Larger font
Smaller font

Review of the Two Sermons of Rev. R. G. Baird on the “Christian Sabbath”

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font


    “Two Sermons on the Christian Sabbath. A Defense of the Practice of observing the First Day of the Week, in opposition to the views of Seventh-day Adventists. By Rev. R. G. Baird, pastor of the Congregational Church of Armada, Mich. Price, twenty-five, cents.”RTSB 5.1

    Such is the title of a pamphlet of 44 large pages. It is well and smoothly written, and, considered only as a literary composition, would do credit to the author. As a theological work, it is altogether too pretentious. The writer assumes a style of vaunting and self-confidence which his Two Sermons come far short of justifying. He speaks as a man well satisfied with his own work. His cultivated style and air of assurance are well calculated to impress the reader with the belief that his views are correct; especially if the reader has never examined the subject discussed. The spirit manifested by the author is very objectionable. He deals largely in insinuations; makes frequent use of such words as “ignorance,” “stupidity,” “dishonesty,” etc., when speaking of the positions of those whom he opposes. We shall never complain of being sharply reproved if we are found to be in error; but Mr. Baird uses these terms without regard to justice, and, in most cases, where the error is all on his own side; where truth, not to say modesty or courtesy, requires him to speak in a different manner.RTSB 5.2

    While we are willing to render to Mr. Baird due credit for a well-written composition, the fact that it is rather creditable in that respect increases our astonishment at his pretended arguments. We fail to see how a man of his apparent intellect and culture, occupying so important, yes, so sacred an office, could publish a work so full of sophistry and false reasoning, which does so great injustice to the position of his opponents and to the Scriptures which he professes to teach. We have known wild statements to be made by speakers in the excitement of controversy which they would hardly be willing to place on record. But Mr. Baird first read these written discourse to his congregation, and then deliberately printed them! He appears to be afflicted with that unfortunate condition of mind which overlooks the plainest faults in self, and we think he has been elated by the flattery of those whose prejudices are as strong as his own. The reader will not consider these expressions too strong if he will follow us through an examination of the Two Sermons. The only difficulty we find in reviewing his work is to characterize it as it deserves, and yet avoid the appearance of that censorious spirit in which he so freely indulges.RTSB 6.1

    We are compelled to say that there is less originality in these Sermons than Mr. Baird evidently wishes the reader to suppose. The first half page 4 contains one of the finest passages in the pamphlet, and one best calculated to impress the mind of the reader; but it is copied verbatim, without credit, from the published Sermons of the late Rev. F.W. Robertson, M. A., of Brighton, Eng. Other paragraphs also are drawn from Mr. R., as far as Mr. Baird could use them; for as much as he seemed to value the thoughts of Mr. Robertson, even to palming them off as his own, he could not follow him closely, for Mr. Robertson says the argument for first day rests at best on a probability, and even that is “infinitesimally small” except as it is sustained by tradition!RTSB 6.2

    The author starts out with a very broad fling against the letter of the law. This course is becoming popular with those who, whether willfully or otherwise, “darken counsel by words without knowledge” on this important subject. That position is really calculated to destroy the authority of God’s written word. To justify his statements he says, David “found the demands of nature an ample justification for violating the letter of the law.” There is no such distinction as he covertly claims in these words. In eating the show-bread David violated the letter of the law; but did he keep it in spirit? did he keep it in any sense? Admitting that the letter of a law may be kept while the spirit of it is not, it is not therefore true that the spirit of a law can be kept while the letter is violated. The letter and spirit always agree. The spirit may reach farther than the letter, but never in an opposite direction. The spirit neither requires nor permits anything which the letter forbids. If it did, we could only render spiritual obedience to God by doing just the reverse of what his commandments say!RTSB 7.1

    The true tendency of this popular argument against “the letter” is to licentiousness, or freedom from just restraint; for when the letter is set aside, each one becomes the judge of what it is to obey in spirit, and revelation becomes a nullity. Its falsity may be exposed by examination of the position often assumed on Matthew 5:21-28. It is claimed on this text that the Saviour set aside the letter of the sixth and seventh commandments and substituted something more entirely spiritual in their places. This is far from the truth. He taught the spirituality of those precepts by affirming that, in the sight of God, he who hates his brother, or is angry with him, is guilty of violating one, and he who harbors lust in his heart is guilty of violating the other. The position of those who oppose the letter is just this: The Saviour taught that hatred is wrong, but he abolished the law which forbids murder; and he taught that lust is wrong, but ho abolished the law which forbids adultery! and thus are we released from “the bondage of the letter.” The unavoidable conclusion from this is, that in this dispensation of “gospel freedom” it is not wrong to kill your neighbor if you do not hate him; and it is not wrong to commit adultery if you have no lustful desire! We challenge any one to show that our conclusion is not just, from the premises of those who oppose the letter of the law.RTSB 7.2

    On this subject, referring to the Saviour’s words in Mark 2:27, he says:—
    “I think this principle laid down by Christ is the clue by which we may unwind all the difficulties that have been ingeniously or stupidly wound around this Sabbath question, whether by Jews or Adventists, who seek to lure us away from the glorious liberty of the Spirit of Christ, and place us under the bondage of the letter, to which beggarly elements they themselves are in bondage.”
    RTSB 8.1

    It is no excuse for Mr. Baird that the substance of the above paragraph was drawn from Mr. Robertson; the real author did not clothe it in such exceptionable language. By this we are to understand that Mr. B. thinks if we keep the law just as God spoke it, we are in bondage! Can anything exceed this in impiety? It may, indeed, appear like bondage to the carnal mind, which, Paul says, “is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” The carnal mind ever rebels against God’s law; it cannot bear just restraint. And when it cannot justify open rebellion it takes refuge in evasions. Something different from that which God has commanded will suit it better. And it will be content with just difference enough to let self triumph; to evade the cross, and to choose some other way than God’s way.RTSB 8.2

    Reader, is it possible that they who keep God’s law exactly as he spoke it with his own voice-just as he wrote it with his own finger-are “under the bondage of the letter”? that they are in bondage to “beggarly elements”? How far, judge ye, must we depart from the plain literal reading of God’s holy law to reach that “liberty” of which Mr. Baird boasts? Is it possible that these are the words of a Christian minister? Had they proceeded from one who never learned the distinction between liberty and licentiousness we should not be surprised.RTSB 9.1

    Reading Galatians 4:8, 9, we see that the apostle spoke of the “beggarly elements” as being the practices of the Galatians while they “knew not God,” and “did service to them which by nature are no gods;” that is, the customs of the heathen. For no one ever obeyed any precept of the Old Testament, either moral or typical, in service “to them which by nature are no gods.” All were instituted by the true God. Yet Mr. Baird refers this to keeping the express precept of Jehovah! With such a beginning, it is not difficult to determine what his future course will be.RTSB 9.2

    We agree with his statement that Sabbath means rest. The Sabbath day means the rest-day. Before noticing the bearing of this important truth we must expose another piece of sophistry. He says:—RTSB 9.3

    “If that identical day on which God rested was, and was to continue to be, the Sabbath, as a fixed and absolute portion of time, then there never has been any authority for the observance of any other day than the first day of the week.”RTSB 10.1

    This is a singularly absurd statement, for “that identical day on which God rested” is many times in the Bible called the seventh day, and never the first day. But he tries to uphold the assertion by a method of reasoning equally singular. Thus he says:—RTSB 10.2

    “The very first day, therefore, whose evening and morning Adam saw, was the Sabbath day. The sixth day could hardly be called man’s first day, for he never beheld its evening and morning. But the seventh creation day was man’s first day, and that was the day on which God rested, and which he hallowed and blessed. The seventh creation day was identical with the first day of man’s week. Thus, the argument for the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath, which God appointed for man, falls to the ground; involving, as it does, the absurdity of a serious blunder on the part of the Almighty in not creating man on the first day rather than on the sixth.”RTSB 10.3

    This paragraph is unworthy to appear in the discussion of so important a subject; and, though he freely charges us with “stupidity,” if a page of sophistry so foolish and deceptive as this could be found in the writings of any Seventh-day Adventist we could but hide our heads for shame. The most superficial reader of the Bible knows that the Sabbath was not founded on the time of man’s creation, but on the whole work of creation of heaven and earth, and God’s resting on the seventh day. To say that Adam’s week commenced the next day after his creation is to show much of the “stupidity” which he ascribes to Seventh-day Adventists. Was the second day of Adam’s life ever called the first day of man’s week or of any other week? No. And does any man count his birthday from the day after he was born? Was the second day of Adam’s life his first day? And Mr. Baird convicts himself of either “stupidity” or deception, for he has to call the day of Adam’s creation “the sixth day.” Why? Because the Bible calls it that, and never anything else. And this proves that he is aware of the error of his assertion.RTSB 10.4

    In presenting the reason of Sabbath obligation God never refers to Adam, nor to the day of his creation, but to the creation of the world in six days and to his own rest on the seventh day. The work of creation in six days, dating from “the beginning,” and the seventh day of rest, cover the first week of time, and here only is the origin of the week of seven days. As silly as Mr. Baird’s view is, he gravely asserts that it is sufficient to entirely disprove the position of S. D. Adventists!RTSB 11.1

    We now return to the statement that Sabbath means rest. And we inquire, Whose rest-day was man to observe? It was God’s rest-day. “The seventh day is the Sabbath [rest-day] of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.” How came the seventh day to be God’s rest-day? “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.” These are the words of Jehovah himself. And they show, inasmuch as Sabbath means rest, and the Lord’s Sabbath day is the Lord’s rest-day, that no day can be the Lord’s Sabbath, or rest, but that day on which the Lord Sabbatized or rested. The Lord said, “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep,” not our own, nor any one that we may choose. The following points should be carefully considered, as they are beyond dispute, and cover the whole question: 1. The resting of God on the seventh day is the only reason given in the Bible for the institution of the Sabbath. And, 2. The day on which God rested is the only day which, in the Bible, is required to be kept as the Sabbath. Thus the record in Genesis 2:3, reads: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work.” The fourth commandment literally translated reads: “Remember the rest-day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the rest of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.” From “the beginning” God ordained that “the seventh day”—his own rest-should be set apart to a sacred use; and this, not to make it a rest-day, but because it was his rest-day; not dependent at all on our action, as Mr. Baird says, but to make our action conform to his example, both in his work and his rest.RTSB 11.2

    The fourth commandment of the decalogue is the only precept of Sabbath obligation in the Bible. Let this be borne in mind. This precept is based expressly on the events of the first week of time; and it covers the entire week. When God created the heavens and earth just six days were employed. But in establishing the week, another day was added to the six days of his work, and thus the week became seven days in length; and so it has continued to this present time. But as his work was finished in six days, the remaining day was God’s rest-day of the week. Because he rested upon it, he blessed it; that is, he put honor upon it. And he sanctified it; that is, he separated it from the other days, and set it apart to sacred observance. Because it was his rest-day he blessed it; and because it bore the divine benediction he commanded man to keep it holy.RTSB 12.1

