"The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: so that the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath." Mark 2:27, 28. (Revised Version)
HAVING last Sunday preached twice to Christians, warning them against "unequal yoking" in an enterprise that made money by immoral shows and Sabbath desecration, and calling upon them to "come out from such an entangling alliance and be separate," that they might not be "partakers of other men's sins" and "sharers of their plagues," it is proposed to-day to extend the range of the discussion.
Hear first, however, certain reflections by way of an introduction.
Every just man should be distrustful of himself. He should be willing to review past decisions. Therefore, I have felt constrained to reexamine the positions previously taken with a view to any necessary modifications. That re-examination, however, coupled with attendant developments, deepens and intensifies the original convictions in all substantial particulars. And I now ask you if there is not some weight in these three reflections:
1. The advice given by the pastors was not only painful to them, but contrary to their selfish interests, while those who rejected the advice followed both pleasure and worldly interest. How points this fact?
2 History teaches that communities when swept off their feet by local excitement, generated by selfish interests, rarely make a righteous decision, no matter how great their majority. Oftentimes in such cases they have destroyed their greatest benefactors. So Christ was crucified. So a Dutch mob tore, limb from limb, their great patriot leaders, the De Witts. How points this fact?
3. A calm observation of the temper manifested by the disputants reveals that the pastors have not lost an equable frame of mind nor resorted to any measures of convincing except moral suasion, while the opposition, notwithstanding their numbers, have left the self-poise of confidence, and that unmistakable bearing which accompanies consciousness of rectitude, to employ such opprobrious terms as "boycotters," "Pharisees," and others not so polite. They have descanted much of "personal liberty," which term, by the way, has a strangely familiar sound that reminds one of other issues. And they have insinuated the possibility of such retaliation as "abrogating chaplaincies," "taxing church houses," "taxing the income of preachers," "abrogation of all Sunday legislation," etc. Those threats indicate the legitimate trend of Sunday openings and unveil their covert purpose. The whole platform is embodied in the covenant of the so-called "Liberal League," published some years since, and which is a goodly and suggestive comment on the present case for Christian consideration.
You recall the well-known story of Mr. Boycott. He evicted certain tenants who failed to pay their rents. Other laborers, in their sympathy with those thrown out of homes and employment, agreed among themselves not to take service under Mr. Boycott, which was their right. Had they stopped here the term "boycott" would never have been born. But they unrighteously conspired to prevent by violence anybody else from entering his employment, necessitating the use of the military to protect his harvesters from maltreatment or death. This circumstance generated the new word, "boycott." It has no just application to the action of the city pastors.
The Pharisees censured our Saviour for deeds of genuine mercy and necessity performed on the Sabbath day, which were in full accord with the law of the Sabbath. If he opened a Cotton Palace for trade and for immoral shows on that day, the records are silent concerning the fact. They do state a significant contrary fact, twice repeated, once in hia early ministry and once near its close. Hear the records:
"And he found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and he made a scourge of cords, and cast all out of the temple,
both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers' money, and overthrew their tables; and to them that sold the doves he said, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandise" (John 2:14-16. R. V.).
"And he entered into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and them that bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; and he would not suffer that any man should carry a vessel through the temple. And he taught, and said unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? but ye have made it a den of robbers" (Mark 11:15-17, R. V.).
Compare these two incidents with the so-called sacred service on Sunday at the Cotton Palace, with its gate fees, its exhibitions of merchandise filling the eyes of the worshipers(?), its noise and interruptions calling for energetic police interference, and the running upstairs during service to get a view of a lewd painting at so much per sight.
And then when you consider not only how the Pharisees censured Jesus, but hated and conspired against him, and suborned testimony and murdered him, you may judge for yourselves how just is the application of such an opprobrious term to the pastors of this city. And if it is a violation of "personal liberty" for pastors merely to advise their congregation to stay away from such scenes, attempting no constraint, but employing moral suasion only, what does it violate for others to advise them to go?
How then does this third fact point? Do not these three facts, fairly considered, gravitate toward the conclusion that the pastors were right, though a minority?
Let us now address ourselves to this sermon, making it our first inquiry: When and how was the Sabbath made for man?
