Review of the Two Sermons of Rev. R. G. Baird on the “Christian Sabbath”
We have no love of controversy, and would prefer, if consistent, never to come in contact with an opposer. But in some cases our efforts to proclaim the truth are greatly hindered unless we stand up in defense of the truth we teach, and expose error when it rises up against it. We have written these pages with a solemn sense of duty, and without a particle of personal feeling against the author of the Two Sermons. RTSB 3.1
Considering the weakness of Mr. Baird’s positions, some may question why we spend so much time in exposing their fallacies. They may think that his effort is not a fair specimen of what may be opposed to our faith. But in this they are mistaken. We have noticed it at such length, not because of any strength of argument the Sermons possess, but because of the position they are given by their friends. Mr. Baird is a man of position and influence. These Sermons have been extensively circulated, and highly recommended by ministers of his denomination-a denomination which stands second to none in intelligence and education. And certain Detroit papers (we are informed) extolled Mr. Baird’s effort, pronouncing it the severest blow that has been struck against Seventh-day Adventists. We have only noticed it according to the estimate put upon it by its friends. RTSB 3.2
The public have been greatly deceived in regard to the comparative strength of our positions and those of our opponents. Our numbers are few, and we have been correspondingly unpopular. Our opponents have had an advantage in numbers and influence, and they have affected to scorn us, have denounced us as ignorant and fanatical, and triumphed in the reproaches they unjustly heaped upon us. RTSB 3.3
We only ask a candid hearing, and a fair comparison of our arguments with those of our opponents. We believe there are very many who will be willing to do us justice when our position is understood; who will repudiate the works of those who oppose us when they learn that they are so largely composed of sophistry and misrepresentation. RTSB 4.1
We have some time withheld this review while pressed by the urgent solicitation of friends of the truth to permit its publication. But, knowing that not only Mr. Baird, but other ministers of his denomination are making strenuous efforts to circulate his pamphlet, and are recommending it as a complete refutation of the faith of Seventh-day Adventists, and believing that many who have not had opportunity to examine our views are being deceived by the Two Sermons, we send it forth with earnest prayers that it may be the means of correcting errors and of leading many to examine this question with that candor which becomes mortals who must stand before God in the Judgment. RTSB 4.2
J. H. W.