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A Written Discussion ... Upon the Sabbath

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    ELDER J. H. WAGGONER’S FOURTH NEGATIVE

    The reader will remember that Eld. Vogel asked, “Has he forgotten the position that, at least, some of his brethren used to occupy?” In this he insinuated that that position was so strongly or prominently taken by some of my brethren that I knew it, for how else could I forget it? I have been intimately acquainted with both the writers and speakers of the Seventh-day Adventist faith for more than twenty years, and know that their faith on our relation to the covenants has been as well defined as has been that of the Disciples on baptism. I know that no one, ever recognized among us, ever taught as he said. Though Eld. V. has placed himself in a questionable light by many of his assumed positions, I did hope that he would not so far lose sight of honorable dealing as to forfeit that respect which it is pleasant to entertain for an opponent in theological controversy.WDUS 134.3

    A few points in his last article I will notice.WDUS 134.4

    1. On Sunday, Christ ‘rested from the work of redemption’! What an absurdity. Paul says we are yet ‘groaning for redemption.’ If Christ then rested (ceased) from that work, where is our hope?WDUS 134.5

    2. He well says that to deny inference is to ask him to discuss with his ‘mouth shut.’ If he had kept his mouth shut till he bad something besides inference for Sunday, it would be closed yet.WDUS 134.6

    3. He acknowledges that he is ‘not in a position to see the foundation’ of Sunday! But I am in a very good position to see the foundation of the Sabbath-the Lord’s day. It is laid broad and deep in the word of God; the corner stone in Eden; and reaches to the earth made new. There is no obscurity there. But he says he sees the building, and there fore there must be a foundation. Did he never hear of a house built upon the sand? His own argument is conclusive proof that the sand-bank of inference is its foundation, and its superstructure the fog of tradition. And what are the ‘proportions’ of the building of which he speaks? He has constantly evaded the subject of the extent or limitations of the obligations of Sunday-keeping. I heard Eld. Treat, a very prominent man among the Disciples in Indiana, publicly say, “I am ready to stump the country from Maine to California in favor of a general Sunday law.” Would he ‘stump the country’ in favor of general law to enforce baptism-a law to compel everybody to be baptized? And if not, why not? Are they not both positive institutions of the gospel? (!) Why not treat them alike? In a discussion on baptism I think Eld. Vogel would claim a clearly defined limitation. Why this inconsistency? Such a course is a virtual acknowledgment that there is no such institution.WDUS 134.7

    4. It is immaterial as to what is the meaning of legoo. I gave an undisputed authority for the definition of logia. But the definition which he italicised as professedly from Liddell & Scott, is not given by them.WDUS 135.1

    5. He thinks, at last, that he has got something more than inference, namely, my concession! Suppose I had conceded his assumptions, would that give them authority in the absence of Scripture proof? But his ‘triumphing is short;’-I made no such concession. I said, ‘All the institutions of the gospel are positive.’ Is marriage a gospel institution? Is it confined to the church of Christ? No. Why not? Because it comes down from Eden-it antedates sin and the gospel. And so of the Sabbath. Has Eld. V. forgotten the whole tenor of my argument, that the Sabbath is ‘an original institution?’ The Sabbath is not peculiar to the gospel, more than is marriage. And so the only relief he finds from his mass of inference is a fancied concession, which can only be made out by a per version of words. I forbear to blame him for the perversion only because his position so strongly calls for pity.WDUS 135.2

    6. Hebrews 12:2, does not say that Christ is the author and finisher of the faith, i. e., of the gospel system. He distinctly affirmed that his doctrines were not his own, but he spake the words given him of his Father. These words of Paul are in the conclusion of a discourse on personal faith, and are correctly rendered—‘author and finisher of our faith.’ This correction sets aside much of his fourth article. Eld. V. shows a wondrous tendency to misstate words of Scripture, and then build upon the foundation he has made. The reader will see, by turning to 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10, that he has garbled that text to make it harmonize with his position. I see no reason why he should take such a course except his anxiety to make a case, the necessities of which require it.WDUS 135.3

