Rev. William Deloss Love -- By: Anonymous
BSac 36:144 (Oct 1879) p. 729
Rev. William Deloss Love
No great and beneficent reform was ever accomplished, no institution of value and power ever existed, without a firm basis of truth, of doctrine. Whenever the doctrine has become uncertain in the minds of the people, then the institution has languished, the revolution has faltered. This has been illustrated in the history of the Sabbath, and is now illustrated in its wide desecration. The lax continental Sabbath, now so much imported to America, comes from erroneous doctrine. First, it proceeds from deficient faith as well as evil practice long existing in the Romish church. Secondly, from the untrue position taken by the Reformers of the sixteenth century, in holding that the “external observance “of the fourth commandment was merely Jewish and ceremonial, and therefore is now void;1 and, thirdly, from a wide-spread misrepresentation of the Reformers’ actual views, which misrepresentation has been caused by ignoring their
BSac 36:144 (Oct 1879) p. 730
belief that the Sabbath was given to man at the beginning, and is moral and perpetual.2
Without a divine command for the Sabbath men will but illy keep it. They require more basis of doctrine than doubt or example or expediency can afford. Nicholas Bownd’s new doctrine of the Sabbath, whether strictly correct or not, resulted, in his day, in a revival of religion as well as of Sabbath observance. The Puritan revival of Sabbath doctrine, whether excessive or not, was both the fruit and the source of religious revival. But, on the other hand, every successful effort in the past to undermine or weaken the doctrine of the Sabbath has been attended or followed by bad morals and irreligion.
Probably the Sabbath, or Lord’s day, was never more observed than now as a holiday, but is less observed than sometimes in the past as a holy day. The present increasing loss in respect to its sacred character has its chief cause in the wide-spread uncertainty in respect to its basis. Besides the imported defect in doctrine and practice, there exist serious errors among ourselves. The disciples of the seventh-day Sabbath have been increasing; and this has brought disesteem of the Christian Sabbath, or Lord’s day, even among some who do not embrace their Sabbatarian views. Much has been said against the Puritan Sabbath to the detriment of the real Sabbath. A growing number of scholars, and even ministers, have been teaching that we cannot found the observance of the Lord’s day upon the fourth commandment; that that part of the decalogue, though not ceremonial, was positive, and not moral in its nature, and is annulled in the new dispensation. Some have said t...
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