The Truth About Sunday Observance
God has made the fourth commandment a ‘test’ command. Obedience to it is the ‘one’ great distinguishing sign separating true Christians. Here are the candid admissions of Protestant and Catholic clergymen. These confessions bring to light the doubts and frank admissions of the clergy regarding their utter ‘lack of Bible authority for the observance of Sunday’… Most Christians profess that one must ‘obey’ God. But they do not agree as to just what constitutes obedience to God. Yet Jesus explained exactly what obedience means.
Jesus Christ specifically said that He didn’t come to abolish or destroy the law or the prophets -He came to fulfill, that is, to do to the fullest, to “fill full.” He told the rich young ruler: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Matt. 19. The verses following show that He referred to the ten commandments.
The New Testament plainly shows that we are still to keep the Ten Commandments. Where, then, do men get the authority to change the fourth commandment by substituting Sunday in the place of the original Sabbath which Christ and the Apostles kept? The answer to this question will astound you!
Here are the theologians confessions.You will be amazed!
What was the first law made to enforce Sunday? “Chamber’s Encyclopedia,” 1882 ed., Vol. VIII, p. 401, art: “Sabbath,” declares: “By none of the Fathers before the fourth century is it [the first day] identified with the Sabbath; nor is the duty of observing it grounded by them either on the fourth commandment or on the precept or example of Christ or His apostles.
Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the Sabbatical observance of that day [Sunday] is known to have been ordained, is the edict of Constantine, 321 A.D., of which the following is a translation: ‘Let all judges, inhabitants of the cities, and artificers, rest on the venerable day of the sun. But in the country, husbandmen may freely and lawfully apply to the business of agriculture; since it often happens that the sowing of corn and the planting of vines cannot be so advantageously performed on any other day.’”
Notice what the world-famous “Britannica” admits: “The earliest recognition of the observance of Sunday as a legal duty," admits the “Encyclopedia Britannica,” 11th ed., Vol. 26, p. 95, art. “Sunday,” “is a constitution of Constantine in 321 A.D., enacting that all courts of justice, inhabitants of towns and workshops were to be at rest on Sunday (venerabili die solis), with an exception in favour of those engaged in agricultural labour.”
There is the first law made to enforce Sunday! Here is what the “Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge,” Vol. IV, pp. 2259-60, art. “Sunday” says: “Sunday (dies solis, of the Roman calendar, ‘day of the sun’, because dedicated to the sun), the first day of the week, was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship …it was called the ‘Lord’s Day’ … no regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament, not indeed, is its observance even enjoined. In the second century its observance was universal … The Lord’s Day (Sunday) was not a continuation of the Jewish (or God’s) Sabbath, which was also at first observed, but a substitute for it.”
So it was not until the second century after Christ that Sunday observance became general, and it was not until 321 A.D. that it was enforced by State decree! Most Catholics and Protestants would like to assume that the Sabbath law was changed either by command or by example in the New Testament. But this is not true! You will not find one single verse authorizing a change from Saturday to Sunday.
On page 15, Vol. IV of “Clifton Tracts” (a Catholic work) we read, “We Catholics, then have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy, instead of Saturday, as we have for every other article of our creed; namely, the authority of ‘the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth’; whereas, You who are Protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for it in the bible, and you will not allow that there can be authority for it anywhere else.
Both you and we do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be part of God’s Word, and the church to be its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; You (Protestants) follow it, denouncing it (tradition) all the time as “fallible and treacherous guide, which often makes the commandment of God of none effect.”
T. Enright, a Catholic Priest, while president of Redemptorist Fathers College made the following statement in 1893 in a lecture delivered at Des Moines, Iowa: ‘’There is but one Church on the face of the earth which has power, to make laws binding on the conscience, binding before God, binding under pain of hell fire. For instance, the institution of Sunday.
