1. We now come to the direct statement of Paul that the Sabbath was abolished: Col. 2:14, 16, 17. "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. * * * Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." With other Jewish ordinances, the Sabbath was blotted out and nailed to the cross; therefore no man is to judge us about keeping "the Sabbath days." The statement is positive and plain. When I kept the seventh day this text always perplexed me as it does my Advent brethren now, say what they will. Paul directly names "the Sabbath" or "the Sabbath days," for there is no difference, as among the shadows which have passed away.
2. It is said by some that "the Sabbath days," plural number, is not the same as "the Sabbath," singular number, hence is not the weekly Sabbath. This is a groundless objection, for both the singular and the plural numbers are used indifferently for the weekly Sabbath. Thus Greenfield's Greek NT Lexicon says: "Sabbaton. The Sabbath, * * * both in the singular and plural." Bagster's Greek Lexicon says: "The Jewish Sabbath both in the singular and plural." So plain is this fact that even Elder Smith, Adventist, is compelled to admit it though he tries to save his theory by excepting Col. 2, and Acts 17:2, but without reason. He says: "When it [Sabbaton] is used in the plural form [excepting Acts 17:2 and Col. 2:16], it means just the same as if it had been written in the singular." Greek Falsehood, page 8. Col. 2:16, is no exception to the rule. In Acts 17:2, the word THREE is what marks the plural. The Revised Version properly renders Col. 2:16, in the singular, thus: "Let no man therefore judge you in respect of a Sabbath day," singular number. Sawyer's translation says: "In respect to a feast, or new moon, or Sabbath," singular. The Bible Union says: "Of a feast day, or of a new moon, or of a Sabbath," singular.
A few quotations will show that both the singular and plural numbers are used for the weekly Sabbath. "My Sabbaths [plural] shall ye keep for it [singular] is a sign between me and you." Ек. 31:13. This is the weekly Sabbath. "Keep my Sabbaths." Lev. 19:3. "Beside the Sabbaths of the Lord." Lev. 23:38. Adventists argue that this is the weekly Sabbath. "Blessed is the man that * * * keepeth the Sabbath," "the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths." Isa. 56:3,4. Either singular or plural, no difference. "I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign." Ez. 20:12. This is the weekly Sabbath, as Adventists well know. "On the Sabbath days [plural] the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath" [singular]. Мат. 12:5. Here we have in the same verse both the plural and singular used for the weekly Sabbath. "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days?" Мат. 12:10. "Taught them on the Sabbath days." Luke 4:31. "Three Sabbath days reasoned with them." Acts 17:2. "Let no man therefore judge you * * * in respect of the Sabbath days." Col. 2:16.
Who can read this list of texts and not be profoundly impressed that by "the Sabbath days" of Col. 2:16 Paul means just what that language means in all the other cases? Of course he did, and no other reasonable application can be made of it.
3. In the Greek, in which Paul wrote Col. 2:16, he uses not only the same word which is always used for the weekly Sabbath, but exactly the same form of the word used in the fourth commandment itself! I will give the Greek word for "Sabbath days" in Col. 2:16 and other texts where the same word and same form of the word, letter for letter, is used for the weekly Sabbath. Col. 2:16. "Let no man judge you in respect to the Sabbath days," Greek, Sabbaton, genitive plural.
Ек. 20:8,10, fourth commandment, "Remember the Sabbath day (Greek, Sabbaton, genitive plural) to keep it holy." "But the seventh day is the Sabbath [Greek, Sabbate, accusative plural] of the Lord." Here it will be seen that Paul uses the same Greek word, letter for letter, that is used in the decalogue. Hence he surely meant that very Sabbath day. Notice, further, that in each case in the fourth commandment where the word "Sabbath" occurs it is plural in the Greek.
So if the use of the plural in Col. 2 shows any thing, it shows that the Sabbath of the decalogue is meant. Moreover, the Revised Version renders Ex. 20:10, and Col. 2:16, exactly alike. Thus: "The seventh day is a Sabbath unto the Lord." "Let no man judge you in respect of 'a Sabbath.' " Plainly, then, Col. 2:16, refers to the Sabbath of Ex. 20:8-11.
