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    September 15, 1890

    “Front Page” The Signs of the Times, 16, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In an article in the Independent, concerning the railroads and the labor troubles, the Hon. Cassius M. Clay says:-SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.11

    “There is anarchy and civil war lowering along the whole horizon. There comes anarchy, and then, like as in the French Revolution in 1787, despotism.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.12

    The Universal Congress of Catholics is to be held at Liege, Belgium, this month. Delegates are expected to be present from every Catholic country in the world. Among the subjects to be discussed are: The Temporal Power of the Pope, and Papal Arbitration. The Congress is said to be the outcome of a circular letter which was sent to all Catholic bishops two years ago, asking if they thought it advisable for the Pope to leave Rome.SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.13

    Here is an example of the illogical manner in which men too often handle Bible doctrines:-SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.14

    “On the morning of his resurrection, Jesus said, ‘I have not yet ascended to my Father.’ We have his word, therefore, that he did not enter Paradise on the day of his death.”-Rev. C. C. Foote, Detroit.SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.15

    “We must remember Christ ubiquity. As he could enter that ‘upper room’ to the disciples without opening the door, so he was in paradise without ‘ascending’ there.”-Christian Cynosure.SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.16

    Which is the plainest kind of a non sequitur. Jesus didn’t enter that upper room without going to it. He was actually in the room; but he plainly declared to Mary that he had not ascended to the Father. “Ubiquity” doesn’t cause one to be in a place to which he hasn’t gone.SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.17

    The New York Observer, in an editorial on “Filling the Treasury,” takes a position against grab-bag, fairs, festivals, and other ungodly means of raising money for the church, and says:—SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.18

    “Such means more money-raising for the purposes of God’s kingdom can scarcely be too strongly and sieraly denounced. It is a question whether the church will ever be the successful opponent of evils in the world that she could be, if she leans for her financial support upon worldly men or worldly measures. What concord has Christ with Belial? Did all the faithful, godly pastors of our land speak their minds on this subject they would present an awful array of testimony concerning the ill effects of worldly-wise methods for filling church coffers.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.19

    But what are faithful and godly pastors for if it is not to speak their minds on such subjects as this? And if pastors do not speak their minds when such a canker is eating the heart out of the church, can they be called faithful and godly? The command is, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1. And there is no question at all whether the church can ever be the successful opponent of evils in the world, when she cherishes the evils of the world in her own bosom.SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.20

    “Is the Seventh-day Sabbath Binding Upon Christians?” The Signs of the Times, 16, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Under the above heading the Leader of August 14 contained twelve propositions answering the question in the negative. We have heard the article spoken of several times as being something that Sabbatarians couldn’t answer; and as the Leader is the principal organ of the Baptist denomination on the Pacific Coast, it has doubtless had much influence with those who are not conversant with the Sabbath question. For this reason we take space to show the weakness of the answers. In the various paragraphs below will be found the entire article:-SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.21

    “Recently I was asked to answer this question publicly, My reply was No! and for the following reasons:-SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.22

    First-For 2,000 years, no command was given for anyone to keep the Sabbath.SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.23

    The same thing may be said of the prohibition against idol-worship and blasphemy. Shall we therefore conclude that Christians are at liberty to do those things? If not, how does silence about the Sabbath indicate that we are not to keep it? For a period of six hundred years after the law was given upon Mount Sinai nothing was said, so far as we have any record, about the Sabbath. Shall we conclude that God did not care to have even the Jews keep it-No; we are glad to know that the God whom we worship does not have to repeat his commandments every year or every century, in order to have them valid. But, as a matter of fact, we have the most explicit reference to the seventh-day Sabbath twenty-five hundred years before the exodus. After creation was completed, God rested on the seventh day, and the record says: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:3. To sanctify means to set apart, to appoint, to command. See Joshua 20:7, margin; Joel 2:15. Therefore the inspired record is that as soon as the first week of time was ended, God commanded the observance of the seventh day. Even if it were true that twenty-five hundred years passed before the command was given to keep the Sabbath, that would determine nothing as to our duty now. Men do not argue so in regard to human laws. The fact that a law was enacted only last year is not considered as a reason why it should not be obeyed.SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.24

    Second-When the command was first given, it was given to the Israelites. Exodus 16:23.SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.25

    Third-It seems plain from Exodus 16:27-30, that they did not keep the Sabbath previous to this time.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.26