What right has any other church to keep this day? You [Protestants] answer by virtue of the third [according to old editions of the Douay Bible] commandment, which says, ‘Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day!’ But Sunday is not the Sabbath. Any school boy knows that Sunday is the first day of the week.I have repeatedly offered one thousand dollars to anyone who will prove by the bible alone that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep and no one has called for the money.
It was the Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday, the seventh day, to Sunday the first day of the week. Which church does the whole civilized world obey? The Bible says: ‘Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day,’ but the Catholic Church says, ‘No, keep the first day of the week,’ and all the world bows down in reverent obedience to the mandates of the Catholic Church.
And now I quote from the Catholic “Doctrinal Catechism,” pages 101, 174, 351-355: “Question — Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept? Answer — Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her – she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no scriptural authority.
Question — When Protestants do profane work upon Saturday, or the seventh day of the week,do they follow the scripture as the only rule of their faith – do they find this permission clearly laid down in the sacred volume? Answer — On the contrary,they have only the authority of tradition for this practice. In profaning Saturday, they violate one of God’s commandments, whch he has never clearly abrogated, ‘Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.’”
Yes, just who changed (or at least,claimed to change) the fourth commandment? Who thought to change the Sabbath from Saturday (the seventh day) to Sunday (the first day)? The answer is shockingly clear to those who aren’t afraid of thetruth. History, as we have seen, reveals that it was the Emperor Constantine the Great, who made the first law which actually began to force the world to keep Sunday, and to break the Sabbath of God. And remember, Constantine was an unbaptized pagan sun-worshipper until the time of his death. On his death-bed he supposedly “embraced the Catholic faith.”
But how did Christian professing churches of this world come to adopt Sunday as their Sabbath instead of the Sabbath of God? Here’s how! Satan, the Devil, the Great Deceiver, has deceived this whole world (Rev. 11:9).This was quite easy for him to do for, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9). The Devil, then, has played upon the deceptive heart-strings ofhuman nature in order to trick mankind into accepting a counterfeit day in the place of the Holy Sabbath of God.
Here, then, is how the Christian-professin churches of this world came to observe Sunday. Admittedly, the Catholic Church existed before the Protestant churches. And it was the Catholic Church which bowed to Constantine’s dictum to observe Sunday in the place of the Sabbath, and she later bequeathed this day to her protesting daughters. Just listen to the following compelling testimonies to this historically proven fact!First, let us go to the Catholic Church to see what she has to say on this subject: In the August 26, 1900, issue of the “Catholic Press,” of Sydney, Australia, we read: “Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles … From beginning to end of the Scriptures there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day (Saturday) of the week to the first (Sunday)."
Here is an interesting comment from Cardinal Gibbon’s book, “Faith of Our Fathers,” 110th ed., p. 89: “You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The scriptures enforce the religios observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” September 23, 1893, Cardinal Gibbons also made this statement in the “Catholic Mirror:”
“The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday ….the Christian Sabbath (Sunday) is, therefore, to this day, the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic Church as the spouse of the Holy Ghost, without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world.”
Return to Chapters
Waiter Drum, S. J., of Woodstock College, Maryland, challenges (on pp. 230-232 of “The Ecclesiastical Review,” Feb., 1914, Vol. 50, No. 2): “The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of the Sabbath observance. The prescriptions of Gen. 2:2, 3 in regard to the Sabbath have nothing whatever to do with the law of the church about Sunday, the Lord’s day.
Catholics should observe the law of the church, not by the Old Testament observances of the Sabbath, nor by the dictates of Protestants or of Jews, but by the prescription of the church herself. The author of the Sunday law is the only one who has a right to interpret that law; and that author is the Catholic Church” And on page 236 he states, “They (the Protestants) deem it their duty to keep the Sunday Holy. Why? — Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason.