Further, Sabbaton, genitive plural, the form of the word used in Col. 2:16, is the one often used in other texts for the weekly Sabbath. Thus: Ex. 35:3, "Kindle no fire * * * upon the Sabbath day," [Sabbaton]. Lev. 23:38. "Besides the Sabbaths [Sabbaton] of the Lord." Lev. 24:8. "Every Sabbath [Sabbaton] he shall set it in order." Num. 15:32. "Gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day," [Sabbaton] Numbers 28:9. "On the Sabbath [Sabbaton] day two lambs." Deut. 5:12. Fourth commandment again, "Keep the Sabbath [Sabbaton] day." Isa. 58:13. "Turn away thy foot from the Sabbath," [Sabbaton] Matt. 28:1. "In the end of the Sabbath," [Sabbaton] Luke 4:16. "He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath [Sabbaton] day." Acts 13:14. "Went into the synagogue on the Sabbath [Sabbaton] day." Col. 2:16. "Let no man therefore judge you * * * in respect of the Sabbath [Sabbaton] days."
Unless a man is blinded by a pet theory, he must see that Col. 2:16 does surely mean the weekly Sabbath, as in all the other texts where the same word occurs.
4. The only word ever used in the Bible, for the weekly Sabbath is the very one Paul did use, Sabbaton. So if he had meant to name that Sabbath, what else could he have said than just what he did say, the Sabbath days? Why, then, deny that he means just what he says when he could have said nothing else if he had meant the Sabbath?
5. The word Sabbath occurs in the New Testament 60 times. Seventh-Day Adventists admit that in 59 out of these 60 cases it means the weekly Sabbath; but in the 60th case, where exactly the same word is used both in Greek and English, as we have seen, they say it must mean something else! Isn't that remarkable? Hear them: "In the New Testament the Sabbath of the Lord is mentioned 59 times, and those local Sabbaths, which expired by limitation and ceased at the cross, are mentioned once." Scripture References, p. 9. Strange that the Sabbath means the Sabbath 59 times and the 60th time it don't! "Jewish feasts are often spoken of in the New Testament but, not one of them anywhere is called a Sabbath or credited with the nature of a Sabbath." The Sabbath for Man, p. 544.
6. "The feast days and new moons" of Col. 2:16, include all the holy days of the Jews except the weekly Sabbath; hence there was nothing else left to which it could apply but that Sabbath. The entire list is given in Num. 28 and 29.
7. But what settles it beyond a reasonable doubt that Col. 2:16, does refer to the weekly Sabbaths is the fact that exactly the same list of holy days here given by Paul is given about a dozen times in the Old Testament, where we know it means the seventh day.
Turn to Num. 28 and 29, and you have a detailed law as to just what offerings shall be made on each day of the whole year. The first were the daily offerings of "two lambs," day by day, for a continual burnt offering. "The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at the even." Verse 3 and 4. The second were the offerings on the sabbath. "And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot," verse 9 and 10. None will deny that this was the weekly sabbath. Third, in the very next verse come the new moons. "And in the beginning of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the Lord," verses 11-15. Fourth comes the annual feast days. "And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the Lord," verse 16. Then follows a complete list of all the annual feast days, closing with these words, "These things shall ye do unto the Lord in your set feasts," Num. 29:39.
Here we have the law for the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly offerings; or, those on each day, on the weekly sabbaths, on the new moons, and on the yearly feast days. Now read the following texts, and notice how this list of daily offerings, offerings on the sabbaths, on the new moons, and on the set feasts, as laid down in the law of Moses, is repeatedly referred to in almost exactly the words of Col. 2:16.
1 Chron., 23:3O, 31: "To stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even; and to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the Lord in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them." Here is a direct reference to the daily offerings, offerings on the weekly sabbaths, new moons and set feasts, just as ordered in Num. 28 and 29. Can any one doubt that "the sabbaths" here are the weekly sabbaths, the same as there? Свакако не.
2 Chron. 2:4: "Behold, I build an house to the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shew bread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening [daily], on the sabbaths [weekly], and on the new moons, [monthly], and on the solemn feasts [yearly] of the Lord." Precisely the same list again, and in the same order, hence the weekly sabbaths are the ones named. Besides, it would be absurd to suppose that Solomon would name all the other and minor holy days, but say nothing about the chiefest of all days, the weekly sabbaths. Every candid man would admit that "the sabbaths" here are the weekly sabbaths, and so they are in all the passages which follow.
2 Chron. 8:13: "Even after a certain rate every day [daily again], offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths [weekly], and on the new moons [monthly], and on the solemn feasts [yearly], three times in the year." Same list and order as before.
2 Chron. 31:3: "The morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the Lord." The same list again, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly offerings, just in the order they would naturally come, and just as given "in the law of the Lord." Num. 28 and 29. But if the sabbaths are not the weekly sabbaths, then the Lord names the daily, monthly and yearly offerings, but skips the weekly offerings. Every thinking man knows that such an interpretation is false. But it is the only way the sabbaths can be saved from Paul's list, Col. 2:16, for that is the same as all these. As the object in these passages is to mention the service of God which must be performed on each of the holy days, it would be absurd to suppose that all the other sacred days in the whole year would be carefully mentioned time and again, while no reference whatever it made to the weekly sabbaths, the most important and the most numerous of all the sacred days.
