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    QUESTION DEBATED

    Resolved, That the sabbath of the fourth commandment was given at creation, and that the precept to observe it extends through the present age.”PSDS 121.6

    Elder Waggoner, having taken the affirmative, opened the debate with the following arguments in support of his side of the question:PSDS 121.7

    1. The ten commandments are recognized in both Testaments.PSDS 121.8

    2. The term Sabbath signifies rest.PSDS 121.9

    3. God made the seventh day His Sabbath by resting that day; andPSDS 121.10

    4. Because He rested, He blessed and sanctified it.PSDS 121.11

    Conclusion: The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is emphatically declared to be God’s rest-day; God’s rest-day was made, or originated, at creation; therefore, the Sabbath of the fourth commandment was made at creation.PSDS 121.12

    The institution of the Sabbath is founded upon immutable and unchangeable facts, viz: the creation of heaven and earth in six days, and the rest of Jehovah on the seventh day. Exodus 20:8-11. Exodus 16. shows the existence of the Sabbath antecedent to its publication on the Mount. By comparing the 4th and 28th verses of this chapter, it will be seen that the law regulating the Sabbath existed anterior to the giving of the manna at the wilderness of Sin.PSDS 121.13

    Elder Stephenson replied on the negative—PSDS 121.14

    1. The first thing to be proved in this debate is the Origin of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment—not the origin of the Sabbath of the Lord—not when the Lord rested, but when did He command man to observe a day answering to His rest day.PSDS 121.15

    The obligation enforced by the fourth commandment could not exist antecedent to the fourth commandment; for where there is no law, there is no transgression. Paul and John.PSDS 121.16

    The Sabbath of the fourth commandment was made just as the annual Sabbaths and the feast days were made, i.e. by enforcing its observance by precept. It devolves on the affirmative to show that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment (that is, the fourth commandment’s Sabbath) was made, i.e., commanded at creation. We must have plain Bible statements. The Sabbath was given to man at the wilderness of Sin. Exodus 16:5, 29.PSDS 121.17

    2. “The term Sabbath signifies rest.” I will not take issue. I admit it.PSDS 122.1

    3. “God made the seventh bay His Sabbath by resting that day.” True. But the origin of the Lord’s Sabbath has nothing to do with the origin of the fourth commandment’s Sabbath.PSDS 122.2

    2. “And because He rested He blessed and sanctified it.” This statement I endorse also. But what does it prove? Ans. It proves that the original reason why God blessed and sanctified the seventh day was not, as will be argued by my opponent, because He designed it for man’s observance; but because He rested.PSDS 122.3

    5. “The Sabbath of the fourth commandment was God’s rest day: God rested at creation.” My opponent confounds the reason why the seventh day of the week was selected in preference to any of the other days, with the reason why the fourth commandment was given. God laid the commandment on the seventh day, because it was His rest day; but the grand original reason why He commanded the children of Israel to observe a weekly Sabbath at all, was that they “were servants in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord God brought them out thence through a mighty hand, and by a stretched-out arm, the Lord their God commanded them to keep the Sabbath day.” Deuteronomy 5:15. This reason harmonizes with the Bible account of the origin of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Exodus 16:5, 20. “See for that the Lord hath given you (who? Adam? Certainly not: but the children of Israel) the Sabbath; therefore, He giveth you on the sixth day, the bread of two days.”PSDS 122.4

    The sixth day here is reckoned from the first day of the giving of the manna; and the seventh day, the day following. Why, then, go back to creation? Could God give the people represented by the pronoun you the Sabbath 2,500 years before they existed?PSDS 122.5

    The Sabbath was a sign between God and the children of Israel. See Exodus 31:13-17.PSDS 122.6

    6. “The fact of creation in six days, and the rest of God the seventh day, eternal and immutable.” Admitted. But what does that prove in regard to the origin of the fourth commandment, or the duty of man to observe the Sabbath enforced by it? The fact of Adam being forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is eternal, but does that prove the perpetuity of the Adamic law through the present age?PSDS 122.7

    The facts of the tenth day of the seventh month and the fourteenth day of the first month existed from creation; but does that prove that the institutions founded upon those facts were made at creation, or originated synchronously with those facts?PSDS 122.8

    The fact of the fore-ordained existence of the Lord’s rest day by no means proves that it was enforced by the fourth commandment before there was any fourth commandment.PSDS 122.9

