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Title: The Constitutional Amendment: or, The Sunday, the Sabbath, the Change, and Restitution - A discussion between W. H. Littlejohn, Seventh-day - Adventist, and the editor of the Christian Statesman
Author: Littlejohn, Wolcott H.
Language: English
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                            AND RESTITUTION.


                        THE SUNDAY, THE SABBATH,


                        CHANGE, AND RESTITUTION.

                          A DISCUSSION BETWEEN


                                AND THE


                              STEAM PRESS
                          BATTLE CREEK, MICH.:


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by the


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


As it has been thought best that the following articles, which, with the
exception of the Replies and Rejoinders, have already been published in
the _Christian Statesman_, the _Sabbath Recorder_, and the _Advent
Review_, should have a still wider circulation, it has been at last
decided to present them to the public in the form of the present volume.

The occasion of their first appearance was as follows: Within the last
few years, a party has been organized in this country, whose especial
aims are the amendment of the Constitution, so that the names of God and
Christ may appear in it; the recognition in the same instrument of the
Bible as the fountain of national law; the securing of the reading of
the Bible in the common schools; and the enforcement by law of the
observance of Sunday, as the Christian Sabbath. Slowly, but steadily,
the friends of this movement are bringing it to the public notice and
enlarging the circle of its active supporters. A single glance at the
existing state of affairs reveals the fact that, at no distant date, the
issues which these men are making up will be the ones over which
contending parties will wage fierce contest. Already the press of the
country, by the drift of events which they find themselves incapable of
controlling, are compelled, almost daily, to record transactions which
are not only calling the attention of the people to a conflict which is
both imminent and irrepressible, but which are also continually adding
fuel to a flame which even now burns with a fierceness and volume
indicative of its future scope and power.

In view of these facts, the writer of the subjoined articles, while
taking no particular interest in party politics, merely as such,
nevertheless felt a profound conviction that the time had come, in the
providence of God, when Christian men should offer a solemn protest
against a state of affairs which, while ostensibly inaugurated in the
interest of the kingdom of Christ, will ultimately prove most
destructive of religious liberty. This, he therefore attempted to do,
purely from the stand-point of the Bible. Through the courtesy of the
editor of the _Christian Statesman_, which paper is the organ of the
amendment party, the first seven of the following communications were
permitted to appear in the columns of that periodical. Subsequently, the
editor of that paper felt it incumbent upon him to take issue with what
was thus published, and to answer the same in a series of editorial
articles. To these again, the author of the original communications
published a series of rejoinders, in defense of the positions assumed by
him in the outset, and in controversion of those of the reviewer. These
articles, the replies of the editor, and the rejoinders thereto, having
been grouped together in the present volume, are offered to a candid
public for serious consideration.

The reader will readily perceive that the whole discussion turns upon
the Sabbath question. Fortunately, also, he will discover that the
ground covered in the debate by the respective disputants is that
generally occupied by the classes of believers whom they represent.
Leaving him, therefore, to decide for himself as to which of the views
presented has the sanction of the divine mind, the writer of the present
preface can do no more than to give expression to his earnest desire
that the God of all truth will vouchsafe his Spirit for the illumination
of every mind which comes to the consideration of this subject with an
honest purpose to ascertain his will in the matter under consideration.

W. H. L.

_Allegan, Mich._

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

Article I. 5

Article II. 16

Article III. 28

Article IV. 36

Article V. 48

Article VI. 57

Article VII. 71

Explanatory Remarks. 86

Replies and Rejoiners. 87

Article I. 87

Rejoinder. 93

Article II. 107

Rejoinder. 116

Article III. 133

Rejoinder. 139

Article IV. 154

Rejoinder. 161

Article V. 177

Rejoinder. 182

Article VI. 202

Rejoinder. 207

Article VII. 225

Rejoinder. 231

Article VIII. 254

Rejoinder. 261

Article IX. 280

Rejoinder. 287

Article X. 313

Rejoinder. 321

Article XI. 351

Rejoinder. 355

Index of Points Discussed. 379

                               ARTICLE I.

One of the marked features of our time is the tendency toward the
discussion of the Sabbath question. Nor can this subject be treated with
more indifference in the future than it is at the present. Agitation,
ceaseless, unrelenting, excited, and finally severe, is rendered certain
by the temper of all the parties to the controversy. On the one hand,
the friends of Sunday observance are dissatisfied with the laxity of the
regard which is paid it, and are loud in their demands for statutory
relief; denouncing upon the nation the wrath of God, in unstinted
measure, should their petition be set at naught. On the other hand, the
enemies of the Sabbath institution, in all of its phases, are becoming
bold in their protestations against a legalized Sabbath, as something
extremely oppressive and inexpressibly intolerable in its very nature.

In all parts of the country, activity characterizes the camps of both
these contending hosts. Everywhere the elements of strength—hitherto
unorganized, and inefficient to the accomplishment of great results
because of that fact—are being brought out and employed in effective

Cincinnati, Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, in their turn,
become the theaters where the skirmish lines of future combatants, on a
larger scale, are brought into occasional collision. The ordinary
appliances of dinners, processions, national and State conventions,
city, town, and district societies, are rapidly becoming the order of
the day, while those who are brought within the range of their influence
are stimulated and aroused, on the one hand, by earnest appeals to the
Bible and religion, and on the other, to natural rights and individual
conscience. So far has the matter now proceeded, so much has already
been said, so fully has the contest been opened, that retrogression
means defeat to either the one or the other party. And as to compromise,
this can never be attained, from the fact that the position from which
both parties are now seeking to emerge is that of toleration. Why, says
the ardent advocate of the Sunday law, it is not sufficient that I
observe the day of rest with strictness and fidelity in my own family. I
owe a duty to the public; I am a member of a great Commonwealth, which
God treats as a personality, and if I do not see to it that the statute
laws of the land are in harmony with, and enforce the requirements of,
the law of God, this nation, like all others which have ignored their
obligation to legalize and enforce his will in matters of this nature,
will be devoted to a ruin for which I shall be accountable, and in which
I shall be a sharer. Moved by such considerations as these, his purse is
open and his labors untiring for the accomplishment of that which now
appears to him to be in the line of both individual interest and
religious duty.

Again, his neighbor across the way being, perhaps, of the free-thinking
order, and an ardent admirer of the complete separation of Church and
State, wonders that he has so long consented to that abridgment of his
personal liberty which has been made by statutory provision, and which
has hitherto compelled him to surrender much of what he calls natural
right to the whims and caprices of those with whom he differs so widely
on all questions bearing upon the relation of man to his God.
Henceforth, says he, I pledge my means, my influence, and my untiring
effort, to a revolution which, if need be, shall shake society to its
very center, rather than to consent to the legalized perpetuation of an
institution which requires on my part an acknowledgment of a faith which
I have never held, and of doctrines which I detest.

Of course, all do not share alike, either in the enthusiasm or the
animosity which characterizes certain individuals when entering upon a
conflict like the one in question. In every party is found more or less
of the aggressive and the conservative elements. Especially is this true
in the incipient stages of its history. Some men are necessarily more
earnest than are others in everything which they undertake. Some are
bold, headlong, defiant; others, cautious, slow, and timid. One class
leaps to its conclusions first, and looks for its arguments afterward;
the other moves circumspectly, and, while it gives a general assent to
the desirability of results, finds a world of trouble in deciding upon
what means ought to be employed in securing them. One is forever foaming
because of delay, and fears defeat as the result of hesitation; while
the other protests against too rapid and ill-considered action.

Such is, at present, the condition more especially of the positive side
of the Sunday movement in this country. The strong men and the weak men,
the resolute men and the undecided men, are struggling for the mastery
of the policy in the camp. One sort discovers no difficulties in the way
of immediate and complete success. Lead us to the front, say they, our
cause is just, and all that is necessary to success is the courage and
inspiration of battle. But hold, say the others, not too fast; public
sentiment is not prepared for the issue. And besides, we are not so
clear in our minds as are you respecting the lengths to which this
controversy should be carried, and the line of argument which ought to
be pursued. Why, say the first, what need can there be of more delay?
Nothing is more manifest than the means which we ought to employ for the
accomplishment of our purpose. Our work is simply that of enforcement.
Has not God said in so many words, in the decalogue, “Six days shalt
thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of
the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work”? Is not this
language explicit? Is it not a part of that law which nearly all
Christians acknowledge to be binding? Do we not enforce the observance
of the remaining commandments by statutory provision? And is it not
equally clear that this should be treated in like manner? Why delay,
then? Why not move upon the enemy’s works with the inspiring battle-cry
of “God in the Constitution?” Why not at once clamor for the amendment
of that instrument, and for the passage of statutes by which the better
observance of the Christian Sabbath can be secured? Give us these, and
our victory is won. Our Sunday mails, and trains, and travel, and public
amusements of every name and nature, can be removed at a single stroke.
As a result, the nation will stand higher in the estimation of God; and
the people, having acknowledged his supremacy, will have taken a long
step in the direction of final renovation and conversion.

But wait, says another, not too fast in matters of so great moment.
Please bear in mind the fact that this contest is to be one of words and
arguments. Your danger is that of underrating the capacity and
intelligence of our opponents. If you expect to meet them successfully,
it must be by a logic which will bear criticism and examination.

As an individual, I am by no means certain that the Bible authority for
our movement is so clear and abundant as you seem to imagine.

The law which you quote in justification of our course is truly a
Sabbath law, and its import is unmistakable; but, unfortunately, instead
of making for our cause, it is diametrically opposed to your efforts,
and plainly declares that the _seventh day_ of the week is the Sabbath
of the Lord, whereas you are unmistakably occupying before the world a
position no less awkward than that of insisting that the first, and not
the seventh, is the one which should be enforced by legal enactment.
While, therefore, I am in full sympathy with the general purposes of
this movement, I am convinced that, before we shall succeed, we must
rest it upon a different basis than the fourth commandment. So far as my
individual preferences go—in order to avoid the difficulties which lie
along the line of Scripture justification for our conduct—I suggest that
we rest it upon the broad principle of social necessity, relying for our
success upon the generally conceded fact that _rest_ upon one day in
seven is indispensable to the well-being of individuals and communities.

But, says a third party, while I agree with you in condemning the
proposition that the fourth commandment, as originally given, furnishes
us warrant for the observance of the first day of the week, I can never
consent to the idea of its unconditional repeal; for without it in some
form we are entirely without a Sabbath law; a condition of things which
would be deplorable indeed. I therefore conclude that that law has been
brought over into our dispensation, and so far changed as to adapt it to
the enforcement of the observance of the first day of the week,
agreeably to the example of Christ and the apostles. With this view, I
can safely predict power and triumph for the grand scheme upon which we
have entered. Give us a Sabbath of divine appointment and backed by a
sacred precept, and victory is certain. But so sure as we lower the
controversy to one which is merely corporeal in its nature and results,
and pecuniary in its considerations, defeat is written upon our banners,
since you have taken from us all the inspiration of the contest, and
dried up the very springs of our enthusiasm and courage.

What the final result of such discussions will be, there is little room
for doubt. That a revolution is fairly inaugurated in the minds of the
people, it is now too late to question. What remains to be done,
therefore, is simply to execute the grand purpose for which it has been

That this cannot be accomplished by a merely negative policy, has been
illustrated too many times in history to require further demonstration.
Men, having once entered the field of conflict, universally become less
and less scrupulous in regard to the means employed to secure the
desired object. In the primary meetings of a great movement, the voice
of the conservative may be listened to with attention and respect; but
should he give expression to the same prudent counsel upon the battle
field, when the sword of the enemy is red with the blood of his
compatriots, his utterances would be silenced in a storm of indignation
such as would threaten his very existence, and consign his name to the
list of those whose fidelity was at least questionable, and whose
sympathy with the common foe was far from being impossible.

So, likewise, with the half-way men in this incipient struggle, which is
about to throw open the gates of controversy upon one of those religious
questions which, above all others, is sure to be characterized, first,
by uncharitableness, and finally, by bitter hate and animosity. With
each advancing month, their hold upon the confidence of their associates
will grow less and less, and the counsels of their party will come more
and more fully under the control of those positive, nervous spirits, who
are swept along by convictions so deep and strong that they will bear
down everything before them.

Nevertheless, candid reader, it is by no means certain that there may
not be much of truth in the positions assumed by the more moderate men
in the existing issue. At all events—since we have not as yet entered
into that impassioned state of the public mind from which calm
deliberation is banished by the necessity of immediate action—let us
pause here for a moment, and carefully weigh the correctness of the
suggestions presented above.

Is it worth the while to enter the lists in the approaching struggle, in
order to secure the results proposed?

I say proposed, because, of course, the result is as yet more or less
uncertain; nevertheless, we incline to the opinion that the end desired
will be substantially realized, so far as appearance is concerned. Yet
this will not be brought about in a moment, nor will it be accomplished
without a hard fight. It must, from the very necessity of the case, be a
contest which will enter, divide, and distract families, and which will
alienate a large portion of the community from the other. But, with a
united and well-drilled ministry, on the one band, backed by the compact
organization of their respective churches, and opposed by a
heterogeneous mass of discordant elements, there can be little doubt as
to final success.

First, then, let us suppose that the policy inaugurated shall be that of
the class represented above as desiring to strip the subject of its
religious garb, and to array it in the habiliments of mere policy and
temporal considerations. Are the benefits reasonably to be expected from
such a course such as would warrant the enthusiasm now manifested by the
advocates of the proposed reformation? We believe not. In fine, so
certain are we of it, that we should not hesitate to predict immediate
and perfect paralysis to their efforts, so soon as they should inscribe
this doctrine upon their banners. How many of the gentlemen in question
are really so profoundly interested in the social status of the
working-man that their zeal in his behalf could be wrought up to the
point of sacrificing time and money, and of devoting voice and pen to
the mere work of giving him a septenary day of physical rest? What
satisfaction would be afforded them by the reflection that, as the
result of legal enactment, the carefully appointed police in our great
cities should be able to meet each other on the boundary lines of their
respective beats, on the morning of Sunday, with the accustomed
salutation, All is quiet! and cessation from labor is complete in all
parts of the great metropolis? Who would highly prize a coerced rest of
this sort? What particular gratification would be afforded to the
religious world, as they gather, in their costly churches, by the
thought that the great mass of the people were quietly sleeping, or
lazily lounging in the various places of their retirement? Certainly
there is nothing in such a state of things which offers results
sufficiently desirable either to reward them for the great sacrifices
with which it would be necessary that they should be purchased, in the
first instance, or to secure that patient continuance in vigilant
perseverance which would be required to insure the perpetuity of an
order of things at once so compulsory and so precarious. We say,
therefore, that to rest the contest upon this issue would be simply to
falsify the facts. It is not the physical consideration of rest, in any
large degree, which animates the mind and strengthens the resolve of
those engaged in the newly organized reform. No; there is something
behind all this. The informing soul, that which electrifies, stimulates,
and nerves to action, is the profound conviction that this is a
religious movement; that which is sought is the honoring of God by the
observance of a Sabbath such as is found in his word. If this be not so,
if the higher idea of Christian worship as the primary one is not
paramount in this matter, then the whole thing is a farce, from
beginning to end. Not only so; if what is sought is merely the
improvement of bodily condition, then the plan suggested is, in many
cases, far from being the best which might be offered. Take, if you
please, our over-populated cities, with the dense masses of human beings
who are there crowded together, under most unfavorable circumstances,
many of them perishing for lack of pure air, and others pale and sickly
for want of exposure to the vivifying rays of the sun, which is
continually shut out from their gaze by the massive piles of masonry by
which they are inclosed; who will not say that, leaving the spiritual
out of consideration, and setting aside the idea of the sanctity of the
day, it would be a blessing incalculably greater for them, should
provision be made whereby this should become to them a day of
recreation, while wandering amid flowers, and over hills, and through
groves, instead of one in which, either from necessity or choice, they
should still perpetuate the confinement which has already nearly proved
fatal in their cases?

                              ARTICLE II.

Turning from the secular phase of this subject, let us regard it for a
moment from the religious stand-point.

Is there anything in the purpose itself which is worthy of the cost at
which alone it can be realized? In other words, since the object aimed
at is ostensibly that of bringing the nation up to the point of a
general regard for the first day of the week as a Sabbath, would such a
result be one which should be profoundly desired?

We reply that this will depend altogether upon circumstances. In this
case, as in the first, mere cessation from labor on that day, which is
not prompted by a regard for the will and approval of Jehovah, could
afford no relief to a nation, which is seeking to avert divine
displeasure since there is no element in the act itself calculated to
recommend it to the favor of Heaven. To illustrate: The individual
sentenced to solitary confinement in the State’s Prison is precluded
from the possibility of laboring on the Sunday; will any one therefore
argue that there is any merit in his inaction on that day? Again: The
heathen nations, in common with the majority of the Christian world,
have many of them regarded the Sunday as a sacred day; should we
presume, therefore, that they are looked upon by the Almighty more
complacently on this account? You answer, No; and urge, as a reason for
this reply, that they have been engaged in a false worship, and have not
been actuated by any regard for the true God. Where, then, is the line?
Manifestly, right here: The men who honor God by the keeping of any day
must be prompted by the conviction that they are doing it in strict and
cheerful obedience to a divine command.

Here, then, is the crucible in which we will try the metal of this
modern movement. If, when their grand design shall be accomplished—as
the result of many labors and toils—and, even though before their
purpose is attained, it shall be found necessary for them to reach their
object through a conflict intensely bitter and impassioned on the part
of the opposition, we shall witness the spectacle of a nation bowing
submissively to the _law_ and _will_ of _God_ in the humble and fervent
observance of a weekly rest of _divine appointment_, it will be the
grandest triumph which history has recorded. No treasure of gold—we were
about to say no sacrifice of life—would be too great a price to pay for
so glorious a victory. Let it be understood, however, that this must be
a voluntary and intelligent worship on the part, at least, of the mass
of the people.

But will this be true, should our friends compass the great object of
their ambition? Let us inquire once more after their intentions. What is
it they advocate? The answer is, A universal regard for the first day of
the week, as the Sabbath of the Lord.

But what is the authority upon which the majority of them rest their
argument for the proposed observance? Is it merely pecuniary advantage?
No, say they, it is out of a sincere regard for the God of Heaven, and a
conscientious desire to fulfill his law. But this implies religious
duty. So far, so good. It also clearly sets forth the fact that God has
a law, and a Sabbath which it enforces. The appeal, therefore, must
inevitably be to that law, as the proper instrument from which to
instruct the people.

To that they must be brought, again and again. Its import must be
patiently taught, its sacredness must be thoroughly inculcated. Let them
but be satisfied by _sound logic_ that the divine statute is explicit in
its demands for a strict observance of the first day of the week, let
them be thoroughly educated into the idea that they are under its
jurisdiction, and let them be instructed that this whole movement
proceeds upon this religious conviction, and you have laid a foundation
which will uphold a structure of imposing dimensions and enduring
character, the cornerstone whereof is the fear of God, and an
acknowledgment of his presence in the affairs of men. But how is it in
the case in question? Is the commandment of a nature such as to support,
in every particular, the tenets presented by the reform under
consideration? This is really the vital point. Let it speak for itself.
It is the fourth of the decalogue which is urged: “Remember the Sabbath
day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work;
but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt
not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant,
nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within
thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and
all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord
blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” If this is not a Sabbath law,
then there is none in existence; for, _mark it_, this is the only
instance in all the Scriptures in which it will be claimed by any one
that we have a positive command for the observance of the Sabbath. So
far, therefore, as the first day of the week is concerned, its friends
have this advantage, that, if they but succeed in resting it upon this
commandment, their labor is ended; for it—_i. e._, the commandment—has
no rival. All that is needed, consequently, is a clear, pointed exegesis
showing that the day in question is the one, the observance of which the
divine Lawgiver has required. But, unfortunately, such an exegesis would
be beset with difficulties. To begin with, Who shall be able to
harmonize the declaration which the commandment contains in these words,
“The _seventh day_ is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt
not do any work,” with the utterance of those who, on the contrary, say
that the _first day_ is the Sabbath of the Lord, and must be observed as
such? The divine Lawgiver—as if determined that there shall be no room
for debate in regard to the day which he had in his mind—has identified
it in a manner such as to leave no room for dispute. In the first place,
he announces his willingness that six days of the week should be devoted
to secular employment, “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:”
then follows the disjunctive, “but—the seventh day is the Sabbath of the
Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.” Here it is made plain
that it is the “Sabbath of the Lord” upon which we are to rest. Again,
passing over the intermediate space, we come to the close of the
commandment, in which he sets forth three important transactions by
which that was constituted the Sabbath, and by which it may ever be
recognized. He says, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore
the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” That is, the day
which we are to keep as the Sabbath of the Lord is the one upon which he
_rested_, which he _blessed_, and which he _hallowed_. Therefore, before
the first day of the week can, with any show of reason, be kept in
fulfillment of this commandment, _i. e._, before it can be regarded as
the “Sabbath of the Lord,” it must be shown that, at some time, God has
rested upon it, blessed, and hallowed it. But this would be a difficult
task; for not only are the Scriptures silent, so far as the affirmation
of this fact is concerned with reference to the first day of the week,
but, on the contrary, they positively declare that it was the very day
upon which Jehovah _entered upon the stupendous undertaking of making a
world_. Should additional evidence be required on this point, _i. e._,
that the last day of the week, and not the first, is the one which
Jehovah intended to sanctify, we have but to cite the intelligent reader
to the fact that Moses, the prophets, the Lord himself, the holy women
after his death, and the whole Jewish nation—in whose language the
decalogue was given—are, and have been, unanimous in placing this
construction upon the Sabbatic law.

Should any, however, perceiving the dilemma into which they are thrown
by the effort to enforce their view in the use of the law, as it was
originally given, seek relief in the position that it was so far amended
in the days of Christ as to admit of the substitution of the day of his
resurrection for that of God’s rest at the end of creation week, we
reply, If such a fact can be clearly made out, it would certainly
furnish the very help which is needed just at this juncture, and without
which confusion must inevitably characterize the movements of those who
feel the necessity of a Sabbatic law for the keeping of Sunday.

Let us, therefore, carefully investigate this most important point. Is
it true that the Son of God did so change the phraseology of the
commandment of the Father that, from his time forward, its utterances
have not only justified the secularizing of the last, but have also
enforced, by the penalty of eternal death, a strictly religious regard
for the first day of the week, on the part of both the Jewish and the
Gentile world? Now this, if accomplished, was no trifling affair, and
could not have been done in a corner; since it involved the guilt or
innocence, the life or death, of countless millions of men and women,
whose condemnation in the day of Judgment for the violation of Sunday
sanctity would turn, of necessity, upon the words of one who both had
the power to change, and had brought the knowledge of that change
clearly before them. Certain it is, therefore—since God does not first
judge, and legislate afterward—all the light which is necessary for the
proper elucidation of this subject is now to be found in his written
word. To this, then, we turn; and with a profound conviction that the
language of Christ was true in its largest sense, “If any man will do
his will he shall know of the doctrine,”—we inquire, Where is it stated,
_in so many words_, that God made the amendment in question?

Should the response be returned, as it certainly must be, that such a
statement is not to be found within the lids of the Bible, we answer
that this is a concession which, most assuredly, will greatly embarrass
our friends in the proposed reform. Sagacious men will not be slow in
discovering its bearing upon the subject, and it will be very difficult
to explain such an omission to the satisfaction of cautious and
reflecting minds. Should it be suggested, however, that—notwithstanding
the fact the change has not been set forth in so many words—it has
nevertheless occurred, and is therefore binding, we answer: Although the
transaction upon the face of it, to say the least, would be a singular
one, if an alteration has really been made, the next thing to be
ascertained is its precise nature. We have already seen that the first
law was very explicit in its statements; and all are conversant with the
fact that to it was given the greatest publicity, and that it was
uttered by the voice, and written by the finger of God, under the most
imposing circumstances. Now, if Christ—whose power to do so we shall not
question here—has really undertaken the task of adding to, or taking
from, this most sacred precept, will some one furnish us with an
_authentic copy_ of the statute, as amended? Now this is a reasonable
and just request. To declare simply that a change has occurred, without
making known precisely what that change is, is but to bewilder and
confuse. Conscious of this fact, the State is always extremely careful
to give to its citizens—in the most public manner—every variation which
is made in its enactments, lest the loyal man should be incapable of
proving his fidelity by obedience, or the disloyal justify his violation
upon the plea of necessary ignorance. Shall man be more just than his
Maker? Shall Christ—who, in every other respect, has, in matters of
duty, furnished us with line upon line, and precept upon precept—be
found, at last, upon this most important point, to have been unmindful
of the highest interests of his followers? Most assuredly not. He that
never slumbereth nor sleepeth, He that knoweth the end from the
beginning, He who hath said, “Where there is no law there is no
transgression,” has certainly never required his people to occupy a
position in the face of their enemies so extremely embarrassing as that
in which they would be compelled to ignore the plainest dictates of
reason and Scripture, by seeking to condemn in the world a practice
which is not necessarily immoral in itself, and against which there is
no explicit denunciation of the Bible. Who, then, we inquire again, will
furnish us from the sacred page the precept so remodeled as to meet the
exigences of this case? Is it _larger_ or more _condensed_ than before?
Does the first clause read, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy?”
If so, it is well. Is the second in order expressed in these words, “Six
days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work?” This, again, is good. But
how is it with the third, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord
thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work?” Here, unquestionably, the
change must begin. Who among us, therefore, can produce the divine
warrant for a reading of this passage which shall make it harmonize with
the keeping of Sunday? Who dare declare, upon his veracity, that he has
ever discovered in the sacred word an instance in which it has been so
rewritten as to read, “But the _first_ day is the Sabbath of the Lord
thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work?”

Furthermore, passing over the instructions in regard to sons, daughters,
servants, the stranger, etc., what has the pen of the divine remodeler
done with the _reason_ of the commandment as found in the words, “For in
six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them
is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath
day, and hallowed it?” Has that been stricken out altogether? Or, is
there a glaring inconsistency in the remodeled statute, by which it is
made to state that the _first_ day of the week, instead of the
_seventh_, is now the Sabbath of the Lord our God, because of the fact
that, in the creation of the world, God rested upon, blessed, and
hallowed, the latter? These are weighty questions. Upon them, virtually,
turns the issue of an amended law. For, to amend, is so to change or
alter as to vary the duty of a subject; and if no one is capable of
informing definitely and particularly in regard to the precise
variations of the phraseology, then, of course, no one is able to decide
just how far our course of action should deviate from what it has been
hitherto, in order to meet the demands of the divine will as now
expressed, in a rule which has never been seen, and which no hand would
venture to trace with any claim to exactitude. Who, then, we inquire
again, is sufficient for this task? Not one among the millions of
Protestants who are so earnestly clamoring for the sanctity of the day
in question will seriously lay claim to the ability to perform that
which would at once elevate him to a position—in view of the relief
which it would bring to thousands of troubled minds—more exalted than
that of any saint or martyr who has ever lived.

Nor is this all; behind all this pretentious claim for an amended law
are very many indications of a wide-spread conviction—though undefined
and hardly recognized by the individuals themselves—that the fact upon
which they place so much stress is, after all, one in regard to which
there are serious doubts in their own minds. As an illustration of this,
we have but to call attention to two things. First, on each Lord’s day,
so-called, thousands of congregations—after devoutly listening to the
reading of the fourth commandment of the decalogue, word for word,
syllable for syllable, letter for letter, precisely as it was written
upon the table of stone by the finger of God—are in the habit of
responding with solemn cadence to the utterances of the preacher, “O
Lord, incline our hearts to keep this law.” Now this prayer means
something, or nothing. It is either an expression of desire, on the part
of those employing it, for grace to enable them rightly to observe the
commandment as it reads—seventh day and all—or else it is a solemn
mockery, which must inevitably provoke the wrath of Heaven. These
people, therefore, judging from the most charitable stand-point, are
witnesses—unconscious though they may be of the fact—of a generally
pervading opinion that the verbiage of the fourth commandment has not
been changed, and that it is as a whole as binding as ever. Second, nor
is it simply true that those only who have a liturgy have committed
themselves to this idea. It is astonishing to what extent it has crept
into creeds, confessions of faith, church disciplines, and documents of
a like nature. But among the most striking of all evidences of its
universality, when properly understood, is the practice of nearly all
religious denominations of printing, for general distribution among the
Sunday-school scholars, verbatim copies of the decalogue, as given in
the twentieth chapter of Exodus. Yet this practice would be a pernicious
one, and worthy of the most severe censure, as calculated to lead astray
and deceive the minds of the young, if it were really true that this
code, in at least one very important particular, failed to meet the
facts in the case, as it regards present duty.

In view of these considerations, a change of the base of operations
becomes indispensable. A commandment, altered in its expressions so as
to vary its import, and yet no one acquainted with the exact terms in
which it is at present couched—and all, in reality, being so skeptical
upon the point that even its most ardent advocates reason as if it had
never occurred—would certainly furnish a foundation altogether
insufficient for the mighty superstructure of a great reform, which
proposes, ere the accomplishment of its mission, to revolutionize the

                              ARTICLE III.

Where, then, shall we turn for relief? There is one, and but one, more

Acknowledging that the law, as originally given, will not answer the
purpose, and that its amendment cannot be made out with sufficient
clearness to warrant the taking of a stand upon it, we turn, for the
last time, to examine a position quite generally advanced; namely, that
of Sunday observance inaugurated, justified, and enforced, by the
resurrection and example of Christ. Is it true, then, that such is the
fact? Have we, at last, found relief from all our difficulties in the
life and career of no less a personage than the divine Son of God? Let
us see.

