FRUITAGE OF THE MARKED BIBLE
MR. SPAULDING seemed unable to get his voice. A picture of his whole past life rose before him, and a sense of his great unworthiness seemed almost to overwhelm him.
“My dear people,” he began, “without doubt, you are all aware that during this journey I have been making a most determined effort to combat, in every way I could, the thought that the fourth commandment should be observed by Christians.
“You heard Judge Kershaw state, the other day, that he knew me in Arkansas, and that I stood in his court as a witness against one who observed the Sabbath. What he said was too true. I gloried in the fact that that seventh-day brother was convicted, and my heart never smote me when he died, the victim of my bigotry. More than that, I have even wished, since this journey began, that something would occur to silence the voice of this young man. Mr. Wilson. I really have hated him, and his Bible as well.
“But God has opened my eyes. He has touched my heart and softened it. He has fulfilled the new covenant promise, and to-day I can truly say that I delight to do His will. The law that I wanted to think was abolished, and the Sabbath that I despised and even abhorred, are now written in my mind, and I am resting in Him.
“Mr. Wilson had a godly mother. She loved God’s word. She wanted her boy to love it. And to that end she put her tears and her prayers into this Volume [here he took the marked Bible from the stand], trusting that in some way, her work of love would be blessed in heaven. That it has been, you can all see. Her son has found the Lord. But let me tell you, dear ones, this Book and his mother’s prayers have been the means also of arresting me in my headstrong course.”
So earnest, so sincere, so tender, was his testimony, that the very air seemed pregnant with the love of God.
“And are you really going with me, Brother Spaulding?” asked Harold Wilson.
Mr. Spaulding responded by opening a folded paper that he held in his hand. It was his letter of resignation to the board under whose auspices he had started out on his mission. He then read:
“This is to inform you that God has miraculously wrought upon my life, and has brought me to understand that for years, like Saul of Tarsus, I have been foolishly kicking against the pricks. Even before the completion of my journey across the sea, I find myself so entirely at variance with my former belief and teaching, that I am obliged to desist from the purpose which sent me to the Orient, and to ask you to accept my resignation as a member of the Board of Foreign Missions.
“that you may understand me fully, kindly allow me a brief statement concerning past personal experiences.
“As you well know, I have been frequently chosen by my brethren to enter the arena of debate, to defend our views against the supposedly erroneous doctrines of the Sabbatarians. I have been regarded as eminently successful in my efforts. It was I, also, who was selected a few years ago to conduct the campaign against the violators of our Arkansas state Sunday law. And here, too, I was regarded as successful; for I secured several convictions, and had a vote of commendation from our district conference.
“But throughout my ministry, there has followed my constantly a strange though somewhat vague consciousness that my views were not well founded in Scripture. Many a time, even while in the heat of argument, I have heard a voice telling me I was wrong; but I refused to listen, thinking it only a foolish and temporary weakness of my own nature. The thought of halting and of testing my views was also steadfastly put aside, for the reason that I feared change, and besides, my pride and my love of my people’s approval outweighed my love of truth.
“There has come to me, however, a series of providences which has brought me to my knees. The door of life has been swung so wide open, the light of inspiration has shone so clearly, and the love of God has so led me to repentance, that I have fully surrendered my heart to the influences of the Holy Spirit. I have found the actual way of life; and following Jesus Christ, I am glad in Him. My questions and doubts are gone, and the Spirit bears witness that I have been born again.
“In a word, dear brethren, I am now a Sabbath keeper, an observer of the seventh day.
“Begging your indulgence a little further, I take the privilege of giving you a few of the principle reasons, gathered from the Bible, for my present course.
“1. God’s word in its entirety is authoritatively from Him. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Romans 15:4.
“2. Jesus Christ was the Author. 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Peter 1:10, 11.
“3. The Old Testament as well as the New, reveals Christ. Luke 24:25-27; John 5:39.
“4. The gospel was known, and by it men were saved through faith, from the very beginning. Revelation 13:8; Galatians 3:8; with John 8:56; Hebrews 4:1, 2.
“5. The gospel saves from sin (Matthew 1:21; Romans 1:16); sin is the transgression of the moral law (1 John 3:4); and the law points out the sin from which the gospel saves (Romans 3:20).
“6. Sin entered the world at the beginning (Romans 5:12), and sin is not imputed where there is no law (Romans 4:15); 5:13). therefore the law dates from the foundation of the world.
“7. The Sabbath, as a part of God’s law, was given to our first parents. Genesis 2:1-3.
“8. It was made for the whole race of mankind. Mark 2:27.
“9. As Christ was the Creator (John 1:1-3, 14; Colossians 1:13-16), even so it was He who made the Sabbath and gave it to man. the Sabbath of the law is the Sabbath of Christ.
“10. And Christ Himself, the Mediator, gave the law on Sinai. Galatians 3:19 with 1 Timothy 2:5. the Ten Commandments are specially the gift of Jesus Christ.
“11. As we have seen, Christ spoke through the prophets. 1 Peter 1:10, 11. And through the prophets, He foretold His love for the law. Psalm 40:7, 8; Isaiah 42:21.
“12. When He came into the world, He lived and taught the sacred and far-reaching claims of the Ten Commandments. John 15:10; Matthew 5:17, 18; 19:17.
“13. The New testament throughout follows Jesus’ teaching, and proclaims the authority of the law. Romans 3:31; James 2:8-12; Revelation 22:14.
“14. There has been absolutely no change in that law since it was given in Eden, for God is unchangeable. Malachi 3:6; Psalms 89:34; Matthew 5:18.
“15. The Sabbath, placed in the very bosom of the law, and a vital part of its great moral nature, has come to us, therefore, unchanged and unchangeable. Moral precepts cannot change.
“16. All through the ages, the Sabbath has been made the test of obedience, the sign of loyalty. Exodus 16:4, 27, 28; Jeremiah 17:24, 25; Exodus 31:16, 17; Ezekiel 20:12, 20.
“17. As the seal of God’s law, it is the great gospel test of the last days of time. Revelation 7:1-3; 14:6, 7. Compare Isaiah's prayer will surely be answered.