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    September 2, 1889

    “The Day of the Sabbath” The Signs of the Times, 15, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “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; .. for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”SITI September 2, 1889, page 472.42

    Language could not be framed so as to express more clearly the fact that the Sabbath of the Lord was permanently fixed upon a definite specified day. The last charge to be brought against the fourth commandment is that of indefiniteness. If it is not definite, then language cannot be made to convey ideas.SITI September 2, 1889, page 472.43

    But many of the “inventions” that men have “sought out” is the theory that the commandment does not prescribe the observation of a certain day recurring at regular intervals, but that it enjoins the observance of one-seventh part of our time. The term “sought out” if fitly applied to this invention, for no trace of this theory appears in the commandment. It was brought to light about two hundred years ago as the only alternative of those who wished to persuade themselves and others that they were keeping the commandment, while at the same time they were observing a day of their own choosing. But this is one of the thinnest disguises ever invented. It is a very easy matter to show its absurdity, as we will demonstrate. Notice carefully the following argument:-SITI September 2, 1889, page 472.44

    If God sanctified an indefinite seventh part of time, he must of necessity have left it optional with man to choose which day he would keep; the only thing commanded would be rest; man could suit his own convenience as to time. It would then follow that whatever day man should choose to rest upon, that would be the portion of time sanctified; and thus the act of the Creator would be dependent on the act of the creature. But it is not at all consistent with the dignity of even a human lawgiver to make the meaning of his enactments contingent on the caprice of the people; much less would such a course reflect honor upon the government of God.SITI September 2, 1889, page 472.45

    But this is not the worst result that would naturally follow. If an indefinite seventh part of time were sanctified, then not only would it be left to man to choose the day for rest, but each individual would be at liberty to rest upon the day which might please his fancy. One man might take the seventh day, and another might take the fourth, and then, according to this theory, not one-seventh but two-sevenths of the time would be sanctified. Or, to suppose a case which would be very likely to happen if men should actually try to put their theory into practice, every day in the week might be kept by different individuals, and then it would appear that in the beginning God had sanctified or set apart all the time! But in that case what would become of the theory that he sanctified only a seventh? We submit to anyone that this is not a forced conclusion; if the conclusion is absurd, it simply proves that the theory is question is absurd.SITI September 2, 1889, page 472.46

    But before men reach this point in their endeavors to evade the law of God, they usually recover their reasoning faculties to some extent, and say that it is necessary for all men to keep one and the same day. The exigencies of business require it. Then we ask, Who shall appoint the day? What man is there whose judgment all will follow? There is no man or class of men whose authority even a majority of persons will acknowledge, so as to defer to it. In a case that is left open, every man is on an equality with every other. There is positively no way out of this dilemma but to admit that the commandment plainly declares,-that God, I the beginning, decided definitely which day of the week should be observed. So we see that the one-seventh-part-of-time theory is an impossibility when reduced to practice. And even if it were possible for all men to agree upon some day of their own choosing, that day would be their Sabbath, and not the Sabbath of the Lord, which the commandment enjoins.SITI September 2, 1889, page 472.47

    But some will say, “Granting that a definite day was set apart, how can we tell which one it was?” This must be an easy question to answer, else it were useless to have a definite day appointed. The commandment says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath.” Mark, the seventh day, not a seventh day. The seventh day of what? Not of the month, for that would not meet the demand for a rest after six days of labor. For the same reason it cannot mean the seventh day of the year. It must mean the seventh day of a period of time of which seven days is the sum. But this is the week; and we therefore are shut up to the conclusion that the commandment enjoins the observance of the seventh day of the week. A really candid thoughtful person could not decide otherwise.SITI September 2, 1889, page 472.48

    For further proof that the seventh day of the week is meant read Luke 23:54-56; 24:1. The sacred historian after describing the crucifixion and burial of Christ says: “And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Now if we can find what day it was on which they rested, we shall know beyond all doubt which day is “the Sabbath-day according to the commandment.” The next verse says: “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared.” To avoid any possibility of cavil, we turn to Mark 16:1, and there read that this visit took place “when the Sabbath was past.” Luke, then, has given us in consecutive order the record of three days as follows: Christ was crucified on “the preparation day;” the day following was the Sabbath, upon which the women rested “according to the commandment;” and the next day was the first day of the week. This proves unmistakably that the Sabbath of the commandment is the seventh day of the week. E. J. W.SITI September 2, 1889, page 472.49

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