AN ADVENTURE IN
SARAH BROWN was
ready with an extra-appetizing supper that evening, as a reward for
the victory she was sure Sam must have achieved when he and the
minister combined forces in a brush with that heretic Richards. But
when he appeared, her hopes were dashed. He was glum and grumpy.
it come out! How do you feel?" she hastened to ask.
as if Iíd been in the preacherís car with him and he was going
sixty, and someone hit us head on, crumpled the bumper and the front
fenders, bent back the radiator, drove the hood through the
windshield, sprinkled us with glass, and jammed the motor through
the rear end. Iím wrecked!" and Sam slumped dejectedly down
in his chair.
gradually got it all out of him. Then indignation took the place of
surprise. To think that her respected husband, Deacon Brown, and
above all the minister of their church, should back down before a
mere stripling who was carried off by this new wind of doctrine!
Preposterous! After all, these men! It takes a woman with
intelligence and backbone to straighten such people out. As her
husband read the paper and tried to forget and give his mind a rest,
she thought it all out and planned her campaign.
"Sam," she said, as they went to bed, "Iíve decided
on something. Iím going over to see that woman Richards tomorrow
when I get my work done. Iíll think up some excuse. Iíll settle
her on this question, and we will be able to convince her stubborn
husband through her. It takes the women to fix such things up. Howís
that for a plan!" But the tired and crestfallen Sam was already
breathing heavily. With a scornful "Humph!" Sarah gazed
into the blackness, and thought and thought and thought.
There was a
different expression on her face when she sat across the supper
table from her husband the next evening, and Sam noticed it.
how did the visit with the heretic come out!" he asked.
call her that," urged Sarah with a pained look.
wouldnít that sideswipe you!" gasped her husband, stopping in
the midst of the mastication of a mouthful to scrutinize his
heretofore sane wife. "Whatís coming over us?"
you think it, Sam, she went on, ignoring his surprise and question,
"sheís the sweetest little woman, and weíre friends
already. Theyíre poor, but the house and her clothes, and even the
childrenís, are clean and neat. And those kiddies are the dearest
and best-behaved little things. I wish,ó " and childless
Sarah looked far off out the window, while a tear glistened in her
eye. Sam sat speechless in the almost sacred presence of her master
all their poverty and hardship," resumed Sarah, recovering and
touching her eyes with her handkerchief, "they are happy, Sam,
happier than we are, with all we have. I wish you could see that
"But, Sarah," Sam interjected, at last coming back to
himself, "what about the Sabbath question?"
"Oh," she said, "I almost forgot, didnít I? Iíve
just about made up my mind that that doesnít amount to much after
amount to much!"
our side of it doesnít. It was this way. I took my embroidery and
went over, and made the excuse that neighbors whose husbands are in
the same work ought to be friendly. At first I was so taken with her
and the children, I almost forgot what I came for. And then I was
ashamed to start the subject, she was so nice, and so grateful for
the hints I gave her about cooking and other things. But we got
around to religion after a while. We went over some of the same
points you and her husband did; and I confess I was flabbergasted. I
didnít know what to say. How that woman knows the Bible is
a caution. But I remembered the last three points in our ten, and I
brought those up.
did she say to them?"
said as to Godís Spirit and our conscience telling what day is
right to keep, that our conscience tells us to do right, but does
not tell us what is right. Some peopleís consciences tell them
that stealing or lying is right, if they do not get caught at it,
but that does not make stealing and lying right. Our moral judgment
tells us what is right, and our morals are decided by our training,
and our training must be based on an authority. The authority for
the Christian is the Bible, and if our conscience is trained
according to that, and it says to keep the seventh-day Sabbath, then
our conscience will tell us to keep the seventh-day Sabbath.
"There are two kinds of spirits, she said, evil and good
spirits, and we must try the spirits (1 John 4:1) to see if they are
of God or of the devil. And the way to try them is told in Isaiah
8:20, which says, íTo the law and to the testimony: if they speak
not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.í
And the Saturday commandment is right in the midst of the law with
which we are to test the spirits. Therefore, any spirit that tells
us to keep some other day cannot be the Spirit of God.
that His Spirit would come and guide us into all truth, but that the
Spirit would not speak of Himself, but would speak what He hears
from God. (John 16:13.) And always God has commanded the seventh-day
Sabbath. And, too, the Spirit reproves the world of sin (John 16:9)ó
and sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). So, logically,
the Spirit of God would reprove the world of Sabbath breaking, which
would be to reprove it for Sunday keeping.
asked her why it wasnít found out before, and why learned
theologians and great Christians didnít keep it, she told me some
interesting history of how the Sabbath was really Ďas old as the
hills,í for it was made at creation; and how it was kept very
carefully by Godís chosen people up to and past the time of
Christ; and then it was lost to most menís knowledge for
centuries, but that always some few have kept it. The people of
Christís day thought the doctrines that Jesus and the apostles
taught were new, but these teachers proved to the people that what
they taught was very ancient, but that the knowledge of the
doctrines had been lost and only the rediscovery of them was new.