    Now we appeal to every reader if it is not contrary to both reason and Scripture to apply these facts, or any of them, to any day but the seventh day. Why did God number off just seven days, if not to establish a week of seven days? All know that the cycle of seven days, or the week, had no other origin. And God’s providence and his word has preserved, always and everywhere, this reckoning of seven days to the week. He said that in the first day he created the elements of which all things were formed, and caused the light to shine upon them. But he did not, therefore, set apart the first day to a sacred use. For that, he chose the seventh day, because that, and that only, would be a memorial of all his work. A rest supposes a work performed. Inasmuch as each of the first six days was employed in work, and a different work was done in each, no one of them could possibly be a memorial of “all His work, which God created and made.”RTSB 13.1

    The great object of the institution of the Sabbath Mr. Baird entirely ignores. He bases his argument altogether on the necessities of man’s nature. A greater error could not be committed. But of this we shall speak particularly when we come to consider the Sabbath as “a sign.”RTSB 13.2

    The cycle of seven days to the week was plainly pointed out at creation, and no one can point to any thing else as its origin. And we have seen that no fact recorded in connection with the institution of the Sabbath will apply to any day but to the seventh day of that first week of time. Therefore, to assort, as Mr. Baird repeatedly does, that the commandment does not refer to the seventh day of the week is an evasion and a perversion of the law of God. It is only folly to assert that the phrase, “the seventh day,” means a seventh day, or any seventh day after any six days. If that is the meaning of the language, then the phrase, “the sixth day,” in Exodus 16, would mean any sixth day after an interval of five days. That is, if “the seventh day” is a term of proportion, and marks indefinitely a seventh of a cycle of seven, then also “the sixth day” marks merely a sixth part of a cycle of six. From this, it is easy to see that the order to gather manna on the sixth day, that is, on a day of a cycle of six, would soon come in conflict with the order to gather none on the seventh day; for the end of the sixth cycle of seven would coincide with the end of the seventh cycle of six. So absurd is this indefinite-seventh-day theory.RTSB 13.3

    Dr. Edwards leads the way in which Mr. Baird has followed, saying, in his (so-called) Sabbath Manual, that the words six and seven in the commandment denote proportion, and not order. But the falsity of this assertion is too evident to require much argument for its refutation. For the word “seven” is not in the commandment, but the word “seventh,” which is an ordinal number. Order, and not proportion, is the idea of the law. To justify this perversion, Mr. Baird says the commandment does not say the seventh day of the week. This is a very weak evasion. It refers to no seventh day but that of the week. When God rested, and blessed the seventh day, only one week had elapsed; hence it was of necessity the seventh day of that week. No other computation but that of the week was, at that time, possible. At the falling of the manna the seventh-day Sabbath immediately succeeded “the sixth day.” Now this sixth day was either the sixth day of the week, or it was a sixth part of a cycle of six, after Mr. Baird’s favorite method of computing cycles. But it could not have been a part of a cycle of six, for in seven such cycles it would coincide with the seventh day of a cycle of seven; and therefore the requirement to gather a double portion of manna, and that not to gather any, would have fallen on the same day. Hence it was the sixth day of the week, and the seventh day following it was the seventh day of the week. Again, while the Saviour lay in the grave, his disciples “rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” And the day following was “the first day of the week.” As every week has seven days and no more, the seventh day of one week must immediately precede the first day of the next week. Therefore it was the seventh day of the week which was then kept “according to the commandment.” Nor could they have kept any other day of the week and kept the commandment. For the commandment is based entirely on the fact that God wrought six days and rested the seventh day of the first week of time. No other cycle but that of the week then existed, and the weekly cycle originated there, and there only.RTSB 14.1

    We will illustrate the folly of Mr. Baird’s method of identifying the seventh day. Say a man has seven sons; the first-born is named John; the youngest, Robert. The father makes a will, bequeathing to each of his sons one thousand dollars, but having a customary fondness for his youngest, bequeaths to his seventh son ten thousand dollars. John determines to gain the ten thousand dollars for himself; therefore he calls the family together, and places them in a circle; commencing just next to himself he counts around, and of course reckons himself the seventh! and on that enumeration claims the ten thousand dollars. Now John has thoroughly instructed them that “the seventh son” means one son after six others, no matter where you begin to count! And while Robert fully believes in the correctness of this method in regard to the claims of God and of his commandments, he is not so ready to admit it when his own rights are involved; and therefore he throws the matter into court where John’s method of determining “the seventh son” is condemned on short hearing. And so, when God shall bring every work into judgment in the light of his own commandments, will be condemned all the petty evasions by which men seek to escape God’s requirement to keep the seventh day.RTSB 15.1

    On page 5, Mr. Baird makes a concession which is well to notice: He says the observance of the first day of the week “gradually grew up.” This is a truth. His further assertion that it grow up “under the authority and direction of the inspired apostles,” would be worth more if he had produced any “direction” which any apostle ever gave for its observance. Dr. Scott says it grew up gradually and silently, by example rather than precept. And all candid writers say the same thing. Errors and traditions come up “gradually,” and not by precept. But for duties, we have “the law and the testimony.” Paul says that by the Scriptures we are “thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Therefore, that which in not required in the Scriptures is not a good work. “Sin is not imputed when there is no law;” and as there is no law for keeping Sunday it is no sin not to keep it. “Where no law is, there is no transgression.” Let any one prove the reverse of this if he can.RTSB 16.1

    On the sanctification of the Sabbath, Mr. Baird is self-contradictory. He says:—RTSB 17.1

    “A preacher parading a Hebrew Bible and Lexicon before a popular audience, and attempting to show that the statement in the second chapter of Genesis, with regard to God’s hallowing the seventh day, is equivalent to a positive enactment regarding the Sabbath, shows nothing so plainly as he shows his utter ignorance of Hebrew.”RTSB 17.2

    By this we are led to believe that Mr. Baird considers himself capable of deciding who is and who is not ignorant of Hebrew. Of this we will soon enable the reader to judge for himself. Yet it is quite certain that the words quoted above are a mere flourish, to ward off the force of a plain truth. Genesis 2:3 says God sanctified the seventh day. Exodus 20:11 says he hallowed the rest-day, which is the same thing; for sanctified and hallowed are from the same word, and the seventh day is the rest-day. Of the Hebrew original Gesenius says it signifies “to sanctify, to make holy, to appoint, to consecrate.” Dr. Clarke says it “signifies to consecrate, separate, set apart a thing or person from all secular purposes, to some religious use.” Of the English word sanctify, Webster says; “To make sacred or holy; to set apart to a religious use.” Also, “To secure from violation; to give sanction to.”RTSB 17.3

    “The Sabbath was made for man.” Man was to be the observer of the day, and of course it could not be set apart, consecrated, appointed to be sacredly used, secured from violation, and sanction given to it, except by commanding man to refrain from secular labor upon it. A day cannot be appointed for man’s observance, and guarded from violation, and sanction given to it, and man not be informed of it. Instances might be given to show its use in the Bible, but it is not necessary. They all correspond to the following, in Joel 2:15; “Sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly.” A fast could only be sanctified, or appointed, by informing the people and directing them to observe it. He who says the sanctification of the Sabbath was not its appointment for observance shows himself ignorant, not only of the Hebrew, but also, of the English as given by Webster.RTSB 17.4

    But Mr. Baird contradicts the position he assumes against “a preacher.” On page 8, speaking of their knowledge of weeks as shown in Genesis, he says:—RTSB 18.1

    “The blessing and hallowing of the seventh day, spoken of in the second chapter of Genesis, refers to the making that day a blessing to mankind, by setting it apart as a day of rest and sacred observance.”RTSB 18.2

    Of course this could not be done and man not be informed of it. And when man was informed that God appointed, or “set it apart, as a day of rest and sacred observance,” that information carried with it the obligation to so observe it. The reader will now be ready to justify our assertion that his declaring “a preacher” ignorant of Hebrew was a mere flourish to cover up the truth; a truth, too, which he elsewhere virtually confessed.RTSB 18.3

    We have promised to enable the reader to judge of Mr. Baird’s reliability as a critic on the Hebrew. On page 11 he says:—RTSB 18.4

    “The Hebrew language has no article corresponding with the definite article the that we employ, ‘A seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,’ would be a perfectly literal rendering.”RTSB 18.5

    This is not a question of reasoning or argument, but of fact, and it may therefore be determined to a certainty. The above statement can only create a smile, or call forth an exclamation of surprise, from any one who is not entirely ignorant of Hebrew; and for such not a word is needed in refutation of it. It is as absurdly false as would be the assertion that the English word the is not a definite article. As the reader of English will want to be assured of the truth on this subject we will quote from a number of authorities, that every one may judge for himself.RTSB 19.1

    Gesenius, in his Hebrew Lexicon, giving the uses of the fifth letter of the alphabet, says of one of its uses:—RTSB 19.2

    As the definite article, Eng. the; like the Gr. ä, Þ, ôä, in the insertion or omission of which the Hebrews and Greeks and also the English and Germans follow similar laws, for which see the usual grammars,” &c.RTSB 19.3

    If the English the, and the Greek ä, Þ, ôä, are not definite articles, then may Mr. Baird’s words be true.RTSB 19.4

    The Hebrew has but one article which is definite, a noun without the article being indefinite, except when rendered definite by the rules of construction. So the grammar of Gesenius says:—RTSB 19.5

    “The article is employed with a noun to limit its application, in nearly the same cases as in Greek, German, and English; viz., when the subject of discourse is a definite object.”RTSB 19.6

    J. S. C. F. Frey, a Hebrew of repute, editor of an edition of Vander Hoght’s Hebrew Bible, and author of a Hebrew Lexicon in Latin, says in his Hebrew Grammar:—RTSB 19.7

    “The Hebrews have but one article, expressed by Hay, with a pathach prefixed to the noun, and daghesh in the succeeding letter, as [original illegible] the heavens.”RTSB 19.8

    Tregelles, in his valuable “Heads of Hebrew Grammar,” says:—RTSB 20.1

    “The article in Hebrew is formed by prefixing the letter [original illegible] to the noun, with pathach for its vowel, and daghesh in the next letter, thus, [original illegible] a word; [original illegible] the word,” etc.RTSB 20.2

    Prof. Green, in his Hebrew Grammar, which is now adopted in many schools, says:—RTSB 20.3

    “The definite article consists of [original illegible] with Pattah followed by daghesh forte in the first letter of the word to which it is prefixed, [original illegible] a king, [original illegible] the king.”RTSB 20.4

    Nordheimer, who is scarcely second to any grammarian, says:—RTSB 20.5

    “The Hebrew definite [original illegible], a fragment of the personal pronoun [original illegible] is employed, agreeably to its origin, to direct particular attention to the noun to which it is prefixed.... Definite nouns are such as are already definite in their signification, or are made so by their construction or by receiving the definite article.”RTSB 20.6