The point of the argument is briefly this:—

Our Lord—by rising from the dead, and by his practice of meeting with
his disciples on that day—both introduced, and made obligatory upon his
followers, the necessity of distinguishing between the first and the
remaining days of the week, as we would between the sacred and the
profane. Now, if this be a case which can be clearly made out, then we
are immediately relieved in one particular; that is, we have found
authority for the observance of the Sunday. But how is it as it regards
the seventh day? This, we have seen, was commanded by God the Father.
The obligation of that command is still recognized. Now, consequently,
if Christ the Son has, upon his own authority, introduced another day
immediately following the seventh, and clothed it with divine honors, is
it a necessary inference that the former is therefore set aside? To our
mind, it is far from being such. If God has a law for the observance of
a given day, and Christ has furnished us with an example for that of
another also, then the necessary conclusion is, that the first must be
kept out of respect for God the Father, and the last through reverence
to Christ the Son. Three facts, therefore, must be clearly made out, or
our situation is indeed one of perplexity.

First, it must be shown, authoritatively, that the resurrection effected
the change which is urged, and that the practice of Christ was what it
is claimed to have been.

Second, that that practice was designed to be exemplary; in other words,
that what he did in these particulars was of a nature such that we are
required to imitate it.

Third, it must also be shown that he not only sanctified the first, but,
also, that he secularized the seventh day of the week.

But can this be done? Let us see. First, then, we will consider the
matter of the resurrection. Now, that it was an event of surpassing
glory, and one ever to be held in grateful remembrance, there is no room
for dispute among Christians. But shall we, therefore, decide that it
must of necessity be commemorated by a day of rest? This would be
assuming a great deal. It seems to us that it would be better, far
better, to leave decisions of such importance as this entirely with the
Holy Spirit. Protestants, at least, warned by the example of Roman
Catholics, should avoid the danger of attempting to administer in the
matter of designating holy days; since, manifestly, this is alone the
province of God. Hence, we inquire, Has the Holy Ghost ever said that
the resurrection of Christ imparted a holy character to the day upon
which it occurred? The answer must, undeniably, be in the negative. No
such declaration is found in the Holy Word. Nor is this all; even from
the stand-point of human reason, every analogy is against it. It were
fitting that, when God had closed the work of creation, and ceased to
labor, he should appoint a day in commemoration of that rest. The
propriety of such a course, all can see. But, on the contrary, is it not
equally manifest that to have remained inactive on that glorious
morning, when the Son of God had burst the bands of death, and the news
was flying through all parts of the great city of Jerusalem, “Jesus has
risen to life again,” would have been a condition of things wholly out
of the question? Both the enemies and the friends of Christ—the one
class stimulated by hate, and the other released by the mighty power of
God from the overwhelming gloom and crushing despondency of three
terrible days—were, by the very necessities of the case, moved to action
by an energy which would cause them to overleap every barrier and to
break away from every restraint. Everything, everywhere, animated by the
new aspect which affairs had suddenly assumed, demanded immediate,
ceaseless, and untiring activity. And such it had. From the early
morning, until far into the hours of the succeeding night, scribe and
Pharisee, priest and Levite, believer and unbeliever, were hearing,
gathering, and distributing, all that could be learned of this most
mysterious event. We say, consequently, that so far is it from being
true that the day of the resurrection is one which should be hallowed,
either exactly or substantially as that of the decalogue, the very
opposite is the fact; and, if it were to be celebrated at all, every
consideration of fitness demands that it should be done by excessive
demonstrations of outward and uncontrolled joy, rather than by quietude
and restraint.

Passing now to the other branches of the subject, we inquire, finally,
What was there in the _example_ of Christ and the apostles which in any
way affects the question? If they are to be quoted at all upon this
subject, it is but reasonable that their history should be examined with
reference both to the seventh and the first day; for, if precedent, and
not positive enactment, is to be the rule by which our faith is to be
decided, in a point of this significance, it is at least presumable that
the historic transactions by which this question is to be determined
will be ample in number, and of a nature to meet and explain all the
phases of the subject. That is, the Gospels and the Acts of the
Apostles—covering, as their history does, a period of about thirty
years—will afford numerous and conclusive evidences that both Christ and
the apostles did actually dishonor the old, and invest with peculiar
dignity and authority the new, Sabbath. First, we inquire then, Is
there, in all the New Testament, the record of a single instance in
which Jesus or his followers transacted, upon the seventh day of the
week, matters incompatible with the notion of its original and continued
sanctity? The answer is, of necessity, in the negative. The most careful
and protracted search has failed to produce a single case in which the
son of Joseph and Mary departed in this particular from the usages of
his nation, or in which his immediate representatives, during the period
of their canonical history, failed to follow, in the most scrupulous
manner, the example of Him of whom it is said that, “as his custom was,
he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to
read.” (Luke 4:16.) Nor is this all; it is a remarkable fact, and one
well calculated to stagger the investigator at the very threshold of his
researches into the data for the modern view, that, whereas the Sabbath
is mentioned fifty-six times in the New Testament, it is in every
instance, save one (where it refers to the annual Sabbaths of the Jews),
applied to the last day of the week. So far, therefore, as the negative
argument is concerned, which was based upon the presumption that the
claims of the old day were constructively annulled by the appointment of
a new one, its force is entirely broken by the record, which, as we have
seen, instead of proving such an abolition, is rather suggestive of the
perpetuity of the old order of things. Hence, we turn to the positive
side of the subject.

How do we know that Christ ever designed that his example should produce
in our minds the conviction that he had withdrawn his regard from the
day of his Father’s rest, and placed it upon that of his own
resurrection? Did he, in laying the foundation for the new
institution—as in the case of the Lord’s supper—inaugurate the same by
his own action, and then say to his disciples, As oft as ye do this, do
it in remembrance of me? Did he ever explain to any individual that his
especial object in meeting with his followers on the evenings of the
first and second Sundays (?) after his return from the dead was designed
to inspire in the minds of future believers the conviction that those
hours, from that time forward, had been consecrated to a religious use?
If so, the record is very imperfect, in that it failed to hand down to
us a most significant fact. I say significant, because, without such a
declaration, the minds of common men, such as made up the rank and file
of the immediate followers of Christ, were hardly competent to the
subtile task of drawing, unaided, such nice distinctions. How natural,
how easy, by a single word, to have put all doubt to rest, and to have
given to future ages a foundation, broad and deep, upon which to ground
the argument for the change.

But this, as we have already seen, was not done! and after the lapse of
eighteen hundred years, men—in the stress of a situation which renders
it necessary that they should obtain divine sanction, in order to the
perpetuity of a favored institution—are ringing the changes of an
endless variety of conjectures drawn from transactions, which, in the
record itself, were mentioned as possessing no peculiar characteristics,
which should in any way affect the _mere time_ upon which they occurred.

Let us, therefore, with a proper sense of the modesty with which we
should ever enter upon the task of deciding upon the institutions of the
church, when there is no divine precept for the guidance of our
judgment, examine for ourselves. As we do this, it will be well, also,
to bear in mind the fact that our prejudices will be very likely to lie
entirely upon the side of life-long practice and traditionary
inheritance. In fact, nearly every consideration, political, financial,
and social, will be found, if not guarded with the strictest care,
wooing us to a decision which—though it might dishonor God, and do
violence to the principles of a clear, natural logic—would exempt us,
individually, from personal sacrifice and pecuniary loss.

                              ARTICLE IV.

First, then, we suggest that it would be well to collate all the texts
in the New Testament in which the first day of the week is mentioned.
They are as follows: “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn
toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
to see the sepulcher.” Matt. 28:1.

“And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of
James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and
anoint Him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week,
they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.” Mark 16:1, 2.

“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared
first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” Mark

“And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the
Sabbath day, according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the
week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing
the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.” Luke
23:56, and 24:1.

“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet
dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the
sepulcher.” John 20:1.

“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the
doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews,
came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto
you.” John 20:19.

“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in
store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I
come.” 1 Cor. 16:2.

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to
break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and
continued his speech until midnight.” Acts 20:7.

Doubtless the reader is not a little surprised, provided he has never
given his attention to the subject before, at discovering the
meagerness, so far as numbers at least are concerned, of the passages
alluded to above. Nevertheless, let us take the data, thus furnished,
and from them endeavor to derive all the information which they can
legitimately be made to afford. At first glance, it will be discovered
that six of the passages of Scripture under consideration relate to one
and the same day, which was that of the resurrection. Written as they
were from five to sixty-two years this side of that occurrence, and
penned by men who were profoundly interested in everything which was
calculated to throw light upon matters of duty and doctrine, we would
naturally expect that they would seize these most favorable
opportunities for instructing those whom they were endeavoring to
enlighten in regard to the time of, and circumstances connected with,
the change of the Sabbath. Let us observe, therefore, how they discharge
this most important responsibility. It will not be urged by any that
John 20:1, and Mark 16:9, furnish anything which in any way strengthens
the Sunday argument. The statements which they contain are merely to the
effect that Mary Magdalene was the one to whom Christ first presented
himself, and that she visited the tomb very early in the morning.
Neither will it be insisted that the declaration found in Matt. 28:1,
and Mark 16:1, 2, and Luke 23:56, and 24:1, afford any positive
testimony for the sanctity of the first day of the week. On the
contrary, we think that every candid person will concede that the
bearing which they have upon the subject is rather against, than
favorable to, the case which our friends are so anxious to make out. To
illustrate: In Matt. 28:1, we read that “in the end of the Sabbath, as
it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene,
and the other Mary, to see the sepulcher.” Again, in Mark 16:1, 2, the
same general fact is stated, with the simple variation that, instead of
the expression, “in the end of the Sabbath,” are substituted the words,
“when the Sabbath was passed,” while in Luke 23:56, and 24:1, it is
declared that these things transpired on the first day of the week, the
context carefully setting forth the fact that the women had “rested upon
the Sabbath, according to the commandment,” and that it being past, they
came to the sepulcher, bringing with them the spices which they had

Now, putting all these things together, what have we learned?
Manifestly, the following facts: First; when the events transpired which
are set forth in these scriptures, there was a Sabbath; since it is
stated, by way of locating them in point of time, that the Sabbath had
ended before the affairs spoken of were transacted. Secondly; that the
Sabbath, to which reference was made, was the seventh day of the week,
since it preceded the first, and was that of the commandment. Thirdly;
that, if the first day of the week was a Sabbath, as is now claimed, the
women were ignorant of it, since it is clear that they did not go to the
tomb on the seventh day to embalm the body, because of its being holy
time; whereas, upon the first day of the week their scruples were gone,
and they came to the sepulcher, bearing their spices with them, to
accomplish a work which they would not have regarded as legitimate on
the Sabbath. Fourthly; that the seventh day was not only the Sabbath at
the time mentioned, but also that, according to the convictions of the
historians, it was the Sabbath at the time of their writing—since they
apply to it the definite article “_the_;” whereas, if there had been a
change of Sabbaths, it would have been natural to distinguish between
them in the use of explanatory words and phrases, such as are now
applied, as, for instance, “the Jewish Sabbath,” “the Christian
Sabbath,” &c., &c. Fifthly; that, while Matthew, Mark, and Luke do, in
every instance cited above, honor the seventh day of the week in the
most scrupulous manner, by applying to it the Bible title of the
Sabbath, they do, nevertheless, make mention of the day of the
resurrection in each case, in the same connection, in the use of its
secular name, “the first day of the week.” A slight which is utterly
inexplicable, provided the latter had really put on a sacred character;
since, that being true, it was much more important that its new claims
should be recognized and inculcated by those who could speak with
authority, than it was that they should perpetuate the distinction of a
day whose honors had become obsolete. Having now examined five of the
six texts under consideration, there remains but one more to occupy our
attention. This reads as follows: “Then the same day at evening, being
the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples
were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst,
and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” John 20:19. Here, again, we are
struck with the manifest disposition on the part of John, in common with
the other evangelists, to avoid the application of any sacred title to
the first day of the week. Twice, in this chapter, he makes mention of
that which is now regarded as the “Queen of days,” but in both
instances, he avoids, as if with studied care, attaching to it any
denomination by which its superiority over other days should be
indicated. How perfectly in keeping, for instance, it would have been
with the facts as they are now claimed to have existed—as well as with
the interests and desires of millions who have since lived—had he in the
text before us so varied the phraseology of the first clause that it
would read as follows: “And the same day at evening, being the
_Christian Sabbath_, when the disciples were assembled,” &c. This,
however, he did not do, and we inquire of the reader, right here,
concerning his _motive_ in omitting that which now appears to us so
desirable, and which would have been perfectly legitimate were the views
of our friends correct. Did he intentionally omit an important fact? Was
it left out because of an oversight on his part? Or, would it be safer
to conclude that perhaps, after all, the difficulty lies, not with the
apostle, or with the Holy Spirit, which dictated his language, but with
the theory, which seems to be out of joint with his utterances?

Nevertheless, as it is still urged that, in the absence of a positive
declaration, this, the only remaining text, does furnish abundant
evidence of the sacred regard in which the day of the resurrection was
held—since it gives an account of a religious meeting held upon it,
manifestly for the purpose of recognizing its heavenly character—let us
examine more critically into the nature of the claims which are based
upon its record. That those with whom we differ should be tenacious in
their efforts to rest their cause very largely upon the account found in
John 20:19, is not at all surprising. It is the only chance, as we have
seen, which is left them of basing their argument upon a passage of
Scripture which relates to the day of the resurrection. So far as 1 Cor.
16:2, and Acts 20:7, are concerned, it will not be disputed by any that
their testimony is merely collateral evidence. If Sunday has become the
Sabbath, it was by virtue of transactions which occurred immediately in
connection with the rising of Christ. In other words, it was on the
third day after the crucifixion that Christ, if at all, began to impress
upon the minds of his disciples the Sabbatic character which had already
attached to, and was henceforth to continue in, the day which saw him a
conqueror over death and the grave.

Nay, more; if the change occurred at all, it must have dated from the
very moment that the angel descended, the guard was stricken down, and
the Son of God, glorified, came forth. This being the case, from that
time forward it would naturally be the effort of Christ to produce in
the minds of his followers the conviction of this most momentous fact.
Every action of his would necessarily be—if not directly for the purpose
of imprinting the peculiar sacredness of the hours upon those by whom he
was surrounded—at least of a character such as to impart no sanction
either to a deliberate, or even an unintentional disregard, on the part
of any, of their hallowed nature. Hence, our friends, seizing upon the
fact that he met with them while assembled together in the after part of
the day, have endeavored to clothe the incident with great interest, and
have largely elaborated their arguments to show that this was not an
accidental occurrence, but rather partook of the nature of a religious
meeting, Christ himself honoring these instinctive efforts on the part
of the disciples to act in harmony with the spirit of the hour, by his
own personal presence.

Before we sanction this view of the subject, however, let us give our
attention for a moment to the manner in which the previous portion of
the day, then closing, had up to that point been spent. Certain it is,
that Jesus had not, during its declining hours, been suddenly moved by a
newly created impulse for the accomplishment of an object which had been
just as desirable for twelve hours as it was at that moment. Sunday
sanctity had already become a fixed fact, and its knowledge as essential
to the well-being of the disciples in the morning, as at the evening. We
naturally conclude, therefore, that the very first opportunity for its
disclosure would have been the one which Christ would embrace. This was
afforded in his conversation with Mary. But, while there is no evidence
that it was imparted, it is at least presumable that she was left
entirely ignorant of it.

The second occasion was presented in that of the journey of the two
disciples from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a distance of seven and a half
miles. Jesus walked with them and talked with them by the way, reasoned
with them about the resurrection, made as though he would have gone
farther, discovered himself to them in the breaking of bread, and
disappeared, leaving them to retrace the seven and a half miles to the
city, with no word of caution against it on his part. Nay, more; his
marked approval of the propriety of the act might properly have been
inferred from the fact that he himself accompanied them in the first
instance, in the garb of a wayfaring man; at the same time acting the
part of one who was so far convinced of the rectitude of his own and of
their action, that he was ready to continue his journey until night
should render it impracticable. (Luke 24:28.) Following these men now,
as they retrace their steps to the city from which they had departed,
and to which they were now returning—manifestly all unconscious that
they were trespassing upon time which had been rescued from that which
might properly be devoted to secular pursuits—let us observe them, as
they mingle once more with their former companions in grief. How does it
happen that they are congregated at this precise point of time? Is it
because they have at last discovered the fact that it has been made in
the special sense a proper day for religious assemblies? If so, whence
have they derived their conviction? Certainly not from Mary, or the two
disciples just returning from Emmaus. Assuredly, also, not from Christ

But, again, is it not really from an induction on their own part, by
which they have themselves discovered the fitness of making the day of
resurrection also that of worship? Listen a moment. Hear their excited
remarks as, at this juncture, they are joined by the two. Do you catch
these words, “The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon”?
(Luke 24:34.) Does not this establish the fact of their confidence in
the previous report? Unfortunately, the historian adds, “Neither
believed they them.” Here they are, then, manifestly still doubting the
very fact which some have thought they were convened to celebrate.

But, again, what is the _place_ of their convocation? Unquestionably,
neither the temple nor the synagogue. The record states that where they
were assembled, “the doors were closed for fear of the Jews.” Evidently,
they were in some place of retirement and comparative safety, hiding
away from the fury of a people who, in their madness and cruel hate, had
crucified even the Lord of glory. We ask again, Where were they? Let
Mark explain. Certainly he is competent to the task. When describing the
very transaction we are considering, he says: “Afterward he appeared to
the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief
and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him
after he was risen.” Mark 16:14. Here, then, is the clue to the whole
matter. It was not a religious meeting, because they were in a frame of
mind to be censured, rather than applauded, because of unbelief. It was
merely the body of the apostles, gathered in their own quarters for the
purpose of partaking of an evening meal, where they were in the habit of
eating, and drinking, and sleeping—and where, at this time, they kept
particularly close, because of the perils which surrounded them on every
hand. That this is true, is further sustained by two additional

First; it was a place where Christ expected to find meat, and where he
requested such for his own use, and was supplied from their bounty with
broiled fish and an honeycomb, which, the record states, “he took and
did eat before them.” (Luke 24:41-43.)

Secondly; that they were in possession of just such a rendezvous, is
clearly stated in John 20:10, where, speaking of Peter and John when
going from the sepulcher, it says, “They went away unto their own home.”
A few days later, Luke declares (Acts 1:13,) that when they came in from
the ascension, they “went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter,
and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas; Bartholomew, and
Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the
brother of James.”

Thus, by a natural and easy combination of the facts brought to view by
the inspired penman, the whole matter has been reduced to a simple
transaction, such as might have been repeated many times during the
forty days, and such as—in and of itself—fails to disclose any evidence
that the occurrences narrated, either necessarily or presumptively,
afford the slightest justification for the supposition that Christ
himself either designed, or that the apostles might legitimately
conclude that he intended, by joining them under these familiar
circumstances, to authorize one of the mightiest innovations upon the
practice of ages which the world has ever seen.

                               ARTICLE V.

Nor is this matter at all relieved by the statement found in John 20:26,
that after eight days, Thomas being present, he appeared unto them a
second time under similar circumstances. For even should we grant that
this was on the next Sunday evening—a matter in which there is, at
least, room for a difference of opinion—the subject is merely
complicated the more, so far as the view of our friends is concerned,
since here a second opportunity, and that a most excellent one, for
calling the attention of the disciples to the new character which a once
secular day had assumed, was entirely neglected. In this also, as in the
first instance, the conversation was of a nature to show that the object
of the interview was to give additional evidence (because of the
presence of Thomas) of the re-animation of the body of Christ, without
any reference to its effect upon the character of the day upon which it
occurred. But such silence, under _such_ circumstances, in regard to so
important a matter, is in itself conclusive evidence that the change
claimed had not really taken place. Furthermore, it will not be urged
that more than two out of the five first-days which occurred between the
resurrection and the ascension were days of assembly. Had they been—as
it had been decided, according to the view of those urging the
transition, that the Sunday should not be hallowed by positive
declaration, but simply inaugurated by quiet precedent, then the
presumption is, that this precedent, instead of being left upon the
insufficient support of two Sabbaths out of five, would have been
carefully placed upon the whole number. Nor would the precaution have
ended here. In a matter vital in its nature, certain it is that the
honest seeker after truth would not be left to grope his way through a
metaphysical labyrinth of philosophic speculation in regard to the
effect of certain transactions upon the character of the time upon which
they occurred; or the bearing of certain meetings of Christ and the
apostles upon the question as to whether Sunday had assumed a sacred
character, when at the same time his perplexity was rendered
insupportable by the fact, that the historian states, that like meetings
occurred on days for which no one will claim any particular honor.

Take, for instance, the meeting of Jesus with the apostles at the sea of
Galilee (John 21), while they were engaged in a fishing excursion.
Assuredly, this did not take place on Sunday; else, according to the
view of our friends, they would not have been engaged in such an
employment. Just what day it was, no one is able to decide; but all
agree that its character was in no way affected by the profoundly
interesting interview which occurred upon it between the Master and his
disciples. If it were, then there is at least one holy day in the week
which we cannot place in the calendar, since no one can decide whether
it was the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth.

If, however, you would have a still more forcible illustration of the
fact that religious meetings, were they never so solemn, can in nowise
alter the nature of the hours on which they occur, let me call your
attention to the day of the ascension (Acts 1). Here is an occasion of
transcendent glory. If the statements in the sacred narrative of events,
which transpired during its hours, could only be predicated of either
one or the other of the first-day meetings of Christ with his disciples,
it would at least be with an increased show of reason that they could be
woven into the tissue of a Sabbatic argument. Here are found many of the
elements essential to the idea of religions services, of which the
instances in question are so remarkably destitute.

In the first place, those who followed our Lord to the place of meeting
were intelligent believers in the fact of his resurrection.

In the second place, the assembly was not confined to a mere handful of
individuals, seeking for retiracy within an upper room where they were
in the habit of eating, drinking, and sleeping; but it transpired in the
open air, where Jesus was in the habit of meeting with his followers.

In the third place, the congregation was made up of persons whom the
Holy Spirit had thus brought together for the purpose of becoming the
honored witnesses of the resurrection and ascension of Christ.

In the fourth place, it was graced by the visible forms of holy angels
in glistering white, who participated in the services.

In the fifth place, Jesus himself addressed them at length, lifted up
his hands to heaven, and brought down its benediction upon them, and in
the sight of the assembled multitude, steadily and majestically rising
above them, he floated upward, until a cloud received him out of their

In the sixth place, it is said, in so many words, that the “_people
worshiped_ him there.”

Now, suppose, for the sake of the argument, that some modern sect should
endeavor to transform our unpretending Thursday, which was really the
day of the ascension, since it was the fortieth after the resurrection,
into one of peculiar dignity, claiming, in defense of their position,
the example of Christ, and urging that the course which he pursued could
only be satisfactorily explained on the ground that he was laying the
foundation for its future Sabbatic observance, how would our friends
meet them in such an emergency? Deny the facts, they could not, for the
record is ample. There would, therefore, be but one alternative left.

If transactions of this character are of a nature such that they
_necessarily_ exalt the days upon which they occur to the rank of holy
days, then Thursday is one, and should be treated as such. No line of
argument, however ingenious, could evade this conclusion, so long as the
premises in question were adhered to. Planting himself squarely upon
them, with the consent of modern Christendom, the advocate of the newly
discovered holy day, finding the record perfectly free from
embarrassments in the nature of transactions which would appear to be
incompatible with the notion that everything which Christ and his
apostles did was in harmony with his view, if possessed of that skill
and ability which has marked the efforts of some modern theologians in
such discussions, could weave a web of inference and conjecture almost
interminable in its length.

All the facts connected with the meeting could be expanded, and turned
over and over, and exhibited from innumerable stand-points, so as to
yield the largest amount of evidence possible. Having dwelt at large
upon everything which was said and done at Bethany, he might return with
the solemn procession to the great city. Having done this, he would not
fail to call our attention to the fact that they did not conduct
themselves in a manner such as men might have been expected to do under
the circumstances on a common day, but that, on the contrary, impressed
with the sacredness of the hours which had witnessed the glorious
ascension of the Son of God, they immediately repaired to a place of
assembly, manifestly for the purpose of continued worship. Again,
scrutinizing with polemic eye every syllable of the history, in order to
extract from it all the hidden testimony which it might contain, his
attention would be arrested by these words, “A Sabbath day’s journey.”
Immediately, he inquires, Why employ such an expression as this—one
which occurs nowhere else in the sacred volume? Certainly it cannot be
the result of accident. The Holy Spirit must have designed to signify
_something_ by such a use of the term in the connection under
consideration. A Sabbath day’s journey! What importance could be
attached to the fact that the particular point from which Christ
ascended was no more than a Sabbath day’s journey from Jerusalem? The
expression is not sufficiently definite to designate the precise spot,
and must, therefore, have been employed to express some other idea. What
was it? Undeniably, it was introduced into this connection because of
the _nature_ of the _time_ on which the journey occurred. It was a
_Sabbath day_, and, as such, it was important that succeeding
generations should not be left to infer from the account given, that it
was a matter of indifference to the Lord how far travel should be
carried on such an occasion; but, on the contrary, that he was jealous
on this point, and that the expression in question was employed to show
that the procession of Christ’s followers, and Christ, himself, bowed
reverently to the national regulation respecting the distance to which
it was proper for one to depart from his home during the continuance of
holy time.

But this line of argument, though plausible in itself, and superior in
fact to that which is many times used to support the tottering fabric of
first-day observance, would not, we fancy, persuade an intelligent
public to introduce a new Sabbath into their calendar. The verdict which
even those with whom we differ would be compelled to render would be
that which both reason and piety would dictate; namely, that the fatal
defect in the logic was the want of a thus saith the Lord.

Passing now from the first six of the eight texts which relate to the
first day of the week, let us give to 1 Cor. 16:2, and Acts 20:7, a
consideration of sufficient length only to enable us to assign to them
the proper place which they should occupy in this controversy. While it
will be observed that they present the only mention of the first day of
the week after leaving the gospels, and while it is remembered that they
are separated from the occurrences there narrated by the space of
twenty-six years, it is a remarkable fact that the first of them, if not
in itself clearly against the conception of Sunday sanctity, at least,
affords no strength for the argument in its favor. It reads as follows:
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in
store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I
come.” 1 Cor. 16:2.

Now, bear in mind that the inference here is, that the gatherings spoken
of were to be made in the assemblies of the Corinthians, the presumption
following that, as they must have been in the habit of convening on the
first day of the week, the apostle took advantage of this fact in order
to secure the desired collections for the saints at Jerusalem. You will
observe, consequently, that the postulate, or assumed point in the
discussion, is that the Corinthians were at the church, or place of
meeting, when the “laying by,” which was ordered above, took place. If,
therefore, this be not true, the whole logical superstructure which
rests upon it necessarily falls to the ground.

Let us inquire after the facts. Does the apostle say, Let every one of
you lay by himself at the church? or, does he command that his pro-rata
donation should be placed in the contribution box of the assembly? We
answer: There is not a word to this effect. Nor is this all; the very
idea of the text is diametrically opposed to this notion. Before the
contrary can be shown to be true, it will be necessary to demonstrate
that which is absurd in itself; namely, the proposition that what an
individual has voluntarily placed beyond his own reach and control by
putting it in a common fund, can, at the same time, be said to be “laid
by him in store.”

Furthermore, Mr. J. W. Morton, a gentleman who has given the subject
mature reflection and careful investigation, by a comparison of the
different versions and the original, has demonstrated the fact that, if
properly translated, the idea of the passage is simply that, for the
purpose of uniformity of action, and to prevent confusion from secular
matters when the apostle himself should arrive, each person should lay
by himself _at home_ the amount of his charities according to his
ability. We give the following from his pen: “The whole question turns
upon the meaning of the expression, ‘by him;’ and I marvel greatly how
you can imagine that it means, ‘in the collection box of the
congregation.’ Greenfield, in his lexicon, translates the Greek term,
‘by one’s self; _i. e._, at home.’ Two Latin versions—the Vulgate, and
that of Castellio—render it, ‘_apud se_,’ with one’s self, at home.
Three French translations, those of Martin, Osterwald, and De Sacy,
‘_chez soi_,’ at his own house, at home. The German of Luther, ‘_bei
sich selbst_,’ by himself, at home. The Dutch, ‘by hemselven;’ same as
German. The Italian of Diodati, ‘_appressio di se_,’ in his own
presence, at home. The Spanish of Felipe Scio, ‘_en su casa_,’ in his
own house. The Portuguese of Ferrara, ‘_para isso_,’ with himself. The
Swedish, ‘_nær sig sielf_,’ near himself. I know not how much this list
of authorities might be swelled, for I have not examined one translation
that differs from those quoted above.”—_Vindication of the True
Sabbath_, p. 61.

The simple fact is, therefore, that while the text in question yields no
proof that Sunday was then regarded as a day of convocation, it was one
which might he encumbered with matters which would necessarily call
attention to the pecuniary affairs of individual Christians, and so
avoid the necessity of their giving thought to such things when Paul
himself should arrive; thereby preventing delay on his part, and leaving
them free to devote their whole time to the consideration of religious
themes. Thus much for 1 Cor. 16:2.

                              ARTICLE VI.

Advancing now to the remaining scripture, which is found in Acts 20:7,
we append its words as follows: “And upon the first day of the week,
when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto
them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until
midnight.” By reading that which immediately follows the above, we shall
learn the following facts: First, that here is indeed a record of a
religious meeting upon the first day of the week (verse 7). Second, that
it was held in that portion of the day when the darkness prevailed,
since it was necessary to employ many lights (verse 8). Third, that Paul
preached unto them, and that, while he was speaking, Eutychus fell to
the ground; and Paul, having restored him to life, returned to his labor
(verses 7-11). Fourth, that he broke bread, or administered the Lord’s
supper (verse 11). Fifth, that he preached until break of day (verse
11). Sixth, that Luke, and the other disciples, preceding him, sailed
the vessel to Assos (verse 13). Seventh, that Paul, having preached all
night, until the dawning of the day, crossed the country on foot,
stepped aboard of the vessel, and went on his journey toward Jerusalem
(verses 13, 14). Now let it be borne in mind, that Troas was a city on
the west coast of Asia, located at the base of a peninsula, on the
opposite side of which lay the city of Assos; distant about nineteen and
a half miles in direct line from the former place. Let it also be
remembered that the promontory in question, projecting as it did into
the sea for some miles, made it necessary for a vessel, passing from
Troas to Assos, to traverse a much greater distance, and to consume more
time than one would be compelled to do in passing from one of these
points to the other by the overland route. This explains the reason why
Paul, who was exceedingly anxious to spend all the time he could with
the brethren, consented to perform the journey on foot; thus being
enabled to spend several additional hours with them, while Luke and his
associates were toiling to bring the boat around the headland to the
place of the apostle’s final embarkation.