Neh. 10:33: "For the shew bread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new, moons, for the set feasts." Same list again, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Either the weekly sabbaths are meant here, or else reference to the worship of God on the Sabbath is always studiously avoided, while all the rest is carefully mentioned. The evidence is too plain to mistake which.
Ezek. 45:17: "Offerings in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths." Here are named exactly the same days that Paul gives in Col. 2:16, and in the same order, yearly, monthly, weekly.
Hosea 2:11: "I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts." Same list of holy days that we have had over and over, where we know that sabbath meant the seventh day.
Col. 2:16: "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day, (Rev. Version), or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days." Here, as before, are the yearly, monthly and weekly holy days just as laid down in the law where we know the weekly sabbaths are meant. It is evident that Paul had in his mind those lists of holy days so often given in the Old Testament, where the sabbath is included.
The words "the sabbath days" would certainly embrace the weekly sabbaths unless they were especially named as excepted. But no such exception is made. Hence we must apply the term as it is used in the law, to the seventh day.
Hosea 2:11, is a plain prophecy that all these holy days should cease just as we know has happened in fact; and in Col. 2:16, is proof that they were nailed to the cross.
8. TESTIMONY OF OTHERS ON COL. 2:14-17
Bunyan: On this text, John Bunyan, than whom no man ever studied his Bible more closely, says: "Here also as he [Paul] serveth other holy days he serveth the Sabbath, he gives a liberty to believers to refuse the observation of it. Nor hath the apostle (since he saith, or of the sabbath), one would think, left any hole out at which men's inventions could get." Again: "The old seventh-day Sabbath is abolished and done away." Bunyan's Complete Works, pages 899, 900.
Dr. Scott says: "Doubtless, this last related principally to the weekly Sabbath, which, as observed on the seventh day, was now become a part of the abrogated Jewish law."
The Pulpit Commentary on this text says: "The Sabbath days' referred to the Jewish Sabbath which was always observed on Saturday." "If the ordinance of the Sabbath had been in any form of lasting obligation on the Christian church, it would have been quite impossible for the apostle to have used this language."
John Wesley: "In respect of a yearly feast, the new moon, or the weekly Jewish Sabbath."
Dr. Lee, Methodist: "The apostle refers to the seventh day Sabbath and he gives them clearly to understand that they are not morally bound to observe it. * * * By a 'holy day' and the 'new moon,' he included all other feasts and rests which might be called Sabbaths, leaving nothing but the seventh day Sabbath to be meant by the Sabbath days." Lee's Theology, page 375.
9. That upon which Seventh-Day Adventists rely to save this text from applying to the sabbath is the assertion that there were several yearly or annual sabbath days, and that Paul's language must apply to these instead of to the weekly sabbaths. Thus Elder Andrews, in his "History of the Sabbath," says, "There were seven annual sabbaths," and then he names all the Jewish feast days, as the pentecost, day of atonement, etc., and cites Lev. 23. It is true that in our English version the word sabbath is applied to four of these feast days. But we turn to the Greek, in which Paul wrote, and find that the word for "sabbath" is sabbaton. Is that the term used where the word sabbath is applied to the annual feast days? No, indeed, except in just barely one instance. The day of atonement is called a sabbath (sabbaton) in the Greek. Lev. 23:32. "In the Old Testament Hebrew none of those feast days are ever termed a Sabbath, save the day of atonement." Sabbath for Man, page 544.
The Hebrew word for sabbath is shabbath. In only this one instance is it ever applied to any of the annual festivals. But the word "sabbath" in the English version, when applied to these annual feasts, is from the Greek term ANAPAUSIS, and in the Hebrew from shabbathon. These words should not be translated "sabbath," but should be rendered "rest," as they are in the Revised Version. Thus all these texts read in the New Version: "In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, there shall be a solemn rest unto you." Lev. 23:24. "On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest," verse 39. So also in the English version of the Hebrew used by the Jews these words are translated rest, not sabbath. Thus: "In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall ye have a rest," not sabbath, verse 24. "On the first day shall be a rest, and on the eighth day shall be a rest," verse 39.
