SEVENTH DAY SABBATH
FROM THE BEGINNING, TO THE ENTERING INTO THE GATES OF THE HOLY CITY
ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT.
BY JOSEPH BATES.
"Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the WORD which ye have heard from the beginning." John ii: 7.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Gen. i: 1. "And God blessed the seventh day, and rested from all his work." ii: 3.
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and enter in," &c. Rev. xxii: 14.
[SECOND EDITION REVISED AND ENLARGED]
NEW BEDFORD: PRESS OF BENJAMIN LINDSEY 1847
TO THE LITTLE FLOCK.
"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." "Six days work may be done, but the SEVENTH is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work." This commandment I conceive to be as binding now as it ever was, and will be to the entering into the "gates of the city." Rev. xxii: 14.
I understand that the SEVENTH day Sabbath is not the LEAST one, among the ALL things that are to be restored before the second advent of Jesus Christ, seeing that the Imperial and Papal power of Rome, since the days of the Apostles, have changed the seventh day Sabbath to the first day of the week!
Twenty days before God re-enacted and wrote the commandments with his finger on tables of stone, he required his people to keep the Sabbath. Exo. xvi: 27, 30. Here he calls the Sabbath "MY COMMANDMENTS AND MY LAWS." Now the SAVIOR has given his comments on the commandments. See Matt. xxii: 35, 40.—"On these two (precepts) hang ALL the law and the prophets." Then it would be impossible for the Sabbath to be left out. A question was asked, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Says Jesus, "If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments"—xix. Here he quotes five from the tables of stone. It is still clearer in Luke x. 25, 28. "What is written in the law? how readest thou?" Here he gives the Savior's exposition in xxii. Matt. as above. Jesus says, "Thou hast answered right, this do and live." See also Matt. v: 17, 19, 21, 27, 33. PAUL comments thus. "The law is holy, and the commandments holy, just and good." "Circumcission and uncircumcission is nothing but the keeping the commandments of God." "All the law is fulfilled in one word: thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." JOHN says, "the old commandment is the WORD from the beginning."—2, 7.—Gen. ii: 3. "He carries us from thence into the gates of the city." Rev. xxii: 14. Here he has particular reference to the Sabbath. JAMES calls it the PERFECT, royal law of liberty, which we are to be doers of, and be judged by. Take out the fourth commandment and the law is imperfect, and we shall fail in one point.
The uncompromising advocate for present truth, which feeds and nourishes the little flock in whatever country or place, is the restorer of all things; one man like John the Baptist, cannot discharge this duty to every kindred, nation, tongue and people, and still remain in one place. The truth is what we want.
FAIRHAVEN, AUGUST, 1846.
[iii]PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.
TO THE LITTLE FLOCK.
My reasons for issuing a second edition of this book are, First, the increasing demand for them, from different quarters. Second, it affords me an opportunity of spreading additional light from the Word on this important subject of present truth. Much more is said about it than any doctrine in the bible, beginning in Genesis, and continuing down to the closing up of the last message which God ever gave to man, proving clearly that the doing of these commandments saves the soul; showing it more clearly than a strict adherence to the Constitution of these United States proves the man a sound patriot. Therefore in this sense they are strictly the constitution of the bible, the everlasting covenant between God and man, and can never be changed or altered while man is stamped with the image of God. Why then has the church lost sight of them? or rather the Covenant in them of the 7th day Sabbath? See history 43d page, and Dan. vii. 25. Well then how does it come to be understood at this point of time? Answer.—The angel Gabriel told Daniel that knowledge should increase in the time of the end. This of course included the scriptures, particularly since the proclamation of the everlasting Gospel in Rev. xiv: 6, 13. It is well known how this knowledge has increased since 1840. These ten Commandments being the foundation of the scriptures. (See Matt. xxii.) God, in a peculiar manner, to instruct his honest, confiding children, shows them spiritually under the sounding of the seventh Angel, the ark of his testament after the temple of God was opened in heaven. xi: 19. These are the ten commandments. Here then I understand is where the spirit made an indelible impression to search the scriptures for the TESTIMONY of God. It was done, and published to the world by many, that the professed church had been walking in open violation of the fourth commandment since the days of the Apostles.—Every one that has read the history of this TESTIMONY of God in the ark, must see the mighty power that accompanied it through Israel and Philistine, one of the greatest wonders that ever existed [iv]in this world, a pattern only of what was seen in the opening of the Temple in heaven. In the xiv: 12, John sees them obeying its dictates. In the xv ch. he describes the division as in the xiv ch. they were rejoicing over the victory of the beast, (got out of the churches,) standing on or by the sure word of prophecy, (some say immortality.) The 4th v. says, "for all nations SHALL come (in the future) and worship before thee." "After that I looked and behold the Temple of the Tabernacle of the TESTIMONY in heaven was open," 5th v. (that is after their songs of rejoicing.) The Temple which contained the Tabernacle, the ark of the testimony, or ten commandments was open. Now this Temple without doubt is the new Jerusalem. Who cannot see that this Temple has been opened for some purpose, but not to be entered by man until the seven last plagues are fulfilled. Here is a space of time in which the commandments will be fully kept. I do not say that this view of the Ark in Rev. is positive, but I think the inference is strong. I cannot see what else it refers to.
On pages 15, 16, I have added about 24 lines in further explanation of Coll. ii: 14, 17. On 16th page, I have also added about as much more to illustrate and distinguish the Sabbath feasts of the Jewish nation. On the nineteenth page I have given about forty lines on the 2d Cor. iii, which I think must settle these points fully.
The last fourteen pages are principally devoted to the covenants and what they are intended for. The two covenants made with man in this state of mortality, is first by God delivered to Moses. The second or new, by Jesus Christ and his disciples. Paul in speaking of them to the Gal. iv: 24, says these are THE TWO COVENANTS. All the others belong to the Saints after the second advent.
If any of the brethren feel it a duty to help pay for the paper and printing of this edition the way is open, otherwise it will be done by a few individuals here, as was the first edition. This work is sent forth gratuitously, with a fervent prayer that these present precious truths may be set home on the soul preparatory to the coming judgment.
Since issuing the first edition in August last, we have publicly called on all the advent lecturers and believers to show us if we were wrong on the Lord's Sabbath. Once more we now challenge the Christian world to show us if they can from the Bible, where we have taken a wrong view of the seventh day Sabbath.
Fairhaven, Jan. 1847.
FIRST QUESTION IS, WHEN WAS THE SABBATH INSTITUTED?
Those who are in the habit of reading the Scriptures just as they find them, and of understanding them according to the established rules of interpretation, will never be at a loss to understand so plain a passage as the following: "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." Gen. ii: 3. Moses, when referring to it, says to the children of Israel. "This is that which the Lord hath said, to-morrow is the REST of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord." Exod. xvi: 23.
Then we understand that God established the seventh day Sabbath in Paradise, on the very day when he rested from all his work, and not one week, nor one year, nor two thousand five hundred and fourteen years afterwards, as some would have it. Is it not plain that the Sabbath was instituted to commemorate the stupendous work of creation, and designed by God to be celebrated by his worshipers as a weekly Sabbath, in the same manner as the Israelites were commanded to celebrate the Passover, from the very night of their deliverance till the resurrection of Jesus from the dead; or as we, as a nation, annually celebrate our national independence: or as type answers to antetype, so we believe this must run down, to the "keeping of the Sabbath to the people of God" in the immortal state.
It is argued by some, that because no mention is made of the Sabbath from its institution in Paradise till the falling of the manna in the wilderness, mentioned in Exo. xvi: 15, that it was therefore here instituted for the Jews, but we think there is bible argument sufficient to sustain the reply of Jesus to the Pharisees, "that the Sabbath was made for MAN and not man for the Sabbath." If it was made for any one exclusively it must have been for Adam the father of us all, two thousand years before Abraham who is claimed as the father of the Jews was born. John says, the old commandment was from the beginning—1; ii: 7.
