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    November 6, 1884

    “The Sabbath-School” The Signs of the Times, 10, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. What do the afflictions of this life work for us? 2 Corinthians 4:17.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.1

    2. Under what means do we behold unseen things? Hebrews 11:1.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.2

    3. By what means do we behold unseen things? Hebrews 11:1.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.3

    4. While looking (by faith) at unseen things, of what are we assured? 2 Corinthians 5:1.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.4

    5. What is meant by “our earthly house of this tabernacle” being dissolved? Compare 2 Peter 1:13, 14 with John 21:18, 19.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.5

    6. What does Paul say that we earnestly desire while in this earthly tabernacle? 2 Corinthians 5:2.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.6

    7. Why do we desire to be “clothed upon”? 2 Corinthians 5:4.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.7

    8. Then to what is being “clothed upon with our house which is from heaven” equivalent?SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.8

    9. What do these two “houses”represent? 1 Corinthians 15:44.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.9

    10. Which of these is first? 1 Corinthians 15:46.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.10

    11. When is the spiritual body bestowed? 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.11

    12. Whence does this spiritual body come? 1 Corinthians 15:49.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.12

    13. When is it that corruption puts on incorruption, and mortality puts on immortality? 1 Corinthians 15:42, 51-53.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.13

    14. Then when is it that mortality shall be “swallowed up of life”?SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.14

    15. And to what is this equivalent? 2 Corinthians 5:4.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.15

    16. Who hath wrought us for this thing? Verse 15.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.16

    17. What is it for which God hath wrought us?SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.17

    18. As a pledge of immortality, what does he now give to us? Verse 5.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.18

    19. If when this earthly house is dissolved, and we are “clothed up” with our heavenly house, mortality is swallowed up of life, what opposite conditions do the two houses represent?SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.19

    20. Then in what condition are we while in this earthly body?SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.20

    21. And while “at home in the body,” from whom are we absent? Verse 6.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.21

    22. When is it that we shall be with the Lord? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.22

    23. And what do we “put on” at that time? 1 Corinthians 15:21-54; 2 Corinthians 5:2-4.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.23

    24. Since that is the dissolving of this present body, and we are not “clothed upon” with our spiritual body till the resurrection, in what condition are we between death and the resurrection? 2 Corinthians 5:4.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.24

    25. But is that a desirable state?SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.25

    26. What do we desire rather than this? 2 Corinthians 5:8.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.26

    27. Quote the three texts to prove that we can be “present with the Lord” only at his second coming.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.27

    In the portion of Scripture covered by this lesson the apostle sets before us the grounds for hope. The matter what we may be called upon to suffer, we are to be of good courage, and trust in the Lord; for this is what is meant by 2 Corinthians 4:16: “But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day-by-day.” In the next verse he tells us why he is thus hopeful: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Surely if we believe this, we could, with the apostle, “glory in tribulation.”SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.28

    It is not, however, for every one, nor under all circumstances, that afflictions accomplish this result. It is not to all that afflictions seem light. Each person is inclined to feel that his own trials are the most severe of any; but certainly there are none that have to endure more than Paul did. Now what was the means by which he lightened them? “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” And thus it is that everybody can make their own trials light or heavy, just as they please. If they choose to look only at the present time, and think of their trials, they will appear enormous; but if they looked at eternal things-the world to come, and its joys-earthly sorrows will be entirely lost sight of. Who would not endure a moment of pain to secure a year’s pleasure? If during an entire year we should suffer pain but a single second, would that instant of pain be remembered? Certainly not; it would not attract our attention. Well, a second of time is infinitely greater in comparison with a year, than a life-time is in comparison with the eternity. So, then, if our entire life were filled with pain, it would not be remembered in eternity. Now in order to get the benefit of this comparison now, and make our present afflictions seem light, we have only to transport ourselves, by faith, to the eternal world, looking so steadfastly at it that what it has to offer appears real to us. Christians are to live not alone in the present, but in the future-“for we walk by faith, not by sight.”SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.29