Hence, except the weekly sabbaths, among all the feast days and holy days of the Old Testament only one single day in the whole year is ever called a sabbath. So it is not correct to speak of "the annual sabbaths," much less to say that there were seven of them. There was just one, and no more, and this one was included in the annual feast days. Even Elder Andrews confesses that "the annual sabbaths, were part and parcel of these feasts and could have no existence until after the feasts to which they belonged had been instituted. Thus the first and second of these Sabbaths were the first and seventh days of the pascal feast. The third annual sabbath was identical with the feast of pentecost." History of the Sabbath, page 86. By his own confession the days he calls annual sabbaths were all included in those yearly feasts and could have no existence separate from them. Feast days (heortes) is the term embracing all those days, as we have seen. Hence "the sabbath days" (sabbaton) must apply only to the weekly sabbaths. Or, to say the least, this term being pre-eminently, almost exclusively, applied to the weekly sabbaths, must include them any way, whether it did any others or not.
10. Seventh-Day Adventists try to make a difference between "the Sabbaths of the Lord," Lev. 23:38; Ex. 20:10, and "her Sabbaths," Hosea 2:11. They say that "her Sabbaths," were the Jewish Sabbaths, yearly feast days; but that the Lord's Sabbath is never called her Sabbaths. The assertion is contrary to facts.
Why, were the yearly holy days her days? Did the Jews appoint them? No; the Lord appointed them just as he did the sabbath, and gave them to Israel to keep, just as he gave them the sabbath to keep. Hence, from one point of view they are the Lord's, but from another view they are her days. God's, because he commanded them; hers, because given to them. "I gave them my sabbaths." So we read of nearly every sacred institution of the Bible. In one place it is "the Lord's" and in the next it is "hers," "yours" or "theirs," but the same institution all the time. Thus we read of the temple: "Mine house," Isa. 56:7; "your house," Matt. 23:38. Of the sacrifices: "The sacrifices of the Lord," Lev. 10:13; "my offering, and my bread for my sacrifices," Num. 28:2; "your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes," Deut. 12:6. Of the law: "My law," Jer. 6:19; "your law," John 10:34. Now notice particularly that the feast days are spoken of in exactly the same manner that the sabbath is; that is, "my feasts," and "her feasts," "my sabbaths" and "her sabbaths." Thus: "The Lord's passover," Ex. 12:11; "the feast of the Lord," Lev. 23:4; "the sabbaths of the Lord," verse 38; "my feasts," verse 2; "my sabbaths," Ex. 31:13; "a feast unto the Lord," Lev. 23:41; "the holy sabbath unto the Lord," Ex. 16:23; "her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths," Hosea 2:11. These quotations are sufficient to show the fallacy of trying to make a distinction between "my sabbaths" and "her sabbaths." The same argument would prove that "my feasts" and "her feasts," "my sacrifices" and "your sacrifices," "my house" and "your house," etc., were entirely different. But everybody knows better. These experiences apply to the same thing from different standpoints; the sabbaths of the Lord as appointed by him; her sabbaths as kept by them; and this is the whole of it.
11. Paul represents these things as "blotted out," "nailed to the cross." Col. 2:14. It is said that this could not apply to the Sabbath which was engraved in the stones in the decalogue, as you could not blot out nor nail up this. The answer is easy. To blot out and to nail up are only used as an illustration. Anciently a document that had been canceled, or abolished, was rubbed or blotted out, or a nail was driven through it, as now a conductor punches a ticket to show that it has been used up. As an illustration it could be applied to laws written in any manner, no matter what. Such objections are unworthy a candid man. Paul says these things were against us; but it is said that the Sabbath was not against us; hence it cannot mean that. Answer: 1. Paul says it was; that ought to settle it. 2. The Jewish Sabbath was the great sign of Judaism. Ez. 20:10-13; Deut. 5:15. As such, it carried with it that whole system and so was against Christians.
12. It is said that the weekly Sabbath was never associated with meats, drinks, feast days, etc., as in Col. 2:16. This is a great mistake as we have already seen. It is classed with these a score of times. See Lev. 23:2-6; Num. 28: 3-11; 1 Chron. 23:29-31, etc.
13. But it is argued that as "the sabbath days" of Col. 16, "are a shadow of things to come," verse 17, and the weekly Sabbath is a memorial of creation, pointing back to the beginning, therefore they cannot be the same, for the sabbath could not point both ways. But is not this a mere assertion without any proof? How do we know that it cannot point both ways? The passover was a memorial of their deliverance from Egypt, and always pointed back to that event. Ек. 12:11-17. Yet it was also a shadow of Christ. Col. 2:16-17. "Even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us," 1 Cor. 5:7. So all these annual feasts were types of Christ in some way, and yet all were memorials also of past events, as all know. But who would ever have thought of this if the apostles had not said so? If, then, these feast days could be both memorials and types, pointing both ways, so can the, Sabbath. Paul says plainly that the Sabbath days are a shadow of things to come; and one plain statement of inspiration is worth a thousand of our vain reasonings. This is in harmony with Paul's argument in Heb. 4:1-11, that the seventh day is a type. For forty years they have tried to explain away this text , and to show that it really cannot mean what it says; but there it stands and mocks all their theories. The Sabbath is a type, for inspiration says so. Again, it is said that the Sabbath was instituted before the fall, but types could not have been instituted till after the fall. How do you know that they could not be? Where does the Bible say so? Peter says of Christ: "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times, for you," 1 Peter 1:20.