    This is not true, as has been shown in the preceding paragraph. The command to observe the seventh day as the Sabbath was given in Eden at the close of the creation. It was given to Adam, the father, not of the Jews, but of the whole human family, thus indicating that it is for the race, in harmony with the declaration of Jesus, “The Sabbath was made for man.” Mark 2:27. The only day that was known as the Sabbath when Jesus said this, and the day which was the special subject of remark on that occasion, was the seventh day of the week. The reading of Exodus 16:23 is sufficient to prove that it is not the first command to keep the Sabbath, nor indeed is it a command at all. It is simply a reference to a commandment already given. The entire transaction recorded in the sixteenth of Exodus shows that the Sabbath was well known. As to the statement in “reason” third, that “it seems plan from Exodus 16:27-30 that they did not keep the Sabbath previous to this time,” we have only to say, Read it, and see for yourselves. Some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather manna, and the Lord said, “How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” Exodus 16:28. This is sufficient proof that the Sabbath was not a new thing.SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.27

    Fourth-This is further corroborated by the fact that on the three preceding seventh days, the whole camp to Israel was on the march.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.28

    It is of no use to take time on this, for it is an assertion unbacked by any proof, and which is incapable of proof. It is a lamentable fact that many opposers of the Sabbath of the Lord do not hesitate to resort to fiction, in the absence of argument. This should open the eyes of the candid.SITI September 15, 1890, page 476.29

    Fifth-The Sabbath, and the laws pertaining thereto, was given to the Israelites alone, and was to be a memorial of their deliverance from Egypt, and a sign of the covenant between them and the Lord. Exodus 31:13-17; Deuteronomy 5:12, 15.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.1

    This is true of all the commandments to the same extent that it is true of the fourth. Paul says that the chief advantage of the Jews lay in the fact that to them were committed the oracles of God. Romans 3:1, 2. It was committed to them to make known to others. They were to be the light of the world, as Jesus himself declared to a congregation of Jews. Matthew 5:14. The Sabbath was given them as a sign, that they might know God; but God never designed to shut himself up to the Jewish nation. He wants all men to know him; he is known by his works; and the Sabbath is the memorial of creation. This also is additional proof that the Sabbath was made for all men. Moreover, God has no covenant except with Israel (see Hebrews 8:8-10; Romans 9:3, 4; Ephesians 2:11, 12), and only the seed of Abraham are Christ’s and heirs of the kingdom (Galatians 3:29). If any Gentiles are saved, they must be grafted into the stock of Israel. See Romans 11:13-26. So the fact that a thing was given to Israel is nothing against it, but rather in its favor; “for salvation is of the Jews.” John 4:22. And the fact that Israel is to be the nation that will endure throughout eternity and that the Sabbath was given them to be observed throughout their generations, shows that it is binding on Christians both now and forever.SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.2

    Sixth-If the law of the Seventh-day Sabbath is binding upon all, then the penalties are also binding. No work was to be done, no fire was to be kindled by anyone, under penalty of death. Exodus 31:14, 15; 35:2, 3; Numbers 15:32-36; Ezekiel 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.3

    Very true, the penalty is as sure as the law. The penalty for Sabbath-breaking was death, and is still the same. The same is true of any of the commandments. The penalty for idolatry, blasphemy, and persistent disobedience to parents, was death, and is still; for “the wages of sin is death.” But God has not committed to men in this age the execution of the penalty. The Jewish government was a theocracy; God himself was their ruler. It is not so now, for his people, the true Israel, are in all nations; but when they are gathered out at the coming of the Lord, then it will be seen that the penalty for violation of God’s law is death; and unto his people will it be given to share with him in executing the judgment which is written. See. Psalm 119:9.SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.4

    Seventh-Nowhere in the Old nor New Testaments are the Gentiles commanded to keep the Seventh-day Sabbath, but Christians, both Jews and Gentiles, are in Colossians 2:13-17 forbidden to insist on keeping the Jewish Sabbath-days.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.5

    The first part of this has been answered in number 5, above. The latter part is sufficiently answered by saying that the seventh day is not, and never was, a Jewish Sabbath. The Lord says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:10. He also styles it, “my holy day.” Isaiah 58:13. This day the true Israel-Christians-are commanded to keep throughout their generations, and they will do so as long as the new heavens and the new earth endure. Isaiah 66:22, 23.SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.6

    Eighth-Christ, in his teaching, calls attention to, and enforces, all of the commandments, except the fourth. Why this exception, if that was still in force?” This is simply not true. Nowhere in the teaching of Christ is there the slightest reference to the second commandment. This does not prove that the second commandment is not binding on Christians, and that they are free to worship idols. As we said before, we worship a God who does not have to repeat his commandments often, in order to given them force. When he speaks once, that is sufficient. Is not this a more loyal way of looking at the matter? Christ has nowhere in his teachings repealed the fourth commandment, therefore it must still be binding. But the fact is the Lord made no exception in the commandments, but declared them all to be binding. Said he, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17. This should stop the mouth of every man who professes to love the Lord. By the way, isn’t it strange that Christ’s utter silence in regard to the first day of the week is not considered by first-day advocates as anything against the claim that it is a sacred rest day?SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.7

