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    August 27, 1885

    “Sabbath and Sunday” The Signs of the Times, 11, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There are only a few more things in Dr. Dobbs’ Sunday article which we wish to notice at present, and these are all of a favorable nature, that is, favorable to the Lord’s Sabbath. In article five, we find the following statement, every clause of which he thinks is worthy of emphatic iteration:-SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.1

    “The Holy Spirit never calls the first day of the week the Sabbath. Wherever that word is found in the New Testament, is the name of the Jewish institution, and refers to the seventh day-Saturday. We ought not to be wiser than the Scripture.”SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.2

    Amen. With the exception of the term “Jewish institution,” as applied to the Sabbath, we could heartily say to the above, amen and amen. We need not stop to argue concerning the objectionable term, for all our readers know that the Sabbath is the Lord’s, that he claims it as his own (Exodus 20:10; 31:13; Isaiah 58:13; Mark 2:28); and that it was observed in Eden, centuries before there was a Jew, and while “the whole earth was of one language and of one speech.” With the exception of that single expression, the above quotation would seem to be the language of an earnest Sabbatarian. No one would suspect that is from one who hates the Sabbath of the Lord.SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.3

    Our readers will of course understand that the Doctor’s emphatic statement concerning the seventh day as the Sabbath of the Bible, is not because of any love for the Sabbath, nor disregard for Sunday, but simply because he would have Sunday called the “Lord’s day,” and would not have men observe any day as a Sabbath. Now let us see how his theory and practice agree. He is a Baptist preacher, and therefore whatever we find in the Baptist “Confession of Faith” may be quoted as his own words, since they have his endorsement. Following is the first article of that document:-SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.4

    The Scriptures.-We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly construction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.”SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.5

    The twelth article reads as follows:-SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.6

    The Law and the Gospel.-We believe the Scriptures teach that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen man to fulfill all its precepts, arises entirely from love of sin; to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy law, is the one great end of the gospel, and of the means by grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.”SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.7

    Doctor Dobbs, having subscribed his name to these articles, says that according to the Scriptures, the seventh day,-Saturday,-and that alone is the Sabbath, yet refuses to obey the commandment which says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy;” “in it thou shalt not do any work.” Now if we accept him as our guide in matters of religion, how shall we know which of his utterances we are to be guided? Our Saviour said: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat; all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.” Matthew 23:2, 3. He could say this with safety, for whatever their practice, the scribes always taught that the strictest obedience was to be rendered to the law. But we cannot save this of our modern teachers, for they do not always “say;” they give an uncertain sound, sometimes teaching strict conformity to the Bible, and again teaching that it is not to be obeyed. In such a case, we prefer to listen to the Bible alone. “We ought not to be wiser than the Scriptures.”SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.8

    We cannot refrain from noting one other point, to show the inconsistency of calling the seventh day “the Jewish Sabbath.” As correctly stated above, the Holy Spirit never called Sunday the Sabbath. Wherever that word is found in the New Testament, it refers to the seventh day Saturday. Now it is not only admitted, but zealously claimed, that the New Testament was written for the purpose of teaching Christianity. Its language is the language for Christians to use, and those who accept it indeed, are Christians. (We also believe the same in regard to the Old Testament.) Then it necessarily follows that the Sabbath is just as much a Christian as it is a Jewish institution. As a matter of fact it is neither Jewish nor Christian; it belongs to no race nor age; it is the Sabbath of the Lord. But the law of God, which the Baptist “Confession of Faith” justly calls “the eternal and unchangeable rule” of God’s moral Government, says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work” (Exodus 20:8-10), and the Holy Spirit teaches emphatically in the New Testament that there is no Sabbath day but the seventh day.SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.9

    In the same paragraph we find the following, from the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, quoted with approval; “The Lord’s day [Sunday] then was not a continuation of the Jewish Sabbath, which was at first also observed, but a substitute for it.” This is a fact, Sunday, improperly called Lord’s day, was substituted for the Sabbath of the Lord, just as the bishop of Rome was substituted for the Lord, and sprinkling was substituted for immersion. We have the same authority for substituting sprinkling for baptism, or regarding the pope as the vicar of Christ, that we have for substituting Sunday for the Sabbath.SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.10

    One more quotation, from Dr. Dobbs sixth article:-SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.11

    “It cannot be repeated too often that there is no Scripture authority for the transfer of the Sabbatic obligations and from the seventh day to the first day. Of such ‘change of day,’ not only the New Testament, but also the Christian literature of the early centuries, is absolutely silent. It was several hundred years after Christ before Christians began to identify the Lord’s day [Sunday, not the Lord’s day] with the Sabbath, and to adduce the authority of the fourth commandment in support of its sanctity. Surely it is suggestive that such is the case.”SITI August 27, 1885, page 521.12