    7. On the proprietorship of the Sabbath I refer to my remarks on Mark 2:27, 28, in the early part of this discussion. The Sabbath was made for man, for him to use in the worship of God; but it is the Lord’s Day. These two declarations are in the Bible. But see another text, 1 Corinthians 11:9, which says the woman was created for the man. His wife is his, is she not? May he therefore abuse her, in violation of the law of the institution which governs the relation? And his comparison would make man proprietor of the Sabbath in the same sense that Christ is; but, did man create all things in the beginning, and rest the seventh day and bless and hallow it, as Christ, the Maker, did? His position casts indignity upon Christ and His word, and is that of a caviler, not that of a reasoner.WDUS 135.4

    8. The new heavens and new earth were not created on that Sunday! for they are not yet. Peter says (2 Peter 3.) they will succeed the passing away of the ‘heavens and earth which now are,’ which will take place in ‘the day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.’ And Revelation 21. says in the new earth there will be no sorrow, no tears, no sickness, no death. Is that now the case? Such an expositor of Scripture is Eld. Vogel! And Isaiah says that, in the new-earth state, ‘from one Sabbath to another,’ all flesh will worship the Lord. If Eld. Vogel gets there, he will have to be converted from his present position.WDUS 135.5

    He said, under the third proposition, “Each man, whether Jew, Gentile, or Christian, is under the obligation to attend to the thing commanded to him.” Now if he will show that Sunday was commanded to Jew, Gentile, or Christian, the controversy will be ended. But he tries to make equally binding, things not commanded! What is it but will-worship?WDUS 135.6

    A. Campbell said, “Do we transgress any divine command in neglecting to have our children baptized? No; I never read of any one being accused of this sin in the Bible, nor of any commandment that was thereby transgressed.”—Baptism, 427. Let Eld. V. put ‘neglecting to keep Sunday,’ in this, and it is just as forcible and true.WDUS 135.7

    Dr. Sherlock, against the Romanist’s rule of faith, wrote:—WDUS 135.8

    “What is matter of institution depends wholly upon the divine will and pleasure; and though all men will grant that God and Christ have great reasons for their institutions, yet it is not the reason, but the authority, which makes the institution. Though we do not understand the reason of the institution, if we see the command, we must obey; and though we could fancy a great many reasons why there should be such institution, if no such institution appear, we are free, and ought not to believe there is such an institution because we think are reasons assigned why it should be.... I would not be thought wholly to reject a plain and evident consequence from Scripture; yet I will never admit of a mere consequence to prove an institution which must be delivered in plain terms, as all laws ought to be; and when I have no other proof but Scripture consequences, I shall not think it equivalent to a Scripture proof.”WDUS 136.1

    This is sound doctrine; and had it been written for the present occasion, it could not more directly have condemned Eld. Vogel’s course.WDUS 136.2

    Bishop Taylor wrote:—WDUS 136.3

    “All positive precepts, that depend on the mere will of the law-giver, admit no degrees, nor suppletory and commutation, because in such laws we see nothing beyond the words of the law and the first meaning. He will not be disputed with, nor inquired of why or how, but just according to the measure there set down. So, and no more, and no less, and no otherwise. For when the will of the lawgiver be all the reason, the first instance of the law is all the measures, and there can be no product but what is just set down.”WDUS 136.4

    And so far as institution or obligation for Sunday is concerned, there is nothing just set down!WDUS 136.5

    Dr. Goodman wrote:—WDUS 136.6

    “Now it is very evident that all things of this nature ought to be appointed very plainly or expressly, or else they can carry no obligation with them; for, seeing the whole reason of their becoming law or duty lies in the will of the legislator, if that be not plainly discovered, they cannot be said to be instituted, and so there can be no obligation; because, where no law is, there is no transgression; and a law is no law in effect which is not sufficiently promulgated.”WDUS 136.7

    Bishop Burnet said:—WDUS 136.8

    All reasoning upon this head is an arguing against the institution.... He who instituted it knew best what was most fitting and most reasonable; and we must choose rather to acquiesce in his commands than in our own reasonings.”WDUS 136.9

