable to suggest that it might likewise have met the wants of other nations similarly situated?SDSQ 13.3

    Mr. Fillio summed up this part of the argument by asserting that it amounts to a demonstration that the Sabbath was a positive institution. His next effort was to find a positive enactment to suit the institution. He proceeds:SDSQ 13.4

    F. “The history of the world for 2513 years says not a word for the Sabbath. Not a word about Sabbath-breaking when the world was filled with crime; hence, there was no such law.”SDSQ 13.5

    Of all deception, that is most unfair and dangerous which conceals and covers up the truth. Where a direct untruth is uttered there is comparative safety; as the mind will most readily detect it; but when a person professes to tell the truth, and covers it up in part, the error is not so readily detected. This may be set down as the stronghold of the enemy of truth. In the above declaration there is an appearance of truth, because the Sabbath is not mentioned in a certain place; but the deception is at once exposed by examining the scripture, and seeing what sins were, and what were not mentioned. The time referred to when the world was filled with crime was in the days of Noah. The Bible record is as follows:SDSQ 13.6

    “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The earth also was corrupt before God; and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt: for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them: and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” Genesis 6:5, 11-13.SDSQ 14.1

    What this “wickedness” consisted of we are not told; neither are we told what their evil thoughts tended to. Perhaps to blasphemy, perhaps to Sabbath breaking, perhaps to adultery; and most likely to all together. Violence may be traced to a violation of the sixth commandment, but there is no probability that the world was filled with murder, and no other crime. But notice how he draws his conclusion. He says, There was no mention of Sabbath-breaking charged on antediluvians; hence there was no such law. He might have gone further and said, No mention of blasphemy was made at that time, (nor in any other place in Genesis,) hence there was no law forbidding it. No mention of theft, idolatry, dishonoring parents, etc.; hence, there were no such laws as the second, third, fifth, sixth, or eighth commandments. This argument was designed to show that the fourth commandment is not a rule of morality, but we see that it would prove the same in regard to the other commandments. And we shall see as we proceed, that every position taken against the Sabbath applies with equal force against the whole decalogue.SDSQ 14.2

    F. “Exodus 16:5-3. Here the law of the Sabbath is first revealed, or enjoined on man. Here we find positive law, and that only. Exodus 20:8-11. Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy, that is, according to the former enactment.”SDSQ 15.1

    Let these remarks be noticed in connection. According to this we find a positive enactment in chap, 16, and a reference to it as to “a former enactment” in chap. 20. But in what he claims to be the enactment there is no reason given why the seventh day was chosen; no facts on which the institution is based; it does not bear the form of an enactment, and all the circumstances show that the Sabbath was referred to as an existing institution. In chap, 20, there is an enactment, but it has no reference to anything in chap, 16; no mention of the manna, nor of any of the circumstances connected with its being given. But facts and reasons are there given for the observance of the Sabbath, every one dating back to creation. If any reference is made in chap, 20, to a former enactment, it must be to an enactment at creation, for it refers to that only.SDSQ 15.2

    F. “Exodus 31:13-18. The Sabbath was peculiarly Jewish; it was a sign between God and the children of Israel.”SDSQ 15.3

    What Sabbath was Jewish? The seventh-day Sabbath, says Mr. F. What is it called in the Scriptures? The Sabbath of the Lord God. What other name does it have in the Bible? None. Why was it constituted a sign? The reason is given in Exodus 31:17. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever, FOR in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” This makes it peculiarly Jewish! Reader, compare this scripture with its parallels in Ezekiel 20:12, 19, 20, and with Exodus 20:8-11, and Genesis 2:1-3, and candor must compel you to admit that he who calls it Jewish does violence to scripture and to reason.SDSQ 16.1

    F. “Genesis 2:2, 3. There is nothing in this passage that partakes of the nature of law-nothing to explain relative action, neither moral nor positive. No command to do, or not to do. A simple history of what God done, [did?] He rested: if any reference to law it must be by anticipation; and such construction is forced.”SDSQ 16.2

    We copy all this, not because there is any appearance of argument in it, but to show with what dexterity a man can change his position when the light is like to shine in his face. To maintain the position which he has attempted to prove, something more is required of him than to assert that no law is found in Genesis 2:2, 3. Are not the facts presented there upon which the law is based? Is there anything Jewish there? Why did he not try to show that no reference is made to the institution in Genesis 2? Would it not be singular if, after all this effort, it should yet be made to appear that the Jewish Sabbath was instituted in Paradise? “Nothing to explain relative action” there. But “relative action” is presented in Exodus 20:8-11. Why should man work just six days? Because God made all things in six days. Why should man rest the seventh day? Because God rested the seventh day, nearly 2500 years before the distinction of Jews and Gentiles was known. How plain these scripture facts are. Why will man blindly cling to tradition when the truth is so clear? Jewish Sabbath, indeed! O that men would believe God’s word, and cease to “reason with unprofitable talk.” Job 15:3.SDSQ 16.3

    He next endeavored to show that it would have been improper to give a Sabbath law to Adam. Listen to the reason:SDSQ 17.1

    F. “It is an impeachment of divine wisdom to suppose that God would give two tests of obedience to effect the same purpose; it is charging God with folly-it is impious.”SDSQ 17.2

    A test of obedience is a precept, or a law; and it may be expressed either in a positive or negative form, i. e., as a command or prohibition. The fifth commandment is positive, the sixth negative or prohibitory. Behold the position of Mr. F. God prohibited the eating of the fruit of a certain tree, therefore he could not consistently command to keep the Sabbath! If it is impious in us to assert oar belief that God gave two precepts to Adam, of what gross impiety was Moses guilty, for he said that God gave to Israel ten at once! It needs not the wisdom of Solomon to see that “all is vanity” in such arguments as these.SDSQ 17.3

    F. “The law of the seventh-day Sabbath was a prominent part of the law of Moses, and partook of the same ceremonial nature. Its classification with other ceremonies proves it.”SDSQ 17.4

    In proof of this he read Exodus 23:12-20; Leviticus 23; Ezekiel 46:1-7; Hosea 2:11; Matthew 12:1-9. But on this point he was at fault in every respect, for (1.) he declared in another place that the fact that the fourth commandment was graven with moral precepts on stone did not prove its morality. Thus he contradicted his argument by denying the evidence of classification. And (2.) the scriptures quoted do not prove what they were quoted to prove, but the opposite.SDSQ 18.1

    In Exodus 23 there are certain ceremonies mentioned which were peculiar to that dispensation, such as keeping the feasts of unleavened bread, of harvest, etc. in verses 14-19; and the Sabbath is mentioned in verse 12; hence he says it is ceremonial, Jewish, and positive, because written in the same chapter with ceremonies. That is to say, that because some things written in this chapter are ceremonial, all are. Read the following: “Thou shalt not raise a false report.” Verse 1. “Keep thee far from a false matter, and the innocent and righteous slay thou not.” Verse 7. “Six days shalt thou do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest.” Verse 12. “Make no mention of the name of other gods.” Verse 13. “Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them.” Verse 24. “Let the candid judge” of that matter.SDSQ 18.2

    Next is Leviticus 23. In this chapter several yearly sabbaths, and one weekly Sabbath, are mentioned. The weekly Sabbath is the seventh day. The yearly sabbaths are the fourteenth day of the first month, the twenty-first of the same, the first, tenth, and fifteenth days of the seventh month, etc. These yearly sabbaths are also called feasts, and to be observed as specified, “every thing upon his day; besides the Sabbaths of the Lord.” Verses 27, 28. Here the distinction is as plain as language could possibly make it. The seventh day or weekly Sabbath was the Lord’s.SDSQ 18.3

    Ezekiel 46. This scripture makes a distinction between the Sabbath and “the six working days.” Whatever view is taken of this part of the prophecy, it is very hard to see wherein it favors the assertion, of Mr. F. That offerings were made on the Sabbath, is well known, but this fact does not sustain his cause or favor it in the least. This will be clearly seen when we come to examine his position on “after enactments.”SDSQ 19.1