One more statement from the Catholics before turning to Protestant sources. I now quote from pages 3 and 4 of “The Library of Christian Doctrine,” by Burns and Gates of London, art. ‘Why Don’t You Keep the Sabbath Day?’:"You [Protestants] will tell me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday.Changed! But by whom? Who has the authority to change an express commandment of Almight God? When God has spoken and said, ‘Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day, who shall dare to say, ‘Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of worldly business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead!’ This is a most important question, which I know you can’t answer. If you are a Protestant and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only; how can you in so important a matter as the observance of a holy day, ‘go against the plain letter of the Bible’, and put another day in the place of that day which the Bible has commanded. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten Commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding: Who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered.”
The above testimony amply shows how the Catholics feel on this subject of who changed the Sabbath. They believe that the Catholic Church has power to make laws and to change the Word of God. But the Protestants are supposed to believe in no authority but the Bible.
Next, let us see what the Protestants have to say, or admit, on this important subject.“Some Baptists are fond of demanding a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ for everything and profess to accept nothing for which explicit authority cannot be produced from the word of God. Probably not a reader [meaning a Baptist] of this paragraph would be willing to follow this principle to its legitimate conclusion. It would involve the immediate return to Sabbath worship, the abolition of Sunday schools.” Quoted from the Baptist ‘Examiner,’ January 4, 1894
The following confession, by Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author of “The Baptist Manual,” was made before a New York Ministers’ Conference, Nov. 13th, 1893. To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it in some of its various aspects, freeing it from its false glosses, never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated early Christian history as a religious day, as we learn from the Christian fathers and other sources.
"But what a pity that it (Sunday) comes branded with the mark of paganism and christened with the name of the sun god, when adopted and sactioned by the Papal apostasy, and bequethed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!"
In this same article, read before this Baptist Conference, he went on to say: “Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, Where can the record of such a transaction (from seventh day to the first day) be found? Not in the New Testament, absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week." What an admission!
Now a quotation from the Luthern Church. “The observance of the Lord’s day (meaning Sunday)is not founded on any command of God, but on the authority of the church,” states the “Augsburg Confession,” part 2, chapter 1, sec. 10. Also we discover the following statement in Article 28 of the “Augsburg Confession”: “They [Catholics] allege the Sabbath changed into Sunday, the Lord’s day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it appears; neither is there any example more boasted of than the changing of the Sabbath Day. Great, say they, is the power and the authority of the (Catholic) church since it dispensed with one of the ten commandments."
Next, let us hear from a Presbyterian source, “The Christian at Work, ”and January, 1884. “Some have tried to build the observance of Sunday upon Apostolic command, where as the Apostles gave no command on the matter at all… The truth is, as soon as we appeal to the literal writing of the Bible, the Sabbatarians (Sabbath keepers) have the best of the argument."
Continuing: “We hear less than we used to about the apostolic origin of the present Sunday observance, and for the reason that while the Sabbath and Sabbath rest are woven into the warp and woof of Scripture, it is now seen, as it is admitted, that we must go to later than Apostolic times for the establishment of Sunday observance."And what have the Methodists to offer? Notice! From “A Theological Dictionary,” by Mr. Charles Buck, a Methodist Minister, art., “Sabbath,” page 403: “Sabbath in the Hebrew language signifies rest, and is the seventh day of the week … and it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day."
Alexander Campbell (of the Christian Church) made the following statement in the Washington (Pennsylvania), “Reporter,” on October 8, 1821. “I do not believe that the Lord’s day came in the room of the Jewish Sabbath, or that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh to the first day, for this plain reason, that where there is no testimony, there can be no faith."
"Now there is no testimony in all the oracles of heaven that the Sabbath was changed, or that the Lord’s day came in the room of it … There is no divine testimony that the Lord’s day came in the room of it; therefore, there can be no divine faith that the Sabbath was changed or that the Lord’s day came in the room of it."
The Church of England (in one of its catechisms) makes the following statements, “And where are we told in scripture that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day … The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church, has enjoined it.” That is from “Plain Sermons on the Catechism,” by Mr. Isaac Williams, D.D., Vol. I, pp. 334-36. London : Rivingtons, 1882.