    Ninth-After Christ’s resurrection, the disciples met for worship on the first day of the week. Matthew 25:21; Mark 16:2-9; John 20:1, 19-26; Acts 20:27; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.8

    This proves nothing. They also met on the Sabbath. See Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 17:21; 18:4. They also met every day. Acts 2:46. It is amazing that men will offer to prove that the seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment is not binding, and then will gravely say, “The disciples met on the first day of the week,” as though that simple fact was sufficient to overthrow the commandment, or had any relation whatever to it. But let us look a moment at the texts referred to prove that the disciples met for worship on the first day. Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; John 20:1 all refer to a single first day, the day of the resurrection; and not one of them says anything about any meeting. They simply state the fact of Christ’s resurrection. Mark 16:9 says not a word about any meeting of the disciples, but simply says that Christ “appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” Nothing about Sunday worship in that. John 20:19 does speak of a meeting of Christ and his disciples on that same first day of the week, and Mark 16:14 informs us that this meeting of the disciples was at their own home, for the purpose of eating supper. Acts 20:27 makes no reference to any day of the week; but Acts 20:7-11, which the writer evidently meant, does speak of a meeting on the dark part of the first day of the week, namely, Saturday night, and of a long journey which Paul and his companions took the next day, Sunday. 1 Corinthians 16:2 makes no reference to any meeting on the first day of the week, but on the contrary, directs each one to “lay by him in store,” as God had prospered him. And, lastly, Revelation 1:10 says nothing of the first day of the week in anywise, but mentions “the Lord’s day,” which the Lord himself declares to be the seventh day. See Exodus 20:10; Isaiah 58:13; Mark 2:28.SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.9

    Tenth-The spirit of the fourth commandment is: Work six days and rest one. This can be done by resting on the first day, and working the other six.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.10

    The spirit of the fourth commandment cannot be kept by breaking it. It commands the observance of “the seventh day.” The commandment not only says that we are to work six days and rest one, but it tells us particularly upon which one we are to rest. Who but one whose heart was fully set in him to disobey, could argue that a direct command to rest on “the seventh day” can be complied with by resting on the first day?SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.11

    Eleventh-In regard to rest, morality, piety, or true religion, the keeping of the seventh day has not a whit the advantage over the first.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.12

    We submit that God is the best judge of what constitutes “rest, morality, piety, or true religion.” The keeping of the seventh day has just this advantage over the first, that God has commanded it, and he has said nothing about the first except to include it in the six days in which work may be done.SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.13

    Twelfth-Ninety-nine per cent of those who keep any Sabbath keep the first day of the week. If God does not require it, why should one percent insist that the other ninety-nine should change their Sabbath?”SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.14

    Where in the Bible is it stated that truth and duty are to be determined by the practice of ninety-nine per cent, of the people? He says, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.” Ninety-nine per cent of the people in the days of Noah thought he was a fool, but the result showed that he was right and that they were wrong. Ninety-nine percent of the Jews, and more, rejected Christ when he was on earth; yet this did not prove that he was not the Messiah. The majority of the people on earth to-day do not worship the one God, Jehovah. The great majority of those who profess to believe in baptism, call sprinkling baptism, and sneer at the Baptists for insisting on immersion; yet this does not prove that the Baptists are wrong in obeying literally. The majority say that the spirit of the commandment is met by pronouncing the formula and applying a little water; the Baptists insist on actual baptism, immersion in water, according to the command. If the practice of the majority is to determine what is right, why do not the Baptists give up immersion? A Baptist should be the last one in the world to argue against obedience to the letter of any precept, or to urge numbers as proof that a practice is right.SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.15

    We have denoted this space to the consideration of these “reasons” against Sabbath-keeping, because they are the reasons that are kept in stock, and are used all over the country. Wherever the Sabbath truth is taught, these objections are urged. Let the friends of the Sabbath lose no opportunity to enlighten those who have not examined both sides, by showing to them the utter absence of reason in the “reasons” against the Sabbath. E. J. W.SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.16