The revelator says, "The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," Rev. 13:8. If, then, Christ before the foundation of the world was ordained to die, then the Sabbath might have been designed even before the creation of the earth, as a type of Christ. Dr. Watson says: "It is used as an expressive type of the heavenly and internal rest." Тхеол. Инст. Вол. II, page 509. The Pulpit Commentary says: "The Sabbath of the Jews was typical." On Col. 2:17. Dr. Adam Clarke says: "The truth is, the Sabbath is considered as a type." On Ex. 20:8. Even Elder Andrews, Seventh-Day Adventist, says: "When the Creator gave existence to our world, did he not foresee the fall of man? And, foreseeing that fall, did he not entertain the purpose of redeeming man? And does it not follow that the purpose of redemption was entertained in that of creation?" History of the Sabbath, page 151. Exactly; and so the Sabbath as a type of that redemption might have been given in Eden according to their own showing. So, on close inspection, every argument of our Seventh-Day brethren on Col. 2 fails them.
14. By a false and ungrammatical construction of the relative pronoun "which" in Col. 2:17, Adventists try to exclude the weekly Jewish Sabbath from the text. They make the pronoun which refer only to "the Sabbath days," making it read, "Those, Sabbath days which are a shadow." This they say, implies that there are other Sabbaths which are not a shadow, that is the seventh day. But the Greek word for "Sabbath days" is Sabbaton, genitive plural, while the word for "which" is HA, nominative plural, neuter. Hence which cannot agree with Sabbath days, as any scholar knows. "Which are a shadow" relates to the whole list given in verse 16, viz., meats, drinks, feast days, new moons and Sabbaths. The revised version renders it, "a feast day, or a new moon, or a Sabbath day, which are a shadow." Not simply the Sabbath alone, but all these together were a shadow. Hence the phrase, "which are a shadow," applies to each item in verse 16. Does Paul, then, mean to say that only certain feast days, certain new moons, and certain Sabbaths were shadows, while there were other feast days, other new moons and other Sabbaths which were not shadows and so were excepted from his list? No, he makes no exception whatever, neither of feasts, moons, or Sabbaths. All were included, none were excepted. Hence as Paul included every feast day, and every new moon, so he also included every Sabbath of the Old Testament, and that took in the weekly Sabbath as the chief of all, to say the least. So the last peg on which to hang the Jewish Sabbath goes down.
Professor AM Weston, President of Eureka College, Ill., says very truly: "If the Sabbath does not look to Christ for its underlying principle, then it is the one important observance of the Old and New Testament that fails to do so." The Evolution of a Shadow, page 16. We know that there was in Eden one type of Christ, that was Adam, for the Bible says so, Rom. 5:14. "Adam * * * who is the figure of him that was to come." Figure is from the Greek TUPOS, type. "Who was the type of him that was to come." Syriac, Diaglott, Sawyer, Living Oracles, and Bible Union Translations. Hence types were instituted in Eden. Therefore the Sabbath cannot be excepted from the types on that ground.
In Gal. 4:10, 11, Paul sets aside the keeping the Jewish Sabbath and all those holy days of the law. "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you." That this refers to the holy days of the old law is proved by his reference to that law, both before and after this text. Thus: "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Гал. 3:24, 25. That law has ended at the cross as Paul said in Col. 2:14-17. Again: "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?" Гал. 4:21. "Ye are not under the law." Гал. 5:18. So, then, he means the holy days of the law and these included the Sabbath as the chief of all. Look at his list: Days, (Sabbath days, weekly), months (new moons), times (yearly feasts), and years (Sabbatical years). This is exactly the list of Jewish holy times.
To the Romans Paul taught the same doctrine: the observance of the Jewish holy days was not to be regarded. "One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Рим. 14:5.
Dr. Potts, Methodist, says: "That the Sabbath question entered into Paul's reasonings on the occasion is evident from Rom. 14:1-6." The Lord's Day Our Sabbath, page 27. These were the days enjoined in the law for it is of the law that he treats all through the book of Romans. He makes no exception of the Sabbath day, but says plainly " every day." Only a few verses before he has quoted five of the ten commandments, Chap. 13:9, showing that he included the days of the decalogue. It does not avail to say that Paul means only the annual Sabbaths because he mentions eating meat and herbs. I have already proved that the weekly Sabbath was associated with these time and again.