That is quite an admission! But now what does “The Christian Sabbath,” by N. W. Rice, D.D., (Presbyterian) p. 60, have to say about the CHANGE of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day? Dr. Rice says: “There is no record, no express command, authorizing this change.” Dr. Lyman Abbott in Christian Union,”Jan. 19, 1882, has to confess: “The current notion that Christ and his Apostles authoritatively substituted the first day for the seventh, is absolutely without any authority in the New Testament."
This congregationalist writer, Dr. Abbott, is quite frank in his admission and so is this statement from another “Congregationalist Minister,” Mr. Grin Fowler, A.M. “There is no command in the Bible requiring us to observe the first day of the week as the Christian sabbath.” — “Mode and Subjects of Baptism:” by Mr. Orin Fowler.
William Prynne in his “Dissertation of the Lord’s Day,” pages 33, 34, 44 (1633) says, “The seventh-day Sabbath was . . .solemnized by Christ, the Apostles, and primitive Christians, till the Laodicean council did in a manner quite abolish it… The Council of Laodicea (about 364 A.D.) … first settled the observance of the Lord’s day, and prohibited … the keeping of the Jewish Sabbath under an anathema.”
The Lord’s Day was merely an ecclesiastical institution. It was not introduced by virtue of the fourth commandment, because they for almost three hundred years together kept that day which was in that (the fourth) commandment.” The Sabbath Day.
The renowned preacher, Henry Ward Beecher, made the following statement: “There is no direct command on the subject of observing Sunday. The only obligation resting upon us to observe Sunday is that which comes up through our nature.”From “Bible Studies,”p.242, by Henry Ward Beecher.
Here is also a final admission: “The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday.” From “The History of Christian Religion and Church,” Neander, page 186, translated by Henry John Rose, D.D.
There are many more confessions which could be added to this list, both Catholic and Protestant. But the above list will suffice to prove that Sunday-observance was not instituted in the New Testament, but was instituted by Constantine the Great in 321 A.D., and enforced by the Catholic Church at the Council of Laodicea about 364 A.D.] — and the Catholic Church bequeathed this pagan first day of the week, wrapped up in a Sunday wrapper, to the Protestant churches — her daughters!
Sometimes an atheist or agnostic dares to put in plain words the real reason why he cannot accept the teachings of the churches. Did you know why Ingersoll was an agnostic? Here is one reason — found in his book, “Some Mistakes of Moses”, 1892, New York : C. P. Farrell, tenth ed., Chapter XIV, page 106. He says: “Since the establishment of the Christian religion, The Day (the Sabbath) has been changed, and Christians do not regard the day as holy upon which God actually rested and which He sanctified. The Christian Sabbath, or the Lord’s Day was legally established by the murderer Constantine, because upon that day Christ was supposed to have risen from the dead.
It is not easy to see where Christians got the right to disregard the direct command of God, to labour on the day he sanctifies, and keeps as sacred, a day upon which he commanded men to labour. The Sabbath of God is Saturday, and if any day is to be kept Holy, that is the one, and not the Sunday of the Christian."
Do you now see why there are so many infidels? The veritable Babylon of hundreds of competitive religious bodies and conflicting teachings, has led many into rank atheism. If people would only accept and obey the plain teachings of the Bible, including Sabbath keeping, infidelity would vanish from the earth!How grateful are we for the knowledge of this truth? Raymond McNair. Free Library Copy
Please Note: The following is not part of the article above.
History reveals that it was decades after the death of the apostles that a politico-religious system repudiated the Sabbath of Scripture and substituted the observance of the first day of the week. The following quotations, all from Roman Catholic sources, freely acknowledge that there is no Biblical authority for the observance of Sunday, that it was the Roman Church that changed the Sabbath to the first day of the week.
