The Sixth Day.—Saturday, in Christian lands, is a day set apart for house-cleaning, a time for "putting things to rights," in preparation for the Sabbath, the sacred day of rest. Preliminary to the condition of purity, order and quietness especially desirable on that day, the house, in domestic parlance, is "upset"—"turned topsy-turvy." Furniture is moved and dusted, floors are scrubbed, windows cleaned, and stoves polished; the body is bathed, all rubbish burned, and everything done that ought to be done, so that when night is past and glorious morning dawns, the rising sun can smile approvingly on a renovated, sweet and wholesome scene, and the Lord's Day be kept, as He intended it should be, in cleanliness, which is "next to godliness." Is there not something symbolical in all this—something suggestive of things higher?
All Things Symbolical.—"All things are in a scale," says Plato; "and begin where we will, ascend and ascend. All things are symbolical; and what we call results are beginnings." If this be true, then is there a symbolism in small things as well as in great, in endings as well as beginnings, including the ending and beginning of the week. Saturday and Sunday are both symbolical, each suggesting and pointing to something above and beyond.
The World's Sabbath.—Who among men first recognized in the seventh day a symbol of Christ's Millennial reign, I know not. The reign itself was the theme of a revelation as early as the days of Enoch. But it is obvious that the symbolism of the seventh day does not stand alone. The idea of a greater Sunday carries with it the idea of a greater Saturday, of which all lesser Saturdays are typical; a time of agitation, of strenuous toil and strife, during which all will be made ready for the blest sabbatic era, the period of universal peace. The World's Saturday Night must necessarily precede the World's Sunday Morning.
The Apocalyptic Book.—The symbolism of the Sabbath, and the symbolism of other days as well, is plainly indicated in the writings of Joseph Smith. In one place he says—or the Lord says through him: "All things have their likeness, and are made to bear record of Me." We need not be surprised, therefore, to find among the Prophet's teachings this—I quote now from his Key to the Apocalypse:
"What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?
"We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.
"What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelations?
"We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth; even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things—unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming."
Seven Great Days.—The "days" here referred to were not ordinary days of twenty-four hours each, based upon earth's diurnal revolutions. He who "made the world" before placing man upon it, had not then appointed unto Adam his reckoning. They were not man's days, but God's days, each having a duration of a thousand years.
"The book which John saw" represented the real history of the world—what the eye of God has seen, what the recording angel has written; and the seven thousand years, corresponding to the seven seals of the Apocalyptic volume, are as seven great days during which Mother Earth will fulfill her mortal mission, laboring six days and resting upon the seventh, her period of sanctification. These seven days do not include the period of our planet's creation and preparation as a dwelling place for man. They are limited to Earth's "temporal existence," that is, to Time, considered as distinct from Eternity.
According to Kolob.—The Prophet's translation of the Book of Abraham explains that these greater days are "after the time" or according to the reckoning of Kolob, a mighty governing planet nearest the Celestial Throne, a planet revolving once in a thousand years. This period, then, is a day upon Kolob. One might well suppose such a day to have figured in the warning given to Adam: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die;" for Adam, after eating of the forbidden fruit, lived on to the age of nine hundred and thirty years. St. Peter may have had the same thing in mind when he wrote: "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
At the Week's End.—According to received chronology—admittedly imperfect, yet approximately correct—four thousand years, or four of the seven great days given to this planet as the period of its "temporal existence," had passed before Christ was crucified; while nearly two thousand years have gone by since. Consequently, Earth's long week is now drawing to a close, and we stand at the present moment in the Saturday Evening of Time, at or near the end of the sixth day of human history. Is it not a time for thought, a season for solemn meditation? Morning will break upon the Millennium, the thousand years of peace, the Sabbath of the World!
House-Cleaning in Progress.—Marvel not, therefore, that all things are in commotion. War, famine, pestilence, earthquake, tempest and tidal wave—these are among the predicted signs of the Savior's second coming. Tyranny and wickedness must be overthrown, and the way prepared for Him who, though gracious and merciful to all, and forgiving to sinners who repent, "cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance." Earth must be freed from oppression and cleansed from all iniquity. It is God's House; and He is coming to live in it, and to make of it a glorified mansion. House-cleaning is in progress, and Saturday's work must be done and out of the way, before the Lord of the Sabbath appears.