    Dr. Owen said:—WDUS 136.10

    “Divine revelation is the only foundation, the only rule, and the only law of all religious worship, that is pleasing to God or accepted by him; when once a person maintains it allowable to pass the limits of a divine command, there is nothing to hinder him from running the most extravagant lengths.”WDUS 136.11

    We have seen this well illustrated by Eld. Vogel in this discussion.WDUS 136.12

    Bishop Hopkins said:—WDUS 136.13

    “We ought not to worship God with any other external worship than what himself has commanded, and appointed in his holy word. The Scripture has set us our bounds for worship; to which we must not add, and from which we ought not to diminish; for whosoever does either the one or the other must needs accuse the rule, either in defect of things necessary, or of superfluity of things unnecessary; which is a high affront to the wisdom of God, who, as he is the object, so is he the prescriber of all that worship which he will accept and and reward.”WDUS 136.14

    And Richard Baxter said:—WDUS 136.15

    “Who knows what will please God but himself? and has he not told us what he expects from us? Can that be obedience which has no command for it? Is not this to supererogate, and to be righteous overmuch? Is not this also to accuse God’s ordinances of insufficiency, as well as his word; as if they were not sufficient to please him or help our own graces? Oh, the pride of man’s heart, that, instead of being a law-obeyer, will be a law-maker! For my part I will not fear that God will be angry with me for doing no more than he has commanded me, and for sticking close to the rule of his word in matters of worship; but I should tremble to add or diminish.”WDUS 136.16

    From these quotations it will be seen that there was nothing new nor novel in the stand taken by Alexander Campbell on positive institutions-he did not originate his views. But he did faithfully and nobly press them, on the subject of baptism. All Protestants claim these positions against the Romanists; and all Baptists claim them against Pedo-baptists. It needs but little reflection to see that Catholicism could not live if they prevailed. And it is equally evident that if these truths were universally acknowledged, there could not be a Pedo-baptist nor a Sunday-keeper in the Christian churches!WDUS 136.17

    Prof. Clark Braden, in a notice of a discussion which Eld. Vogel had on this subject,” said that Eld. V. maintained ‘the Christian Sabbath’ to the entire satisfaction of those ‘of all churches’ who hearer heard him. By the way, Eld. Vogel said he had not made the subject a specialty, and was not so well prepared to debate it as I was. But his friends and admirers contradict this. Mr. Braden said that he was able ‘to enlighten the best read scribe among’ them, and called upon the ‘brotherhood’ to take steps to have a written discussion between Eld. V. and some seventh-day man, that they might thus be prepared ‘to meet this disorganizing system when it attempts to work inroads on our congregations.’ And so, the steps were taken and the challenge given. And thus Eld. Vogel stands as the chosen representative of the ‘Disciple’ body. His acknowledgment that inference is his only dependence, is their acknowledgment. His failure to find proof of Sunday, is their failure. But they will find-they cannot fail to see-that he has done them an irreparable injury in regard to the truth they hold. For, while his positions are too fallacious to meet the approval of candid men, their enemies will take his declarations in favor of inference and deduction for positive institutions, and successfully meet them on the question of infant baptism. They must yet see the necessity of yielding Mr. Campbell’s positions on infant baptism, or of repudiating Eld. Vogel’s argument on positive institutions.WDUS 137.1

    The truth is, and Messrs. Braden and Vogel know it, that many in ‘the churches,’ as well as among themselves, are not only easily satisfied with anything that seems to favor Sunday, but they are determined to be satisfied with it! however contradictory it may be. Knowing that they have no evidence, they catch at every plausible substitute for evidence that is presented.WDUS 137.2

    As Eld. Vogel’s work is so gratifying to ‘the churches,’ it is worth while to bring together some of the positions of the churches who sit so lovingly together on the Sunday theory.WDUS 137.3

    1. The seventh-day Sabbath was made and sanctified at creation, and changed to the first day of the week at the resurrection of Christ.WDUS 137.4

    2. The original Sabbath of creation was changed to the sixth day (improperly called the seventh in Exodus!) at the passage of the Red Sea, and again changed to the seventh day (improperly called the first in the New Testament!) at the resurrection.WDUS 137.5

