The Truth About Seventh-day Adventists


by William H. Branson



AFTER Mr. Canright as a Baptist began to wage relentless warfare against the moral law of God, he resorted to the very arguments against it which he had so completely demolished in his former publications. Let us note a few of them:

The law was given only to the Jews. Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, p. 320.

We answer, then the rest of us are free from any of the restraints of the law. We can lie, steal, swear, etc., with impunity. We, being Gentiles instead of Jews, are not bound by any restrictions on these points. Only the Jews were to restrain their fleshly lusts and put to death the carnal mind. Mr. Canright would not have admitted this; yet the logic of his argument would lead to just this conclusion; for, says Paul, where no law is, there is no transgression. Romans 4:15. And again, Sin is not imputed where there is no law. Romans 5:13. Well, then, according to Mr. Canright, the Gentiles are entirely free from lawful restraint. No law, no restrictions, therefore no sin; for sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4. We are Christians, people of another race and dispensation; we are free!

May we inquire of the reader whether he would like to locate in a community of professed Christians who actually lived what Mr. Canright taught concerning the Ten Commandments after he renounced Adventism; a place where people felt themselves entirely liberated from any obligation to keep the Ten Commandments; where there was no restraint against murder, theft, adultery, false witness, covetousness, Sabbath breaking, idolatry, swearing, etc.? Even a heathen would not be willing to risk his life, family, and property in such a place. Think of it! No law of God! Do just as you please. Just remember that the Jews were the ones who had to be restrained. Surely this line of reasoning is preposterous and a travesty on the Christian religion.


But Mr. Canright has found that the law had an essence. This essence was something inside of the outer shell called the law, and was the real thing that mattered -the kernel of the wheat, so to speak. We read:

'Yet not one jot or one tittle of the essence of the moral law is abated. When Paul, referring to the abolishment of the law dispensation, said: For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remains is glorious, he indicated the correct status of the law. The essence of the moral law remains.' This is exactly what I believe. Ibid., p. 333.

Now here is something quite new. The Jews had only the letter of the law, but we have the essence! Mr. Canright as a Baptist has already stated on page 330 of his book that the letter of the law is not binding upon Christians, but now he informs us that we do have the essence. Seems a bit hard on the Jews, doesn't it? They had to deal with a law, even in the letter, but according to this we Christians have no code, no letter of the law, no set rule of conduct, but just an essence. 

It may perhaps be felt that codes are a bit difficult to manage; they say such definite things, demand certain measures of obedience, and thereby become, in the estimation of some, a yoke of bondage! But a mere essence is different! With an essence only, one cannot be pinned down to any definite measure of service or standard of life. Almost any form may be right. One man's interpretation of the standard of morality is as good as another's, where there is no letter of the law to guide them, but only an essence.

What would we say of a nation which decided to abolish all its laws and destroy its statute books, leaving it entirely with its citizens to obey what they considered to be the essence of morality? Such a nation could abolish its lawmaking assemblies, disband its police force, tear down its jails, and proclaim absolute liberty of action to 'its citizens. Where no law is, there could be no proof of guilt, and therefore no infliction of punishment. Every man would determine for himself what was right or wrong, land would live under no restraint whatsoever from the pirate. But who would want to live in such a country? What protection would there be of life or property? None whatever. Such a nation could not possibly survive.


There is a very strange thing about Mr. Canright's 'essence of the law. It seems that after the letter disappeared, this essence looked just like the former, but for the fact that it had a new rest day. On this point he says:

Excepting the Sabbath, the other nine commandments are in the New Testament, either in the same words or in substance. Ibid. P. 362.

The observance of the Lord's day [Sunday] meets the end of the fourth commandment! Ibid., p. 332.

So this essence is beginning to take shape again, and, lo! it appears just like the old abolished letter of the law which the Jews had, except for this one point: it has Sunday for a rest day instead of the original seventh-day Sabbath!

The point seems to be that this essence stage of the law was intended by Mr. Canright to cover only a brief transition period. Some means had to be found by which to get rid of the true Sabbath, so the dissolving view effect was resorted to. The whole law was made to fade out into an essence. Then a waving of the wand, a command from the juggler, and, lo! it takes definite form again-changes back into real substance, but the holy Sabbath of God has disappeared, and the first day of the week has taken its place.