There is pretty strong inference that the antideluvians measured time by weeks from the account given by Noah, when the waters of the deluge began to subside. He "sent out a dove which soon returned." At the end of seven days he sent her out again; and at the end of seven days more, he sent her out a third time. Now why this preference for the number seven? why not five or ten days, or any other number? Can it be supposed that his fixing on upon seven was accidential? How much more natural to conclude that it was in obedience to the authority of God, as expressed in the 2d chap. of Gen. A similar division of time is incidentally mentioned in Gen. xxix; "fulfil her week and we will give thee this also; and Jacob did so and fulfilled her week." Now the word week is every where used in Scripture as we use it; it never means more nor less than seven days (except as symbols of years) and one of them was in all other cases the Sabbath. But now suppose there had been an entire silence on the subject of the Sabbath for this twenty-five hundred years, would that be sufficient evidence that there was none. If so, we have the same evidence that there was no Sabbath from the reign of Joshua till the reign of David, four hundred and six years, as no mention is made of it in the history of that period. But who can be persuaded that Samuel and the pious Judges of Israel did not regard the Sabbath. What does God say of Abraham? that he "obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws." (See what he calls them in Exo. xvi: 27, 30.) This, of course, includes the whole. Then Abraham reverenced God's Sabbath. Once more, there is no mention of the circumcision from the days of Joshua till the days of Jeremiah, a period of more than eight hundred years. Will it be believed that Samuel and David, and all those pious worthies with the whole Jewish nation, neglected that essential seal of the covenant for eight hundred years? It cannot be admitted for a moment. How then can any one suppose from the alleged silence of the sacred history that Adam, Enoch, Noah and Abraham, kept no Sabbath because the fact was not stated? If we turn to Jer. ix: 25, 26, we find that they had not neglected this right of circumcision, only they had not circumcised their hearts; so that the proof is clear, that silence respecting the keeping any positive command of God, is no evidence that it is not in full force.
Again, if the Sabbath was not instituted in Paradise, why did Moses mention it in connection with the creation of the world? Why not reserve this fact for two or three thousand years in his history, until the manna fell in the wilderness, (see Exo. xvi: 23) and then state that the seventh day Sabbath commenced, as some will have it? I answer, for the very best of reasons, that it did not commence there. Let us examine the text. "And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread as on any preceding day, and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them this is that which the Lord hath said, to-morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath, bake that which ye will bake, &c. &c." If this had been the establishing of the holy Sabbath and Moses had said to-morrow shall be the Sabbath, then would it have been clear; but no, he speaks as familiarly about it as we do when we say that to-morrow is the Sabbath, showing conclusively that it was known before, or how could the people have known that they must gather two day's manna on Friday the sixth day, unless they had had some previous knowledge of the Sabbath? for Moses had already taught them not to "leave any of it until the morning"—v. 19. The 20th verse shows that the Sabbath had not yet come since their receiving the manna, because it spoiled and "bred worms by the next morning;" whereas, on the Sabbath morning it was found sweet and eatible—24th v. This was the thirtieth day after leaving Egypt (1st v.) and twenty days before it was given on Sinai. The weekly Sabbath then was appointed before this or before the days of Moses. Where was it then? Answer in the second chapter of Genesis and no where else; and the same week on which the manna fell, the weekly Sabbath was revived among or with God's chosen people. Grotius tells us "that the memory of the creation's being performed in seven days, was preserved not only among the Greeks and Italians, but among the Celts and Indians." Other writers say Assyrians, Egyptians, Arabians, Britons and Germans, all of whom divide their time into weeks. Philo says "the Sabbath is not peculiar to any one people or country, but is common to all the world." Josephus states "that there is no city either of Greeks or barbarians or any other nation, where the religion of the Sabbath is not known." But as they, like the great mass of God's professed people in christendom, paid little or no heed to what God had said about the particular day, (except the Jews, and a few others) they (as we are informed in history) adopted peculiar days to suit themselves, viz: the christian nations chose to obey the Pope of Rome, who changed the seventh day Sabbath to the first day, and called it the holy Sabbath; the Persians selected Monday; the Grecians Tuesday; the Assyrians Wednesday; the Egyptians Thursday; the Turks Friday, and the Jews the seventh day, Saturday, as God had commanded. Three standing miracles a week, for about forty years annually, ought to perpetuate the Sabbath. 1st, double the quantity of manna on the sixth day; 2d, none on the seventh; 3d, did not spoil on the seventh day. If it does not matter which day you keep holy to the Lord, then all these nations are right. Now reflect one moment on this, and then open your bible and read the commandment of the God of all these nations! "REMEMBER! (what you have been taught before) the Sabbath day to keep it holy;" (which day is it Lord?) "the SEVENTH is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger, that is within thy gates." Who is the stranger? (Gentiles.) Now the reason for it will carry us back to paradise. "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is; and rested on the SEVENTH; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." "Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant; it is a SIGN between me and the children of Israel forever." (Why is it Lord?) "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the SEVENTH day he rested and was refreshed." Exo. xx and xxxi.—Which day now will you choose? O, says the reader, the seventh if I knew which of the days it was. If you don't know, why are you so sure that the first day is right? O, because the history of the world has settled that and this is the most we can know. Very well then, does not the seventh come the day before the eighth? If we have not got the days of the week right now, it is not likely that we ever shall. God does not require of us any more than what we know; by that we shall be judged. Luke xxii: 55, 56.
Once more; think you that the spirit of God ever directed Moses when he was giving the history of the creation of the world, to write that he (God) "blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work." unless he meant it to be dated from that very day? Why, this is as clear to the unbiassed mind as it is that God created man the sixth day. Would it not be the height of absurdity to attempt to prove that God only intended Adam should be created at some future period, or that the creation of the heavens and earth was not in the beginning, but some twenty five hundred years afterwards? All this would be as cogent reasoning as it would be to argue that God did not intend this day of rest should commence until about twenty-five hundred years afterwards. (The word Sabbath signifies rest.)
It follows then irresistibly, that the weekly Sabbath was not made for the Jews only, (but as Jesus says, for 'man') for the Jews had no existence until more than two thousand years after it was established. President Humphrey in his essays on the Sabbath says, "That he (God) instituted it when he rested from all his work, on the seventh day of the first week, and gave it primarily to our first parents, and through them to all their posterity; that the observance of it was enjoined upon the children of Israel soon after they left Egypt, not in the form of a new enactment, but as an ancient institution which was far from being forgotten, though it had doubtless been greatly neglected under the cruel domination of their heathen masters; that it was re-enacted with great pomp and solemnity, and written in stone by the finger of God at Sinai; that the sacred institution then took the form of a statute, with explicit prohibitions and requirements, and has never been repealed or altered since; that it can never expire of itself, because it has no limitation."
In Deut. vii: 6-8, God gives his reasons for selecting the Jews to keep his covenant in preference to any other nation; only seventy at first—x: 22. God calls it his "Sabbath," and refers us right back to the creation for proof. "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth and sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh," &c. Here then we stand fixed by the immutable law of God, and the word of Jesus, that "the Sabbath was made for man!" Paul says, "there is no respect of persons with God." Rom. ii: 11. Isaiah shows us plainly that the Jew is not the only one to be blessed for keeping the Sabbath. He says "Blessed is the man (are not the Gentiles men?) that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it." "Also the sons of the stranger, (who are these if they are not Gentiles?) every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, (does he mean me? yes, every gentile in the universe, or else he respects persons) even them will I bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer; for my house shall be called an house of prayer for all people." Isa. lvi: 2, 6, 7. If this promise is not to the Gentile as well as the Jew, then "the house of prayer for all people" is no promise to the Gentile.
Now we ask, if God has ever abrogated the law of the Sabbath? If he has it can easily be found. We undertake to say without fear of contradiction, he has not made any such record in the bible; but on the contrary, he calls it a perpetual covenant, a "sign between me and the children of Israel forever," for the reason that he rested on the seventh day, Exo. xxxi: 16, 17. Says one, has not the ceremonial law been annulled and nailed to the cross? Yes, but what of that? Why then the Sabbath must be abolished, for Paul says so! Where? Why in Cols. 2d chapter, and xiv. Romans. How can you think that God ever inspired Paul to say that the seventh day Sabbath was made void or nailed to the cross at the crucifixion, when he never intended any such change; if he did, he certainly would have deceived the inhabitants of Jerusalem, in the promise which he made them about two thousand four hundred and forty-six years ago! Turn now to Jer. xvii: 25, and tell me if he did not promise the inhabitants of Jerusalem that their city should remain forever if they would hallow the sabbath day. Now suppose the inhabitants of Jerusalem had entered into this agreement, and entailed it upon their posterity (because you see it could not have been fulfilled unless it had continued from generation to generation,) to keep the Sabbath holy, would not God have been bound to let Jerusalem remain forever? You say yes. Well, then, I ask you to show how he could have kept that promise inviolate if he intended in less than six hundred and fifty years to change this seventh day Sabbath, and call the first day of the week the Sabbath, or abolish it altogether? I say, therefore, if there has been any change one way or the other in the Sabbath, since that promise, it would be impossible to understand any other promise in the Bible; how much more reasonable to believe God than man. If men will allow themselves to believe the monstrous absurdity that FOREVER, as in this promise, ended at the resurrection, then they can easily believe that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh to the first day of the week. Or if they choose the other extreme, abolished until the people of God should awake to be clothed on with immortality. Heb. iv: 9.
