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The Seventh Day Sabbath Not Abolished

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    REVIEW

    Before me is the “Harbinger and Advocate” for December 29, 1849, containing an article headed “Seventh-day Sabbath abolished,” of which Eld. Marsh says —SDSNA 3.1

    “The following article, in substance, was published in our sheet over four years since; and then again about two years ago, in its present form. To our knowledge, it has never been answered, and we confidently say it is unanswerable.”SDSNA 3.2

    The principal reasons given in this article for the abolition of the weekly Sabbath have been answered, and their fallacy shown in the first three numbers of the “Present Truth;” but as Eld. Marsh has published his article the third time, and “confidently” says “it is unanswerable,” I have concluded to give it a review for the benefit of those who have an ear to hear, and an honest heart open to receive the truth on this all-important question. I shall quote from Eld. Marsh’s article and have it put in small type that the reader may see that I do not misstate his position:SDSNA 3.3

    “What is the signification of Sabbath? Rest: and, when connected with day, it denotes a day of rest.”SDSNA 3.4

    With this I fully agree, and by substituting the word Rest, in the place of Sabbath, the truth is more clearly seen. “The seventh day is the Rest of the Lord thy God.” Is it any where historically recorded as a fact, that God rested on the seventh day? It is. “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and HE RESTED on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.SDSNA 3.5

    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,” Genesis 2:2, 3. That very day of the week in which God rested, “is the Rest of the Lord thy God.” Then, God blessed, hallowed and set apart HIS Rest-day for the good of man, and there is not one text in all the Bible to show that it was instituted, blessed and sanctified at any other time, or place but in Eden, on the last day of the first week of time. God has given but one reason for the institution of the weekly Sabbath after six days of labor, which is as follows:SDSNA 4.1

    “FOR in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and RESTED the seventh day; WHEREFORE the Lord blessed the Rest-day, (or Sabbath day,) and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11.SDSNA 4.2

    All who read the Bible may see that the Sabbatic institution, and the fourth commandment are inseparably connected with God’s Rest at the close of creation. We may, therefore, appropriate the first, or any other of the six laboring days to the Lord by resting from labor, still it is not THE REST, but a rest; for “THE REST of the Lord thy God” means the Rest that “the Lord thy God” OBSERVED.SDSNA 4.3

    “For whom was the Sabbath instituted? The natural seed of Abraham, or Jews according to the flesh.”SDSNA 4.4

    Said Jesus, “The Sabbath was made for man.” Mark 2:27. The word man, when used as it is here by our Saviour, in its broadest sense, means all mankind. Not the Jews only, but MAN, the whole race of man, the same as in the following texts: “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Job 14:1. “Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labor until evening.” Psalm 104:23. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” 1 Corinthians 10:13. “Man lieth down and riseth not, till the heavens be no more.” Job 14:12. No one will say that man in these texts means Jews or Christians, for the whole family of Adam is included. In this sense, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” — Adam, Noah and Abraham were men, and the Sabbath was made for them as well as for Abraham’s natural seed. We are men, and the Sabbath was made for us. I choose to believe Jesus.SDSNA 4.5

    “The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.SDSNA 5.1

    The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.”SDSNA 5.2

    “Keeping the Sabbath was embraced in this covenant with the children of Israel at Horeb. It was “NOT made with their fathers” [the Patriarchs], but “with US, even us, who are all of US HERE ALIVE THIS DAY.” Verse 3. This testimony, first negative, “He made it not with our fathers,” and then positive, “But with us,” is conclusive. It plainly tells us for whom the Sabbath was not, and then for whom it was instituted.”SDSNA 5.3

    Here Eld. Marsh uses the word Sabbath instead of covenant, which he has no right to do. It is true that it helps his argument, but it perverts the word of God. The word Sabbath is not mentioned in Deuteronomy 5:1-5, yet the readers of the “Harbinger” are told that the “testimony” is “conclusive,” and “plainly tells us for whom the Sabbath was not, and then for whom it was instituted.”SDSNA 5.4

    If the text read, — The Lord made not the Sabbath for our fathers, but for us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day — then Eld. Marsh would have some ground for his assertion; but the text would then prove too much for him, for it would prove that the Sabbath was instituted for those only with whom “the Lord talked face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire.” Those only who were all “alive” that day. By using the words “Sabbath,” “instituted” and “for,” which are not in the text, as Eld. Marsh has, the text is wrested from its true meaning, and those who do not carefully search for themselves are deceived and led astray.SDSNA 6.1

    It is true that God, after he had brought the natural seed of Abraham out of the house of bondage, commanded them to keep the Sabbath. — The reason why God at that time reminded them of his Sabbath, and commanded them, by the mouth of Moses, to keep it, is as follows:SDSNA 6.2

    “And 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 by a stretched-out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath-day.” Deuteronomy 5:15.SDSNA 6.3