While Mr. Canright was still a seventh-day Sabbath observer, he wrote as follows regarding the argument that nine of the Ten Commandments are re-enacted in the New Testament, but that the fourth one is left out. Note how fully Mr. Canright the Adventist answers Mr. Canright the Baptist in the following statements:

Those who hold this theory teach that all the Ten Commandments were abolished at the cross, and nine of the ten re-enacted at the same instant!

Of course this must have been done simply to get rid of the Sabbath, as the law would have been all right, but for that.

Or, as some claim, the law was abolished at the cross, and re-enacted at Pentecost, which leaves an interregnum of fifty days without any law at all. 'Where no law is, there is no transgression.' Rom. 4:15. All the crimes committed during those fifty days must go unpunished, as there was no law to condemn them ...

The world was in rebellion against the law of the Father. God sent His Son to reconcile the world to Himself. Says Paul, 'God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.' 2 Cor. 5:19....

Men cannot be judged by an abolished law; hence all those before the cross will go free in the judgment, having no law to condemn them. Will God judge the millions of Hebrews who lived from Moses to Christ by an old dead law which, according to our opponents, was always only a yoke of bondage, grievous to be borne? It would be a violation of every principle of law. Thus I read in the decision of the supreme court of Iowa, 1862 ('Iowa Reports,' Vol. XII, p. 311):

'The general principle relied upon, independent of some statutory rule, is not controverted, that when a statute is repealed it must be considered as if it had never existed, except with reference to such parts as are saved by the repealing statute.' This refers to the criminal code, not to the civil law. But our opponents claim that all God's law was abolished- - no part saved. Hence it cannot be a rule in the judgment.

It assumes that the Ten Commandments has been abolished, when no record of its repeal can be found. Notice how carefully the record is made when even human laws are abolished..

Law repealed. 'Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa, That section 2498 of the Revision of 1860, be and the same is hereby repealed.' Approved Feb. 7, 1870. Session Laws of the Thirteenth General Assembly of Iowa, p. 112.

Let our opponents bring something like this for the repeal of God's law, and we will believe them.  

Laws which are to decide the eternal destiny of billions of souls should be given in the plainest possible manner. They should not be left to inference and guesswork. Beyond dispute, God did give one law-the Ten Commandments. He delivered it in just that solemn, public, and definite manner which we would expect in so all-important a transaction.

Our opponents claim that Jesus gave a new code of laws in place of the old, yet they can produce no record as to when it was given, where it was given, how many precepts it has, which is the first, or the last, who gave it, to whom it was given, what its penalty is, wherein it differs from the old, or any other particular.

Of all documents, a law should be given in the plainest manner. But in what book, chapter, and verse is this new law to be found? Was it given during Christ's life? Was it at His death? Or was it after His resurrection? Was it delivered in the temple, by the seaside, or elsewhere? Has it only nine commandments now, or has it a dozen? Which is the first commandment? Was it given in private, or in public? To the disciples, or to the world? Surely if this law has a real existence, all these questions ought to be easily answered. But the Bible reader knows that the New Testament is entirely silent upon all these questions. It neither knows nor says anything of such a new law. D. M. CANRIGHT, The Two Laws, pp. 102-106.


Farther on in this same work Mr. Canright pointed out the utter fallacy of his later argument that nine of the commandments which had been abolished were restored in the New Testament. On this point, speaking still as an Adventist, he said:

Many, in their opposition to the Sabbath, carry the impression that all the commandments except the Sabbath are repeated word for word in the New Testament. But such is not the case. Neither the first, second, third, fourth, nor tenth commandments, are anywhere repeated in the New Testament. This is an important fact, as it shows that the New Testament does not give a new code of laws.

The other five commandments, with a part of the tenth, are quoted in the following passages in the New Testament: Matt. 5:21-27; 15:4; 19:18, 19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Rom. 7:7; 13:9; Eph. 6:2, 3; James 2:11. If, then, the Sabbath is not now obligatory because that commandment is not directly quoted in the New Testament, then also the first three are not now binding, and it is no sin to have other gods, worship images, or profane God's name! To what a monstrous conclusion this theory leads! So it always will be found that every argument framed against the Sabbath comes with equal force against the other commandments.