Now does it not appear plain that the Sabbath is from God, and that it is coeval and co-extensive (as is the institution of marriage) with the world. That it is without limitation; that there is not one thus saith the Lord that it ever was or ever will be abolished, in time or eternity.—See Exod. xxxi: 16, 17; and Isa. lxvi: 22, 24; Heb iv: 4, 9. But let us return and look at the subject as we have commenced in the light of Paul's argument to the Romans and Collossians, for here is where all writers on this subject, for the change or the overthrow of the seventh day Sabbath attempt to draw their strong arguments. The second question then, is this:
HAS THE SABBATH BEEN ABOLISHED SINCE THE SEVENTH DAY OF CREATION? IF SO, WHEN, AND WHERE IS THE PROOF?
The text already referred to, is in Rom. xiv: 5, 6.—"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day to the Lord, he doth not regard it." Does the apostle here mean to say, that under the new or Christian dispensation it is a matter of indifference which day of the week is kept as a Sabbath, or whether any sabbath at all is kept? Was that institution which the people of God had been commanded to call a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable, now to be esteemed of so carnal a nature as to be ranked among the things which Jesus "took out of the way, nailing it to his cross." If this be true, then has Jesus, in the same manner, abolished the eight last verses in the fifty-eighth of Isaiah, and the 2d, 6th and 7th verses of the 56th chapter have no reference to the Gentile since the crucifixion. O Lord help us rightly to understand and divide thy word. But is it not evident from the four first verses in the same chapter of Romans, that Paul is speaking of feast days; Hear him explain. "Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink." 15, 17 v, also 20, 23. Giving them again in substance the decrees which had been given by the Apostles in their first conference, in A. D. 51; held at Jerusalem. See Acts xv: 19. James proposes their letter to the Gentiles should be "that they abstain from pollution of Idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood;" to which the conference all agreed. Now please read their unanimous decrees (xvi: 4,) from twenty-three to thirty verses. "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things." "That ye abstain from meats offered to Idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication, from which if ye keep yourselves ye shall do well." Reading along to the 13th of the next chapter, we find Paul establishing the Churches with these decrees; (see 4, 5,) and at Philippi he holds his meeting, (not in the Jews Synagogue) but at the river's side, on the Sabbath day. A little from this it is said that Paul is in Thesalonica preaching on the Sabbath days. Luke says this was his manner. What was it? Why, to preach on the Sabbath days (not 1st days.) Observe here were three Sabbaths in succession. xvii: 2. A little while from this Paul locates himself in Corinth, and there preaches to the Jews and Greeks (or Gentiles) a year and six months every Sabbath. Now this must have been seventy-eight in succession. xviii: 4, 11. Does this look like abolishing the Sabbath day? Has anything been said about the 1st day yet? No, we shall speak of that by and by.
Before this he was in Antioch. "And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue the GENTILES besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God." xiii: 42, 44. Here is proof that the Gentiles kept the Sabbath. Now I wish to place the other strong text which is so strangely adhered to for abolishing or changing this Sabbath along side of this, that we may understand his meaning. "Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross."
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days." Coll. ii: 14, 16. Now here is one of the strong arguments adhered to by all those who say the seventh day Sabbath was abolished at the crucifixion of our Lord: while on the other hand by the great mass of the Christian world, (so called,) the seventh day Sabbath ceased here, and in less than forty-eight hours the change was made to the first day of the week. Now remember Paul's manner, (before stated) itinerating from city to city and nation to nation, always preaching to Jews and Gentiles on the seventh day Sabbath, (for there is no other day called the Lord's Sabbath in the Bible.) Now if the Apostle did mean to include the Sabbath of the Lord God with the Jewish feasts and Sabbaths in the text, then the course he took to do so, was the strangest imaginable. His manner always was, as recorded, with the exception of one night, to preach on the very day that he was laboring to abolish. If you will look at the date in your bibles, you will learn this same apostle had been laboring in this way as a special messenger to the Gentiles, between twenty and thirty years since (as you say) the Sabbath was changed or abolished, and yet never uttered one word with respect to any other day in the week to be set apart as a holy day or Sabbath. I understand all the arguments about his laboring in the Jewish Synagogue on their Sabbath, because they were open for worship on that day, &c., but he did not always preach in their Synagogues. He says that he preached the Kingdom of God, and labored in his own hired house for two years. He also established a daily meeting for disputation in the school of Tyranus.—Acts xix: 9. Again he says, I have "kept back NOTHING that was PROFITABLE unto you. (Now if the Sabbath had been changed or abolished, would it not have been profitable to have told them so?) and have taught you publicly, and from house to house." "For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL the council of God."—Acts xx; 20, 27. Then it is clear that he taught them by example that the Sabbath of the Lord God was not abolished. Luke says it was the custom (or manner) of Christ to teach in the synagogues on the Sabbath day. iv: 16, 31. Mark says, "And when the Sabbath day was come he began to teach in their synagogue." Mark vi: 2.—Now if Jesus was about to abolish or change this Sabbath, (which belonged to the first code, the moral law, and not the ceremonial, the second code, which was to be nailed to his cross, or rather, as said the angel Gabriel to Daniel, ix: 27, "he (Christ) in the midst of the week shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease," meaning that the Jewish sacrifices and offerings would cease at his death.) Jesus did not attend to any of the ceremonies of the Jews except the passover and the feasts of tabernacles. Why did he say, "Think not I am come to destroy the law or the prophets? I am not come to destroy but fulfill. One jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled." "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments" &c. Did he mean the ten commandments? Yes; for he immediately points out the third, not to take God's name in vain; sixth and seventh, not to kill nor to commit adultery, and styles them the least. Then, the others, which include the fourth, of course were greater than these. Matt. v; 17-19, 21, 27, 33, and were not to be broken nor pass away. Then the Sabbath stands unchanged.
Almost every writer which I have read on the subject of abolishing or changing the seventh day Sabbath, calls it the Jewish Sabbath, hence their difficulty. How can it be the Jewish Sabbath when it was established two thousand years before there was a Jew on the face of the earth, and certainly twenty-five hundred before it was embodied in the decalogue, or re-enacted and written in stone by the finger of God at Sinai. God called this HIS Sabbath, and Jesus says it was made for man, (not particularly for the Jews.)
"Well," says one, "what is the meaning of the texts which you have quoted, where it speaks of Sabbaths?"—Answer: These are the Jewish Sabbaths! which belong to them as a nation, and are connected with their feasts. God by Hosea makes this distinction, and says, "I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts." These then belong to the text quoted, and not God's Sabbath. Do you ask for the proof? See xxiii Levit. 4. "These are the FEASTS of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons, EVERY THING UPON HIS DAY"—37th v. (May we not deviate a little? If you do it will be at your peril.) Fifteenth and sixteenth verses give them a fifty day's Sabbath; twenty-fourth verse says: "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying in the seventh month in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation."
"Also on the tenth day of the seventh month there shall be a day of atonement. It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest." 27, 32.
"Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month when ye shall have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days. On the first shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. 39th v. And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the FEASTS of the Lord." 44th v. Now here we have FOUR kinds of Jewish Sabbaths, also called "FEASTS of the Lord," to be kept annually. The first fifty days or seven weeks Sabbath ends the third month, seventh. In three months and twenty-four days more commences the second Sabbath, seventh month, first; the next, the tenth; the last the fifteenth of the month. Between the first two Sabbaths there is an interval of one hundred and twelve days; the next two, ten days, and the next, five days. Now it can be seen at a glance, that neither of these Sabbaths could be on the seventh day any oftener than other annual feast could come on that day. These then are what Hosea calls HER Sabbaths. Paul calls them HOLY DAYS, new moons, and sabbaths; and this is what they are stated to be. The first day of the seventh month is a new moon SABBATH, the tenth is a Sabbath of rest and Holy convocation, a day of atonement, and the fifteenth a feast of Sabbaths. Do you ask for any more evidence that these are the Jewish Sabbaths, and that God's Sabbath is separate from them? Read then what God directed Moses to write in the third verse: "Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation, ye shall do no work therein, it is the Sabbath of the LORD in your dwellings." Now Moses has here declared from the mouth of the Lord, that these are ALL the feast of the Lord, (there is no more nor less) and every thing is to be upon his day, and he has clearly and definitely separated his Sabbath from the other four. But let us look at the text again. Coll. ii; 14-16. See 17 v. "which are a shadow of things to come." What did the apostle say were shadows? Why, meat, drink, holy day, new moon, sabbath days. 16th v. Heb. ix: 10. What does he mean by shadow? See Heb. x: 1, 2. Just what I have stated on page 14. Now here we have one clear, positive point. If the seventh day Sabbath is included in the 17th verse, then it must be a shadow; if it is not a shadow, then Paul has no reference to it, and it stands forever! Moses says the ten commandments were written by the finger of God on tables of stone; whatever God has done with his own hand is stamped with immortality, and is as enduring as the sun, moon and stars. Psl. viii: 3. But if the 4th commandment, the Sabbath of the Lord is a shadow then all the other nine commandments must be. Let us look at what are called by our Lord the least commandments, the 6th and 7th. "Thou shalt not kill."—"Thou shalt not commit adultry." Math. v: 19, 21, 27. Are these shadows? Is there an individual with common sense in the world that dare risk his reputation in such kind of logic? Then it is as clear as a sun beam that all the others are tangible substances, and will continue in full force while immortality endures; especially the 4th commandment, the Sabbath. See Isa. 66: 23, Heb. iv: 9, Rev. 22: 14. And in the 28th and 29th chapters of Numbers the sacrifices and offerings for each of these days are made so plain, beginning with the Sabbath, 9th v. that we have only to read the following to understand. 26. xxix: 1. First day, seventh month, (new moon;) 7th v., 10th day Sabbath; 12th v., 15th day Sabbath, and 35th v., 23d day Sabbath. I will endeavor to present it in a clearer point of view:
Feast by fire connected with the Lord's and the Jewish Sabbaths.
The Daily or continual [always] 2 lambs morning and evening.
3 quarts of flour for a meat offering, 2-1/2 pints of oil, 5 pints of wine—xxviii: 3-7.
THE SABBATH DAY. 2 lambs, and six quarts of flour with oil.
Here follow the Jewish feasts with their Sabbaths:
1st.—7th week Sabbath, 2 bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat, 24 quarts of flour—xxviii: 16, 17.
2d.—7th month Sabbath, 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 kid, 36 quarts of flour—xxix: 1-5.
3d.—10th of 7th month Sabbath, 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 2 kids, 36 quarts of flour—7-11.
4th.—15th of 7th month Sabbath, 13 bullocks, 2 rams, 14 lambs, 2 kids, 4-1/2 bushels of flour—12-16.
5th.—8th day Sabbath, 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat, 36 quarts of flour—35-39.
"And Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the Lord commanded Moses." Here is the 8th day Sabbath, which makes 5 Jewish Sabbaths, every one of them differing from the other and the Lord's Sabbath, no more connected with them than in the xxiii of Levit. just named. Here then is an unanswerable argument for a separation of the Jewish from the Lord's Sabbath, and shows conclusively what Paul calls "shadows" in ii Col: 17, and Hosea "her Sabbaths." And in the days of Nehemiah when Ezra had read the law to the people, viii (more than one thousand years after they were promulgated,) they bound themselves under an oath "to walk in God's law which was given by the hand of Moses, the servant of God." "And to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord, our Lord." x: 29. And that there might be no misunderstanding about the kind of Sabbaths, they say, "If the people bring ware or any victuals on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the Sabbath or on the holy day," (31 v.) but they would "charge themselves yearly with a third part of a shekel" (to pay for) "the burnt offerings of the Sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts," &c. (33 v.) for the house of God, including what has already been set forth in Leviticus and Numbers. Now as their feast days commenced and ended with a Sabbath, so when their feasts ceased to be binding on them these Sabbaths must also, and all were "nailed to the cross." Now I ask if there is one particle of proof that the Sabbath of the Lord is included in these sabbaths and feast days?—Who then dare join them together or contradict the Most High God, and call HIS the Jewish Sabbath? Theirs was nailed to the cross when Jesus died, while the Lord's is an everlasting sign a perpetual covenant. The Jews, as a nation, broke their covenant. Jesus and his disciples were one week (the last of the seventy) that is seven years, confirming the new covenant for another people, the Gentiles. Now I ask if this changing the subjects from Jew to Gentile made void the commandments and law of God, or in other words, abolished the fourth commandment? If so, the other nine are not binding. It cannot be that God ever intended to mislead his subjects. Let us illustrate this. Suppose that the Congress of these United States in their present emergency, should promulgate two separate codes of laws, one to be perpetual, and the other temporary, to be abolished when peace was proclaimed between this country and Mexico. The time comes, the temporary laws are abolished: but strange to hear, a large portion of the people are now insisting upon it that because peace is proclaimed that both these codes of laws are forever abolished; while another class are strenuously insisting that it is only the fourth law in the perpetual code that's now abolished, with the temporary and all the rest is still binding. Opposed to all these is a third class, headed by the ministers and scribes of the nation, who are writing and preaching from Maine to Florida, insisting upon it without fear of contradiction, that when peace was proclaimed this fourth law in the perpetual code was to change its date to another day, gradually, (while some of them say immediately) and thenceforward become perpetual, and the other code abolished; and yet not one of these is able to show from the proceedings of Congress that the least alteration had ever been made in the perpetual code. Thus, to me, the case stands clear that neither of the laws or ten commandments in the first code, ever has or ever can be annulled or changed while mortality is stamped on man, for the very reason that God's moral law has no limitation. Jesus then brought in a new covenant, which continued the Sabbath by writing his law upon their hearts. Paul says, "written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." 2 Cor. iii: 3. And when writing to the Romans he shows how the Gentiles are a law unto themselves. He says, they "shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their consciences always bearing them witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another," (when will this be Paul) "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." ii: 15, 16. How plain that this is all the change. The Jews by nature had the law given them on tables of stone, while the Gentiles had the law of commandments written on their hearts. Paul tells the Ephesians that it was "the law of commandments contained in ordinances," (ii: 15) not on tables that were nailed to the cross. If the ten commandments, first written by the finger of God on stone, and then at the second covenant on fleshy tables of the heart, are shadows can any one tell where we shall find the substance? We are answered, in Christ. Well, hear Isaiah. He says, "that he (Christ) will magnify the law and make it honorable." xlii: 21. Again, I ask, where was the necessity and of what use were the ten commandments written on our hearts, if it was not to render perfect obedience to them. If we do not keep the day God has sanctified, then we break not the least, but one of the greatest of his commandments. Before we leave this part of our subject let us examine 2 Cor. iii: 7, 9, 11, 15. I have been told that these verses clearly prove the abolition of the 10 commandments. It is admitted by all our opponents, that the change which they so much insist upon, respecting the commandments, took place at the crucifixion of our Lord. It is clear from ii Col: 14 that the hand-writing of ordinances (the law of Moses) was then taken out of our way, and all that was contrary to us, but the 10 commandments were never contrary to us, especially the 4th, the Sabbath, for "it was made for man." The 2d or Gospel Covenant Paul tells the Hebs. is written upon our hearts. viii: 10. This is the same ten commandments; then instead of being taken away or abolished they are still nearer to us. See also 3d v of 2d Cor: iii. If Paul was laboring here to show the abolition of the ten commandments in A. D. 60, (look at the top of your bible for the date) pray tell me if you can what he meant by writing to the Romans the very same year and telling them that "the law was holy, and the commandments holy, just and good." That he meant no other than the Law and Commandments in the decalogue, see xiii: 8, 9. About four years after this he is exhorting the Ephesians to the keeping the 5th commandment. He says it is the "first commandment with promise." vi: 2. The same year that he writes the Romans he dates his 1st Epistle to the Cor. in ch. vii: 19, and says circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, (what is, Paul?) but the keeping the commandments of God. Now all this was certainly more than twenty-five years after the crucifixion. Is not the proof then positive and forever established that Paul's preaching is right to the point in establishing the commandments of God instead of abolishing them? If I have not made it plain here, I would just say once more, that the Apostle's argument where he refers to the abolition of the law in Rom., Cor., Gall., see v: 14, Eph. and Heb. he always means the carnal commandments and laws of Moses, and not the commandments of God, as he has shown. See Acts xxi: 20, 21. Here is circumcision, and the customs, the law of Moses, and not one breath about the Sabbath. But if you will trace back to the xviii: 4, 11, you will see that instead of abolishing THE Sabbath, Paul had just come from Corinth, where he had been preaching for 78 Sabbaths in succession. O Lord help thy people to see THESE truths and keep thy law! Still, there are many other texts relating to the law, presented by the opposite view, to show that the law respecting the Sabbath is abolished. Let us look at some of them. But it will be necessary in the first place, to make a clear distinction between what is commonly called the
MORAL AND CEREMONIAL LAW.