The book of Genesis commences with the sentence: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." In this sentence are all the elements of sublimity. Nothing can surpass the grandeur of its thought, the vastness and value of its revelation, or the simplicity, conciseness, and majesty of its expression.
It is a declaration of these great truths: (1.) That the
material universe and all it contains had an origin. (2.) That it was brought into being by the creative act of an intelligent, almighty, beneficent Being. (3.) That this being is God. (4.) That he is the only rightful proprietor and sovereign of the universe. (5.) That his will is the supreme law of its occupants. (6.) That the knowledge of his will is by his revelation.
It is a negation of these great untruths: (1.) It denies atheism by assuming the being of God. (2.) It denies polytheism by the assertion of his unity. (3.) It denies deism by making a revelation. (4.) It denies materialism in distinguishing between matter and spirit, and in showing that matter is neither self-existent nor eternal. (5.) It denies pantheism by placing God before matter and unconditioned by it. (6.) It denies chance by showing that the universe in its present order is not, in whole or in part, the result of "a fortuitous concourse of atoms" or of the action of elementary principles of matter, but of an intelligent purpose. (7.) It denies fatalism by asserting God's freedom to create when he would and to control how he would. (8.) It denies blind force by its revelation of beneficence intelligently directing and adapting all things to good ends. (9.) As a revelation it denies that man by searching can find out God, and denies that all the myths of the heathen, or the speculations of philosophy, or the observations of naturalists can dissipate the profound darkness concerning the origin and nature and end of the world and of man.
Such are the declarations and negations of this announcement of creation. That creation, as revealed, culminated in man. "And God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." This image of God distinguished man from all the rest of creation and put an infinite and impassable chasm between him and the highest order of beasts.
It consisted of (a() a moral nature and, unlike that of any beast, subject to moral law. This moral nature was evidenced by conscience (Genesis 3:10; 42:21; Proverbs 20:27; Romans 2:15). (b) Immortality of soul or spirit (Genesis 2:7; Ecclesiastes 12:6, 7; Matthew 10:28). On account of this dignity of soul, provision was made for the immortality and incorruption of his body by use of the fruit of the tree of life (Genesis 3:22; Revelation 2:7; 22: 2-14). (c) Of intuitive
knowledge (Genesis 2:9; Colossians 3:10), righteousness, and trua holinesss (Ephesians 4:24). (d) Of speech, (e) Of the spirit as well as the capacity for labor, apart from the driving thereto by the mere struggle for existence and sustenance. "He was to subdue the earth," and "dress and keep the garden" (Genesis 1:28; 2:15).
These wonderful endowments qualified him for a holy, indissoluble marriage that made the twain one flesh (Genesis 2:23, 24; Matthew 19:3-9; Ephesians 5:22-33), and for the worship and enjoyment of God and familiar communion with him. Of such a being God himself alone could be the satisfying portion. Moreover, to the man so dowered with the image of God, were given a dominion and a commission commensurate with his dignity: "And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them: and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said. Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." (R. V.)
"Behold how fearfully and how wonderfully made is man." "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet."
And now to preserve this man from ever falling into the fatal errors disproved by the creative act, that is, to keep his heart from ever harboring such untruths as "blind force," "fatalism," "chance," "pantheism," "materialism," "deism," "polytheism," and "atheism," and to keep ever in his sight and in his heart the great truths, that there is a God, that he created the world, that he is its sole proprietor, that he is the father of man's spirit, that his will is man's supreme law, that he is man's satisfying portion and joy, and that he is man's object of worship - I say for these glorious ends, God made a wonderful provision, he instituted the Sabbath.
The record says: "And God saw everything that he had
made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." And so were finished the heavens and the earth, and all their host. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it; because on it he rested from all his work, which God created in making it.
Here is the institution of the primal Sabbath. God condescends to present himself as man's archetype and exemplar. Ihe Sabbath was not made for God. "The Almighty fainteth not, neither is weary." But "the Sabbath was made for man"; for man in his innocence, before sin entered into the world and death by sin. The reason is obvious: Man's mind is finite and his body mortal. His powers of endurance and of persistent application are limited. He cannot work unjeasingly. He will need regular periods of rest for his body md his mind. He must also have stated periods for enjoying and worshiping God, that his soul may be fed and nourished.