    Hosea 2:11. In this prophecy the Lord said he would “cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.” Chap 1:4. Then in the text he says, “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.” In Leviticus 23:27-32, direction is given to Israel how to celebrate the sabbath of the tenth. day of the seventh month, and there the Lord says, “your sabbath.” In Hosea 2:11, he predicts the cessation of all their Sabbaths; but this will avail the opponents of the Lord’s Sabbath nothing at all, unless they can show at least one passage of scripture where the seventh-day Sabbath is called by another name than “the Sabbath of the Lord God.” This text [Hosea 2] is a stronghold for the lovers of God’s holy Sabbath, as it clearly recognizes the distinction that we claim. As Matthew 12 is presented in a more pointed manner in another place, we waive an examination of it for the present. The next point is second to the one just examined, and intended to prove the same thing, as follows:SDSQ 19.2

    F. “Again, its penalty was the same as for transgressing other positive laws.”SDSQ 20.1

    This has been so often asserted, and so often shown to avail nothing in their behalf, that it truly seems as if any lecturer presumed on the ignorance of his audience in reiterating it. It is well known that the Sabbath-breaker was stoned, or put to death. Look at the following scriptures on the subject.SDSQ 20.2

    Exodus 21:12. “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.”SDSQ 20.3

    Verse 15. “And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.”SDSQ 20.4

    Leviticus 24:10-23. Here is the first case of stoning to death recorded; but, alas, for Mr. Fillio’s position, it was for blasphemy! In this scripture the Lord says that blasphemy and murder shall be punished with death. See 1 Kings 21:10-13.SDSQ 20.5

    Numbers 15:32-36. This was the next instance of stoning, and it was for Sabbath-breaking. The punishment was the same as for murder and blasphemy.SDSQ 20.6

    Chap 35:30, 31. “Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death.... Moreover, ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death; but he shall be surely put to death.”SDSQ 20.7

    Deuteronomy 13:6-11. Those who tempted to idolatry. saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” were not to be pitied nor spared in Israel, but the Lord said, “Thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die.”SDSQ 20.8

    Chap 17:2-5. Here again idolaters were to be punished in the same manner. The Lord said they should “stone them with stones, till they die.”SDSQ 21.1

    Chap 22:18-21. This refers to the fifth commandment. If one was found who would not obey or hearken to his parents, the Lord said, “All the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die.”SDSQ 21.2

    Joshua 7:10-25. The people stoned Achan, as the Lord commanded, because he had coveted, stolen, and dissembled.SDSQ 21.3

    Here we have quoted nine scriptures showing some of the crimes to which this penalty was attached, and we find it was for murder, smiting of parents, blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking, idolatry, disobedience to parents, covetousness and theft. We know not what motive could induce a public lecturer on such an important subject, to make such reckless statements. May the Lord open the eyes of those who have been blinded and misled.SDSQ 21.4

    F. “There is a disparity between this and moral laws. There is a moral fitness in the sixth commandment. That was as unchangeable and eternal as the throne of Jehovah; and so of all parts of the Decalogue except the Sabbath. We find no trace of it till Israel left Egypt. We then have its origin, penalty, history, and cessation.”SDSQ 21.5

    To the first of the above declarations we say, That disparity has not been, and cannot be shown. Second. The strongest and most plausible arguments put forth in all these lectures will be shown to apply with especial force against the sixth commandment! Third. No process of reasoning can be instituted which will show that nine precepts of the decalogue are unchangeable, and make the fourth commandment an exception. Every just law must be based upon facts or reasons. If there are any truths of an eternal and unchangeable nature, those upon which the fourth commandment is based certainly are so. God made the world. True, even to this day. God rested the seventh day. True, still. He sanctified it. All eternal truths. “How readest thou,” Mr. Fillio? Do you find the opposite of this in God’s word? Fourth. If he means that we find no Sabbath commandment recorded till Israel left Egypt, we reply, that it is not alone in this respect; the others were not written before that time. So his argument fails by proving more than he would allow, if it proves any thing at all. But if he means that we find no trace of the institution till Israel left Egypt, his argument then fails in two respects. (1.) It would still be on a level with other commandments of the Decalogue, if his assertion was true; for the third, fifth, ninth, and tenth, are not mentioned till after Israel left Egypt. But the assertion would not be true, as it stands contradicted by the scriptures, which trace the institution to creation. Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:11; 31:17. Thus the truth, like the “flaming sword, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life,” meets him in every direction. And fifth, it is not true that we find its origin after Israel left Egypt. Its penalty has been shown to be the same as that of all moral precepts. Its history is found in all the history of God’s people, where we have any inspired record, from the writings of Moses to those of Luke the evangelist. Its cessation we shall look for in Mr. Fillio’s argument.SDSQ 21.6

    F. “We have examined the Decalogue and found a plain and vast distinction between the fourth commandment and the other commandments. That was a shadow of things to come-a teacher to bring to Christ, and is now abolished.”SDSQ 23.1

    He elsewhere denied that there was any distinction between the seventh day Sabbath, and the Jewish festival Sabbaths. But that distinction has been plainly shown. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” Here he asserts that there is a vast distinction between the fourth commandment and the other commandments in the Decalogue. But every attempt to prove that assertion has proved a failure. “A shadow of things to come,” has reference to Colossians 2:17. The question now before us is this. Was the seventh day Sabbath a shadow of anything to come of which the body was of Christ? or, in other words, Is there anything in the plan of redemption typified by the seventh-day Sabbath? A consideration of two plain facts will settle this point:SDSQ 23.2

    1. The Sabbath was made and sanctified before the fall of Adam.SDSQ 23.3

    2. The fourth commandment points the mind back to creation, not forward to redemption. God never commanded any body to keep the Sabbath because they were sinners, or because Christ was to die to save them: there is nothing in the whole Bible from which such an idea can be gathered; but because he rested and sanctified the seventh day when he made the world. The yearly or Jewish sabbaths pointed to the work of the Son in redemption; the seventh-day Sabbath points to the work of the Father in creation. This is a very plain point, and it is surprising that the words of the Apostle should be so continually misconstrued and perverted.SDSQ 23.4

    F “Galatians 3. Judaizing teachers were bringing them back to the observance of the Jewish ritual. Here are the people that was not a people-the Gentiles. Hosea 2,SDSQ 24.1

    Did we not know that error blinds its votaries, we should be truly astonished at the above declaration. Judaizing teachers were persuading the Gentile Galatians to return or come back to the observance of the Jewish ritual! Had they ever observed it? Of course not. Then why did the lecturer use this scripture in such a manner? He was evidently determined to make some capital out of Paul’s writings to the disadvantage of Sabbath-keepers, and behold the result! Other passages were quoted to about the same effect, as we shall see.SDSQ 24.2

    F. “Galatians 3:12. The man that doeth them shall live in them, that is, by perfect implicit obedience,”SDSQ 24.3

    This little comment is important, it being an acknowledgement that the Apostle was writing of a law that would ensure life to the doer, (see Romans 2:13,) or him who rendered perfect implicit obedience. But this could not refer to the ceremonies of the Levitical law; for “in them is a remembrance of sin,” (Hebrews 10:3,) or an acknowledgment that “perfect implicit obedience” had not been rendered to the moral law. Therefore none but the moral law could be referred to here.SDSQ 24.4

    F. “Verse 25. If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law; yet we are told that the law will save the soul. The law is not our sanctifier, nor justifier but schoolmaster.”SDSQ 25.1

    But the law spoken of in this chapter would have given life if “perfect implicit obedience” had been rendered. But an imperfect law could not give life even to the obedient, as it would not contain the principles of justification. Strike out the fourth commandment from the Decalogue, and we have nine left which Mr. Fillio said were as perpetual as the eternal throne. Would they give life to the transgressor? No; they would condemn him. Then we see it is no argument against a law that it will not justify sin. But he says we are told that the law will save. We have looked all around to see to whom this would apply, and conclude that, as he was inveighing against Sabbath-keepers for observing the ten commandments, he meant to convey the idea that this was our faith and teaching. But we pronounce the insinuation false, and affirm that there was nothing before his mind to justify such a declaration. That he referred to us we consider evident from the manner and connection in which the statement was made. And if he knew anything about our views he knew the statement was not true; but if he did not know what we believe, he surely knew better than to state that to be a fact of which he was ignorant. Those who know our faith know that we endeavor to “keep the Commandments of God, and the Faith of Jesus,” just as we find them in the Bible; (please read Revelation 14:12; 12:17; Romans 3:31.) The law was only a schoolmaster. Well, whatever others may think of it, I accept it as such, and rejoice that it taught me my sinful condition, (for “by the law is the knowledge of sin,” Romans 3:20,) and so convinced me of my need of a Saviour. And it teaches me also that there is a great God who created heaven and earth, and then rested and sanctified the seventh day; which some seem anxious to forget; and others have fully forgotten, therefore they worship what their own hands have made, instead of worshiping him who made all things.SDSQ 25.2

