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    November 23, 1882

    “Christian Advocate on Sabbath-Keeping” The Signs of the Times, 8, 44.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Our readers will remember that a little more than two years ago the editor of the SIGNS published a series of articles in review of a Sunday book by Dr. Benson. In that review the demerits of the book were plainly shown. At that time, it was stated that the book was not noticed on account of any strength of argument which it contained, but because it was endorsed by the leading men in the Methodist denomination on this coast. The book itself was one of the weakest things ever put into print; its assertions had not enough of the semblance of reason to be dignified by the name of sophistries. The California Christian Advocate has been repeatedly called on to defend the obviously untrue statements of that book, together with another Sunday book, or else to cease circulating them; but it has contented itself with an occasional advertisement of the book, and wisely refrained from attempting to substantiate any of its assertions. But at last it has spoken, and here’s what it says:-SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.1

    “Our friend who wishes something on the Sabbath day, will find Dr. Benson’s little work very good.”SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.2

    We do not know that we can seriously dissent from this statement. We must judge of the value of a thing by the use for which it is intended. An instrument that is of no use for one purpose, may be well adapted for another. A plow would be of no account as a vehicle for pleasure riding, but it is a very serviceable farming implement. So Dr. Benson’s book is utterly useless for the purpose of showing the truth on the Sabbath question, or converting any one to Sunday observance; but it is as good as is required for satisfying those who are determined to keep Sunday, and want somebody to assure them that they are right. The Sunday side of the Sabbath question does not admit of Bible argument, and, consequently, assertions are all that can be brought to bear in its favor. Dr. Benson’s book is profuse with these; therefore, we see no reason why it is not as good as could be desired. But the Advocate proceeds thus:-SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.3

    “We wish to state two things: 1st. We believe it is impossible to show that in the latitude of Egypt, Sinai, or Palestine, Christians do not keep the original, identical Sabbath day as Moses and Joshua kept it.”SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.4

    We care very little for what the Advocate “believes,” but would very much like to learn something about what it knows. We know and can prove that neither the Christian Sunday of Egypt, Sinai, or Palestine, nor those of any other century, who observe the first day of the week, keep the original, identical Sabbath day as Moses and Joshua what kept it. Will the Advocate undertake to prove that they do? It is a very easy way to pass the whole thing by, and say, “We believe it is impossible to show” that certain things are not so, but that does not begin to show that they are so. Moreover, the Advocate itself does not believe that the Christians of Egypt, Sinai, or Palestine, who keep the first day of the week, keep the original Sabbath that Moses kept. This can easily be shown. The latitude of these places is also that of California. Then if first-day Christians there keep the original Sabbath that Moses kept, the first-day Christians here must also keep the original Sabbath. The Advocate’s statement concedes this. If that is so, what mean the sneers so frequently found in Dr. Benson’s book and in the Advocate, against the Seventh-day Adventists for keeping the “Jewish Sabbath”? Moses was a Jew, and if they are keeping the same day that he did, they must be keeping the Jewish Sabbath, and we some other day.SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.5

    Again, not long since the Advocate said in regard to Sunday, “We cannot sustain it before the people, if we claim its sanctity as a religious institution.” In this we think it spoke the truth; but if Sunday be the original Sabbath day as kept by Moses, why cannot it be sustained as a religious institution?It must be the fault of its defenders, for the Bible abounds in evidence as to the sacredness of the original Sabbath day.SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.6