Returning now to the consideration of the meeting in question, it
becomes important to know just when it was entered upon. Did it answer
to what we would call a Sunday-evening meeting? If so, then Paul resumed
his journey on Monday morning. But, before we give an affirmative
response to this question, would it not be well to inquire in relation
to the system for computing time which ought to be followed in this
case? We moderns have generally adopted that of the Romans. With it,
beginning the day, as it does, at midnight, we would naturally answer
the interrogatory above in the affirmative. Should we do this, however,
we should unquestionably fall into a grievous error. The days of the
Bible commenced invariably with the setting of the sun.

That this is so, the following quotation from the American Tract
Society’s Bible Dictionary is sufficient to demonstrate: “The civil day
is that, the beginning and end of which are determined by the custom of
any nation. The Hebrews began their day in the evening (Lev. 23:32); the
Babylonians at sunrise, and we begin at midnight.” Art. Day, p. 114.

Reasoning, therefore, upon this hypothesis, the bearing of the text is
immediately reversed. As the meeting was held in that portion of the
first day of the week in which it was necessary that lamps should be
lighted, it follows that it commenced with the setting of the sun on
Saturday evening, and continued until daylight on what we call Sunday
morning. It is consequently clear that we have at last found one first
day in the Scriptures, the first half of which was observed in a manner
compatible with the idea of its being regarded as a Sabbath. But, as a
Sabbath day is twenty-four, and not merely twelve, hours long, it is
indispensable that those who seek to avail themselves of the record
before us, should be able to establish the point that there is nothing
in it which would go to show that the remaining portion of the day was
devoted to purposes, and employed in a manner, irreconcilable with the
hypothesis of its sanctity. Can they do this? Let us see. Would it be
legitimate for believers at the present time to traverse on foot a
distance of nineteen and a half miles between the rising and the setting
of the sun, on the first day of the week, in order to pursue a journey
toward a point of destination hundreds of miles in the distance? Would
it be admissible for others, prosecuting the same journey, to weigh
anchor and hoist sail in a friendly port, and coast along the shore for
a much greater distance?

Who, among the friends of Sunday observance at the present time, would
venture to answer these questions in the affirmative, without putting on
the record some qualifying or explanatory clause? We hazard the
assertion that few of them, conscientious as we believe many of them
are, would be willing, by such a response, to place themselves on the
category of those who, to say the least, may have very lax views in
regard to what may be done upon holy time. And yet this is precisely the
situation in which Luke has left Paul, himself, and his associates,
before the generations of Christians who were to follow them.

We ask, therefore, again, Can it be true that the great apostle to the
Gentiles, standing as a representative man in the great work of
transferring the religious world from the observance of the seventh, to
that of the first, day of the week, and this not by positive precept,
but, as it is claimed, simply by precedent and example, should have
allowed himself to throw that example, as in the case before us, against
the very work which he was seeking to accomplish? In other words, is not
the obvious import of the text such that the average reader, with no
favorite theory to make out, and a mind unbiased by the effect of
education and early training, would naturally come to the conclusion
that Paul and the disciples with him, and those from whom he parted at
Troas, looked upon the day of that departure as but a common one?

We believe that if any other meaning can be drawn from the history
before us, it will be reached through constraint, and not through the
easy process of obvious reason. It is useless to talk about inability to
control the vessel, and the urgent necessity of occupying every hour in
order to reach Jerusalem in time for the feast. So far as the first of
these points is concerned, if it were well taken, is it not to be
presumed that, for the vindication of the course pursued, and for the
benefit of posterity, it would have found a place in the sacred record?
And as to the matter of limited time, the question of twelve hours
longer or shorter, was immaterial in a journey of the length of the one
under consideration. Besides, upon following the account as given, we
have from Luke himself that, before they reached their destination, they
stopped at Tyre for seven days (chap. 21:4), and at Cesarea, many days
(chap. 21:10), and yet had ample time to accomplish their object in
reaching Jerusalem before the feast.

We say again, therefore, that these considerations, in the absence of
any allusions to them in the context, are simply gratuitous, or, at
least, are far-fetched. The narrative still remains. The great fact that
Paul and his followers did travel upon the first day of the week is made
conspicuous, and the only legitimate conclusion to be drawn therefrom is
that which alone harmonizes with the consistency of Paul’s life and that
of his brethren, as well as the wisdom and beneficence of the great God,
namely: That he did so because of his conviction that it was a day which
might properly be devoted to labor and travel. With this understanding,
the story is relieved of all embarrassment, and becomes a simple and
highly interesting account of a meeting convened on the first day of the
week, because of the approaching departure of a beloved brother and
apostle, and rendered also worthy of record by the miracle which was
performed upon Eutychus. But with such a decision, our labor is ended,
and with it the whole theory in regard to the Sabbatic character of
Sunday is exploded; for, not only does the scripture which we have been
investigating fail to yield the doctrine which it was supposed to
contain, but, on the contrary, it presents Paul as standing emphatically
against it. This being true, it belongs to a faith which he never
proclaimed, and which, consequently, was associated in his mind with
that which should not be received, though it were “preached by an angel
from Heaven.”

Nevertheless, that we may not appear to have overlooked the two
remaining texts, which are generally quoted as affording additional
proof of the distinguished regard in which the first day of the week was
held, we turn our attention for a moment to Acts 2:1, and Rev. 1:10.

As it regards the first of these scriptures, the claim is, that the
outpouring of the Spirit occurred with reference to a divine disposition
to honor the day of the resurrection. To this we reply, first, that if
this were so, it is a remarkable fact that there is nothing in the
connection to show it. The name of the day, even, is not so much as
mentioned. The inspired annalist, were this supposition true, would most
assuredly have given prominence to an idea which, it is claimed, was the
governing one in the mind of the Spirit, in order to enable succeeding
generations to extract from the facts narrated the true moral which they
were intended to convey. But mark his words. Is the declaration, “When
the first day of the week was fully come”? If so, we might say that this
day was foremost in his own mind, and in that of the Spirit.

But such was not his language. On the contrary, his statement is, “When
the day of Pentecost was fully come.” Hence, it was the day of
Pentecost, or the great Jewish feast, which is here made to stand out
conspicuously upon the sacred page. If, therefore, we are to decide that
the transaction in question was intended to hallow any particular
twenty-four hours, undeniably they were those within which the Pentecost
fell. But those did not occur regularly upon the first day of the week,
nor was the institution one of weekly recurrence. It was annual in its
return, transpiring one year upon the first, and perhaps the next year
upon the second, and so on, through every day of the week. To reason,
consequently, that, because it happened to take place at this time upon
Sunday, the fact is necessarily significant of a change in the character
of the day, is altogether inconclusive.

That were a cheap logic indeed, which would argue that the Pentecost,
which was mentioned expressly, and the return of which was waited for
with patience, was in no-wise affected, illustrated, or perpetuated, by
the outpouring of the Spirit upon it, whereas, a septenary division of
time—not thought worthy of mention by its peculiar title—was thenceforth
rendered glorious. Stand together, however, they cannot; for, if it were
the Pentecost which was to be handed down in this way to those who
should come after, then it would, of necessity, be celebrated annually,
and not each week; but, if it were the first day of the week which alone
was made the object of divine favor, then why wait until the arrival of
the great annual Sabbath at the end of the fifty days? Why was not some
other first day taken—say one of the six which had already occurred
between the resurrection and that time—in this manner avoiding the
possibility of confusion as to which event was thus honored?

Should it be replied that the Spirit could not be poured out until the
great antitype of the fifty-day feast had been met in Heaven, we answer:
Then it was _this_ event, and not the resurrection, which furnishes the
occasion for the remarkable demonstrations which were manifested before
the people. We repeat again, therefore, that from whatever stand-point
we look at the text, it is the _Pentecost_, and not the first day of the
week, to which, if to anything, it attaches special importance. This is
further demonstrated by the fact that it is to this hour a matter of
grave discussion between theologians whether the day of Pentecost, at
the time under consideration, did really fall upon the first day of the
week or upon some other. Leaving to them, therefore, the delicate and
arduous task of adjusting questions of this nature—which are neither
important in themselves, nor easy of decision—we hasten to glance at
Rev. 1:10. It reads as follows: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,
and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.”

Here is something which certainly has a bearing upon the subject. The
language employed is of thrilling interest. Says the apostle, “I was in
the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” This being uttered about A. D. 95,
determines the point that God has a day in this dispensation, and also
proves that he has but one; since the language would be very indefinite
were there two or more days of such a nature. But by what system of
reasoning is the conclusion reached that this must of necessity be the
first day of the week? Assuredly, it can only be by inference. If it can
first be proved that the day of the resurrection has, by divine
authority, been anywhere styled the “Lord’s day,” then the point is
unquestionably gained. When those words were penned, more than sixty
years had passed since it is claimed that Sunday had been clothed with
divine honor. The whole canon of the New Testament, save the gospel of
John, had been written within that time. Ample opportunity had been
afforded for the work of placing upon record the sacred appellation
which was to be given to that period of time, which, having been
separated from everything of a secular nature, had been elevated to the
dignity of a holy rest. But had this ever occurred? The facts are
briefly these: The first day of the week, as we have seen, being
mentioned eight times in the New Testament, is always spoken of as plain
first day of the week; John himself, writing his gospel after the
appearance of the Apocalypse, everywhere applies to it this unpretending
title. Whenever the term Sabbath is used, on the other hand—as we have
seen that it is fifty-six times in the New Testament—it is applied, with
one exception, to the Sabbath of the commandment, or the seventh day of
the week.

In view of these facts, take a common man, without bias or predilection,
one, if you please, who has never heard of the controversy in question,
place in his hands the Bible without note or comment, let him read the
following texts which confessedly refer to the seventh day of the week,
and we think the verdict which he would render would be decidedly in
favor of the venerable Sabbath of the Lord; of which it is true, as it
is of no other day, that he has again and again claimed it as his own.
The italics are our own. “If thou turn away thy foot from the _Sabbath_,
from doing thy pleasure on _my holy day_; and call the Sabbath a
delight, the _holy of the Lord_, honorable; and shalt honor him, not
doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine
own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” Isa. 58:13, 14.

“But the seventh day is the _Sabbath of the Lord thy God_: in it thou
shalt not do any work:” “for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore
the Lord _blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it_.” Ex. 20:10, 11.

“And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for
the Sabbath; therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” Mark
2:27, 28.

If such a decision be a just one, however, where are we in the matter
under examination? What has become of the modern Sabbath reform for
which we have been seeking justification in the word of God? First, we
sought to place it upon the commandment; this, we found to be out of the
question. Second, we investigated the claim of an amended law; that, we
discovered to be entirely without authority, and against even the
conviction and practice of the very men who urged it. Third, we turn, as
a last resort, to the precedents of Bible history; these, we found, so
far as they affect the question at all, to be overwhelmingly against a
movement which, while it claims to be in the interest of the God of
Heaven, is confronted by the following astounding facts: First, the day
whose observance it seeks to enforce by statute law is one, the keeping
of which, God has never commanded. Second, Christ has never commanded
it. Third, no inspired man has ever commanded it. Fourth, God himself
never rested upon it. Fifth, Christ never rested upon it. Sixth, there
is no record that either prophets or apostles ever rested upon it.
Seventh, it is one upon which God himself worked. Eighth, it is one
which, during his lifetime, Christ always treated as a day of labor.
Ninth, it is one upon which, after his resurrection, he countenanced, by
his own personal example, travel upon the highway. Tenth, it is one upon
which the two disciples, in going to and returning from Emmaus, traveled
a distance of fifteen miles. Eleventh, it was on that day that Paul
walked from Troas to Assos, a distance of nineteen and one-half miles.
Twelfth, it was on that day that Luke and his associates passed from one
to the other of these places by a longer route, working their vessel
round the promontory.

That all these things could be true, and yet our friends be right in the
supposition that they are engaged in a work which commands the approval
of Heaven, is too absurd to require further discussion. A movement
pushed forward in the face of these facts may succeed, so far as
political success and legal enactment are concerned, but when the logic
for its Scriptural character is scrutinized as closely as it will be
before it shall plant its banners upon the capitol of the nation, all
conscientious convictions in regard to its heavenly birth will give
place to an inspiration, the source of whose strength will be found in
the superiority of party drill, and the overwhelming power of mere
numbers. Who shall say that the God of Heaven has not permitted it to
come to the surface for the very purpose of calling the attention of
honest men and women, as it only could be done by the debate which will
arise in controversy, to the scantiness of that Sunday wardrobe by
which, as with it our friends attempt to clothe a favorite institution,
we are so forcibly reminded of the bed and covering spoken of by the
prophet Isaiah: The first of which was “too short to stretch one’s self
upon,” and the last, “too narrow to wrap one’s self within?” So sure as
investigation is provoked upon this subject, so certain is it that,
sooner or later, thinking men and women will discover—as we have already
done in this article—that there is indeed a crying demand for a Sabbath
reform. Not one, however, which rests merely upon the power of
Congressional enactment, and Presidential sanction, but one which shall
find its authority in the highest of all laws, and which shall have the
approval of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

                              ARTICLE VII.

The conflict is finally open. The spirit of inquiry has lifted itself in
the nation; and all eyes will be turned toward the Bible, as really the
only source from which can be derived authority for a Sabbath reform
which shall be worthy of the name.

Commencing with its opening pages, they will trace the Sabbatic
narrative until they have been able to verify the following summary of
history and doctrine:—

1. The Sabbath, as the last day of the week, originated in Eden, and was
given to Adam, as the federal head of the race, while he yet retained
his primal innocence. Proof: “And on the seventh day God ended his work
which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work
which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it;
because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and
made.” Gen. 2:2, 3.

2. That, though the history of the period, stretching from the creation
to the exodus, is extremely brief, it is manifest, even from that
period, that the good of those ages had not lost sight of it; since the
children of Israel were acquainted with its existence thirty days before
reaching Mount Sinai. “And He said unto them, This is that which the
Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord;
bake that which ye will bake to-day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and
that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.”
Ex. 16:23. “Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which
is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none.” Ex. 16:26.

3. That God, unwilling to commit the interest of so important an
institution to the keeping of tradition, framed a command for its
perpetuity, which he spoke with his own voice and wrote with his own
finger, placing it in the bosom of the great moral law of the ten
precepts: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt
thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of
the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son,
nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle,
nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made
heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the
seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed
it.” Ex. 20:8-11.

That this law has been brought over into our dispensation, and every jot
and tittle of it is binding now, and will continue to be, so long as the
world stands. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the
prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say
unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no
wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever, therefore,
shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he
shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but whosoever shall
do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of
Heaven.”—JESUS, Matt. 5:17-19. “Do we then make void the law through
faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.”—PAUL, Romans 3:31.
“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and
good.” Romans 7:12. “If ye fulfill the royal law according to the
scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well; but if
ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law
as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend
in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit
adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if
thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.”—JAMES, Jas.
2:8-11. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is
the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take
away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth
not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.”—JOHN, 1
John 3:4-6.

5. That, agreeably to this view, Christ—of whom it is said, “Thy law is
within my heart”—was a habitual observer, during his lifetime, of the
Sabbath of the decalogue. “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been
brought up; and, _as his custom was_, he went into the synagogue on the
Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” Luke 4:16. “If ye keep my
commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s
commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15:10.

6. That the women, whose religious conceptions had been formed under his
teachings, carefully regarded it. “And they returned, and prepared
spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day, according to the
commandment.” Luke 23:56.

7. The Lord instructed his disciples that it would exist at least forty
years after his death, since he taught them to pray continually that
their flight, at the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred A. D. 70,
might not take place on that day. “But pray ye that your flight be not
in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.” Matt. 24:20.

8. That the great apostle to the Gentiles was in the habit of making it
a day of public teaching. “And Paul, as his _manner was_, went in unto
them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.”
Acts 27:2. “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and
persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” Acts 18:4.

9. That, in the year of our Lord 95, John still recognized its
existence. “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a
great voice, as of a trumpet.” Rev. 1:10.

10. That God has never removed the blessing which he placed upon it in
the beginning, or annulled the sanctification by which it was at that
time set apart to a holy use.

11. That, in perfect keeping with the above propositions, it is, equally
in the New with the Old Testament, scores of times denominated the
Sabbath; and that, while God, and Christ, and prophets, and apostles,
and inspired men, unite in applying to it this sacred title, they never,
in any single instance, allow themselves to speak of any other day in
the week in the use of this peculiar appellation.

12. That it is not only to continue during the present order of things,
but that, in the new earth, clothed in all the freshness and beauty of
its Edenic glory, creation, more than ever before, will be the subject
of devout gratitude, and weekly commemoration on the part of the
immortal and sinless beings who shall worship God therein forever. “For
as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make shall remain
before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And
it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one
Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the
Lord.” Isa. 66:22, 23.

Putting all these facts together—connected, consistent, and unanswerable
as they are—men will discover that a great departure has taken place
from the original practice of the church, and against the explicit
command of God. Should they ask, as assuredly they will, when, and by
whom, it was inaugurated, it will not be a fruitless effort on their
part to obtain needed information. God has made ample provision for the
instruction of those who would do his will, and for the condemnation of
those who refuse so to do. Referring to prophecies given centuries ago,
mapping out beforehand the history of the world, they will find the
prophet Daniel—while describing the work of the “little horn,” which
arose among the ten horns of the great and terrible beast, and which
little horn nearly all Protestant commentators agree in applying to the
papal church—stating of it, by way of prediction, that it should “wear
out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws,”
and that they should “be given into his hand until a time and times and
the dividing of time.” (Dan. 7:25.) Consulting history, they will
discover that, so far as the saints are concerned, these terrible words
have been so completely fulfilled that this power has actually put to
death, in one way or other, at least fifty millions of the people of

Again, perceiving, as they will readily, that the “laws,” which this
presumptuous power should blasphemously claim to be able to change, are
the laws of God, what will be their astonishment at learning, from the
representatives of this great oppressive system—which alone has extended
through a period sufficiently long to cover the “time, times and half a
time,” or the 1260 years of Daniel’s prophecy—that it actually boasts
that it has done the very work in question. Nay, more; what limit can be
put to their surprise when they find these men absolutely pointing with
exultation to the practice of the Christian world in the observance of
Sunday, as an evidence of the ability of the Roman Catholic church to
alter and amend the commands of God! That they do this, however, in the
most unequivocal terms, will be abundantly proved by the following
quotations from their own publications:—

“_Question._ Is it then Saturday we should sanctify, in order to obey
the ordinance of God? _Ans._ During the old law, Saturday was the day
sanctified; but _the church_, instructed by Jesus Christ, and directed
by the Spirit of God, has substituted Sunday for Saturday; so we now
sanctify the first, not the seventh, day. Sunday means, and now is, the
day of the Lord. _Ques._ Had the church power to make such a change?
_Ans._ Certainly; since the Spirit of God is her guide, the change is
inspired by the Holy Spirit.”—_Cath. Catechism of Christian Religion._

“_Ques._ How prove you that the church has power to command feasts and
holy days? _Ans._ 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.

“_Ques._ How prove you that? _Ans._ Because, by keeping Sunday, they
acknowledge the church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them
under sin; and by not keeping the rest by her commanded, they again
deny, in fact, the same power.—_Abridgment of Christian Doctrine._

“It is worth its while to remember that this observance of the
Sabbath—in which, after all, the only Protestant worship consists—not
only has no foundation in the Bible, but it is in flagrant contradiction
with its letter, which commands rest on the Sabbath, which is Saturday.
It was the _Catholic church_ which, by the authority of Jesus Christ,
has transferred this rest to the Sunday in remembrance of the
resurrection of our Lord. Thus the observance of Sunday by the
Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the
authority of the church.”—_Plain Talk about Protestantism of To-day_, p.

Instinctively anticipating some providential mode of escape from the
terrible consequences of that great apostasy, out of which the religious
world has for centuries been endeavoring to work its way, conscientious
men and women will catch the notes of warning which for twenty-five
years have been sounding through the land, in these words: “Here is the
patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God,
and the faith of Jesus.” Rev. 14:12.

Inquiring into the origin of the message which is thus being given to
the world, they will find that, for a quarter of a century, God has been
calling attention to the subject of his law and his Sabbath, and that a
denomination of earnest men and women, but little known as yet among the
learned and mighty of the land, have been devoting themselves with zeal
and a spirit of self-sacrifice to the tremendous task of restoring God’s
downtrodden Sabbath to the hearts and judgments of the people. They will
find, also, that these persons have not entered upon this labor because
they anticipated an easy and speedy victory; nor, indeed, because they
ever believed that the great mass of mankind would so far shake off the
trammels of tradition and the fear of reproach as to be able to venture
an unreserved surrender to the teachings of the Bible; but simply
because they saw in it that which was at once the path of duty, and that
of fulfilling prophecy.

Having accepted Dan. 7:25, in common with the religious world, as
applying to the papacy, and learning, as the result of investigation,
that the days of the great persecution were to reach from the decree of
Justinian (A. D. 538,) giving authority to the Bishop of Rome to become
the corrector of heretics, to A. D. 1798—when the pope was carried into
captivity, having received a wound with the sword agreeably to Rev.
13:10—these students of God’s word at once perceived that the next thing
in order would be the completion of the restitution, which had begun in
the taking away of his ability to put the saints to death, by a work
equally called for in the inspired prediction; namely, that of rescuing
from his hands the “times and laws” which he thought to change. Or, in
other words, that the effort of the pope to remove the Sabbath of the
Lord from the seventh to the first day of the week should be made to
appear in its true light; namely, as the work of a blasphemous power
which had held the world in its grasp for centuries.

But, while they were clear in those convictions which led them in 1846,
under the title of Seventh-day Adventists, to claim that they were
fulfilling the prophecy of Rev. 14:9-12, they discerned that the same
facts which brought them to this conclusion also compelled the
conviction that theirs was to be the road of persecution: hardship, and
privation. They read in Rev. 12:17, in these words, “The dragon was
wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed,
which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus
Christ,” the history of the last generation of Christians; and saw that,
in God’s inscrutable providence, it was to be their fortune to be the
object of diabolic hate, because of the commandments of God and the
testimony of Jesus Christ, to which they cling with determined

Once more: In studying the 11th to the 18th verses inclusive of the 13th
chapter of the same book, they saw that—if their view of the work which
was assigned them was correct—that portion of the Scriptures was applied
to the United States of America, and indicated that this country was to
be the theater of a mighty contest between those who “keep the
commandments of God and the faith of Jesus,” and the government under
which they live, from which they could only be delivered by the coming
of Christ. This view they unhesitatingly proclaimed. For twenty years,
they have announced it as a part of their faith. When they first
declared it to be such, they brought upon themselves ridicule and
contempt, for, humanly speaking, every probability was against them. The
government was ostensibly republican in form, and professedly tolerant
to the very extreme, in all matters of religious opinion. The
Constitution had even provided that “Congress should make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof.”

Nevertheless, so firm were they in the conviction that they had the
right application of the prophecy, that they unhesitatingly walked out
upon their faith; and for a fifth of a century they have talked it, and
published it everywhere, notwithstanding the odium it has brought upon
them. Lest we might appear to be drawing upon our own imagination in a
matter of such importance, we append the following extracts from their
works. The words in parentheses are our own, and serve to explain that
which a larger quotation from the context would make clear of itself:

“When the ‘beast’ (the papacy) had the dominion, all in authority must
be Catholics. The popular sentiment then was that none should hold
offices in the government, except they professed the Catholic faith. The
popular religion at that period was Catholicism. They legislated upon
religious subjects, and required all men to conform to the popular
institutions and dogmas of the papacy, or suffer and die. The image must
be made in the United States, where Protestantism is the prevailing
religion. Image signifies _likeness_; therefore Protestantism and
Republicanism will _unite_; or, in other words, the making of laws will
go into the hands of Protestants, when all in authority will profess the
popular sentiments of the day, and make laws binding certain religious
institutions (_i. e._, Sunday observance, &c.), upon all, without
distinction.”—_Advent Review and Sabbath Herald_, Vol. 6, No. 6, 1854.

“It seems to me, even to look at the subject in the light of reason,
that a conflict must in time come between commandment-keepers and the
United States. This, of course, will lead those who find that they
cannot sustain their Sunday institution by argument to resort to some
other means.”—_Advent Review and Herald_, Vol. 10, No. 11, 1857.

“When all concur upon this question (Sunday-keeping), except a few who
conscientiously observe the fourth commandment, how long before their
constancy would be attributed to obstinacy and bigotry? And how long
before the sentence would go forth, as it did in the days of Pliny,
‘that for this, if for nothing else, they deserved to be
punished.’”—_Review and Herald_, Vol. 19, No. 15.[1]

How changed the political sky to-day from what it was when these words
began to be spoken! Now, thoughtful men are pondering whether, after
all, these things may not be so. They see a powerful organization
looming up in the country, which appends to the call for their
conventions the names of some of the most influential men in the land.
They hear them declaring in so many words, that what they are determined
to do is to sweep away the constitutional barrier between them and a
coerced observance of Sunday, so that all may be compelled to regard it
as sacred. What we want, say they, and what we are determined to have,
is such an amendment of the Constitution, 1. That it shall recognize God
and Christ; 2. That it shall enable us to secure the reading of the
Bible in the common schools; 3. That we may be enabled to enforce the
better observance of the Christian Sabbath, _i. e._, Sunday.

These declarations, a few years since, would have appalled every lover
of constitutional liberty. Every man and woman imbued with a proper
sense of the genius of our institutions would have been struck with
horror at the very thought of pursuing the course in question. But a
change has come over the spirit of the land. Steadily, the advocates of
a day which has no authority in the word of God are drifting where all
before them have done who have sought to maintain a human institution
upon the claim of divine authority. It is idle for them to say at this
stage of the proceedings that they propose to regard the rights of those
who have conscientious scruples on this subject. God has said that the
matter will culminate in oppression; nay, even though this were not so,
reason itself would prove that this would be the case. Without
questioning the sincerity of the men who at the present make these
statements, we appeal to that very sincerity for the evidence that this
matter will end just where the Seventh-day Adventists have claimed that
it would.

They have convinced themselves that they are called of God to a mighty
work. They believe that they have a noble mission. They are men of mind
and nerve. But, when a few months shall have revealed the insufficiency
of their logic, when Seventh-day Baptists and Seventh-day Adventists
shall have confronted them with a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” against
their favorite scheme, they would be more than human if—refusing to
yield to arguments which they cannot answer—they should continue to look
with complacence upon the very men who, after all, will prove to be
their most formidable antagonists in the great conflict. In fact, it
would be a denial of both nature and history to say that they would not
at last come to regard them in the light of enemies of God, really more
worthy of condemnation and coercion than those who were simply
unbelievers in any Sabbath at all, and so incapable of standing before
the systematic effort which they have set in motion.[2]

But, candid reader, the facts are before you, and between us and these
events there will be ample time for calm reflection, and deliberate
decision. Where do you choose to stand in this final conflict between
the venerable Sabbath of the Lord and its modern papistic rival? Will
you keep the commandments of God, as uttered by his voice and written by
his finger? or will you henceforth pay intelligent homage to the man of
sin, by the observance of a day which finds its authority alone in the
mutilated form of the commandments, as they come from his hand? May God
help you to make a wise choice.

Footnote 1:

  For further information upon this subject, the reader is referred to
  “The Three Angels’ Messages” and the “United States in Prophecy,”
  published at the _Review and Herald_ Office, Battle Creek, Mich.

Footnote 2:

  Persons desiring to investigate this question still further, by
  addressing the author of these articles, will receive by mail, without
  charge, a tract in which he has discussed at length a branch of this
  subject merely alluded to in this communication.

                          EXPLANATORY REMARKS.

Immediately on the publication of the foregoing articles in the
_Christian Statesman_, the editor of that paper announced his purpose to
review them in the columns of that periodical. This purpose he
subsequently carried out in the publication of eleven communications, in
which various strictures were offered upon the positions taken by me in
my original contributions. I immediately requested the privilege of
replying to these criticisms in the columns of the _Statesman_, so that
those who had read my argument in the beginning, and the replies of the
editor of the _Statesman_ thereto, might have an opportunity to see the
relative strength of the positions occupied by that gentleman and myself
tested in fair and open debate. My petition, however, was denied, and I
was compelled either to remain silent or seek elsewhere for an
opportunity to make my defense. Fortunately, at this juncture, the
columns of the _Advent Review_, which is the organ of the Seventh-day
Adventists, were freely offered me for the purpose in question, and in
them the Replies of the editor of the _Statesman_, and my Rejoinders
thereto, have since been published. To these Replies and Rejoinders, as
they appeared therein, the remainder of the present volume is devoted.
To them, the reader is earnestly invited to give his most serious
attention, since they present, side by side, the lines of argument
usually employed for and against the Sabbath of the Lord.

W. H. L.

                        REPLIES AND REJOINDERS.

            Reply of the Editor of the Christian Statesman.
                              ARTICLE ONE.

We have given not a little space to the argument against the Christian
Amendment of our National Constitution from the stand-point of the
advocates of the seventh-day Sabbath. This argument, in brief, is this:
The proposed amendment, in its practical working, is intended to secure
the better observance of the first day of the week, as the civil
Sabbath. But the Bible, the revealed law of God, it is affirmed,
contains no warrant either for individual or national observance of the
first day of the week. The amendment, therefore, it is maintained,
should not be favored, but earnestly opposed, by those who acknowledge
the supreme authority of the law of the Bible.