    Against all this testimony we challenge Mr. Baird to produce one authority to sustain his assertion.RTSB 20.7

    A few words of explanation on the study of languages will enable the reader still further to judge of Mr. B.’s attainments in Hebrew. In the schools, students in Latin and Greek are exercised in the classics; but in this country, and generally with all Christian students, Hebrew literature is mostly confined to the Old-Testament Scriptures. For this reason the Hebrew is not placed in a “college course,” but is confined to theological schools, where the object is to read the O. T. in the original. Therefore, the Hebrew Bible is the exercise book” with classes in Hebrew. And as the Pentateuch is as simple in style as any part of the Scriptures, it is customary to commence in the first chapter of Genesis. And in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis we twice find the Hebrew definite article! Therefore, allowing that Mr. Baird made his statement in all honesty, we are forced to conclude that in his study of Hebrew he did not get as far in the grammar as to the article, nor as far in his exercises as to the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis!RTSB 20.8

    How to put a mild and favorable construction on the course of Mr. Baird in this case has been a perplexing question with us. We are willing to give him the benefit of a supposition of his ignorance, and to attribute his misstatement to the fact that he knows nothing at all about the Hebrew. Yet this is but a slight relief under the circumstances. Whether he knows anything of Hebrew or whether he does not, he has given occasion for solemn reflections. He stands before the people as a teacher of the word of God; professedly as one called to receive the word from God and to inform the people how they may stand accepted in His sight. God has told us to fear Him and to keep His commandments; for He will bring every work into judgment, and every secret thing, whether it be good or evil. Motives as well as actions will then be judged. Mr. Baird takes a position which reverses one of God’s commandments;-which warrants his hearers to neglect that which the law requires and to do that which the law forbids. And to sustain himself in this unenviable position he assures his hearers and readers that in the original instrument, in that which God spake with his own voice, there is no definite article; nothing to point out the day which God requires us to keep. And he knows that very few of his hearers and readers can detect the error, and know for themselves that the statement leads to a shameful perversion of the commandment of God.RTSB 21.1

    Now, if Mr. Baird is entirely ignorant of the Hebrew-if he knows nothing at all of the subject of which he so confidently testifies-his course is still worthy of the severest reprobation; for he has no right to testify in such an important matter, and to lead the people to stray from the precept of Jehovah, when he knows nothing of the subject; he has no right to declare that to be true of which he knows nothing. But, on the other hand, if he is not ignorant of the Hebrew, if he knows as much about it as he evidently wishes his readers to think he knows, then we know of no language with which to characterize his course. It evinces a degree of moral turpitude for which we would not wish to answer when the Chief Shepherd shall reckon with his stewards.RTSB 22.1

    That the reader may have the full benefit of the facts, we will quote a few passages, emphasizing the article to indicate its presence in the Hebrew original.RTSB 22.2

    Genesis 2:2. And He rested on the seventh day.RTSB 22.3

    3. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.RTSB 22.4

    Exodus 16:26. But on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath.RTSB 22.5

    27. There went out some of the people on the seventh day.RTSB 22.6

    29. Let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.RTSB 22.7

    30. So the people rested on the seventh day.RTSB 22.8

    Exodus 20:10. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.RTSB 23.1

    11. And rested the seventh day.RTSB 23.2

    23:12. On the seventh day thou shalt rest.RTSB 23.3

    31:15. In the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest.RTSB 23.4

    17. In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.RTSB 23.5

    34:21. On the seventh day thou shalt rest.RTSB 23.6

    35:2. On the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day [Heb. holiness], a Sabbath of rest to the Lord.RTSB 23.7

    Leviticus 23:3. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest.RTSB 23.8

    Deuteronomy 5:14. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.RTSB 23.9

    In each of the above passages the definite article is in the Hebrew; and thus the reader will see that “a seventh day” would not be a “literal rendering” of the commandment.RTSB 23.10

    We know that in writing this we have no spirit of strife or contention. We would not needlessly injure the feelings of Mr. Baird, nor of any other. But as a faithful servant of God, jealous for the honor of His is name and His word, we must speak the truth and expose error. It is a reproach to Christianity and to the Christian ministry that it has become common to let prejudice so control the mind as to lead to a denial of truth and to a manifest perversion of God’s word, in order to gain a victory. If by exposing and rebuking this course we may rescue the word and cause of God from reproach, we shall greatly rejoice. We would gladly spare the feelings of our opponent, but he has unfortunately placed himself in such a position before the world that to spare him would be to consent to the injury done to the word of God. We pray that, by repentance and confession, he may find pardon for his wrong course; for, as God’s word is true, no one can hope to be saved in misleading the people to their ruin.RTSB 23.11

    Mr. Baird has disproved his own position, or at least shown that he has no intelligent confidence in it. In his effort to prove that “the Lord’s day,” referred to in Revelation 1:10, is the Sunday, he says:—RTSB 24.1

    “Had the apostle meant Saturday, he would, according to the invariable usage of the New Testament, have said the Sabbath day. There is no instance in which it is called anything else.”RTSB 24.2

    Here is an open acknowledgment that the phrase, “the Sabbath day,” when used in the New Testament, refers to that day which is now called Saturday. Yet he is unsparing in blame to us for now calling that day “the Sabbath” which he confesses is always so called in the New Testament! If we thus follow the N. T. usage, whom does he follow? And we add, If the apostle in Revelation 1:10, had meant the first day of the week, he would have said so; for it is never, in either Testament, called anything else; while the seventh day is many times called the Lord’s rest-day, “the holy of the Lord,” “my holy day,” etc. The Lord in plain terms claimed the seventh day as his day, and this many times repeated; but he never, in any case, claimed the first day as his day. Therefore, in referring Revelation 1:10, to the Sunday, Mr. Baird follows an inference without any warrant, the inference being unnecessary, having not a single fact to sustain it. But in referring Revelation 1:10, to the seventh day, or Sabbath of the Lord, we but draw a just conclusion from undeniable statements of the Scriptures. Had Mr. Baird at the first made this confession, that the New Testament always calls that day the Sabbath which is now called Saturday, and omitted his wrong statements about the Hebrew, he would have done better justice to his hearers, and gained more credit to himself.RTSB 24.3

    His distrust of his own position is yet further evident from another view. On pages 12, 13, he is unsparing in vituperation (even to the detriment of his reputation as a Christian) against the Seventh-day Adventists, because they insist on a fixed and definite day. He says it is “unmitigated nonsense,” and they who contend for it are fit for the insane asylum. And yet in his Sermons he earnestly pleads that it is duty to keep the first day of the week, the identical day on which Christ rose from the dead! Whether he thinks the Saviour rose on any particular day, the reader may judge. His plea for that day is a sufficient refutation of his sophistry about the impossibility of keeping one and the same day. He may reply that they do not keep the same identical hours all round the world at once. Certainly not; we do not plead for that. If they kept the same hours on all the globe at once, they would not keep the same day; for no day begins at the same time in all places. And therefore his argument to show that we cannot keep the same absolute time is a sheer deception. We can keep the seventh day as they can the first, and both of them can be kept in any longitude.RTSB 25.1

    His reference to Kitto on page 13 avails him nothing. It only shows how far from the truth learned men may wander to uphold a theory. Thus, Dr. Dwight, in his Theology, says God did not bless the seventh day, but the Sabbath, making a distinction between the two. But there is no distinction; for God himself said, “The seventh day is the Sabbath,” and Genesis 2:3, plainly says, “And God blessed the seventh day.” A man of learning, instead of being followed, should be more severely condemned in contradicting the Scriptures than an ignorant man. The latter may have an excuse which the former has not. The quotation given by Mr. Baird says, If the seventh day, instead of a seventh day, “had been intended, it would have been necessary to have established a rule for the reckoning of days themselves, which has been different in different nations, some reckoning from evening to evening, and some from midnight to midnight.”RTSB 25.2

    We do not say that this language was intended to deceive, but it is only because we think its author did not well consider its intent. And, first, the different methods of commencing the day do not at all interfere with the enumeration of days. This must be evident to all; for the Jews always reckoned the day from evening to evening, and the Romans from midnight to midnight; but the Jews and the Romans always agreed in the days of the week. The Romans always considered the sun’s day the first day of the week, and it was the first day also with the Jews. This shows the fallacy of the above quotation; for it was the intention of the writer to show that those different ways of commencing the day made it impossible for them to commence their week with the same day! And this was Mr. Baird’s intention in quoting it. But a greater absurdity cannot well be imagined.RTSB 26.1

    And, secondly, God did “establish a reckoning of the days themselves.” Reader, what would you think of a man who should assert that God never established the worship of Himself, nor any system of worship, because different nations worship different gods, and worship by different systems? You would say it was a piece of false reasoning; that God commanded his own worship, and established a true system. But the nations of the earth have turned away from the true God, and have devised systems of their own, contrary to that which God established. And so we reply to the statement given above. God reckoned the week of seven days in numerical order, beginning each day with the setting of the sun, that is, with the evening. The Romans did not change the week, or the enumeration of the days; for it is a truth that all the nations of the earth have preserved the original order of the days of the week. And thus God in his providence has preserved the knowledge of the seventh day His own rest-day.RTSB 27.1

    But the Romans begin their day at midnight. This is contrary to God’s rule of reckoning. See the following; Genesis 1:5: “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” The reckoning of one day of the week fixes the reckoning of all. Again: Leviticus 23:32: “From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.” That the evening commenced when the sun set is proved by the following: Joshua 10:26, 27: “And they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down.” Also 8:29. Mark 1:32: “And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased.” There in no other reckoning of the days known in the Scriptures. If the heathen, who have forgotten God and his ways, have adopted other methods, that does not disprove that God established a rule. It does, however, speak ill for those who follow the ways of the heathen, and depart from the way established by the Lord!RTSB 27.2

    After affirming, in the first part of his work, “the permanence and universality of the Sabbath,” we were surprised to again find him, in his remarks on Acts 15, taking common ground with those who deny the perpetuity of the Sabbath; who affirm that there is no Sabbath in this dispensation. On the letter of the apostles and elders to the Gentiles, he says: “Not a word is said enjoining the Sabbath upon them.” From this he would have his readers infer that whatever the apostles did not mention is not binding! But Mr. Baird does not believe this, and therefore we are obliged to regard this as a deception. 1. The letter did not speak against blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking, dishonoring parents, murder, stealing, false witness, nor covetousness. Does Mr. Baird therefore believe that these are allowed to the Gentiles? If not, what is the intention of his language? 2. “Not a word is said enjoining the first day upon them.” Will Mr. B. accept his own method of reasoning, and admit that the Sunday is not binding because the apostolic letter did not enjoin it? He will not. Why will a man be so blind or so deceptive? why try to lead others into a path in which he is not willing to follow? But, 3. The council was not called to consider the obligation of the Sabbath, nor of any one of the precepts of Jehovah’s moral law, but, as we learn from verse 5, to decide whether it was necessary to “be circumcised and keep the law of Moses.” Unless Mr. Baird was deplorably ignorant of this scripture he was aware of this when he wrote these words. And we are astonished to learn that other Congregational ministers recommend the Two Sermons; as his position on Acts 15 is subversive of the doctrines of that church.RTSB 28.1

