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    HISTORY IS NOT BIBLE INTERPRETATION

    I will here answer a question that has been proposed. It is said that the Reformers represented in the Augsburg Confession, and other authors quoted, were no-Sabbath men; they held that the Sabbath was entirely abrogated, and that it has no divine substitute in the gospel. In giving their testimony, do you not bind yourself to accept their conclusion, and to reject the Sabbath altogether? Or, why accept them in statement and deny their conclusion? In answering this I can but express my surprise that the questioners do not perceive any difference between an historical statement of fact, and a theological opinion. In accepting the history of Neander, I do not thereby bind myself to accept his theology. The Reformers were all raised in the bosom of the Catholic Church. They were piously trained from infancy to regard the seventh day as a Jewish Sabbath, and to call the Sunday the Lord’s day. Now as to whether the Saviour abolished the ten commandments, and with them the Sabbath, is a theological question; it is only a matter of Scripture interpretation. In that we think the Reformers retained a grievous error of their early training; but that does not invalidate their testimony in regard to a matter of fact with which they were well acquainted.OGSO 93.1

    In closing these remarks, I wish to say to the reader that I have quoted very little from history that has not already been quoted by the advocates of the Sabbath, while I have left unnoticed a vast amount of historical testimony that is well known to the readers of the writings of the Seventh-day Adventists and the Seventh-day Baptists. When a man says that the Sabbatarians, in searching two hundred years, have not been able to find an item of proof that the Papacy changed the Sabbath, much of the reflection is intended to fall on the Seventh-day Baptists; for they, and not the Adventists, have been advocating the Sabbath for two hundred years. But if such an one has any knowledge of the authors and the literature of the Seventh-day Baptists (and if he has not, he is without excuse), he knows that his assertion does great injustice to that denomination. Amongst their authors are numbered men eminent for ability, for education, and for deep research, not to speak of their evident piety and conscientious regard for the truth of God’s word. They have laid before the world a large amount of rich instruction from the Bible and from history on this important subject.OGSO 94.1

    Now if I had exhausted the evidence; if no more historical proof could be given than appears in this tract, even then I could confidently appeal to the reader that the assertion quoted on page 9 is made in sheer recklessness. Never was a word more carelessly spoken than this, that Sabbatarians have never presented an item of historical evidence that the Papacy changed the Sabbath. I do not know how to palliate such a statement coming from one who has read “History of the Sabbath and the First Day of the Week,” by Elder J. N. Andrews.OGSO 95.1

    I have avoided complicating my argument by noticing minor or incidental points. All minor points and objections can be easily met, but it has been my object to keep the main issue in view. It is, in every sense, a main issue. The remark that we consider this a material question, was not an exaggeration. We do indeed so consider it. And with the clear evidence before us that the Papacy did change the Sabbath, and the fact that the Sunday institution will in every feature meet the description of such an institution in Revelation 13:11-17, and that no other will, we are constrained to believe-we cannot avoid it-that the Sunday-sabbath is the burden of the awful warning found in Revelation 14:19-11. This is an issue that everyone will have to meet. It cannot always be turned aside with empty assertions. In the providence of God it is going to every nation. And men can do nothing against it. Let men oppose as they may, God’s counsel will stand; his law will be vindicated; it will be victorious; the call of the prophetic word will be heeded, and a company will take their stand on “the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus,” who will be permitted to rejoice when the Son of man appears on the great white cloud to reap the harvest of the earth. Revelation 14:12-16.OGSO 95.2

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