THE following, from the Christian Instructor and United Presbyterian Witness, of April 11, attempts to justify the observance of the first day of the week as the Sabbath, thus:—
Is it so that the Bible requires the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath still? It is admitted that that was the day appointed by God at first, that it was observed until the time of Christ, that it is observed still by orthodox Jews. There is no need of discussion on these points: for no one, we presume, denies them. But the question is, whether God requires men all around the world to keep precisely the same twenty-four hours that the Jews always kept as Sabbath, and requires it to the end of time. The Apostle Paul, in Colossians, second chapter, as we have noted elsewhere in this paper, speaking of Jewish institutions, teaches that Christ nailed Jewish law to his cross, and the ordinances thereof were taken away. Therefore he says: “Let no man judge you … in respect to Sabbath days.” Whether they be Catholics, Jews or Adventists, don’t let them trouble you about these. But Christ did not nail the moral law to his cross and take it away, but he established it as the rule of life; so the moral duty of keeping holy one day in seven is an “everlasting covenant;” it is an “everlasting sign.” To keep the same identical twenty-four hours, however, all around the world is an impossibility. The same twenty-four hours is not, and never was, holy time all around the world. So it is not the exact time but the seventh part of the time in regular order of days that God required of man to observe as the Sabbath.
The following is a restatement of the foregoing, with some legitimate and even necessary deductions therefrom:—
1. Christ nailed the seventh-day Sabbath to the cross.
2. Christ reëstablished the keeping of one day in seven as an “everlasting covenant,” an “everlasting sign.”
3. It is impossible to keep the same seventh day all around the world, but we admit that the Jews have always done this and are still doing it.
4. God does not require all men to keep the same seventh day, but the same seventh part of time, which is dependent entirely on the day with which the counting begins.
5. But since this logic is all right for the purpose for which it was invented, that is, to get rid of the “seventh-day Sabbath,” it is disastrous if used for any other purpose, for it leaves every one to choose his own day which leads to utter confusion: therefore all men ought to keep the same seventh part of time.
6. And that seventh part of time must fall on the first day of the week and not on the seventh day, since to permit it to fall on the seventh day would be to defeat our object to get rid of the “seventh-day Sabbath.”
.7. Since some men refuse to accept the seventh part of time which we have decided to make holy time, and choose to decide for themselves which seventh they will observe, it is absolutely necessary for all nations the world over to enact laws to compel all men to observe the same seventh part of time which we observe, notwithstanding we said it was impossible to keep the same day all around the world.
.8. We only quoted a part of one scripture to prove that the seventh-day Sabbath is abolished; and the reason why we quoted only a part was because the other part explains that the sabbath days of which Paul says, “Let no man therefore judge you,” “are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” If we had quoted this some might think that the sabbaths referred to are the Sabbaths of the ceremonial law (Leviticus 23), which pointed to Christ and ceased at his coming, and not to the seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment which points to creation.
.9. Then again, the part of the text we used must not be used against our first-day Sabbath, but only against the seventh-day Sabbath, for if used against us it would be difficult to explain why we could judge others who do not want to keep our seventh part of time, and would embarrass us in enacting and enforcing laws compelling all men to keep our first-day Sabbath.