    If a new institution was to be enforced, this council furnished a favorable opportunity to introduce it. But not a word was said about it, here nor anywhere else.RTSB 29.1

    On Colossians 2:16, 17, he is equally unfortunate. On verse 16, he says:—RTSB 29.2

    “The Adventists try to make out that the seventh day of rest is not what is here meant by the Sabbath days, but certain Jewish holidays, not divinely instituted. But how could this be, when the apostle has already specified such days in the same sentence? Besides the plural form of the word, which we have here, always denotes, in the New Testament, the Jewish weekly Sabbath.”RTSB 29.3

    1. The Adventists never claimed that it refers to certain days “not divinely instituted.” The feast days and yearly sabbaths, which were typical, were all “divinely instituted.” Whether this was a blunder or a misrepresentation, it should be corrected.RTSB 29.4

    2. Although there were but three Jewish feasts, as these were of several days’ continuance there were more feast days than Sabbath days in that typical system. Hence the apostle’s words do not necessarily refer to the weekly Sabbath because he makes a distinction between the feast days and those yearly sabbaths connected with the feasts.RTSB 29.5

    3. The first part of verse 17 is a limiting sentence, introduced by the relative which, and so defines the apostle’s words as to positively shut out from his list the original creation Sabbath. Of those feast days and sabbath days, he says: “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Now, we may take every one of those yearly sabbaths and find its antitype in the work of Christ. 1. The passover sabbath. Paul says Christ our passover is slain for us; hence this typified Christ. 2. The atonement sabbath, in which the high priest made atonement for the people. But Paul says the blood of bulls and of goats could not take away sin; they served unto the shadow and example of the work of our High Priest, the Son of God, in the heavenly sanctuary. And so of all the yearly sabbaths—all look to Christ, and we bring them all to the cross and leave them there. But the weekly Sabbath is quite different from them. We read in the fourth commandment that it looks solely to the creation of the world, and to God’s resting upon and sanctifying the seventh day—the day of His rest. It is not a type, but a memorial. It was instituted and made a holy day before the fall of man; before there was any intimation of, or necessity for, types and shadows of redemption. And Paul, by limiting the days of Colossians 2:16, to the shadows of which the work of Christ is the body, positively shuts out from that list the memorial Sabbath of creation. On this text we recommend the following from Dr. Edwards:—RTSB 29.6

    “So, in the second chapter of Colossians, ‘Let no man judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths.’ The sabbaths spoken of are not the Sabbath associated with, Thou shalt not commit murder, or adultery, or theft; but the sabbaths associated with meats and drinks and new moons, which were indeed shadows of things to come. But to take what he said about those sabbaths which were associated by God with the ceremonial laws, and which the apostle himself, in this very discourse, associates with them, and apply it, as some have done, to ‘the Sabbath’ which God associated with moral laws, is wrongRTSB 30.1

    The “wrong” of so doing, and thereby doing violence to both the language of Paul and to the commandment of God, rests on Mr. Baird.RTSB 31.1

    4. Mr. Baird says the plural form of the word which we have in Colossians 2:16, “always means the Jewish Sabbath,” by which he means the seventh day. The form of the word sabbaths in Colossians 2:16 is the genitive plural, which form we find in the N. T. ten times; and of these ten times, it is eight times used with a prefixed numeral and translated first day of the week! We hope it is not impossible for Mr. Baird to make a correct statement on matters of fact. Perhaps he knows no more of the Greek than he does of the Hebrew. Let the cause be what it may, we never read after a man more unfortunate in his statements.RTSB 31.2

    He falls into the same line of sophistry on the Lord’s commission that he did on the letter of the council. He says:—RTSB 31.3

    “I presume it will be admitted that the apostles understood their commission, and yet, in all that has come down to us of their teaching, there is not a single word said enforcing the Jewish Sabbath.”RTSB 31.4

    There is this difference between an old institution and a new one: an old institution is proved by several methods. 1. If it is not expressly repealed. But Mr. Baird not only admits that the Sabbath is a permanent and universal institution, but says this ought to be the main question in its investigation, Pages 5, 6. If the seventh-day Sabbath is not expressly repealed, it still continues.RTSB 31.5

    2. It may be shown by recognition. This is quite sufficient to prove an old institution as still remaining. But a new institution must be established by its proper legal sanctions. The old, or creation, Sabbath, the seventh-day Sabbath, is abundantly recognized in this dispensation. But there is no institution of any other Sabbath. And Mr. Baird virtually admits this, for he says the Saturday, the seventh day, is invariably called the Sabbath in the New Testament. And we add to his statement, that in every case where the Sabbath is mentioned, the context and circumstances show that it refers to the seventh day. And therefore the title of the Sabbath in N. T. usage is confined exclusively to the seventh day, and is never given to the first day. This is a fact hard on the theory of Mr. Baird.RTSB 32.1

    And Acts 13:27, and 15:21, in the first of which Paul, and in the second of which James, says Moses was read in the synagogues “every Sabbath day,” prove that the phrase “every Sabbath day” includes only those days on which the Jews met in the synagogues to read the law; to wit., the seventh days of the weeks; and that it did not include the first day, for they did not meet on that day in the synagogues to read the law. This proves positively that the apostles did not consider the first day the Sabbath. Mr. Baird may study over this to his profit if his prejudices will suffer him to acknowledge an inevitable conclusion.RTSB 32.2

    3. The Sabbath may be proved binding by the direct enforcement of the law of which the Sabbath is a part. Now it is a cardinal doctrine of the church with which Mr. Baird is connected, that the decalogue is a moral law and as such is unrepealed and perpetual. The fact that his church holds to this doctrine renders it unnecessary for me to say a word in proof of it. But he has said that neither the letter nor the spirit of the fourth commandment enjoins the seventh clay of the week, but truly enjoins the first day, and that the first day is now kept by authority of that commandment. Let us read the commandment to suit, his declaration. It will read as follows:—RTSB 32.3

    “Remember the Sabbath [rest] day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the first day is the Habbath [rest] of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work; thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the first day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath [rest] day and hallowed it.”RTSB 33.1

    This reading works exactly the change which Paul charges upon them who worship the creature more than the Creator; namely, it “changes the truth of God into a lie.” Romans 1:25. It is not true that the first day is God’s rest-day; he did not rest on it from his work. It is not true that he blessed the first day. It is not true that he sanctified or hallowed the first day. It is not true that he ever commanded any boy, at any time, to keep the first day. But all this is true of the seventh day. Now if you cannot read a day in the law without making it contradict all the reasons given in the law and all the facts on which it is based, you surely cannot enforce that day by the law. No law is so enforced as to destroy itself. Yet this absurdity attends the attempt to enforce the first day by the fourth commandment.RTSB 33.2

    4. Mr. Baird shows himself inconsistent in this, that while he admits the perpetuity of the fourth commandment he persistently opposes and reproaches the day which was kept by the Jews. And thus the question is raised, Did the Jews keep the day which is enjoined in that commandment, or did they not? We answer, They did; for the Lord, at the very time when he gave that commandment, was pointing out to them the seventh-day Sabbath by a series of constantly recurring miracles. Besides the miraculous manner in which the manna was bestowed, and the fact of its corrupting when kept over from one day to the next, every Sabbath it was withheld, and on that day it did not corrupt, but remained good for food. Thus in the forty years of their sojourning in the desert there were more than four thousand miracles wrought to point out the day of the Sabbath, and to give honor to that holy day. That was the day which the Jews kept, upon which Mr. Baird is so fond of heaping reproach! The keeping of that day was obedience to the fourth commandment. God said that was the day on which he rested when he made heaven and earth, which was the seventh day of the first week of time. That was the day which the disciples kept “according to the commandment,” the last day of the week, as it was immediately followed by the first day of the next week. See Luke 23:56; 24:1. And that is the day which all keep who truly keep the commandment, according to both the letter and the spirit; for the letter says so, and the spirit of a law is found only in loving, cheerful obedience to the precept. Blessed day! the holy of the Lord! May our hearts ever rejoice in it, even as our Heavenly Father delighted in it. See Exodus 31:17, and Isaiah 58:13, 14.RTSB 34.1

    And, 5. While the seventh day is recognized in the New Testament under its appropriate title of the Sabbath and while the law is shown to be established and not made void by faith; and thus the inspired apostles clearly uphold the Sabbath in all their teachings; they never at any time, in fulfillment of “the commission,” called the first day the Sabbath, or enjoined its observance upon any body. A new institution cannot be enforced by implication. To “all good works” we are “thoroughly furnished” by the Scriptures. Sunday-keeping is not a good work; for it is not taught in the Scriptures. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Laboring on Sunday is not a sin; for no law prohibits it. We confidently appeal to the reader to decide who stand on Bible ground-they who keep the seventh day, or they who keep the first day?RTSB 34.2

    A very strange statement in regard to our making time holy is found on page 24, as follows:—RTSB 35.1

    “The observance of the Sabbath is, in the abstract, a moral duty; but as no time is more holy than another, except as we make it such, or more God’s time, except as we devote it more exclusively to his worship, the particular day on which the Sabbath is to be observed is a matter that pertains wholly to the ceremonial.”RTSB 35.2

    Whether we can make any time holy may be judged by reference to the manner in which God made the seventh day holy. This is a subject not well understood, because the Sabbath question is but little studied in the light of the Scriptures. By many professed teachers of the Bible it is obscured by popular traditions. The record of Genesis 2:3, gives us the reason for the blessing and sanctification of the Sabbath thus; “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”RTSB 35.3

    Now, we inquire, How do, or can, we make a day holy? Mr. Baird would probably answer, By resting on it from our works. But it will be seen by the Bible record that God did not make the seventh day holy by resting on it, but he blessed and sanctified it because he had rested on it. Surely, if God’s resting on a day did not make it holy, our resting on a day will not make it holy.RTSB 35.4

    Let us notice the terms of the commandment. Having pointed to the seventh day as the Sabbath, and prohibited labor thereon, the Lord proceeded to give the reason. For, introduces the reason; in six days He created all things and rested the seventh day; wherefore, that is, for this reason; the Lord blessed, that is, put honor upon, the Sabbath day, the rest-day, the seventh day; and hallowed it, that is, set it apart to be religiously observed. Such are the exact definitions of the terms of the commandment. All the sophistry of the world cannot cover up this truth. The hallowing of the seventh day was an express act of Almighty power and authority; not to make it His Sabbath day, but because it was His Sabbath, or rest-day. Yet Mr. Baird would presumptuously affect to be above the Almighty, and to make a day holy by the mere act of resting upon it! We hope he may have spoken these words without being fully aware of their impious import, for they lead directly to a perversion of God’s holy commandment.RTSB 36.1