    “No California Sunday-law” The Signs of the Times, 16, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Here is something for our ardent Sunday-law friends to explain. A prominent citizen of Melbourne, Australia, who is visiting in San Francisco, said: “In Australia, Sunday is a holy day, observed by all; in San Francisco it is a gala days; yet I saw fewer people drunk here on Sunday than on the same day in Sydney or Melbourne.” Our Eastern friends are apt to imagine that California is a terribly lawless place because it has no Sunday law; but as a matter of fact, there is not a State in the Union were life and property are more safe than here, and Sunday is as quiet a day in San Francisco as in Chicago, New York, or even Philadelphia, the home of Sunday legislation. Religious legislation is far from being synonymous with moral development.SITI September 15, 1890, page 482.17

    “Destroying the Foundations” The Signs of the Times, 16, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is doubtless well known to the readers of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES that there is quite a body of people professing to look for the coming of the Lord, who do not keep the seventh day, and who are probably the most bitter of all people in their opposition to the Sabbath of the Lord. The name which they take to themselves if “Advent Christians,” the idea being that Adventists who keep the Sabbath are not Christians. This explanation is made simply that the readers may understand who the people are that made the following remarkable resolution, which we find in the World’s Crisis of August 6:-SITI September 15, 1890, page 483.1

    “WHEREAS, There are many people among the Advent Christians who believe that the decalogue of ten commandments is in full force in the Christian dispensation; and,SITI September 15, 1890, page 483.2

    “WHEREAS, By the Advent Christian Conference of Oregon and Washington, that the ministers of our denomination, especially our evangelists, have not done their whole duty if they terminate a series of meetings in a new field without teaching that the five books of Moses, including the decalogue, are one law, and as each are abrogated.”SITI September 15, 1890, page 483.3

    We pass by the fact that this resolution carries by the board all the commandments, and obliges the ministers to teach that the commands not to steal, kill, commit adultery, or bear false witness owed their existence to the prejudices of an unenlightened age, and are obsolete. That they might be able to do; but we should think that they would often get into difficulty in carrying out the resolution.SITI September 15, 1890, page 483.4

    For instance: The book of Genesis tells about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It relates the wonderful history of Joseph. In Exodus we are told of Moses and the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Now some on of those preachers will almost involuntarily begin to talk about Abraham and his faith, or the integrity and purity of Joseph, before he remembers that it has been officially declared by his denomination that those records are abrogated, and of no account. A thing is placed upon record because it is supposed to be true, therefore the abrogation of it is evidence that it has been discovered that it is not true. Now let us see how much of the Bible those preachers are permitted to teach.SITI September 15, 1890, page 483.5

    They cannot teach that if we are Christ’s we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise, for, according to the resolution, there never was any such man as Abraham. They cannot draw any lessons form the first half of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, for that is all based upon an abrogated record. They must teach that there was never any such man as Moses, and that the Israelites were never delivered from Egypt. The story of the flood must be classed with fables, and the story of creation likewise.SITI September 15, 1890, page 483.6

    Possibly they may begin to tell their people that “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,” before they remember that this is founded upon an outgrown tradition. The story of the fall of Adam has been abrogated. Then forgetting that the abrogation of the story of the fall makes unnecessary the story of redemption, they may begin to tell about the glory of our Advocate, who is “made an high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek,” when their better-instructed audience would interrupt them with the query, which would now be pertinent, “Who was Melchizedek?” Sure enough; that story about Melchizedek has been abrogated, together with the statement which the Lord made to Moses: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” Deuteronomy 18:18, 19.SITI September 15, 1890, page 483.7

    And so the evidence of the Lord as “the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin” (Exodus 34:6, 7) is abrogated. But if it is abrogated there, it must be everywhere, and so the whole gospel of Christ must be overturned in order to get rid of the Sabbath. This is even so, for Christ said, “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:46, 47. Belief on Christ depends on belief of Moses; therefore if the five books of Moses be abrogated, Christ himself is taken from us. Well did the psalmist ask, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3.SITI September 15, 1890, page 483.8

    Dear Christian reader, do you think it is worth while to overturn the whole plan of redemption, in order to get rid of the duty to keep the Sabbath? You say it is not necessary to do that in order to show that we need not keep the seventh day. But think a minute. Here are people who have been forty years fighting the seventh-day Sabbath, and is it not to be presumed that in that time they have found the best argument that can be devised? They have tried everything, and find this the most effective. They have found that the only consistent way to oppose the Sabbath is to abolish the entire revelation of God to man, for it all goes with the five books of Moses. Doesn’t it seem to you that a cause that requires such desperate measures must be dangerous? Is not the fact that opposers of the Sabbath can take such a position sufficient evidence that they are wrong in their opposition? Think of this carefully, and decide to “remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy.” E. J. W.SITI September 15, 1890, page 483.9

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