“Charging God Foolishly” American Sentinel 9, 28, pp. 222, 223.

SUNDAY, July 1, Dr. MacArthur, pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church, this city, preached from the text, Psalm 7:9; “Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just.” Referring to the numerous disasters of the previous Sunday and to the assassination of President Carnot, Dr. MacArthur said:—

Last Sunday will go down into history as an epoch-making day. The whole world mourns the work of a vile anarchist. His act as cruel as it was senseless. Had Carnot been a tyrant king, a harsh czar, or an autocratic sultan, his assassination wouldn’t have been a matter of so much surprise.

Referring to the loss of forty lives just outside of New York harbor from the capsizing of a tug with a fishing party on board, the preacher denounced the average Sunday excursion as a drunken brawl. And of the time of Carnot’s assassination he said:—

Carnot’s assassination was sad. It was sadder still that it happened on Sunday, and the saddest because he was on his way to a theatre.

It is thus that every calamity is turned to account in the interests of Sunday sacredness. Every minister knows that God does not require a single soul to keep Sunday, that he has nowhere in his Word intimated that it is a sacred day, and yet no opportunity is lost to impress the people with the idea that sooner or later God’s vengeance will overtake all who do not reverence this counterfeit of the true Sabbath. But the Lord hath declared: “Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” For the Sunday Sabbath “bed is shorter than that a man can stretch [223] himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.” Surely this “turning of things upside down” in the interests of Sunday sacredness “shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay; for shall the work say to him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing that is framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?” That is virtually what those do say who advocate the claims of the false Sabbath.

But it may be insisted that more accidents occur on Sunday than on other days and that this fact can be accounted for only on the supposition that God sends his judgments upon those who dishonor that day. But it is by no means certain that more disasters take place on Sunday than on other days when an equal number of people are idle, and when so many unskilled persons are engaged in handling boats, etc. But even if it were demonstrated that out of an equal number of pleasure seekers more were injured on Sunday than on other days, it would not prove that it was the judgments of God against those who refuse to honor the day. From the first chapter of Job we learn that Satan has a limited power over the elements and that when permitted he can use them in the destruction of life and property. Then why not account for Sunday disasters by saying that Satan the more securely to fasten his deceptions on the world and the more completely to root out God’s Sabbath, the memorial of his creative power and the pledge of his power to re-create, causes the disasters which are seized upon by the friends of Sunday as evidences of God’s special care for that day? Certainly God is not using his power to degrade his own day and to exalt its rival and counterfeit. [223]

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