Clarifying Blank-Day Issue

Anyone who has lectured on the subject of calendar reform is familiar with the diffi­culty of making plain the effect of the blank day upon the weekly cycle.

By ARTHUR S. MAXWELL, Editor of the Signs of the Times, Mountain View, California

Anyone who has lectured on the subject of calendar reform is familiar with the diffi­culty of making plain the effect of the blank day upon the weekly cycle. Most audiences become confused when asked whether the blank day would cause the true seventh day to move forward or backward through the new week, and the most careful verbal explanation does not convince everybody.

Sensing the need of some simple method of making this vital point plain, I prepared the simple device pictured on this page, and have found it most helpful. Puzzled faces invari­ably become radiant with understanding as soon as it is displayed.

The device is constructed on the slide-rule principle. (See Fig. I.) It is twenty-three and one-half inches long and seven and three-quarters inches deep, a convenient size to fit into an ordinary traveling bag. Each letter and figure is about two and one-half inches high, and bold enough to be clearly visible even from the back row of our largest churches.

The bottom line represents the seven-day weekly cycle. In pointing to it, I usually say, "Here is represented the seven-day weekly cycle, which has come down to us from the beginning of time and will last till the end of time, unchanged and unchangeable." The figure seven is painted red, and serves to give great emphasis to the fixity of the seventh day.

The top line, painted on the slide rule, gives the names of the days of the week. I usually read them out briefly and add, "These are the names which man has given to the days of God's weekly cycle."

Coming now to Figure 2, behind S (for Sunday) is suspended a small piece of card with the top part blank and the bottom marked "31" (for December 31), and crossed out with a bold red cross. This card is now flipped over from the back, and the audience sees at once that it blots out Sunday, December 31, which is what the calendar reformers hoped to do at the end of 1944 and plan to do when Sunday again falls on December 31, in 195o.*

Now the slide rule comes into operation, and is pressed forward so that Sunday—"the new syn­thetic Sunday," as I call it—falls on the second day of the weekly cycle. On which day then does the true Sabbath fall ? Obviously, by looking at the red figure seven, on Friday. When does the true first day fall? On Saturday. At this point one may well call attention to the fact that if the calendar reformers should have their way, all hon­est observers of the first day, for one year in seven, would keep their "Sunday" on "Saturday," an accusation they have sometimes hurled at Seventh-day Adventists.

So far, however, consideration has been given to the effect of but one blank day. As a matter of fact there would be one each year, and two in leap years. So the slide rule comes into operation again, moving the artificial, "synthetic" week grad­ually forward (Fig. 3) until the remarkable fact is revealed that the year finally arrives when the true seventh day would fall on Sunday, and Sev­enth-day Adventists would be keeping that day with everybody else—except the honest observers of the true first day, who would that year be keep­ing Monday.

Since demonstrating this device at the Fall Council, I have received many requests for dupli­cates, and am glad to say that the Pacific Press is considering the possibility of making a number of these devices to assist those who may be regularly lecturing on calendar reform" throughout the field. Any worker who may specially desire one should send in his request immediately.

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By ARTHUR S. MAXWELL, Editor of the Signs of the Times, Mountain View, California

February 1945

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