    He then paraphrased Galatians 4:9, as follows:SDSQ 26.1

    F. “What pernicious influence is working to bring you again under the Jewish ritual?”SDSQ 26.2

    To prove that the laws given to the Jews were not designed for the Gentiles, Mr. Fillio read Psalm 147:19, 20: “He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord.” This he referred to the Jewish ritual, for the moral law he said bound all alike, and then in the face of this exposition tried to prove that they who kept the same law, “knew not God,” and “did service unto them which by nature are no gods;” for this is what Paul said of the Galatians in the verse preceding the one paraphrased above. Now if the Jewish ritual was what those Gentiles were turning back to, then Paul’s words prove that the Jewish ritual was instituted by “them which by nature are no gods.” Had we not heard these things for ourselves, we could scarcely have believed that an individual could be found professing to be a teacher of the word of God who was yet so utterly ignorant of its meaning. Yet it is to be feared there are many such “blind guides” who take away the key of knowledge, and make void the commandment of God through their traditions.SDSQ 26.3

    F. “The sum total of the law of Horeb is abolished.”SDSQ 27.1

    To this especial attention is called as Mr. Fillio has publicly denied making such a statement. But in that he labors to a great disadvantage, for respectable citizens of Battle Creek can be produced who will testify that they heard him make it. But the best way is to convict him out of his own mouth; and we will now show that his argument on the New Testament tended to that point. He read Ephesians 2, to show that “the law” was abolished. In connection he read Hebrews 8, and 2 Corinthians 3, to show what law was abolished. In his remarks on Hebrews 8:6-10, he made the covenant and the laws identical. (The covenant here signifies an agreement: the laws signify the terms or condition of agreement. See Exodus 19, 20.) He stated that the law written in the heart was presented “in contradistinction from the one written on stone.” The scripture does not present a contradistinction of laws, but of places and things whereon to write them. The same laws that were written on stone in the old covenant, are written in the heart in the new covenant. Contradistinction is defined by Webster, “Distinction by opposite qualities.” Therefore, according to Mr. Fillio the law written on the heart is of opposite qualities to that written on stone. But what has become of that law that was written on stone? Did it pass away with the old covenant? It cannot be that it is written on the heart with the other law, for they are of opposite qualities; and as a man cannot develop two opposite characters at the same time, nor love and hate the same thing at the same time, so he cannot have two laws of opposite natures written in his heart at the same time. The law written on stone was the law of Ten Commandments; hence, the law of the new covenant is the opposite of the ten commandments!!!SDSQ 27.2

    The same was held forth from 2 Corinthians 3:7-16. His exposition of this scripture went to show that the law “written and engraven on stone” was “done away.” The Apostle asserts that the ministration of that which was engraven on stone, though glorious, was done away, and superseded by a ministration more glorious. Christ is the minister of the new covenant, and his service is far more glorious than that of the ministers of the old covenant. He is the mediator of a better covenant, having better promises, even the forgiveness of sin, because he officiates in the true Sanctuary, and offers better blood or sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 8:1, 6, 10-12; 9:11, 12, 23, 24. But as on Hebrews 8, so on this passage, Mr. Fillio said it was a better law. What law is spoken of in 2 Corinthians 3.? The one written on stone-the ten commandments. Then a better law than the ten commandments is the law of the new covenant. In view of his exposition of all these scriptures, is it not plain that he taught the abolition of the sum total of the law of Horeb? That declaration stands in our notes of his lectures as the conclusion drawn from the above scriptures. This chain of argument, as he termed it, is not forgotten by his hearers; and a denial, under such circumstances, involves him in far more difficulty than an acknowledgment would.SDSQ 28.1

    The most plausible argument that he presented we come now to consider. Most plausible, because it has the appearance of being founded on the facts respecting the nature of law. It is as follows:SDSQ 29.1

    F. “Matthew 12:1-8. Dr. Doddridge in the Family Expositor says they traveled on the Sabbath, which was clearly a breach of the law. The law said, do no work. This was not a work of necessity. The law knew no exceptions, unless we say the exceptions were subjects of after enactment, and then the argument of the morality of the law would not stand.”SDSQ 29.2

    He has claimed that the Sabbath was nailed to the cross, or abolished at the crucifixion. Then it was certainly in force till that time. And if the Saviour broke this law of the Father, without any necessity, as he now claims, and while it was yet in full force, in what sense is he our pattern? and wherein shall we follow him? He did that which was lawful, and that only.SDSQ 29.3

    But the point in his argument is this: the law said, do no work; and if exceptions are allowed it would disprove the argument for its morality. Which is to say that no after enactment could grant an exception to a moral law. As we desire all to examine this argument with care, we will state it and its conclusion in brief.SDSQ 29.4

    A moral law allows of no exceptions.SDSQ 30.1

    If an after enactment granted exceptions it proved that the law was not moral.SDSQ 30.2

    But after enactments did require the priests to labor on the Sabbath-day.SDSQ 30.3

    Therefore the Sabbath law was not moral.SDSQ 30.4

    This appears plausible, yet it is a fallacy as may be easily shown. These special or after enactments did not relax the claims of the law; they only proved its claims by foreshadowing the necessary consequence of its transgression. There is no intimation that the law was any less binding, or the Sabbath any less sacred, because offerings were made on it by the priests. In proof of this we remark that the work of the priesthood was instituted before the man was stoned for Sabbath-breaking; therefore the law was in its fullest, unrelaxed force after it is claimed that the priests continually transgressed it. It may be claimed, indeed, that a strong necessity existed for the labor of the priests on the Sabbath, but Mr. Fillio, in his remarks on Matthew 12, said that was not a work of necessity. Now if he is right in all his positions it would follow that Christ and the disciples deserved the fate of the man in the wilderness, or else God’s ways are not equal. But we consider such charges against the Saviour and his followers, akin to blasphemy, and meet them with the fact that the Saviour always vindicated himself because he had done only what was “lawful;” but a breach of the law would be unlawful. If he broke the law he could not have said, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” John 15:10.SDSQ 30.5

    But it is clear that their traveling was not a breach of the law; for they went to the synagogue, in obedience to the requirement of God, to have “a holy convocation.” On this day they met to hear the reading of the law. Though the Saviour strongly rebuked the Pharisees for this, they still persist in accusing him of breaking the Sabbath.SDSQ 31.1

    But to further and most clearly show its fallacy we will now make an application of his argument to the sixth commandment. Mr. Fillio took especial pains to hold up in contrast the fourth and sixth commandments, and we have said that his arguments struck with peculiar force against the sixth commandment, provided they were of any force at all.SDSQ 31.2

    The sixth commandment says, Thou shalt not kill. Now if there is any precept in the decalogue to which Mr. F.’s argument will apply it is this; and this he says is perpetual and unchangeable as the eternal throne. We will now state this moral law as given at Sinai, and place by its side a special enactment given soon after.SDSQ 31.3

    Moral Law.-Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13.SDSQ 31.4

    After Enactment.-If thy brother ... entice thee, saying, Let us go and serve other gods.... Thou shalt surely kill him. Deuteronomy 13:6-9.SDSQ 31.5

    We have chosen this out of many texts of similar import, as it is very definite, and may therefore lay claim to the title of an “exception” if there is one to any law in the book. In the very passage which Mr. Fillio cited to prove that the Sabbath law was positive and not moral, [Numbers 15:32-36,] this “exception” to the sixth commandment is recognized, for the Sabbath-breaker was stoned, as the Lord directed. “The man shall be surely put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones.”SDSQ 31.6

