Rome's Challenge continued
[From the Catholic Mirrorof Sept. 9, 1893.]
"But faith, fanatic faith, once wedded fast
To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last."
Conformably to our promise in our last issue, we proceed to unmask tine of the most flagrant errors and most unpardonable inconsistencies of the Biblical rule of faith. Lest, however, we he misunderstood, we deem it necessary to premise that Protestantism recognizes no rule of faith, no teacher, save the "infallible Bible." As the Catholic yields his judgment in spiritual matters implicitly, and with unreserved confidence, to the voice of his church, so, too, the protestant recognizes no teacher butt the Bible. All his spirituality is derived from its teachings. It is to him the voice of God addressing him through his sole inspired teacher. It embodies his religion, his faith, and his practice. The language of Chillingworth, "The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, is the religion of Protestants, is only one form of the same idea multifariously convertible into other forms, such as "the Book of God," "the Charter of Our Salvation,""the Oracle of Our Christian Faith," "God's Text-Book to the race of Mankind," etc., etc. It is, then, an incontrovertible fact that the Bible alone is the teacher of Protestant Christianity. Assuming this fact, we will now proceed to discuss the merits of the question involved in our last issue.
Recognizing what is undeniable, the fact of a direct contradiction between the teaching and practice of Protestant Christianitythe Seventh-day Adventists excepted
On the one hand, and that of the Jewish people on the other, both observing different days of the week for the worship of God, we will proceed to take the testimony of the only available witness in the premises: viz., the testimony of the teacher common to both claimants, the Bible. The first expression with which we come in contact in the Sacred Word, is found in Genesis 2:2: "And on the seventh day He [God] rested from all His work which He had made." The next reference to this matter is to be found in Exodus 20, where God commanded the seventh day to be kept, becauseHe had Himself rested from the work of creation on that day; and the sacred text informs us that for that reason He desired it kept, in the following words: "Wherefore, the Lord blessed the seventh day and sanctified it." Again, we read in chapter 31, verse 15: "Six days you shall do work; in the seventh day is the Sabbath, the rest holy to the Lord;" sixteenth verse: It is an everlasting covenant," and a perpetual sign,'' "for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and in the seventh He ceased from work."
In the Old Testament, reference is made one hundred and twenty-six times to the Sabbath, and all these texts conspire harmoniously in voicing the will of God commanding the seventh day to be kept, because God Himself first kept it, making it obligatory on all as "a perpetual covenant." Nor can we imagine any one foolhardy enough to question the identity of Saturday with the Sabbath or seventh day, seeing that the people of Israel have been keeping the Saturday from the giving of the law, A.M. 2514 to A.D. 1893, a period of 3383 years. With the example of the Israelites before our eyes today, there is no historical fact better established than that referred to; viz., that the chosen people of God, the guardians of the Old Testament, the living representatives of the only divine religion hitherto, had for a period of 1490 years anterior to Christianity, preserved by weekly practice the living tradition of the correct interpretation of the special day of the week, Saturday, to be kept "holy to the Lord," which tradition they have extended by their practice to an additional period of 1893 years more, thus covering the full extent of the Christian dispensation. We deem it necessary to be perfectly clear on this point, for reasons that will appear more fully hereafter. The Biblethe Old Testamentconfirmed by the living tradition of a weekly practice for 3383 years by the chosen people of God, teaches, then, with absolute certainty, that God had, Himself, named the day to be "kept holy to Him,"that the day was Saturday, and that any violation of that command was punishable with death. "Keep you My Sabbath, for it is holy unto you; he that shall profane it shall be put to death; he that shall do any work in it, his soul shall perish in the midst of his people." Ex. 31:14.
It is impossible to realize a more severe penalty than that so solemnly uttered by God Himself in the above text, on all who violate a command referred to no less than one hundred and twenty-six times in the old law. The ten commandments of the Old Testament are formally impressed on the memory of the child of the Biblical Christian as soon as possible, but there is not one of the ten made more emphatically familiar, both in Sunday school and pulpit, than that of keeping "holy" the Sabbath day.
Having secured with absolute certainty the will of God as regards the day to be kept holy, from His Sacred Word, because He rested on that day, which day is confirmed to us by the practice of His chosen people for thousands of years, we are naturally induced to inquire when and where God changed the day for His worship; for it is patent to the world that a change of day has taken place, and inasmuch as no indication of such change can be found within the pages of the Old Testament, nor in the practice of the Jewish people who continue for nearly nineteen centuries of Christianity obeying the written command, we must look to the exponent of the Christian dispensation; viz., the New Testament, for the command of God canceling the old Sabbath, Saturday.
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