    But what is that unseen thing at which we look, that affords this hope? The first verse of chapter 5 gives the answer: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” This verse gives the answer in full; the remaining verses are devoted to enlarging upon and explaining this point. The question to be solved, then, is, What are these two houses? and when are they occupied?SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.30

    There can be no question but that by the dissolution, of this tabernacle the apostle refers to death. Peter uses the same expression in referring to his decease. 2 Peter 1:13-15. The fourth verse, being partially a repetition of verse 2, affords data for determining when the second house is bestowed. “For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” Thus we see that when we are clothed upon with our heavenly house, immortality is bestowed, or, still better, that the being “clothed upon with our house which is from heaven” is the same as the putting on of immortality. We have already learned (1 Corinthians 15:51-54) that immortality is given only when the Lord comes; so we conclude that this heavenly house is not received at death. This will appear still more plainly hereafter.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.31

    By referring to the 15th of 1 Corinthians, we find still more about these two “houses.” In the forty-fourth verse we learn that there are two bodies, a natural body and the spiritual body. These bodies do not exist at the same time, but the first is the natural body, “and afterward that which is spiritual.” Verse 46. Verse 49 tells us that this spiritual body is heavenly, thus more fully identifying it with “our house which is from heaven.” And now from verses 42-44 we learn that this spiritual, heavenly body is given at the resurrection: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” Thus we find that the two houses are the natural and the spiritual body; that the spiritual body is given at the resurrection, which is at the coming of the Lord; and that this receiving of the spiritual body, or “putting on immortality,” is the same as mortality being ‘swallowed up of life.”SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.32

    But what about the state of death? What house do we occupy then? None at all. Our condition at that time is represented by the term “unclothed.” While we are in this house-this mortal body-we groan, “earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.” In Romans 8:23 Paul says that that for which we groan is “The redemption of our body,” thus proving what we have already learned, that the heavenly house is the putting on of mortality. “If so be dead been clothed we shall not be found naked.” 2 Corinthians 5:3. Now if this earthly house is dissolved at death-which none will deny-and the heavenly house is given only at the resurrection, it must be that there is a time of being unclothed. But this was not what Paul desired; it is not for which we groan. Death is not given as the object of desire. We groan with the burden of mortality, not that we desire death to rid us of the cares of this life, but desiring that mortality shall be swallowed up of life. Because we do not desire to be thus unclothed, however, is no sign that that may not be our lot. But “we shall not all sleep;” some will be living when the Lord comes, and they will change mortality for immortality “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.33

    Mortality and immortality are then the two houses-the one earthly, and temporal; the other heavenly, and eternal. Now while we are in the first state we are absent from the Lord; for it is only when Christ comes, and immortality is bestowed, that we shall be “forever with the Lord.” And since this is the case, we are not only willing to be absent from this mortal state, and be present with the Lord, but that is the thing for which we groan. Our confidence rests in the fact that God has created us for this self same thing; he designs that we shall have immortality, and to assure us that it will be given, he has given unto us the earnest of his Spirit. So long as we have that, we are sure of our future, immortal inheritance. And our faith in God’s promise brings that inheritance so near, and makes it so real, that, in spite of present tribulation, we may be always “rejoicing in hope.” E. J. W.SITI November 6, 1884, page 662.34

    “Everlasting Fire” The Signs of the Times, 10, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Last week we considered the condition of the world without Christ, the state from which Christ saves those who believe in him, and which unbelievers are to receive. It was bound to be perdition-the exact opposite of life eternal. In our further investigation of this subject, in order that doubts may not embarrass the mind of any, we will first consider those texts that are supposed to teach just the opposite of what we have found to be the case. And first, we will say that it is not a subject on which philosophy or mere human reason can throw light. We can know nothing about it, except what we learn from the Bible. It is not for man to say what God will or will not do. Believing that the Judge of all the earth will do right, we must prepare our minds to accept what his word says concerning the fate of those who rebel against his Government. If we should find that they are to be kept alive through eternity, suffering infinite torture, we are bound to accept that view, even though it is repugnant to our ideas of justice. And so, also, if we find, as we have already, that they are to perish, i.e., be blotted from existence, then we must accept that view, however contrary it may be to our previous instruction.SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.1

