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    June 2, 1881

    “Whose Law Is It?” The Signs of the Times, 7, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following paragraph, which is going the rounds of the religious press, shows the careless manner in which most people handle the word of God:-SITI June 2, 1881, page 247.1

    “Moses with his decalogue, could never accomplish what has been achieved by Christ and his cross. The bonds of the old morality could, like green withes, be easily broken; but the ties of this morality are strong, just because they are tender.”SITI June 2, 1881, page 247.2

    It is evident that the writer of the above is trying to place Christ in antagonism to the ten commandments; but where in the Bible do we find any record of the decalogue of Moses? Moses did not originate the law, he did not speak it to the people, God called Moses into the mount, and there gave him the ceremonial law, and directions concerning the building of the sanctuary. But the decalogue was not intrusted to Moses to be transmitted to the people. Thus we read, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God;” Exodus 31:18; and in chapter 32:15, 16, we read, “And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.” And still later, when Moses rehearsed the ten commandments to Israel, he said: “These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone.” Deuteronomy 5:22.SITI June 2, 1881, page 247.3

    When these first tables were broken, the Lord said to Moses: “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first; and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.” “And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.” Exodus 34:1, 28.SITI June 2, 1881, page 247.4

    This law thus spoken and written by God is always called his. “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 11:26-28. “And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God.” “Also Judah kept not the commandments of the Lord their God.” 2 Kings 17:16, 19. David in his charge to Solomon, said: “Only the Lord give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the Lord thy God.” 1 Chronicles 22:12. See also Psalm 1:2; 19:7, 8; 119; Isaiah 5:24, and many other texts in which the commandments are distinctly called the law of God.SITI June 2, 1881, page 247.5

    There is a law that is sometime called Moses’ law, but it was distinct from the decalogue. It was the law of ceremonies which God gave to Moses while he was in the mount. Of this law it is said, “And Moses wrote this law,” and, “And it came to pass when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book,” etc. Deuteronomy 31:9, 24. But although Moses wrote this law for the use of the people, and it is sometimes termed his law, it is nowhere claimed that Moses had any further connection with it than as the mouthpiece of God. Thus in Leviticus 27:34, after this law had been rehearsed, the statement was made, “These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai;” and in Nehemiah 9:13, 14, the distinction between the law of God and that of Moses is clearly made, while God is still represented as the author of both. “Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments; and madest known unto them thy holy Sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant.”SITI June 2, 1881, page 247.6

    The clearness of these statements leaves no room for mistake as to the authorship of the decalogue. It is easy to discern, however, whence such carelessness as the above arises. The same spirit which leads men to speak of the Sabbath of the Lord as the “old Jewish Sabbath,” leads them to speak of the law of which it is a part as the “decalogue of Moses.” The antipathy felt toward the Sabbath will naturally extend to the whole law, and instead of repudiating the fourth commandment merely, men will reject the whole law. The respect which men have for a law is in proportion to the respect felt for the maker of it. Cannot these religious teachers see that their efforts to diminish immorality and extend the gospel of Christ can meet with no real success while they thus “pervert the right ways of the Lord”?SITI June 2, 1881, page 247.7

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