This, it will be seen at a glance, is no argument against the principle
of the proposed amendment. On the other hand, it bases itself on that
very principle, viz., that it is the bounden duty of the nation to
acknowledge the authority of God, and take his revealed word as the
supreme rule of its conduct. The argument, therefore, instead of being
directed against the amendment itself, is directed almost entirely
against that interpretation of the divine law of the Scriptures which
fixes the Christian Sabbath on the first day of the week. We consented
to admit to our columns a short series of brief articles presenting an
argument against the amendment. Pressing the lines of courtesy and
fairness far beyond the limits of our agreement, we have, in fact,
admitted many long articles, the burden of which has been to show that
there is no warrant in the word of God for the observance of the first
day of the week as the Sabbath of divine appointment. We shall expect
equal generosity from the journals of our seventh-day Sabbatarian

The amendment proposed is in substance as follows: An acknowledgment of
God as the ultimate source of all power and authority in civil
government; of Jesus Christ as ruler of nations; and of the Bible as the
fountain of law, and the supreme rule of national conduct. Let this be
distinctly borne in mind. We have here a clear assertion of the very
principles for which the seventh-day Sabbatarian most strenuously

Just here, we would take occasion to say that even if the proposed
amendment contained an express acknowledgment, in so many words, of the
first-day Sabbath, and if the argument for the seventh-day Sabbath were
a perfect demonstration, there would still be, on that account, as
matters actually stand in our land at present, no valid objection
against such explicit Constitutional acknowledgment of the first day.

Suppose a company of the advocates of the seventh-day Sabbath, going
forth as missionaries, should discover, in a distant sea, an island
inhabited by a people in many respects highly civilized, possessing a
portion of the Bible, and observing one day in seven, say the fourth day
of the week, as a day of rest and worship of the true God, and
acknowledging it as such in their Constitution of government. Suppose
that in the same island should be found a large and active minority,
thoroughly infidel and atheistic, striving in every way to overturn the
Sabbath. The missionaries, perceiving much room and opportunity for
doing good to the people, settle among them, and seek, among many
things, to change the Sabbath to what they regard as the proper day. In
what way would they attempt to accomplish this? Would they permit
themselves for a moment to be classed with the infidel and atheistic
opponents of the Sabbath? Would they not stand side by side with those
who defended the Sabbath observances of the country against the attacks
of immoral and unbelieving enemies of all Christian institutions?

If these missionaries were advocates of the first-day Sabbath, and we
were of the number, for our part, this is what we would do: We would
practice for ourselves the observance of what we are persuaded is the
Christian Sabbath. We would multiply and scatter abroad copies of the
entire Bible, and seek to convince the people and the nation that God’s
law requires the observance of the first day. In the meantime, confident
that, by the blessing of the Head of the church, the circulation of the
divine word and the proclamation of its truths would at length change
the conviction of the islanders, we should say to them: “Do not cease to
observe a day of rest and worship. To have one such a day in every seven
is right. Do not blot out its acknowledgment from the Constitution. You
need its legal safe-guards. True, there is no divine warrant for the
observance of the fourth day of the week instead of the first. But a
fourth-day Sabbath is better than no Sabbath at all. We will help you to
preserve from the assaults of our common enemies the observances of the
Sabbath, that you may have them to transfer, as we urge you to do, to
the first day of the week.” Would the advocates of the seventh-day
Sabbath do otherwise, except in substituting the seventh day for the
first? And now let us take the actual, corresponding case in our own
land. The great mass of Christians here, as elsewhere, regard the first
day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord. Admit, for the sake of the
illustration, that they have no better ground for their opinion than the
islanders mentioned above. Is it not right for them to have a day of
rest and worship? Is it not right for them to observe one such a day in
seven? Is it maintained that, because the day is not the proper one,
there is and can be nothing right about these Sabbath observances? Then,
if all is wrong, it must be better to have no Sabbath at all, and
utterly secularize the week. This, our seventh-day friends cannot and
will not admit. They gladly testify that our first-day Sabbath, poorly
as it may be observed, is infinitely to be preferred to the unbroken
current of the worldliness of the week. A Sabbathless week; successive
rounds of equally secularized days, marked, if marked at all, by the
recurrence of unusual worldly gayety and dissipation; this is what
infidelity and atheism would give us for the existing Sabbath. Do the
friends of the seventh-day Sabbath desire any such substitution? Their
argument against the proposed amendment on the ground that it expressly
or impliedly contains an acknowledgment of the first-day Sabbath, is,
that it will enforce existing Sabbath laws, and strengthen first-day
Sabbath observances. But is it not better to do this than accept the
dread alternative? Even from this point of view, then, we claim for the
proposed amendment, what in some cases it has actually, and, we believe,
most consistently, received, the approval and support of seventh-day

But we return to the form of the proposed amendment. It expresses, as it
should, only the most fundamental principles. It asserts the duty of the
nation to acknowledge God in Christian relations. It recognizes the
Bible as the fountain of the nation’s laws, and the supreme rule of its
conduct. Now, if we were among either the first-day or the seventh-day
missionaries, in the case of the islanders already referred to, such a
national acknowledgment of the authority of the Bible is just exactly
what we would desire. If the islanders had this principle, as has been
supposed, incorporated into their written Constitution, we could ask for
nothing more advantageous for our missionary work. If they had it not,
and certain citizens were laboring to secure its insertion by an
amendment of the instrument, we would most assuredly accord these
laborers our heartiest encouragement and support. We should suspect
ourselves of prejudice, or rather of a deficiency in good common sense,
if we found ourselves inclined to pursue an opposite course. Believing
that God’s law requires the observance of another day than the fourth,
how could we reasonably do anything else than co-operate and rejoice in
the work of leading such a people to acknowledge the supreme authority
of that law, and to register their purpose in the fundamental instrument
of their government, to adjust all national affairs according to its

And now, what can be said of our seventh-day Sabbatarian brethren? Are
they not inconsistent? They proclaim the duty of the nation to
acknowledge “the highest of all laws.” So far, we are agreed. They
maintain that the Bible is that law. Here, too, we are at one. And yet
they—not all of them, we are happy to state—oppose a movement which aims
to secure in the organic law and life of the nation a sincere, reverent,
and obedient acknowledgment of the authority of the Bible—an
acknowledgment which forecloses discussion on no question on which
Christians or others may differ, but which brings the final appeal in
all national controversies to the tribunal of the unerring word of God.

The inconsistency of this attitude of opposition to the Christian
Amendment cannot but create unfavorable presumptions in regard to the
soundness of judgment of any who may occupy it. An attack from so weak a
point, upon the Constitutional acknowledgment of the Christian
Scriptures, it will be generally felt, does not betoken a very
formidable assault upon the Sabbath of the Christian church. And yet,
notwithstanding this, to our mind, exceedingly unfortunate connection,
we would bear cheerful testimony to the fact that the articles we have
inserted, so far as they are an argument against the first-day Sabbath,
and this is manifestly the point which the writer had principally in
view, contain a clear, calm, courteous, and attractively written
presentation of one side of a very important subject. We shall present
the other side of the question in succeeding issues of this journal.

                    REJOINDER, BY W. H. LITTLEJOHN.

We have debated for some time in our own mind the propriety of
attempting an answer to the strictures, if such they may be called, upon
our articles on the Constitutional Amendment. Having decided, however,
that they contain a show of logic which might deceive the careless
reader, we have at last determined to give them a notice commensurate
with the importance they assume, if not from their intrinsic merit, at
least from the distinguished source whence they emanate.

Before doing this, we take pleasure in acknowledging the generosity of
their author in allowing us to discuss in the columns of his paper the
subject from a stand-point of a nature calculated to dampen rather than
stimulate the ardor of his readers in the work in which, with him, they
are engaged. From the outset, we have discovered no disposition to take
any advantage by which the full effect of what we had to say might in
any way be lessened. On the contrary, attention has several times been
called to our communications, as being worthy of perusal by all.

Having said thus much in reference to the treatment we received at the
hands of the editor of the _Statesman_ up to the time of the completion
of the publication of our articles, we shall be pardoned for expressing
our surprise at finding ourselves, in his first reply, standing somewhat
in the attitude of one who had taken advantage of indulgence shown him
to present a line of argument different from that proposed at the

It is possible that we have mistaken the design of the statements to
which we allude. This we hope may prove to be the case; for, so far as
we are concerned, individually, we have covered the precise ground which
we designed to at the first. If the editor of the _Statesman_ has found
himself disappointed, either in the nature or the length of the
argument, he is to blame, and not we.

1. Because, so far as the matter of length is concerned, we stated to
him that we should leave that entirely “with his magnanimity, convinced
that he would not cut us short in our work so long as what we had to say
was pointed, gentlemanly, and of such a nature as to bear forcibly upon
the question at issue between us.”

2. As it regards the scope of the articles, we stated, unqualifiedly,
that we should treat the subject from the stand-point of an observer of
the seventh day, appealing to the Bible for our authority. Nor were we
content with declaring our plan of opposition by _letter_, but we went
so far as to give, in the caption of our articles themselves, an outline
of the order in which we should treat the subject. It was as follows:
“The Constitutional Amendment; _or_, the Sunday, the Sabbath, the
Change, and the Restitution.” In it, as will be observed, is exactly set
forth the manner in which we discussed the propriety of the amendment;
(1) Showing the emptiness of the claims of the Sunday. (2) The force and
obligation of those of the seventh day. (3) The manner in which the
change of days occurred, and (4) The work which God has inaugurated for
the purpose of bringing about the Restitution.

Thus much by way of personal acknowledgment and explanation.

We turn now to the criticism proper upon our argument.

First, there is an attempt to state the positions which we assumed to

In reply, it is sufficient to say that it is deficient in one very
important particular. That particular relates to our proposition that
God himself has inaugurated a movement _entirely outside of, and opposed
to_, the Constitutional Amendment party, for the purpose of bringing
about a Sabbath reform in his own way. For proof of this, we appeal to
our last article in full. It is, to say the least, not a little
remarkable that the editor of the _Statesman_ should have overlooked
this point in our communications, since a perception of it would have
saved him the perpetration of the great mistake which he has made, as we
shall see hereafter.

Secondly, It is intimated that the proposed amendment is not necessarily
connected with the Sabbath question; and that, therefore, observers of
the seventh day should unite with those of the first in securing its
passage, which, being done, the differences between them could be
settled at leisure.

Now we confess to not a little surprise that such a position should be
taken by a gentleman of so much candor and penetration as the editor of
the _Statesman_. Have we then been deceived up to this point? Is it true
that Sunday observance has not heretofore been represented as something
of vital importance to the nation, to be secured, and only secured, by
the alteration of the Constitution as proposed? Have these gentlemen not
been really in earnest when they have appealed to the strong love of the
people for the strict observance of what they have been pleased to call
the Sabbath, in their endeavors to arouse them to the significance of
their movement? If they have not, then they are unworthy of public
confidence, and should henceforth be cast down from the leadership of a
great party, which boasts, not only its morality, but also its

Let us see, then, whether the amendment, which is now in their hands,
is, or is not, by their own confession, to be employed in the interest
of Sunday observance.

That the _Christian Statesman_ is a fair exponent of the opinions and
intentions of the leading spirits in the movement for the amendment, we
think no one will have the hardihood to deny. What it advocates and
favors, then, is destined to stand or fall with the triumph or defeat of
the men who speak through it. Turning to the prospectus of the identical
copy of the _Statesman_ which contains the criticism which we are
reviewing, we find the following statement: “The design of this paper,
as its name suggests, is the discussion of the principles of civil
government in the light of Christianity. It has been established to
advocate the proposed Religious Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States. At the same time, it will aid in maintaining all existing
Christian features in our civil institutions, in particular, laws
against the desecration of the Christian Sabbath,” &c.

We might pause here, but, in a matter of this importance, let us make
certainty doubly certain.

It was _strange_ that the writer should have made the assertion which he
did, with the prospectus from which we have quoted before him. It is
_passing strange_ that—as if guided by a Providence which had doomed him
to make a complete exposure of his real sentiments, although in so doing
his own consistency should be involved—he should, within two weeks from
the penning of the above assertion, go back upon the files of his
periodical for two years, and reprint, by way of _emphasis_, according
to his own statement, the following editorial, which forever settles the
point that he believes and knows that the amendment and Sunday-keeping
are destined to be joined together in a common victory. As the reader
peruses this editorial, let him bear in mind the fact that it is not the
effusion of an excited and exasperated man, but the expression of a deep
and settled conviction which has once found utterance, and which so
perfectly expresses the real sentiments of its author that, after years
of deliberate reflection, he felt the truth of what he had said so
forcibly that he was constrained to give it fresh utterance. Let him
also note the fact that the italics are not our own, but those of the
editor. We regret that we have not space to give it in full, and invite
those who can do so, by all means to turn to the copy of the _Statesman_
which contains it, and read it for themselves.

“Time for the meeting of Congress, ... Two years ago we printed the
following telegram, dated at Washington, on Sabbath, Dec. 4, and
commented on it in the following terms, which we now emphatically
repeat: ‘The trains yesterday and _to-day_ brought large accessions to
the number of Congressmen and visitors already here, and _by to-morrow
morning_ it is expected that nearly every Senator and member will have
arrived.’ Thus the fact is heralded over the whole country that a large
number of the members of the National Congress openly and wantonly
indulge in common travel on the Sabbath.... And there are other
reflections suggested by their conduct.

“1. _Not one of those men who thus violated the Sabbath is fit to hold
any official position in a Christian nation...._ The interests of a
nation can never be safe in the hands of Sabbath-breakers, and every one
of these Congressmen has done that for which, if our laws were right, he
ought to be impeached and removed.

“2. _The sin of these Congressmen is a national sin_, because the nation
has not said to them in the Constitution, the supreme rule for our
public servants, ‘We charge you to serve us in accordance with the
higher law of God.’ These Sabbath-breaking railroads, moreover, are
corporations created by the State, and amenable to it. The State is
responsible to God for the conduct of these creatures which it calls
into being. It is bound, therefore, to restrain them from this, as from
other crimes; and any violation of the Sabbath, by any corporation,
should work immediate forfeiture of its charter. And the Constitution of
the United States, with which all State legislation is required to be in
harmony, should be of such character as to prevent any State from
tolerating such infractions of fundamental moral law.

“3. Give us in the National Constitution the simple acknowledgment of
the law of God as the supreme law of nations, _and all the results
indicated in this note will ultimately be secured_. Let no one say that
the movement does not contemplate sufficiently practical
ends.”—_Christian Statesman_, Vol. 6, No. 15.

Now let it be borne in mind that the question at issue is one of
_practical bearing_, and not of mere technical distinction. We are not
splitting hairs as to what _consistency would demand_ under certain
circumstances; but the matter in dispute is, Is it not in the highest
degree probable that a party, represented by men who express,
beforehand, sentiments like those contained in the above editorial,
would, when having vaulted into the seat of power, attempt the coercion
of all into a strict observance of the Sunday? Is not the line of
argument employed above that which would _compel them to this action_,
since it is there insisted that God holds the nation and the State
responsible for any dereliction in duty in this direction? Furthermore,
is it not _promised_, in so many words, that if the amendment is
carried, the end desired shall be secured by statutes so relentless that
all offending corporations shall have their charters taken away, and by
a public opinion so uncompromising that no man who presumes to violate
the Sabbath law shall be thought worthy of any position of trust?

Thirdly, Waiving, for the time being, the point that the Sunday and the
amendment stand together, it is urged that, though they do, this should
not prevent seventh-day observers from supporting the latter, since it
is better to submit to Sunday laws than to have the nation pass into the
hands of atheists.

Before debating this proposition at length, it will be well to bear in
mind that what I have said in the _Statesman_, as well as what I now
say, is spoken simply with reference to one occupying the position of a
Seventh-day Adventist.

So far as our Seventh-day Baptist friends are concerned, we have no
disposition to hold them responsible for the views which we, as
Adventists, hold. But so far as it regards our relation to this subject,
it is materially affected by these considerations. A failure to discern
this has led the gentleman into very absurd positions. When he attempts
to make a _Seventh-day Adventist conscience_, he must form it upon a
_Seventh-day Adventist model_. Before he can do this, all his bright
visions of a temporal millennium and good days to come, must vanish into
thin air. To say, as he does, that common sense would teach him to
pursue a certain line of conduct, is one thing; to say that, did he
occupy the position which we hold, common sense would teach him to do
the same thing, is another, and entirely different, thing. Let it be
borne in mind, therefore, that we are not now discussing the proposition
whether we _ought to be Seventh-day Adventists_, but, taking the ground
which he has _chosen_, whether, _as Adventists_, we ought to support the
proposed amendment. This being done, we are ready to inquire, What is
the peculiar faith of the people in question?

We answer, 1. They believe that Jesus Christ is about to come in the
clouds of heaven. 2. That they represent a body of believers which the
Lord is raising up in order that they may lift the standard of his
downtrodden law and Sabbath, as one around which those who will be ready
to hail him at his appearing, though few in numbers, will ultimately be
gathered. 3. That, in the light of prophecy, those who thus break away
from the errors of the papacy are in danger of persecution, not from
infidels and atheists, bad as they may be, but from those who, in the
guise of religion, shall, without warrant from God, endeavor to enforce
by statute law the observance of a day which finds no authority in the
word of God, but has for its support simply the _dictum_ of the man of
sin. 4. That the very body of men whose appearance in this country they
have for twenty years so confidently predicted, as being the ones who
should do the work in question, have actually appeared, and are
inaugurating the campaign which is very soon to be waged with
unrelenting fury against those who keep the commandments of God and the
faith of Jesus.

All these features of their faith were shadowed forth in our
communications in the _Statesman_.

With this understanding, how utterly empty and infelicitous is the logic
of our friend. Take, for example, his chosen illustration of the
islanders. There is in it hardly a single point _appropos_ to the case
in hand.

1. The island to which the missionaries are supposed to go is one in
which, according to his statement, the fourth-day Sabbath is already
acknowledged as such in their Constitution of government, and therefore
carries with it the sanction and authority of statute law; whereas, with
us there is no such Constitutional acknowledgment.

2. In the case of the islanders, their mistake in the selection of the
day is evidently attributed wholly to ignorance, since they were in
possession of only a _part_ of the Bible, and their remedy was to be
found in furnishing them with copies of the complete work; but our
opponents, on the contrary, are in possession, and have been from
childhood, of the Scriptures in full. Nor can the ministry, who are
leading the movement in question, plead ignorance of the line of
argument by which the seventh-day Sabbath is supported, since, for at
least two hundred years, it has been iterated and reiterated, until
their familiarity with it and their complete rejection of it is proved,
not only by what they say, but also by what they do. Instance the fining
and imprisonment, at sundry times, even in this country, of men who,
having conscientiously observed the seventh day, have attempted to enjoy
the privilege which God has given them, both by precept and example, of
working on the first day of the week.

3. In the case cited, the infidel minority is supposed to be on the
point of mounting the throne of power, and of sweeping away every
vestige of the Sabbath institution; whereas, in our case, as seen above,
the danger which threatens the people of God in these last days, is not
to be apprehended alone from those who scoff at God and the Bible, but
from those who, according to Paul, having “a form of godliness,” shall
“deny the power thereof.” In other words, who, while accepting the
Scriptures, if you please, shall disregard their explicit statements, as
in the case of the commandments, substituting in the place of the
seventh day, which God has styled his Sabbath, the first, which he has
never claimed as his own, nor enjoined on any man.

With this statement of our views, further remark is uncalled for. We
think that even our reviewer will now perceive that, before he could
bring us to accept as logical the proposition numbered three, above, it
would be necessary for him to overturn the very foundations of the
system of truth which we now hold. This, however, we fancy is a task
which our opponent judging from the line of argument which he has thus
far pursued, would not undertake with much prospect of success, until he
has become more thoroughly conversant with the scope and nature of the
work in which we are engaged.

Fourthly. It is suggested that we are in danger of being classed with
infidels and atheists.

So far as this peril is concerned, we simply remark that it is generally
found to be best in the long run to do right for the sake of right,
regardless of what men may say concerning you, leaving the result with
God. The individual who would desert sound principles because some
wicked man or set of men might, for the time being, be confounded with
him, is destitute of true morality. Besides, in the matter in question,
who is it from whom Seventh-day Adventists need apprehend that such an
erroneous impression will receive publicity? We trust not from our
friend, because, in the article in question, he frankly acknowledges
their devotion to the Bible in its strict construction.

Is it, then, from the infidels themselves? Well, if it should be, we
think we can undeceive them. I will tell you what we will do. Whenever
they attempt to “fawn upon us overmuch,” we will preach to them the _law
of God, Sabbath and all_, and my word for it, they will themselves
shortly draw a line of demarkation between them and us, so broad and
distinct that all who are not willfully blind will have no difficulty in
discerning it; for it is a remarkable fact that it is as true now as it
formerly was, that the “carnal mind is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.” The infidel of the present day hates that law
with a hatred, the intensity of which is only equalled by that of the
large body of first-day observers—we are happy to say not of the
_Statesman_ school—who have abolished the ten commandments in order to
dispose of one of them, and whose special delight seems to consist in
berating the law which David pronounced “perfect,” and Paul declared to
be “holy, just, and good.”

Finally, we submit that when it can be shown, 1. That God would be
better pleased with a nation having a Constitution which contained his
printed name, while wielding the whole power of that Constitution
against the only Sabbath which he has ever commanded, than he would be
with one which—while his name would fail to appear in its fundamental
law—was nevertheless administered in the interests of civil and
religious liberty; and 2. That the best method of converting atheists is
one by which they would be exasperated by fines and imprisonments
inflicted in the name of the God of the Bible for the desecration of a
day which they know that it nowhere commands; and 3. That it would be
reasonable to expect that men should, by their votes, elevate to place
and authority those who are destined to put manacles upon their wrists,
and padlocks upon their tongues; then, and not till then, can
Seventh-day Adventists be expected to support an amendment which, though
in many respects desirable, will inevitably be employed against God, his
people, and his law.

                           STATESMAN’S REPLY.
                              ARTICLE TWO.

Having shown in our last article that seventh-day Sabbatarians, to be
consistent with themselves in appealing to the Bible as of supreme
authority, should be among the earnest friends of the Religious
Amendment, we come now to consider their argument against the first-day

On many points dwelt upon in the articles we have published, there is no
difference of view. We believe that the Sabbath was instituted, not in
the wilderness, for Israel; but in Eden, for mankind. We maintain, also,
that the law of the Sabbath is an essential part of the great moral code
of the ten commandments, spoken by God’s voice amid the awful
manifestations of Sinai, and written by the finger of God on tables of
stone as a law of perpetual obligation for the whole human family.
These, and other points admitted on both sides, need not occupy time and
space in this discussion. We are concerned here, and now, simply with
the transfer of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the
week. Our readers have had before them an argument, of considerable
length, to show that God never authorized a change of day. We proceed to
prove that the transfer was made by divine authority and approval.

In doing this, we shall first have to inquire into the facts of history.
We shall have to ask, Was the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath,
acknowledged as binding up to the resurrection of Christ, continued by
the apostles and the early church after that event? Was any other day
substituted by them in its place? For an answer to these questions, we
must appeal to _facts_. We make our appeal to the records of the New
Testament. A careful and thorough examination of these authoritative
records shows conclusively that _the seventh day was not observed as the
Sabbath after the resurrection of Christ by the apostles and the early

It is admitted on all hands that Christ himself, before his death, and
his disciples, up to the time of his resurrection, kept the seventh day
holy. It is also admitted on both sides that after the resurrection the
apostles and other followers of Christ kept holy one day in seven. While
they abounded daily in the work of the Lord, the seventh-day
Sabbatarians will concede with us that there was still one day marked
out from the rest of the week as sacred time. What day was thus
distinguished? Was it the seventh, otherwise known as the Sabbath? Let
us see.

The word Sabbath occurs in the New Testament, after the close of the
gospel history, twelve times. In two of these instances, viz., Acts
20:7, and 1 Cor. 16:2, the word means “week,” and not the seventh day,
as also in a number of instances in the gospels. In Acts 1:12, the word
is used to indicate a certain distance. The term is employed in two
other places, viz., Acts 13:27, and 15:21, in incidental reference to
the service of the Jewish synagogues. In Colossians 2:16, Paul mentions
the seventh-day Sabbath only to deny the obligation of its observance.
This important passage will be considered farther on. There remain,
then, six instances, two of them in regard to one and the same day and
meeting, in which the word is found in accounts of gatherings for
religious purposes on that day, the seventh of the week. These meetings
were as follows: 1. At Antioch, in Pisidia, Acts 13:14; 2. At the same
place, the next seventh day, Acts 13:42, 44; 3. At Philippi, Acts 16:13;
4. At Thessalonica, Acts 17:2; and 5. At Corinth, Acts 18:4. At
Thessalonica, there were three Sabbaths, and at Corinth, every Sabbath,
it may be inferred, for several weeks, thus marked by religious
meetings. We are informed that Paul went into the synagogue at
Thessalonica on the Sabbath, or seventh day, “as his manner was.” And,
accordingly, particularly during his first and second, or his more
properly termed, missionary tours, as distinguished from his journeys in
revisiting churches already organized, we may unhesitatingly infer that
there were other similar meetings on the seventh day, as at Salamis,
Acts 13:15; at Iconium, Acts 14:1; and at Ephesus, Acts 18:19, and 19:8.

And here we note the fact that _in not a single one of these instances
was the meeting a gathering of Christians_. In no case was it the
assembly of the members of a Christian church for worship. In every
case, these meetings on the seventh day were in Jewish places of
worship, all in synagogues regularly occupied by Jewish assemblies,
except that at Philippi, which was at a _proseucha_, a Jewish place of
prayer out of the city by the river’s side. In every instance, it was a
gathering of Jews and Jewish proselytes, with the addition of a greater
or lesser number of Gentiles, the sight of a crowd of whom at Antioch,
the second day of meeting in their synagogue, excited the jealousy and
rage of the Jews. And in these gatherings, in every case, Paul labored
_as a missionary_, glad to avail himself of every opportunity to
proclaim the saving truths of the gospel of Christ.

Can any intelligent and candid reader of the inspired records fail to
understand the narrative of Paul’s missionary work? He was sent forth
“to turn sinners from darkness to light.” As he himself states at
Antioch, addressing the Jews: “It was necessary that the word of God
should first have been spoken to you.” His “heart’s desire and prayer to
God for Israel was that they might be saved.” Accordingly, wherever he
went, he was found going to them on the seventh day in _their_ places of
worship, not in Christian houses of prayer; meeting with them in _their_
assemblies, not in assemblies of professed followers of Christ. Just as
a Christian missionary, in modern times, going to a heathen land, would
avail himself, if possible, of the customary assemblies of the
residents, whatever day they might keep holy, so Paul and his
fellow-missionaries availed themselves of the seventh-day assemblies of
the Jews, that from among them, as well as from among the Gentiles, they
might gather out an _ecclesia_—a body of followers of the Lord Jesus, in
whom Jew and Gentile should be one.

The question, therefore, still remains to be answered: Which day of the
week did the church at Jerusalem, existing at the time of Christ’s
ascension, which day did the apostles in their relations with this
church, which day did the churches, organized and established by the
apostles, and under their example and divine authority, observe as a
holy day, a Sabbath to the Lord? In all the references to the seventh
day, or Jewish Sabbath, there is not, as we have seen, a particle of
evidence that that day was thus observed.

On the other hand, there is positive testimony that the very
congregations or churches of Christians, organized at the places where
Paul performed missionary labor on the seventh day, ignored that day,
and in its stead observed another day of the week as holy time. For
example, at Corinth, “as his manner was,” Paul went first to the Jews
and preached to them in their synagogue, the word of God, _reasoning
with them_, and persuading them and the Greeks to accept of Christ.
Then, when the Jews opposed themselves and blasphemed, he shook his
raiment, and said unto them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am
clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.” So he left the
synagogue and the Jews, not the city, and entering into the house of
Justus, received Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, with all his
house, and many of the Corinthians, as converts into the Christian
church. Here we have the church of Corinth. Which day of the week did it
observe as the Sabbath of the Lord? the seventh? Though Paul “continued
there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them,” there
is not a word more about seventh-day services. This, it is true, would
be merely negative, if it were all. But this is not all. In Paul’s
direction to this same church, a few years later, he makes clear and
certain, what before was probable, that their stated day for religious
services was not the seventh, but the first, day of the week. 1 Cor.
16:2. The plain and most explicit teaching of this passage will be fully
considered hereafter.

Again, when Paul entered into the synagogue at Ephesus, and reasoned
with the Jews (Acts 18:19), and, because he could not tarry long at this
time, soon returned again, and met the objections of disputatious Jews
for the space of three months (Acts 19:8), his labors as a missionary
are said to have been in the synagogue, no doubt on the Sabbath of the
Jews, or the seventh day. But once more separating the Christian
converts from the unbelieving and blaspheming Jews, and forming the
Christian church of Ephesus, he continued there in incessant labors for
two years. And now we hear no more of seventh-day assemblies. This,
again, may be said to be merely negative, as we hear of no special honor
put upon any day. But we have not done with this. Passing the last years
of his life in this city of Ephesus, the apostle John writes of “the
Lord’s day,” known and observed by the Christians among whom he dwelt.
That this holy day of the early church, called the Lord’s day, was not
the seventh, but the first, is shown by the most satisfactory historical
testimony, which will be adduced in full in its proper connection.