    We are to preserve those relations which God has established. The vainglorious act of sinful man cannot establish relations of this nature. That the day is sacred without regard to our use of it, is proved by all those scriptures which speak of the guilt of the people in profaning His holy day. Isaiah 58:13: “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable,” etc. Now, if it rested with us to make the day holy, as Mr. Baird affirms, then it would not be a holy day unless we rested upon it. How, then, could man profane a holy day, when the very act of profanation deprived the day of all holiness? Exodus 31:15 says, “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord:Exodus 16:23: “To morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord.” According to Mr. Baird’s theory, that was not true; for it was not holy before the people rested on it, and is holy only because they rested on it! Every reader can see that his declaration is a plain contradiction of the Scriptures.RTSB 36.2

    To follow up such evasions of the truth is no pleasure to us; indeed it is exceedingly trying to our feelings to have so continuously to notice, in the course of a minister, that which bears such strong marks of an effort to deceive. On page 27 of the Sermons is the following:—RTSB 37.1

    “If you will read carefully what is said in the 16th chapter of Exodus, you will see there is no mention made of the creation rest as being the ground of its observance.”RTSB 37.2

    Much as we regret it, we are compelled to look upon this as an inexcusable deception-an abuse of both the reader and the word of God. The truth is, there is no mention made of any “ground of its observance” in that chapter, except that it is holy to the Lord. No reason of the institution is there given. And this shows that it did not originate there. But Mr. Baird knows, as does every reader, that wherever and whenever the reason of the institution is given, it refers to the rest of creation. “Were a man to quote a text which speaks of Christ, but which does not speak of his divine nature, and on the authority of that text deny those scriptures which do speak of his divine nature, you would all call it a great abuse of the sacred word. Yet that would be an exact parallel to Mr. Baird’s use of Exodus 16. He knows that Genesis 2:3 says God blessed and sanctified the creation rest-day, the seventh day, because that in it he rested. He knows that God himself said that he rested the seventh day; wherefore, or for this reason, he hallowed it. He knows that the sanctity of the Sabbath has no other origin, and rests on no other reason.RTSB 37.3

    Deuteronomy 5, has been subjected to the same abuse. No reason is there given why the seventh day is the Sabbath, nor why it was sanctified. Forty years after the law was given on Sinai, Moses rehearsed to the people their history from the exodus, or from their leaving Egypt. He says the Lord commanded them to keep the Sabbath because he brought them out of Egypt; and we learn that, from the rigor of their servitude in Egypt, they could not keep it there. And also in Deuteronomy 24:17, 18, it is written:—RTSB 37.4

    “Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take the widow’s raiment to pledge; but thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee thence; therefore I command thee to do this thing.”RTSB 38.1

    Now will Mr. Baird, or any one else, affirm that their being brought out of Egypt was the ground of this obligation? that such duties originated when they left Egypt? The Lord may enjoin moral duties on local grounds. But those duties do not originate on such local grounds, nor are they confined to such local grounds. These duties had a previous existence. And so also the Sabbath. It came down from creation and was based on Jehovah’s rest.RTSB 38.2

    Again Mr. Baird says, on the same page:—RTSB 38.3

    “When Moses instituted the Sabbath in the wilderness of Sin, and enacted laws with reference to its observance,” etc.RTSB 38.4

    Only by a wondrous stretch of charity can any one think that Mr. Baird believes that Moses instituted the Sabbath in the wilderness! When the Lord was about to give them manna he said he would prove them whether they would walk in his law or no. Exodus 16:4. When the people gathered a double portion on the sixth day, Moses said: “This is that which the Lord hath said, To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord.” And when some of the people went out to gather it on the seventh day, the Lord said: “How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days.”RTSB 38.5

    Moses enacted nothing. The Sabbath had the divine sanction as clearly and as forcibly expressed as anything which God ever revealed to man. The same day which was observed in the wilderness, on which no manna fell, was soon afterward enforced by the awful voice of the Lord on Sinai, and He then declared that the day which they were keeping-the day upon which no manna fell-was blessed and hallowed because that in it He rested from the work of creation. Thus clearly is the creation Sabbath identified as that day which the Jews kept in the wilderness.RTSB 39.1

    But the statements already noticed are scarcely equal to the following:—RTSB 39.2

    “From a perusal of the 12th chapter you will see that in connection with the institution of the feast of unleavened bread, both the first and the seventh days, were to be days of holy convocation, but regarding the seventh day it is said: ‘For in this self-same day I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt, therefore ye shall observe this day in your generations, as an ordinance, forever.’ Both of these passages occur in connection with events that transpired before the giving of the law, and in neither of th8em is the slightest reference made to the creation rest, as that upon which their Sabbath was grounded, or their observance of it enjoined.”RTSB 39.3

    If any excuse can be offered for the above, we would like to know on what ground it rests. Every reader of the Bible must know that the passover feast was one of seven days, always falling on the fifteenth and twenty-first days, inclusive, of the first month. But as the fifteenth day of the month cannot fall regularly on any day of the week, of course this record concerns, not the first and seventh days of the week, but the first and seventh days of the feast. And it came only once a year. Hence it has no possible connection with the weekly Sabbath. Mark the words of Mr. Baird: “Regarding the seventh day it is said, ‘For in this self-same day I brought your armies out of Egypt.’” This is not true. It was not not said of the seventh day-not even of the seventh day of the feast. The words of the Lord are these: “Ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this self-same day I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:17. Now mark the order of events. The lamb was slain on the fourteenth day of the month; that evening the blood was sprinkled on the door posts; that night the angel slew the first-born of Egypt; the next morning, the fifteenth day of the month, Pharaoh thrust them out of the land. And this fifteenth day of the month was counted for the first day of the feast. If Mr. Baird honestly and with good intent made this statement, it was only because his ignorance was beyond all parallel. If he has a friend who can show that our judgment is unjustly severe, we will withdraw our decision and make honorable amends to him. And what is true of his remarks on this feast is true of those on the feast of tabernacles.RTSB 39.4

    And Mr. Baird seems to be as deficient in knowledge of natural truth, as of the Bible. Remarking on the “utter destitution of argument” of Seventh-day Adventists, he says:—RTSB 40.1

    “The same might be said of all their attempts to explain away obvious facts by reference to an imaginary day line somewhere on the Pacific Ocean, on crossing which some erroneously suppose that there is a sudden transition of twenty-four hours’ time.”RTSB 40.2

    It is true that a Seventh-day Adventist, Eld. J. N. Andrews, has examined this subject more closely, and written upon it more largely, than any other person within our knowledge. But justice will not permit us to say that it is original with him, nor with any of the one of this generation. It is a fact well known to scientific men and to navigators that each day of the week commences in the Pacific Ocean. If the reader will take the trouble to examine past volumes of the Scientific American he will find the subject treated on by different writers at different times. The conclusion of all is the same, because it is not a mere theory—“an imaginary day line,” as Mr. Baird says—but a settled fact.RTSB 40.3

    It is well known that in traveling either east or west we find our time-pieces continually varying from the time of the different localities through which we pass. To keep our watches with sun time, that is, true, or correct time, we must often set them by local time. The whole amount of such changes in traveling around the world, will be 24 hours. For if we travel eastward we must correct our time-pieces by setting them forward four minutes to each degree, one hour for every fifteen degrees, and of course twenty-four hours for the complete circle. Having changed our time twenty-four hours in going round the world, it is evident that, on returning to the locality whence we started, we find there the same time with which we started, and to conform to that time we must drop out of our count all the variations we have made in traveling. The effect is the same in traveling westward, but the order is reversed.RTSB 41.1

    It is always a fact that a person starting in China and traveling westward will find that his enumeration of the days of the week will agree with that of every place through which he passes until he again reaches the Pacific, in California. And reversing the order, starting at San Francisco, he may travel eastward, and he will find that his days of the week agree with those of every place through which he passes, until he reaches the other shore of the Pacific. Through Asia, through Europe, across the Atlantic, and through America, no change is found. But let him start from the coast of China and cross the Pacific Ocean and the case is different. On landing at San Francisco he will find his week one day in advance of those living there, unless he corrected his count by one day, on the ocean. And in like manner, if he crosses from California to China, he will find himself one day behind the inhabitants of China unless he corrected his time, by one whole day, on the passage. This is not “imaginary.” The providence of God has preserved the certain knowledge of the order of the days of the week by indicating where each day begins, and where the correction must be made.RTSB 41.2

    We might quote from the Scientific American to verify this fact, but for brevity’s sake will content ourself with an extract from the remarks of a correspondent of the Buffalo Express, who crossed the Pacific in July, 1874. He thus gives his experience in crossing the day line:—RTSB 42.1

    “No one thing on shipboard creates so much excite ment, or gives rise to so much discussion, as the dropping of a day on the 180th parallel of longitude; and particularly to those who have been several times over the route, are these arguments laughable. The more people argue upon it the less they seem to know, though the whole of it is just this: Buffalo is in about 79 degrees longitude west of Greenwich. As we travel west we gain four minutes for every degree; hence in traveling 300 miles per day we lengthen it twenty minutes, and, by the time we have reached the 180th parallel, we are six hours and forty-four minutes behind Buffalo time. In other words, we are five o’clock and sixteen minutes in the morning when you at Buffalo are noon of the same day. It is evident that a uniform place must be established for days to begin, and mariners-or astronomers, I don’t know which-long ago agreed upon the 180th degree as that place; and they decided that ships going east should there pick up a day, and those going west should drop one. This point we reached about eleven o’clock, p. m., Sat urday 25th, and over we skipped into Monday, July 27th. We had gone to sleep on Saturday night, and waked up on Monday morning, much to the disgust of the Rev. Mr.—, a missionary from Siam, who had prepared a sermon for the lost Sunday. On Saturday we were six hours and forty-four minutes behind our Buffalo friends; on Monday, seventeen hours and sixteen minutes ahead of them. “RTSB 42.2

    The true line is somewhat east of the 180th degree west from Greenwich; but as longitude is generally reckoned from Greenwich, navigators, for convenience’ sake, have adopted the even 180th degree as the place where the change shall be made. But Mr. Baird says this is all “imaginary,” and attributes it all to the ig norance of Seventh-day Adventists!RTSB 43.1

    And yet he contradicts himself, and again admits that the change is made, and because of this fact he says that we ought to keep Sunday instead of Satur day, as that would more nearly conform to the true reckoning! That is nothing less than silly. Every one is aware that the variation is in opposite directions according as we travel east or west, and that this correction preserves the true enumeration of the days of the week. We must soon cease to be surprised that Congregational ministers highly recommend Mr. B aird’s Sermons. The world should not always be deprived of the benefit of the wisdom and learning Mr. B. has displayed.RTSB 43.2

