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The Repairing of Sam Brown


Chapter 3 - part 3

          "But God blessed the institution of the Sabbath, not the day; we need to keep the spirit of it, not the letter.
          "All I know is that God says He blessed the day, ‘wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.’ True, the Sabbath is more than a mere day; but it is still a very definite day. No other day but the Fourth of July will do for the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. How can some other day do for the memorial of creation? As to the spirit and the letter, does keeping a law in the spirit free us from keeping it in the letter? I thought that keeping it in the spirit meant keeping it in the letter and even better than the letter. Keeping the sixth command in the letter would be to refrain from actually taking a man’s life; keeping it in the spirit would mean that and also not even hating the man, as Christ said in the sermon on the mount. Keeping the Sabbath in the spirit means first keeping it in the letter."
          The respectable gentleman cleared his throat rather vigorously, "Don’t you think we ought to keep Sunday rather than Saturday because the resurrection is a greater event in Christian history than was the creation of the world?" he asked.
          "I might if God had left it to man to decide which is the greater event in history; but He does not allow human beings to make pronouncements concerning the nature or time of His institutions; and He has said nothing Himself about which is the greater. If He had left it to man, some might say the giving of the law, some the birth of Christ, some the crucifixion, or some other event was the greatest; and only confusion would result. The fact is, He placed the memorial of creation on the seventh day, and told us to observe it; and He placed no memorial on the first day of the week. Then why should we place one there? To do so is to observe a purely man-made institution. Besides, we already have a memorial of the resurrection in the institution of baptism. (Romans 6:1-5.) To keep our sabbath on Sunday in honor of that event also is to place two memorials on the resurrection and none on the creation. God doesn’t work that way. By keeping in mind creation, we also keep in mind re-creation, the power of Christ not only to create (for it was He who created the world in the first place, Colossians 1:16, 17) but to convert and save from sin. Thus the seventh-day Sabbath is an indirect memorial of the great work performed by Christ in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Himself."

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