    Once more, Christians of every latitude and nation, claim to keep the first day of the week in honor of Christ’s resurrection. We agree with them that Christ rose on the first day of the week; but will they seriously claim that they are keeping the seventh day to commemorate any event that took place on the first? No; they all claim that the Sabbath was changed at that time from the seventh to the first day of the week. But on the day that Jesus lay in the tomb, the day immediately preceding his resurrection, the disciples rested, “according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56. That was the original Sabbath day as kept by Moses, and was the same day that Seventh-day Adventists keep. We can prove this in the following manner: The Jews, who made no change in their religious practices, but continued to observe the seventh day, observe the same day of the week that we do. Shortly after the resurrection they were scattered abroad, and are now found in every civilized land; but there is no disagreement as to the day of the week. The day that they keep is not the day that is kept by the majority of Christians. The Mohammedans observe Friday, not as a Sabbath, but as a festival day, and in Egypt and Palestine, they celebrate their day the day before the Jews celebrate their Sabbath. And the great body of so-called Christians, comprising the Catholic, Greek, and Protestant churches, unite in the observance of Sunday in honor, as they say, of Christ’s resurrection, and there has never been any clashing between them and the Jews or the Mohammedans.SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.7

    When Sunday-keepers make the claim that they are keeping the original seventh day, they virtually give up the whole argument. For it is equivalent to saying that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, the original seventh day, is the only true Sabbath, and is still binding; and since no one has ever proved that Sunday is the seventh day, and could not if they should try, all can see at once that they are standing on nothing. The assertion is made solely for the purpose of confusing the minds of those who are not well-informed on the subject, and who do not wish to take the trouble to think for themselves. But we will read farther:-SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.8

    “2nd. To keep one and the same time all over the earth, for worship and rest, is a physical impossibility, and it is not now and never has been, and never can be so kept, and every intelligent man must and does know it. Therefore, God did not intend to make, and did not make, any law requiring exactly the same time to be kept by all.”SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.9

    “Who is this that darkeneth counseled by words without knowledge?” Who ever claimed that it was a possibility to keep one and the same time all over the earth? Not Seventh-day Adventists, we can assure him. But that it is possible to keep the same day in all parts of the earth, we know that and are assured of. Our knowledge is based upon reason and experience. We know that there are Sabbath-keepers in America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. We know people who have visited each of these countries, and have never met with any difficulty. Wherever they went they were agreed with the inhabitants as to the days of the week. Moreover, we never knew of anyone who found any difficulty. A trip from this country to Europe is as common a thing nowadays as a trip from New York to Chicago, but we never learn that those who go way keeping Sunday come back keeping some other day. Away back in the Dark Ages, before Columbus ventured across the Atlantic Ocean, when men thought that the earth was flat, and dared not go out of sight of land for fear they might never return, there would have been an excuse for people thinking that the same day could not be observed in all parts of the world; but for a person in this enlightened age, who has had the privilege of our common schools, who is old enough to vote, and who even presumes to talk on politics and religion,-for such a one to make the above the assertion, is the quintessence of silliness. We are inexpressibly thankful that our religion does not oblige us to make such inane claims in its defense.SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.10

    We close with these propositions: God, who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, made man. His intention was that man’s descendants should inhabit, not one place merely, but the whole of the earth. Isaiah 45:18; Acts 17:24-26. He also at the close of his creative work sanctified the seventh day as a rest-day for man. Genesis 2:2, 3. That is, he set it apart and made it holy, and commanded men to observe it. He formally repeated this commandment, together with others, on Sinai, twenty-five hundred years after creation. In neither place did he limit its application to any particular people or any particular locality. The other commandments are conceded on all sides to be of universal obligation. We can see no reason why the Sabbath commandment is not of universal obligation also; for it is no where stated that it was to be an exception. Besides, Paul, says that the law, in which this Sabbath commandment is contained, was made “for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,” etc. 1 Timothy 1:9, 10. He also says that “the Scripture hath concluded all under sin.” Galatians 3:22. There is no spot on this earth where these sins are not committed. By these texts we think we are fully justified in saying that God did intend to make, and did make, a law requiring the same day-the seventh day-to be kept by all, the editor of the Advocate among the rest. When the Advocate quits dodging the point, and says squarely that God did not make any law requiring the same day to be kept by all, we have a few more propositions for its consideration. E. J. W.SITI November 23, 1882, page 523.11

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