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offering to Christ." That is a beautiful and helpful description of a soul wholly consecrated to God. But alas! how few comparatively live in that holy frame of mind. Sin, in whatever form it may exist, is hateful to God; hence in the great plan of human redemption ample provision has been made to free us from it from the guilt and pollution of sin. When John saw the church in heaven, one of the elders said to him. "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." That fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness is open still.
Among the evidences of this gracious work in the soul may be noted, first, a hatred of sin; second, delight in God's Holy Word, and in the services of his sanctuary; third, a zeal for the salvation of souls and the extension and upbuilding of the kingdom of Christ; fourth, humility; fifth, meekness; sixth, obedience; seventh, love to God and man,- to which may be added patience and charity.
Concerning the time when this gracious work is accomplished in the soul, there is a difference of opinion. All, or nearly all, agree that it is begun at the moment of regeneration. This article of the Confession does not fix any time, only that it succeeds regeneration. It is a "work of God's grace by which those who have been born again," etc. Some hold the view that it is not only begun, but completed, at the time of regeneration. Others hold that it is an instantaneous work, and subsequent to regeneration. A third view is, that it is a progressive work, beginning at the time of regeneration and completed at death. These three views have obtained in a number of the orthodox denominations. Whatever opinion we may hold respecting the time when this gracious work is accomplished in the soul, one thing we may and ought to do,- seek for and obtain all there is for us each day. Paul says of Christ, that he is "able to save to the uttermost," whatever that uttermost may mean. John says, "If we walk in the light, as he is in
the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Whether at the beginning, midway, or the end of this walk in the light, the promise is that we shall be cleansed from all sin.
Dr. Ralston says, "It matters but little whether this eminent state of holiness be gained by a bold, energetic, and determined exercise of faith and prayer, or by a more gradual process, whether it be instantaneous or gradual, or both the one and the other. The great matter is, with each and all of us, that we lose no time, but arise at once, and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Paul prayed for the Ephesians (3:18), that they might "be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," that they "might be filled with all the fulness of God." If it was the privilege of the Ephesians to be filled with the "fullness of God," so it is our privilege. It matters but little what name we give to this eminent state of grace, whether we call it sanctification, holiness, or Christian perfection,— the all-important matter is for us to know that we are in possession of this fullness.
THE CONFESSION OF FAITH
OF THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.
We believe that the Christian Sabbath is divinely appointed; that it is commemorative of our Lord's resurrection from the grave, and is an emblem of our eternal rest; that it is essential to the welfare of the civil community, and to the permanence and growth of the Christian church, and that it should be reverently observed as a day of holy rest and of social and public worship.
CHRISTIAN writers differ in their opinions concerning the Sabbath day. Some hold that it is only a positive duty to observe the Sabbath; others hold that it is a moral obligation; while others hold that it is both moral and positive. The doctrine set forth in this article of the Confession is that the obligation to keep the Sabbath day holy is a moral, and hence perpetual, obligation. While there were some things connected with the observance of the Sabbath day according to the Mosaic ceremonies that were of a positive nature, it is very evident that these were appendages, and not connected with the Sabbath day in its origin. If the observance of the Sabbath day is only a positive duty, then the obligation to observe it must have ended with the Mosaic ceremonies; but if it is a moral duty, then it is perpetual, and binding upon
ORIGIN OF THE SABBATH DAY.
That the Sabbath day originated prior to the time of Moses, is evident from the mention made of it in Exodus 16:22-30. The passage is too long to quote in full in this connection. Moses speaks of it as "the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord," and "the seventh day, which is the sabbath." "The Lord hath given you the sabbath." The whole account given in this place shows very clearly that it did not originate with Moses. He recognized
it as the holy Sabbath day given by the Lord himself, upon which he rested, and which he blessed and sanctified. Our Lord said, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27). The Lord, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, ordained the Sabbath for man as a day of bodily rest and for spiritual exercise. If it were necessary for these purposes in the beginning, it is none the less so now. One day out of seven for rest, meditation, and worship is of infinite value to mankind. "It is," says Dr. Clarke, "by the authority of God that the Sabbath is set apart for rest and religious purposes." God, who formed both the body and mind of man, knew what was necessary both for his comfort and welfare.
A careful study of the fourth commandment will establish in the mind the following propositions: first, that God ordained the Sabbath day; second, the obligation to keep it holy is moral; third, it is perpetual and universal. This commandment was not written by Moses, but by the finger of God on a table of stone. "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8-11). “As this was the most ancient institution, God calls them to remember it; as if he had said, Do not forget that when I had finished my creation, I instituted the Sabbath, and remember why I did so and for what purpose." The obligation to obey the fourth commandment is as perpetual, binding, and universal as it is to obey the first commandment.
CHANGE FROM THE SEVENTH TO THE FIRST DAY
Upon this there has been no little controversy. If we assume that any particular day is essential to the validity of the moral obligation, then it must be universally so, and this would involve very great difficulty. For while it is midday in some countries, it is midnight in others. In our own country the inhabitants on the Atlantic Coast would commence several hours earlier than those on the Pacific Coast. The seventh day in China is the first day in New York. If the very day is essential, so are the hours; hence the difficulty for all nations to observe the
same day and the same hours. "It is not, therefore, the seventh day according to any particular method of computing the septenary cycle, but in reference to the six before-mentioned days, every seventh day in rotation after six days of labor." For the benefit of mankind God saw that it was good to set apart one-seventh part of the time for rest and devotion.
The change was made by divine authority. The article under review says, "We believe that the Christian Sabbath is divinely appointed." The apostles were divinely commissioned to preach the gospel, and to "organize and regulate the Christian church." What they did in “organizing and regulating the Christian church" was as much by divine authority as what they said. They, as the divinely appointed apostles of our Lord, changed the day themselves. The question then is as to whether or not they had a right to do what they did. The answer to this question lies in another question. Were they divinely commissioned to preach the gospel and "organize and regulate the Christian church"? If they were, then they had a right to do what they did; but if they were not, then neither their precepts nor their examples are binding, and the inspiration of the New Testament falls to the ground.
This Christian Sabbath is called the "Lord's day," because upon that day he arose from the tomb, and it is commemorated in honor of that great and glorious event. In this article of the Confession we say, "that it is commemorative of our Lord's resurrection from the grave,
and that it should be reverently observed as a day of holy rest and of social and public worship." In our Book of Discipline we say, "Every one shall keep the Sabbath day holy, as required in the Word of God." By the Sabbath day we mean the Christian Sabbath. This is, and always has been, the belief of the United Brethren Church.
Concerning the practice of the apostles, it is recorded in Acts 20:7 that upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow." In I. Corin