And now before we proceed in the discussion, let us pause ong enough to impress on our hearts a picture of primeval nnocence. Let us see man and his conditions and surroundings before paradise shall fade away and before the curse has blighted the beautiful world.
First, we cannot fail to be impressed with the dignity of man's moral nature, and the majesty of that image of God rbich separated him by infinite distance from any beast. tee him stand upright. Hear him speak. Mark the range of his intuitive knowledge as he recognizes names and classifies the beasts passing before him. Behold his sweet and direct communion with God. Look inside at the delicate and sesitive mechanism of his conscience, discriminating and judging between good and evil. Mark his reasoning faculty and power of analysis. See the lightning-leap of his fancy and the eagle-flight of his imagination. Consider his marvelous memory. Behold him, alone of all creatures ever made by Jehovah, capable of marriage. And how much more sacred is marriage than the consorting of beasts. No beast could be his helpmeet. Their infinite inferiority in this respect flashes on him at a glance as they pass in pairs
before him and prepares him for that suitable helpmeet made from a part of himself (Genesis 2:20). Mark his dignity as progenitor of a countless race: "Replenish the earth," says his Creator. Let thy posterity people all its borders. Let happy children gladden every valley and make the hills echo with laughter. Send them out to every shore, people every island, occupy every zone. Mark his spirit and capacity for labor. "Till the garden and keep it." "Subdue the earth."
Behold how vast this commission: "While little on the earth is made ready for his use, there is boundless material which his own labor and skill can fit for it. The spontaneous fruits of earth may indeed furnish but a scanty and precarious subsistence for a few, but skilled labor can make it yield an abundant supply for the wants of every living being. On its surface many natural obstacles are to be overcome. Forests must be leveled, rivers bridged over, roads and canals constructed, mountains graded or tunneled, and seas and oceans navigated. Its treasures of mineral wealth lie hidden beneath its surface; and when discovered and brought to light, they are valueless to man, till his own labor subdues and fits them for his service. The various useful metals lie in the crude ore, and must be passed through laborious processes before they can be applied to any valuable purpose.
"Iron, for example, the most necessary of all, how many protracted and delicate processes are required to separate it from impurities in the ore, to refine its texture and so convert it into steel, before it can be wrought into the useful axe or knife with the well-tempered edge.
"What an education for the race has been this labor of subduing the earth! How it has developed reflection, stimulated invention and quickened the power of combination, which would otherwise have lain dormant! Nor are the collateral and remote results less important than the direct and immediate. He who takes a piece of timber from the common forest and forms it into a useful implement, thereby makes it his own, and it cannot rightfully be taken from him, since no one can justly appropriate to himself the product of another's skill and labor. So he who originally takes possession of an unappropriated field, and by his own labor prepares
it for use, thereby makes it his own and it cannot rightfully be taken from him.
"Hence arises the right of property and the origin and bond of civil society; and thus all the blessings of society, and of civilization and government, are due to the divinely implanted impulse, fill the earth and subdue it."
But in all this toil and progress and development, five things must never be forgotten:
1. Labor that is continuous will destroy both mind and body. Hence the necessity of regular periods of rest.
2. The higher nature must not be subordinated to the lower. The soul must not wander too far from God. Communion with him is its nourishment and health. Man must not live by bread alone. God must be loved and adored.
3. God is earth's proprietor and man's sovereign. His supreme jurisdiction must ever be acknowledged and accepted with complete submission.
4. Man is social by the very constitution of his being. The unit of the family must not be broken. But there can be no permanent circle unless God is its center. And no tie will permanently bind unless it is sacred.
In subduing the earth man has authority not only to lay under tribute the forces of nature which are without feeling, but to use the strength of the lower animals. These get weary. They cannot labor continuously. For their faithful service they need not only good food and shelter, but regular periods of rest.
5.Not only animals need certain regular off-days, when they are to do no work, but all mechanical and scientific implements need it, in order to reach maximum usefulness. It has been demonstrated that a steam engine, an axe, a hand-saw, will do more work in the long run with regular days of absolute rest. An instance is given in a late review by an experienced engineer, of two engines of like pattern, capacity, and material. One was run every day so many hours. The other only six days in seven, but yet as many hours in the six days as the first in seven. The one which had its Sabbaths outlasted and outworked the other so far as to excite marked attention.