    The above is a summary of the main position taken in the first part of the discussion. During most of the first day Elder Waggoner entrenched himself in the foregoing positions which he evidently considered his stronghold; and would not lead out, hence much time was lost in useless repetitions, until Elder Stephenson finally undertook to prove the negative.PSDS 122.10

    It is due Elder Waggoner to here say that he moved slowly and with due caution; and that from first to last the best of order was maintained, and the best of feeling prevailed. And I am happy to be able to say the debate has resulted in a firm reliance on the plain word of the Lord, according to its literal interpretation as the only sure basis of faith; and positive testimony as the only sound rule of interpretation.PSDS 123.1

    I came to the debate with a full determination to hear it through, and then decide according to the weight of evidence, without regard to pre-conceived views or prejudices; and as the debate will be published, and I have not space in the letter to do justice to either party, I will briefly give a few of the arguments which of themselves are sufficient to decide the entire question in my own mind. And,PSDS 123.2

    1st. Deuteronomy 5:15 plainly states the reason why, and the time when the Sabbath was commanded. “Remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath.”PSDS 123.3

    Again, Exodus 31:13, is equally positive and definite. “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations.” Read also the 17th verse.PSDS 123.4

    In looking over my notes, I cannot as an honest man before God, see how anything could be more plainly proved than that the entire law by which the Israelites were governed, including the ten commandments, were abolished. The law was 430 years after the Abrahamic covenant. Galatians 3:17. “It was added because of transgressions till the seed should come to whom the promise was made,” Verse 19. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster,” (i.e. no longer under the law,) verses 24, 25.PSDS 123.5

    The ten commandments are positively declared to be God’s covenant. Deuteronomy 4:12, 13; Exodus 34:27.PSDS 123.6

    1st. This covenant was not made with the fathers, but with the identical children of Israel who were brought up out of the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 5:3, 4.PSDS 123.7

    Paul declares in the most explicit language, that the covenant (i.e. the ten commandments) was cast out, was faulty, had waxed old, and was ready to vanish away. Galatians 4:21-30; Hebrews 8:7-13. 9:1-4, 14-22. 10:1.PSDS 123.8

    Again, 2 Corinthians 3:7, is positive evidence that the ten commandments were abolished. At the 9th verse, Paul showed that the two ministrations were the two things contrasted: “For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.” At the 10th verse he declares that the first ministration was done away, and the second remained. “For if that (i.e. that ministration) which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. At the 13th verse, he tells us that it was abolished; and at the 7th verse that this ministration was written and engraven in stones. “But if the ministration of death written and engraven in stones was glorious,” etc.PSDS 123.9

    On Romans 7. it was argued—PSDS 124.1

    1st. That the husband is the law-giver, and that the death of the husband releases the wife from the law of her husband. Verses 2, 3; Ephesians 1:21-23; 5:22-32.PSDS 124.2

    2nd. That Moses and Christ were the two husbands. Hebrews 3:1-6 was referred to as proof: “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house as a servant, etc. But Christ as a son over his own house, whose house are we, that is, the church.PSDS 124.3

    Again, Deuteronomy 18:18, 19; Acts 3:22; 7:37, were quoted to prove that Moses and Christ were the heads and law-givers by Divine appointment for the government of the church in the Jewish and Christian dispensation. And (3) that Christ is the living head and law-giver of his church (i.e. his bride,) which is his body. Romans 7:4, 6. Also that the son of the bond-woman could not be heir with the son of the free-woman, and that consequently his children had to be cast out to make way for the children of the free-woman. Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. Amen.PSDS 124.4

    I would say, it is due my Sabbath-keeping brethren to say that they treated Bro. Stephenson with christian courtesy and kindness.PSDS 124.5

    Dear brethren, how it behooves us to search the Scriptures for ourselves, in these days of deception and peril, and be sure that all our conclusions are based upon the positive testimony of God’s word. May we more than ever cling to God’s truth as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, that we may be sanctified by the same, through Jesus Christ, who is our life-giver. Amen.PSDS 124.6

    We, the undersigned, having taken notes of the debate on the Sabbath between Elds. Waggoner and Stephenson, held at Crane’s Grove, Illinois. We believe the Report of R. Chown is a true Report of said Debate as given through the expositor.PSDS 124.7

    Eld. J. Howell,

    Dr. S. Jacobs.

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