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    June 12, 1884

    “God’s Seventh Day Man’s First Day” The Signs of the Times, 10, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is nothing that can be proved so conclusively that no one can find a chance to cavil, if his inclination or selfish interest prompts him to do so. The infidel Hume once said that if there were anything in the forty-seventh proposition of Euclid that crossed any person’s selfish interests, or limited the power of any man or class of men, there would be hundreds who would dispute the mathematical demonstration that the square of the hypotenuse of the right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. And so it is. It is not difficult, with the mass of mankind, to gain their assent to the most absurd theories, if their passions or business interests lead the way; but it requires more than mere human reason to thoroughly convince a man of the plainest truth, against his inclinations. Only the grace of God can subdue the evil heart of unbelief.SITI June 12, 1884, page 360.1

    By no other means than by the existence of the principle just cited, can we account for some of the (so-called) arguments against the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. One of the weakest of these is that “the day which is observed by the majority of people is indeed the true Sabbath of the fourth commandment,” since “God’s seventh day was Adam’s first day.” We would not think this objection worthy of notice in this paper, had not several correspondents especially requested it.SITI June 12, 1884, page 360.2

    What is meant by the expression “God’s seventh day”? Of course nothing else can be met but the seventh day of time, according to God’s count. This, it is claimed, is man’s first day, because he could not have any knowledge of time that had passed before his creation! To be consistent, the advocates of this theory should keep as their Sabbath, the seventh day, counting by seventh from the day of their birth. If this chanced to be on Wednesday, then they should keep Tuesday, for how do they know that there was any such thing as time before they were born? It will be replied that others have kept a record of time, and we accept their testimony and reckoning. Exactly so; and is it not possible that the same God who imparted to Adam the knowledge of the Sabbath, could inform him of the fact that there was a measurement of time before he was created? It seems that Moses found out a great deal about things that occurred before his own time, even as far back as the very beginning, because he was willing to take the Lord’s word for it; and the first day of Adam’s existence is rather early for him to be setting up his own reckoning in opposition to that of his Maker.SITI June 12, 1884, page 360.3

    But it is strange that none of those who have stumbled at this objection raised by their leaders, have never questioned the truth of the assumed fact. They have never thought to inquire if God’s seventh day was indeed man’s first day. This point can be settled by reading the first chapter of Genesis, which contains a record of the transactions of each day of the creation week. There we learn that man and the lower animals were created on the sixth day of the week. If Adam, then, as is claimed, commenced an individual reckoning of time, the seventh day of his week would have been the fifth day of the week according to God’s reckoning. No one can deny this. We know it is claimed that Adam was created late on the sixth day, and that the next day was really his first day. Really, it was no such thing, we are not informed as the exact hour of the day when Adam was created, nor does it matter; we do know that he was created on the sixth day, and, consequently, that was his first day of life. If a child is born on the twelfth of June, the twelfth and not the thirteenth of June in each succeeding year is celebrated as his birth-day, even though he were born late in the afternoon.SITI June 12, 1884, page 360.4

    Now why do not the advocates of the theory in question stick to the facts in the case? Simply because the facts would demolish their theory. If the facts were adhered to, they would find in them no semblance of an excuse for Sunday-keeping, and it would not be for their interest to advocate the observance of the fifth or the sixth day of the week.SITI June 12, 1884, page 360.5

    The absurdity of the theory is apparent enough, but we want to consider it a moment in the light of the fourth commandment. That says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in yet thou shalt not do any work.” Did God mean by this the seventh day, or the first day? “Both,” say our friends; “he meant the seventh day according to his own private count, but the first day according to man’s reckoning.” We have heard that the Jesuits say a thing that they do not mean, and which is not true, and making mental reservation, or repeat the truth in an undertone; but this theory charges God with the same duplicity. The commandment was spoken to and for man, and must of course, be in the language to which men are accustomed, otherwise it would be meaningless. Now if God’s seventh day was Adam’s first day, then man’s seventh day must be God’s sixth day; and, this theory being true, it follows that the fourth commandment enjoins the observance of neither the first nor the seventh day, but the sixth!SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.1

    But this, and similar absurd theories, arise from the assumption that the Sabbath is a human institution, and that God has nothing much to do with it, except to advise man to rest when he feels like it. The fact is, that it is God’s day upon which we are to rest,-the one upon which he rested, and which he blessed and set apart. It is “the seventh day” which is “the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Man could not make a day holy if he tried; but God made the Sabbath holy, and he commands man not to desecrate it. Man had nothing to do with making the Sabbath; his only duty in regard to it is to keep it.SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.2

    One word, in closing, to our brethren who may sometimes be at a loss to know how to answer an objector. Do not hold yourselves under obligations to refute at sight every assemblage of words that may be called an argument. Ask the objector first to prove his proposition, and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred he will demonstrate that there was nothing to refute. In the remaining instance you may need to aid him by quoting a few texts of Scripture. E. J. W.SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.3