Bro. S. S. Snow, in writing on this subject about one year ago, in the Jubilee Standard, asks "by what authority this distinction is made." He says, "neither our Lord or his apostles made any such distinction. When speaking of the law they never used the terms moral or ceremonial, but always spake of it as a whole, calling it the law," and further says, "we must have a 'thus saith the Lord' to satisfy us." So I say. I have no doubt but thousands have stopped here; indeed, it has been to me the most difficult point to settle in this whole question. Now let us come to it fairly, and we shall see that the old and new testament writers have ever kept up the distinction, although it may in some parts seem to be one code of laws.
From the twentieth chapter of Exodus, where the law of the Sabbath was re-enacted, and onward, we find two distinct codes of laws. The first was written on two tables of stone with the finger of God; the second was taken down from his mouth and recorded by the hand of Moses in a book. Paul calls the latter carnal commandments and ordinances, (rites or ceremonies) which come under two heads, religious and political, and are Moses's. The first code is God's. For proof see Exo. xvi: 28, 30. "How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws: see for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath—and so the people rested on the Sabbath day." Also in the book of Leviticus where the law of ceremonies is given to the levites or priests, Moses closes with these words "These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai"; in Heb. vii: 16, 18, called carnal commandments.
Again, "the Lord said unto Moses, come up to me into the Mount, and be there; and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written." Exo. xxiv: 12. Further he calls them the ten commandments—xxxiv: 28. And Moses puts them, "into the ark"—xl: 20. Now for the second code of laws. See Deut. xxxl: 9, 10; and xxiv: 26. "And when Moses had finished writing the law, he commanded them to put this book of the LAW (of ceremonies) in the side of the ark of the covenant to be read at the end of every seven years."—This is not the song of deliverance by Moses in the forty-four verses of the thirty-second chapter. For, eight hundred and sixty-seven years after this, in the reign of Josiah, king of Israel, the high priest found this book in "the temple," (2 Chron. xxxiv: 14, 15) which moved all Israel. One hundred and seventy-nine years further onward, Ezra was from morning till noon reading out of this book. Neh. viii: 3; Heb. ix: 19. Paul's comments.
Bro. Snow says in regard to the commandments, "The principles of moral conduct embraced in the law, were binding before the law was given, (meaning that one of course at Mount Sinai) and are binding now; it is immutable and eternal! They are comprehended in one word, LOVE." If he meant, as we believe he did, to comprehend what Jesus did in the xix. and xxii. chap. Matt. 37-40, and Paul, and James, and John after him, then we ask how it is possible for him to reject from that code of laws, the only one, the seventh day rest, that was promulgated at the beginning, while at the same time the other nine, that were not written until about three thousand years afterwards, were eternally binding; without doubt, the whole ten commandments are coeval and coextensive with sin.—Again he says, "We readily admit, that if what is called the decalogue or ten commandments be binding on us, we ought to observe the seventh day, for that was appointed by the Lord as the Sabbath day." Let us see if Jesus and his apostles do not make it binding. First then, the distinction of the two codes by Jesus.
The Pharisees ask the Saviour why his disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? His answer is, "Why do ye transgress the commandment of God?" and he immediately cites them to the fifth commandment, Matt. xv: 4. Again, "the law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached," &c.—Luke xvi: 16. Jesus was three years after this introducing the gospel of the kingdom, unwaveringly holding his meetings on the Sabbath days, (which our opponents say were now about to be abolished; others say changed,) and never uttering a syllable to show to the contrary, but this was and always would be the holy day for worship. Mark says when the Sabbath (the Seventh day, for there was no other,) was come, he began to teach in the Synagogue, vi: 2. Luke says, "as his custom was, he went into the Synagogue and taught on the Sabbath day." iv: 16, 31. Will it be said of him as it is of Paul on like occasions, some thirty years afterwards that he uniformly held his meetings on the Sabbath because he had no where else to preach, or that this day was the only one in the week in which the people would come out to hear him? Every bible reader knows better; witness the five thousand and the seven thousand, and the multitude that thronged him in the streets, in the cities and towns where they listened to him; besides, he was now establishing a new dispensation, while theirs was passing away. Then he did not follow any of their customs or rites or ceremonies which he had come to abolish.
I have already quoted Matt. 5: 17, 18, where Jesus said he had come to fulfil the law, and immediately begins by showing them that they are not to violate one of the least of the commandments, and cites them to some—see v: 19, 21, 27, 33. Again, he is tauntingly asked "which is the great commandment in the law: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." xxii: 36, 40. Here Jesus has divided the ten commandments into two parts, or as it is written on two tables of stone. The first four on the first table treat of those duties which we owe to God—the other six refer to those which we owe to man requiring perfect obedience.
Once more, "One came and said unto him, good master what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? He said, If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments. Then he asked him which. He cited him to the last part of what he called the second, loving his neighbor as himself." If he had cited him to the first table, as in the xxii, quoted above, he could not have replied "all these have I kept from my youth up." Why? Because he would have already been perfect, for Jesus in reply to his question, what he should do to inherit eternal life, said he must "keep the commandments." Matt. xix: 16-20.—Is not the Sabbath included in these commandments?—Surely it is! Then how absurd to believe that Jesus, just at the close of his ministry, should teach that the way, the only way, to enter into life, was to keep the commandments, one of which was to be abolished in a few months from that time, without the least intimation from him or his Father that it was to take place. I say again, if the Sabbath is abolished, we ask those who teach it to cite us to the chapter and verse, not to the law of rites and ceremonies which are abolished, for we have already shown that the Sabbath was instituted more than twenty-five hundred years before Moses wrote the carnal ordinances or ceremonies. God said, "Abraham kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." Gen. xxvi: 5. This must include the Sabbath, for the Sabbath was the first law given, therefore if Abraham did not keep the Sabbath, I cannot understand what commandments, statutes, and laws mean in this chapter. Jesus says, "As I have kept my Father's commandments," John xv: 10. Did he keep the commandments? Yes. Mark and Luke, before quoted—(but more of this in another place.)
In John vii: 19, Jesus speaks of "Moses law," "your law," x: 34. Again, "their law." xv: 25. Here then we show that Jesus kept up a clear distinction between what God calls my law and commandments and Moses law, "their law," "your law." Let us now look at the argument of the Apostles. Paul preaching at Antioch taught the brethren that by Jesus Christ all who believe in him "are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses." Acts xiii: 39.
The Pharisee said "that it was needful to circumcise them and commend them to keep the Law of Moses." xv: 5.
Again, when Paul had come to Jerusalem the second time, (fourteen years from the time he met the Apostles in conference where they established the decrees for the churches. See Acts xx: 19; Gal. ii: 1,) the Apostles shewed him how many thousands of Jews there were which believed and were zealous of the law; "And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles, to forsake Moses and the customs." xxi: 20, 21. Any person who will carefully read the eight chapters here included, must be thoroughly convinced that the Apostle's troubles were about the law of ceremonies written and given by Moses, and nothing to do with the ten commandments. For you see a little before he comes to Jerusalem, he had been preaching at Corinth every Sabbath for eighteen months. xviii: 4, 11. And this, be it remembered, was more than twenty years after the Jewish Sabbaths and ceremonies were nailed to the cross.—And you see that Paul was the man above all the Apostles to be persecuted on account of the abolition of the Jews' law of ceremonies, for he was the "great apostle to the Gentiles:" and if the "Sabbath of the Lord our God" was to have been abolished when the Saviour died, Paul was the very man selected for that purpose. It is clear, therefore, that he did not abolish the seventh day Sabbath among the Gentiles. This same Apostle tells the Romans "that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." x: 4. Again, that "sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law but under grace." vi: 14. Once more: He says the Gentiles having not the law, are a law unto themselves.—Why? Because, he says in the next verse, it shews the law written on their hearts. The law of ceremonies? No that which was on tables of stone. ii: 14-16. We might quote much more which looks like embracing the whole law. Let us now look at a few texts in the same letter, which will draw a distinguishing line between the two codes of laws. Paul, in the vii ch. 9-13v, brings to view the carnal commandment, and the one unto life, and sums up his argument in these words: "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good." In the 7v he quotes from the decalogue. Again, he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. How? Why thou shalt not steal, nor commit adultery, nor bear false witness, nor covet, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Rom. xiii: 8, 10.—This then is what the Saviour taught the young man to do—to secure "eternal life." Matt. Once more, in concluding a long argument on the law in Rom. iii: 31 he closes with this language: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid ye, we establish the law."—What law is here established? Not the law of rites and ceremonies. What then, for Paul means some law. It can be no other than what he calls the law of "life," of "love," the ten commandments. How could even that be established twenty-nine years after the crucifixion if one of the greatest commandments had been abolished out of the code, that is the Sabbath.
