The Protestant

TimeWatch Editorial
December 06, 2016

In the year 1893, on Saturday, September 2nd, the Catholic Mirror, published an article entitled, “The Christian Sabbath.” Their article was in response to a tract published by the International Religious Liberty Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in March 1893, appealing to the government and people of the United States to resist a decision by the Supreme Court declaring this to be a Christian nation. That decision had been reached in the case of the Holy Trinity Church v. U.S., on February 29th, 1892. The High Court’s decision was accompanied by Congressional legislation bill H.R. 9710 which was signed into law by President Harrison on August 5, 1892. That bill appropriated the sum of $2,500,000 to the Chicago World's Fair, on the condition that the fair be closed to the public on Sundays. On February 24, 1893, the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists adopted their resolution appealing to the government and people of the United States. What was incredibly amazing was the fact that the Catholic Mirror’s response went well beyond the matter of America being a “Christian Nation.” listen to how they responded.

“Our attention has been called to the above subject in the past week by the receipt of a brochure of twenty-one pages, published by the International Religious Liberty Association, entitled, "Appeal and Remonstrance," embodying resolutions adopted the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists (February 24th, '93). The resolutions criticize and censure, with much acerbity, the action of the United States Congress, and of the Supreme Court, for the invading the rights of the people by closing the World's Fair on Sunday. The Adventists are the only body of Christians with the Bible as their teacher, who can find no warrant in its pages for the change of the day from the seventh to the first; Hence their appellation, "Seventh-day Adventists." Their cardinal principle consists in setting apart Saturday for the exclusive worship of God, in conformity with the positive command of God himself, repeatedly reiterated in the sacred books of the Old and New Testaments, literally obeyed by the children of Israel for thousands of years to this day, and endorsed by the teaching and practice of the Son of God whilst on earth.” The Catholic Mirror of Sept. 2, 1893, page 8

It would almost appear that the writer of the article in the Catholic Mirror was explaining in detail, the reason why the Adventist Church might take the position that it did. However, as you continue to read, you realize that this was an opportunity, not only to describe Adventism, but to challenge the legitimacy of the other so called Protestant Churches. The article continues.

“Per contra, the Protestants of the world, the Adventists excepted, with the same Bible as their cherished and sole infallible teacher, by their practice, since their appearance in the sixteenth century, with the time-honored practice of the Jewish people before their eyes, have rejected the day named for His worship by God, and assumed, in apparent contradiction of His command, a day for His worship never once referred to for that purpose, in the pages of that Sacred Volume.” The Catholic Mirror of Sept. 2, 1893, page 8

The writer of the article slowly begins to build his case. He makes the point that there is no Biblical evidence to support the keeping of Sunday in opposition to Saturday. Listen as he continues.

“The Israelite respects the authority of the Old Testament only, but the Adventist, who is a Christian, accepts the New Testament on the same ground as the Old: viz., an inspired record also. He finds that the Bible, his teacher, is consistent in both parts, that the Redeemer, during His mortal life, never kept any other day than Saturday. The Gospels plainly evince to him this fact; whilst, in the pages of the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and the Apocalypse, not the vestige of an act canceling the Saturday arrangement can be found. The Adventists, therefore, in common with Israelites, derive their belief from the Old Testament, which position is confirmed by the New Testament, endorsing fully by the life and practice of the Redeemer and His apostles the teaching of the Sacred Word for nearly a century of the Christian era.” The Catholic Mirror of Sept. 2, 1893, page 8

Then, the writer of the article makes n amazing point concerning truth and accuracy. The argument being put forward is that it matters not the size of the organization, rather what is critical is the truth of the matter.

“Numerically considered, the Seventh-day Adventists form an insignificant portion of the Protestants population of the earth, but, as the question is not one of numbers, but of truth, and right, a strict sense of justice forbids the condemnation of this little sect without a calm and unbiased investigation;” The Catholic Mirror of Sept. 2, 1893, page 8

Now the fundamental argument that the writer has been building to throughout the entire study is presented. Listen to this:

“The great body of Protestants, so far from clamoring, as they do with vigorous pertinacity for the strict keeping of Sunday, have no other resource [recourse] left than the admission that they have been teaching and practicing what is Scripturally false for over three centuries, by adopting the teaching and practice of what they have always pretended to believe an apostate church, contrary to every warrant and teaching of sacred Scripture. To add to the intensity of this Scriptural and unpardonable blunder, it involves one of the most positive and emphatic commands of God to His servant, man: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." No Protestant living today has ever yet obeyed that command, preferring to follow the apostate church referred to than his teacher the Bible, which, from Genesis to Revelation, teaches no other doctrine, should the Israelites and Seventh-day Adventists be correct. Both sides appeal to the Bible as their "infallible" teacher.” The Catholic Mirror of Sept. 2, 1893, page 8

The argument and rebuke is insurmountable. The obvious opportunity that has been made available by the Act of Congress and the Decision of the Supreme Court, allows for the Catholic Mirror to deliver the sort of assault upon Protestant claims that cannot be defended.

We will certainly continue to look at this matter.

Cameron A. Bowen

 

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