Once more. When Paul came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door
was opened to him of the Lord (2 Cor. 2:12), whether it was on his first
very brief visit (Acts 16:8), or more probably in going over “those
parts,” on his way from Ephesus to Macedonia (Acts 20:2), he no doubt,
“as his manner was,” went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
A congregation of Christian disciples was formed, and the apostle
departed for Greece. After an absence of some months, Paul returns to
Troas, and with his companions remains there seven days, departing again
on the second day of the week. Whether he departed on the first or
second, however, the fact remains that, during his abode of seven days
at Troas, there was one seventh day. Do we hear of any religious meeting
on that day? Did the disciples then assemble for divine service? Let us
hear the record: “We abode seven days. And upon the first day of the
week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached
unto them, ready to depart on the morrow.” The seventh day is passed by.
The day for the assembling of the Christian disciples is not the Sabbath
of the Jews. Another day has taken its place. This most explicit
instance at Troas of ignoring the seventh day, and honoring another in
its place, as the stated day for the religious services of Christians,
abundantly confirms, if confirmation were needed, the conclusions
already reached in the instances at Corinth and Ephesus.

Thus the _facts_ of the records of inspired history conclusively prove
that the seventh day was not observed by the apostles and early
Christians as their sacred day of divine worship, or the Sabbath of the
Lord. We might add here that the testimony of all the earliest Christian
writers, who received from the apostles and the companions of the
apostles the institutions of the Christian church, is full and explicit
to the same effect. But we shall hear their evidence for the first day,
and thus also against the seventh, in good time.

It will now be in place to consider how apostolic precept corresponds
with apostolic example, and that of the churches, in regard to the
seventh day. Colossians 2:16, a most important passage, making
particular mention of the seventh-day Sabbath, yet singularly overlooked
by seventh-day Sabbatarians, now claims our attention for a moment.
Judaizing teachers, so busy everywhere throughout the early church, had
been at work among the Christian disciples at Colosse. They had been
insisting upon the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath of the
Lord. One would think that some of these men had come down to our time
and learned to use very good English. We refer these representatives of
an ancient, but not honorably mentioned, class for instruction to the
apostle’s words to the Colossians: “Let no man judge you in meat or in
drink, or in respect of a holy day [literally, _of a feast_], or of the
new moon, or of the Sabbath days;” _i. e._, of yearly, monthly, or
weekly Jewish celebrations. We do not wait to examine the parallel
passages in Gal. 4:10, and Rom. 14:5, where the obligation of Jewish
observances, including the seventh-day Sabbath, is denied, and where, in
the latter case, to make the argument even stronger, the toleration of
these observances as a weakness is considerately advised. Surely, it is
no wonder that seventh-day Sabbatarians seem not to be aware of the
existence of these portions of the divine word! It cannot be pleasant to
be made to feel that, like the Judaizers of old, they bring themselves
under the sharp rebuke of the inspired apostle by judging Christians in
respect of the seventh-day Sabbath.

We will now sum up this part of the discussion: Admitting that the
Sabbath was instituted in Eden for mankind; that it is of perpetual
obligation; that it was observed by Christ himself before his death, and
by his disciples until his resurrection, as by the Jews of old, on the
seventh day of the week; we have gone on to see that the apostles and
the early church, still having one stated day each week as a holy day,
did _not_ continue the observance of the seventh day. We have seen that
the seventh day, after the resurrection, is mentioned only in connection
with assemblies, in Jewish places of worship, of Jews, Jewish
proselytes, and, in some instances, a larger or smaller addition of
Gentiles, among all of whom the apostle labored as a missionary for the
conversion of souls, and the formation of Christian congregations, or
churches. We have found that no instance can be adduced of the apostles
in their relations to Christian churches, nor of assemblies of Christian
disciples, meeting to observe the seventh day as the Sabbath of the
Lord. On the other hand, we have found them ignoring the seventh day and
honoring another, in perfect harmony with the apostle Paul’s rebuke of
Judaizing teachers who insisted on having Christian disciples observe
the seventh day, and his condescending toleration of their weakness.

                              A REJOINDER.

It is, we confess, with some degree of embarrassment, that we attempt
the answering of the second article from the pen of the editor of the
_Statesman_, in reply to the argument which we presented in the columns
of that paper. Our difficulty does not arise from any confusion into
which we have been thrown by the superior logic of our opponent; it
consists, rather, in knowing just where and how to commence the work.

So far as statements are concerned, they are numerous and repeated again
and again, in substance. But we have no disposition, nor have we the
space, to take them up singly, in their numerical and repetitious order,
for consideration. And, besides, the fallacy of nearly every one of them
has been demonstrated in what we have already written. This being the
case, we have determined to take the general scope of the criticism, and
thus, as briefly as may be, make suggestions which, if carried out, will
answer its assumptions, as well as its attempted efforts at deduction.

We remark, then, in the outset, that we are happy to meet the writer
upon the common ground of a Sabbath having originated in Eden, and
inserted in a law of perpetual obligation on both Jews and Gentiles.

Let the reader keep these mutual concessions continually before his
eyes. They are of great significance in this debate. 1. They prove that
the Sabbath is not Jewish in its origin, but was given to Adam, as their
representative head, for the benefit of the whole race, more than two
thousand years before there was a Jew in existence. 2. They also prove
that the Sabbath institution was rendered obligatory upon all men by a
divine precept, with the phraseology of which we are all acquainted. 3.
That that precept is explicit in its declaration that the last and not
the first day of the week was the Sabbath. 4. That before any other day
can be substituted in the place of the one designated, the Power which
originated it must authorize the change.

So much for the important results which necessarily flow from the
principles which we hold in common, if indeed we are right in supposing
that the writer _really_ means what he _actually_ says; namely, that he
holds to the perpetuity of the fourth commandment of the decalogue. We
shall see, hereafter, whether or not his statements are to be taken for
all which they express.

We advance, now, in our examination of the criticism before us.

What direction, then, does the effort take in the main? It will be
granted that the plan of defense adopted is that of attempting to prove
that the early church did violate the seventh, and did honor the first,
day of the week. But with what success has the effort been attended? We
know that it is stated several times that the apostles disregarded what
the author is pleased to call the _Jewish_ Sabbath—after he had conceded
the principle that that of the commandment was _Edenic_ in its
origin—but did he make out his case? So far from it, in every instance
where he has found them connected in the record with the Sabbath day, it
has ever been in the performance of duties _religious in their nature_.
For should we concede that he is right in supposing that Paul went into
the synagogues to teach on the Sabbath day, simply because he would find
hearers there, this, assuredly, would not prove that Paul was a

Let me take the gentleman’s favorite illustration of a missionary in a
foreign land, at the present time. Now suppose that his lot were cast in
a country where the first day of the week, or the day of the sun, was
regarded as holy by the natives, and he should be found on that day
regularly teaching them in their places of assembly, would _that_ decide
the question that he was necessarily a violator of the first-day
Sabbath? You answer immediately in the negative. So, too, in the case of
Paul. The fact that it can be shown that it was his custom to teach in
the synagogues on the seventh day of the week, if it has no power to
prove that he was a conscientious _observer_ of that day, cannot at
least be cited as furnishing evidence that he _disregarded_ it. We ask,
then, again, Has a scintilla of positive testimony been given that Paul
ever broke a single Sabbath of the Lord, as contained in the divine
precept? Once more it must be conceded that there has not. But is it not
a little singular that in a history of thirty years, where the Sabbath
is so often mentioned, not one single action has ever been discovered in
the least incompatible with Paul’s veneration of the seventh day? We let
the reader answer.

Furthermore, we have from the pen of our opponent himself the frank
admission that, in the historic territory over which he has been
passing, it has been uniformly true that both Luke and Paul have ever,
when speaking of the seventh day, called it “the Sabbath.” Now let the
reader remember that this confession is full and sweeping in its
character. Then let him ask himself whether it is natural to suppose
that men, having repudiated an old Sabbath, and zealous for the
establishment of a new one, would be likely to make up the record in
question in such a form that the old Sabbath, whenever spoken of, should
always be styled “the Sabbath,” and the new one be mentioned merely as
the “first day of the week?” In order to impress the fallacy of such an
idea, we have but to call attention to the fact that men, at the present
time, possessing the same natures and dispositions as formerly, would
avoid such a course with the most scrupulous care. Instance the fact
that seventh-day observers never allude to the Sunday as _the Sabbath_,
but avoid such a reference under all circumstances; while the devotees
of the Sunday, when speaking of the last day of the week, almost
uniformly speak of it as the _Jewish Sabbath_, if Sabbath they will
allow themselves to call it at all.

But again. We are told, very candidly, that by the word Sabbath, in Acts
13:44, where it is said that the “next Sabbath day came almost the whole
city together” to hear the word of God, is meant the next seventh day
succeeding the first seventh day on which Paul addressed the Jews at
Antioch. This being true, it is settled beyond dispute that, in the mind
of Luke, there was no Sabbath day occurring between the one on which
Paul spoke to the people, and the seventh day of the next week when he
addressed them the second time; for, if there had been, then it would
not have been proper to call the last Sabbath mentioned the “_next_”
one, since another Sabbath would have intervened between the two in
question. In other words, according to the view of our friend, the
Sunday, which was the next day after the first discourse of Paul, was
really the next Sabbath which followed it; whereas, the inspired penman
ignores it altogether, and, passing over it with silence, calls the last
day of that same week “the Sabbath.”

Again, it is stated in Acts 15:21, that the “Scriptures are read in the
synagogues _every_ Sabbath day.” Here, again, it is conceded that the
reference is to the seventh day of the week. If this be true, however,
then James, as well as Luke, had, in his lexicon of terms, the “Sabbath
day” as the one which answered to the seventh day and not to the first;
for no one will insist that the Scriptures were read in the synagogues
of the Jews regularly on the first day of the week; but James says that
they were read there _every_ Sabbath day; therefore, in his mind—as we
have already remarked—the first day was not the Sabbath.

Once more: It is stated of Paul that he reasoned in the synagogues
_every_ Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. Here also it is
urged—admitting that the reference is to the seventh day—that Paul went
into the synagogue in order to get a hearing. But this he could not do
on the first day, since he would have found the synagogue closed, and no
audience. Nevertheless, the statement stands unqualified that Paul
preached “_every Sabbath_.” Now if this be true, and the first as well
as the seventh day might, according to the view of the historian, be
called a Sabbath, then we have him stating that Paul preached in the
place in question on both the first and seventh days. On the other hand,
if he regarded the first day as alone the Sabbath, then he meant to
teach that Paul preached in the synagogue on that day, and that day
only. But my opponent will not insist upon either of these positions.
The only conclusion that is left us, therefore, is that the Holy Ghost,
who inspired Luke in the selection of terms, employed the appellation of
Sabbath as applying only to the day which had been sanctified in Eden,
and had always been known by that title.

Now let us give our attention for a moment to the objection so strongly
urged that in the book of the Acts, and in the epistles, there is no
well-authenticated instance in which the apostles held meetings, with
Christians exclusively, on the seventh day. The point of the proposition
might be thus stated: If the early Christians did hold meetings on the
seventh day, the record would have shown it: this it fails to do;
therefore, the presumption is that they did not regard it as holy.

This is a sword that cuts _both_ ways, if it cuts at all. We do not
wonder that, when our friend laid hold of its hilt, he said,
tremblingly, This is a _negative weapon_; so that, when we should
attempt to borrow it of him, we might find the edge, which was designed
for his _own neck, dulled by his own concession_.

But let us proceed. Is it true, so far as the ancient Sabbath of the
Lord is concerned, that, unless we can find historic accounts of its
observance in the New Testament, we must therefore conclude that it was
not regarded? We answer, No; simply because its observance is not alone
taught by precedent. It rests upon a positive command of God,
incorporated in a law which was brought over into this dispensation, as
we have seen, and made obligatory upon Christians. It was not,
therefore, necessary that a detailed account of its observance should be
placed upon the record, in order to prove that it was regarded by the
early church; since the very fact that they acknowledged the law of God,
is in itself proof that they sanctified the Sabbath which it ordained.
Until, therefore, the gentleman can shake the pillars of that law—as we
shall show he has not yet succeeded in doing—it is of itself a guarantee
that every seventh day was regarded with solemnity by those who were
endeavoring to keep its precepts.

In proof of this, we have but to mention the fact that from Moses to
David—a space covering five hundred years—the term Sabbath is not
employed once in the sacred history, and yet the gentleman will agree
with me that the good men of those ages hallowed it, simply because he
agrees with me that they had a precept requiring them to do so.

But, again, we must be allowed to insist that the very silence of which
the gentleman complains does indirectly prove, independent of the
commandment, that the first generation of Christians were Sabbatarians.
What we mean to be understood as saying is, that they at least did not
violate the regulations concerning the strict observance of the Sabbath,
as enforced among the Jews; for had they done so, a record of thirty
years could not have failed to bring to light numerous collisions, which
would have been inevitable between Jews and Christians, the one class
despising and trampling down the Sabbath of the law, and the other
following them with that vulture glance of inquisition, by which—as in
the case of our Lord—they were in the habit of watching their
antagonists, with a view to condemning them before the law. And,
besides, with what show of consistency could Paul have stood up before
them, announcing himself as one who had never violated the customs of
the fathers (Acts 28:17), if he had been seen weekly transgressing the
law of one of the dearest institutions handed down to them from the
remotest antiquity?

Thus much for one side of the logic of our opponent. Now let us apply it
to the Sunday. As we do so, it will be recollected that there has been
no effort made, as yet, to place it upon a positive precept. Its
existence, therefore, if such it has at all, must be attributable to
precedent. Thus far, such precedent has not been cited, except by way of
anticipation. When it comes up, we will consider it in order. In the
meantime, let it be remembered that our friend has voluntarily taken a
position which will compel him to admit that, unless he can find at
least one clear and unquestionable case in which the Sunday was from
beginning to end devoutly celebrated, his cause is a hopeless one. Nay,
more, to make out his point, every candid mind will demand that, in the
absence of positive command, he shall be able to show numerous instances
in which the day, whose claims he seeks to vindicate, was intelligently
honored; for, be it remembered, that, according to his own declaration,
the apostle was traveling from point to point, writing and preaching,
and Luke was keeping a diary of his labors, for the purpose of
instructing that generation of Christians, as well as this, concerning
duty and doctrine. If, therefore, Sunday sanctity came under the head of
those doctrines, it was important, overwhelmingly so, that such a fact
should be set forth clearly, since an habitual disregard on the part of
any, of the new Sabbath, would bring upon them the condemnation of
Heaven. Furthermore, the line of demarkation, which the new day would
have drawn between the disciples and the Hebrews, would have been so
broad, and the discussions upon those points would have been so numerous
and so full, while the transition was taking place, that its existence
could not have failed to become discernible in the writings of that

Here we must change our line of argument, and turn to the consideration
of Col. 2:14-17, and of Rom. 14:5. Our opponent intimates that
Sabbatarians are in the habit of evading these texts. In this remark, he
does us great injustice. The statement is so far from being true that I
make no doubt that, within the last twenty years, Seventh-day Adventist
preachers alone have, by voice and pen, commented upon them at least a
thousand times. But the best method of showing the charge to be untrue
will be found in an examination of the texts themselves. The first is as
follows: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against
us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to
his cross; ... Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or
in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Col.
2:14, 16, 17. Now be it remembered that he affirms that these scriptures
teach the abolition of the creation Sabbath; also, that, while we
concede the point that there are here mentioned sabbaths which were
abolished at the crucifixion of Christ, we deny that the seventh-day
Sabbath was among them, and insist that they were simply the ceremonial
sabbaths of the Jews to which reference is made.

In proof of our position, we offer the following considerations: 1. That
which was repealed is represented as having been “blotted out.” Now the
Scriptures are remarkable for the force and propriety of the
illustrations which they employ. But who will say that the terms
“blotting out” could properly be applied to writing engraved in stone,
as was the Sabbath law in its original copy? 2. That which was blotted
out was the “handwriting of ordinances;” but the commandments were the
finger-writing of God. 3. That which was blotted out was found among
ordinances that were “_against_ us, and _contrary_ to us.” But Jesus
says, “The Sabbath was made _for_ man.” Mark 2:27, 28. 4. That which was
blotted out and taken out of the way “was nailed to his cross.” But it
is inconceivable that such language could be spoken of the tables of
stone, since they are not of a nature such that the work spoken of could
be readily accomplished, and therefore the figure will not apply to them
except when forced. 5. It must be admitted that these things concerning
which we are not to allow men to judge us were either all of them
shadows of Christ, or that if the _others_ were not, the _sabbath days_
were. If they were all shadows, then the sabbaths undeniably were such;
for the expression, “which were a shadow of things to come,” stands
immediately connected with the term “sabbath days.”

But this decides the point in controversy; for our friend has already
voluntarily declared that the seventh-day Sabbath originated in Eden.
This being true, it cannot be regarded as a “shadow” or type of Christ,
since it was in being before man had ever fallen, and, consequently,
before a Saviour was either needed or promised. It is commemorative in
its character, and was calculated to carry the mind back to the
creation, to the rest of Jehovah, rather than forward to the crucifixion
of his Son. Do you inquire, then, what sabbaths the apostle had in view?
We answer: He locates them among “commandments written in ordinances.”
In other words, in the Mosaic ceremonies. Now take your Bible and turn
to the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus, and you will find that the
Jews had three annual feasts—the passover, the Pentecost, and the feast
of tabernacles—besides the new moons, and the seven annual sabbaths. The
sabbaths were as follows, to wit: 1. The first day of unleavened bread.
2. The seventh day of that feast. 3. The day of Pentecost. 4. The first
day of the seventh month. 5. The tenth day of that month. 6. The
fifteenth day of that month. 7. The twenty-second day of the same. These
are the ones, beyond all question, to which reference is here made.[3]
1. Because they were in the handwriting of Moses, and could be blotted
out. 2. Because they were found in handwriting of ordinances. 3. They
were among ceremonies that were against us, and contrary to us (Acts
15:10). 4. The law in which they originated might have been nailed to
the cross. 5. That law was also one which shadowed forth Christ (Heb,

To the second text we shall give but little space. In the presentation
of it, our friend attempts to be _facetious_. Nor are we disposed to
find fault with him for this. It is sometimes admissible, even in the
discussion of the _gravest_ questions, to indulge in _harmless_ humor.
That the effort in question partakes of _this character_, _i. e._, that
it is _harmless_, we shall not dispute. At all events, when we read it,
it amused rather than offended us. A second thought, however, suggests
the possibility that if _we_ were not damaged by the sally, it might
have been _pernicious_, nevertheless, since it is possible for it to
_react upon its author_. Certain it is, that it will damage either him
or Paul, because he represents the great apostle as making a special
effort, in his general labors, to teach men that they must under _all_
circumstances keep _one_ day holy, and that under _some_ they might be
allowed to regard a _second_ also in the same light. But, unfortunately,
if this exegesis is correct, and if the language of Rom. 14:5, applies
to the weekly Sabbath at all, Paul blundered egregiously in
communicating his intentions; since he virtually told them whom he was
addressing that, of the days of which _he was speaking_, they _need not_
keep them at all, or they _might_, at will. Here follows the text “One
man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike.
Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

Now we have heard men Who believed in no Sabbath employ this text again
and again to prove that there is now no holy time; we have also heard
conscientious first-day observers argue forcibly and conclusively that
this text proved no such thing, simply because it referred to days that
were connected with meats and drinks, and not to the weekly Sabbath at
all. But we confess that the position of our friend is somewhat novel.
Nevertheless, we feel sure that the reputation of the great apostle for
perspicuity will not suffer by this attempt, and we think that, so far
as he is concerned himself, reflection will prevent him from ever
seriously urging it. In conclusion on this point, we append a brief
comment from the pen of Adam Clarke, whose reputation, and the fact that
he was an observer of Sunday, will give him no little authority with our
opponent. He says: “Reference is here made to the _Jewish_ institutions,
and especially their festivals; such as the passover, pentecost, feast
of tabernacles, new moons, jubilee, &c. The converted _Jew_ still
thought these of moral obligation; the _Gentile_ Christian, not having
been bred up in this way, had no such prejudices.”—_Com. in loco._

The only remaining text cited is that of Gal. 4:10. After what has been
said, no further comment from us will be required. The reader, desirous
of satisfying himself that this text also has no reference to the weekly
Sabbath, and of necessity refers either to heathen festivals or Jewish
ceremonial days, can read the context, and consult standard authorities,
such as Clarke or Barnes.[4]

Let us now survey the ground over which we have passed. So far as we
have gone, what has been done toward proving a practice of first-day
observance on the part of the early church? We answer, Nothing,
absolutely nothing. The only texts which have been cited for this
purpose are 1 Cor. 16:2, Rev. 1:10, and Acts 20:7. So far as they are
concerned, we have previously shown that the first of them does not in
any way affect the question of Sunday observance; that the second
relates to the seventh day of the week and not to the first; and that
the third proves that Paul traveled nineteen and one-half miles on the
Sunday. When our reviewer shall attempt to stir a single stone in the
structure of argument which we reared in our former articles on these
points, we shall be by his side, to see that he does it fairly. Until
then, the intelligent reader need not be told that it is vain for him to
try to make capital by quoting them as above.

Thus much for the first day. We inquire next, What has been conceded or
proved, which is favorable to the seventh-day Sabbath? 1. That it
originated in Eden. 2. That it was enforced by the fourth commandment.
3. That that commandment is still binding. 4. That the effort to show a
change in its phraseology from Col. 2:16, Rom. 14:5, and Gal. 4:10, was
a complete failure; and therefore that it reads as it did formerly, that
“the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” 5. That there is a Sabbath
in this dispensation. 6. That, being enforced by positive command, it
stands in need of no precedent. 7. That, while the apostles did many
times preach on that day, there is not one instance in which they
violated it. 8. That had they desecrated it, the conflicts which would
have been thus created, must have found a place in the history of those
times. 9. That in the book of Acts it is always called “the Sabbath.”
10. That it was the only Sabbath known to the apostles, since they speak
of it not only as “_the_ Sabbath,” but as “the _next_ Sabbath,” and
“_every_ Sabbath.”

In concluding, we suggest that we leave our reviewer in a situation
which, to a man of his clearness of perception, must be a very
unsatisfactory one. Having insisted upon the perpetuity of the fourth
commandment, he is compelled to take one of two positions. Either, 1.
That it reads the same as it did when it enforced the seventh day; or,
2. That its phraseology has been changed. We confess that we have been
unable to decide which of these positions he prefers. Nor is it material
here. If he adopts the first, the thoughtful reader will agree with me
that it is simply absurd to argue that a statute, while reading the
same, means differently from what it did formerly. On the other hand,
should he adopt the latter, then we inquire why he has not given it to
us as it reads since it has been changed, and thus ended the controversy
by gratifying our most reasonable request.

Footnote 3:

  “It is not clear that the apostle refers at all to the _Sabbath_ in
  this place [Col. 2:16], whether Jewish or Christian; his σαββατων, _of
  sabbaths, or weeks_, most probably refers to their feasts of
  weeks.”—_A. Clarke, in loco._

Footnote 4:

  “The days here referred to are doubtless the days of the Jewish
  festivals.... It is not a fair interpretation of this to suppose that
  the apostle refers to the _Sabbath_, properly so called, for this was
  a part of the decalogue, and was observed by the Saviour himself, and
  by the apostles also. It _is_ a fair interpretation to apply it to all
  those days which are not commanded to be kept holy in the
  Scriptures.”—_A. Barnes, in loco._

                           STATESMAN’S REPLY.
                             ARTICLE THREE.

In a previous article it was seen that from the resurrection of Christ
there is no instance recorded in Scripture of the observance of the
seventh day as the Sabbath of the Lord by any assembly of Christians. On
the contrary, it was seen that the Judaizing spirit, which in some
instances insisted on such observance by Christians, was rebuked by the
inspired apostle. In connection with this was noted the fact that in the
case of Jews converted to Christianity, yet inclined still to regard the
seventh day with other Jewish celebrations, Christians were directed to
bear with such observance as a weakness in their brethren. It was also
seen that while the observance of the seventh day was not continued,
another day of the week, the first, took its place as the stated day for
religious assemblies and services. Let us now examine the testimony from
the Gospels for this day, reserving the remainder of scriptural proof
for another article.

The manner in which the first day of the week is pointed out in the
Gospels as the day of the Lord’s resurrection, is itself striking and
significant. All four of the evangelists concur in making prominent the
fact that it was on this day that Christ rose from the dead. This fact
is stated by Matthew, 28:1-6; twice by Mark, 16:1-6, and again in verse
9; by Luke, 24:1-6; by John, 20:1, 2. This concurrent, particular
mention of the first day of the week as the day of the resurrection, in
four independent historical accounts, the earliest of which was written
probably about twenty years after that event, has a significance readily
overlooked, but well worth noting.

To appreciate this fully, we must distinguish between the words of the
historians and the words of the persons whose sayings they record—a most
important point in the study of any history. Observing this distinction,
then, we note that the promise of Christ, as recorded by the historians,
was, that he would rise from the dead on the third day, dating from and
including the day of his crucifixion and burial. The chief priests and
Pharisees, asking Pilate to have the sepulcher guarded; the angels at
the sepulcher the morning of the resurrection; the two disciples,
conversing with the risen Lord on the way to Emmaus, and the Lord
himself, speak of it as the _third_ day. In no other way does any one
whose language is recorded by the historians refer to the day of the
resurrection. Now, had the historians themselves, writing after an
interval of from nearly twenty to over sixty years, simply desired to
state the fact of the Lord’s resurrection, it would have been sufficient
for them to say that, according to His promise, he rose on the _third_
day. But instead of this, they all concur in pointing out particularly
the _first_ day of the week as the resurrection day. On the supposition
that, when the historians wrote, the first day was regarded precisely
like the second and third days of the week, as it was at the time of the
resurrection, this change of statement is singular and inexplicable. On
the other hand, on the supposition that the first day had become an
honored and noted day among Christians, this mention of it by all the
evangelists, and that, too, in a uniform and somewhat formal phrase, and
the difference between the language of the historians and that of the
persons of whom they write, are naturally and satisfactorily explained.
In this change of language, then, on the part of the inspired
historians, and in their concurrent and prominent mention of the first
day, we have strong presumptive evidence in favor of the marked
character of that day at the time when the Gospel histories were
written. Testimony of this kind, in the form of unstudied allusion or
undesigned coincidence, though easily passed without notice, is
acknowledged on all hands to be of great weight.

After showing himself probably four times to one or more of his
disciples during the day of his resurrection, Christ appeared late in
the evening to the disciples collectively, Thomas alone being absent.
“Then the same day at evening (_opsia_, _late evening_, from _opse_,
_late_), being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where
the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood
in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” (John 20:19.) Let
the facts be noted. 1. It was the evening of the first day of the week.
2. The disciples were met together, manifestly, _not_ to commemorate the
resurrection, but for what purpose, or where, it does not matter. 3. The
Lord came and blessed them, and, as we learn from the following verses,
imparted to them spiritual instruction, and breathed on them the Holy
Ghost. These facts should be borne in mind as we proceed.

We come now to the record of the first day of the following week; “And
after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them.
Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said,
Peace be unto you.” (John 20:26.) This interval of eight days, from and
including the resurrection day, brings us, according to the common mode
of reckoning, and as no one is disposed to dispute, to the first day of
the next week. The preceding first day, the disciples were met
collectively. Again, this first day, they are met, and Thomas with them.
It has been said that very probably the disciples met every day during
the interval, and, therefore, they put no special honor upon the first
day. But the question is not just here whether the disciples meant to
honor the first day or not. Did the Lord himself single it out from the
days of the week and honor it? This is the question at present. It may
be admitted that the disciples met every day during the interval. This
is exceedingly probable. The fact remains clear that the Lord did not
meet with them. And this very passing by of these supposed meetings of
the disciples by the Lord, during six days, the last of which was the
seventh-day Sabbath, renders his actual meeting with them, as recorded,
on the first day again, all the more significant. The disciples may not
have designed to honor the day, but the Lord himself, passing by the
seventh day along with the other five intervening, selects and homes the
first day by once more meeting on it with his disciples.

Nor is it to be admitted that the disciples were destitute of all regard
to the returning first day of the week as the day of the Lord’s
resurrection. The very circumstances in which, by the ordering of the
Master, they were placed, could not fail to teach them to look upon it
with special regard. They had been assembled on the evening of the
preceding first day. The Lord had met with them and blessed them, and
breathed on them the Holy Ghost. Earnestly longing to enjoy his
comforting and slivering presence again, we may suppose they met on the
second day. But the Lord does not come. More deeply feeling their need,
they assemble again the third day. Still the desired presence is
withheld. So on, with ever-increasing desires, they meet, day after day.
How natural would it be for them to think of the seventh day, on which
they had so often enjoyed sweet counsel with the Master, going to the
house of God. “Surely,” their thought might well be, “He will meet with
us in our assembly to-day.” But no. The time for the special
manifestation of himself to his worshiping disciples in their collective
gathering had not come. Would not the disciples then remember, if they
had ever forgotten it, that it was on the first day of the week the Lord
rose from the dead, and on that day he had stood in the midst of them
and said, Peace be unto you? And remembering this, they would meet on
the return of the first day with earnest expectation of the return of
the Master. Nor are they disappointed. Once more he comes, and stands in
the midst, and grants his benediction.

Here then are the facts concerning sacred time, as recorded in the
Gospel history, subsequent to the resurrection of Christ. The seventh
day is not mentioned. If the disciples met on that day, as they probably
did, the inspired penmen take no notice of the fact. There is no meeting
of the risen Lord with his disciples. The seventh day is passed by. On
the other hand, the first day is mentioned in a particular manner, in
changed and special language, by all the evangelists, as a noted day
would naturally be mentioned and marked out as the resurrection day. On
it the Lord repeatedly met with his disciples, blessed them, taught them
important spiritual lessons, and breathed on them the Holy Ghost, the
earnest of the abundant outpouring of the Spirit. How fell of meaning
these facts! On the last seventh day on which the disciples rested
according to the commandment, the Lord himself is lying in the tomb. The
glory of the seventh day dies out with the fading light of that day
throughout the whole of which the grave claimed the body of the
Redeemer. But the glory of the Sabbath of the Lord survives. It receives
fresh luster from the added glories of the Lord of the Sabbath. “The
stone which the builders refused is become the head-stone of the
corner.” It is very early in the morning the first day of the week.
Again God said, Let there be light, and there was light. The Sun of
righteousness has risen with healing in his wings. This is the day which
the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. The first day of
the week has become the Lord’s day.

