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    TWENTY-SIXTH SPEECH

    Mr. Stephenson in the Negative.—In relation to 2 Corinthians 3:7. Whenever I make a mistake, I am willing to acknowledge it. But I have no recollection of making any acknowledgement, with Bro. Hall, that the question with reference to this passage was settled. If Bro. Hall cannot recollect it, I must think Eld. Waggoner’s statement a misrepresentation.PSDS 97.1

    I want to call your attention to some things that my opponent challenged me to prove. He calls upon me to show where a covenant is commanded except the ten commandments. But the text does not require me to do it. “The word which He commanded to a thousand generations; even of the covenant which He made with Abraham, and of His oath unto Isaac, * * Saying, unto thee will i give the land of Canaan,” etc. He, the Lord, tells in the most explicit language, what covenant, what word, He commanded to a thousand generations. Genesis 15:18. God commanded His word to a thousand generations. He says I had no use to refer to Genesis 15:18; 26:3. I merely referred to them to show the analogy between them and the covenant, word and oath of God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as used interchangeably in 1 Chronicles 16. Here is a covenant commanded, and confirmed by the oath of God. But the phrase law is in it. One single commandment to Adam was a law, and I challenge him to show that Adam had the ten commandments. If law means ten commandments, what do laws mean?PSDS 97.2

    As for my opponent, he is entirely innocent of the charge of using sarcasm. Your speaker has not used any sarcasm. “But who art thou, that condemnest another, whereas, thou doest the same thing?”PSDS 98.1

    “Be ye mindful, always, of His covenant.” Covenant and word are used interchangeably. As for myself, I shall stand or fall by the Bible. He says, a promise of God cannot be kept except by God. Is there a commandment here to be kept? Does it say keep his covenant? It says, “be ye mindful of,” etc.PSDS 98.2

    If a man cannot keep the promise of God, he can, at least, keep the condition that secures the fulfillment of that promise. How can the law of faith be kept? Ans: Only by continuing to believe. Just so in reference to the promise of God. Faith is founded upon the word of God. The Bible is to be the only evidence in this discussion. I will not bandy words here again, on this point; the language of God is too plain to admit of two sides. He has assumed the position of a respondent in the New Testament, and I am determined to go ahead. Now, if I speak and then tell the people what I say, no one has a right to say that I said something else. And here is a case in point. Must we go to Genesis to find out what God said? Even the covenant which he made unto Abram, etc. But we want to know what the Lord said. If He tells us that he commanded His covenant to a thousand generations, criticism shall fall like Dragon before the Ark of God.PSDS 98.3

    In regard to the covenant made at Horeb. What is the obvious import of the Bible language in regard to this? What did God say? When I showed that the Sinaitic covenant has been done away, did my opponent acknowledge it? By no means. Moreover, I never knew a man to acknowledge his error in a public discussion, and I never knew a man to yield a single point even, and do not expect that my opponent will do so. He takes his position, and no argument will make him acknowledge that that position is not right.PSDS 98.4

    But mark his definition of covenant. “I believe I can show three covenants in the Bible—a covenant of law, a covenant of promise and a covenant of agreement.” The ten commandments are a covenant; therefore they are a covenant of law. But listen a little farther. It is a covenant of law and it is a covenant of agreement also Read Exodus 19:3, 4, etc. In other words, the ten commandments are the covenant, and the conditions of the covenant also. If this is not mixing up things greatly, I cannot see. My opponent seems to overlook the fact that the Bible is to be the only evidence in the case. He seems to think that his reasoning is to be received, and that mine, whether based upon the Bible or not, is to be neglected entirely. But I will here say that it is the truth we wish to bring out, in this discussion, not the theory of either disputant. It is the Bible that we wish to investigate, and the great question for us to ask ourselves, and each other, is, what saith the Scriptures? If awful consequences are to grow out of reading the Bible, separate from Webster’s Dictionary, I don’t know as I am to blame in the matter—it’s author must be the one. Deuteronomy 4:12. What was that covenant? Ans: The ten commandments. What was the covenant He declares He did not make with the fathers? Deuteronomy 5:1 to 4. Ans: the ten commandments. “The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our father, but with us, even us who are all of us here alone this day.” I don’t care a cent about Webster, my opponent cannot drag him in here, in opposition to the Bible. Now, read 5:22. “And the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount, out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice; and He added no more: and He wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.” Here is the covenant that God made with them at Horeb, and did not make with their fathers. My opponent further accuses me of a willingness to admit the pre-existence of nine of the commandments if I can only overthrow the fourth. But I never have admitted that he proved the pre-existence of all, or any one of them. I merely reasoned from his position or assumption. I will endorse no such thing. When my opponent brings plain Bible testimony, in support of his assumptions, then I will admit their truthfulness, and not till then. If this is bringing him in a critical position before this people, I can only say I can’t help it. God Himself tells us just what He said, and we do not need Webster to explain what God says. Let my opponent settle with God’s word as recorded by Moses, instead of with what Webster says.PSDS 98.5

    Now, about 2 Corinthians 3, He says: What is death, but condemnation? Condemnation is a sentence, and death is a penalty or the execution of that sentence. Does not time always elapse between the sentence of condemnation and execution? But he has not made a point here. The contrast is between the two ministrations: Is my criticism just, or is it not? Is it the ministration of condemnation that is glorious, or is it the condemnation? To answer these questions, you have only to take the obvious import of the language used. “The ministration glorious—the condemnation glorious.” Verse 9. Choose that which is the most reasonable.PSDS 100.1

    But suppose he could find the word death used for the law in any case: he has gained nothing even then. I have proved to you that it is the ministration that was done away. You may call this dogmatism, and say that I have a positive temperament. So has my opponent. The ministration of condemnation was glorious, but the ministration of righteousness excelled in glory. If the ministration of condemnation which was done away was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministration of righteousness that remaineth. “The ministration of (condemnation) death was written and graven in stones,” and it was that ministration that “was done away.” I would say to my friends on my left hand, I leave this to your own good sense and discrimination, whether my criticism on this scripture is not correct—whether this is not the most obvious import of the language used by Paul. As for my friends on my right hand, I leave them to take care of themselves!PSDS 100.2

    Now, my respected friends, I can prove the existence of two gods on the same principle that my opponent proves that there are two laws. Let us look at this. God is represented as being a God of love. He is also represented as being a God of anger. The same God cannot possess two opposite natures that would be continually at war with and tending to destroy each other. But I will also take his own arguments and show that the same law may have two attributes apparently opposite—that is, spiritually and carnally. Matthew 5:18: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Or, as Campbell renders it, “One iota or tittle shall not perish without attaining its end.” Romans 10:4: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Now, I believe all this. Christ did not come to destroy the law, and yet at the same time might not this old code of laws, (the ten commandments included,) that was given merely to restrain the overt actions of the children of Israel, be done away? Because Christ did not come to abolish it, does not prove that it never is to be abolished. I do not consider the conclusion of my opponent a necessary one. He does not prove that the ten commandments are a law at all. In the absence of plain Bible testimony, let us reason according to the plain common acceptation of language. But the Bible, according to its most obvious import, is to be the only evidence in this discussion, according to the regulations we mutually agreed to before it commenced. Romans 7. Two attributes no more prove two laws than two Gods.PSDS 100.3

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