    Here then we have (to use his terms) an after enactment granting exceptions to the sixth commandment.SDSQ 32.1

    Therefore the sixth commandment is not moral.SDSQ 32.2

    Thus the reader will see that we have fully sustained our position; to wit, that his argument bears stronger against the sixth commandment than against the fourth. The very words of the sixth commandment are reversed; therefore to make his argument bear against the fourth with equal force he must produce an “after enactment” exactly reversing the terms of the law, saying, “Thou shalt not remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy.”SDSQ 32.3

    The truth of the matter is, there is no force whatever in his argument. The priests, when they offered the offerings on the Sabbath, and when they laid their hands on the murderer to put him to death, could not be charged with breaking the law, but they typified the work of remission in one case, and the execution of the penalty in the other, both to be effected by Christ subsequent to that dispensation. Mr. Fillio’s argument would make the execution of the penalty equally wrong with the transgression. And in that case no law could be maintained except through wrong, and God would truly be unrighteous who taketh vengeance. Romans 3:5. Thus his argument is not only fallacious, but it tends to the most monstrous conclusions. We therefore dismiss it.SDSQ 32.4

    F. “It is a moral impossibility to tell which is the seventh day from creation. Suppose it was known when the Hebrews left Egypt, it was lost again during the Babylonish captivity, for the Babylonians reckoned time differently.”SDSQ 33.1

    Those who observe the seventh day commence the day at sunset, while those who observe Sunday commence at midnight; yet I have never heard of any disarrangement of dates from that difference of reckoning, nor the loss of a day, by either class, in any community. Those who obeyed God in that dispensation reckoned time as we do now; while the Babylonians, who were heathens, commenced the day at sunrise. But we have yet to learn that there was any disagreement of days between them, or that the Jews would have lost the days of the week, even if they had adopted the custom of beginning them at a different hour. And if they lost it in Babylon so that it could not afterwards be found, how does he know that it was the seventh-day Sabbath on which the Saviour traveled. It seems truly singular that it was lost in Babylon so that it is impossible to find it even to this day, and yet it was so well known in Judea after the captivity. And here we would suggest a thought for his reflection, and for all who have such difficulty in finding the Sabbath in Babylon. Not only were the Jews in Babylon, but they were scattered through one hundred and twenty-seven provinces; yet after they were gathered from all the nations, they, with Jesus at their head, were all perfectly greed on the return of each seventh day. Rather hard to lose, we think; and doubtless our opponents have not so great difficulty to find as to keep it.SDSQ 33.2

    But what was most amusing to the hearers of Mr. Fillio was, that after stating this objection, he almost immediately commenced his argument in favor of the first day of the week! As a moral law is unchangeable, and can never be set aside, so a moral impossibility can never be overcome. And if it is morally impossible to find the seventh day of the week, how can it be possible to find the first day of the same week?SDSQ 34.1

    These two days always come very close together; as there are but seven days in any one week, the seventh day of one will always immediately precede the first day of the next. And if Mr. Fillio can say. “To-day the Son arose from the dead,” we can reply, “Yesterday the Father rested.” Singular as all this may appear, Mr. Fillio is not alone here. Others have brought up the same objection against the Sabbath. What would they think if we should assert that they must all keep the seventh day now, as it is impossible to find the first day?SDSQ 34.2

    Reader, look at this position: two days of the week standing together, so that when one closes the other immediately commences, and one observed throughout almost the entire world by heathens, Catholics, and Protestants, and the other cannot be found! Mr. Fillio’s quandary on this point strongly reminds us of a story of a certain man who had a pair of match cattle which were so nearly alike that he was always troubled to tell how to yoke them up. He said, however that he had no difficulty in telling which was the off one, but the near one he could not tell.SDSQ 34.3

    We have now reached the climax of this part of the subject. That the Sabbath was blessed in Paradise he has not dared to deny. But to evade the force of this fact, he would fain make us think that the term “wickedness,” in the days of Noah, specified every sin but Sabbath-breaking; he asserted that it originated in the wilderness, where it was instituted for the Jews: that it was openly disregarded and violated by the Saviour, but lost in Babylon beyond the possibility of recovery some time before. Now the way is fully prepared, to use his own words, to “take another step.” This step is to establish the first day of the week. Having laid such a foundation as we have been examining, on which to build his next position, it might be expected that his first-day superstructure would be one of rare proportions. This we must next examine.SDSQ 35.1

    As it was the announcement that Mr. Fillio would give the “scriptural view” of the Sabbath question, we should expect on his part at least an appearance of conformity to scripture. And so long as his labors were confined to the question of the seventh-day Sabbath, this appearance could to some extent be preserved; for there is plenty of scripture on that subject. But when the first-day institution comes up, the scene changes entirely. On this point his only arguments were assertions, without scripture warrant or authority, though some of them were pretty well backed up with such testimony as the church of Rome freely furnishes to sustain her dogmas-tradition.SDSQ 35.2

    F. “The first day of the week commemorates the resurrection of Christ, and the descent of the Spirit; in other words, the completion of the work of redemption.”SDSQ 36.1

    Here we perceive his mind has undergone a complete change, and one particular portion of time is well adapted to a particular purpose. If he had designed to give the popular view, these assertions might pass current; but the popular view is not always scriptural. In this case there is no evidence in the scripture to sustain the declarations. There is an institution of the gospel which well commemorates the resurrection of Christ. See Romans 6:1-5. God has distinguished the seventh day by the facts of the creation, by its sanctification, and by his commandment; yet Mr. Fillio argued directly against its fitness for every purpose specified in the Scriptures. God has not so specified the first day, nor sanctified it, nor given any law respecting it; yet without any divine testimony Mr. F. discovers a wonderful fitness. Truly has the word of God pointed out such teachers: “They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” Jeremiah 4:22.SDSQ 36.2

    By reference to Romans 8:22, 23, we learn that the saints of God are waiting and groaning for redemption. This sufficiently refutes his assumption.SDSQ 36.3

    F. “A plain scriptural example, backed up with the blessing of Christ, and the sanction of the Spirit, binds this duty very near, if not equal to positive enactment.’SDSQ 36.4

    After all that he has said about the nature of the Sabbath and Sabbath law, it would be very ungenerous to suppose that he would claim that any moral principle is involved in the keeping of Sunday. Therefore it is neither positive nor moral. It has often been said that to be almost saved is to be wholly lost; and so, that which is only very near a law is no law at all. God’s law, and the declarations of scripture respecting it, are all definite. Sin is the transgression of the law. But according to Mr. Fillio’s theory of duty, the desecration of the Sunday institution is very near a sin. Such an approximation to something undefined is a poor substitute for scripture proof.SDSQ 36.5

    Let it be borne in mind that “the blessing of Christ” referred to, was not conferred on the first day of the week, but upon his disciples. And the probability that the Spirit sanctioned its observance is not very strong in the entire absence of any evidence that they observed it.SDSQ 37.1

    F. “Luke 24:49. Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. When, Lord, shall we be endued with power from on high? One week hence, on the first day of the week.”SDSQ 37.2

    This was designed for a conversation between Christ and his disciples. Of what importance such things are in a “scriptural view,” it is hard to tell. We think Mr. Fillio might make some additions to the Apocryphal New Testament which might be of service in the Sunday cause. He has made a good beginning.SDSQ 37.3

    F. “Matthew 28:10. Jesus appointed a meeting on the first day, in Galilee. This is a gospel institution.”SDSQ 37.4

    Jesus did not “appoint a meeting” in Galilee, but promised that they should see him in Galilee; and this is several times mentioned. Matthew 28:7, 10; 26:32; Mark 14:28; 16:7. And there is not a particle of evidence that they saw him in Galilee on the first day of the week; it seems truly astonishing, that any one should presume to make such an unwarranted statement. There is no proof that Jesus was seen of them more than once in Galilee. Matthew 28:16 says they went into a mountain in Galilee; but the mountains came to the shore of the sea; [Luke 8:32, 33.] and we have evidence that they saw him there on the seashore. The scriptures so often mentioning the fact that they should see him in Galilee, after his resurrection, seems to place much stress on his being seen there as a confirmation of that event. And to show the fulfillment of that promise the circumstances of their seeing him in Galilee are recorded in John 21. The disciples were fishing when the Lord met with them on the shore of the lake. It may have been on First-day, as Mr. F. asserts, though there is no evidence of it; for there were five other days, besides the first day of the week, wherein they were allowed to fish, or do their own work. Exodus 20:8-10.SDSQ 37.5