    Very suggestive indeed. Let every Baptist read the above paragraph, and then ask himself if he can consistently continue to keep a day which has no warrant from Scripture. The Doctor says that the fact that several hundred years after Christ, Christians began to adduce the fourth commandment in support of Sunday sanctity, is suggestive. Suggestive of what? It shows that they knew that the fourth commandment is of eternal obligation, and that being determined not to give up their Sunday for the Lord’s Sabbath, they found that the only way to satisfy people who wanted to be loyal to God, was to make them believe that the fourth commandment enjoined the observance of Sunday. This they largely succeeded in doing; but as the end approaches, the light cannot be hid; truth will be fully manifest to all the honest in heart; and soon every individual who holds the faith of Jesus will also keep the commandments of God. E. J. W.SITI August 27, 1885, page 522.1

    “Handling the Word Deceitfully” The Signs of the Times, 11, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A friend who is quite active as a canvasser for the SIGNS, tells us that in the place where he is now working there is among the people quite a deep interest on the Sabbath question. In consequence of this interest, the Presbyterian minister in that place, is troubled, feeling that some of his flock will keep “the Sabbath of the Lord” in stead of “the venerable day of the sun.” To satisfy the people that their previous custom of keeping Sunday is correct, and to make them believe that the seventh day is no longer the Sabbath, he resorts to a trick that is worthy of a Jesuit. He tells them that, in the original, the word in the New Testament for Sabbath, is an entirely different word from that which in the Old Testament is translated Sabbath, and that they do not have the same meaning.SITI August 27, 1885, page 522.2

    To some, the sophistry and the falsehood contained in such a statement would be apparent at once, but many honest persons would be thrown into confusion by a statement concerning languages with which they have no acquaintance. We think that we can easily relieve the minds of such, so that if the objection of that clergyman is all that troubles them, they need have no hesitancy in obeying the commandment.SITI August 27, 1885, page 522.3

    It is true that the word for Sabbath in the original of the New Testament is different from that translated Sabbath, from the original of the Old. How is this? Simply because the New Testament was written in Greek, and the Old Testament in Hebrew. As a matter of course, the word for Sabbath would not be identical in both languages. Yet the thing mentioned is the same. A parallel to that minister’s statement would be to claim that because the word for “horse” is not the same in France that it is in Germany, therefore the animal has an entirely different nature in the two countries. It is on a par with the statement of the late Spiritualist “Professor” Denton, that the word “resurrection” is not found in the Greek Testament. Of course not, for resurrection is an English word; but there is in the Greek Testament a word corresponding to it and having the very same meaning. Even so we would not expect to find the Greek word for Sabbath in the Hebrew Old Testament, nor the Hebrew word for Sabbath in the Greek New Testament. Yet both words have the same meaning that the English word Sabbath has.SITI August 27, 1885, page 522.4

    When Martin Luther was before the Diet at Worms, he first made his defense in his native Germany, and afterward at the request of the emperor, who did not like the German, he repeated it in Latin. Does anybody suppose that his second speech had a different meaning from the first, because in the two languages things were called by different names? Of course not. These illustrations are sufficient to enable all to see through the trick to which the aforesaid clergyman resorted.SITI August 27, 1885, page 522.5

    The lexicons will show that the Hebrew, Greek and English words for Sabbath have all one meaning. But one who knows nothing of either Hebrew or Greek may prove the fact for himself. The sacred historian, after describing the crucifixion of Christ, says “And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:54-56.SITI August 27, 1885, page 522.6

    The “commandment” is found in the Old Testament, in Exodus 20:8-11, and says the Sabbath on which the women rested was “according to the commandment,” we have a positive evidence that the Sabbath of the New Testament is identical with that of the Old. And the fact that the Sabbath mentioned by Luke, immediately preceded the first day of the week, shows that the Sabbath of the Old and the New Testament is the seventh day of the week.SITI August 27, 1885, page 522.7

    The requirements of courtesy make it impossible to characterize the course of that minister as it deserves. To say the least, it is dishonorable, and should at once deprive him of the respect and confidence of the people who know of it. And what should they think of a cause that requires its advocates to stoop to such mean evasions of truth? They must certainly conclude that the cause itself is the opposite of truth. For a man to adopt such methods of argument, is to confess in advance that the cause which he defends is a weak one, but that he is determined to win by deceit where he cannot by fair means. The course which he adopted to uphold Sunday is eminently worthy of an institution which owes its existence to fraud. Thank God, the truth does not require its advocates to resort to the tricks of the pettifogger. E. J. W.SITI August 27, 1885, page 522.8

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