But yielding the point that there are several others of the Ten Commandments, as well as the Sabbath, not quoted at all in the New Testament. Our opponents next claim that there were nine of the Ten Commandments re-enacted in the New Testament, not, indeed, in the very words of the old law, but in substance the same. It is painfully amusing to see them try to find these commandments as thus reenacted. Here is the mode generally adopted: First commandment (1 John 5:21), 'Keep yourselves from idols.' How plain! But when was this written? Not until 90 A. D., or about sixty years after the resurrection. Here, then, were sixty years before the first commandment was re-enacted sixty years in which there was no law against idolatry! If, to evade this terrible conclusion, it is admitted that this passage does not bring to view the time when, and the place where, this commandment was re-enacted, but only a reference to it as already existing, then the whole point is given up. For thereby they admit that they have no record of the time when, or place where, this was re-enacted. It only shows that there was a law against idolatry; and this is simply a reference to it as previously existing. Here they are compelled to admit the whole truth, and come squarely upon our ground. That commandment, with the time and place of its enactment, is nowhere to be found in the New Testament, but it is found in the Ten Commandments. Ex. 203.

It puzzles them very much to find the second commandment reenacted in the New Testament. Matthew 22:37 is generally quoted as the nearest to the point, 'Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.' If a man loves God with all his heart, he will not worship any image. But try that a little further. Would he have other gods? No. Then this includes the first commandment. Would he profane God's name? Certainly not. Would he violate God's holy rest day? No. Then this includes the fourth commandment as well as the first three, and so proves too much for our opponents.  

But this language was spoken by Christ some time before His crucifixion, at which time they claim the old law was abolished. So they have a part of the law re-enacted before it is abolished! But the simple fact is, this is only a quotation by Christ from the Old Testament. The lawyer asked Him which was the great commandment in 'the law' -the law already existing, not a new law which Christ should give. In answer to this, Jesus quotes directly from Deuteronomy 6:5, the great commandment to love God with all the heart, and from Leviticus 19:18, the second, to love your neighbor as yourself. If, therefore, the giving of these two great commandments was to supersede the Ten Commandments, then it must have passed away in the days of Moses, 1500 BC.

Look at the places where the other commandments are claimed to be regiven. In Matthew 19:16-19, Jesus, in answer to the young man, quotes the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth commandments just as found in the Ten Commandments.

This was no re-enactment of them, but simply a quotation from the law as already existing. This, too, was before the law is claimed to have been abolished; so that Christ reenacted these before He abolished them, if indeed this be a regiving of them!

So Paul, in Romans 13:9, quotes five of the Ten Commandments. This also is seized upon as a re-enactment of those commandments. But were they re-enacted both by Jesus and by Paul, and then again by James? Chap. 2:8-12. How can any candid man for a moment maintain such a position?

How plain is the simple fact that both Christ and the apostles were only quoting from the law, before given by God the Father, than whom there could be no higher authority.

It is claimed that nine are referred to while the fourth is not; but this is false. The Sabbath is mentioned in the New Testament oftener than any other of the Ten Commandments, being not less than fifty-nine times in all. It is worthy of notice that in all these numerous references not one word is spoken derogatory to the honor and sacredness which it had always possessed. Pages 117-120.


How utterly astonishing it is to find this same man only a few years later setting forth the very arguments which he himself had so completely overthrown.

The one thing Mr. Canright, in his later theory regarding the essence of the law, failed to inform us about, was when this new rest day (Sunday) came in after the law was abolished and reshaped. This point was entirely overlooked. We would like to see the chapter and verse cited. Where, we ask, are we informed in the Scripture that Christ took away one Sabbath and gave Christians another? Where does the Bible say that the old law had a Sabbath, but that in the essence of the law given to Christians this part had been changed or dropped out? Where is Sunday, the first day of the week, called a Sabbath, a rest day, a holy day, or anything but a working day? It cannot be found in Scripture. It is not there. Had it been, Mr. Canright would, no doubt, have similarly produced the text, thus settling the question and having himself the necessity of creating this new essence theory as a means of ejecting the Sabbath from the law.