    F. “But we are told that the day of the crucifixion is greater than the day of the resurrection. I am surprised that any follower of Jesus should advance this.”SDSQ 38.1

    There are none, to our knowledge, who claim that this has any bearing on the Sabbath question, except the Mahometans; and with them it is a matter of will and supposition, as the choice of First-day is with Catholics and Protestants. There is no scripture on either side. But there are several scriptures which ascribe our redemption to the blood of Christ. Romans 3:24, 25; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:12, 15; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Revelation 5:9. See Acts 20:28. Therefore; if anything short of the full accomplishment of redemption (which is yet future) should be chosen, surely the day on which his blood was shed would be most appropriate. But as there is no authority for either, the observance of Sixth-day and first-day are alike mere “will-worship” or “voluntary humility,” and both condemned by the Scriptures, being “commandments and doctrines of men,” “that turn from the truth;” viz., the commandments of God. Colossians 2:18, 22, 23; Titus 1:14.SDSQ 38.2

    Many other declarations of the greatness of the first day, its consecration, etc., we pass by as unworthy of attention.SDSQ 39.1

    F. “On the day of his resurrection, the first day of the week, he met with them four times. 1. With the women; 2. with Peter; 3. with the disciples at Emmaus; 4. with ten disciples in Jerusalem.”SDSQ 39.2

    One might have gathered from the delivery of the, above, that there were four appointed meetings of worshiping assemblies on that day. And a stronger effort to make out a case without any foundation whatever, it has never been our lot to witness. The first meeting was his suddenly making himself known to the women who had come to the sepulchre with the spices, etc. When, where, or in what manner, he was seen of Peter is not related. The third meeting was in the midst of a seven and a half miles’ journey made on that day. But he was not known to them till they were eating supper, when he vanished out of their sight. The fourth was some time later, when he came to the residence of the eleven, and found them also taking their supper, and he upbraided them because till that time they had not believed that he was risen. See Acts 1:13; Mark 16:11-14.SDSQ 39.3

    F. “John 20:26. This is said to have been on Monday. But when any circumstance occurred one week from another the Jews called it after eight days. So in Luke 9, and Matthew 17. They record the same transaction, but there is a difficulty-their statements disagree materially. Hence, they were accustomed so to speak, to begin on the first day from any occurrence, and one week from that was the eighth day.”SDSQ 40.1

    Several errors may be noticed in the above. 1. Matthew 17, and Luke 9, do not contain any contradiction, nor any difficulty to the candid mind. One says it (the transfiguration) was “after six days,’ and the other “about an eight days after.” If the second said about ten days after, it would not contradict the first that it was after six days. 2. As after six days means about eight days after, it cannot also be that after eight days should be just one week after, nor on the eighth day. 3. Even if it were admitted that it was their custom to reckon time as is here claimed, it would avail nothing to his argument unless it was also shown that after eight days, and the eighth are identical. But they are not. Every reckoning of time contradicts it. Thus the nineteenth century commenced fifty-seven years ago; nineteen centuries are not yet completed; while after nineteen centuries is more than forty-three years in the future. But suppose it had directly said it was on First-day, what then? Every thing essential to his argument lies beyond that.SDSQ 40.2

    F. “It is argued by great and good men who have the means of ascertaining that the ascension was on the first day He was seen forty days, or many days, which denotes a round number, and means just six weeks, as they reckoned time by weeks from Sunday to Sunday.”SDSQ 41.1

    Who these “great and good men” were we know not, as we were not favored with their names. This was a new announcement. If their “means of ascertaining” were no better than Mr. Fillio’s, they were not very great, judging from the manner in which he handled it; as he failed to give any proof on the point, it is but fair to suppose that he did not know of the existence of any. Forty days means forty-three days as they reckoned time! How does he know it? Perhaps his “wonderful echo” so informed him. 1We have been so intent on following Mr. Fillio’s argument that we have not noticed his felicitous style of expression. We will in part atone for this by giving the following instance:
    “Where in the New Testament do we find any command to keep the seventh day? Echo answers, No where!”
    It is not customary for echo to supply words not found in the question, but in the present instance, for the sake of the “Sunday institution,” echo has doubtless accommodated itself to the well-known saying, that “Necessity knows no law.”
    SDSQ 41.2

    Here we behold the convenience of the Sunday theory. While the advocates of the Sabbath of the Lord are plodding along in the dull path of fixed facts, authenticated records, and well-defined laws, the Sunday advocates have only to give fancy a loose rein, and evidences cluster around, with light and airy forms, placing themselves in every conceivable shape and position to suit the exigencies of the case. And why not? Theology would be far behind the “spirit of the age” if we should cramp it down to lawful accuracies and positive proofs. “One day in seven and no day in particular” is the first day of the week. “The seventh part of time” always comes on that day. After eight days from one Sunday, by a singular construction, brings us to the next Sunday; and forty days, by an elongation no less singular, comprises six full weeks and a day, beginning and ending on Sunday. A sliding scale of morality has been coming into use for a long time. Mr. Fillio has done much toward perfecting it.SDSQ 41.3

    In making his, reckoning to the day of Pentecost he remarked that “the wave-sheaf was offered on the seventh day of the week.” Leviticus 23:11, says, “on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.” The New Testament does not say that Christ arose on the first day, but we think he did, as he was the antitype of the first-fruits which was offered on that day. But if Mr. Fillio is correct, the argument for the resurrection on the first day is entirely destroyed. And again, if the common computation is correct, which makes the resurrection and Pentecost to have been on the same day of the week, it would follow from Mr. Fillio’s argument that both occurred on the seventh day. Dr. Clarke has a calculation by which the day of Pentecost is clearly brought on the second day of the week. A few more efforts on the part of Sunday advocates will leave us nothing to do in exposing their inconsistencies.SDSQ 42.1

    F. “There is no evidence that Christ met with them on any other than the First day.”SDSQ 43.1

    Then the meeting recorded in John 21, must have been on First-day. We hope our friends who put forth such declarations as the above will read that chapter with care.SDSQ 43.2

    F. “On that day he met with them three different times, and sent the Comforter to crown the finished work, of redemption.”SDSQ 43.3

    As the work of redemption, according to Mr. F. was finished on the morning of the resurrection the ascension, and the gift of the Spirit were no part of that great work; these must be the “non-essentials” of which so much has been said! But no one would gather such an idea from the scripture. He ascended on high as an Intercessor, to grant remission of sin and the Spirit was given to perfect the followers of Jesus. Hebrews 9:15, 24; Acts 5:31; Ephesians 4:8-13. They who think that the work of redemption was finished when our Saviour rose from the dead, must leave out of that work his intercession or priesthood and second coming, without which the work of redemption could never be. accomplished. To say that such an error arises from taking a superficial view of the work of Christ, does not near, express the truth; it arises from losing sight of the main features of that work, and the manner of its consummation.SDSQ 43.4

    F. “1 Corinthians 16:1, 2. This order was no new thing. Notice first: Paul is returning from a pastoral visit to the churches in Galatia: he established a rule of weekly contribution at the time of the meetings of other christian churches. They could attend to it best on First day. Why? Because it was the day of assembling. It was the day of observance.”SDSQ 43.5

    That this was the day of observance or day of assembling, has yet to be proved. That he established a rule of weekly contributions at the time of meetings is contrary to the evidence of the text. Even Justin Edwards, who has made such an effort to press every thing into the service of the First-day, in his note on this passage says, “at home.” See his Notes on the New Testament.SDSQ 44.1