These things were all true in paradise before sin had corrupted man's nature and made him supremely selfish. How
much more after the fall and expulsion from Eden, when all the conditions of labor were harder; when the earth was cursed; when man enslaved his fellow-man; when the rich and great oppressed the poor and weak; when parents became tyrants over their own children.
The question becomes more momentous as we trace out its bearings and ramifications: What provision can a heavenly Father make that will effectually secure these great ends? That will secure adequate rest for mind and body and soul? That will nourish and heal the spirit? That will tend to recognition of and submission to the divine sovereignty and proprietorship? That will make communities and nations cohere? That will provide mercy and rest for overtaxed machinery, and beasts and children and women and slaves? That will prevent total departure from God? That will be a barrier against greed and avarice and tyranny?
O Lord God, our Redeemer, Maker, our Preserver, thou hast answered in the text: "The Sabbath was made for man," In the beginning thou didst ordain it, thou didst bless it and hallow it. It is one of three holy things that man, though fallen and accursed, was permitted in mercy to bring with him from the lost bowers of Eden: majestic labor, the holy institution of marriage, and the blessed and hallowed Sabbath. Inestimable jewels! Time has never dimmed your lustre, nor change nor circumstance depreciated your value. The experience of six thousand years bears witness to your divine origin. As types you have illumined time; as antitypes you will glorify eternity.
And throughout the world, wherever the Sabbath in its purity has been disregarded, there marriage, in its true and holy sense, has been degraded, and there idleness and cheating and gambling and fraud have taken the place of honest toil. There avarice and greed and tyranny have oppressed the poor, and there immorality and vice and polytheism and pantheism and deism and chance and fatalism and materialism and atheism have erected their standards. Yes, it is true in its ultimate and logical outcome: No Sabbath, no God.
The Sabbath or atheism, which? Why try to narrow this question to Jewish boundaries? The Sabbath was made for man; for man, as man; for all men. Was Adam a Jew? Was he a son of Judah, or of Heber, or of Abraham, or of
Shem? Why talk of Semitic races? The Sabbath was made for the first man, the progenitor of all the races, and for him even in paradise as a primal law of man's primal, normal nature.
Why talk of Mount Sinai and the tables of stone? The Sabbath marked the fall of the manna, that type of Jesus as the bread from heaven, before Sinai ever smoked or trembled or thundered. Why talk of Moses? The Sabbath was twenty-five centuries old when Moses was born. It is older than any record or monument of man. Before the flood it was more than an institution. It was a promise of redemption from the curse pronounced in Eden. Pious hearts looked daily for the coming of the rest that remaineth for the people of God. Hence Lamech named his son "Noah," which means rest, saying:
"This same shall comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed " (Genesis 5:29). The Sabbath was here before sin ever mantled man's face with the flush of shame or conscience ever made him hide from God, or open a Cotton Palace for pay on the Lord's Day, under such a specious plea as "mercy to the poor." Of a similar pleader inspiration once said: "Not that he cared for the poor, but carried the bag." Yes, the Sabbath antedates all arts and sciences. It was here before Enoch built a city, or Jabal stretched a tent, or Jubal invented instruments of music, or Tubal-Cain became an artificer in brass and iron. It is older than murder. Cain walked away from its altars of worship to murder his brother Abel. Its sunlight flashed in the face of the first baby that ever crowed in its mother's arms. It was a companion in Eden of that tree of life whose fruit gave immortality to the body. And its glory enswathes the antitypical tree of life in the paradise of God as seen in the apocalyptic vision of John the revelator. Yes, it will survive the deluge of fire as it survived the deluge of water. When the heavens are rolled together as a scroll, and the material world shall be dissolved, the Sabbath will remain. When the resurrection shall wake the directors of the Waco Cotton Palace from earthen mould, or scattered ashes, or rock-hewn tomb, or ocean sepulchre, their opened eyes shall behold the Sabbath which they failed to destroy. The thunders of the final judgment shall not
shake its everlasting pillars. It came before death, and when death is dead it will be alive. The devil found it on his first visit to earth and its sweet and everlasting rest will be shoreless and bottomless after he is cast, with other Sabbath-breakers, into the lake of fire. Yea, as it commenced before man needed a mediator between himself and God, so it will be an eternal heritage of God's people when the mediatorial kingdom of Jesus Christ is surrendered to the Father, and God shall be all in all. Thou venerable and luminous institution of God! Time writes no wrinkle on thy sunlit brow; such as creation's dawn beheld, thou now shinest.