The fact is that Christians have no new moral law. The moral law is as much in force today as when it was spoken by God Himself from Sinai; and the fourth commandment, unchanged by a jot or a tittle, still declares, The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: m it thou shall not do any work. (See Exodus 20:8-11, Luke 23:56.)


In his book Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, Mr. Canright makes a desperate but entirely fruitless effort to prove that the Ten Commandments was only a part of the ceremonial law of Moses. In order to show that they constitute only one- law instead of two separate and distinct codes, it was necessary for Mr. Canright to overcome the impression created by the vastly different ways in which the two were given. One was spoken by God's own voice, written by His own finger on tables of stone, and deals with moral issues only; the other was given through Moses, and was later written by him in a book, and dealt with rites and ceremonies, sanitary regulations, and civil relations.  

But Mr. Canright soon found a way out. It would have been impossible, he said, to carry around the whole law if written on stones; hence only a few samples out of that law could have been selected and put on stones to be kept as a witness of that covenant. Page 343.

Surely this is a strange argument! Think of it! The only thing that deterred God from writing all the ceremonies, rites, ordinances, etc., pertaining to the sacrificial service, was the size of the load it would have made to carry!

How unfortunate for Mr. Canright and those who share his opposition to the seventh-day Sabbath that the fourth commandment crept in among the samples and got onto the tables of stone! How much easier it would have been to have brushed the Sabbath aside, had it gone into the book of the law of  Moses instead! The very fact that it got in among the moral precepts of the Ten Commandments and became a part of a strictly moral code would naturally give the impression that it belonged in that class and was not ceremonial in nature, as, were the laws of Moses. But, of course, if God only picked up a few samples at random and wrote them down on tables of stone, anything might have gotten in.

But is this like God? Does the Ancient of days perform His work in such a careless manner? Would He give to men a rule of life and a standard of judgment, and then inform them that those He had given were only a few samples? Absolutely not. To argue thus is to charge God with folly. No, the Ten Commandment law of God is not a makeshift. It is perfect (Psalms 19:7); therefore it is complete. It is holy, and' just, and good (Romans 7:12); therefore it cannot be improved upon. It is just as it should be, seventh-day Sabbath and all, and just as it will be when we stand before the throne of God at the judgment of the last great day, and find that this law is the standard by which our lives are to be measured.

''Hence the importance of heeding the admonition of James When he says: So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. James 2:12. But let us permit Mr. Canright to answer himself. When he was still a Seventh-day Adventist he wrote:

Those who deny the pre-eminence which we claim for the Ten Commandments, can give no reason why the Lord singled out the Ten Commandments, and gave them in so conspicuous a manner as He did. All God's acts are in wisdom, and for a purpose. It was not by accident that He singled out and gave the Ten Commandments as He did. Evidently He did it to honor that law above all others. The Two Laws, p. 102.


In a further effort to establish his no-law doctrine Mr. Canright the Baptist tries to find an argument for his theory in Paul's statement, You are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14. On this he says:

Several times Paul says directly that Christians are 'not under the law.' (See Rom. 6:14, 15; Gal. 3:23-25; 4:21; 5:18.) It would seem as though that ought to settle it that Christians are not to be governed by that law, for surely if we are not under a law, we are under no obligation to obey it. Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, pp. 381, 382.

Let it be remembered that this came from Mr. Canright after he had renounced Seventh-day Adventism. Now let us listen again as Mr. Canright answers himself when he at another time discoursed on the same passage. The following paragraphs, written by him while he was still in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, clearly set forth what the apostle meant by being under the law, and it is shown that Paul was teaching the very opposite of what was attributed to him by Mr. Canright in his later writings.

'Probably this passage is urged as an objection to the perpetuity of the law oftener than any other. That the law here is the Ten Commandments we all agree. What, then, is meant by the term 'under the law'? We understand it to mean, to be condemned by the law. Our opponents claim that it means to be under obligation to obey the law; and as Paul says we are not under the law, they claim that we are not now obliged to keep the law. Can it be that we need not keep the commandments against adultery, murder, theft, idolatry, etc.? If their position is correct, this must follow; for these are a part of the law. Paul's entire argument in this book shows that this is not his meaning.

