The Eden Day-Line Theory — 6 Comments

  1. We have re-published this article from the January 28, 1901, issue of The Bible Echo for the benefit of our readers.

    There had already been agitation over the Eden Day Line for some time before this was published. In fact, Ellen White’s letter from a few months previous to this article, as published in Selected Messages III, p. 317, seems to be referring to this theory, since there was no agitation over the actual date line that would have resulted in Seventh-day Adventists keeping Sunday as the Sabbath. Unfortunately, the editors of Selected Messages inserted a title of “The Question of the Date Line” which just confuses the issue.

    For your convenience, we have high-lighted the sections that describe what this theory actually taught.

    The saying is that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. So we ask our readers, What can we learn from this bit of history?

    The question for us is what we can learn from this little bit of history from more than 100 years ago.

    • I go further than Pr Colcord. Any doctrine which nullifies to ANY PERSON in the world the very pith and point of the last message God has for the entire world, cannot be of God.
      The SDA Church has a vital warning message to every nation kindred tongue and people. How can the SDA leadership, with responsibility for facilitating that, justify making a decision that caused even a small number of Seventh-day Adventists in a few Pacific Islands to begin keeping Sunday?

      P.S. Colcord was not just a pastor –

      • Thanks, John, for this interesting little bit of additional history. In the brief article to which you refer, it is mentioned that “in 1902 William Colcord served as the third president of the Queensland Conference.” I also find it significant that he spent much of his time opposing the enforcement of Sunday laws.

        It seems that history is repeating itself, and Colcord’s article is every bit as relevant today as it was in 1901.

  2. Having read the Sabbath Sunday issue I would like to say if Jesus’s death and resuraction are the tow main important aspects of survation then the days to rest should be Friday and Sunday not any other day of the week.

  3. More historical writings on the subject of the “day line” by William Henry Branson
    Written in 1933

    “Mr. Canright raises the old objection to the seventh-day Sabbath, that it cannot possibly be kept on a round world. Concerning this, he says:

    “The stubborn facts nearer home show that God’s children do not, and cannot, all ‘observe the same period together.’ Everybody knows that it is Saturday in India some twelve hours sooner than it is here, and that it is Saturday here twelve hours after it has ceased to be Saturday there. In Australia the day begins eighteen hours sooner than it does in California. So the seventh-day brethren in California are working nearly the whole time that their brethren in Australia are keeping Sabbath! Come even nearer home than that. The sun sets about three hours later in California than it does in Maine. So when the Seventh-day Adventists in Maine begin to keep the Sabbath at sunset Friday evening, their own brethren in California, where the sun is yet three hours high, will still be at work for three hours! So, very few of them on this earth, ‘observe the same period together.’ While some of them are keeping Sabbath on one part of the Earth, others of them are at work on another part of the earth.”-Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, p. 174.

    So there we have it. The world being round, it is impossible to obey God’s law in respect to the Sabbath, says Mr. Canright. Strange that God should have made a Sabbath for a world which He knew to be round, isn’t it? But there is a still stranger thing. That is, that this very same identical earth that is so round, and which rotates so fast that one cannot possibly keep the Sabbath, presents no difficulties whatever to the person who desires to keep Sunday! This we also are taught by Mr. Canright, for in the same chapter in which he attempts to prove that on account of the earth’s being a globe the Sabbath cannot be kept, he confidently informs us that Sunday can be kept. Note his teaching on this point:

    “Under the new dispensation of the gospel, other circumstances have arisen plainly and grandly marking another day as the all-important day in Christian memory-the resurrection day.’-Ibid., p. 176.

    He further says:

    “The essential idea is that we should devote one day in seven to religious duties. To secure the highest good, all should unite in observing the same day. From the days of the apostles the Christian church has, with one consent, observed the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, the first day of the week, or Sunday.”-Ibid., p. 181.

    He explains that the difficulty about keeping the Sabbath is the existence of a “day line,” and that this jumps about so from place to place that “there is no possible means of fixing the day of the original Sabbath.”-Ibid., p. 184.

    Surely this reasoning is more profound than enlightening. Just how it is that Saturday cannot possibly be kept on a round world, but Sunday can be, is, to say the least, a bit confusing. Does he perhaps mean that on Sunday the earth flattens out, and thus the difficulty is overcome for the day, and that it then resumes its globular form until the next Sunday rolls around? Or does the day line stay fixed on Sunday, so that the particular day can be located, and move about only on Saturday, making it impossible for that day to be found? In any event, there is evidently no difficulty experienced in locating Sunday in any part of the earth, for, according to Mr. Canright, “from the days of the apostles the Christian church has, with one consent, served the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, the first day of the week, or Sunday.”

    “From the days of the apostles.” This covers a period of nineteen hundred years. And, says he, during this period Britains have kept Sunday. They have done it, he claims, “With one consent,” that is, Christians in America, Europe, Australia, China, wherever they have been found during these nineteen hundred years, have all agreed on the question of which day was Sunday. They have done it “with one consent,” with no mix-up over a round world, a day line, lost time, or any of these scary hobgoblins; they all agree that Sunday, the definite day upon which our Lord was raised, can be found, yea, has been found, and is everywhere known. Upon this all have been agreed for nineteen hundred years; and yet, would you believe it? The seventh can neither be found nor kept! The world is too round. Time keeping has not been accurate enough. Day lines move about so. The north and south poles present serious obstacles; and there are so many reasons-not the least of which is the fact that men invent such arguments for the press purpose of getting rid of a plain command of God with which their lives are not in harmony.

    Surely this kind of reasoning answers itself. What candid person would say that Sunday can be kept on a round world that has a day line, but that Saturday cannot? What advantage could one day possibly have over another this respect?

    Seventh-day Adventists have never claimed that the Sabbath could be kept in all parts of the world at the same moment of time. They may be illiterate, as Mr. Canright tries to make them appear, but their ignorance does not quite reach to the point where they fail to recognize that each day of the week travels around the earth, and that the Sabbath therefore does not come to people in all places at once, and therefore cannot be kept by all people at the same time. What they do claim is that wherever one may be, in the Orient or Occident, he can keep exactly the same day as his fellow Christians keep on the other side of the world, but his keeping of the day must be at the time when the day comes to him, and has no relation to the question as to when it comes to those in other countries. {1933 “In defense of Faith”, page 199-201}

  4. Another one of our pioneers had something very explicit to say on the subject of the Eden day-line:

    Now, my sister, … I write … to tell you that we are not to give the least credence to the day line theory. It is a snare of Satan brought in by his own agents to confuse minds. You see how utterly impossible for this thing to be, that the world is all right observing Sunday, and God’s remnant people are all wrong. This theory of the day line would make all our history for the past fifty-five years a complete fallacy. But we know where we stand….(Selected Messages III, p. 318, from a letter written in 1900.)

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