    We have said that there are, and will be at the end of the world, but two classes-believers and nonbelievers, or righteous and wicked. In the twenty-fifth of Matthew these two classes are brought to view. The King is represented as separating the two classes, setting the righteous on his right hand and the wicked on his left. “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Verse 34. This disposes of the righteous; they then receive the reward of eternal life. The time will then have come for the saints to “take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” Daniel 7:18. But what of the wicked? “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41.SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.2

    Does the fact that the wicked are to go into “everlasting” fire, prove that they will live and be tormented to all eternity? We will not presume to decide without an examination of the Scriptures. Let the Bible be its own interpreter. In the seventh of Jude we read that “Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” The reference will be understood by all. On account of the wickedness of the cities of the plain, God rained down fire from heaven upon them, and their fate,-“suffering the vengeance of the eternal fire,”-is given as an example and warning to other evil-doers.SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.3

    Now must we understand, because those cities suffered the vengeance of “eternal fire,” that they are therefore now in existence, and will be eternal? Turn to 2 Peter 2:6, and read: “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.” What was the result of that eternal fire? The cities upon which it fell were turned to ashes. And Jeremiah shows that, instead of its requiring an eternity for eternal fire to accomplish its work, it takes but a short time. He says: “For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.” Lamentations 4:6. Now if the cities were “overthrown,” and turned to ashes, then the fire must have long ago ceased to burn. And this is the case, for the waters of the Dead Sea now roll where those cities once stood. The “eternal fire” in that case did not burn to all eternity. If that was so in one instance, it may be in another.SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.4

    We have seen (Matthew 25:41) that fire is to be the means by which the wicked are punished. What will be the result of this fire? Read Malachi 4:1, 3, and we shall see: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” So we see that this “eternal fire,” into which the wicked are to go, like that which fell upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, will turn into ashes. That seems reasonable enough. Fire always turns to ashes that which is thrown into it, if that thing be combustible; and in this case we are told that the wicked “shall be stubble.” Why should they not be ashes when the fire has done its work?SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.5

    On Jude 7, Dr. Barnes has the following comment:-SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.6

    “The phrase ‘eternal fire’ is one that is often used to denote future punishment-as expressing the severity of the intensity of the suffering. As here used, it cannot mean that the fires which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah were literally eternal, or were kept always burning, for that was not true. The expression seems to denote, in this connection, two things: (1) That the destruction of the cities of the plain, with their inhabitants, was as entire and perpetual as if the fires had been always burning-the consumption was absolute and enduring-the sinners were wholly cut off, and the cities forever rendered desolate; and (2) That in its nature and duration this was a striking emblem of the destruction which will come upon the ungodly.”SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.7

    But does the Bible also say that the fire into which the wicked are to be cast shall not be quenched? It certainly does; let us read: “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Mark 9:43, 44; also verses 45-48. We would not in the least evade the full force of this text; we believe in it, and yet we still hold that the wicked are to become ashes, and cease to be. Let us see if we cannot also find an instance of unquenchable fire that has already existed and ceased to be. In the seventeenth chapter of Jeremiah, the Lord, by his prophets, warned his people against the sin of Sabbath-breaking. He told them that if they would keep the Sabbath according to his commandment, their city, Jerusalem, should stand for ever. “But,” said he, “if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” Jeremiah 17:27. But the Jews did not heed this warning; they continued to violate the Sabbath, and the Lord brought upon them that which he had threatened. Read what is said of it:-SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.8

    “And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling-place; but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary; .... and they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.... To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah.” 2 Chronicles 36:15-21.SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.9

