|Faith Strengthened||Chapter 30||Part 1|
Hosea 2:13, "And I will cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn festivals." From this passage the Christians argued, that, on the coming of Jesus Christ, the dispensation of the laws for keeping Sabbaths, new moons, and festivals, was revoked, and the Lord found no more any pleasure in Israel’s observance of those days; as was declared in Isaiah 1:14, "Your new moons and your appointed seasons my soul hateth."
Refutation.—The prophet here merely announces that during the severe adversities resulting from the exile, the rejoicing formerly attendant on the festive seasons, will cease, and affliction come in its stead. This may be seen on referring to the accompanying verses, and is confirmed by the subsequent events. After the desolation of the temple, when the Israelites were prevented from the due observance of their religion, the obligation of the Sabbath and the enjoyments of the festivals were forgotten. See Lamentations 2:6, "The Lord has caused the solemn days and the Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion," which took place because "He hath increased to the daughter of Judah, morning and lamentation." Had it been the intention of the prophets Isaiah and Hosea to predict the cessation of the Sabbaths and festivals, how could they and later prophets so emphatically urge the strict observance of these solemn days? See for instance, Isaiah 41: Nor does it follow from the expression, "Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hateth," that the Almighty was weary of the sacred observances, and desired to have them abrogated; but it is obvious, that the evil-doers of that period assembled at the sanctuary for idolatrous purposes. Their celebration of the Sabbaths and festivals could not be acceptable while they worshipped idols, and not the true, Divine Being, as appears from the context of the first chapter of Isaiah. Were the Christian interpretation true, that the abolition of the sacred days is expressed in the first chapter of Isaiah why then, does the very same book conclude with the following prophecy which is to be fulfilled at the coming of the Messiah? "And it shall come to pass that from one Sabbath to another, and from one new moon to another, all flesh shall come to bow down before Me, saith the Lord." In like manner, Zechariah prophesied in the last chapter of his book, verse 16, "And it shall come to pass, that every one who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles." This shows that the festivals are to continue even at the time of the Messiah, when not only the Jews, but also the Gentiles then in existence, will solemnly observe the days of Holy Convocation. We have, moreover, to refer the reader to the nineteenth chapter of this work, where we remarked that even Jesus and his disciples held the Sabbath holy, and that, only several centuries after his death, a pope ordered the first day of the week instead of the seventh to be kept as the day of rest. Thus we prove that this innovation runs counter to the very doctrines inculcated by Jesus.