What proves that Paul did intend to set aside the Sabbath, as his words naturally mean, is the fact that nowhere does he ever in all his instructions to the churches say one word in favor of keeping the Sabbath. Time and again he enjoins every other duty, but never a word about keeping the Sabbath in all his fourteen letters. Most of those to whom he wrote were Gentiles who never had kept the Sabbath and hence needed instructions in it if they were to keep it. But not a word does he say to them about it; though he does command them about the first day of the week. 1 Кор. 16:1, 2.
But it is said that this view of Paul's language abolishes all holy days and leaves the church without any rest day. The answer is easy and manifest. Paul was treating of the old institutions which had been nailed to the cross. Col. 2:14. Hence his language has no reference to the new institutions of the gospel, of which there might have been a dozen holy days, so far as these texts are concerned.
9. To na čemu se Adventisti spremno oslanjaju da sačuvaju ovaj tekst od primene na subotu je tvrdnja da je bilo nekoliko godišnjih ili jednogodišnjih subota dana, te da se Pavlov jezik mora primeniti na njih, umesto na nedeljnu subotu. Tako Starešina Andrews, u svojoj "Povesti subote", kaže, "Bilo je sedam godišnjih subota", a onda je imenovao sve jevrejske festivalne dane, kao duhovi, dan pomirenja, itd., i navodi Lev. 23. Istina je da se u našoj engleskoj verziji reč subota primenjuje na četiri od tih praznika. No osvrnućemo se na grčki, na kome je Pavle pisao, a nalazimo da je reč za "subotu" sabbaton. Da li je to izraz koji se koristi gde se reč subota primenjuje na godišnje praznike? Ne, naprotiv, osim u jednom slučaju. Dan pomirenja se zove subota (sabbaton) na grčkom. Lev. 23:32. "U Starom Zavetu hebrejskom niko od onih praznika nije nikada nazvao subotom, izuzev dana pomirenja." Subota za čoveka, stranica 544.
Why Not Found Out Before?
If Sabbatarians are right on the Sabbath question, then the whole Christian church has broken the Sabbath for the last 1,800 years, and has kept Sunday, "a popish institution," "the mark of the beast," in its stead. During these long ages all the holy men, martyrs, reformers, commentators, historians and Christian scholars, with all their seeking of God, searching the Bible, and studying history, never discovered this great mistake! Is it reasonable to believe that the entire church, during all its history, has been trampling upon one of God's most holy commandments? Can it be that the wrath of God is now to be poured out upon the church for keeping the same day that all others have kept for 1,800 years? Would God have blessed the reformers and his church as he has, if Sunday-keeping is such a fearful crime against God as is now claimed?
Now, just to think that the whole church of Christ, immediately after the death of the apostles, should fall into this fearful sin and error, and practice this crime without rebuke during the entire history of the church, till just a few days before Jesus comes, and then only a few find it out and change. According to the Seventh-Day Adventists, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, with all the church of Christ for hundreds of years, committed two fearful sins each week of their lives; they broke the holy Sabbath, the most important commandment in the decalogue, and kept Sunday, the mark of the beast! Yet God has let the whole thing go on without any protest, till the last minute of time, and now everybody who does not accept this "new light," is to be hopelessly damned for doing what Christians generally have always done! In all candor, this is a pretty big pill to swallow.
But Sabbatarians say that this has nothing to do with the case. "Our appeal is to the Bible alone. The Bible plainly teaches it, and we will go by that." So they say, and so they believe; but the fact is, it is only their interpretation, their explanation, of the Bible which makes it say so. Did you ever know a sect under heaven, even the wildest and most fanatical, who were not always on hand ready to "prove it all by the Bible"? Yes; they know that they are right beyond a doubt, "because the Bible just says so." They will argue you blind, and grow more confident every day, and always end by saying, "It is true, not because I say so, but because the Bible says so." Meet a Mormon, and he has the Bible at his tongue's end. He "proves it all by the Bible." So the Shaker, and the Swedenborgian, and the Universalist, and the rest of them, "prove it all by the Bible." How many persons and sects have arisen at different times with a perfect furor of enthusiasm over some new idea besides "the old, old story of Jesus and his love." No matter what harm it does to other Christians and to the gospel, "the Bible teaches it, and that is enough. When we give this up we will give up the Bible too." So they go on till time alone demolishes their theory, and then they do indeed give up the Bible and all, while precious souls are lost.