It was made for man; man on earth and man in heaven.
And mark you how reads the text: The Sabbath was made for man, so that the Son of man is lord even of the Sabbath. Mark the force of that "so." It is equivalent to therefore or wherefore. That is, since it was made for man, the Son of Man, not of Abraham, the Sou of Man is its Lord. Because Jesus was more than a Jew, because of his touch with all humanity, Luke writing not for Jews, but for Greeks, never stops like Matthew at Abraham, but traces his descent from Adam, the first man.
And as, in his humanity, he was the ideal man, who should be the ensign of rallying for all nations, Paul applies to him the glorious, prophetic psalm: But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. As the God-man he is Lord of the Sabbath. To his cross may be nailed a seventh day. By his resurrection may come a first day. One in seven is essential - which one, is as the Lord of the Sabbath may direct.
But it is far from my purpose to-day to discuss the relative merits of the seventh and the first day of the week. That remains for a different sermon. I will not evade that issue. I
never yet saw the religious issue I feared to face, since God, for Christ's sake, forgave my sins. I will frankly admit, however, I have fervently prayed to be delivered from one unspeakable calamity. I have prayed that never on a great moral or religious issue, might I become the hero of the enemies of God, because my position gave them comfort in their wickedness. The praises of God's enemies are Dead Sea blossoms and night-shade flowers. I covet no such wreath for my brow. I would sooner crown myself with their curses.
It is time to dismiss you, and yet I have just come to the scriptural argument on the perpetuity of the Sabbath. I have not time to elaborate, but I will state it. Listen: In the second chapter of Genesis, second and third verses, God institutes the Sabbath amid the innocence of man as the primal law of his normal nature. In the fourth chapter and third verse, which is after the fall, we find men "at the end of days" - as given in the margin of our Bibles - coming to worship God. At the end of what days? What end has been mentioned? There is but one. The word says that in six days God endeth his work and on the seventh day he rested. Now the very next reference is when men come to appear before God where he dwelt between the cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, at the specific place he had appointed for them to meet him and where it is said that at the end of days Cain and Abel came to present their offerings; and the only end of days that has been mentioned is the end of days marked by the Sabbath. The next scripture is the fifth chapter and twenty-ninth verse of Genesis where Lamech names his son Noah and tells that he gave him that name with reference to the Sabbath.
I ask you next to notice this strange historical fact, that for all other divisions of time we have a reason in the motions of the heavenly bodies. The revolution of the earth around the sun marks the division of time into years. The moon's revolution around the earth gives us the month. The day comes from the revolution of the earth upon its own axis. But from what suggestion of nature do you get the division of time into weeks? It is a positive and arbitrary division. It is based on authority. The chronicles of the ages record its recognition. But how did it originate?
Here in the oldest book, in the first account of man, you
will find its origin and purpose. Noah twice recognized it in the ark when he waits seven days each time to send out his dove. Jacob in the days of his courtship, found it prevalent when he looked for satisfaction in the laughing eyes of Rachel, and the stern father said, "Fulfil her week." Why the week? How did he get it? It was God's division of time. Then I ask you to notice the sixteenth chapter of Exodus. This account precedes the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai. There when the manna fell, it marked the Sabbath Day. None fell on that day. Twice as much fell on Friday as on any other day. For forty years that standing miracle marked the division of time into weeks and made one day sacred as a day of rest and of worship. Then when the moral law was given, as you find it in the twentieth chapter of Exodus, observance of the Sabbath was incorporated in it by the finger of God.