What subject has he under consideration in this chapter? It is not the difference between the old law and the new, the change from the old dispensation to 'the new; but the change which takes place in individuals at their conversion, a change from the old man to the new man, from sin to holiness, from condemnation to grace. He first asks, 'How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?' Verse 2.

Then he says, 'We are buried with Him [Christ] by baptism.' Verse 4. This shows that he is speaking only of converted men. Next he says, 'Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.' Verse 6. That this refers to conversion and not to a change from the old covenant to the new, will be seen by every candid mind. 

Further on he says, 'Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.' Verse 11. Of whom is this true? Only of the converted man. So he is not speaking of all men in general, but only of saints. Again: 'Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.' Verse 12. What is sin? John says, 'Sin is the transgression of the law.' 1 John 3:4. Paul then exhorts them not to let their fleshly members and passions lead them to transgress the law. 'For,' said he, 'sin shall not have dominion over you.' Verse 14. Why not? Because the law is abolished? No; but because they have left the service of sin, have ceased to transgress the law of God. His whole argument shows that is what he means. 'For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace.' Verse 14. That is, having broken off your sins, ceased to break the law, believed in Christ, and been baptized, you are now no longer ruled over by sin, nor condemned by the law, because you have found grace in the sight of God, and your sins are pardoned. Then he asks, in the next verse, 'What then? Shall we sin [that is, transgress the law, for remember, sin is the transgression of the law'] because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.'

This conclusion of Paul's utterly demolishes the theory of our opponents. For if 'not under the law' means that we are not to obey the law, then it follows that we could transgress it at will. But this, Paul vetoes with a 'God forbid.'

Take two more places where Paul uses the term 'under the law' as meaning, to be condemned by the law. Thus he says, in Galatians 5:16-18: 'This I say, then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that you cannot do the things that you would. But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.' Now, in this case, who are not under the law? Those who are led of the Spirit, and those only. And who are those who are led of the Spirit? Those who do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh - that is, do not commit sin. No other meaning can be given to this text. Then those who are not under the law are converted men, whose sins are pardoned, who have received the Spirit of God, and hence do not transgress His law any more. The text has not the slightest reference to the abolition of the law. Paul says that those who are led of the Spirit are not under the law. Then it follows that those who are not led by the Spirit are under the law. This conclusion is so plain that no candid man will deny it. But are the wicked led by the Spirit? No. Then they are under the law. But if the law has been abolished, then no one can now be under it, no more the wicked than the righteous. This shows that the law does still exist, and is able to hold men under its power.

Now look a moment at the absurdity of our opponents' position. They say 'that by the term 'not under the law,' Paul means that the law is abolished, and hence we need not obey it. If this be true, then no one is under the law, whether he is led by the Spirit or not. But Paul declares that in order not to be under the law, we must be led by the Spirit. How plainly this contradicts their conclusion.

Take one more case. In Romans 3:9-19, Paul says, 'We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.' And so he goes on in several verses to prove that all are sinners. Then he concludes thus: 'Now we know that what things so ever the law says, it says to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.' Verse 19. Now, what is the consequence of being under the law? Paul says it is 'that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.' So that to be under the law is to have our mouths stopped, and to stand guilty and condemned before God.

No better proof could be given that the meaning which Paul designs to convey is, that the phrase, 'not under the 'law, but under grace,' means simply not under the condemnation of the law, because not sinners, but in the freedom of e gospel, through the forgiveness of our sins. The Two Laws, pp. 32-36 (old ed., pp. 30-33).

Christians generally believe that they should not swear, kill, steal, nor lie; in other words, that they should keep the commandments. Seventh-day Adventists believe the same, with this difference, that they apply the same principle also to the fourth commandment. Now, if we are under the law because we believe in keeping all the Ten Commandments, then the other Christians are nine tenths under the law by keeping nine of them. Consistency, Thou art a jewel.


From Mr. Canright's renunciation of Adventism we quote two lines as follows:

Jesus gave commandments to His disciples.... We are to keep His commandments. Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, p. 361.

Now it is true that Christ did give commandments to his disciples, but the inference here is that they were given to supplant or supersede the Ten Commandments. But such a deduction cannot be substantiated. Every command given by Christ while among men was in perfect harmony with the precepts of the moral law given from Sinai. He came to magnify the law and make it honorable. Mr. Canright further says:

As Christ, . . . the head of the to judge the world (John 5:22) at His judgment seat (Rom. 14:10), how reasonable that He should give the laws to that church. Ibid., p. 365.