                              A REJOINDER.

Without prolonged preliminary remarks, we shall endeavor to consider the
points of argument presented by our reviewer in the article entitled,
“Testimony from the Gospels for the first-day Sabbath.” In entering upon
our task, we feel almost as if we were doing a work of supererogation,
from the fact that what we are called upon to answer is so far from
being a refutation of what we had said in our positive argument, that it
appears to be little more than a re-statement of positions which we
believe we have once fairly met and conclusively answered. Nevertheless,
we express our satisfaction at the concessions apparently made by the
writer. The common plea that the disciples were assembled on the day of
the resurrection in order to honor the resuscitation of the body of
Christ, is seemingly ignored. The points now urged seem to be those of a
disposition on the part of the Lord himself to honor the first day of
the week, and of such a use of language on the part of the historians as
it would be natural for them to make, provided it had become a settled
thing with them to regard the Sunday as a day which Christ had set apart
for holy uses.

So far as it regards the position assumed, that there is peculiar
significance in the manner in which the first day is pointed out, with
it we are ready most heartily to agree. But so far as the assertion is
concerned, that, in the _manner_ of the pointing out, there is found
strong presumptive evidence that they design to teach succeeding
generation that they looked upon the first day of the week as _holy
time_, we can by no means admit that it is correct. On the contrary, we
believe that their language establishes, beyond controversy, the
opposite position. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were blunt,
straightforward, direct men in all that they said. They had nothing to
disguise, nor could anything be gained by indirection in statement.

Furthermore, every motive of esteem for Christ, as well as that which
would actuate them in their desire to instruct subsequent generations in
regard to the estimation in which they should hold the day of Christ’s
resurrection, demanded that their language should be full and explicit,
and that it should state, in so many words, that it was sacred to holy
uses. But have they done this? No; the gentleman does not so much as
urge that they have. All his emphasis is placed upon the fact that, in
speaking of it, they call it the “first day of the week,” instead of the
“third after his crucifixion.” He may well say that the distinction
between these two forms of expression would be readily “passed over.”
Has it come to this, then, that the Holy Spirit, in enforcing important
duties upon Christians, is compelled to depart from the natural, clear,
and positive statement of facts, and to employ polemical niceties which,
we believe, if they have any force at all, can only be discerned by
minds whose susceptibilities for refinement are infinitely superior to
those of common men and women, and the poor and ignorant to whom the
gospel was preached.

If the _Sunday_ had become the “_Christian Sabbath_,” why not _say so_?
If, indeed, it was on the “Lord’s day” that Jesus arose, why was not
this asserted? Or, if the first day of the week was regarded as the
Christian Sabbath, why such a studied avoidance of the application of
this term to that day? Will the gentleman insist that if the evangelists
had stated, in so many words, that the Lord appeared among them after
his resurrection on the first “_Lord’s day_,” or the first “_Christian
Sabbath_,” that it would not have been just what the facts would have
warranted, if his theory be correct, and that thereby all dispute, as to
which day is the Lord’s day, or Christian Sabbath, would have been
forever terminated? Then why endeavor to impress the reader with the
thought that there is really any peculiar significance in the form of
expression employed, or that it furnishes a strong presumptive argument
in favor of first-day sanctity?

The language of the historians is just that which men would use when
speaking of a secular day, and not that which they would naturally
employ when alluding to a consecrated one. The expression, “first day of
the week,” was not only the briefer—as compared to the other, that is,
the “third days the crucifixion”—but was definite in every particular.
Once more, therefore, we insist that the fact that the inspired
evangelists persisted, twenty years after the occurrence of the events
recorded, in calling the Sunday “the first day of the week”—as they have
done in the six times in which they have mentioned it—if guided at all
in the selection of this term by the usage and opinions of the times in
which they wrote, have furnished us with a commentary which, if it
proves anything at all, proves that the day now regarded as holy was not
so esteemed at that time by the disciples generally, else those among
them who, as historians, would have been glad to have conferred upon it
this honor, would have referred to it in the use of its sacred title,
“Sabbath,” or the “Lord’s day.”

As it regards the _design of Christ_, we take issue with our friend, and
offer the following reasons for our confident assertion that he is
wrong: 1. His conclusion is not one which is either necessary or
obvious. God has shown us his method of making a holy day. That method
he has set forth in clear and positive statement, and the observance of
such a day he has enforced by explicit command. This being the case, we
must infer that he chose that manner because it was the best. Hence we
should naturally conclude that when he wished to change the day of his
choice, once enforced by a law still binding, he would make known his
mind in a manner so clear and impressive that there could be no room for
doubt. This, however, in the action of Christ alluded to, is far from
being the case, because the meeting of the Lord with the apostles did
not necessarily affect the nature of the time on which it occurred.
Instance the fact heretofore cited, that he met with them on a fishing
day (John chap. 21), and again on Thursday, the day of the ascension,
without in any way changing the character of those days, as all will
admit. Now, if this could be true of those two days, might it not also
be true of the first day of the week? 2. Because, as we have seen, there
is not the slightest evidence that the _apostles inferred_ that it was
the intention of Christ to produce the impression claimed. For, had this
been the case, their convictions must have found expression for our
benefit. 3. Because, manifestly, the conversation of Christ is given, so
far as it inculcated any duty not elsewhere expressed; and in his words
there is no allusion to any design on his part to teach them that the
time on which they were assembled was holy. 4. Because there is a
sufficient reason found for the meeting of Christ with the apostles on
these two occasions, in his desire to establish them in the conviction
of his resurrection, and to instruct them in regard to future action.

Before passing from this branch of the subject, we must be allowed to
express our surprise that, in the anxiety of our friend to make out his
case, he has made a declaration which we think he would not have done
had he been more deliberate in his selection of facts. He says, in
speaking of John 20:26—the second and only additional instance in which,
after the first, he claims that Christ met with the apostles on the
first day of the week—as follows: “This interval of eight days, from and
including the resurrection day, brings us, according to the common mode
of reckoning, and as no one is disposed to dispute, to the first day of
the next week.” To this we reply that, if he means to be understood, by
this statement, that there is no dispute as to whether the second
gathering under consideration did occur just one week after the first,
he mistakes greatly. It is by no means true that this is a matter about
which there is no difference of opinion. In order to show the reader
that we are right in this, we quote the following from many testimonies
which might be introduced: “‘After eight days’ from this meeting, if
made to signify only one week, necessarily carries us to the second day
of the week. But a different expression is used by the Spirit of
inspiration when simply one week is intended. ‘After seven days,’ is the
chosen term of the Holy Spirit when designating just one week. ‘After
eight days,’ most naturally implies the ninth or tenth day; but allowing
it to mean the eighth day, it fails to prove that this appearance of the
Saviour was upon the first day of the week.” In a note on the above
remarks, the same author says “Those who were to come before God from
Sabbath to Sabbath to minister in his temple, were said to come ‘after
seven days.’ 1 Chron. 9:25; 2 Kings 11:5.”—_Hist. of Sabbath, by J. H.
Andrews_, p. 148.

Right here, also, is the proper place to give attention to the elaborate
argument which is made to produce upon the mind of the reader the
impression that the presence of Christ, in the two instances mentioned,
was expressly designed for the purpose of distinguishing the two
first-days (?) upon which he manifested himself to his disciples. We
should not do justice to our opponent, should we refuse to grant him
credit for making a doubtful circumstance go as far in his favor as it
were possible for any man to do. What he has said is both poetic and
pathetic. Poetic, because it is purely a figment of his own imagination.
Pathetic, because the spectacle here brought to view is one which
appeals most forcibly to the sympathies of the generous reader. Who
would not commiserate the condition of men who, for six weary days, sat
in public assembly, waiting the momentary expected advent of their Lord?
Who would not rejoice when finally he appeared in their midst, even if
it were on the first day of the week? How natural, too, it would be for
the reader, having his sympathies thus aroused, to follow him who has
shown an art, at least dramatic, in playing upon their feelings, to the
conclusion to which he springs—not by the route of logical deduction—but
by that of a more fascinating sentimentalism.

But before he does this, let us descend for a moment from the hights of
fancy to the lower grounds of prosaic fact. It strikes us that the
gentleman will discover that he has paid too high a price for what he
has obtained. Where did he learn that they assembled on the six days in
question? Assuredly not from the record, for that is silent upon this
point. Nay, more; he does not himself claim that he has any written
authority for it, but simply says that he “believes” so and so, and then
proceeds to his deductions. Well, with this understanding of the matter,
and knowing that it is merely an inference of the writer, let us follow
his conclusions to their legitimate consequences. Having done this, we
perceive, 1. That at last we have reached a whole week, every day of
which was one of religious meetings, and yet not one word recorded in
regard to the gatherings which occurred on six out of the seven days of
the week. This being true by his own concession, what has become of that
argument in which he indulged so largely in his effort to prove that
because there was no account of a meeting of Christians on the Sabbath,
they were consequently not in the habit of meeting on that day? Does it
not fall to the ground, utterly emptied of all its force, if it ever had
any? 2. Where, now, is his oft-repeated declaration that there is no
account of the meeting of any of the apostles with a Christian church on
the Sabbath, and the conclusion therefrom, that they therefore held
none? Here is the admission of the writer himself, that the apostles and
the church at Jerusalem did meet on at least one seventh day after the
resurrection of Christ. 3. What has become of the instructive lesson
which Christ imparted to his followers on the evening of the day of his
resurrection? Has it not been insisted that that visit was made for the
_especial purpose_ of teaching, them, by example, and by meeting with
them, that the day on which it occurred was _holy time_? If we have
rightly apprehended the logic of our opponent, this was the precise
moral which our Lord designed to convey by his manifestation on that
occasion. How clear it is that such a conviction has rested upon the
mind of the writer, and how often he has repeated it.

But how was it with the apostles? Now, certainly, they were not _more
obtuse_ than _we_ are. Assuredly, they knew as much about the will and
purpose of Christ in meeting with them the first time, as we do now. Did
_they_ then infer that Christ met with them expressly for the purpose,
not of honoring by positive precept, but by the fact of his assembling
with them, the day on which that assembly occurred? If so, why should
they, according to the view we are considering, have gathered themselves
together every day for the whole subsequent week, expecting his
presence? Would they not have discovered that _such presence_, under
_such circumstances_, would have utterly _nullified_ the moral lesson of
the _first visit_, since it would not afterwards be true that the first
day of the week was the _only one_ which he had thus distinguished,
thereby marking it out from the rest of the week?

So much for the consequences which would necessarily follow, had that
occurred which the writer says he “believes” took place. But,
fortunately, or unfortunately for him, the whole thing is a myth from
beginning to end. The only force which it posseses lies in the assumed
fact that it brings together eight meetings on consecutive days, on two
of which, and two only, the Lord met with his followers, those two being
first days of the weeks to which they belonged. Therefore, before the
statement can possess any argumentative power, we must first grant him
the privilege of assuming that six of these meetings occurred when there
is not a scintilla of evidence in the sacred narrative to favor his

That must be a desperate cause indeed which compels its advocates to
such a resort to make out their case. Nevertheless, if the conception
has accomplished nothing more, it has furnished us a key by which we
have been able to unlock the secret conviction of the writer, and by
that means, we learn that he does not himself believe either that Christ
_told_ his disciples on the day of the resurrection that that was holy
time; or that they had decided _in their own minds_ that his visit
necessarily pointed out this fact; or that the meeting of a Christian
church on a secular day proves that they regarded that day as sacred; or
that it is necessary to suppose that any church _disregarded the
Sabbath_, simply because there is no _historic mention_ of their
observance of it. This being true, we hope from this time forward that
we shall see a line of argument pursued which will be consistent with
the admissions inadvertently made above.

Finally—as we have the concession of the writer, that the mention of the
term, “first day of the week,” in the texts under consideration,
accorded with the use of language as employed twenty years after the
crucifixion—let us glance at his proof-texts for ourselves. In doing so,
the reader will bear in mind that these texts furnish all the gospel
testimony in reference to the supposed repudiation of God’s ancient
Sabbath and the substitution of a new one in its place, and also that
the terms employed, as stated above, were used with reference to their
meaning at the time they were penned.

The first is found in Matt. 28:1-6. In Matt. 28:1, the apostle says: “In
the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the
week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.” Now
which day, in the parlance of the disciples of our Lord, twenty years
after his death, was styled the Sabbath? Which was mentioned by the use
of a secular title, whereas, custom, reason, and religion, all warranted
and would have seemed to demand the application to it of a religious
title, such as Sabbath, or Lord’s day? We leave the reader to answer.

The next scripture is found in Mark 16:1, 2. Here, again, the same
distinction is preserved between the holy and the profane. “When the
Sabbath was past,” the women who had bought sweet spices came to the
sepulcher very early in the morning, the first day of the week. The next
passage is in verse 9 of the same chapter, where it is barely stated
that Jesus, having risen on the first day of the week, appeared first to
Mary Magdalene. Did the historian, Mark, ruthlessly wound the feelings
of his Christian brethren, by neglecting two splendid opportunities for
settling the matter of a change of days for all future generations, or
did he not believe in such a change? Which view is the more consistent,
under the circumstances, with the manner in which he speaks?

The next test in order, with the context, will be found in Luke
23:54-56, and 24:1. Let the reader turn to these passages in his Bible
and examine them carefully. In Luke 23:56, it is stated that the women
“rested the Sabbath day, according to the commandment;” and in the first
verse of the following chapter, it is said that “upon the first day of
the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher.”
Here, again, Luke—than whom there is no sacred writer who uses terms
more frequently with reference to their technical meaning—furnishes us a
comment in perfect harmony with that of the others. Mark him; he is very
specific. He says the women “rested the Sabbath day, according to the
commandment.” Observe, it is not the “_old_ commandment,” but “_the_
commandment.” But again, What day was it upon which they rested? It was
the Sabbath day. How did it stand related in the order of the week to
the first day? It was the day before it. Did the women, according to his
statement, observe the first day? No; for they came to do that upon it
which they would not do on the Sabbath, _i. e._, to embalm the body of
Christ. But were they deceived, and was the day on which they came to
the tomb, after all, sacred to the Lord, because of the resurrection of
Christ, which had occurred early in the morning? Was this indeed the
Lord’s day, the Christian Sabbath? And had the old Sabbath expired at
the cross (Col. 2:16) before the deluded women rested upon it? Then we
inquire again, Why should an inspired apostle pass by unimproved this
magnificent opportunity for recognizing the new order of things by
dropping that plain, unpretending “first day of the week,” and stating
for the benefit of posterity that the day on which they repaired to the
sepulcher was the Sabbath of the commandment, as changed by the
authority of Christ?

The remaining passages are those of John 20:1, 19. Here, once more, it
is stated that “the first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early to
the sepulcher,” and also in the 19th verse, that Jesus met with his
disciples in the evening of the first day of the week. In these words,
John, the beloved disciple, like all before him, alludes to the day as
though it were a common one.

Thus we have seen that the four gospel historians all unite in ignoring
the sacred title of Sunday, if it had any, and merely designate it by
its proper numeral; while three of them call the seventh day the
Sabbath, and locate it in the week as the day which precedes the first.

Now we appeal to the candid reader in view of these facts, and ask him
to decide which day of the week was looked upon as peculiarly sacred at
the time the gospels were written, provided the gentleman is _right_ in
supposing that the historians used language with reference to its
acceptance when they wrote, instead of what it meant when the events,
which they record, transpired. We believe the verdict will not be long
delayed. They call the seventh day “the Sabbath of the commandment.”
That commandment, it is conceded, is still binding. If it reads the same
now that it did then, the day which was the Sabbath at that time,
according to that commandment, is still the Sabbath according to the
same commandment. But if that commandment has been changed, we once more
challenge the religious world to furnish us a copy of it as it now
reads. Until they do so, we shall continue to observe the Sabbath upon
which the devout women rested; on which our Lord himself rested in the
tomb from his labors; and which four inspired men, twenty years later,
more or less, still persisted in calling “_the_ Sabbath.”

                           STATESMAN’S REPLY.
                             ARTICLE FOUR.
                         THE DAY OF PENTECOST.

The testimony brought forward in our last number from the Gospels for
the first-day Sabbath finds abundant confirmation in other portions of
the New-Testament Scriptures. We shall confine ourselves in this article
to the argument drawn from the beginning of the second chapter of the
Acts: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with
one accord in one place.” There has been so much discussion of this
passage that a somewhat careful consideration of it may be of interest
in itself, as well as from its important connection with the subject now
specially in hand. In regard to it, we note:

1. The day of the outpouring of the Spirit was the day of Pentecost—not
some day preceding or following. The correct rendering of the original
words is not, as Lightfoot gives it, “when the day of Pentecost had
passed,” nor as Hitzig would have it, “as the day of Pentecost was
approaching its fulfillment;” but, “while the day of Pentecost was being
fulfilled;” that is, during the progress of that particular day, or, as
our authorized English version has it, “when the day of Pentecost was
fully come.”

2. This day of Pentecost, on which the Holy Spirit was given, was the
first day of the week. A number of eminent authorities, chief among whom
is the chronologist Wieseler, compute it to have been the seventh. This
question hinges upon that of the day of the Lord’s death. It is almost
universally admitted that Christ was crucified on Friday. But it is
disputed whether that Friday was the fourteenth or the fifteenth of
Nisan. From Leviticus 23:15, 16, we learn that Pentecost, signifying
literally the fiftieth, was counted from the second day of unleavened
bread. The paschal lamb was killed at the close of the fourteenth day of
the month Abib or Nisan, and the next day, the fifteenth, was the first
day of unleavened bread. This day was regarded as a holy Sabbath; and
from the morrow following, that is, from the sixteenth of Nisan, fifty
days were to be reckoned to determine the day of Pentecost.

Wieseler contends that the Lord was crucified on the fifteenth of
Nisan—the first day of unleavened bread. The sixteenth of the month
would therefore fall on the seventh day of the week, and fifty days,
reckoned from and including this, according to the manner of the Jews,
would fix the day of Pentecost on the Jewish Sabbath. It is interesting
to observe that many who agree with Wieseler in regarding the Friday of
Christ’s crucifixion as the fifteenth of Nisan, still reckon the fifty
days so as to make Pentecost fall on the first day of the week.
Prominent among these chronologists is Canon Wordsworth.

In all frankness, we would admit that Wordsworth’s reckoning will not
hold. If the Friday on which the Lord was crucified was the fifteenth of
Nisan, and if that day was observed as the first day of unleavened bread
so that the specified fifty days would be reckoned from the following
day, then Pentecost must have occurred on the seventh day of the week.

Others of our ablest scholars, such as Greswell, Elliott, and Schaff,
maintain that the day on which our Lord was crucified was the fourteenth
of Nisan. An exhaustive discussion of this whole question would be out
of place in these columns. We give a brief, and we think conclusive,
argument in favor of the view that the Friday of our Lord’s death was
the fourteenth of Nisan, and that therefore the fifteenth Nisan, or
first day of unleavened bread, coincided with the Jewish Sabbath. The
reasons in favor of this view are the following:—

(1.) The language of John, chap. 18:28, intimates clearly that the Jews
had not, on the morning of Friday, yet partaken of the passover. Friday
could not therefore have been the fifteenth of Nisan.

(2.) The same day, Friday, John states that “it was the preparation of
the passover.” (Chap. 19:14.) It seems next to impossible to understand
this expression in any other way than as referring to that day, Friday,
as the day of preparation for Passover observance, or, in other words,
as the day preceding the fifteenth Nisan.

(3.) John’s statement, in chap. 19:31, that the Sabbath following the
day of crucifixion was “a high day,” admits of no easy or natural
explanation except that of the coincidence of the first day of
unleavened bread, or the fifteenth Nisan, with the seventh-day Sabbath.

(4.) The anti-typical character of Christ, as the Paschal Lamb of God
and the true Passover Sacrifice (John 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 5:7), would lead
us to expect that the very day and hour of his death would correspond
with the time of the killing of the typical Passover lamb. If it be
urged that Christ himself, with his disciples, in obeying the
requirements of the law, killed the Passover on the evening of the
fourteenth, and that the Synoptical Gospels intimate this, it may be
replied that such an interpretation of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, is not
required, and that the exceeding difficulty, not to say impossibility,
of harmonizing it with the statements already quoted from John, is quite
decisive against it. It is much easier to interpret the Synoptists in
the light of John’s Gospel. In this chapter, 13:1, we are informed of a
supper _before_ the passover. That this was the same supper spoken of by
the Synoptists, though one day before the usual time, in order that the
true Passover lamb might be put to death at the time appointed, appears
from the peculiar nature of the message sent by chosen apostle, to the
“good man of the house”—a message of special direction, pointing out
something of an unusual character. (See Matthew 28:18; Mark 14:14; and
Luke 22:11.) There are also in the Synoptical Gospels a number of
statements showing that the Friday on which our Lord was crucified was
not marked by the Sabbatic sacredness belonging to the first day of
unleavened bread. (See Matthew 27:59; Mark 15:42, 46; Luke 23:56.) This
seems to be the easiest and most natural way of harmonizing the apparent
discrepancies between the Synoptists and John.

(5.) Wieseler’s own chronological tables may be used against him to show
that the Friday of our Lord’s crucifixion was the fourteenth of Nisan.
We would speak with becoming diffidence, in any attempt to make out a
system of chronology for the events recorded in Scripture. There are,
however, in Wieseler’s elaborate book, tables independently proved to be
accurate. By them, admitting the year of our Lord’s crucifixion to have
been A. D. 30, which is regarded by most chronologists as highly
probable, and admitting also that the day was Friday, which will not be
disputed, it is shown, beyond all doubt, that Christ died on the
fourteenth of Nisan, and must have eaten the passover with his disciples
on the first hours of that day, the preceding evening. The tables
referred to show, by the most minute and accurate calculations, that in
the year, A. D. 30, the new moon for the month Nisan appeared on
Wednesday, the next to the last day of the preceding month,
corresponding to March 22, at eight minutes past eight o’clock in the
evening. Hence, it would follow that the first day of Nisan commenced on
Friday evening, March 24, corresponding, as to daylight, with Saturday,
March 25; of course, the Friday of the next week, would be the seventh
Nisan, and the same day, the following week, the fourteenth. Thus,
according to Wieseler’s own tables, Friday of the week of our Lord’s
passion is made out to be the fourteenth of Nisan. The fifteenth of
Nisan, then, or the first day of unleavened bread, coincided at that
time with the seventh day of the week, or the Jewish Sabbath; and
reckoning fifty days from the morrow, that day included, we find
Pentecost falling on the first day of the eighth week following our
Lord’s crucifixion.

So clear and emphatic is the testimony of the primitive church to this
fact that many who hold that the Friday of Christ’s death was the
fifteenth Nisan still do so in cordial indorsement of that fact. They
reconcile the apparent difference between John and the Synoptists by
supposing that the Jewish authorities, probably because of the
crucifixion, or for some other reason, did not observe the Passover at
the usual time, but, passing by the fifteenth Nisan, in reality kept the
sixteenth in its place; and thus counting the fifty days from the
seventeenth of the month, instead of the sixteenth, Pentecost would fall
on the first day of the week.

It is worth mentioning, before we pass on, that the Karaite Jews, like
the Sadducces before them, understand the word “Sabbath” in Leviticus
23:11, 15, 16, to mean, not the first day of unleavened bread, which was
kept as a Sabbath, on whatever day of the week it might fall, but the
seventh day of the week, the regular weekly Sabbath of the Jews.
According to this understanding, the fifty days would always be reckoned
from the morrow after the seventh day, and Pentecost would always fall
on the first day of the week.

Having thus been at some pains to establish the fundamental position in
this argument a position to which scholars generally are coming with
constantly increasing unanimity, we need not dwell long upon the
manifest application of what has been proven. The facts here, after
Christ’s ascension, are full of significance, as we have seen the facts
to be concerning the days just succeeding his resurrection. After the
Lord’s ascension, his disciples abode in Jerusalem, awaiting the
promised gift of the Spirit. Many days passed by, including two seventh
days, and still no fulfillment of the promise. On the first day of the
second week after the ascension, the disciples were all with one accord
in one place. Once more, the day which the Lord had singled out and
honored is specially honored by the plentiful effusion of the Spirit of
God. And thus the day which Christ taught his disciples to regard with
special sacredness, by repeatedly appearing to them in their collective
gatherings, and blessing them, is even more clearly and significantly
marked out from the other days of the week by this most marvelous
outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

If it be objected that it was the Jewish festival, and not the first day
of the week, that was honored, it is readily replied that there is no
trace of the services of the Jewish festival on that blessed day. The
Holy Ghost was given, not to persons observing Jewish ordinances and
keeping the Pentecost of the old dispensation with a new meat-offering
and first-fruits. He was given to Christian disciples met on the
Christian’s honored day; and the disciples who on that day had received
important spiritual instructions from the Lord just after his
resurrection, and who now, on the same day, received the promised
Spirit, begin the true work of the Christian Sabbath by preaching the
gospel of salvation, and three thousand souls are added to the church of

The objection, on the score that Pentecost only happened to fall on the
first day that year, is unworthy of any one who believes that “not a
sparrow falls to the ground, without our Heavenly Father’s notice.” It
has been admitted that if the view of the Karaite Jews were true, and
Pentecost occurred every year on the first day of the week, then would
there be a strong argument for the first-day Sabbath in the
pre-arrangements of God’s providence. But to our mind, the argument from
the pre-arrangement of providence is stronger on the other and better
interpretation of Leviticus 23:11, 15, 16. He who in infinite wisdom
arranged everything from the beginning, so ordered all events connected
with Christ’s death, as to make the day of Pentecost coincide with the
Christian Sabbath, and then gathered to himself, not the first-fruits of
the fields of grain, but three thousand immortal souls, the first-fruits
of the ingathering of the spiritual fields white to the harvest—the
harvest of all the Gentile nations yet to be brought into the church of
Christ, with the restoration of the covenant people of old. This is a
Pentecost worthy of the church of Him who died for sinners of every
race, and of the honored day which commemorates his rising from the

                              A REJOINDER.
                         THE DAY OF PENTECOST.”

It is always a source of satisfaction to one, in examining opinions from
which he is compelled to differ, to feel that the presentation of them
which he is considering is the best which could be made under the
circumstances. With pleasure, therefore, we recognize the manifest
tokens of research and erudition on the part of the author of the views
presented in the columns of the _Statesman_, in the communication
entitled, “Argument for the first-day Sabbath from the gift of the Holy
Spirit on the day of Pentecost.” We do not flatter ourselves, however,
that all which has been said in that article was for our benefit. It is
not a little remarkable that three-fourths of its contents are devoted
to the settlement of a point, which—while indeed it affects the question
at issue—is not one upon which we bestowed many words, having preferred
to consider, for the sake of argument, that the Pentecost did, on the
year of our Lord’s crucifixion, fall upon the first day of the week; and
then, having done this, to prove that this coincidence in no way
affected, necessarily, the nature of that day.

Nevertheless, we must beg leave here to express our gratitude that,
notwithstanding the concession in question, the readers of the
_Statesman_ are at last instructed by an abler pen than our own in
reference to the diversity of opinion which exists among the learned as
to whether, indeed, it is safe to conclude that the Sunday, to the
exclusion of the Sabbath, was the day upon which the Holy Spirit
descended upon the apostles. Be it remembered, also, that the learned
men who stand as the advocates of the seventh day as the one which God
thus honored were not observers of that day as the Sabbath. All the
authorities quoted are men who, if they regarded any Sabbath at all,
gave their preference to the first, and not to the last, day of the
week. This being the case, they certainly cannot be charged with any
bias in favor of the creation Sabbath. Not only so, but all their
predilections were doubtless against that day, and favorable to its
rival. Hence we see that when, under these circumstances, it is admitted
that such distinguished men as Lightfoot, Weiseler, and Hitzig, have
agreed that the last day of the week was the one on which the Pentecost
occurred at the time in question, they did so—not in the interest of
preconceived notions, nor for the purpose of bolstering up a theory
which was in desperate need of help—but because there was, to their
minds, at least, much which compelled a conclusion they would gladly
have avoided.

Right here, also, in order to widen the breach in the wall of evidence,
we beg leave to act in harmony with the plan pursued by the writer, and
to present a note from the pen of one no less distinguished than
Professor Hackett, which will make it manifest beyond dispute that the
scholars who at the present time sympathize with those cited above, who
regard the seventh day of the week and not the first as having been the
day of the Pentecost, are both numerous and celebrated: “It is generally
supposed that this Pentecost, signalized by the outpouring of the
Spirit, fell on the Jewish Sabbath, our Saturday.” Quoted in “Hist. of
Sab.,” by J. N. A., page 150. Let the reader bear in mind that we are
not assuming to decide between these long lines of doctors who differ so
widely upon a very important point, as regarded by some; but that our
purpose is simply to call attention to the fact of this discrepancy, and
to show its bearing upon the subject under discussion.

The first query which should be propounded, therefore, is this: Has God
ever declared that the day of the Pentecost, which we are trying to
locate, was identical with the first day of the week? The answer is in
the negative. There is not one word in the text (Acts 2:1, 2), or in the
Testament, in regard to the day of the week on which these events
occurred. It is simply stated that they took place “when the day of
Pentecost was fully come,” How remarkable, if the object was not to
honor a feast which occurred annually, but especially for the purpose of
distinguishing the first day of the week! Before, however, that day
could be illustrated by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon it, it
must first he decided—and that, too, from Bible evidence—that such
outpouring did occur on the day specified. Can this be done? We appeal
for a response to the average Christian men and women of this time. Tell
me, after having read the three-column argument of the gentleman, has
not the effect of what he has said been to unsettle, rather than to
establish, your convictions upon the point before our minds? If never
before, is it not now true that you feel somewhat shaken in regard to
the identity of the Sunday with the Pentecost, on the year of the
crucifixion? In view of what has been written, would you undertake to
establish your faith from any deduction which you yourself could make
from plain Scripture declarations? Is it not true that your opinion in
the promises depends entirely upon the faith of the one or the other
class of scholars who have ranged themselves on both sides of this
subject? Has the religion of Jesus Christ then changed? Is it no longer
true that its great and important practical truths are withheld “from
the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes”? Has God left the
important question of first-day sanctity, not upon the solid basis of
explicit command, but upon the doubtful inference which is to be derived
from certain transactions which occurred on a certain day, and then left
the day of their occurrence to occupy a position in the week so doubtful
that the most learned of those who had a desire to keep it should be
honestly divided in opinion as to which day it was? We believe not. To
our mind, it is simple presumption to intimate that God—who is not
willing that any should perish, and who has said that he will do nothing
but he will reveal it to his servants the prophets—should deal with his
creatures in a manner at once so indirect and so obscure.