Keeping The Jewish Sabbath A Failure
Sabbatarians began in England in the time of the Reformation, over three hundred years ago. They had many able men, ministers and writers. They published many books, discussed the subject widely, and made many converts. Here they had a fine field and a fair start. How did Sabbath-keeping succeed? What have they accomplished in England? Three hundred years ought to be long enough to tell whether it is a success or not. Let Elder Andrews tell the sad story: "In the seventeenth century eleven churches of Sabbatarians flourished in England, while many scattered Sabbath-keepers were to be found in various parts of the kingdom. Now but three of these churches are in existence! And only remnants, even of these, remain!" Hist. Sabbath, p. 491. Since he wrote the above, two more out of the three, I believe, have expired, and only one little company of less than ten members survives! Elder A. sorrowfully asks, "To what cause shall we assign this painful fact?" The cause is evident; God is not in it. It comes to naught every time it is tried. Three hundred years hence the same mournful requiem will be chanted over the grave of Seventh-Day Adventism.
Now look at the history of the Sabbatarian effort in America.
In 1664, over 200 years ago, the Seventh-Day Baptists began teaching that doctrine in America at Newport, R. I. The first church was organized Dec. 23, 1671. See "Manual of the Seventh-Day Baptists," pages 39, 40. From that time on they industriously taught the observance of the seventh day, both in America and other lands, even as far as China, by preaching, by tracts, books and periodicals, till the religious world is familiar with their views. They were numerous enough to organize a general conference as early is 1802. See Hist. S. D. Bap. Gen. Conf., pages 15, 238, or any cyclopedia. They have had academies, colleges, and universities; learned men, able writers, and zealous workers. What have they accomplished? Almost nothing. They now number only about 8,000, and are not holding their own, but are losing ground every decade. They can not even hold the increase of their children. Largely their youth abandon Saturday for Sunday. For convenience they mostly colonize together, and so have little influence on the world. To their praise be it said that they are an excellent people, and free from any fanatical or other heretical notions. Here again the seventh day has had the fairest possible chance of success. Its advocates are intelligent, highly educated, respected, and live in this free land and age of investigation. Why has it not succeeded? That it has not they themselves must admit. These sober, stubborn facts should have weight with us. Sabbatarian brethren, stop and weigh these things fairly. What is the use of wasting life contending for what is a practical failure?
In 1846, nearly seventy years ago, Seventh-Day Adventists began teaching the Sabbath. They have practiced it zealously, devoted everything to it, poured out treasures by the million, and filled the land with their literature. What have they accomplished? They number only about 100,000 now. Have 4,000 workers in the field and spend $2,000,000 yearly yet again only about 4,000 yearly, or one to each worker! Half of these are from other churches. The system lacks vitality and gospel power.
Contrast with the above the work and success of the First-Day Baptists. What a grand work they have done for Christ and souls in the last two hundred years. Instead numbering 8,000, as the Seventh-Day Baptists do, they number 5,000,000. As a body they are just as pious and devoted as the Seventh-Day Baptists. Then look at the Methodist and other Sunday-keeping churches, and see how God has blessed them all. Experience shows that keeping the Jewish Sabbath dwarfs, cripples, and unfits a church for gospel work.
If, now, keeping Saturday is so highly pleasing to God, why does he not prosper it more? If Sunday observance is such a sin in the sight of God, why does he so remarkably bless those who persist in it?
Luther And The Sabbath
Even the Adventists acknowledge the greatness of Luther in piety and a deep knowledge of the word of God. Mrs. White says of him: "Zealous, ardent, and devoted, knowing no fear but the fear of God, and acknowledging no foundation for religious faith but the holy scriptures," etc. "Angels of heaven were by his side and rays of light from the throne of God revealed the treasures of truth to his understanding." Great Controversy, pages 94, 97. Good. Now hear Luther. Carlstadt, a zealous and learned Sabbatarian, laid his arguments for the seventh day before Luther, who examined them. Here is Luther's decision in his own words: "Indeed, if Carlstadt were to write further about the Sabbath, Sunday would have to give way, and the Sabbath -that is to say, Saturday- must be kept holy; he would truly make us Jews in all things, and we should come to be circumcised; for that is true and cannot be denied, that he who deems it necessary to keep one law of Moses, and keeps it as the law of Moses, must deem all necessary, and keep them all." Hist. Sabbath, p. 457.
So then, the "light" on the Sabbath question was given to Luther, and he rejected it, just as the great body of Christians do now. The other leaders of the reformation were likewise familiar with the arguments for the seventh day, but, as Elder Andrews confesses, they "as a body were not friendly to such views." Hist. Sabbath, p. 460.