What else did God ever write with his finger? God's finger wrote upon the tables of stone, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." He wrote it in what company? "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any grave image. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." In what other company? "Honor thy father and thy mother." Do you want to vacate that commandment? And what other? "Thou shalt not kill." You want to abrogate that? And what other? "Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness."
Oh, look at these ten words of the law which God's finger inscribed while his foot shook the mountain, while his presence wrapt it in clouds and fire, and while his communion lightened the face of Moses who talked with him! There God inscribed it, and men would now say, "Let all the rest stand, we will sponge out that fourth commandment."
You may think you will, but it will confront you at the judgment. I ask you to notice next the fifty-eighth and sixty-sixth chapters of Isaiah, in the Messianic part of that book, in the very last part of it, that glorious consummation which commences with the fifty-second chapter and extends to the end of that book, presenting a Saviour who is Christ the Lord, unfolding the glorious hope of eternal life, and describing the crowning glories of Messianic days. Now in the very last of that book, where the prophet stands on tiptoe to see the remotest events, to see the last forecast of man in Messianic
days, there he says, "And from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord."
Not all Jews, but all flesh. And so the old Testament leaves it. Now how does the New find it? First, in the second chapter of Mark, our Saviour affirms in the broad language of the text that the Sabbath was made for man. What a catholic utterance! How universal in its application!
And then, notice again in the twenty-second chapter of Matthew, and from the thirty-fifth to the fortieth verse we have an instructive lesson. A lawyer came to him for light on the ten commandments: "Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?" And he says, This is the first and great commandment: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, strength, soul, and mind. That covers four of the ten, the four that relate to God. "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," and that covers the other table of the law. Here it stands, and as an integral and essential and inalienable and inseparable part of the first, that great commandment which is higher than "Thou shalt not kill," or "thou shalt not steal," there stands the Sabbath law, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ.
But you say that Jesus came to abrogate the law. I tell you that he emphatically denies it himself. In the sermon on the mount he says: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Now the next argument. I will ask Paul what about the law. Hear him. In the seventh chapter of Romans. That law, says he, is holy, that law is just, that law is good. That is his declaration. Well what is the use of it? "By the law" says he (see Romans 3:20), "by the law is the knowledge of sin." And in the seventh chapter he repeats: "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? . . . Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
Notice again in the letter to the Galatians. "What does he say? "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster uiito Christ." That is its office. Notice again. Somebody may say, "But I have faith in Jesus Christ and that blots out the law." Paul answers: "Do we make void the law by faith? God forbid. "By faith we magnify that law. We do not make it void. But, says one, since the promises to Abraham came before the giving of the law, the giving of the law could not disannul that which had been previously promised, therefore the law is against the promises, is it not? Paul answers: "Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid." Perhaps, then, you will inquire: "Is that law binding on us? Are we now under the law? " As a means of life, no; as a rule of action, yes. Under its curse, no; under its spirit, yes. Under its fear motives, no; under its love motives, yes.
After closing his great argument on justification by faith, Paul adds to the Romans: "Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
Here the great apostle to the Gentiles cites specifically five of the ten commandments as binding on the human conscience. Five of them are cited there. Then if you will turn to the sixth chapter of the letter to the Ephesians and first and second verses you will find he cites another: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord." And then he quotes the fifth commandment: "Honor thy father and mother," as the first one that has a promise.
Thus Paul directly cites six of them in these two passages. These six he embodied in one as the Saviour did, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. What about the other four which make the first and great commandment? Dare any man say that Paul does not enjoin love to God? Do you mean to say that he does not in innumerable places write against idolatry?
Now in the next place, consider the second chapter of James. I want to read that to you: "For whosoever shall keep
the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." "For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." Is that an apostle? Yes. Talking about the ten commandments? Yes. Let ua suppose that we change this a little. He that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Now if thou commit no adultery and yet desecrate the Sabbath day, thou art become a transgressor of the law. Why doesn't it admit that interpretation? Listen to the last passage - the fourth chapter of the letter to the Hebrews. I will read from Murdock's translation of the old Syriac Peshito text, the oldest version in the world:
"But we who have believed do enter into rest - (Greek word for rest, katapausin.) But as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my rest (Greek, katapausin): for lo, the works of God existed from the foundation of the world. And he said of the Sabbath (Greek, seventh day), God rested on the seventh day from all his works. And here again, he said, they shall not enter into my rest (Greek, katapausin). Therefore, because there was a place, whither one and another might enter; and those earlier persons, to whom the announcement was made, entered not, because they believed not: again he established another day, a long time afterward; as above written, that David said, To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Joshua, the son of Nun, had given them rest (Greek verb, katepausen), he would not have spoken afterward of another day. Therefore it is established that the people of God are to have a Sabbath (Greek, Sabbatismos, literally Sabbath-keeping). For he who had entered into his rest, hath also rested from his works, as God did from his. Let us, therefore, strive to enter into this rest."