Having seen that there is a wide divergence of views among the very men
who are the observers of the modern Sunday, in regard to its claims to
distinction on the score of its having been first honored by the
outpouring of the Spirit on the fiftieth day after the resurrection, let
us look for a moment at the situation with reference to the possible
effect upon the seventh day, of the logic employed. Taking it for
granted that our friends would not fly from their favorite deduction
provided it should prove to be true that they are mistaken in regard to
the time of the Pentecost, let us concede, for the time being, that the
long line of celebrities, headed by such men as Lightfoot, Weiseler, and
Hitzig, were right in arguing that Saturday, and not Sunday, was the day
on which the great Jewish festival occurred; then, beyond all dispute,
it must be conceded by our opponents that this was but another effort on
the part of Jehovah to illustrate, for the benefit of succeeding
generations, the day which he had previously made memorable by his
resting, his blessing, and his sanctification. In other words, with this
view of the design of the outpouring of the Spirit, the effect upon the
ancient Sabbath would be the same as it is now claimed to have been upon
the first day of the week. The point, therefore, of the identity of the
days is to _them_ a _vital_ one. If they are wrong in this, they are
wrong in all. We appeal to them, therefore, in view of the infinite
consequences which hang upon the proper celebration of the right
Sabbath, to at least make their logic so plain that it will be accepted
by men of their own faith, before they speak of its strength with great
assumption of confidence. Before any person has a right to employ the
events which transpired at the time of the Pentecostal outpouring of the
Spirit in the interest of Sunday sanctity, he must be able to solve, at
least to the satisfaction of his own mind, all the difficulties which
complicate this question. As God has never seen fit to say that the
Jewish feast, at the time under consideration, transpired on the first
day of the week, he must be able to establish that proposition
independently of an explicit _thus saith the Lord_.

There are two ways by which this may be attempted. (1.) By proving that
the Pentecost always took place on the first day of the week; or, (2.)
By demonstrating that Christ was crucified on Friday, the fourteenth day
of Nisan, and that consequently the Pentecost must have fallen upon a
Sunday following, and separated from that day by about fifty days. But,
so far as the first proposition is concerned, which would be by far the
easier of demonstration, if it were true—should the reader be inclined
to favor it—he must convince himself that he could establish it against
the conviction and the learning of the writer in question; for he
rejects it as being untenable. Should he therefore turn to the second,
then, as remarked above, he must be able to prove, not merely that
Christ died on the fourteenth day of the Jewish month Nisan, but that
likewise that fourteenth day of the month was also the sixth day of the
week. When we say that this will be a task which few minds are capable
of performing, and from which those who are best informed will the most
readily turn away, We but assert what the writer in question has very
distinctly shadowed forth in the facile manner in which he disposes of
the obscurity of the statements in the three Synoptical Gospels by
arbitrarily deciding that they must be interpreted by that of John.

What the real object of the writer was in making the statement that the
Karaites and the Sadducees hold to the first theory stated above, we are
at a loss to decide, since he himself concludes that they were wrong in
their hypothesis. But let us suppose for a moment that they were right,
and that the Pentecost always followed the weekly Sabbath; would that
prove that it occurred on Sunday? We answer, Yes. But would it prove
that Sunday was therefore holy time? We answer, No; it would not so much
as touch this independent question. Or rather, it should be said, if it
affected it at all, it would increase the strength of the seventh-day
Sabbath argument. Do you ask, How? We answer that, according to their
theory, you must first have a weekly Sabbath before you could decide
when you had reached the Pentecost Sunday. The direction in Leviticus
was, that they should count to themselves seven Sabbaths from the day
that they brought the sheaf of the wave-offering, which would bring them
to the feast in question.

Now let it be supposed that the crucifixion answered to the ancient
Passover, and that the apostles proceeded to the determination of the
time when the Pentecost would be reached, according to the theory of the
Karaites. The first thing which would have been necessary was, the
weekly Sabbath, which immediately followed the crucifixion of Christ.
Having found it, they would have numbered seven Sabbaths, and have
decided that the day immediately following the last of these answered to
the feast. But unfortunately for them they would have discovered—had
they believed in the modern doctrine that the law of the Sabbath was
nailed to the cross, Col. 2:16(?)—that they were deprived of a starting
point; for the Sabbath institution is a thing of commandment. Take away
the commandment, and the institution is gone. Therefore, as the cross
had accomplished its work, and had been taken down on Friday, God had
removed the landmark from which they were commanded to measure the time
which should bring them to the Pentecost at the very period when they
needed it most. In reality, there was left them no Sabbath which
answered to the one in Leviticus.

Should it be replied, however, that the Sabbath, though gone in fact,
existed nevertheless in name, it might be responded that this would
indeed be an anomalous condition of things. Mark it: it is not the
incidental mention, by its proper name, of an institution which had
ceased to be, which we are considering; but it is the deliberate action
of that God who knows the end from the beginning, in compelling the
disciples to treat the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath, in order
to the decision of an important fact; for eight weeks after, as is
claimed, it had lost its Sabbatic character.

Again; should it be urged, as a means of escape from the embarrassments
of the situation, that God did not actually require them to count the
seventh day as the Sabbath, since there was really no day of Pentecost
which they were obliged to keep on the year of our Lord’s crucifixion,
we answer, Very good. Then, of course, we shall hear nothing hereafter
from the argument for Sunday sanctity which is based upon the hypothesis
that the day of Pentecost fell on the first day of the week in the year
in question, since it will have been admitted that there was no
Pentecost that year, and consequently that it could not properly be said
to have fallen upon any day.

Once more; should it be insisted that though the Pentecostal feast was
not binding in the year of our Lord 30, or thereabout, but that the
antitype of the feast was the thing of importance, then, in reply, it
may be said that God rendered it necessary for them, in order to locate
that antitype according to the Karaite view, to count the Sabbath which
followed the crucifixion as the Sabbath of emotion, a thing which
certainly will be very difficult of explanation by those who can speak
as becomingly of the providence of God as did the gentleman in the
article which is passing under review.

Finally, we repeat, therefore, that, if indeed there were a legal
Pentecost this side of the death of our Lord, and if the Karaite system
for locating it were the right one, then the seventh day which followed
the death of Christ was distinguished by three very significant facts.
1. It was honored by the women (and therefore by the disciples) by their
resting upon it. 2. Luke, in speaking of it thirty years subsequent to
its occurrence, mentions it as the Sabbath, “according to the
commandment.” 3. God made it necessary that the whole Jewish nation
should keep the Pentecostal feast fifty days after the crucifixion of
the Lord; and, in doing so, that they should count the seventh day of
the week as still continuing to be the Sabbath.

In passing to the last branch of the subject, which will be treated in
this article, we invite the reader to note the following facts, as we
shall have occasion to employ them hereafter: 1. That the writer
proceeds with his reasoning upon the hypothesis that the months at the
time of the crucifixion were Jewish months, commencing with the new
moon. 2. That the days were Jewish days, commencing and ending with the
setting of the sun. These points we have previously urged, and are happy
to see that they are conceded as being correct.

In conclusion, we turn our attention to the remaining feature of the
communication in the _Statesman_, _i. e._, that portion of the article
which relates to the real matter in dispute, namely—granting, for the
sake of argument, that the first day of the week was the one on which
the Pentecost fell in the year under consideration—whether that fact
necessarily affected the character of that day so as to mark it out as
one which God had chosen as peculiarly his own. For, be it remembered,
that—though the whole argument which has been made respecting the
identity of those two days should be conceded—we should then simply be
prepared to decide whether the facts agreed upon would prove what is
claimed, or not.

We ask, therefore, the candid attention of all to the use which has been
made of the elaborate argument which we have been carefully considering,
point by point. We would naturally have expected—if the gentleman felt
that he had proved what he desired to, namely, that the Pentecost fell
upon the first day of the week—that the real sinews of a masterly logic
would have been discovered in an effort to show that it followed of
necessity that it must therefore have been holy time. But has he done
this? Or, in other words, if he has, in what manner has he brought it
about? Has it been by fair logical deduction? We believe that there are
very few who will insist that he has attempted such a deduction, with
any measure of success, at the very point where it should have been
expected most.

What he has said in the connection is very _pretty_. Yes, pretty is the
word which precisely expresses it. How handsomely he alludes to the
analogy between the natural harvest and the in-gathering of souls. But
who does not know that such analogies are cheap things, and that one
gifted with a prolific fancy can multiply them indefinitely? What was
expected, and what we had a right to demand, was something which partook
of the nature of certainty. How great was our disappointment at learning
that the writer did not even _pretend to have any authority from the
Lord_, so far as written statements are concerned. The whole thing he
thought was fairly _deducible_ from the coincidence of days, since
nothing ever merely “happens” to occur in the providence of God.

What has been gained, then? Manifestly, simply the point that God had
some object in view in having the Pentecost fall on the first day of the
week in the year of our Lord 30, or thereabout. The next question to be
decided is, What was that object? Right here is where we _need help_.
_God could have given_ it to us, had he _seen fit_ so to do. He has not
done so, therefore it is safe to conclude that it was not important that
we should know what his purpose was.

But if any gentleman can be found who is _wise above what is written_,
and who is able to decide with unerring certainty as to the motives of
God at all times, and under all circumstances, we should like to
propound a few questions to him. First, what did God mean when, in his
providence, he allowed the Pentecost to fall upon Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday? It is said that God _had a
purpose_ in it; but can any one tell us _what_ that purpose was? When he
has answered this, then we have a list of similar interrogatories, to
the solution of which his wisdom will be invited. In the meantime, we
shall adopt the suggestions of men in regard to plans of Deity with
great caution, for, if it should fall out in the day of Judgment that we
had followed their fallacious inferences, to the disregard of a
positive, written law of God, we know not what defense could be made for
our course of conduct, since we had been previously informed that “his
judgments are _unsearchable_,” “and his ways _past finding out_.”

Now let us look at the proposition concerning the outpouring of the
Spirit. It is agreed on all hands that the manifestation occurred as
written. It is inferred by the writer in question that it was done with
reference especially to the honoring as sacred of the day of the
resurrection. Here, again, is the assumption of knowledge which has
never been imparted by divine authority. God has never _said_ that he
meant any such thing. Not only so, but it cannot even be fairly inferred
that such was his purpose. First. Because he does not so much as
mention, in the record, the first day of the week by name, an omission
which can never be explained satisfactorily by those who insist that the
events which occurred on the day of Pentecost transpired with especial
reference to the honoring above all others, on the part of Jehovah, of
the first day of the week. Secondly. Because, were we to judge at all in
the matter, as he passed over six first-days, waiting for the arrival of
the Pentecost, we must conclude that there was something in connection
with that feast which induced him to act when he did, and as he did.
Thirdly. Because the Pentecost furnished an opportunity for the display
of the power of the ascended Christ before thousands of Jews and
proselytes from all parts of the habitable globe, more advantageously
than could be done at any other time; thus rendering it unnecessary that
any other reason should be sought in explanation of its selection from
among the other days of the year for the great outpouring of the Spirit.
Fourthly. Because, in apostolic times, it was not an uncommon thing for
the Holy Ghost to fall upon men on all days of the week; thus proving
that God is not restricted in the outpouring of his Spirit to holy times
and places, and that it is not safe to conclude that any display of his
power in this direction was made at any one time because of a special
regard for the particular hours on which it took place.

In conclusion, as the fabric of Sunday sanctity, in so far as it is
based upon the transactions of the day of Pentecost, is seen to rest,
purely upon the opinions of men, and since those who observe the day are
divided in sentiment as to whether the Pentecost did indeed really fall
upon it at all, we close this article, as we did the last, by stating
that we have a _positive commandment_ which is admitted to be binding,
and which, as given in the Bible, says that the “seventh day is the
Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.” Also,
that our advice to those who are weary with threading the interminable
labyrinth of conjecture and hypothesis is, Place your feet upon the rock
of the written word; there, and there only, you are safe. Should any one
seek to lure you from this position by the assertion that the law upon
which you have planted yourself has been amended, it will be safe to
follow them only when they are able to tell you when and where the
commandment, as given in Exodus, was changed, and exactly how it reads
since the change has occurred.

                           STATESMAN’S REPLY.
                             ARTICLE FIVE.
                    THE FIRST-DAY SABBATH AT TROAS.

The day on which the Saviour rose from the dead, the day which the risen
Saviour singled out and blessed repeatedly with his presence, the day on
which the Holy Ghost was given to the church,—this honored day certainly
could not pass without stated observance by the disciples of the risen
and ascended Lord. It is but reasonable to expect that the day which
Christ and the Holy Spirit honored would be honored by the early church.

Passing on in the sacred narrative, we come to the account of first-day
Sabbath observance some twenty-six or twenty-eight years after the
Pentecostal gift of the Spirit. In just such a matter-of-course way as
that in which a well known and established custom would be noted, is the
observance of the first day at Troas mentioned in Acts 20:6, 7: “We
sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came
... to Troas in five days, where we abode seven days. And upon the first
day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul
preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his
speech until midnight.” Several important points should here be noted:—

1. Paul and his companions remained at Troas seven days—from the third
day of one week until the second day of the next week.

2. At this time, there was at Troas a company or church of Christian
disciples, who would, of course, hold regular religious services.

3. Besides the Trojan Christians, there were at Troas, during these
“seven days,” at least nine others, including Paul and Luke (see verse
4), who would not let a week pass without observing a stated day of
worship. And yet,

4. Neither the disciples resident at Troas, nor Paul and his companions,
pay any regard to the seventh day. The whole narrative plainly intimates
that Paul held himself in readiness to depart waiting only for the
stated weekly day of public service. And the seventh day has no more
sacredness assigned to it than the fifth or sixth. Had it been the
customary day of meeting, the disciples would have assembled on it, and
Paul would have been ready to depart _on the morrow_, the first day of
the week. On the other hand,

5. The first day of the week was observed as the stated, customary
weekly day of divine service by the Christians at Troas. The word,
rendered “came together,” indicates this. It is most intimately related
to the word in Hebrews 10:25, rendered “assembling together.” The latter
is the noun, with an added preposition from the former word, the verb.
These two terms, and another kindred word, are the common terms for
regular church meetings in the New Testament. (See Hebrews 10:25; 1 Cor.
11:17, 18; 14:23, 26.) Again, it will be noticed that the meeting of the
disciples on this first day was for regular public services of the
Christian church. They came together to “break bread,” or observe the
Lord’s supper, and to hear the preaching of the gospel. Besides, let it
be noticed, it is not said that Paul summoned the disciples together;
but it is said that they “came together.” Or, if we follow the reading
of the oldest manuscripts, the customary character of this Christian
first-day assemblage will be made even more manifest. This reading is as
follows: “And upon the first day of the week, when _we_ came together.”
Whether this is the correct reading or not, it expresses undoubtedly the
fact. Paul, Luke, and their companions, as well as the Trojan
Christians, met for divine service, according to the usual practice of
Christians generally, on the first day of the week.

It remains for us to consider the mode of reckoning time which would fix
Paul’s departure from Troas on the morning of the first day of the week.
Frankness and justice require us to state that even so authoritative a
writer as Mr. Howson, in that able and scholarly work, “The Life and
Epistles of St. Paul,” adopts this mode of reckoning, and, in accordance
with it, pictures out Paul’s solitary journey from Troas to Assos on the
hallowed hours of the Christian Sabbath.

No one will dispute for a moment that, according to the Jewish mode of
reckoning, the day would begin at sundown, and in this way the evening
of the meeting at Troas would be the evening succeeding the seventh day,
and Paul’s journey of nearly twenty miles would be on the first day of
the week. But it is perfectly clear from the Scriptures that the Roman
method of reckoning the commencement of the day had already, to some
extent, supplanted the Jewish mode. Nor is it any wonder that the method
of the Romans, who were at the time in authority in Palestine, should
have obtained some recognition, even among the Jews.

John, in a passage quoted in a former article, uses the following
language: “The same day at evening, being the first day of the week.”
(John 20:19) The meeting at Troas, in the evening of the first day, may
not have been without reference to the meeting of the Lord with his
disciples late in the evening of the same day he arose from the dead.
But whether there is any reference in the meeting at Troas to the
meeting recorded by John or not, the passage above quoted clearly proves
that the late evening succeeding the first day of the week was reckoned
a part of the first day, and not a part of the day following—“The _same_
day at evening [_opsia_, late evening, after dark, it would appear],
being the first day of the week.”

Matthew, writing particularly for Jewish Christians, adopts the Roman
method in chap. 28:1, in the expression: “In the end of the Sabbath
[literally, late of the Sabbath, _opse_, late, away on after dark], as
it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” Here, manifestly,
the seventh day is reckoned as continuing during a number of hours,
which, according to the Jewish mode, belonged to the following day. If
Matthew, writing for Jewish Christians, employs the Roman mode of
reckoning, is it not altogether probable that Luke, writing especially
for Gentiles, would adopt the same mode?

But we need only look carefully at Luke’s own language to settle this
point. His statement is that Paul preached, “ready to depart _on the
morrow_.” It is agreed on all hands that the Christian disciples at
Troas came together on the first day of the week, and that Paul preached
to them on that day. Now, if the time of meeting was the evening
succeeding the seventh day, according to the Jewish mode of reckoning,
could it be said that Paul, taking his leave at a later hour that same
day, departed _on the morrow_? The original term, _epaurion_, is an
adverb, literally signifying “upon the morrow.” But connected with it is
the feminine article, agreeing with the word, “day,” understood. This
makes the expression, if possible, still more explicit—“the day which is
the morrow,” the next day. Can there remain the slightest doubt as to
Luke’s meaning? The Christian congregation at Troas met on one day of
the week. Paul preached to them on that day. It was the first day. _On
the morrow_, not the same day, but another, the following, the second
day of the week, Paul departed, as he had held himself for some days in
readiness to do, on his way to Assos. Thus, as we have a right to
expect, there is no violation by the apostle and his fellow-Christians
of the law of the Sabbath.

We have not dwelt upon this question of different modes of reckoning
because of any importance which may be claimed for it in connection with
the main inquiry before us. It is entirely immaterial to the point at
issue in this discussion whether Luke employs the Jewish or the Roman
mode. Even if it could be made to appear that he makes use of the
former, there could be found nothing in his narrative in favor of the
seventh-day Sabbath. The argument for the first-day Sabbath would still
remain in its integrity, leaving for consideration simply the question
as to the consistency of certain acts, in a certain case, with the law
of a holy day of rest and worship. For the sake of giving a pretty full
exposition of a passage important in itself, and because a wrong
interpretation has been given by high authority in countenance of a
mischievous theory of the Sabbath, we have occupied much of our space
for this issue in showing that the evening or night of the first day of
the week was the end of the Christian Sabbath, and that Paul and his
companions, like good, Sabbath-keeping Christians, waited, though ready
to depart, until Monday morning, before starting on their journey to

We propose to conclude the argument from Scripture in our next number.
After this, we shall give the testimony of the standard authorities of
the first three centuries of the Christian era. And then, with the facts
concerning sacred time before us, we shall inquire what theory of the
Sabbath harmonizes all the authenticated facts into one consistent

                              A REJOINDER.
                   “THE FIRST-DAY SABBATH AT TROAS.”

In entering upon an examination of the propositions laid down in the
article entitled, “The First-day Sabbath at Troas,” it will be well for
us first to inquire into the object which the writer had in view in
presenting them for our consideration. In doing so, we shall find that
he does not claim that the test or context of Acts 20:7, furnishes any
positive precept for Sunday observance. His effort is merely to
establish a custom. Suppose, therefore, that we should grant all that he
asks, so far as the church of Troas is concerned, would that prove that
Christians universally are under obligation to follow a like custom? We
think not, unless it can be shown that God has adopted this mode of
inculcating religious duty. But this he has never done. If the writer
had first established a positive law, then he might, with some show of
reason, appeal to custom to show that that law was interpreted as he
understands it; but when he reverses the order, and endeavors to prove
the law by the custom, then he has reversed God’s great plan, which is
that of teaching by explicit statute.

Furthermore, even should a custom be established, the writer must be
able to show that such a custom was kept up, not as a matter of
convenience or taste, but because of a conviction of religious duty. In
other words, it is possible, to say the least, that the church at Troas
were in the habit of meeting on the first day of the week, not because
they looked upon it as holy time, but for certain utilitarian purposes,
best known to themselves. Let us furnish an illustration precisely in

Should some person, eighteen hundred years hence—provided time should
last so long—write a history of the present period, as he cast his eye
over the literature of our day, he would find that, in all parts of this
country, Christians were in the habit of assembling on Wednesday
evening, for the purposes of worship. Would he, therefore, be justified
in concluding that Wednesday is regarded by us as peculiarly sacred to
the Lord? You answer, No, and most properly, for you know that our
motives are entirely different from what he would understand them to be.
So, too, with Troas. Granted, for the sake of the argument, that, as the
writer claims, they were in the habit of assembling on the late Sunday
evening; it by no means follows that they did so because they regarded
it as devoted to the Lord. Does he say that they partook of the
sacrament on that day? Grant that, for the sake of the argument. But
does not every student of the Bible know, and is it not the conviction
of the world to-day, that the Lord’s supper can be partaken of with as
much propriety at one time as at another? Is it not a fact that the time
of its institution did not coincide with Sunday? Is it not true that
originally they partook of it on all days of the week? (Acts 2:42, 46.)
If so, it would manifestly be unsafe to attach any special significance
to the fact that, at this time, it was celebrated on the Sunday, So much
for the hypothesis of the _custom_, in question.

Now that we have said what we have with reference to a custom made out,
it will be well to inquire in the next place, Has the writer established
the usage which he sought to prove? If so, we have failed to discover
the process by which it has been done. Has he found an explicit
statement that the church at Troas was in the habit of meeting on the
first day of the week? Very far from it. Having traced the sacred
narrative for twenty-six years—mark it, reader, over one-fourth of a
century—he has found a solitary assembly of Christians convened on the
first day of the week. But what were the facts in the case? Was this an
ordinary occasion? Were they by themselves alone? No; it was a time of
unusual interest. The great apostle to the Gentiles was there, paying
them a flying visit. He was about to depart on the morrow. It was
perhaps the last time they would ever see him. They wanted to partake of
the emblems of the Lord’s body from his venerated hand. They wanted to
shake that hand in a final farewell, and to plant the kiss of love upon
his careworn face. The circumstances, then, were unusual. The same
combination of facts might never exist again. There is, therefore, so
far as the general view is concerned, nothing which would justify the
decision that they had ever convened for like reasons, previously, at
the same time of the week, or that they ever would thereafter. The
writer evidently felt this, and, with an acuteness of intellectual
perception which to the common mind is almost incredible, he has
discovered overwhelming support for his theory, where the ordinary
reader would have discerned none.

How strange it is that, again and again, we find that the strongholds of
Sunday sanctity are located just beyond the boundary where the man of
average ability and learning is permitted to go. The Greek, he is told,
has a significance which, if lightly expressed, would establish a custom
beyond all doubt. Well, we have seen above what the value of a custom
is, unless explained. But we ask—and we ask it in the behalf of the
millions who have never so much as seen even the Greek alphabet, and yet
to whom eternal life is as precious as to the man of letters—can it be
possible that God has suspended the terrible realities of Heaven and
hell upon the discharge of a duty vailed from their eyes by the
obscurity of a language whose mysteries they can never hope to
penetrate? For, mark it, this is not one of those points which can be
settled without difficulty, even by those familiar with the tongue in
question. Were our learning equal to that of the gentleman who has
penned the criticism under consideration, we might flatly contradict the
statements which he makes; but this would simply serve to produce a
dead-lock in the mind of the reader, while he remained as far from a
satisfactory solution of the difficulty as ever. The only reply which we
shall make, therefore, is as follows:—

The distinction drawn between the present text and the original is
either obscure, or it is obvious. If it is obscure, it is unimportant;
if obvious, then it could be seen by scholars, and is so important that
it would have attracted universal attention and comment by first-day
writers and translators. What, therefore, are the facts in the case?
Certain it is that, if it exists at all, it escaped the notice of the
translators of our common version. That they would have given a
rendering as favorable to the first day as the facts would warrant, no
man will dispute. The suggestion that the text would bear the
translation, “_we_ having come together to break bread,” &c.,[5] while
it does not materially alter the sense, so far as the practice of the
church at Troas is concerned, if admissible, renders it highly probable
that Luke and his associates were there until the breaking of the bread;
a point which we shall use hereafter. In the meantime, we give the
following translations in order to show the conviction of their authors,
respecting the meaning of the original:—

“And on the first day of the week, when we assembled,” &c.—_Syriac._

“On the first day of the week, when we were met together.”—_Wesley, N.
T., with Notes._

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples were got

“And on the first day of the week, the disciples being

“And on the first day of the week, we, having come together to break
bread.”—_Am. Bible Union._

“And on the first day of the week, we being assembled to break

“And on the first day of the week, when the disciples met
together.”—_Doddridge in Campbell and Macknight’s Trans._

“And on the first day of the week, we having assembled.”—_Emphatic

We think the reader is now ready to admit that the traces of a custom
which relies for its existence upon an original text, rendered as given
above by so many different persons, none of whom can be charged with
favoring the seventh-day Sabbath, are, to say the least, too faint to be
of practical argumentative utility. To our mind, the inference is simply
this: Paul, about to depart on his journey to Jerusalem, appointed, for
himself and his companions and the disciples at Troas, a final meeting,
at which it was announced that the Eucharist would be celebrated. At
this meeting, all the parties came together, agreeably to the
announcement previously made, and partook of the Lord’s supper. A
fitting close of a week of apostolic labor in an Asiatic city.

The next item worthy of our attention is found in the hypothesis, that,
during the time Paul was at Troas, the seventh day of the week was
passed by without any religious meeting occurring thereupon; and that
Paul waited until the arrival of the first day, because that was the one
on which the meetings of the church were regularly held. How a writer so
intimately acquainted with the character and labors of St. Paul, the
individual in question undoubtedly is, could draw the inference which he
has, is more than we can fathom. Who, that has read the history of a man
whose nervous activity drove him to dispute daily in the school of
Tyrannus (Acts 19:9), and to seek every opportunity for the presentation
of his gospel to the Jews in their synagogues, and the Greeks in their
places of public gathering, could be induced to believe that he could
remain for seven long days in the city of Troas without a solitary
religious assembly, until the expiration of that time? And yet this is
the very decision which we are called upon to indorse. Before we can do
this, however, we ask for the proof. The answer is, it must be so,
because the record contains no account of the holding of such meetings
until the first day of the week.

But is this satisfactory? Do not all the circumstances of the case, as
well as the temperament and character of Paul, render certain the act
that such meetings were held, even, though it is not stated in so many
words? Paul with a Christian church at Troas for one week, and not
preach to them! Impossible. To show the writer that the mention of
religions meetings in brief history is not necessary in order to prove
that they occurred on a given day, or on stated days, let me call his
attention to the fact, that, between the day of Pentecost and the
meeting at Troas, according, to his own showing, there were at least
twenty-six intervening years; that during those years, agreeably to his
view, there were thirteen hundred and fifty-two first-days, all of which
were holy time, and nearly all of which must have been honored by stated
meetings on the part of the apostles; and yet, out of that whole number,
he only claims to produce the record of one solitary day on which such
meeting occurred. What are the facts, then? Paul probably preached every
day of the seven, while he was at Troas. Do you ask why the account is
not given of such meetings in the book of the Acts? I answer that the
Holy Spirit was giving, through Luke, a succinct history of the more
striking occurrences which transpired in their travels. The story of the
first-day meeting at Troas found its way into the sacred narrative,
because its importance to after generations was enhanced by the
accidental fall, and the miraculous restoration to life of Eutychus, and
perhaps by other facts connected with that event, of equal interest. I
think that one of them was a disposition on the part of God to provide
his commandment-keeping servants in succeeding generations with a
passage in the life of Paul, which should forever silence the cavils of
men who should undertake to belittle his ancient Sabbath, and to foist
into its place a day which He never commanded. This we will further
consider in our next point.

Having endeavored to establish the point that the seventh-day Sabbath
was not observed at Troas, an effort is made to show that a change of
time had occurred, so that Luke, in giving his account of the
transactions mentioned above, treated the day as commencing and ending,
not according to the Jewish method, with the setting of the sun, but
after the Roman fashion, with midnight. The reader will readily discover
the object to be gained by this maneuver, if such I may be allowed to
call it. We had insisted that the first day of the week commenced at
sunset; that Paul met with the disciples in the dark portion of that day
(verse 8), preached to them during that night, and on the next morning
commenced a journey of nineteen and a half miles on foot, on that which
answered to the daylight portion of our Sunday. This, if true, with the
majority of readers, would have forever settled the question that Paul
did not believe in first-day sanctity. A remedy, therefore, must be had.
The gentleman thinks he has found one. That he has made a desperate
effort to obtain it, we are compelled to admit. No man, it seems to us
would ever resort to an experiment so hazardous, who did not find
himself in the stress of a situation which otherwise would be utterly
insupportable. With the most deliberate calculation, and in the face of
authority which he himself highly honors, he has decided that the
journey in question occurred on the second day of the week, instead of
the first, which ended at twelve o’clock the previous night. Well,
suppose we admit, for a moment, that this was true; what then? The
Sunday is thereby rescued from profanation by Paul; but it is also true
that the second day of the week is thereby honored with the meeting of a
Christian church, and that it was it, and not the first, after all,
which was honored by the breaking of bread during its hours.[6] So much
for some of the consequences of the position, if well taken.