Paul's letter to the Corinthians teaches that "circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God." vii: 19. Again, in his epistle to the Galatians, his phraseology is somewhat changed, but the argument is to the same point, although some passages read as though every vestage of law was swept by the board when Jesus hung upon the cross. For instance, such as the following: "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God it is evident, for the just shall live by faith, and the LAW is not of faith, but the man that doeth them shall live by them." "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." "But before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed." "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ that we might be justified by faith, but after that faith has come we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Gal. iii: 11-23, 23-25. Again: "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse." 10v. Now are we to understand from these texts that whosoever continueth in the law is cursed, and that the law the whole law, was abolished when Christ came as our schoolmaster, he being the "end of the law?" Rom. x: 4. If so, how is it possible for any man, even Paul himself, to be saved. But we do not believe that Paul taught these brethren any different doctrine than what has already been shown in the Acts, Romans, and Corinthians, and also the Eph., Phil., Col., and Heb. If he did not mean the law written by the hand of Moses, distinguishing it from the law of the ten commandments, written by the finger of God on tables of stone, then pray tell me if you can, what he means (in the closing of this argument,) by saying, "For all the LAW is FULFILLED in one word, even this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." v: 14. Surely he is quoting the Saviour's words in Matthew xxii: 39, relative to the commandment of the Lord our God.—To his son Timothy he says: "Now the end of the commandment is charity," (love) meaning of course the last part of the ten commandments. In vi: 2, he says: "Bear ye one anothers burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ." Does this differ from the law of God? Yes, a little, for it is the new commandment, (some say the eleventh.) See John xiii: 34. "A new commandment I give unto you, (what is it, Lord?) that ye love one another." And also xv: 12. The other is to love our neighbor as ourself.—John says: "And this commandment have we from him (Christ,) that he who loveth God loveth his brother also." John iv: 21, and ii: 8-11. In his letter to the Ephesians he says: "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity even the law of commandments contained in ordinances." ii: 15. See the reverse in vi: 2 v. To the Collossians he asks, "Why as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances which all are to perish with their using?" And says: "Touch not, taste not, handle not." (Does Paul here teach us to forsake the ordinances of God, instituted by the Saviour—Baptism and the Lord's Supper? Yes, just as clearly as he does to forsake the whole law.)
When writing to the Hebrews more than thirty years after the crucifixion, he calls these ordinances carnal, imposed on them (the Jews) until Christ our High Priest should come. ix: 10, 11. He also calls the law of commandments carnal too, and says: "For there is verily a disannulling of the commandments going before, for the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did." vii: 16, 18-19. "For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the BOOK and all the people." ix: 19. Now we see clearly that the book of the law of Moses, from which Paul has been quoting through the whole before mentioned epistles, is as distinctly separate from the tables of stone (or fleshly table of the heart,) as they were when deposited in the Ark thirty-three hundred years ago. Therefore we think that here is clear proof that he has kept up the distinction between the "handwriting of ordinances" (meaning Moses' own handwriting in his book,) and the "ten commandments writen by the finger of God."
Let us now turn to the Epistle of James, said to be written more than twenty-five years after the law of ceremonies was nailed to the cross, and see if he does not teach us distinctly, that we are bound to keep the commandments given on tables of stone. He says, "the man that shall be a DOER of the perfect law of liberty shall be blessed in his deed." i: 25. "If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well." Why? Because the Saviour in quoting from the commandments, in answer to the Ruler, what he should do to inherit eternal life, taught the same doctrine. Matt. xix: 19. Further: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, shall be guilty of all." In the next verse he quotes from the ten commandments again, namely, Adultery and Murder (what the Saviour in the fifth chapter of Matt. calls the least, that is the smallest commandment,) and says if we commit them we become transgressors of the law. Of what law? Next verse says the law of liberty by which we are to be "judged." ii: 8, 11.
Now will it not be admitted by every reasonable person that James has included the whole of the ten commandments, by calling them the perfect law of liberty. 2d, "The royal law according to the scripture," and 3d, "the law of liberty by which we are to be judged." (Royal relates to imperial and kingly.) Perfect means COMPLETE, entire, the WHOLE. Then I understand James thus: This law emenated from the king, the Supreme Ruler of the universe, and to be perfect must be just what it was when it came from his hand, and that no change had, or could take place, (and remember now, this is more than twenty-five years since the ceremonies with the Jewish Sabbaths were nailed to the cross,) for the very best of reasons, until the Judgment, because he shows we are to be judged by that law. Then I ask by what parity of reasoning any one can make the law of the ten commandments perfect, while they at the same time assert that the fourth one is abolished? and that on no better evidence than calling it the Jewish Sabbath. Now let us look at the Apostle John's testimony.
"And hereby we do know that we know him if we keep his commandments. He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments is a LIAR, and the truth is not in him." Now no man, more especially one who professes to abide by the whole truth, feels entirely easy if he is called a liar. Now John please explain yourself.—Hear him: "Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment that ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the BEGINNING." What do you mean by beginning? Turn to my gospel, 1st ch. "In the beginning was the word,"—"the same was in the beginning with God." 1, 2. See Gen. i ch: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Then you are pointing us to the seventh day of creation, in which God instituted the seventh day Sabbath of rest, for the old commandment in the beginning. ii: 3. Certainly there is no other place to point to. Does not Jesus point to the same place for the beginning when marriage was first instituted. Matt. xix: 4. In my second letter to the church, I have taught the same doctrines: viz. "This is the commandment that as ye have heard from the beginnings ye should walk in it." (practice it.) ii: 5, 6. "A new commandment I write unto you." ii: 8 v. This is the one that Jesus gave us on that memorable night in which he was betrayed, after he had instituted the sacrament and washed our feet. He said "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another." xiii: 34, 35. The first then teaches us, Love to God; 2d, to Love our neighbor as ourself; "on these two commandments (says Jesus) hang all the law and the prophets." Then we understand this is the essence of the ten commandments, and if we do not keep the Sabbath we do not love God. Jesus says, "If ye love me keep my commandments." We are repeatedly told that the Sabbath was changed or forever abolished, at the crucifixion of our Lord; and it is stated by the most competent authorities that John wrote this epistle about sixty years afterwards, and that about six years after this our blessed Lord revealed to him the state of the Church down to the judgment of the great day. In the xiv ch. Rev. 6-11, he saw three angels following each other in succession: first one preaching the everlasting gospel (second advent doctrine); 2d, announcing the fall of Babylon; 3d, calling God's people out of her by showing the awful destruction that awaited all such as did not obey. He sees the separation and cries out, "Here is the patience of the Saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." And this picture was so deeply impressed upon his mind, that when the Savior said to him "Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me," he seemed to understand this, saying—"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Now it seems to me that the seventh day Sabbath is more clearly included in these commandments, than thou shalt not steal, nor kill, nor commit adultery, for it is the only one that was written at the creation or in the beginning. He allows no stopping place this side of the gates of the city. Then, if we do not keep that day, John has made out his case, that we are all liars. We say in every other case the type must be continued until it is superseded by the antetype: as in the case of the passover, until our Lord was crucified. So then, as Paul tells us, "there remaineth a keeping of the Sabbath to the people of God;" and that we believe will be in the Millenium, the seven thousandth year, so that the seventh day Sabbath and no other will answer for the type, and those who keep the first or the eighth day Sabbath cannot consistently look for the antetype of rest or the great Sabbath, short of one thousand years in future.
Again: Isaiah says: "To the law and to the testimony if they speak not according to his word it is because there is no light in them." viii: 20. Now if the Gentiles are under no law, as is asserted, pray tell me what right, the Gentiles, have we to appeal to the law and testimony, or to this text.