In the second portion of this booklet are quotations from Protestants. Undoubtedly all of these noted clergymen, scholars, and writers kept Sunday, but they all frankly admit that there is no Biblical authority for a first-day sabbath. Return to Chapters
James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89. ‘But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”
Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p. 174. “Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept? Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her-she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.”
John Laux , A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies (1 936), vol. 1, P. 51.
“Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His Church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days as holy days.”
Daniel Ferres, ed., Manual of Christian Doctrine (1916), p. 67. “Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days? “Answer. By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of, and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church.’
James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921), in a signed letter. “Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day – Saturday- for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes. Did Christ change the day’? I answer no! Faithfully yours, J. Card. Gibbons”
The Catholic Mirror, official publication of James Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893,“The Catholic Church, . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.” Catholic Virginian Oct. 3, 1947 , p. 9, art. “To Tell You the Truth.” “For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.”
Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957), p. 50.
Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”
Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About (1927), p.136.“Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday …. Now the Church … instituted, by God’s authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made. We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday.”
Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society (1975), Chicago, Illinois.Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:
1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.
2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.
“It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible.”
T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas,Feb.18,1884.
I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.”
Protestant theologians and preachers from a wide spectrum of denominations have been quite candid in admitting that there is no Biblical authority for observing Sunday as a sabbath.
Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, vol. 1, pp. 334, 336. “And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day…. The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it.”
Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments, pp. 52, 63, 65.There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday …. into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters…. The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday.”
Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday.We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church.”
Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a New York ministers’ conference, Nov. 13, 1893, reported in New York Examiner, Nov. 16, 1893. “There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week …. Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament absolutely not.
“To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question. ..never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history…. But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!”
William Owen Carver, The Lord’s Day in Our Day, p. 49.
“There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance.”
Dr. R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York : Eaton & Mains), p. 117-119. “ … it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath — ‘Me Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday …. There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday.”
Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended (1823), Ser. 107, vol. 3, p. 258… the Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the Sabbath.”
Disciples of Christ
Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824, vol. 1. no. 7, p. 164.
“’But,’ say some, ‘it was changed from the seventh to the first day.’ Where? when? and by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is all old wives’ fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage changed it who changes times and laws ex officio – I think his name is Doctor Antichrist.’
First Day Observance, pp. 17, 19. The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change.”
The Sunday Problem, a study book of the United Lutheran Church (1923), p. 36.
“We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian Church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both.”
Augsburg Confession of Faithart. 28; written by Melanchthon, approved by Martin Luther, 1530; as published in The Book of Concord of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Henry Jacobs, ed. (1 91 1), p. 63. “They [Roman Catholics] refer to the Sabbath Day, as having been changed into the Lord’s Day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it seems. Neither is there any example whereof they make more than concerning the changing of the Sabbath Day. Great, say they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments!”
Dr. Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian Religion and Church Henry John Rose, tr. (1843), p. 186. The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday.”
John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday, pp. 15, 16.
“But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel …. These churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect.”
Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942, p. 26. “Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day.”
John Wesley, The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., John Emory, ed. ( New York : Eaton & Mains), Sermon 25, vol. 1, p. 221. “But, the moral law contained in the ten commandments, and enforced by the prophets, he [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of his coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken …. Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other.”
Dwight L. Moody,Weighed and Wanting (Fleming H. Revell Co.: New York), pp. 47, 48.The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word ‘remember,’ showing that the Sabbath already existed when God Wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?
T. C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp.474, 475. “The Sabbath is a part of the decalogue — the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution…Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand…The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath.”
Author unknown, Free Library Copy
In accordance with Sec 107 of Chapter 1 of Title 17 of US Copyright Law, this material is distributed
without charge or other commercial interest for the purposes of comment, teaching, scholarship and review.
U.S. British Future, P.O. Box 4877, Oceanside, Ca. 92052. U.S.A.
AmericaAndBritainsFuture.com also US-BritishFuture.com