    “Facts Against Supposition” The Signs of the Times, 10, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the SIGNS of March 6, the editor, commenting on a sermon on Spiritualism, penned the following words: “We record our emphatic denial of the assertion that the Scriptures give any instances of the spirits of the departed reappearing; and we invite any one to point out to us the texts wherein such reappearing is supposed to be given.”SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.4

    Had the call been for texts which prove the return of departed spirits, eternity might pass before a response could be made, the word “supposed” gives the Spiritualist considerable latitude; for there is no limit to what a man may “suppose” about a Bible text, if he only gives loose rein to his fancy. A gentleman from Boston, taking advantage of the above invitation, sends us his supposition as follows:-SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.5

    “Permit me to call your attention to one of the many to be found in the Bible. Luke 16, verses 9, 12, 14; Luke 24, verses 14, 29, 30, 31, 36; John 20, verses 19, 20, 26, 27, and 29. The latter part of the 29th verse contains the following: ‘Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’ To what extent the above will apply to those of the present day, who have the opportunity to see and believe, and won’t do either, remains to be seen.”SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.6

    We are willing to give our correspondent credit for believing without seeing, for we doubt much if he has ever seen some of the texts to which he refers. If he had, he certainly would not have to used them. We refer to those in Luke 16, not one of which contains even the most indirect allusion to a spirit either present or absent. As we said before, though, there is no accounting for what a man may “suppose,” especially if he is wandering in the fog of Spiritualism.SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.7

    In the references made to Luke 24 and John 20, our friend is equally unfortunate. These texts speak of the appearing of Jesus to his disciples after his resurrection; but they say nothing about the return of his spirit. Jesus was then alive, not dead; and we do not question the fact that living beings may appear to whomsoever they please. Luke 24:36, one of the verses referred to, says: “And as they thus spake, Jesus himself [not his spirit] stood in the midst of them.” And verses 38 and 39, not referred to, plainly declare that it was not a spiritual manifestation. They read thus: “And he said unto them, Why are ye trouble? and why do thoughts are rise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” We are inclined to think that it is far easier to believe some things without having seen them, than after the light of truth has shown clearly upon them.SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.8

    We are well aware that Spiritualists, and many who are pleased to style themselves orthodox, claim that the resurrection is simply the act of the soul or spirit leaving the body at the death of the latter. In such a case there would be no resurrection from the dead; there would, in fact, be no death. But the Scriptures invariably speak of a resurrection “from the dead.” Paul was willing to suffer all things if by any means he might attain unto the “resurrection from the dead;” literally, from “dead ones.” Philippians 3:11. When Jesus was transfigured before his disciples, he charged them to tell no man of it until after he was “risen again from the dead.” Matthew 17:9. And this resurrection was not the escaping of the spirit at the dissolution of the body, for we are told that “he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Mark 8:31. Those who claim that the real Christ did not die, or that it was his undying spirit that appeared to the disciples the third day after the crucifixion, must squarely deny the above and many other Scripture texts.SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.9

    And right here we would drop a word of warning, and urge upon all the necessity of a well-grounded, intelligent faith in the Scriptures. There is no doctrine upon which it is more necessary that we be firmly settled than that of the State of the dead. Error is wonderfully blinding and seductive. We may think that we are proof against temptation on this point, but the human heart is in itself deceitful, and Satan knows how to take advantage of it, if it is left unguarded. Our only hope of safety is in having a thorough knowledge of the true teachings of the inspired word, and in being led by the Spirit of God, that when we are brought into the conflict with Satan, we may meet him at every point with, “It is written.” We are to resist him steadfast ‘in the faith.”SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.10

    Our correspondent says: “Your paper is good in many ways. Pray be good enough to spend half as much time in the investigation of Spiritualism as you have in attacking it, and give the readers the result of your investigations.” Why, we have spent a great deal more time in the investigation of Spiritualism than we have in attacking it. But we don’t propose to investigate in the way that our friend wishes us to. We do not like to investigate in the dark. We have studied the Bible, and we find Spiritualism there exposed so plainly that we have no need to go nearer. As we said, error is blinding; and those who investigate Spiritualism by going into it, or by going where spiritual manifestations are given, will do so at the peril of their souls. It is simply putting themselves on the devil’s ground and inviting him to try his power upon them. Christ will not accompany us when we needlessly go on to the enemy’s ground, and without him human strength is powerless against the prince of darkness.SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.11

    The man who is groping about blindfolded in a dark cavern does not have nearly so good a chance to know what it is like, as the man does who stands outside with open eyes, and holding in his hand a lamp whose beams shine into its utmost recesses. The man who sinks in the ocean knows nothing of its depth, compared with the one who stands secure in a boat and casts in a sounding line. So the man who ventures into the mazes of Spiritualism, is no proper judge of its real nature; while the man who holds in his hand the lamp of God’s word can see all its terrible dangers,-dangers all the more terrible because they are so seductive.SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.12

    We do not need to take poison in order to know its deadly character. We learn its nature and effects from books, and are therewith content. And so we would say again to all: Study the word of God carefully; and earnestly and continually pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” E. J. W.SITI June 12, 1884, page 361.13

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