The Field of Research Service of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary has been set up in order to assist our evangelists, teachers, and other gospel workers in securing reliable, authoritative materials in usable form for public evangelism and teaching. In its four years of existence, this service has looked up a number of quotations for workers who did not have on hand the primary sources or secondary works containing the needed statement. However, the largest service to the field has been in the furnishing of photostats of important statements bearing on various points of our teaching and prophetic interpretation.
The method is to take negative photostats of the page or pages containing the needed quotation and its context, along with the title page of the book or periodical concerned, and in some cases the authenticating signature, such as the imprimatur. These negatives are then gathered together on a card and rephotostated so as to produce a positive photostat (black type on white background) of 8 1/2 x 11" size, convenient for handling. In this way several pages of a book being quoted are gathered together on one photostat. Occasionally, where a number of pages are involved, two of these combined reduced photostats are needed for the reproduction. At present the cost of this type of photostat is forty cents. If desired, a separate photostat, in full size, can be furnished for each page, but this method of reproduction is much more expensive, as each page reproduced may cost thirty cents or more, according to size.
Photostats are excellent for public use, because the speaker can read them at ordinary distance without magnification; they also are practical and convenient to file and handle; and since they reproduce the actual book, paper, or manuscript, they have legal standing as reproductions. The latter point makes the photostat much superior to ordinary copied quotations for controversial or teaching purposes. A copied quotation may, intentionally or unintentionally, be changed or garbled, but not so with a photostat.
The Field Research Service of the Seminary has on hand more than one hundred items which reproduce in usable photostat form helpful and cogent quotations which are now in use by evangelists, teachers, and editors. These cover a wide range of subjects, such as the change of the Sabbath, claims made by the Roman Catholic Church, statements concerning Vicarius Fiji Dei, acknowledgments of correctness of Seventh-day Adventist positions, important statements from various Roman Catholic catechisms, and statements from Lutheran, Presbyterian, and other denominational authorities. Each of these items bears a number by which it can be ordered, and a revised catalogue of all the items available is about to be prepared, which will be available upon request. Some of the interesting items in the list are:
No. I. Statement by the Roman Catholic St. Alphonsus de Liguori, that the Incarnate Word has obliged Himself to obey and to come into the priest's hands under the sacramental species; the priest holds the place of the Saviour Himself.
No. 6. Statement by Father Bertrand L. Conway, that if the Bible is the only guide for the Christian, then the Seventh-day Adventist is right in observing Saturday with the Jew.
No. 31. Statement of the famous German church historian Augustus Neander, that the festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance.
No. 36. Statement by the Roman Catholic cardinal Henry Edward Manning that the pope is the Vicar of the Son of God (English for Vicaritts Fiji Dei).
No. 41. Photostat of the canon of the famous Council of Laodicea, edited 'by the Roman Catholic bishop Charles Joseph Hefele, which shows (Canon 16) that worship was conducted in the churches of the fourth century on the Sabbath, and (Canon 29) that Christians should work on the Sabbath and do no work on the Sunday (Lord's day).
No. 49. Statement of Professor N. Summerbell, at one time the best-known church historian among the Disciples of Christ, or Campbellites, that the Roman Catholic Church reversed the fourth commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of God's Word and instituting Sunday as a holiday.
No. 61. Statement from the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. of America, that the moral law was given to Adam, was continued after the fall a perfect rule of righteousness, and, different from the abrogated ceremonial law, is binding upon all.
No. 70. Statement from a sermon of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, to the same effect as in item No. 61.
No. 73. Statement of the Roman Catholic cardinal John Henry Newman, that Christians established the Lord's day as soon as persecution ceased [it ceased legally in A.D. 313], and that some fifteen practices of the Roman religion, which he names, come from paganism, including incense burning, the.tonsure, the wedding ring, and image worship.
Nos. 77, 78. Offers of the Roman Catholic priest T. Enright in his own handwriting of $1,000 for a Bible text requiring the observance of Sunday.
No. 81. Sworn statement of F. C. Gilbert, certifying that the quotation in the photostat is a true copy of a statement contained in a paper read by Dr. Edward T. Hiscox at a Baptist ministerial meeting. Dr. Hiscox maintained that Sunday is of no Scriptural authority, but of pagan origin.
No. 90. Some appalling statements by the Rothan Catholic priest J. Furniss, giving harrowing descriptions of the Roman Catholic concept of hell. This requires two photostats in the 84"x ii" size.
No. 102. Photostat of a Government report reproducing an Indian calendar, showing the falling of the stars in 1833. (Two photostats, 82" x 11".)
No. 104. Cardinal Gibbons, in his essay, The Claims of the Church in the Making of the Republic, states that the divine institution of a day of rest, transferred by authority of the church from Sabbath to Sunday, is one of the most patent signs that we are a Christian people.
Nos. I08, 109. Dio Cassius, in his history of Rome written about the third century A.D., in referring to the capture of Jerusalem by the Romans in 63 B.c., and to the capture of Jerusalem by Herod the Great in 37 n.c., states that the Sabbath and the day of Saturn were even at that time the same day.
The Field Research Service will be happy to learn of other important statements which can be placed in the photostat collection, for issuance to our workers. It is desired to make the service as effective as possible.