    Here we see that as the result of that fire that was not to be quenched, the palaces were burned, and the vessels were destroyed. Is the fire burning in yet? Certainly not. Are the palaces and walls still in existence? No; the fire made an end of them. But suppose the fire that was kindled in the gates of Jerusalem had been quenched; what would have been the result? Why, the walls and palaces would not have been devoured, as Jeremiah had said they should.SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.10

    Take a common occurrence. A fire breaks out in a city. The wind fans the flames so that every effort to extinguish them is in vain. The next day the papers say that certain blocks of buildings were burned to ashes. Why was it? Because the fire could not be quenched. If it could have been, the buildings would have been preserved. But does the fire still continue to burn? No; it went out as soon as the buildings were consumed. There was nothing then for it to feed upon, and it died.SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.11

    Now what did we read in Malachi that the fate of the wicked shall be? “They shall be ashes under the soles of your feet.” But this result would not be accomplished if the fire into which they are to be cast should be quenched. The fact that the fire shall not be quenched is the fullest proof necessary that they will be utterly consumed. Mark the strong language used by John the Baptist: “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:12. Here, as in many other places, the wicked are likened to chaff; now if they are to assist in the flames of punishment to all eternity, this would be an inappropriate figure, for chaff does not long withstand the fire. And the fact that they who are represented by the chaff will not be proof against the destructive action of the fire, is indicated by the statement that he will “burn up” the chaff.SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.12

    Right here we may notice a passage in Isaiah. “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” Isaiah 33:14. This is a very pertinent question. Shall we conclude from that that the prophet teaches that the wicked will dwell in the fire to all eternity? That would be a hasty, shortsighted conclusion. The very next verse answers the question: “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil.” Such, and such alone, can dwell with the devouring fire, and with everlasting burnings. While the “devouring fire” seizes upon the chaff, and burns it up, the righteous ones, gathered into the garner of the Lord, shall dwell in safety. Well may the sinners in Zion be afraid, for the day is coming that “shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” E. J. W.SITI November 6, 1884, page 664.13

    “The ‘Teaching of the Apostles’” The Signs of the Times, 10, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The reader must bear in mind the reason why these articles are written. It is not because we attach any importance whatever to the document called the “Teaching of the Apostles,” but because some people are lauding it to the skies, and claiming that it would completely overturn all seventh-day observance. Our object was to show just how much weight it does have, so that none can have the “Teaching” as an excuse for Sunday keeping. In our investigation we have found, (1) That when correctly translated, the document does not mention the “Lord’s day;” (2) That it is not claimed by its most zealous defender that the “Teaching” was written by any of the apostles; (3) That no one knows when it was written, but they suppose that it was in the first, the second, or the third century; (4) That no one pretends to know who wrote it; (5) That the fact that it was written early in the Christian era adds nothing to its value, because writers on church history agree that it was a common thing to forge the names of imminent men, and that to deceive and lie in a good cause was thought to be commendable, even by those calling themselves Christians; and that even when we concede honesty of purpose to them, we cannot depend on what they say, because they were in every way unfitted to be expositors of Bible doctrine.SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.1

    Still further, we found that the immediate company in which it was found does not recommend it, because the so-called “Epistle Barnabas” is universally conceded to be a forged document, besides being full of blunders, and puerile and absurd to the last degree. Concerning the two “Epistles of Clement,” we found that one is not an epistle at all, and is not claimed by scholars to be the production of Clement, and that the other bears no author’s name, so that nobody knows who wrote it, and, more than all, is admitted by all to have been the object of as much interpolation. And as for the “Epistles of Ignatius,” they are declared by higher authority to be base forgeries, “the last shifts of a grave imposture,” “utterly spurious,” and said only to be “swept away from among the genuine remains of early church literature with the bosom of scorn.” Such is the company in which this document that is to upset all the calculations of Sabbath-keepers was found.SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.2