    J. W. Morton, in his “Vindication of the True Sabbath,” pp. 51, 52, says:—SDSQ 44.2

    “The apostle simply orders, that each one of the Corinthian brethren should lay up at home some portion of his weekly gains on the first day of the week. The whole question turns upon the meaning of the expression, “by him;’ and I marvel greatly how you can imagine that it means in the collection-box of the congregation. Greenfield, in his Lexicon translates the Greek term, ‘by one’s self, i. e., at home.’ Two Latin versions, the Vulgate, and that of Castellio, render it ‘apud se,’ with one’s self, at home. Three French translations, those of Martin, Osterwald, and De Sacy, ‘chez soi,’ at his own house, at home. The German of Luther, ‘bei sich selbst,’ by himself, at home. The Dutch, ‘by hemselven,’ same as the German. The Italian, of Diodati, ‘appresso di se,’ in his own presence, at home. The Spanish, of Felipe Scio, ‘en su casa,’ in his own house. The Portuguese, of Ferreira, ‘para isso,’ with himself. The Swedish, ‘naer sig sielf,’ near himself. I know not how much this list of authorities might be swelled, for I have not examined one translation that differs from those quoted above.”SDSQ 44.3

    F. “Another evidence. Acts 20:7. This was not called as a special meeting. There is no such inference in the case. There has been an attempt to play on this passage. The primitive Christians met early in the morning, and also in the evening. They met on this Lord’s day, and Paul preached a long sermon. This makes a perfect network or chain of evidence.”SDSQ 45.1

    The remark that there has been a play on this passage, doubtless refers to the view advanced that this was an evening meeting; and as the evening was the first part of the day, and preceded the morning, this meeting was held before First-day morning, and at the break of day on First-day morning, Paul departed on his journey. And Mr. Fillio did not deny it, or attempt to show that it was not so. To have attempted it would have been to expose his weakness; therefore he prudently passed it by with the simple declaration that they met in the morning as well as in the evening. But no one could pretend that this was a morning meeting. The reading of the passage forbids it. Thus our position is clearly true. And here let the reader notice, that in this passage, which proves that Paul started on his journey on First-day morning, is the only account in the New Testament of a public meeting on the first day of the week. Acts 2, does not mention the first, or any other day of the week, but the day of Pentecost, which was not a weekly but a yearly feast-day.SDSQ 45.2

    Now we have passed through a “perfect chain” evidence, let us see what it is composed of. 1. The Sabbath is a positive institution. 2. It was instituted after Israel left Egypt. 3. It was peculiarly Jewish. 4. The fourth commandment was essentially different from the other parts of the decalogue. 5.The priests were required by law to violate it. 6.The least violation was to be punished with death.7. The Sabbath was a shadow. 8. The law of Horeb was given to the Jews alone. 9. The law written and engraven on stones was abolished. 10. The law of the new covenant is in contradistinction (of opposite qualities) from that written on stones, (the ten commandments.) 11. The Sabbath was lost in Babylon, some centuries before Christ, 12. Christ and his disciples openly violated it. 13. He consecrated the first day of the week. 14. There is very near a law for its observance. 15. After eight days from Sunday means the subsequent Sunday. 16. Forty days means six full weeks and one Sunday over. 17. Paul ordered them to take up collections in their meetings on First-day. 18. It was an established custom to meet on that day.SDSQ 45.3

    Comment is unnecessary. As he claimed that the work of redemption was finished at the resurrection, and had merely to be “crowned” by the ascension, and gift of the Spirit, so here he has finished the “perfect chain” of evidence, and got two links to spare, The first is as follows:SDSQ 46.1

    F. “The first day was called by primitive Christians and ancient fathers the Lord’s day. John thus designated it Revelation 1:10. Some claim that this means the seventh-day Sabbath; but this cannot be made to mean Sabbaton. The first day was always called the Lord’s day. Examine the original Greek and you will find it so.”SDSQ 46.2

    It is extremely unpleasant to review anything wherein a want of candor is evinced. The most able persons may sometimes take a weak position, and the most candid may sometimes be led by prepossessions to advocate an error; but when any one pursues a Continuous course of false reasoning and perverting the truth, honesty before God and our fellow-men requires us to characterize it truly and expose the deception. And we have no hesitation in saying that deception was practiced by the lecturer in his remarks on Revelation 1:10. Those who think that that scripture refers to the Sabbath, do not claim that Revelation 1:10 mentions the Sabbath or seventh day of the week by name; but they take other scriptures, Such as have been quoted in this review, to show that the Lord has claimed one day of the week as his, and that is the seventh day. And that is the fair and correct method of settling questions by the Scripture. And now in turn we will ask, Does Revelation 1:10 mention the first day of the week? It does not. If you “examine the original Greek” will you find any mention of the first day of the week? You will not. If you examine the whole Bible will you find a single passage calling the first day of the week the Lord’s day? You will not. Did the Lord ever claim it as his day? He did not. What authority had Mr. F. for making such a statement? None whatever. What scripture is applicable to his course? Matthew 24:4.SDSQ 46.3

    The last link was the most definite and clear that he presented. It was the testimony of the fathers; uninspired tradition. And here let the fact be noticed that the denomination to which the lecturer belongs-the Baptist-professes to reject tradition and take the Bible alone. Had any individual arisen and proved by the same authors that the sprinkling of infants was the duty of gospel believers, he would have denied the authority at once. So inconsistent will men act when led by prejudice. Had Luther had confidence in such testimony the Reformation would not have been; and had Protestants carried out the principles of the Reformation they never would have appealed to such testimony to sustain unscriptural dogmas. But when men are determined to sustain the Sunday at all hazards, tradition is the best field for them to labor in. Whatever is claimed from Scripture on that side is by unnecessary and far-fetched inferences, while much of their traditionary evidence is direct and pointed. But in this we rejoice, that those who keep the Lord’s Sabbath and teach men so, are not reduced to such straits. Some may query thus: Did any of the early writers speak in favor and defence of the seventh day? We answer, they did; and their testimony can be produced if necessary. But we do not consider it necessary as long as we have an abundance of better testimony, to wit, the plain word of the Lord.SDSQ 47.1

    His first witness was Ignatius; who, he claimed, called the first day of the week “the Lord’s day, the queen and prince of all days. Let every friend of Christ celebrate the Lord’s day. Let us not sabbatize, but live according to the Lord’s day, on which our Life arose.”SDSQ 48.1

    Those who have read the same testimony in Justin Edwards’ Manual will notice that Mr. Fillio has followed the marginal reading of the Apocryphal New Testament in the above quotation. In regard to the authority of the quotation we remark, that the Apocryphal Testament is filled up with so many foolish fables, and Romish tales of silly and absurd wonders, that it is entitled to no credit whatever; that many of its writings are forgeries there can be no doubt. Second, the common English version of this Epistle, (Ignatius to the Magnesians,) is not a translation of the original in this place, (chap. 3.) And third, the quotation given by Mr. Fillio is not faithful even to the common version, but is garbled, and does not give the sense of the writing; if indeed there be any sense to it. But of that we will let all judge by copying a few verses. The chapter opens respecting the prophets, and says,SDSQ 48.2

    “Wherefore, if they who were brought up in those ancient laws came nevertheless to the newness of hope; no longer observing Sabbaths, but keeping the Lord’s day, in which also our life is sprung up by him, and through his death, whom yet some deny, how shall we be able to live different from him; whose disciples the very prophets themselves being, did by the Spirit expect him as their Master. And therefore he whom they justly waited for, being come raised them from the dead.”SDSQ 49.1

    1. The quotation as given by Dr. Edwards, Mr. Fillio, etc., inculcates nothing at all. “Let us no longer sabbatize, but live according to the Lord’s day.” Sabbatize is from sabbatism, which is literally a rest-to rest. But if no rest is involved in this new duty, we would like to know how to live according to the Lord’s day. There is but one law in the Bible for sabbatizing, or resting weekly, that is, the fourth commandment.SDSQ 49.2

    2. If this epistle is worthy of credit, it should be preserved in its original form, which does not mention the Lord’s day, but reads, “living according to the Lord’s life.” Mr. Fillio says, partly following the marginal reading, “live according to the Lord’s day.” But that “living according to the Lord’s life,” is the proper reading may be seen by the expression, “How shall we live different from him?” We say Mr. F. partly follows the margin: he says live, the margin reads, living. The idea of the epistle is this, How shall we live different from him, if even the prophets came to a newness of hope in living according to the Lord’s life; or as he did.SDSQ 50.1