This is all very well, but we inquire, Will not Christ also judge the Jew? Or is it the plan that the Father and the Son shall divide the work, one judging the Jews and the other the Gentiles? Will the Jews have to face one standard, the Ten Commandments, and the Gentiles another, the so-called new law of Christ? If so, will we then afterward go to the same heaven? How is this? Does God have two standards of citizenship for His kingdom? Must the Jew attain to one standard of morality and I to another? Can I get through easier than he? Will these two different standards be maintained in heaven, the Jewish community living according to one rule and the Christians another? Or will the Jew perhaps have to undergo training in heaven and familiarize himself with a new moral standard-one that looks just like the old one he used to know, but which has the Sabbath dropped out and the Sunday of the pagan world and papal church substituted?

Surely these things are absurdities. God has one moral standard for all time and all men. Changing ages, priest hoods, and dispensations have not affected one jot or tittle 'of the great moral' code handed down from heaven. And, dear reader, when you and I appear before the judgment seat of Christ alongside our Jewish brethren of past ages, we will all stand on the same footing, and one standard the Ten Commandment law of God will be applied to our lives, and the same judge will judge us all. Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. Romans 3:29.


Mr. Canright the Baptist uses as another proof text to show that the moral law ended at the cross, Paul's statement in Romans 10:4, that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.

He sums up his argument on this point by declaring, That ends the Ten Commandments. Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, p. 334. But Mr. Canright, while still a Seventh-day Adventist, clearly answered his own argument on this text as follows:

We agree that this means the Ten Commandments, but we do not agree that it means that Christ has put an end to that law. End does not always mean termination. It is very frequently used as meaning the object of a thing, as in James 5:11: 'You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord.' This certainly does not mean that the Lord died in the days of Job. James means to say, You have seen the object of the Lord in the afflictions He brought on Job. The word 'end' is used in that sense in the text. Christ is the object of the law for righteousness to every one that believes. The Two Laws, pp. 43, 44.

That is to say: What the law demands of me, Christ is. The law finds complete expression in His life. He came to fulfill, or to live out its every requirement. The moral standard demanded by the law and that revealed in Christ are the same. Therefore the purpose, or end, of the law is that I should be like Christ; and it is evident that this standard can be reached only through faith and obedience.


When Mr. Canright renounced Adventism he boldly declared that the law of God was dead. His argument for this is based on the following statement by the apostle Paul:

Know you not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law) how that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:14.

Now let us note Mr. Canright's comments on these verses:

No statement could be plainer: we are delivered from the law which is dead. Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, p. 388.

The apostles say that the law is dead. Ibid., p. 390.

But the text does not say that the law is dead. Mr. Canright finds it necessary to misrepresent the meaning of the text in order to read his no-law theory into it. That Mr. Canright himself well understood the fallacy of this argument that the law is dead, is evidenced by a former extended statement published by him concerning the true meaning of this text. Let us note how, in his earlier statements he completely shatters his own later argument:

The position of our opponents on this chapter is, that Paul is showing the contrast between the old dispensation and the new-between the law and the gospel. We believe that Paul has no reference whatever to any such thing, but continues the same subject that he considered in the sixth chapter; namely, the change which takes place in every individual at his conversion from sin to holiness. He first shows how the law condemns the sinner, and yet is just and holy in so doing; and then, how the sinner obtains pardon and grace through faith in Christ, and thereby receives strength to keep the law which he previously found himself unable to obey. Thus we read: 'Know you not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law) how that the law bath dominion over a man as long as he lives?' Verse 1. He then illustrates what he means by this statement: 'For the woman which bath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.' Verse 2.