    While servants in Egypt, Israel could not keep the Sabbath; but they had been from Egypt only thirty days when God reminded them of it, and guarded it by three standing miracles in giving the manna. See Exodus 16:19-30. They were then free, and the only given reason why God at that time commanded them to keep his Sabbath was because he had brought them “out thence through a mighty hand, and by a stretched-out arm; [where they could keep it,] therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath-day.” Eld. Marsh says that the Sabbath was designed to keep in memory their deliverance from Egypt; but this is a groundless assertion; for there is not the least intimation given that the Sabbath was instituted, sanctified and blessed, in the “wilderness of Sin” or at any other time and place, but in Eden at the close of creation. There were two annual memorials which commemorated the deliverance of Israel from Egypt; the passover and feast of unleavened bread. Men may as well assert that these annual memorials were designed to commemorate God’s rest on the seventh day of the first week of time, as to say that the weekly REST was given to commemorate the deliverance of Israel from Egypt on the fifteenth day of Abib!SDSNA 6.4

    The fifteenth day of Abib came but once in the year, therefore that deliverance was commemorated by its annual memorial, on that day. God’s REST was on the seventh day of the first week of time and its memorial which is the only weekly Sabbath of the Bible, was given, and sanctified to be kept on the last day of every week since God RESTED. “Wherefore the Lord blessed the Rest-day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11. — WHEN? IN EDEN. “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.” Genesis 2:3.SDSNA 7.1

    Eld. Marsh says, “Keeping the Sabbath was embraced in this covenant with the children of Israel at Horeb.” It is true that the Sabbath law was one of the ten commandments that were spoken from Mount Sinai; but does this prove that there was no Sabbath before that time? Certainly it does not, for all Israel kept the Sabbath in the wilderness of Sin, thirty days before they saw the Mount from which they were spoken. Here is a nail driven in a sure place.SDSNA 7.2

    The children of Israel departed from Egypt on the fifteenth day of the first month, and came to the wilderness of Sin on the fifteenth day of the second month. See Exodus 16:1. There, in the wilderness of Sin, God gave them bread from heaven, and through Moses reminded them of his Sabbath. They then journeyed to Rephidim, and from Rephidim they came to the desert of Sinai on the fifteenth day of the third month.SDSNA 8.1

    Mark this. The Lord said to Moses, thirty days before the covenant was made in Horeb — “How long refuse ye to keep my COMMANDMENTS and my LAWS? See for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days.” Exodus 16:28, 29. This positively proves that God had commandments and laws before he made the covenant in Horeb, and that the Sabbath law was one of them. God said of Abraham, “And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries: and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed: Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws. Genesis 26:4, 5.SDSNA 8.2

    Abraham kept the Sabbath; for we are plainly shown in Exodus 16:28, 29, that the Sabbath was one of God’s commandments and laws. Because Abraham kept the commandments, (the Sabbath with the rest,) God made to him all these great and precious promises.SDSNA 8.3

    A covenant usually signifies the mutual consent of two or more. The covenant that was made in Horeb was a mutual agreement between God and his chosen people. I will first give the requirements and promises of God on the one hand, and then the consent of the people on the other.SDSNA 9.1

    “In the third month when the children of Israel” “were come to the desert of Sinai,” “Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel,SDSNA 9.2

    “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.SDSNA 9.3

    “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine.SDSNA 9.4

    “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. THESE ARE THE WORDS WHICH THOU SHALT SPEAK UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.”SDSNA 9.5

    The following is the promise of the people:SDSNA 9.6

    “And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.SDSNA 9.7

    “And all the people answered together, and said, ALL THAT THE LORD HATH SPOKEN WE WILL DO. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.” Exodus 19:1-8.SDSNA 9.8

    The Lord then told Moses to sanctify the people and to “Be ready against the third day.” — And on the third-day, in the morning “there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud” upon Mount Sinai, “because the Lord descended upon it in fire,” “and the whole mount quaked greatly.” See Exodus 19:16-18. Then God, by an audible voice, spake the ten commandments. See Exodus 20:3-17. This is the covenant that God made with his people in Horeb.SDSNA 9.9

    “The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us alive here this day.” Deuteronomy 5:3.SDSNA 10.1

    This text does not mean (as Eld. Marsh would have it) that the Lord made not the Sabbath for our fathers, etc. neither does it mean that the Lord made not the commandments for our fathers, for two reasons at least. First, the text does not read so, and second, Abraham kept God’s COMMANDMENTS, STATUTES and LAWS more than three hundred years before the covenant was made in Horeb; and thirty-two days before God spake the ten commandments, he said to Moses — “How long refuse ye to keep my COMMANDMENTS and my LAWS? See for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath.” Then as we have proof positive that God’s commandments, one of which was the Sabbath law, existed before this covenant was made, it necessarily follows that the covenant made in Horeb WAS NOT the institution of the Sabbath, nor any other of the ten commandments; but, it was the mutual agreement between God and his people that they should obey his “voice,” (when he should speak the ten commandments,) and that God should make them “a peculiar treasure,” “a kingdom of priests.” The Lord made not that covenant with their fathers, but with those who were all alive that day, and had heard the voice of God from the burning Mount, which they had promised to obey.SDSNA 10.2