    3. The common English version from which Dr. Edwards and Mr. F. professedly quote, involves the suppositions that (1.) the prophets did not keep the Sabbath, but the Lord’s day, or as they claim, the first day of the week, which is too absurd to deserve a notice. And (2.) that at the coming of Christ, whom the prophets waited for, they were raised from the dead; whereas the Scriptures teach that they will be raised at the second coming of Christ, under the sounding of the seventh trumpet. Revelation 11:15-19.SDSQ 50.2

    We have been thus particular on this testimony, as Ignatius lived at an early age, and some think this epistle conclusive; or rather, the supposed quotation; for it is not generally known that it is speaking of the lives of the prophets, and has no reference to the observance of a day. That theory which rests on a few inferences, and such garbled extracts from spurious Catholic writings, is a bad one for Protestants to rest on. Reader, when you follow in the track of such errors, remember that God will bring every work into judgment.SDSQ 50.3

    We do not find the testimony of Clement, as quoted by First-day advocates, in his epistles in the Apocryphal New Testament, and cannot say whether it is also garbled; but as it stands it proves itself unworthy of credit. He is quoted as saying, “A Christian according to the command of the Gospel, observes the Lord’s day, thereby glorifying the resurrection of the Lord.” But the Gospel contains such command; there is only one authorized way to commemorate the resurrection of the Lord: See Romans 6:1-5.SDSQ 51.1

    Pliny to Trajan says, the Christians met “on a stated day.” Melancthon says: “Epiphanius and St. Augustine testify that on the fourth and sixth days of the week, church assemblies were held as well as upon the Lord’s day,” or First-day. It would be interesting to know by what rule “a stated day” necessarily means the first day. One would think tradition was getting scarce, as well as scripture, if it must be forced to service in this manner.SDSQ 51.2

    Justin Martyr was represented as saying: “On the day called Sunday, there is a meeting in one place of all the Christians, etc., because it was the first day, in which the world was created, in which he made the light,” etc.SDSQ 51.3

    That this is a mere invention of man is evident from the fact that these reasons all existed from the creation; and if they are now sufficient to authorize its observance, they were then. But they were not, for God passed them all by, and sanctified the Rest-day, the seventh and last day of the week. And instead of commanding that the first day be kept because in it the world was created, he commanded man to work on it for that very reason. Exodus 20:8-11.SDSQ 51.4

    “What is the chaff to the wheat?”SDSQ 52.1

    Dionysius said the epistles of Clement were read “while they were keeping the Lord’s holy day.”SDSQ 52.2

    The presumption is very strong that Mr. Fillio introduced this testimony by mistake, merely because he found it in a list of quotations for the first day; for he has been known to teach that there is no sanctity attached to the first day. And more than that, to prove that this testimony favors his position, he has now got to prove that the Sunday is a holy day. We would here call attention to the fact that he did not claim any sanctity for the first day on the authority of any scripture. In the light of this fact we doubt whether the testimony of Dionysius is sufficient to settle the point to the satisfaction of Bible students.SDSQ 52.3

    In regard to other writers, and the want of direct scripture testimony, he said:SDSQ 52.4

    F. “The observance of the first day of the week was so well understood that there was no need of argument; an allusion to it is all we find.”SDSQ 52.5

    The Sabbath of the Lord was pointed out by evident miracles, and the fourth commandment was so definite, and its penalty so great that its observance was as well understood as that of the first day could possibly have been, under any circumstances, yet the prophets and servants of God deemed it necessary to speak of it very often. But Mr. Fillio is not the first one who takes this ground. A late publication (Pres. Bd. of Pub., Tract 118) argues the certainty of the well-known duty and general observance of the first day, from this: that it is not enforced in the writings of the New Testament! reasoning thus, that it was so well known that no command was needed. Were not other duties, such as the third, sixth, and eighth commandments well-known also? Or will not the rule apply to anything but Sunday? This, we must acknowledge, is a new phase of evidence. We claim that the Sabbath is binding because of the abundance of direct scripture testimony in its favor. They claim that the first day is binding because of the lack of such testimony. And if their position is equally tenable with ours, they have got the argument beyond a doubt; for we think that more testimony might have been added by the scripture writers on the seventh day; but on the other hand, the lack of evidence for the observance of the first day could not have been more complete than it now is; so that if the lack of evidence is an argument they have got a very strong one!SDSQ 52.6

    We can assure our readers that we are only doing the strictest justice to that position in presenting it in this light. To show this more fully we copy the following from the “Explanation of the Catechism” of the Protestant Episcopal Church.SDSQ 53.1

    “The day is now changed from the seventh to the first day in commemoration of our Lord’s resurrection; but as we meet with no scriptural direction for the change, we may conclude it was done by the authority of the church, under the guidance of the apostles.” That is, we may conclude the apostles did it because it is not found in the Scriptures! Could Catholicism possibly go farther?SDSQ 53.2

    F. “But was not the seventh day also observed? It was to some extent by Jews and Judaizing teachers. These were devouring wolves spoken of by apostles.”SDSQ 54.1

    That the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath was distinct from Judaism, we have fully proved. We have for it, not only the act of hallowing and commanding, but the example of the infinite One; and in all the Scriptures of truth we find not wherein we can better obey the injunction to be “followers of God, as dear children,” than in observing that day which he observed and set apart “for man.” Whether the term, “devouring wolves” applies to them that follow such a rule, more than to them that “follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing,” and that say, “Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken,” (Ezekiel 13:3; 22:28,) we will leave to our readers to judge.SDSQ 54.2

    His last and most important witness was Eusebius; at least he seemed to attach the most importance to him. In producing this testimony the lecturer had a most triumphant time, waving the weighty volume before the congregation, and calling upon all who were not satisfied, to call at his house and consult Eusebius for themselves. We did not avail ourselves of this friendly offer, and so have been obliged to lose in part the benefit of the light of Eusebius, and content ourselves with the Bible.SDSQ 54.3

    Dr. Edwards in the Sabbath Manual quotes Eusebius as follows: “And all things whatsoever, that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord’s day, as more appropriately belonging to it, because it has a precedence, and is first in rank, and more honorable than the Jewish Sabbath.” The testimony of Eusebius is worthy of particular notice.SDSQ 55.1

    1. “We” have transferred them. Who are “we?” Will “we” stand as high in that day when God shall bring every work into judgment, as “we” have stood before men? Paul said in his time, “the mystery of iniquity” was already working, and would eventually “exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped;” and Daniel, speaking of the same power said, he should “think to change times and laws.” Because he would endeavor to change the laws of God, calling that sinful which God had commanded to be done, and enjoining as a duty what God had not commanded, which is the highest offense against a government that a subject can commit; therefore Paul calls him “the man of sin.” That the Roman power, the mystery of iniquity, has well earned this title, we learn (1.) by Mr. Fillio’s witness, Eusebius, in that it has subverted the law of God, transferring the claims of the Lord’s Sabbath to Sunday; and (2.) by Dr. Edwards in his Sabbath Manual, page 123, where he says:—“But the observance of the seventh day, though it had been connived at, and was by the Emperor permitted, was not as we see by the doings of the Council of Laodicea, considered to be proper; and they even went so far, though improperly, as to say, ‘If they be found Judaists,’—keeping the seventh day—‘let them be accursed.’” Thus they have declared that to be sinful and worthy of a curse, which God has commanded, and placed the divine blessing on.SDSQ 55.2

    2. Eusebius calls the seventh day the “Jewish Sabbath,” while God in his law calls it “the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,” and by the Prophet, “My holy day.” This is another criminal act of the highest order; striking out the name of the great Lawgiver from his own divine statute, and inserting another name in its place, thus destroying the authority of his law. Mr. Fillio has followed the Man of Sin in this practice, thus treating the Law of God as he dare not treat the law of Michigan.SDSQ 56.1

    3. Eusebius says the Sunday is first in rank, and more honorable than the Sabbath. God placed honor upon the seventh day, and declared that he is honored in its observance. Isaiah 58:13. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath (what? an old Jewish Sabbath? No, but) a delight, the holy of the Lord, HONORABLE; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” Read Romans 3:4. The testimony of Eusebius weighs but little in that scale.SDSQ 56.2