Every reformer is accused of teaching something new and strange, but
he is just bringing the people back to the old truths. The fact is,
Sunday keeping is a very new thing compared with Sabbath keeping.
said the truth of God has never been popular with the masses and the
great men of earth. Christianity was once very unpopular and was
despised. But we are glad now that someone espoused that unpopular
truth and passed it on to us. The great and wise men in Christís
day did not accept His truth, nor did they in Lutherís day accept
the Reformation. We must not despise the day of small things. Every
great movement for right started in a small and obscure way. The many
go in the broad way that leads to destruction. Paul said,
ĎNot many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many
noble, are called.í (1 Corinthians 1:26.) Christ thanked God that
He had hid these things from the wise and prudent, and had revealed
them unto babes. (Matthew 11:25.) The world does not learn God by
wisdom, but by simply believing in His written word.
told me how and why the Sabbath was obscure for a long time, and how
Sunday keeping started. I wish you could have heard that little
woman reel off the history; and you would think to look at her that
all she knew or thought of was making a living and keeping house. It
seems that reliable histories record that Sunday was not kept as a
sabbath during the early centuries of the Christian church, but that
Saturday was. The apostles were dead long before a change was even
suggested. And when the change did come it came so gradually during
two or three centuries that people did not pay much attention to it.
A number of causes helped the change: Christians turned against the
Jews more and more because they had crucified Christ, and so would
have nothing to do with anything Jewish; and they thought of the
seventh-day Sabbath as Jewish. Sunday was held in some honor because
it was the resurrection day, but was not observed at first as a
sabbath any more than was Friday the crucifixion day. Then, too, the
Church was trying hard to convert the heathen, and the heathen had
for centuries worshiped on the first day of the week in honor of the
sun god. In fact, the day was named for that god, Sun-day. The
church became worldly and wanted to be popular, and it compromised
with the heathen by all together keeping the Ďvenerable day of the
sun,í as it was called.
Christianity became the state religion, and Sunday laws were made,
and the true Sabbath was crowded out altogether. The pope didnít
exactly change the day, but what is now known as the Roman Catholic
Church slowly brought in Sunday keeping as a mark of its power. In
Daniel 7:25 it was prophesied that such a power would think to
change Godís law; and history says it did just that; and the
Catholics boast they did it, and they offer a large money reward to
any Protestant who will show even one text to prove from the Bible
that we ought to keep Sunday. The Catholics claim authority from God
to command men and make laws, and they are responsible for Sunday
keeping, and they laugh at Protestants for being so inconsistent as
to take the Bible and the Bible only as their rule of faith and
practice, yet keep Sunday, for which there is no Bible authority.
Christ said of them, ĎIn vain do they worship Me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of men.í Matthew 15:9.
"And, Sam, one look at the glory in that womanís face as she
rejoices in her belief was enough to make me ashamed to bring up our
tenth objection. Why, if she is right and doing Godís will, what
difference does ridicule make! I do admire a person who will face
anything to follow his convictions. The majority has always been
wrong, Sam, and has laughed at those who have stood for right. Think
of Jesus Himself, and Paul, and Luther, and Wesley. They were all
laughed to scorn, but they were right. It is always lot of people
who do things to be laughed at. If I thought I was right, Iíd do
it, no matter what people said. Wouldnít you, Sam?"
course I would, Sarah; Iíd rather have God on my side than have
the good will of the neighbors when they are in the wrong. Iíve
been having some pretty serious thoughts during the past twenty-four
hours. It looks to me as if Richards is right about this Sabbath
business. But it would be mighty hard to arrange my business to keep
Saturday when others keep Sunday.
ought to have heard Mrs. Richards hold forth on that this
afternoon," commented Sarah, all enthusiastic in the praises of
her new-found friend. "She said they were going to obey God if
they starved, and that she believed God was only testing their
faith. But she says she is not going to starve, and quotes David to
the effect that he had never seen the righteous forsaken nor his
seed begging bread. She told me how they had been jumping from
pillar to post since they began to keep the Sabbath, but they had
never lacked yet for the necessities of life, though they had gotten
down pretty low at times. Sam, you canít conquer people like that.
I know God is with them, and I feel shaky about His being
with us, she added.
want to conquer them, Sarah," ejaculated her husband. "Itís
them thatís conquered us, looks like to me. And I donít feel so
bad over it, either. And Godís going to be on our side,
too, wife, as sure as my nameís Samuel Billington Brown. Let the
repair business go hang. If I canít do that and serve God too, Iíll
find some other way to make a living. What do you say?"
just what I was going to say myself, she answered, the tears of joy
flowing unchecked down her cheeks, "but I was afraid to propose
it. Mrs. Richards and I had prayer together before I left, and I
seem to be a changed woman."
back his chair with some racket, blew his nose violently, and came
around the table to plant a kiss on his wifeís brow.
CONTINUE - CHAPTER 5