In the xxiv. of Matt. our Saviour says to his disciples in answer to their questions, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the world? "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place," &c. 15v. "Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." 20v. The first question is, at what age of the world is this, where our Lord recognizes the Sabbath. 1st. It is agreed on all hands that this time to which he here refers, never transpired until the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, about 40 years after his crucifixion. 2d. Some others say down to the second Advent! The first mentioned is safe ground and sufficient for our purpose; nor need we stop to inquire why our Lord gave these directions, it is forever settled that he directed the minds of his followers to THE, not a Sabbath. Keep it in remembrance, that he told the Pharisees that he was Lord, not of a, but of THE Sabbath, meaning that one which of course had already been established. The 2d question is, did our Lord ever trifle with or mislead his disciples? The response is No! Then it is clear that if he taught them to pray at all, it must be in faith, and he of course would hear them and mediate with the Father to change the day of their flight. I ask what kind of a prayer and with what kind of faith would his disciples have asked to have this day changed, if, as we are told, it was abolished some forty years before, and they had, contrary to the will of God, persisted in keeping up the seventh day Sabbath. Any one who has confidence in God's word, knows that such a prayer never would be answered. What if you do say the Jews always kept that Sabbath, and it was the same seventh day Sabbath that they kept when he was teaching them in their synagogues? I say so too! and that fact will be presented by and by, in its place. This does not touch the point. Jesus was here, giving instruction to his followers, both Jew and Gentile, respecting the Sabbath which they would have to do with. It is immaterial what kind of sophistry is presented to overthrow the point, nothing can touch it short of proving it a mistranslation. Jesus did here recognize the perpetuity of the seventh day Sabbath. And John will continue to make all men liars that say they know him, and refuse the light presented and disregard this commandment. If God instituted the Sabbath in Paradise and has not abolished it here, then it must be perpetual. If Paul's argument in iii. Rom. that the law is established through faith, is correct, then it is perpetual. If James' royal perfect law of liberty, which we are to be doers of, and judged by, means the commandments, then is the Sabbath perpetual. If the Apostle John has made out a clear case by citing us back to the beginning of creation, and by walking in and doing these commandments, we shall have right to the tree of life and enter in by the gates into the city; then it must be perpetual. If the earthly Sabbath is typical of the heavenly, then must it be perpetual. If not one jot or one tittle can ever pass from the law, then must it be perpetual. If the Saviour, in answer to the young man who asked him what he should do to inherit eternal life, gave a safe direction for Gentiles to follow, viz: "If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments" (and these included those commandments which his Father had given,) then, without contradiction the Sabbath is perpetual, and all the arguments which ever can be presented against the fourth commandment being observed before God wrote it on tables of stone to prove that it is not binding on Gentiles, fall powerless before this one sentence: If thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments. I say the proof is positive that the Sabbath was a constituent part of the commandments, and Jesus says the Sabbath was made for man. The Jews were only a fragment of creation.
"The principle is settled in all governments that there are but two ways in which any law can cease to be binding upon the people. It may expire by its own limitations, or it may be repealed by the same authority which enacted it; and in the latter case the repealing act must be as explicit as that by which the obligation was originally imposed." Now we have it in proof that the Sabbath was instituted in Paradise, the first of all laws without any limitation, and no enactment by God to abolish it, unless what we have already referred to can be considered proof. One more passage which I have not alluded to, will show that it was not abolished at the crucifixion, for his disciples kept the Sabbath while he was resting in his tomb. See Luke xxiii: 55, 56. Let us now pass to another part of the subject. The third question:
WAS THE SEVENTH DAY SABBATH EVER CHANGED? IF SO WHEN, AND FOR WHAT REASON?
Here we come to a question which has more or less engaged the attention of the whole christian world, and the greater portion of those who believe in a crucified Saviour say that this change took place, and is dated from his resurrection. Some say subsequently, while a minority insist upon it that there is no proof for the change. Now to obtain the truth and nothing but the truth on this important subject, I propose to present, or quote from standard authors on both sides of the question, and try the whole by the standard of divine truth. 1st. Buck's Theological Dictionary, to which no doubt thousands of ministers and laymen appeal to sustain their argument for the change, says: "Under the christian dispensation the Sabbath is altered from the seventh to the first day of the week." The arguments for the change are these: 1st. "The seventh day was observed by the Jewish church in memory of the rest of God; so the first day of the week has always been observed by the christian church in memory of Christ's resurrection. 2d. Christ made repeated visits to his disciples on that day. 3d. It is called the Lord's day. Rev. i: 10.—4th. On this day the Apostles were assembled, when the Holy Ghost came down upon them to qualify them for the conversion of the world. 5th. On this day we find Paul at Troas when the disciples came together to break bread. 6th. The directions the Apostles gave to Christians plainly alludes to their assembling on that day. 7th. Pliny bears witness of the first day of the week being kept as a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ."
"Numerous have been the days appointed by man for religious services, but these are not binding because of human institution. Not so the Sabbath. It is of divine institution, so it is to be kept holy onto the Lord."
Doct. Dodridge, whose ability and piety have seldom or rarely been disputed, comments on some of the above articles thus: (Commentary p. 606.) "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." I Cor. xvi: 2. "Show that it was to be put into a common stock. The argument drawn from hence for the religious observance of the first day of the week in these primitive churches of Corinth and Galacia is too obvious to need any further illustration, and yet too important to be passed by in entire silence." Again, p. 904, "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day," &c. Rev. i: 10. "It is so very unnatural and contrary to the use of the word in all other authors to interpret this of the Jewish Sabbath, as Mr. Baxter justly argues at large, that I cannot but conclude with him and the generality of Christian writers on this subject, that this text strongly infers the extraordinary regard paid to the first day of the week in the Apostle's time as a day solemnly consecrated to Christ in the memory of his resurrection from the dead." There is much more, but these are his strong arguments. I shall quote some more from the Commentaries by and by. I wish to place by the side of these arguments one from the British Quarterly Theological Review and Ecclesiastical Recorder, of Jan. 1830, which I extract from 'the Institution of the Sabbath day,' by Wm. Logan Fisher, of Philadelphia, a book in which there is much valuable information on this subject, though I disagree with the writer, because his whole labor is to abolish the Sabbath; yet he gives much light on this subject, from which I take the liberty to make some quotations. But to the Quarterly Review of 1830:
"It is said that the observance of the seventh day Sabbath is transferred in the Christian Church to the first day of the week. We ask by what authority, and are very much mistaken if an examination of all the texts of the New Testament, in which the first day of the week or Lord's day is mentioned, does not prove that there is no divine or Apostolic precept enjoining its observance, nor any certain evidence from scripture that it was, in fact, so observed in the times of the Apostles. Accordingly we search the scriptures in vain, either for an Apostolic precept, appointing the first day of the week to be observed in the place of the Jewish Sabbath, or for any unequivocal proof that the first christians so observed it—there are only three or, at most four passages of scripture, in which the first day of the week is mentioned. The next passage is Acts xx: 7. 'Upon the first day of the week when the disciples some together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.' All that St. Luke here tells us plainly is, that on a particular occasion the christians of Troas met together on the first day of the week to celebrate the Eucharist and to hear Paul preach. This is the only place in scripture in which the first day of the week is in any way connected with any acts of public worship, and he who would certainly infer from this SOLITARY INSTANCE that the first day of every week was consecrated by the Apostles to religious purposes, must be far gone in the art of drawing universal conclusion from particular premises."
On page 178, Mr. Fisher says:
"I have examined several different translations of the scriptures, both from the Hebrew and Septuagint, with notes and annotations more extensive than the texts; have traced as far as my leisure would permit, various ecclesiastical histories, some of them voluminous and of ancient date; have paid considerable attention to the writings of the earliest authors in the Christian era, and to rare works, old and of difficult access, which treat upon this subject; I have read with care many of the publications of sectarians to sustain the institution; I have omitted nothing within my reach, and I have found not one shred of argument, or authority of any kind, that may not be deemed of partial and sectarian character, to support the institution of the first day of the week, as a day of peculiar holiness. But, in place of argument, I have found opinions without number—volumes filled with idle words that have no truth in them. In the want of texts of Scripture, I have found perversions; in the want of truth, false statements. I have seen it stated that Justin Marter in his Apology speaks of Sunday as a holy day; that Eusebius, bishop of Cesarea, who lived in the fourth century, establishes the fact of the transfer of the SEVENTH to the first day, by Christ himself. These things are NOT TRUE. These authors say no such thing. I have seen other early authors referred to as establishing the same point, but they are equally false."