    Now I think that every candid reader will admit that Deuteronomy 5:1-15 does not “plainly tell us” what Eld. Marsh says it does, and also that it does not afford the least evidence that the seventh day Sabbath is abolished.SDSNA 11.1

    Speaking of the design of the Sabbath, Eld. Marsh says —SDSNA 11.2

    “It was also designed as a sign or memorial to keep in memory the creation of the world in six days by God, and his resting on the seventh.”SDSNA 11.3

    That God instituted the weekly Rest for man to keep in commemoration of His Rest on the seventh day, after he had created the world in six days, is as clear as the noonday sun. It is one of the most simple and glorious truths of the Bible.SDSNA 11.4

    The passover was a memorial for Israel, that they might not forget their wonderful deliverance from Egyptian bondage. The communion of the body and blood of Christ is a memorial instituted for the Church to keep in memory the Lamb of God who suffered and died for us. So the seventh-day Sabbath is a weekly memorial instituted to commemorate God’s Rest-day, after he had created the world in six, that man might not forget the living God who made heaven and earth. If man had always observed this memorial, none would have forgotten God, and there never would have been an infidel in the world. How wonderful and wise the plan of Jehovah, laid out in the beginning! Man was to labor six days, and on the seventh rest from servile labor and care; and by viewing the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all things which were created in six days, he was to call to mind the living God who rested on the seventh.SDSNA 11.5

    The passover was to be observed from the time of the deliverance from Egypt, until “Christ our passover” was “sacrificed for us;” the communion was to be observed by the church from the crucifixion, until the second advent of Jesus; so the seventh-day Sabbath was designed to be kept from the creation to, at least, the close of time.SDSNA 12.1

    But Eld. Marsh’s view of the Sabbath teaches that this memorial was not to be observed for more than 2500 years after God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh, and that it was to be observed by the Jews only, to the crucifixion, and that the whole gospel dispensation was to be left without it! A singular memorial indeed, “to keep in memory the creation of the world in six days by God, and his resting on the seventh”! As tho’ the Jews were the only people that needed “to keep in memory” God’s creation, and holy Rest!SDSNA 12.2

    “Finally, it was a shadow of things to come. “Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath, [‘days’ is supplied by the translators, we therefore omit it] which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ. Colossians 2:16, 17.”SDSNA 12.3

    That we may more clearly understand Colossians 2:16, 17; and other texts of the same class, let us take a view of some of the trials of the early church. A portion of the Christian Church were converts from the circumcision or Jews, and a portion from the uncircumcision or Gentiles. The converts from the Jewish church were inclined to practise many of the ceremonies and customs of the Jewish religion, in which they had been educated, while the Gentile Christians were free from them. Certain men from Judea “taught the brethren” that they must be circumcised in order to be saved, with whom “Paul and Barnabas had no small dissention and disputation,” and then went up to Jerusalem ‘about this question,’ where they were met by “certain of the sect of the Pharisees which BELIEVED, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.” See Acts 15:1-6. This fact, that some were judging the brethren, and were making the observance of the laws of Moses, which were “abolished,” a test of salvation, led St. Paul to write the following exhortation:SDSNA 12.4

    “Let no man therefore JUDGE YOU in meat or in drink, or in respect of a festival, [see Macknight’s translation,] or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath-days.”SDSNA 13.1

    Eld. Marsh says, “days, is supplied by the translators, we therefore omit it.” Macknight and Whiting both omit “days” but they do not leave the word “Sabbath,” in the singular as Eld. Marsh has for his readers. They both translate it “sabbaths,” in the plural, which makes the text perfectly clear. Now turn to Leviticus 23:24-28, and you will find four sabbaths, that were to be observed on the first, tenth, fifteenth and twenty-second days of the seventh month, which are there associated with such ceremonies of the laws of Moses as “a burnt-offering, and a meat-offering, a sacrifice, and drink-offerings,” the same as Paul has associated them with “meat,” “drink,” “the new-moon” and “a festival.”SDSNA 13.2

    These were all shadows, pointing to the time of the “ministration of the Spirit,” or the “body” which “is OF Christ,” which is the new covenant, of which Christ is the minister or priest; and at the crucifixion they were all “nailed to the cross,” “abolished,” and ceased according to the words of the Prophet.SDSNA 13.3

    “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast-days, her new-moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.” Hosea 2:11.SDSNA 14.1

    “The Sabbath of the Lord our God” is not referred to by St. Paul in Colossians 2:14-16, for the following reasons:SDSNA 14.2

    1. It was the “HAND-WRITING of ordinances” written in the book of the law by the HAND OF MOSES that was “blotted out,” and not that which was spoken from Mount Sinai, and ENGRAVEN in stone with the FINGER OF GOD. I will here give some texts which show the distinction between the law of Moses, and the law of God.SDSNA 14.3

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