« السابقةمتابعة »
THE SEVENTH DAY AND SABBATH.
BY ELDER JOHN T. SPENCER.
The position taken by the Seventh Day Advent people is that God instituted the seventh day Sabbath in the garden of Eden, and reaffirmed it in his own hand writing on Mt. Sinai, and also by the example of Christ and his apostles, who kept sacred the seventh day. They also maintain that Sunday, or first-day observance, was instituted by the Roman Catholic Church, and is the “mark of the beast” spoken of by John in his Revelation; consequently, the "mark," or "seal,” of the one hundred and forty-four thousand, is the seventh day observance as the Sabbath, etc.
That God blessed the seventh day at the creation is true, but a careful reading of Deut. 5: 15 shows that not to be the reason for the children of Israel being commanded to keep it holy. "Remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord, thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day." This chapter also places this command in the "Law," which is called a "Covenant," and expressly says that, “The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day." Chapter 6: 1, says of this covenant of the Ten Commandments: “Now these are the commandments, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it.”
This surely, then, must be the covenant which Paul refers to in Heb. 8: 7, which, he says, in the 13th verse "waxeth old, is
ready to vanish away;" also the “law” referred to in Heb 7:11, of which he says in the 12th verse, "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” And in the 18th verse, “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof."
That the Ten Commandments, called the Decalogue, given on Mt. Sinai, is the “Law,” they, themselves, also allow. In a tract entitled, “Scripture References,” page 9, article 14, reads, “That the covenant of the law or testament is the Ten Commandments," see Ex. 31: 18; 32: 15, 16; 34: 28; Deut. 4: 13; 9: 9-11; 10: 4; Heb. 9: 4. In the tract entitled, "Who changed the Sabbath?" page 6, they say, "By the law of God, we mean, as already stated, the moral law, the only law of the universe of immutable and perpetual obligation, the law of which Webster says, defining the terms according to the sense in which they are almost universally used in Christendom, "The moral law is summarily contained in the Decalogue, written by the finger of God on two tables of stone, and delivered to Moses on Mt. Sinai.'”
When the “Law” is referred to, then, it means the Ten Commandments, the fourth of which says the seventh day is to be observed as the Sabbath, a day of rest, because the Lord brought them out from Egypt from the house of bondage (Deut. 5: 15.) That this law was not to be a perpetual obligation is the burden of Paul's epistle to the Hebrews, "for," said he, "if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second,” (Heb. 8: 7,) and, “he taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” (Heb. 10: 9.) What the second covenant is, is clearly shown in the third chapter of Galatians where Paul, arguing on this same thing, says, "This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" "He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are
blessed with faithful Abraham.” Evidently they are blessed by faith through obedience to the Gospel. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, is evident for, “The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith.” Jas. 2: 10, and Gal. 2: 16, 21, show that it is impossible to live by the law, for he that offends in one point is guilty of all.” Returning to Gal. 3: 21, Paul asks, "Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."
From the reasoning used by the writer, it is evident that the Gospel was given to Abraham and promises made subject to obedience to its conditions, but because of transgressions, the law "was added” to bring those who were under it to Christ, who again established the Gospel which James refers to as the "perfect law of liberty” by which Christians will be judged (Jas. 1; 25; 2: 12.) In Rom. 2: 12, 16, Paul shows the connection between the "Law of Liberty" and the "Gospel.” The Gospel is that "other" to whom they were married after the death of the law as recorded in Rom. 7: 4. Christ said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets, I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Matt. 5: 17.) That Christ did fulfill the law is evidently the argument of Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews, Romans, Galatians, and indeed nearly all of his epistles.
Then having fulfilled the law in which is the command to "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy," "The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God," does it follow that they who "live by faith” are not required to observe a Sabbath day at all? Other commandments were re-enacted (see Matt. 19,) but of this we have the following: "The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath." (Mark 2: 28.) John tells us in his Gospel, fifth chapter, that the Lord healed an impotent man on the Sabbath day and was accused by the Jews of breaking the Sabbath, for which they
sought to kill him. He answered, "My father worketh hitherto, and I work.” In the fourth chapter of the Hebrews, Paul, after reiterating the statement, that the Gospel was preached to Israel under Moses, says that a day of rest different to the seventh day was spoken of through the Holy Ghost, (Heb. 3: 7.) “although the works (of God) were finished from the foundation of the world. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works as God did from his." Consequently he also appointed a rest day as his father did. Acts 20: 7; I Cor. 16: 1, 2; Rev. 1: 10, etc., show the custom of the Saints of meeting on the first day of the week to break bread, and it was referred to as Lord's Day. We are commanded, as Latter-day Saints, to keep holy this same Lord's Day (see Doc. and Cov. 59: 9-13), and this command is found to be in strict accord with the scripture which our Advent friends profess to believe “as it reads."
They must be mistaken then about their “Mark” as they were about the "Advent" in 1844.
· Christ said to his apostles, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.” (John 13: 34.) In his third epistle John says, "This is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, that as ye have heard from the beginning ye should walk in it.” (See Mark 1: 1, 4, 5, 7, 8; I Cor. 15: 1-4.) “Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God, He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ hath both the Father and the Son.” “If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead.” (Gal. 2: 21.)
CAUSES LEADING UP TO THE REFOR
BY LESTER MANGUM.
In this day of research, we are not content with mere results; we seek also to discover causes. Simply knowing that an accident
*This interesting historical lecture was delivered by the author before the class in oratory of the Brigham Young Academy, of which he was a member during the semester just closed. Other examples in expository composition, by other students, on a variety of attractive subjects, are promised the readers of the ERA who have been kept in view by the writers of these articles. “The subjects,” says Prof. N. L. Nelson, in a prefatory note to the editors, “have been chosen in consonance with the following principles of choice, (See Preaching and Public Speaking, pp. 135 to 176,) viz.:
“I.-In order that a theme may be suitable to a congregation, it must be (1) interesting, (2) timely, and (3) in keeping with the intelligence addressed.
“II.-In order that a speaker may make the most of a theme, it must (1) be of special interest to him, (2) command his implicit faith, and (3) must not be above his powers.
“III.-In order that a subject may be appropriate in itself, it must (1) have unity, (2) not be too broad, (3) must be fresh, and (4) must be clear.
“With these ten points it will be well for every young speaker to become as familiar as with his fingers. Let him think about them till he feels the force of each and he will not fail in time to become an interesting and forceful speaker. Nor are they of benefit to any one kind of composition alone. They apply as well to the description, the story, the address, the oration, as to the essay, the lecture, and the sermon.”—Editors.