Here then is the testimony of four authors, two for the change and two against it, from the old and new world. No truth seeking, unbiassed mind can hesitate for a moment on which side to decide, after comparing them with the inspired word.
Doctor JENKS of Boston, author of the Comprehensive Commentary, (purporting to comprehend all other commentators on the bible,) after quoting author after author on this subject, ventures forth with his unsupported opinion in these words: "Here is a Christian Sabbath observed by the disciples and owned by our Lord. The visit Christ made to his disciples was on the first day of the week, and the first day of the week is the only day of the week or month or year ever mentioned by numbers in all the New Testament, and that is several times spoken of as a day religiously observed." Where? Echo answers, where!
HEMAN HUMPHREY, President of Amherst College, from whose book I have already made some quotations, after devoting some thirty-four pages to the establishment and perpetuation of the seventh day Sabbath, comes to his fourth question, viz: "Has the day been changed?" Singular as this question may appear by the side of what he had already written to establish and perpetuate the seventh day Sabbath from the seventh day of creation down to the resurrection of the just, but as every man feels that it is his privilege to justify and explain, when precept and practice do not agree—so is it with President Humphrey, he can now shape the scriptures to suit every one that has followed in the wake of Pope Gregory for 1225 years. He says, "The fourth commandment is so expressed as to admit of a change in the day,"—thus striking vitally every argument he had before presented. Hear him—he says the seventh day is the Sabbath; "it was so at that time (in the beginning) and for many ages after, but it is not said that it always shall be—it is the Sabbath day which we are to remember; and so at the close, it was the Sabbath which was hallowed and blessed and not the seventh day. The Sabbath then, the holy rest itself, is one thing. The day on which we are to rest is another." I ask, in the name of common sense, how we should know how or when to keep the Sabbath, if it did not matter which day. If the President could not see the sanctification of the seventh day in the decalogue, what did he mean by quoting Gen. ii: 3, so often, where it says "God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it."
Again, he says, "Redemption is a greater work than creation, hence the change." Fifthly, God early consecrated the Christian Sabbath by a most remarkable outpouring of his spirit at the day of Pentecost. And that Jesus has left us his own example by not saying a syllable after his resurrection about keeping the Jewish Sabbath. He also quotes the four passages about Jesus and his disciples keeping the first day of the week. Here, he says, the inference to our mind is irresistible—for keeping the first day of the week instead of the seventh. And further says, it might be proved by innumerable quotations from the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, &c. All this may be very true in itself, but it all falls to the ground for the want of one single precept from the bible. If Redemption, because it was greater than Creation, and the remarkable display of God's power at the Pentecost, and Christ never saying any thing about the Jewish Sabbath after his resurrection are such strong proofs that the perpetual seventh day Sabbath was changed to the first day at that time, and must be believed because learned men say so, what shall we do with the sixth day, on which our blessed Saviour expired on the cross; darkness for three hours had covered the earth, and the vail of the Temple was rent from top to bottom, and there was such an earthquake throughout vast creation that we have only to open our eyes and look at the rent rocks for a clear and perfect demonstration that this whole globe was shaken from centre to circumference, and the graves of the dead were opened. Matt xxvii: 50, 53. You may answer me that Popery has honored that day by calling it good Friday, and the next first day following Easter Sunday, &c., but after all nothing short of bible argument will satisfy the earnest inquirer after truth.—The President had already shown that the Jewish Sabbath was abolished at Christ's death. What reason, then had he to believe that the Saviour would speak of it afterwards.—So also the Pentecost had been a type from the giving the law at Sinai to be kept annually for about 1500 years, consequently it would be solemnized on every day of the week at each revolving year, as is the case with the 4th of July: three years ago it was on the fourth day and now it comes on the seventh day of the week. Further, see Peter standing amidst the amazed multitude, giving the scripture reason for this miraculous display of God's power. He does not give the most distant hint that this was, or was to be, the day of the week for worship, or the true Sabbath, neither do any of the Apostles, then, or afterwards, for when they kept this day the next year, it must have been the second day of the week. We must have better evidence than what has been adduced, to believe this was the Sabbath, for according to the type, seven Sabbaths were to be complete, (and there was no other way given them to come to the right day,) from the day they kept the first or from the resurrection. Here then is proof positive that the Sabbath in this year was the day before the Pentecost. See Luke xxiii: 55, 56. If President H. is right, then was there two Sabbaths to be kept in succession in one week. Where is the precept? No where! Well, says the inquirer, I want to see the bible proof for this "Christian Sabbath observed by the disciples, and owned by our Lord." W. Jenks. Here it will be necessary for us to understand, first how God has computed time. In Gen. i. we read, "And God said let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years." 14 v. 16 v. says "the greater light to rule the day,"—from sunrise to sunset. Now there are many modes invented for computing time. We say our day begins at 12 o'clock at night; seamen begin theirs twelve hours sooner, at noon; the Jews commence their days at 6 o'clock in the evening, between the two extremes. Are we all right? No! Who shall settle this question? God! Very well: He called the light day and the darkness he called night, and the evening and the morning were the first day. Gen. i: 5. Then the twenty-four hour day commenced at 6 o'clock in the evening. How is that, says one? Because you cannot regulate the day and night to have what the Saviour calls twelve hours in a day, without establishing the time from the centre of the earth, the equator, where, at the beginning of the sacred year, the sun rises and sets at 6 o'clock. At this time, while the sun is at the summer solstice, the inhabitants at the north pole have no night, while at this same time at the south it is about all night, therefore the inhabitants of the earth have no other right time to commence their twenty-four hour day, than beginning at 6 o'clock in the evening. God said to Moses "from even to even, shall you celebrate your Sabbath." Then of course the next day must begin where the Sabbath ended. History shows that the Jews obeyed and commenced their days at 6 o'clock in the evening. Now then we will try to investigate the main argument by which these authors, and thousands of others say the Sabbath was changed. The first is in John xx: 19, "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews (mark it) came Jesus and stood in their midst, and said peace be unto you." Here we understand this to be the same day of the resurrection. On that day he travelled with the two disciples to Emans, sixty furlongs (7-1/2 miles,) and they constrained him to abide with them, for it was towards evening and the day was far spent. Luke xxiv: 29. After this the disciples travelled 7-1/2 miles back to Jerusalem, and soon after they found the disciples, the Saviour, as above stated, was in their midst. Now it cannot be disputed but what this was the evening after the resurrection, for Jesus rose in the morning, some ten or eleven hours after the first day had commenced. Then the evening of the first day was passing away, and therefore the evening brought to view in the text was the close of the first day or the commencing of the second. McKnight's translation says, "in the evening of that day." Purver's translation says, "the evening of that day on the first after the Sabbath." Further, wherever the phrase first day of the week, occurs in the New Testament, the word day is in italics, showing that it is not the original, but supplied by translators. Again, it is asserted that Jesus met with his disciples the next first day. See 26 v: "And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them, then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said peace be unto you." Dr. Adam Clark in referring to this 26v, says: "It seems likely that this was precisely on that day se'night on which Christ had appeared to them before; and from this we may learn that this was the weekly meeting of the Apostles." Now it appears to me that a little child, with the simple rules of addition and subtraction, could have refuted this man. I feel astonished that men who profess to be ambassadors for God do not expose such downright perversions of scripture, but it may look clear to those who want to have it so. Not many months since, in conversation with the Second Advent lecturer in New Bedford, I brought up this subject. He told me I did not understand it. See here, says he, I can make it plain, counting his fingers thus: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday—does'nt that make eight days after? and because I would not concede, he parted from me as one that was obstinate and self-willed. Afterwards musing on the subject, I said, this must be the way then to understand it: Count Sunday Twice. If any of them were to be paid for eight days labor, they would detect the error in a moment if their employer should attempt to put the first and last days together, and offer them pay but for seven. Eight days after the evening of the first day would stand thus: The second day of the week would certainly be the first of the eight. Then to count eight days of twenty-four hours after, we must begin at the close of the evening of the first, and count to the close of the evening of the second day; to where the Jews (by God's command) commenced their third day. But suppose we calculate it by our mode of keeping time. Our Lord appears to his disciples the first time at the close of Sunday evening. Now count eight days after, (with your fingers or anything else,) and it will bring you to Monday evening. Now I ask if this looks like Sunday, the first day of the week?