    A. most important part of Sabbath investigation is that which treats of the Sabbath as “a sign” A correct understanding of this subject will effectually cor rect Mr. Baird’s errors in regard to “the ends” of the Sabbath institution. He treats it merely in the light of a beneficial institution, subservient to man’s choice, not being holy except by our own action; and no one day belonging to God more than another except as we choose to devote it to him. But this is as far from the truth presented in the word of God as midnight is from noon. The Bible leaves no option with man in regard to the observance of the Sabbath. It repre sents it as a memorial-a sign of the creative power of Jehovah; His own chosen day; a day blessed by the Lord; by Him separated and set apart from the other days. The very nature of a memorial or com memorative institution forbids that Mr. Baird’s con clusions should be true.RTSB 43.3

    To illustrate, we will suppose, as a parallel, that the fourth of July has been set apart by our government, by an express law, as the day to commemorate the in dependence of the United States; and the law gives as the reason for such appointment the signing of the Declaration of Rights. Now a party rises up and claims that the design of the law will be carried out by observing the eighth of January instead; that we are required to keep one day of the year, and not any particular day; that both the letter and the spirit of the law will be kept by observing the eighth of Janu ary; that on that day a very memorable event occurred; worthy of being commemorated; that history has made much mention of the victory of Gen. Jack son, on that day; and that as we are to keep the day it must be optional with us which day we keep. Now, query: Would that law be kept by keeping the eighth day of January instead of the fourth of July? The law specifies the particular day the fourth of July. It gives the reason-the signing of the Declaration of Independence on that day. It is not optional with us-the law carries with it the authority of the government. On the other hand, the eighth of January is not mentioned in the law; the victory at New Orleans is not the reason given for appointing the day; history is not law, so a historical fact cannot supersede a legal enactment; though the day is to be observed by us, it is not a matter of option, but must be kept in obedience to the law; the claim and authority of the government is honored only by the observance of that day which it set apart by law. He would be considered wildly foolish who would contest the case in favor of the eighth of January, under such circumstances.RTSB 44.1

    But such is the relative position of the parties in this Sabbath controversy. The law says the seventh day. Mr. Baird acknowledges the validity of the law, but says the first day will answer instead of the seventh. The law gives as the reason that God rested on the seventh day. Mr. Baird says the better reason is that Christ arose on first-day. The law says the seventh day is the Lord’s day, the day of His choice, the day which He reserved to Himself, and hallowed to sacred use. Mr. Baird says no one day belongs to the Lord, except as we give it to him, or is hallowed, except as we make it so, and the first day will answer all the ends of the law. The fact that it is a law, that it is by authority, binds us to observe the day pointed out in the law. But Mr. Baird says a day not indicated by authority, not enforced by any law, will answer far better than the day mentioned in the law! Was ever folly and presumption more apparent? Surely a man ought to occupy a position more reasonable than his before saying so much about the “ignorance” and the “stupidity” of the Seventh-day Adventists.RTSB 44.2

    In the fact that the Sabbath was given as a sign Mr. Baird thinks he finds a sufficient reason why the day is not now binding. Thus he says:—RTSB 45.1

    “That the Sabbath which God gave to the Jews was special, local, and temporary, is proved in the following passage, by a direct thus saith the Lord, ‘Moreover I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between me and them.’ How could it be a sign between God and the Israelites, if it were identical with the universal Sabbath?”RTSB 45.2

    It is true we have a “thus saith the Lord” on this subject, but Mr. Baird has concealed its intent by giving only a partial quotation. It depends altogether upon what it is a sign of, whether it is local and temporary, or universal and perpetual. Fortunately the “thus saith the Lord” is full and decisive on this point, and it convicts Mr. B. of “handling the word of God deceitfully,” 2 Corinthians 4:2, and of covering up a plain and important truth of revelation. We will quote several texts, the word of God Himself, on this subject:—RTSB 45.3

    “Moreover also, I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezekiel 20:12.RTSB 46.1

    Here notice, 1. The Lord says, “my Sabbaths.” This of course can refer only to God’s rest-day, the creation Sabbath, which was neither local, special, nor temporary. 2. It was a sign that they might know that he was the Lord that sanctified them. But this is not an object which applies to any particular individual or nationality. It applies to all the sanctified of the Lord. Again:—RTSB 46.2

    “Hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:20.RTSB 46.3

    Happy had it been for all the world if they had retained this knowledge instead of sinking into heathenism! When we learn from the Scriptures that the distinguishing characteristic of the true God is that He is the Creator of heaven and earth, we are prepared to appreciate the memorial of His creative power, which He has given to us in the holy Sabbath. It keeps in our memories the great work of creation, and is therefore given as a sign that we may know the Creator. This is the word of the Lord Himself. That His creative power is His distinguishing attribute-is that which distinguishes Him from false gods, we learn from Jeremiah 10:11, 12: “Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by His power,” etc. Acts 17:24, Paul in declaring to the Athenians the true God, the (to them) Unknown God, says: “God hath made the world, and all things therein,” etc. Revelation 14:7, “Worship him that made heaven, and earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters” Also Revelation 10:5, 6, and others. That which commemorates the work of creation is the sign of the Creator.RTSB 46.4

    But a more decisive text remains to be quoted, Exodus 31:17. After pointing out the seventh day as the Sabbath, “holy to the Lord,” which the children of Israel were to keep, the Lord adds, “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.”RTSB 47.1

    Here we learn that it was the memorial of creation, the seventh day, the rest-day of Jehovah, the universal Sabbath, which the Lord gave to Israel as a sign that they might know that he was God-the Creator. A “thus saith the Lord” expressly contradicts Mr. Baird’s assertions. We can hardly think he was ignorant of what the Lord said about the “sign;” certainly he is without excuse in mutilating the text which he partly quoted, and turning it against the facts plainly sot forth in Exodus 31.RTSB 47.2

    The importance of this subject may now be seen. The end, or object, of the Sabbath, which is to commemorate the work of creation, and thereby to perpetuate the knowledge of the Creator, cannot be accomplished by keeping any other day than the memorial day, the seventh day, on which He rested, which He blessed, which He sanctified, or set apart, appointed to a sacred use. Mr. Baird’s reasoning is all vain, from first to last, and his conclusions at variance with the positive statements of Scripture. A historical reference to other events and other days can have no effect on this question while it is so clearly shown that no other event was commanded to be commemorated by weekly observance, and no other day was set apart by the Lawgiver as a memorial day. It is only rebellion to substitute another day without divine authority.RTSB 47.3

    Mr Baird makes a strong effort to show that Paul did not travel on the first day of the week after his lengthy night meeting at Troas. All know that, in their reckoning, the evening preceded the morning, and that an evening meeting was necessarily followed by the morning of the same day. As Paul held a a night meeting at Troas on the first day of the week, the morning following, on which he started on his journey, was the morning of the first day of the week. This is so generally admitted by candid authorities that it needs no argument in its favor. The Disciples (sometimes called Campbellites) make more use of Acts 20:7, than any other people; and yet Prof. McGarvey, a Disciple commentator on the Acts, says:—RTSB 47.4

    “I conclude, therefore, that the brethren met on the night after the Jewish Sabbath, which was still observed as a day of rest by all of them who were Jews or Jewish proselytes, and considering this the beginning of the first day of the week, spent it in the manner above described. On Sunday morning, Paul and his companions resumed their journey, being constrained, no doubt, by the movements of the ship, which had already been in the harbor of Troas seven days.”RTSB 48.1

    But the point to be specially noticed is this: Mr. Baird says it was “the morrow after the first day of the week,” thus carrying the idea that it was the second day of the week. The order of the events proves conclusively that it could not have been the second day on which Paul took his journey. The Scripture use of the word morrow shows that Mr. B.’s inference is unnecessary and erroneous.RTSB 48.2

    The word day is used in different senses, 1. It means a period of twenty-four hours, marked by a revolution of the earth. 2. The light part of that period of twenty-four hours, as distinguished from the night. Thus, “And God called the light day.” Yet the evening, the dark part, and the morning, the light part, were one day. In Acts 27:27-29, the historian says they cast anchors about midnight and wished for the day. They wished for the coming of the light. But in the first sense of the word day, the light did not bring another day-it was a part of the same day.RTSB 48.3

    And similar to this is the Scripture use of the word morrow. It sometimes means the day-the twenty-four-hour period-subsequent to the present one; and sometimes the period of light, the morning, subsequent to the evening, though they belong to the same day of twenty-four hours. Thus the words, “Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord,” spoken on the sixth day, refer to the next, the seventh day; for the entire period of the seventh day, both evening and morning, was “holiness to the Lord.” But in 1 Samuel 19:11, it is not so used. “Saul also sent messenger’s unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning; and Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to-night, tomorrow thou shalt be slain.” In this passage, to-morrow means the light or morning next succeeding the darkness, or evening, of the same twenty-four-hour day.RTSB 49.1

    Also Esther 2:14, “In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned.” And again in Zephaniah 3:3, “Her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.” A plain case is found in the New Testament, Acts 23:31, 32: “Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris. On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle.”RTSB 49.2

    Webster quotes an author who uses it the same way:—RTSB 49.3

    “Till the stormy night is gone, And the eternal morrow dawn.”RTSB 49.4

    Here the morrow succeeds the night; yet even in the common reckoning the last part of the night belongs to the same day with the following dawn or light. Mr. Baird drew his conclusion without examining the use of the term. And this seems to be his ordinary practice wherever he can make the appearance of an argument. Had he succeeded in making his position appear plausible, it would not have been to his credit; for a victory is dearly bought at the sacrifice of truth.RTSB 49.5

    The Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association issues a tract entitled, “Who Changed the Sabbath?” composed mostly of extracts from Catholic Catechisms and other Catholic works. Against this, Mr. Baird has waged a very unsuccessful warfare. He charges the publishers of the tract with dishonesty and misrepresentation because it is therein asserted that the Catholics claim that their church changed the Sabbath. He says, “It is a libel upon Protestants. It is a libel upon Catholics.” He also says that the church known as the Roman Catholic Church did not exist until “after the supremacy of the Roman bishop, which was not until the seventh century.” If he means to say that the supremacy of the pope was not till it was universally acknowledged, then it was not until a long time after that; for it was long denied by some. But the Emperor Justinian issued a decree in 533 in which he said:—RTSB 50.1

    “Rendering honor to the Apostolic chair, and to your Holiness, as has been always and is our wish, and honoring your Blessedness as a father; we have hastened to bring to the knowledge of your Holiness all matters relating to the state of the Churches. It having been at all times our great desire to preserve the unity of your apostolic chair, and the constitution of the holy churches of God which has obtained hitherto, and still obtains.RTSB 50.2

    “Therefore we have made no delay in subjecting and uniting to your Holiness all the priests of the whole East....RTSB 50.3