    But the main point made by Mr. F. from Eusebius was concerning the sect of the Ebionites, where he endeavored to attach the stigma of their heresies to the observers of the Lord’s holy Sabbath. But here we must take leave of Eusebius; we have only now to do with Mr. Fillio; because Eusebius is innocent of the part here acted by Mr. F. Speaking of their heresies, he said:SDSQ 56.3

    F. “And why were they called heretics? Because they kept the seventh day. They held the law to be necessary, and rejected the Epistles of Paul because he taught that the law was abolished.”SDSQ 57.1

    That the Ebionites were lightly esteemed, and justly so, by all true Christians, cannot be doubted; but when we state the facts in the case, all may at once perceive the unchristian and dishonest course pursued by Mr. Fillio in placing them on a level with those who try to obey God through faith in his Son. Some have affirmed that his lectures were characterized by mildness and gentility. But on this point, as on others, his remarks were interspersed with unfair and unjust allusions, and unrighteous insinuations, everyway calculated to mislead his hearers, and lead them to suppose that we occupied a position that he knew we did not occupy. Others may differ with us in regard to true Christian bearing; but we always intend to “use great plainness of speech,” and call sin by its proper name. We will not throw out insinuations to deceive and lead to positions that we dare not openly occupy; we scorn to pursue such a course; but we shall point to the wrong-doer, and say plainly, Thou art the man. We have forborne to remark respecting his unfairness and manifest dishonesty throughout those lectures, reserving it to this point, where all can see it most clearly. The truth in regard to the Ebionites will expose him.SDSQ 57.2

    Buck’s Theological Dictionary gives us the following information. We would remark, that none will doubt the authority on such a question, and Buck quotes from Eusebius to show that the Ebionites denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, recognizing him only as a mere man. He says, they “rejected all the prophets, and held the very names of David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, in abhorrence. They also rejected all St. Paul’s Epistles, whom they treated with the utmost disrespect. They received nothing of the Old Testament but the Pentateuch. They agreed with the Nazarenes in using the Hebrew gospel of Matthew, otherwise called the gospel of the twelve apostles; but they corrupted their copy in abundance of places, and particularly had left out the genealogy of our Saviour. Besides the Hebrew gospel of Matthew, the Ebionites had adopted several other books under the titles of St. James, John, and the other apostles; they also made use of the travels of St. Peter, which are supposed to have been written by St. Clement; but had altered them so that there was scarce anything of truth left in them. They even made that saint tell a number of falsehoods, the better to authorize their own practices.”SDSQ 57.3

    We have not enough so-called charity to believe that Mr. Fillio was ignorant of the wrong he was doing in attempting to fasten the odium of such a people and of such error, on the seventh day, and transfer it to those who keep the Commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus; who receive the Bible, the whole Bible, and the Bible alone, and reject such foolish and unauthorized traditions as he and the Ebionites relied on.SDSQ 58.1

    To expose such wrongs, is an unpleasant duty: we regret that the necessity existed in the present case. Bat duty compels us to characterize things truthfully. The cause which must needs be upheld by doing violence to the Scripture and perverting the testimony of history, is one that will scarcely stand the test of the judgment-day. Though it has been conceded by many men of learning and study that there is no scripture authority for the observance of the first day, they have claimed that tradition or church history established it beyond a doubt. But of late they are growing fearful of that. The truth of history is against them. We need not here stop to speak of the company that Sunday-keeping has been in; but we might trace it through the edicts of Protestant states in America and England, through the bulls of popes, the curses of councils, and the horrors of the inquisition; through the decrees of pagan Emperors, back to those who slew their human victims, and offered all manner of abominations to their highest god, the sun. And amongst such it originated! For the truth of this last assertion we refer to the Douay Catechism and the Sunday-school Union Bible Dictionary.SDSQ 59.1

    Over this part of Mr. Fillio’s work we have had serious reflections. Of the tendency of his course there can be no doubt. We presume that some have had their minds diverted from the truth, and the word of God has lost much of its influence over them. The present is a time of lax morality and great prevalence of infidelity; and he who lowers down the standard of Bible truth, exalting above it the opinions and doctrines of men, incurs a fearful responsibility. The friendship of the world, and the praise of men, is but a mean reward for such a work as this. To a sensitive mind, under such circumstances, each word of praise would be a rebuke; each look of favor would give pain. If he now moves in the society of lovers of truth and morality, we do not envy him his reflections.SDSQ 59.2

    An appeal to the congregation on the authority of the “Christian fathers,” (these were his words,) closed his labors. Though he raised the question, “Did not Christ and the apostles preach in the synagogues on the seventh day?” he replied to it by stating that his positions were true, or else “the fathers” had written falsehoods. There are some important facts to be considered in connection with the words and practices of the Apostles and Evangelist sin regard to the seventh day, but these scripture facts must not be allowed to have any weight, lest we have to admit that the fathers have erred! That will never do. The infallibility of tradition must be maintained, even at the sacrifice of scripture facts. “Lord how long?”SDSQ 60.1

    A word to our readers who have followed us through this argument, and we close. It was not for the sake of those lectures alone that we undertook this review. Though we have never heard such sentiments put forth in a more deceptive form, yet we know that they are advanced and advocated very extensively, and we wish to guard the minds of the honest inquirers after truth on this subject, as far as our power. And now what will be your Choice? Do you approve the word of God? Do you believe that it is not they that say to Jesus, Lord, Lord, that will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but they that do the will of his Father? Of certain ones it was said, they “began to make excuses;” but no excuse should be allowed to influence our minds against the truth of God, that we would shrink from pleading in the day of judgment. Think of it dear friends. Will your excuses weigh as heavy in the balances of God’s word as they appear in the sight of an unbelieving world. Let us see.SDSQ 60.2

    1. It is inconvenient to keep the seventh day. Matthew 16:24. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Chap 10:38; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; 14:27.SDSQ 61.1

    2. I have a family to support; it will interfere with my business. Matthew 16:25, 26. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Chap 6:24, 31-33; Luke 12:15-37; 1 Timothy 4:8; Psalm 37:3; Isaiah 65:13, 14.SDSQ 61.2

    3. Everybody keeps the first day. Matthew 7:13, 14. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Proverbs 11:21; 16:5.SDSQ 61.3

    4. Many learned men teach that it is right. Hosea 10:13. “Ye have ploughed wickedness, ye have reap iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.” 1 Corinthians 1:25-27; Revelation 18:23.SDSQ 61.4

    5. We are unlearned and must look to them for instruction. Proverbs 19:27. “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge,” 2 Timothy 3:1-7.SDSQ 62.1

    6. The laws of our country enforce it. Acts 4:19. “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.” Chap 5:29; Daniel 3:16-18; 6:10.SDSQ 62.2

    7. It causes trouble and division. Luke 12:51, 52. “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you Nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.” Verse 49; Matthew 10:34-37 John 15:19; 17:14; 1 Kings 18:17, 18.SDSQ 62.3

    8. I should lose my influence and bring reproach Matthew 5:11, 12. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Luke 6:22, 23, 26; 1 John 4:5.SDSQ 62.4

    9. It makes no difference what day I keep if I keep it rights Exodus 20:9, 10. “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.” Matthew 15:3, 9. To keep any day right is to keep it as God’s law directs; otherwise his law is not right. To keep every day right is to work on the first six and rest the seventh.SDSQ 62.5

    10. I am afraid of new doctrines. Exodus 20:11. “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.” Genesis 2:2, 3.SDSQ 63.1

    11. I do not think these old laws are binding. Jeremiah 6:16. “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” Chap 18:15.SDSQ 63.2

    12. The Apostle teaches that old things are passed away. 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The “old man” of sin must pass away. Then the man becomes new-not the law.SDSQ 63.3

    2 Timothy 3:16, 17. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”SDSQ 63.4

    Proverbs 30:5, 6. “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”SDSQ 63.5

    Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”SDSQ 63.6

    Revelation 22:14. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”SDSQ 64.1

    “The word of the Lord endureth forever.”SDSQ 64.2

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