    3. Indorses the above, except that the change was made before they left Egypt.WDUS 137.6

    4. The original Sabbath of Eden was the first day of the week (improperly called the seventh day in Genesis!) and was changed to the seventh at the falling of the manna, and back again to the first day at the resurrection.WDUS 137.7

    5. The Sabbath of the Old Testament was Jewish; the Christian Sabbath is the first day, enforced, however, by the same commandment.WDUS 137.8

    6. The Sabbath commandment enforces only the seventh part of time, which comes on Sunday.WDUS 137.9

    7. The Sabbath was entirely Jewish, and was abolished; and a new institution erected of Sunday.WDUS 137.10

    8. The Sabbath is entirely abolished, and in this dispensation there is no sacred time, but it is necessary to keep some day, and that day should be Sunday.WDUS 137.11

    9. The Sabbath was an original institution, unchanged in the New Testament, but ‘the church,’ by the power given to her and of the successorship of Peter, changed it into Sunday.WDUS 137.12

    Can any other dogma, professedly Christian, claim such an array of contradictions? Can a doubt exist that only error and darkness is the cause of this Babel of confusion? By this, Sunday stands self-condemned, for if there were any evidence they would seize upon it, and unite in presenting it to the world. But they all agree in the result! The result is what they are after, regardless of the process by which they reach it. Reader, what would you think of arithmeticians who should declare they had to a certainty found the product of certain numbers, because they had added them, substracted them, multiplied them, and divided them, and brought the same result every time! The very claim would stamp the result as error and the fruit of error.WDUS 137.13

    Of the erection of the festival of this ‘memorable day,’ Dr. Kitto says:—WDUS 137.14

    “The commencement of the Christian church on the day of Pentecost, preceded as it was by our Lord’s ascension, attached a peculiar interest to this season, and eventually led to its being set apart for the commemoration of these great events. It was not, however, established as one of the great festivals until the fourth century.”—Kitto’s Cyclopedia.WDUS 137.15

    “It must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning first-day.”—Buck’s Theol. Dict. A confession easy to make because the fact is universally known.WDUS 138.1

    “The change from the seventh to the first day appears to have been gradually and silently introduced.”—Dr. Scott. And in that manner have all the errors crept into the church, while the ‘law and the testimony’ are the measure of duty.WDUS 138.2

    “Was the first day set apart by public authority in the apostolic age? No. By whom was it set apart, and when? By Constantine, who lived about the beginning of the fourth century.”—A. Campbell, Lecture in Bethany College in 1848.WDUS 138.3

    Dr. Heylyn, author of a large History of the Sabbath, says of early Sunday-keeping:—WDUS 138.4

    “For three hundred years there was neither law to bind them to it, nor any rest from worldly business required upon it.... Tertullian tells us they did devote the Sunday partly unto mirth and recreation, not to devotion altogether; when, in a hundred years after Tertullian’s time, there was no law or constitution to restrain men from labor on this day, in the Christian churches.”WDUS 138.5

    Bishop Jeremy Taylor said:—WDUS 138.6

    “It was not introduced by virtue of the fourth commandment, because they for almost three hundred years together kept that day which was in that commandment.”WDUS 138.7

    All these authorities (Sunday-keepers) point to ‘about the beginning of the fourth century,’ for the first Sunday law. Campbell says directly that Constantine was the author of it. Constantine’s decree was in a. d. 321. Heylyn puts it ‘a hundred years after Tertullian’s time,’ who died a. d. 216. Every testimony poinst to Constantine’s law as the first public authority for Sunday. His decree reads as follows:—WDUS 138.8

    “Let all the judges and townspeople, and the occupation of all trades, rest on the venerable day of the sun; but let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty, attend to the business of agriculture; because it often happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines; lest the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by Heaven.”WDUS 138.9

    Prof. Stuart, on the Sabbath, and many other writers, makes mention of the fact that the council of Laodicea published an anathema against those Christians who kept the seventh day. This was in a. d. 364.WDUS 138.10

    This shows that ‘the day of the sun’ was first made popular by a heathen edict, and then taken up and adopted by the Romish church, and the observance of the seventh day, the holy Sabbath of the Lord our God, was strangled by the anathemas of their councils.WDUS 138.11

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