Consider the illustration. Today a woman in Iowa marries Mr. Smith. Now the law of Iowa binds her to Mr. Smith as long as he lives. There are three things in the illustration: 1. The woman; 2. The husband; 3. The law. Paul says, 'If the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.' Observe, she is loosed from that law. But what is it that died in this illustration? Is it the law? Suppose that Mr. Smith dies, just as Paul says, does that abolish the law of Iowa which bound her to Mr. Smith? How absurd that would be! No; the law does not die, and yet the death of Mr. Smith does loose the woman from that law; not because the law is dead, but because the person is dead to whom it bound the woman. Paul proceeds: 'So then if, while her husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress.' Certainly, if while Mr. Smith lives she should marry Mr. Jones, she would be an adulteress; for the law does not allow her to have two husbands at the same time. Paul goes on: 'But if her husband be dead, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.' Yes; if Mr. Smith dies, then she is freed from the law of Iowa, and can now marry Mr. Jones lawfully. Bear it in mind that Paul twice says that if her husband dies she is loosed from the law, freed from the law. But the same law which bound her to Mr. Smith now binds her to Mr. Jones. It will be seen that in all this illustration there is not the slightest reference to the death or abolition of the law; the law remains the same all the time. It is the husband that dies, not the law. Now, did Paul know how to properly use an illustration or not? We think he did. . . .

If this illustration is a proper one, it is a very unfortunate one for the no-law position; for in the illustration, the law never died at all, while he declares that by the death of the husband the woman is freed, loosed from the law, and yet the law lives. Now the only question is, What is represented in the illustration by the two husbands? We answer that the old man, the carnal mind, the body of sin, the unconverted man, is represented by the first husband, and the Lord Jesus Christ by the second husband. The following language of Paul settles this point: 'Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.' Verse 4.

'Paul plainly says, 'My brethren, you are become dead. Not that the law is dead; that it was these brethren who died. Then with whom is the second marriage made? This he as plainly states: They should be married to Him who is raised from the dead. In other words, while the old, carnal man lived, the law of God bound them down in condemnation to that old body of sin; but when that was dead, then they were united to Christ. The next verse confirms the fact that Paul is speaking here of their conversion from sin to righteousness. 'For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.' Verse 5. 'When we were in the flesh,' plainly means when we were unconverted, and has no reference to being under some former dispensation. He continues: 'But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held.' Verse 6. The margin says, 'Being dead to that' wherein we were held. The American Bible Union translation says, 'Having died to that wherein we were held; That is, the old man having died which kept us from being united to Christ, we are delivered from the law just as in our illustration the woman was delivered from the law of Iowa when Mr. Smith died. That it was not the law, but the old man, that died, is put beyond controversy by the following language: 'For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.' Verses 9-11. Here Paul says, 'I died;' the law 'slew me.' Now, did the law die, or did Paul die? He says emphatically the law slew him. Then it was not the law that died, but the old man.

Then hear his conclusion. If the position of our opponents is true, Paul should have concluded like this:

Wherefore the law is dead and abolished, it being a yoke of bondage. But instead of such a conclusion he sums it up thus:

'Wherefore the law is holy and the commandment holy, and just, and good.' Verse 12. The Two Laws, pp. 36-39.

This statement was made by Mr. Canright in 1886, just three years before he published his Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, in which he so emphatically declares that the law is dead. How one could so quickly and so completely reverse himself on so vital a point of Christian doctrine, we cannot understand.

We feel sure that the candid reader will agree with us that in this reversal Mr. Canright was certainly not advancing from darkness into light, but was rather retreating from light into darkness. He had departed from the plain and very evident interpretation of Scriptural teaching, and had espoused a theory which cannot possibly be maintained, since it has no foundation in Scripture.

In fact, all teaching that tends to lessen reverence for and confidence in God's great moral standard, the moral law, is altogether subversive of truth. Contrary to Scripture, and harks back to the rebellion of Lucifer in heaven, and his later efforts in Eden when he succeeded in persuading our first parents that the commands of God could be disobeyed with impunity and even profit. For six thousand years Satan has been seeking to break down the restraints which God has placed upon His people through the giving of the Ten Commandments, and the present almost universal reign of lawlessness serves as evidence of how well he has succeeded. Infidels, agnostics, skeptics, and scoffers have joined in sowing the seeds of rebellion and lawlessness, and today the world is reaping the whirlwind. What then may be expected when even the ministry join forces with them, and begin to teach that Christians are under no obligation whatsoever to keep God's great moral code, urging that it has been thrown into discard by the ushering in of the gospel dispensation? Will not Satan thus greatly exult over us, and will not the kingdom of God thus suffer loss?