In Defense of the Faith


Distinction Between The Two Laws

Mr. Canright knew there was a marked distinction between the two laws, as is evidenced by the following statements published by him before he renounced Seventh day Adventism: DOF 74.1

“Evidently the Lord designed to mark a plain distinction between the two laws in the manner in which He gave them to the people. As we have seen, the Ten Commandments were given in the following manner: DOF 74.2

“God Himself spoke it from heaven with His own voice. Ex. 19:1619; Deuteronomy 4:12, 13. DOF 74.3

“He wrote it twice with His own finger. Exodus 31:18; 32:16; Deuteronomy 10:13. DOF 74.4

“He engraved it upon stone. Exodus 32:16. DOF 74.5

“It was placed in the ark under the cherubim in the most holy place. Exodus 25:16, 22; Deuteronomy 10:1-5. DOF 74.6

“Now notice how differently the other law was given: DOF 74.7

“1. Moses went up into the mount alone, where, being instructed by an angel, he wrote it out with his own hand. (See Exodus 24:15-18; Deuteronomy 31:9, 24.) And so Paul says, ‘It was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.’ Galatians 3:19. Hence also it is called ‘the handwriting of ordinances.’ Colossians 2:14. For the same reason it is often called ‘the law of Moses’ (Acts 15:5), not because Moses was the author of the law, but because the Lord gave it through Moses. The Lord was the real author of the law, but Moses was the medium through whom it was made known to the people. Hence it is sometimes called ‘the law of the Lord,’ and sometimes ‘the law of Moses.’ (See Luke 2:22, 23, where both terms are used.) But mark this fact: The Ten Commandments are never in a single instance called the law of Moses. [Italics his.] DOF 74.8

“2. Moses wrote the ceremonial law in a book of parchment. Deuteronomy 31:24. DOF 75.1

“3. Moses spoke this law to the people. Deuteronomy 1:33; 31:1; 32:45, 46. ‘And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel. And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.’ Deuteronomy 32:45, 46. DOF 75.2

“4. This book of the law was then put, not into the ark, but by the side, as Dr. Horne renders it. ‘And it came to pass when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant.’ Deuteronomy 31:24-26. DOF 75.3

“Thus we see there was one law in the ark, and another outside the ark. One law on the tables of stone, another in the book; one law written by God, another by Moses; one law spoken by God, another by Moses; one law relating to moral duties, and another to ceremonial duties. Who will deny the existence of two laws, when the distinction is so plain? And this distinction is everywhere kept up, both in the Old and in the New Testament. Thus in 2 Kings 21:8, the Lord says, ‘Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.’ Here the Lord makes a plain distinction between what He Himself had commanded them and what Moses had commanded them. The same fact is distinctly mentioned in Nehemiah 9:13, 14: ‘Thou came down also upon Mt. Sinai and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right judgments, and true laws good statutes and commandments, and made known unto them Thy holy Sabbath.’ We know that this refers to the Ten Commandments, for the Lord did come down upon Sinai and speak them from heaven, while no other law was thus given. Notice the character ascribed to this law. It is called ‘right,’ ‘true,’ and ‘good.’ DOF 75.4

“After describing this holy law which God gave, the prophet adds, ‘And commanded them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses, Thy servant.’ Here we have, first, one set of ‘judgments,’ ‘laws,’ statutes,’ and ‘commandments’ spoken to them by the voice of God. Then, secondly, another set of ‘precepts,’ ‘statutes,’ and ‘laws’ by the hand of Moses. This makes it certain that there were two laws given to the people.... DOF 76.1

“In the New Testament we find the same distinction recognized. ‘But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses.’ Acts 15:5. Circumcision is the question, and the law regulating it is called ‘the law of Moses.’ But Paul says, ‘I had not known sin, except the law had said, Thou shall not covet.’ Romans 7:7. This law he immediately calls ‘the law of God.’ Verse 22. Why so plain a distinction in the two laws everywhere recognized by all inspired writers?”—Ibid., pp. 20-24. DOF 76.2