Yes, it is established that the people of God are to have a Sabbath. Not katepausen this time, but Sabbatismos, which literally means Sabbath-keeping, as no scholar will deny, however he may interpret its import. I stand on the literal meaning - Sabbath-keeping. This harmonizes with the general design and scope of the whole letter to the Hebrews. It was written to prevent Jewish Christians from apostasy to Old Testament Judaism. The un-Christian Jews would
entice them thus: We have Moses; we have Aaron, the high priest; we have Joshua, who led the people into Canaan; we have a Sabbath, pointing to Canaan as the promised land; we have the ministry of angels.
Now, to furnish the Christian with an argument to meet all these weighty claims this letter was written. The Christian can say: Jesus is greater than angels, greater than Moses, a greater priest than Aaron, greater than Joshua, redemption is greater than creation, and as God rested from the works of creation, sanctifying the seventh day for a Sabbath, so as Jesus rested from the works of redemption on the first day of the week, they too have a Sabbath. So it is established that the people of God are to have a Sabbath-keeping. If the reference be exclusively to the heavenly rest, the argument is not weakened, since the type must abide until the antitype fulills it.
The sole argument of the book, from one end to the other, is to answer those who want to drag Christians back into Judaism and to show them that it was established that there was a Sabbath-keeping for the people of God.
Now, the last point. You know I am no hypocrite. You know I would not sell out my religion for earthly advantage. And with me, before God to-day, religion is the only real thing in this world. I have tried it, men and brethren, I have put my own guilty heart on it, and God has made it happy. I have lived by it for near thirty years, and it has been my chief joy. I have preached it, as I had a commission from God to preach it, and I would not vacate one inch of its sacred ground if a mob that reached from the Brazos to the Sabine stood before me, nor from any pressure would I yield one jot or tittle of its sanctity. Lord God, rather let me die. What is before you Christians?
There is a rest that remaineth to the people of God. Have you never read Baxter's "Saints' Everlasting Rest," that glorious rest of heaven, that Sabbath, Sabbath of heaven? That is the antitype. Where is your permission to knock down the type before the antitype comes? Never can it be destroyed until it is fulfilled. The rest that remaineth to the people of God must come before the antitype perishes. And as heaven is not yet - would to God it were; oh, that even that paradise, that water, clear, sparkling, that tree of
life, that painless and sorrowless shore were now at hand! Oh, the rest, the everlasting rest, that remains for the people of God! Lord, God, let not me pull down the monument whose silent finger points to it as the hope of the lost world!
And as I commenced so I conclude, that no Sabbath, no God; the Sabbath or atheism. That is what it is. Do you not see the trend of it? Has it not already been manifest in the morning papers? Has it not already been intimated and insinuated that because a few pastors would simply advise their members from participation in Sabbath-breaking, that the churches should be taxed? And incomes of the preachers should be taxed? And references to God in the constitution and the legislative enactments shall be expunged. Atheism! it is coming. I tell you it is coming. It is coming with every pulse of anarchy in these United States. It is coming with every touch of the incendiary. It is coming with every commotion from below that denies God, or that proud avarice from above which deals in slaves and the souls of men. That battle is coming: The Sabbath or atheism. Earth's greatest foe is mammon. It is the beastliest and ghastliest of all the gods of idolatry. And I would as soon try a case of conscience before the court of hell with the devil for judge, as to leave it to a verdict given by avarice.
Yes; "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
[From B. H. Carroll, Sermons and Life Sketch, compiled by J. B. Cranfill, 1893; reprint, CHR&A, 1986, pp. 426-443. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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