    “For we cannot suffer that anything which relates to the state of the Church, however manifest and unquestionable, should be moved without the knowledge of your Holiness, who are The Head of all the Holy Churches, for in all things, as we have already declared, we are anxious to increase the honor and authority of your Apostolic chair.”—Croly on the Apocalypse, pp. 168, 169.RTSB 50.4

    And in the Justinian Code: “As the elder Rome was the founder of the laws, so was it not to be questioned that in her was the supremacy of the pontificate.”RTSB 51.1

    Thus we see that the supremacy of the bishop of Rome was not only acknowledged, but enforced by the empire, early in the sixth century. And in the fourth century the anathema of a council was hurled against those who kept the seventh day! Surely, when “Christian duties” were built up by the anathemas of councils, backed up by the authority of a corrupt empire, the “mystery of iniquity” had effectually wrought, and the “man of sin” was well developed.RTSB 51.2

    The actual union of church and State cannot be referred to a later day than Constantine. The Council of Chalcedon, in 451, elevated the bishop of Constantinople to be next in rank to the bishop of Rome, against which the Roman delegates protested and appealed to the decision of the Council of Nice, 325, in favor of the Roman primacy. The imperial commissioners, who heard the plea, decided:—“From the whole discussion, and from what has been brought forward on either side, we acknowledge that the primacy over all and the most eminent rank are to continue with the archbishop of old Rome.”—Schaff, vol. 2, p. 281.RTSB 51.3

    Mr. Baird affects to think the Adventists are dishonest or very ignorant when they say that Constantine and the popes set up the first day; and he even asserts that Catholics do not claim to have done it. His strongest point is found in the following words:—RTSB 51.4

    “When they claim the authority of the church for the change of the Sabbath, they mean by that, the authority of Christ and the apostles. For instance, one of the questions is as follows: ‘Is it, then, Saturday we should sanctify, in order to obey the ordinance of God? Ans. During the old law, Saturday was the day sanctified, but the church, instructed by Jesus Christ, and directed by the Spirit of God, has substituted Sunday for Saturday.’ Again, ‘What are the days which the church commands to be kept holy? Ans. First, the Sunday, or Lord’s day, which we observe by apostolic tradition.’ Now, I ask you, as sensible men and women, is there anything here to alarm you, in the keeping of what the Adventists sneeringly and falsely call the pope’s Sunday.”RTSB 52.1

    Mr. Baird here proves himself lame in two particulars. 1. His quotation condemns his statement; for, instead of professing to derive the Sunday from the apostles through the Scriptures, they ascribe it to “apostolic tradition,” Every unscriptural dogma of that church is ascribed to that same source. And, 2. The Catholics directly disclaim any authority for Sunday but that of tradition and the power of the church, and this Mr. B. knew when he penned the remarks quoted above. We will quote more fully to get the facts before the reader, which he suppressed.RTSB 52.2

    The “Catholic Christian Instructed” speaks as follows:—RTSB 52.3

    Q. Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?RTSB 52.4

    A. The Scripture commands us to hear the church, and to hold fast the traditions of the apostles. But the Scriptures do not in particular mention this change of the Sabbath.... The best authority we have for this is the testimony and ordinance of the church. And, therefore, those who pretend to be so religious of the Sunday, whilst they take no notice of other festivals ordained by the same Church authority, show that they act by humor, and not by reason and religion; since Sundays and holy days all stand upon the same foundation, viz., the ordinance of the Church.”RTSB 52.5

    In the Catechism, the above question and answer immediately follow that quoted by Mr. Baird on “apostolic tradition.” So he had no excuse for saying that the Catholics do not base it on tradition. The “Doctrinal Catechism” says:—RTSB 53.1

    Q. Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?RTSB 53.2

    A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her-she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no scriptural authority.”RTSB 53.3

    Q. When Protestants do profane work upon Saturday, or the seventh day of the week, do they follow the Scripture as their only rule of faith-do they find this permission clearly laid down in the Sacred Volume?RTSB 53.4

    A. On the contrary, they have only the authority of tradition for this practice. In profaning Saturday, they violate one of God’s commandments, which he has never clearly abrogated—‘Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.’RTSB 53.5

    Q. Is the observance of Sunday, as the day of rest, a matter clearly laid down in Scripture?RTSB 53.6

    A. It certainly is not; and yet all Protestants consider the observance of this particular day as essentially necessary to salvation. To say we observe the Sunday because Christ rose from the dead on that day, is to say we act without warrant of Scripture; and we might as well say that we should rest on Thursday because Christ ascended to Heaven on that day, and rested in reality from the work of redemption.”RTSB 53.7

    In the “Abridgment of Christian Doctrine,” or Douay Catechism, we find as follows:—RTSB 53.8

    Q. How prove you that the church hath power to command feasts and holy days?RTSB 53.9

    A. By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.RTSB 53.10

    Q. How prove you that?RTSB 54.1

    A. Because by keeping Sunday they acknowledge the church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin; and by not keeping the rest by her commanded, they again deny, in fact, the same power.”RTSB 54.2

    Again a Catholic tract entitled, “A Question for all Bible Christians,” addresses Protestants as follows:—RTSB 54.3

    “We blame you not for making Sunday your weekly holiday, instead of Saturday, but for rejecting tradition, which is the only safe and clear rule by which this observance can be justified. In outward act we do the same as yourselves in this matter; we, too, no longer observe the ancient Sabbath, but Sunday in its stead; but then there is this important difference between us, that we do not pretend, as you do, to derive our authority for so doing from a book but we derive it from a living teacher, and that teacher is the church.... We, Catholics, then have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy, instead of Saturday, as we have for every other article of our creed, namely, the authority of ‘the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth;’ 2 Timothy 3:15; whereas, you who are Protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for it in the Bible, and you will not allow that there can be authority for it anywhere else. Both you and we do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be a part of God’s word, and the church to be its divinely-appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it, denouncing it all the time as a fallible and treacherous guide, which often ‘makes the commandment of God of none effect.’”RTSB 54.4

    We appeal to the reader if Mr. Baird is not fairly convicted of duplicity in thus suppressing the testimony in his hands, and denying that the Catholics rested Sunday observance upon tradition solely. He says, “It is a libel upon Catholics.” But who, pray, is the author of the libel? We shall insist that the Adventists do not falsely call it “the pope’s Sunday,” until our opponents can in truth, and by the Scriptures meet the challenge of the Catholics to show that they do not follow Catholic tradition in the keeping of Sunday.RTSB 54.5

    As a fitting sequel to this effort he appeals to the testimony of the “fathers,” with as much apparent confidence as the Catholics themselves. With the warnings of the apostles before us, we look with suspicion upon every dogma which depends upon such authority for support. Paid said the “mystery of iniquity” was already working in his day, by which “the man of sin” was to be revealed, who should exalt himself above God. This was strikingly fulfilled by that power which wore out the saints of the Most High, and thought to change times and laws. Examine the commandments of God as given by Himself, and as taught by the Catholic church, see the changes made in the second and fourth commandments, and you will appreciate this prophecy. And herein is more fully seen the fallacy of Mr. Baird’s objection that the Catholic church did not exist till the seventh century. Paul attributes its rise to “the mystery of iniquity” which was working in his own day. Peter told his brethren that among them should arise false teachers who should bring in “damnable heresies” and Paul also said that after his departing grievous wolves should enter among them; “also of your own selves shall men arise, shaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” And yet men are found, even claiming to be Protestants, who will run to the darkness of that time to establish duties not taught in the Scriptures!RTSB 55.1

    But what does Mr. Baird really gain by his appeal to tradition? Let us see. He quotes Justin Martyr who says, “On the day called Sunday there is a meeting,“ etc. Mark, Justin does not call it the Sabbath, the Christian Sabbath, nor the Lord’s day, but Sunday. The origin of this title we shall notice presently. Melancthon, speaking of Sunday observance, said, “We find not the same commanded by any apostolical law,” and thence concludes that it was a matter of option, as early writers testify that meetings were early held on the sixth and first days because of the crucifixion and resurrection. Thus Dr. Schaff, Church History, vol. 2, p. 389, says: “So early as the second century we meet with the general observance of Easter and Pentecost, founded on the Jewish passover and feast of harvest, and answering to Friday and Sunday in the weekly cycle.” After Constantine made the Sunday a rest-day it was easy to give this day the precedence in the churches.RTSB 55.2

    Next, he refers to Ignatius of whom he speaks as follows:—RTSB 56.1

    “Ignatius, a companion of the apostles, says, ‘Let us no longer Sabbatize’—that is, keep the Jewish Sabbath—‘but let us keep the Lord’s day, on which our life arose.’”RTSB 56.2

    Were Mr. Baird ignorant on these matters we should suppose he was not aware that this is one of the many “pious frauds” by which Sunday-keeping has been foisted upon the Christian world. It is a settled fact that all the evidence for Sunday which is drawn from Ignatius is first put into his mouth. It is acknowledged by the best authorities that this epistle imputed to Ignatius is not genuine; and besides this, the “Lord’s day” is not mentioned in it! Not to cite many authors who attest this truth, we will content ourselves, for the sake of brevity, with Kitto, who says:—RTSB 56.3

    “The whole passage is confessedly obscure, and the text may be corrupt....RTSB 56.4

    “Now many commentators assume (on what ground does not appear), that after êíñéáêçí [Lord’s] the word Þìåñáí [day] is to be understood.... Let us now look at the passage simply as it stands. The defect of the sentence is the want of a substantive to which auton can refer. This defect, so far from being remedied, is rendered still more glaring by the introduction of hemera [day]....RTSB 56.5

    “On this view the passage does not at all refer to the Lord’s day; but even on the opposite supposition it cannot be regarded as affording any positive evidence to the early use of the term, ‘Lord’s day’ (for which it is often cited), since the material word day is purely conjectural.”—Kitto’s Cyc, Art. Lords Day.RTSB 57.1

    Surely it is not to the credit of the Sunday cause that it is built up on garbled texts of apocryphal writings. The seventh day has no need of such impotent help. The word of the Lord establishes it from the creation to the new earth. Isaiah 66:22.RTSB 57.2

    Though Justin Edwards quotes the “Epistle of Barnabas” with great confidence, Mr. Baird confesses that it is spurious. And so do all reliable authorities. But Mr. Baird gives a pretended quotation from Irenæus, which, if genuine, would prove nothing, as it calls the Lord’s day the Sabbath, a term never applied to Sunday by any early writer. But no reference is given to show where the extract may be found. Sir. William Domville, an English writer, says:—RTSB 57.3

    “I have carefully searched through all the extant works of Irenæus and can with certainty state that no such passage, nor any one at all resembling it, is there to be found. The edition I consulted was that by Massuet (Paris, 1870); but to assure myself still further, I have since looked to the editions by Erasmus (Paris, 1563), and Grabe (Oxford, 1702), and in neither do I find the passage in question.”RTSB 57.4