    And now comes the venerable Bishop Bryennios himself, the one to whom the world is indebted (?) for the discovery of this wonderful production, and says that of the sixteen chapters that compose the “Teaching,” the “last ten chapters are entirely distinct, and have no authority whatever, except so far as the writer happens to be correct in his injunction.” And the Independent of October 16th, the one from which the last quotation is taken, commenting upon it, says: “European and American scholars have not claimed that any part of the ‘Teaching’ is authoritative; the first six chapters no more so than the last ten. They only insist that a whole document has value and significance as a reflection of the teachings and usages of the sub-apostolic age.”SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.3

    Surely we need quote no more testimony, the learned Bishop grants that the last portion of the “Teaching” has no authority, “except so far as the writer happens to be correct in his injunction.” That is a great concession. Now we can answer for seventh-day keepers that they are not disposed to regard any writings whatever as having authority, except so far as the writer is correct; the standard of correctness must invariably be the Bible; and when any writer makes a statement that agrees with that standard, we accept it, not because certain writers said so, but because it does agree with the standard.SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.4

    The Independent’s statement that the whole of the “Teaching” has value only “as a reflection of the teachings and usages of the sub-apostolic age,” is a confession that the document is simply one of the forgeries so common in the early centuries. It purports to be the “teaching of the apostles,” when it is nothing of the kind. This proves the truth of what we said in the second article, that nobody really believes that the “Teaching” carries with it in the weight of authority. Then why did the Advance say that it would tend strongly “to make keepers of the seventh day change their observance to the first day, and keepers of the first day are confident of their position than heretofore”? There can be but one answer: Advocates of first-day observance have no Scripture authority for their claims, have fallen into the habit of accepting anything which seems to support them, even though they know their witnesses to be false.SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.5

    That this conclusion is not ill advised, appears from an examination of the quotations in our last article, concerning the so-called epistles of Clement, Barnabas, and Ignatius. Those quotations were made for a twofold purpose. First, to show the writings from whose company the “Teaching” derived so much of its honor, and second, that our readers might know the foundation upon which the Sunday institution is built. For, be it known, the same writings.-p those attributed to Clement, Barnabas, and Ignatius,-are constantly quoted in behalf of Sunday observance. The statements found in them, together with a few from other “Fathers,” equally untrustworthy, are the strongest proofs brought to bear in favor of Sunday-keeping. Men who write “D. D.” after their names, who have graduated at theological seminaries, where church history is a most prominent branch of study, and used textbooks in that study were those from which we have made our quotations, will quote the words of these “Fathers,” with as much assurance as though they were inspired. We will not question the honesty of such men, but we think that the following words are fulfilled in them:-SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.6

    “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men; therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” Isaiah 29:13, 14.SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.7

    The reader will have little difficulty in estimating at its true value of the evidence that has formed the basis for Sunday observance, when he reads the statement of the Advance, that the “Teaching” will tend to “make first-day keepers more confident of their position than heretofore.” Vain confidence! As though any number of untruths could be made to equal one truth. Truly, when men turn away from the commandments of God, and are determined to abide by the “precept of men” their perceptions become blunted, and they become unable to distinguish truth from error. In closing, we would say to all who desire to establish Sunday observance, that it cannot be done unless they can bring a “Thus saith the Lord” in support of it, because the storm that is coming will “sweep away the refuge of lies,” but “the word of the Lord abideth forever.” Nothing will stand that is not built upon this foundation. E. J. W.SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.8

    “A Mixed Case” The Signs of the Times, 10, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    At the last Methodist conference in California a “Sabbath Committee” was appointed, whose report appeared in full in the Advocate. It is but just to state that the report as given was not adopted, but what the objections were is not stated. If they were against the first paragraph, which we quote below, we shall be happy to make them known if we are informed of them. Here it is:-SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.9

    “Sabbath is made binding upon the human conscience by the law of God. Some statuary provisions, intended to impress the world with its holiness, passed away with the exigencies to which they were made specially to apply; but the fourth commandment is yet as binding as the first for the sixth. The decalogue is fundamental law. It is the constitution of the moral world, and the full force of its fourth section passed over to the first day of the Jewish week by the change which the Holy Spirit distinctly announced and the apostolic church adopted immediately after the resurrection.”SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.10

