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Writings of the pioneers

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1. This is one of the first French-speaking Adventists

2. Note the sincerity of heart and practical approach.

3. Augustin Bourdeux believed that the serious accepting of truth developed character for eternity.

4. In the last paragraph, notice how important he saw the weekly Sabbath was in preparation for the eternal Sabbath.

We were happy to receive the following letter from Bro. Bourdeux of Franklin Co.. Vt., containing as it does the cheering intelligence that he has been led to see the requirements of the fourth commandment of the law of God. We trust that by this a way may be opened for the spread of the Sabbath truth among the people of his language, as one of their own number can better have access to them than any others. The brethren will remember the request which he subjoins in his post script. We know of no better way of making his condition known, or one which would be of more interest to the lovers of truth generally, than by publishing his letter. He says :——

I drop you a few lines, once more, not to argue with you on Sunday-keeping, as before, but to let you know how the cause of truth has penetrated into my heart. It is only about a fortnight, since I embraced the unpopular truth of the Bible which is now being taught; viz., the seventh-day Sabbath. W. L. Saxby, my wife's brother, of Springfield, Mass., came out here two weeks ago last sixth-day, and aptly brought with him No. 23 of the Review and Herald which contained the answer to a letter that I addressed you not long since. I thank you, and God more especially, for the light you gave me, in his Word, on Sunday-keeping. When our Bro. Saxby left us, I felt convinced within me that I was in error,—that I was a breaker of the law of God. The words of the Apostle were always in my mind; "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools;" for I found that all the arguments that I had so often appealed to, with an idea of triumph, to establish the observance of the first-day in preference to the seventh, were utterly without foundation in the book of truth. And again, “Thou that preachest, a man should not steal, dost thou steal ?" Thou that teachest a man to “fulfill the law,” dost thou “transgress the law ? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God ?”

From that time I have been greatly troubled in my mind. . . . ; “Notre petite Eglise francaise," was continually before me. What will my dear and beloved French brethren say, when they will see their preacher observe the seventh-day Sabbath in preference to the first-day, a doctrine that they, perhaps, have never heard of before! Can I bear the thoughts of grieving my brethren and sisters, who have been such a help to me, and with whom I have enjoyed so many spiritual blessings? God forbid, I trust that the great “I AM” will put in their hearts to embrace the truths of his Word !

I can expect to suffer persecution—and even some of the bitterest persecutions; but, notwithstanding all this, I am resolved to embrace the truth of the Bible, and nothing else but the truth, let men say as they will. It is certain that no worldly inducements, no hope of gain or worldly glory, can influence me to such a course. I know that reproach, and afflictions await me, in consequence of the keeping of the commandments ; yet, "the love of Christ," as said an Apostle, "constraineth us." I feel that the period for man's life here, the whole duration of this world's existence, all the wealth, and honor, and pleasures of the present life, are less than vanity and nothing, compared with the realities of eternity! In this life, short as it is, our characters must be formed for the long, long eternity. They cannot, be formed for it, but through an intelligent reception of the truth, and the sanctification of the Spirit. Such a reception of the truth, however, will not take place except serious attention be given to it.

0 may the Lord help me to expound the truth to others, as fast as it is revealed to me! I thank God that my Mother, Wife and Sister have decided already to observe the Bible Sabbath! (sic) and there are some more here, who are anxious to hear on the important subject; and they are anxiously waiting for more light. Will not some of the brethren, who can present the truth in a clear manner, come this way, that we may acquire more light in conversing with them. I have but one Sabbath tract in my disposal; and I have never heard a lecture on the subject of the Sabbath. The light that I have received has come through the Review.

Yes. I am convinced by the holy scriptures that the seventh day of the week, is the Sabbath of the Lord. It is the " Lord's day." It is hallowed by God himself. It comes to us as if clad in the atmosphere of heaven: This the pious feel, as the Sabbath dawns upon them, while their hearts are lifted heavenward, in warm desire, and holy anticipations, they feel a hallowing influence come over them. Thus, through the influence of the Sabbath, wherever it is hallowed and improved, are souls ripening for an eternal Sabbath in the kingdom of God. 0 blessed day! It is as if God, on its return, breathed a breath of heaven upon this fallen world, to hallow and prepare us for our final home. How, then, should it be prized!

Dear brother, it is true that in this favored portion of the world, there are many Sabbath-breakers. Over too many, alas, darkness is extending its influence! But, praise be to the Lord, it is a relief to know that the friends of God, of truth and holiness, are on the alert. Let us hail the Sabbath as a precious gift from heaven. Let us try to improve it. Let us “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” “calling it a delight,” “the holy of the Lord,” not forgetting that upon him who keepeth it, a blessing is pronounced. "Thus saith the Lord, keep ye judgment and do justice; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil." Isa. lvi, 1.

Your unworthy French brother.

Augustin C. Bourdeux

Augustin C. Bourdeux. “The Sabbath among the French.” Review and Herald, May 1, 1856, p. 5


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