    Another pious fraud to help the cause of Sunday! Dionysius did indeed speak of the Lord’s day, but his expression is, “the Lord’s holy day,” which is the only clue he left us to determine which day he meant, But as no early writer referred the keeping of Sunday to the fourth commandment, or spoke of it as a sanctified day, we justly contend that we have a right to refer the words of Dionysius to the Sabbath, while neither right nor reason exists to refer them to Sunday. The previous references claimed for Sunday are proved to be forgeries, and indefinite words may not be claimed to allude to the Sunday as the Lord’s day unless it can be proved by some reliable testimony that it was currently called so at that time, which cannot be done.RTSB 57.5

    But Mr. Baird places much Stress on the decree of Constantine. We regret that we have not more space to devote to him and to his times. Mr. B. says in a. d. 323 he avowed his personal consecration to God. Mosheim places his conversion in that year. Yet he was not baptized into the Christian church and faith until 337, shortly before his death. His Sunday edict was in 321, two years before his asserted profession of Christianity, and sixteen years before his baptism. Before giving the text of his decree we will show how unmistakably history points to this as the first public authority for resting on Sunday.RTSB 58.1

    Dr. Heylyn, an eminent writer of the Church of England, in his History of the Sabbath, says:—RTSB 58.2

    “The Lord’s day [first day] had no such command that it should be sanctified, but was plainly left to God’s people to pitch on this, or any other, for the public use. And being taken up amongst them and made a day of meeting in the congregation for religious exercises, yet for three hundred years there was neither law to bind them to it, nor any rest from labor or from worldly business required upon it.”RTSB 58.3

    And again:—RTSB 58.4

    “Tertullian tells us that they did devote the Sunday partly unto mirth and recreation, not to devotion altogether; when in a hundred years after Tertullian’s time there was no law or constitution to restrain men from labor on this day in the Christian church.”RTSB 58.5

    Tertullian died in or about A. D. 216, so both the above quotations point to the time of Constantine as that of the first law for resting from labor on Sunday. So also Alexander Campbell, in a lecture before a graduating class of Bethany College in 1844, published in the Proclamation and Reformer, said:—RTSB 59.1

    “Was the first day set apart by public authority in the apostolic age? No. By whom was it set apart, and when? By Constantine, who lived about the beginning of the fourth century.”RTSB 59.2

    All who have read Campbell’s Debate with Purcell will agree that his familiarity with early history rendered him competent to testify on this subject.RTSB 59.3

    That Constantine issued this decree as a Christian, and of regard to Sunday as a Christian institution, is not true. Dr. Schaff says:—RTSB 59.4

    “Constantine adopted Christianity first as a superstition, and put it by the side of his heathen superstition, till finally in his conviction the Christian vanquished the pagan, though without itself developing into a pure and enlightened faith.RTSB 59.5

    “At first, Constantine, like his father, in the spirit of the Neo-Platonic syncretism of dying heathendom, reverenced all the gods as mysterious powers; especially Apollo, the god of the sun, to whom in the year 308 he presented munificent gifts. Nay, so late as the year 321 he enjoined regular consultation of the soothsayers in public misfortunes, according to ancient heathen usage; even later, he placed his new residence, Byzantium, under the protection of the God of the martyrs and the heathen goddess of Fortune; and down to the end of his life he retained the title and the dignity of a Pontifex Maximus, or high priest of the heathen hierarchy. His coins bore on the one side the letters of the name of Christ, on the other, the figure of the sun-god, and the inscription, Sol Invictus.”—History, vol. 2, pp. 14, 15.RTSB 59.6

    His order to consult the soothsayers by haruspices, that is, by examining the entrails of animals to determine the causes of public calamities! was dated after his Sunday edict. Of this edict, the same writer says:—RTSB 59.7

    “He enjoined the observance, or rather forbade the public desecration of Sunday, not under the name of Sabbatum or dies Domini, but under its old astrological or heathen title, dies solis, familiar to all his subjects, so that the law was as applicable to the worshipers of Hercules, Apollo, and Mithras, as to the Christians.”RTSB 60.1

    The translation of this edict given by Dr. Schaff is as follows:—RTSB 60.2

    “On the venerable day of the sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of Heaven should be lost.”RTSB 60.3

    Now we appeal to the reader whether this edict is not applicable solely to the worshipers of Apollo, and not at all to Christians. The truth is that Constantine was a sun-worshiper when he issued this decree, and adopted Christianity nominally, even, afterward, as a religion only on a level with the heathen superstitions. He affected to preach in the churches, and Schaff says one of his discourses “is still extant, in which he recommends Christianity in a characteristic strain, and in proof of its divine origin cites especially the fulfillment of prophecy, including the Sibylline books and the Fourth Eclogue of Virgil”!-Vol. 2, p. 34.RTSB 60.4

    Such was the Christianity of Constantine; on one side of his coins the name of Christ, on the other the sun-god. Dr. Schaff further attests his estimate of his Christianity in the following words:—RTSB 60.5

    “When at last on his death-bed he submitted to baptism, with the remark, ‘Now let us cast away all duplicity,’ he honestly admitted the conflict of two antagonistic principles which swayed his private character and public life.”—Id., p. 18.RTSB 61.1

    Mr. Baird inveighs stoutly against the Adventists for suppressing facts of history, of which they are not guilty. But why did he not give to his readers this famous law of Constantine which he lauds so highly? Perhaps he was fearful that they might learn that it was the edict of a sun-worshiper, and that it was only a very partial suppression of customary labor on “the venerable day of the sun!” All authorities point to sun-worship as the origin of Sunday consecration. Thus the Sunday-School Union Bible Dictionary says:—RTSB 61.2

    “Sunday was a name given by the heathen to the first day of the week, because it was the day on which they worshiped the sun.”RTSB 61.3

    Webster’s Dictionary says:—RTSB 61.4

    “The heathen nations in the north of Europe dedicated this day to the sun, and hence their Christian descendants continue to call the day Sunday.”RTSB 61.5

    The Religious Encyclopedia says:—RTSB 61.6

    “The ancient Saxons called it by this name, because upon it they worshiped the sun.”RTSB 61.7

    The Douay Catechism says:—RTSB 61.8

    “It is also called Sunday from the old Roman denomination of dies solis, the day of the sun, to which it was sacred.”RTSB 61.9

    It is not pleasing to consider that so many Christian churches have so long retained this relic of heathenism and sun-worship in their midst; and it does not speak well for the religion of the age that, when its pagan origin and character are fully proved, so many are so strongly wedded to custom find tradition that they will cling to it in preference to that holy day of the Lord, blessed and sanctified by Jehovah himself.RTSB 61.10

    We call, but must call in vain, for any requirement or precept for Sunday observance before the edict of Constantine. And Mr. Baird may say what he pleases about Christianity having become the dominant religion of the empire, it is only an abuse of history to attempt to turn the decree of Constantine in favor of Christianity or of a Christian institution. This perversion of historical facts has long been made to do service to the cause of Sunday-keeping. Dr. Schaff is an earnest advocate for Sunday, yet in giving a summary of the notable acts of Constantine he speaks of this decree as follows:—RTSB 62.1

    He “enjoined the civil observance of Sunday, though not as dies Domini, but as dies solis, in conformity to his worship of Apollo, and in company with an ordinance for the regular consulting of the haruspex (321).”—History of the Chris. Ch., vol. 2, p. 31.RTSB 62.2

    That it was enjoined as the civil observance of a heathen festival is beyond dispute. Mr. Baird did well for his cause to hide the facts from his readers; but we hope as the light spreads the advocates of Sunday may be induced to pursue a more honorable course; to either try to sustain their cause by correct data or to abandon it.RTSB 62.3

    Mr. Baird has very much to say about the ignorance of Seventh-day Adventists; of their “entire destitution of argument;” of the “unmitigated nonsense” of their claims; that no one who is not fit “for a lunatic asylum” would argue as they do; and his very closing sentence is as follows:—RTSB 62.4

    “Their success in any community, generally speaking, is in the direct ratio of the popular ignorance that pervades it.”RTSB 62.5

    It is, “generally speaking,” a fact that all who candidly listen to the discourses of Adventist preachers, for two weeks, confess that they receive thereby more instruction in Bible truth than they had received in years under the ministration of the more popular preachers. And when we consider the intelligence of those of his own congregation who accepted the views of the Adventists, as compared with that of those who rejected them, we are compelled to look upon the above as more an expression of spite than of a manly Christian spirit. Turning back a few pages in his pamphlet we read an invective against the Adventists for applying to the United States “the two-horned beast of Daniel”! A man may speak inadvertently, and we can overlook a blunder; but when a preacher writes a sermon, reads it to his congregation, and then prints it and sends it out to the world, in which he locates the two-horned beast of Revelation 13 in the prophecy of Daniel, we know not what to call it but premeditated ignorance of the prophetic Scriptures! Such being his lack of acquaintance with the Scriptures, we do not wonder that Mr. Baird is not an Adventist!RTSB 62.6

    We do not reproach any one for his want of education. Lack of schooling is no evidence of dishonesty. A man may be both ignorant and honest; and we then esteem him more highly than we do the man who is learned and dishonest. But how a man can honestly pretend to know so much that he does not know we cannot imagine. And when religious teachers prove to be so lamentably ignorant we cannot look for great intelligence among the taught! Mr. Baird has made a great flourish, as if he stood a head and shoulders above ordinary men in his ability and learning. But with all his pretense he has shown himself entirely ignorant of Hebrew, a blunderer in the Greek, with so little knowledge of the Bible that he cannot tell whether an important prophecy, and that a disputed one, is in the Old or New Testament. It is in the Revelation, but he thinks it is in Daniel. From first to last his reasoning is found to be defective, and his conclusions unnecessary.RTSB 63.1

    And, unfortunately, Mr. Baird is not alone in his dilemma. The current preaching of the day is largely made up of essays on popular topics instead of expositions of Scripture. Were this not the case we should be much surprised to learn that other ministers of the Congregational order recommend Mr. Baird’s work as an able exposition of this subject, and refutation of the position of Seventh-day Adventists. A few years ago such ministers could make the people believe the Adventists were as ignorant as they themselves professed to think they were. With a scornful air and sneering words they would silence all questions. But that day has passed away. With the wider spread of the truth, contact becomes unavoidable, and sneers and scorn will no longer avail. The people are taking the judgment out of the hands of their would-be leaders, and with the thinking and the candid every man must pass for what he is really worth-not for what he professes to be.RTSB 64.1

    These are important matters; they relate to our duty to God, and will affect our standing in that day when, in the light of His commandments, He “will bring every work into Judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” Now, men may exalt themselves before their fellow-men, even in the very work of opposing the truth of God: then, the truth will judge all, and no one can hide from the searching eye of the Judge. Decisions there will all be just, but they will reverse many decisions made here. In order to have our decisions stand, they must be in harmony with the commandments of God, by which all things will be judged. May the Lord help us to act wisely, to our own salvation and to His glory.RTSB 64.2

    Larger font
    Smaller font