    It is doubtful if so great a medley of truth and error could be found in one paragraph of any subject except the Sabbath. The first half is straight enough. The law of God contains our rule for Sabbath observance. The statutory provisions, that were local and temporary, form no part of the fourth commandment, as is admitted above. Consequently their existence or non-existence in no wise affected the force or meaning of the fourth commandment. That, as the committee truthfully said, “is yet as binding as the first were the sixth.” This being the case, it necessarily follows that all our knowledge concerning the Sabbath must be derived from the fourth commandment.SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.11

    Thus far we agree. But now, after stating that the decalogue is the constitution of the moral world, they add, “and the full force of its fourth section passed over to the first day of the Jewish week.” If that be so, then we must find some statement to that effect in the fourth commandment, or else must find it in an amendment to the constitution. Read the commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work; thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.” This commandment, the committee say, is as binding as the first or the sixth. By what legerdemain do they make it uphold first-day observance when it mentions only the seventh day, and that explicitly? We would like to have that committee explain their words.SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.12

    We will ask another question: What did the commandment mean when it was given? What day did it specify as the day of rest? All will admit that it was not the first but the seventh day of the week. The committee admitted this, when they said that the force of the fourth commandment “passed over” to the first day of the week. If any are in doubt as to just what day the Lord did point out by the commandment, let them read the sixteenth chapter of Exodus, and remember that the order of things therein stated continued forty years. For forty years the seventh day was marked by the regular occurrence of miracles. Now, then, another query: Since the wording of the commandment has not been changed, and it clearly designated the seventh day when it was given, how is it possible for it to mean the first day now? Can the same commandment teach one thing at one time, and another thing at another time? If it can, why could it not teach both things at the same time? And if it did that, would it really teach anything?SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.13

    Let us try this mode of reasoning on the first commandment. That says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” There is no mistaking who is meant by this commandment, for it is prefaced with, “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” The living God is the one who thus claims supreme honor, and so it was and is understood. But we find that in after years the Jews, as an entire nation, forsook the Lord, and served Baal. For this cause God visited them with punishments. What a pity they did not have the wisdom of modern theologians, for then they could have said: “The decalogue is the constitution of the moral world, and the full force of its fourth section has passed over to Baal.” We are not sure that this argument would have been of any advantage to them, for they doubtless had an abundance of the excuses with which to quiet their consciences, and we very much doubt if they could have brought the Lord over to their way of thinking by any such reasoning. But why should not the Lord be satisfied with that kind of obedience to the first commandment as well as to the fourth? We are certain that neither the Advocate nor the “Sabbath Committee,” would be willing to allow that the first commandment justifies the Chinaman in his worship of Joss. And why not? Because it particularly specifies the God who is to receive our adoration. Very good. But the committee admit that the fourth commandment is as binding as the first; why then do they keep the first day when it enjoins the seventh? Can they give a satisfactory answer?SITI November 6, 1884, page 665.14

    “But we have already given our authority,” perhaps they will say. Let us look at it. They say concerning the decalogue that “the full force of its fourth section passed over to the first day of the Jewish week by the change which the Holy Spirit distinctly announced, and the apostolic church adopted immediately after the resurrection.” We can only say that we have read The New Testament through more than once, and we never came across any such distinct announcement; and we have never seen any one that did. If that committee have some revelation from the Holy Spirit that other men have not, we think it is their duty to make it known. One thing is certain: neither Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, nor James, ever made that “distinct announcement” known.SITI November 6, 1884, page 666.1

    We think all candid persons will agree that the committee have not established their case. It must stand with the Scotch verdict of “not proven.” To all who are inclined to accept their conclusions without proof, we would say, Be cautious how you proceed. God himself declares that he is a jealous God, and we are very sure that in the Judgment they will not be able to convince him that when he said one thing he meant something directly opposite. E. J. W.SITI November 6, 1884, page 666.2

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