These facts show how untrue it is to say that people have been unacquainted with this Sabbath question before.
John Milton On The Sabbath
So the great John Milton, author of "Paradise Lost," has thoroughly discussed the whole Sabbath question, using the same arguments as we use now to show the abolition of the Jewish Sabbath. I quote a few sentences from his "Treatise on Christian Doctrine," Vol. 1, Book 2, Chap. 7. "It is evident from more than one passage of scripture that the original Sabbath is abrogated." "If, then, the commandment of the Sabbath was given to those alone whom God brought out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage, it is evidently inapplicable to us as Christians." He argues the question this way at considerable length.
Richard Baxter On The Sabbath
This great divine, the author of "Saints' Rest," "Call to the Unconverted," etc., in 1671, wrote his "Divine Appointment of the Lord's Day" against the Seventh-Day advocates of his times. Gilfillan, says: "Baxter (1671) and Bunyan (1685) wrote their interesting defences of the Lord's day for relieving the perplexities with which some good people in their time were distressed in consequence of the proselyting zeal of Saturday Sabbathists." The Sabbath, p. 144. so the Sabbatarians over 200 years ago were giving the same "light" and doing the same proselyting work as now. They were answered by such men as Baxter, Bunyan, Milton, etc.
I give a few words from Baxter: "It is also confessed, that the universal church from the days of the apostles down till now have constantly kept holy the Lord's day in the memory of Christ's resurrection, and that as by the will of Christ delivered to them by or from the apostles; insomuch that I remember not either any orthodox Christian, or heretic, that ever opposed, questioned, or scrupled it, till of late ages." Part 2, Chap. 18. Of him even Mrs. White says: Baxter, a man "of talent, education, and deep Christian experience, stood up in valiant defense of the faith once delivered to the saints." Great Controversy, page 175. Yes: such men as these stood up and opposed the Jewish Sabbath heresy.
Hear Mrs. White on Bunyan: "John Bunyan breathed the very atmosphere of heaven." Great Controversy, page 174. Well, now hear Bunyan: "As for the seventh day Sabbath, that, as we see, is gone to its grave with the signs and shadows of the Old Testament; yea, and it has such a dash left upon it by apostolical authority, that it is enough to make a Christian fly from it for ever. 2 Cor. 3" "Again the apostle smites the teachers of the law upon the mouth, saying, 'they understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm."' Complete Works, page 915.
If ever a man this side the apostles lived near to God, drank into his spirit, and knew the true intent of the Bible, that man was Bunyan, author of the immortal work, Pilgrim's Progress. He met these Sabbatarians and their work in his day. He studied the subject fully and wrote a book against them from which I have quoted.
He regarded them just as they are regarded now, as legalists, blind zealots, and disturbers of the church.
So all this talk that the church did not have the light on the Sabbath question till Adventists arose to give it is contrary to facts as the above proves. It is simply the old arguments of 200 years ago rehashed.
Zašto nije otkrivena ranije?
Ako su Sabatariani u pravo po pitanju subote, onda cela hrišćanska crkva je kršila subotu u poslednjih 1800 godina, te je držanje nedelje, "papska institucija", "znak zveri", na svom mestu. Tokom tih dugih stoleća svi sveci, mučenici, reformatori, komentatori, istoričari i hrišćanski naučnici, sa svim svojim traženjima Boga, pretražujući Bibliju, i proučavajući istoriju, nikada nisu otkrili ovu veliku pogrešku! Je li razumno verovati da je cela Crkva, tokom cele svoje istorije, gažila jednu Božju presvetu zapovest? Može biti da se gnev Božji sada izlio na crkvu zbog odbacivanja držanja istog dana koji svi drugi drže 1800 godina? Da li bi Bog blagoslovio reformatore i njegovu crkvu kao što je on ima, ako je držanje nedelje takav užasan zločin protiv Boga, kako se sada tvrdi?
Dajem nekoliko reči od Baxtera: "Takođe se priznaje, da je univerzalna crkva iz dana apostola do sada stalno čuvala sveti dan Gospodnji u spomen Hristova vaskrsenja, te da je u skladu s voljom Hrista dostavljena za njih ili od apostola; toliko da se ne sećam da je bilo nekog pravoslavca, ili jeretika, koji se ikada usprotivio, ispitivao, ili ga kolebalo, do kasnih vekova". Deo 2, pogl. 18. Za njega čak i gđa White kaže: Baxter, čovek "talenta, obrazovanja i dubokog hrišćanskog iskustva, ustao je hrabro u odbranu vere jednom predane svetima." Velika borba, str 175. Da: takvi ljudi kao ovi ustali su i protiv jevrejske subotnje jeresi.