But now let us turn to the argument for the change. Is it really true
that Roman, and not Jewish, time, is employed in a portion of the New
Testament? If so, the perplexities of the situation are very great. How
shall we know when to apply the one, and when the other? How can we tell
precisely where the dividing line should be drawn? We hope, in all
conscience, independently of the question at issue, that the writer is
not correct. He seems to find the first intimation of a change in the
gospels. Matt. 28:1, and John 20:19, are referred to in support of his
view. Now suppose we concede for a time the point which he desires, and
admit that these passages prove the use in them of Roman time; also
that, as he claims, the meeting spoken of in John 20:19, occurred in the
evening (Roman time), and after the coming on of darkness. This done, we
inquire, Was it a Jewish day or a Roman day that was sanctified by the
resurrection of Christ, and his appearance to his assembled disciples?
We think that few will dispute that it was a Jewish day.

But when did the Jewish day commence? The undeniable answer is, At
sunset. But when did Christ appear to the disciples, according to Roman
time, as argued? We answer, In the darkness of the evening, and,
therefore, after the ending of the Jewish first day. What is the
necessary conclusion? We reply, One of two things. 1. Either that the
visit of Christ had no reference to the sanctity of the day on which it
occurred; or 2. That it was designed to honor the second day of the
Jewish week. We leave the writer in question to take whichever horn of
this dilemma he pleases. If he should insist that John employed Roman
time, then all which he has said in reference to the effect of the visit
of Christ upon the first day of the Jewish week is emptied of all force.
Never was self-stultification more complete. In his effort to escape
from the paws of the Trojan bear (secular travel on Sunday), the writer
has thrown himself into the jaws of the lion (no Scripture precedent for
Sunday-keeping). For, if he is right in supposing that the meeting in
John 20:19, occurred on the Roman evening of that day—that is, after
sunset, and the coming on of darkness—then, of course, it did not
transpire on the Jewish first day of the week, which had previously
ended, according to his own admission, at the going down of the sun; but
it actually took place after the commencement of the second day of the
Jewish week.

Not only so, but the second meeting, of Christ with his disciples (after
eight days), according to his own reasoning, must have fallen on the
second Jewish day of the next week. And, finally, accepting his logic
that the meeting of Acts 20:7, also fell on the Roman evening of the
first day of the week, that precedent, so long cherished, and so often
cited, is now forever disposed of, since it, too, illustrates the second
Jewish day of the week, and not the first, if, indeed, it adds luster to
any. But, reader, it would be neither Christian nor manly to adopt an
exegesis of Scripture presented by an opponent, simply because such an
exegesis would prove his overthrow. Truth is worth more than mere
victory. The gentleman has made a mistake in deciding that Roman time is
employed in the Bible, and that mistake has brought him to confusion.
But now we propose to show that Roman time is not employed, even though
in so doing we shall assist him out of his trouble for the time being.
Let no one suppose, however, that the relief which we shall afford him
will be permanent, for, unfortunately for him, we shall rescue him from
one death simply to deliver him to another.

The whole question turns upon the commencement and end of the Bible day.
If it can be shown that it began and terminated with the setting of the
sun, then, beyond all dispute, the meeting in Troas occurred at the
commencement of the first day of the week, at the coming on of darkness,
the only period in that day when lights could be employed to advantage
(verse 8). We proceed, therefore, to our task. We have heretofore quoted
from the Tract Society’s Bible Dictionary, under the article, day, to
prove a general agreement that the Hebrews commenced and ended their day
with the setting of the sun. In addition to this, we might refer the
reader to Smith’s Comprehensive Dictionary of the Bible on the same
subject. In fact, we might multiply authorities without end; but this is
not necessary here. By turning to Genesis, chapter 1, the reader will
find that God measured the day by “the evening and the morning”
(darkness and light). He will here observe that with the ancient Hebrews
the whole night preceded the day to which it belonged. Advancing to
Leviticus 23:32, he will there read the command of God, that the people
should keep their Sabbaths “from even to even.” But as the Sabbath was
the last day of the week, and was to commence and end with the evening,
he will discover that it will be necessary that all the other days
should commence and end in the same manner.

Passing now to the New Testament, he will find the same custom
prevailing in the days of our Lord. Nay, more; he will there obtain the
authority of Luke himself, who wrote the book of Acts, for believing
that Christ and the Jews followed that system of beginning and ending
the day which God had inaugurated in the outset. We read in Luke 4:40:
“Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers
diseases, brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of
them, and healed them.” By tracing back the event, as given by Luke, in
its parallel, as found in Mark 1, we find that Christ was healing in the
synagogue on the Sabbath day, and that he subsequently repaired to the
house of Peter, and healed his wife’s mother; and that, “at even, when
the sun did set,” the Jews brought to him all those that were diseased,
and possessed with devils, for the purpose of having him heal them.
This, however, they could not have done on the Sabbath day, according to
their views; therefore they prove that the custom was still prevalent
among them of ending the days with the setting of the sun. But,
furthermore, has it not been argued by the writer himself, that the day
of Pentecost was coincident with the first day of the week? We think
this will hardly be disputed. If it be true, however, and if the logic
be sound, that the Spirit which was poured out on the day of Pentecost
was designed to indicate that it corresponded with the Christian
Sabbath, then we need not argue further, for no man will deny that that
day was emphatically Jewish in its beginning and ending.

This army of Scripture testimony, gleaned from a history of 4000 years,
if met at all, it will be necessary that it should be done by clear and
emphatic statements emanating from the same source from which the
authorities in question are drawn. Has the gentleman furnished any such
evidence? The reader will readily discover that he has not. The only
texts brought forward in support of the change upon which he insists are
John 20:19, and Matt. 28:1. In reference to the first of these, it will
only be required that attention should be called to the fact that, with
the Hebrews, each day had two evenings. (Exodus 12:6, margin; and
Numbers 9:3, and 28:4, margin.) On this point, the Bible Dictionary
says: “The Hebrews reckoned two evenings in each day.... According to
the Karaites, this time between the evenings is the interval from sunset
to complete darkness, that is, the evening twilight. According to the
Pharisees and the Rabbins, the first evening began when the sun inclined
to descend more rapidly; that is, at the ninth hour; while the second or
real evening commenced at sunset.” (Art. Evening.) Now let it be
supposed that Christ met with his disciples somewhere between three
o’clock and sunset, on the day of the resurrection, and the statement
that he met with them the “same day at evening,” is at once verified,
and the necessity for the supposition of a change of time disappears.

In explanation of Matt. 28:1, we cannot do better, perhaps, than to
append the following comment from Albert Barnes: “The word _end_, here
means the same as _after_ the Sabbath; _i. e._, after the Sabbath was
fully completed, or finished, and may be expressed in the following
manner: ‘In the night following the Sabbath; for the Sabbath closed at
sunset, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.’” That Mr.
Barnes is right in his criticism, will become apparent when we compare
Matt. 28:1, with the parallel passage in Mark 16:1, 2, where the same
historic fact is introduced with these words: “When the Sabbath was
past.” A complete harmony is thus preserved between the two evangelists,
and all requisition for the extreme resort to the hypothesis of a sudden
and unprecedented employment of the Roman system for the computation of
time is dispensed with.

As it regards the objection, which is based upon the use made in Acts
20:7, of the words, “on the morrow,” we reply that it is not well taken.
That it was perfectly compatible with a Jewish custom, when speaking of
the daylight portion of any day from the stand-point of the previous
evening, to allude to it as “the morrow,” we cite the following
passages: “Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and
brought him by night to Antipatris. _On the morrow_ they left the
horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle.” Acts 23:31, 32.
“Saul also sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay
him in the morning; and Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, If thou
save not thy life to-night, _to-morrow_ thou shalt be slain.” 1 Samuel

In addition to the above texts, we might quote the authority of Mr.
Howson, who is so justly complimented for his scholarship by the writer.
He cannot be charged with leaning toward our views of the Sabbath, and,
therefore, if he had any bias in the case, it would be against, and not
in favor of, the position which we are trying to maintain. If there was
really any force in the criticism which is offered respecting the use of
the preposition and the term with which it is connected, assuredly the
discriminating eye of this gentleman would not have allowed it to escape
detection. Nevertheless, he, as the writer admits, deliberately decides,
while examining at length the very passages now before us, that the
events there spoken of, journey and all, did transpire on the Sunday. In
doing so, it follows, as a matter of course, that he did not regard the
difficulty which is urged concerning the words, “on the morrow,” as one
at all formidable.

Thus much by way of a brief refutation of the diversity theory for the
commencing of the days of the Bible. We have seen heretofore, that, if
the advocate of this theory were right and we wrong, he has lost to his
cause the three precedental meetings of John 20:19, John 20:26, and Acts
20:7, since they occurred on the second, and not the first, Jewish day
of the week. Let us now view the situation from the stand-point of one
who believes that the sacred, instead of the heathen, method is followed
consistently throughout the Scriptures. In Acts 20:7, the text which is
passing under review, it is said that there was a meeting held upon the
first day of the week, and that Paul preached until midnight. It now
becomes important to know on what portion of the first day of the week
this meeting fell. By examining the record, we find the statement that
there were many lights employed in the chamber where they were gathered.
We know, therefore, that the meeting must have taken place during the
dark portion of the first day of the week. But as we have seen that the
Jewish day commenced with sunset, the only hours of darkness which
belong to it were to be found between that time and the next morning.
Advancing, we learn that, having spent the night in preaching, breaking
of bread, &c., the apostle devoted the daylight portion of the first day
of the week to the accomplishment of a journey of nineteen and a half
miles, while his companions sailed the vessel a greater distance round
the headland to Assos. Here, then, is apostolic example for travel upon
the first day of the week. The writer endeavored to escape this
conclusion, by asserting that the meeting in question and the travel
took place on the second day of the week. This view, we have met, and
successfully answered. The record states that it was upon the first day
of the week when they came together. It then proceeds to give a
connected account of what transpired on that day, and among other
things, is found the story of Paul and his companions starting for
Jerusalem. Now, if the events related did really transpire on two days,
instead of on one merely, as would naturally be inferred from the
context, the burden of the proof is with our opponent. We rest the
matter, therefore, right here. The only attempt which he has made has
been a complete failure. That he thought it was the best he could do
under the circumstances, we doubt not.

There remains now no item of difference between ourselves and the writer
in the _Statesman_ which should occupy us longer. For, between him and
myself there is no room for dispute respecting the morality of traveling
on the Sabbath, since, according to his own confession, the object which
Paul had in remaining at Troas was that of a good “_Sabbath-keeping
Christian_,” who was unwilling to violate the sacredness of holy time by
the performance of secular labor. Here, then, we pause. As we do so, we
appeal to the judgment of the candid men and women who have read the
criticism of our friend and our reply thereto. Did Paul conscientiously
regard the first day of the week, while traveling on foot nineteen and a
half miles upon it, and did Luke and his six companions, in sailing a
much greater distance on the same hours, transgress the law of God, and
ignore the example of Christ; or, did they look upon the first day of
the week as one which God had given to man for the purposes of labor and
travel? If you still decide that it was holy time, you must be able to
reconcile their action with this theory. This, however, you can never
do. If, on the contrary, you shall determine that they treated it as a
secular day, then it remains so still, for its character has not changed
from that day to this.

Footnote 5:

  As it is not insisted that this translation is a correct one, I shall
  not turn aside for the purpose of showing, as might easily be done,
  from the original, that it is not admissible where the rule of strict
  construction is followed.

Footnote 6:

  The honoring of the second day here alluded to rests upon the
  hypothesis that the breaking of bread spoken of in Acts 20:11, answers
  to the Lord’s supper. It is, however, by no means certain that this
  was the case, since scholars differ widely in opinion respecting the
  matter; some holding to the opinion that reference was made to the
  Lord’s supper, and others to the view that the breaking of bread
  referred merely to a common meal.

                           STATESMAN’S REPLY.
                              ARTICLE SIX

Two important portions of the inspired records remain to be considered.
The first of these reads as follows: “Now concerning the collection for
the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do
ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in
store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I
come.” (1 Cor. 16:1, 2.)

From this passage it is clear that the churches of Galatia, as well as
the church at Corinth, or that Christians generally, were required to
set apart a proportion of their worldly goods, as God prospered them,
for benevolent purposes. It is also clear that the act of setting apart
the required proportion of means was to be performed statedly, every
week, on the first day of the week.

Whatever may be the correct interpretation of the words, “lay by him in
store,” enough is beyond all doubt and agreed upon by all, to show that
the first day of the week was regarded by the apostle and the Christian
churches as a special day, and one more fitting than others for the
benevolent and religious duty enjoined.

The phrase rendered in our version “by him,” is unquestionably an
idiomatic Greek expression for “at home.” (Compare Luke 24:12, and John
20:10.) And even if we understand this phrase to be connected with the
word rendered, “in store,” which is a participle signifying “treasure
up,” the proof of first-day sacred observance is still clear and strong.
But the true connection of the words, “at home,” is with what precedes.
“Let every one place or devote at home.” Place what? The answer is not
hard to find—a proportion of the weekly earnings; a suitable part of
what God in his bounty had given. When this proportion was separated by
each Christian at home, from the rest of his weekly earnings, it was to
be treasured up. But where? This is the important question. Where was
the money each Christian set apart at home on the first day of the week,
from his weekly receipts, to be kept in store? It appears that this
treasuring up was not at each Christian’s home:

1. Because the phrase, “at home,” grammatically connects, not with the
word “treasuring,” but with the preceding verb. This verb does not mean
“lay by,” but “lay,” or “place.” The preposition rendered “by” is part
of the phrase, “at home.” If it is insisted that the idea of treasuring
in store is in the word rendered “lay,” then we have this tautology:
“Let every one place in store or lay by at home, placing in store.” Paul
did not write in this way.

2. The first day of the week must have offered a special facility for
doing what was required. True, if nothing more is meant than laying by
at home, even that marks the first day with distinguishing honor. But
the placing or putting of God’s portion by itself; separated from the
remainder of the receipts of the past week, on each first-day, in each
Christian’s home, was in order to something else, for which the first
day alone gave opportunity. On that day, as we have learned from Acts
20:7, and other portions of Scripture, Christians were accustomed to
meet for public religious services, and at these public gatherings, each
Christian put into the treasury of the church what he had set apart at
home from the rest of the gains of the week.

3. The most conclusive argument, however, is drawn from the end that
Paul desired to accomplish. He states expressly that his aim in giving
his directions was to avoid the necessity of gatherings or collections
when he should come. The force of this consideration is evaded by
explaining the apostle’s words as meaning “small collections.” But if
every Christian had his money laid by at home, whether it were much or
little, the “collections” would still have to be made. Each Christian,
it is true, would have his sum already made up, and would need to make
no personal gathering. But the apostle’s word is much more naturally and
fittingly applied to collections on a larger and wider scale. And to
effect the apostle’s end, and avoid such collections at his coming, the
Corinthians, like the Galatians, were to make a collection every Lord’s
day, of what each one at home had set apart or placed aside from the
proceeds of his business during the preceding week. In no other way
would the moneys needed be in perfect readiness for the apostle. If left
in the hands of individuals scattered around, there would be uncertainty
about the apostle’s receipt of them, and there would still be trouble in
connection with collections on his arrival. But with the moneys already
gathered, at the regular weekly meetings, into the common treasury of
the church, and there waiting his coming, his aim is satisfactorily

The only remaining passage is Rev. 1:10: “I was in the Spirit on the
Lord’s day.” It has been admitted by opponents of the first-day Sabbath,
that if, by the Lord’s day in this passage, the first day of the week is
meant, their cause is lost. And lost it is; for no other day can be
meant. Three interpretations have been given of John’s words:—

1. By the Lord’s day is meant the day of Judgment. Wetstein, in his
elaborate edition of the Greek New Testament, in the year 1752, first
advanced this view. His comment is; “Hunc diem judicii vidit in spiritu;
_i. e._, prævidit representatum.” “John saw in Spirit the day of
Judgment; that is, he foresaw it represented.” The phrase, “the day of
the Lord,” does mean in the Scriptures the day of Judgment. But that
phrase is different from the one here employed. The literal rendering of
the former is, “the day of the Lord.” The literal rendering of the other
is, “the dominical day.” This was not a day foreseen, but a day on which
John was in the Spirit—a day of weekly recurrence which the Lord claims
as his own, as he claims the dominical supper.

2. By the Lord’s day, it is maintained again, is meant the seventh-day
Sabbath. In support of this view it is said that the phrase employed by
John corresponds with such Old-Testament expressions as “a Sabbath to
the Lord,” and with the Saviour’s language: “The Son of man is Lord even
of the Sabbath.” But the very fact that the seventh day had a well-known
and distinctive name by which it was always designated, is strong
presumptive proof that this new and unusual phrase used by John cannot
apply to it. It would be most natural to suppose that some other day is
meant, and this is clearly proved to be the fact.

3. The phrase, the Lord’s day, was the common expression for designating
the first-day Sabbath from John’s time onward. As the meal which the
Lord hallowed as his own was called the Lord’s supper, so the day
hallowed by the Lord’s resurrection, by his repeated meeting with his
disciples after rising from the dead, by the descent of his Spirit, by
the weekly religious assemblies of his people with their communions,
preaching and hearing the word, prayers and almsgiving, was properly
termed the Lord’s day. It has been argued on the other side of the
question that the Lord had a day, and but one in the week, called
specially his own. But as has been shown, Jesus himself, after his
resurrection, paid no regard to the seventh day. His disciples did not
observe it. It could not, therefore, have been the Lord’s day. On the
other hand, Jesus did honor the first day, and the Christian churches
everywhere did the same; and thus this honored day is the only one of
which John could speak when he said he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s
day.” By this name, as will be seen in our next article, the first day
of the week was known in the early church.

                              A REJOINDER.

With no small degree of interest we have perused the article entitled,
“Testimony of Paul and John to the First-day Sabbath,” The two texts
which it brings forward in defense of the theory of a changed Sabbath,
are regarded by the friends of that theory, generally, as among the
strongest of its supports. The first of them (1 Cor. 16:1, 2), we had
assailed, and adduced a criticism, from the pen of Mr. J. W. Morton,
which was of great importance. In it, the very stronghold of the Sunday
argument had been fearlessly attacked, and, to our mind, carried beyond
all question. The writer whom we quoted presented twelve versions and
translations, all of which clearly sustained the position that the
expression, “by him,” was equivalent to the term, “at home” If this were
true, then beyond all dispute the Sunday argument had been denuded of
all its strength, provided it ever had any; for the support of its logic
was the assumption that the transaction brought to view in this text was
to take place in the respective assemblies of the saints.

It is, therefore, with the most profound satisfaction that—if we rightly
apprehend the remarks of our reviewer—we accept his concession of the
point that the words, “by him,” do indeed answer to a Greek idiom, of
which the original terms are equivalent to the expression, “at home.”
This being true, we are agreed that at least a _portion_ of the duty
which Paul commanded was to be performed, not at the house of assembly,
but at the _dwelling_ of _the individual Christian_. In other words, he
admits that the money which they were to “place or devote” to charitable
purposes, was first to be estimated and separated while yet they were in
their own houses. Having conceded thus much, he reasons that the money
was to be carried to the place of worship, and laid up in store, or
deposited among the collections regularly made on the first day of the
week. In order to sustain this view, he offers a grammatical criticism
to which it cannot be objected that it is not drawn finely enough to
meet the taste of the most fastidious. But the writer does not seem to
plant himself so squarely upon it as we would naturally expect one would
who feels that he is standing upon solid ground.

The _force of his logic_ seems to be drawn from the _object_ which Paul
had in view, in ordering beforehand this weekly laying aside of money
for the poor saints at Jerusalem. The writer thinks that the evident
reference of Paul, in the words, “that there be no gatherings when I
come,” is to contributions to be taken up in the congregation when he
should have reached the place. If he is wrong in this, he is wrong in
all; for no one will dispute that money _could_[7] be “laid by in store”
_at home_, as well as in the church, since to lay by in store, is to put
in some safe and accessible place.

Right here, then, we inquire, What were the “gatherings” which Paul
sought to avoid on his arrival? They could refer to but one of two
things; either, first, the collection of moneys in the church; or,
secondly, the collecting of them by individuals from those who were
indebted to them. That the first was not the sense in which Paul
employed the word, we submit is apparent, from the fact that the end to
be gained by writing months beforehand, in order to prevent the taking
up of a collection in the church, was not commensurate with the dignity
which is given to it by so prominent a place in the sacred epistle. So
far as the collection itself was concerned, it could have been brought
about, unquestionably, within the space of fifteen minutes. The amount
of time, therefore, which it would consume, is too insignificant to be
worthy of mention.

Again, as it regards the moral complexion of the act, it will not be
objected by our reviewer that it was to be avoided from any scruples in
that direction, since he believes that such collections were taken up on
every first day of the week. On the other hand, taking the second view
as being the one which properly expresses the facts, we find that it is
in perfect harmony with the circumstances of the case, and consistent
with the notion that Paul had a sufficient motive for writing before
hand, as he did, concerning the collections. He was about to make a
brief visit to Corinth. How long he should remain, he could not tell.
While there, he wanted the undivided attention of the people to be given
to religious purposes, and also that the money which he expected, should
be in readiness, so that no delay might be necessary.

This, however, could not be, since, not knowing the exact time of his
arrival, they would not be likely to have it on hand when he should
come, unless they laid it by, weekly, at their homes. Should he,
therefore, drop in upon them suddenly, they would be thrown into a
confusion of mind illy compatible with the purposes of daily worship
during his visit, since they would be annoyed and distracted by the
necessity of gathering from this direction and that, the amounts of the
weekly contribution which they had agreed to make for the benefit of the
suffering saints at Jerusalem.

But once more: Having settled the point that the explanation claimed
does not satisfactorily account for the mention of the subject in an
epistle, while the one which we present meets the requirements of the
case in every particular—since it both supplies the money, and furnishes
the apostle with a body of Christians ready to listen to the preaching
of the word—let us look at the matter from another stand-point.

The plan proposed by Paul could have been arrived at in but one of two
ways. Every Christian was expected, either, first, to give a fixed sum,
every week, of an amount equal to that which the general valuation of
his property would require; or, secondly, he was, as the writer
supposes, to pay in a fluctuating amount weekly, that amount to be
determined by the gains or losses of the week.

We will suppose, for a moment, that the first theory is correct, and
will test the plan in question thereby. While doing so, for convenience’
sake, we will employ the currency of our own time. Here is a Corinthian
Christian who is worth, say $10,000. He decides that he will give, for
the purposes mentioned, ten dollars per week. He has money in his purse,
and nothing to prevent his doing it at any time. Being anxious to obey
the injunction of Paul, he proceeds as the writer suggests. On Sunday
morning he is at home, knowing just what he must contribute on that day,
when he goes to church, having previously decided this point. The
amount, as we have seen, is precisely ten dollars. But Paul says he must
do something with it “at home,” before going to church. What was he to
do with it? The writer says, “to place or devote it.” Well, he takes out
his purse; from it he extracts just ten dollars. He holds it in his
fingers. Now, what shall he do with it? The writer says he must “_place_
or _devote_ it.” Yes, but we inquire. What does _place_ or _devote
mean_, in such a connection as this? In other words, What shall he do
with the money at home? Shall he take it out, and turn it over, and look
at it, and put it back into his purse again, and then go to church and
place it in the contribution box? We answer that this would be a solemn
farce. To say, also, that having taken it out of his purse he must not
put it back again, but must place it in some other pocket, and then
carry it to church, is simply ridiculous. So far, therefore, as the men
were concerned whose property was fixed, and whose contributions were
the same, weekly, all that was said by Paul about “devoting or placing”
at home was pure nonsense, in the light of the exposition offered.[8]

Now for the other class, or the men of fluctuating resources. How shall
they proceed? Were they to estimate the amount of their weekly gains,
and to collect in the sum, on the last day, which they were to give on
the first day of the week? If so, then in their cases, as well as in
those of the first order, the whole process was a mere sham, an empty
and meaningless form. For they also, at their homes, would simply have
to take out their money and look at it, and then put it back and go to
the church for the purpose of donating it.

But again; as we have seen, that unless the work of deciding how much
they ought to give, and separating the amount for that purpose while at
home on the first day of the week, was a part of the plan of the
apostle, the whole suggestion had in it neither rhyme nor reason, we now
turn to the only alternative left our opponent; which is the conclusion
that the work indicated by the term, “place or devote at home,” was that
of _deciding upon_, and _separating_ the sum which they could spare to
the weekly contribution.

What are the consequences of such a position? We reply, It overturns and
utterly uproots the whole theory of Sunday sanctity; for the lesson
taught by 1 Cor. 16:1, 2, instead of being favorable to the conception
that Paul held to such a theory, shows that he regarded the first day of
the week as secular time. Do you ask, How do you reach such a
conclusion? I answer, It is inevitable, since the men who were acting
under the instruction of Paul could not carry out the work prescribed by
him without devoting at least the morning of the first day of the week
to worldly business, such as that of figuring up and deciding upon the
losses and profits of the preceding week, and, perhaps, collecting from
outstanding matters the pro-rata amount necessary for the stated
collection at the church.

Should it be objected that our suggestion is open to the criticism that
the well-to-do class of Christians could have furnished their means at
any time, we answer, Very true; but that, should week after week elapse
without the separation, on the part of the wealthy, of the stipulated
sum, it might, before the arrival of the apostle, reach figures which it
would be difficult even for them to meet without perplexity. And
besides, the better, easier, more natural, and we think, spiritually,
the more profitable method, even for them, would be found in doing it
weekly. We might offer many reasons for this conviction, had we space.
Paul was giving a general rule to meet the condition of all classes. The
poor comprised the larger portion of these classes, and a principle was
laid down, therefore, which, while it was better for the rich than any
other, was indispensable, for the purposes in question, to the men of
moderate circumstances.

Our interpretation, stated in brief, is simply this: The apostle
instructed them on the first day of the week to lay by in store, at
home, what they proposed to give to the saints at Jerusalem, hoarding it
up until he should visit them, so that at his arrival they might put it
into the common treasury; thus avoiding the possibility of being unable,
on the one hand, to meet their pledges, and on the other, of being
necessitated to have their minds occupied with temporal affairs, during
his stay. This conception is free from embarrassments. Even were the
gentleman’s translation of the passage correct, it cannot be shown to be
unsound. He would read the scripture substantially as follows: “Let
every one of you devote at home, treasuring up, that there be no
gatherings when I come.” To our mind, there is no tautology, even in the
declaration of the apostle thus expressed, which is worthy of mention;
for should the term, “treasuring up,” be interpreted to mean the same as
placing or devoting at home, it is explanatory, not of the command, but
of the purpose of the command. A paraphrase, which is often employed
with profit in the writings of Paul, will make it all clear: “Upon the
first day of the week, let every one of you lay aside, or devote to the
Lord, an amount commensurate with the prosperity which he has bestowed
upon you, treasuring it up, so that there need be no gatherings when I

The only difference between the gentleman and myself, therefore, would
be as to the _place where_ it was to be treasured up; he insisting that
it was at the church, and we, at the house of the individual Christian.
We have shown that his opinion is not only unnecessary, but that it is
also absurd, since it divides a transaction which Paul does not divide;
and, after admitting that a part of it transpired at the home of the
individual, it represents the other part as having taken place at the
church; whereas, neither the _church_, the _contribution box_, nor the
_assembly_, are so much as mentioned. And besides, it presents Paul in
an attitude which certainly does not compliment his sagacity. Mark you,
it is “every one of you” that he instructs to “lay by at home.” It must
therefore be, not the church collectively, but its individual members
who are called upon to treasure up, or lay by in store. Just here we
submit that the language employed is literal, and not figurative, and
that, this being true, the moment that the saints at Corinth placed
their funds in the common treasury, they violated the injunction of the
apostle, which was that they should treasure it up, or lay it by in
store, individually. By way of enforcing our logic, we inquire of the
reader, who has doubtless contributed many times to church collections,
Can you look upon money thus bestowed as in any proper sense of the term
belonging to you individually? or as still treasured up or laid by in
store? We think that your answer will not be equivocal. To lay by in
store, as before stated, is to put in some safe and accessible place;
but money once donated is not accessible to the individual contributor,
since he has no longer any individual property in it.

Here we must terminate our remarks on 1 Cor. 16:1, 2. As we do so, we
have disposed of the last Bible text which will be cited in the support
of a supposed practice of Sunday-keeping on the part of the early
church. Error begets error. Having rejected the obvious teaching of Acts
20:7, that Paul, after holding a meeting on the first day of the week,
traveled nineteen and a half miles on foot, and having endeavored to
explain away this journey by inferring that it took place on the second
day of the week, which is not mentioned in the connection, our opponent
comes to the consideration of 1 Cor. 16:1, 2, lugging along in his arms
a precedent which God had clearly taught him was not designed to teach
the lesson which he sought to extract from it. With this precedent, thus
illegitimately obtained, he seeks to explain the language of Paul which
we have been considering. By this means, he has been led to indorse
error. But we need not recapitulate.

In conclusion on this point, we remark: How admirable is the providence
of God! He has instructed us in his word, in regard to duty, by clear
precepts, and has never told as to study its requirements simply in the
light of human example. How remarkable, therefore, that he should have
condescended to so order, by his Spirit, the record which has been made
in the case of every precedent brought forward, that the text and
context would utterly overthrow every effort of him who should attempt
to employ them in the interest of a false doctrine. On the day of the
resurrection, as if to show that it was not holy time, two disciples are
brought to view as traveling fifteen miles; a portion of the distance in
company with their approving Lord, and the remainder of it after he had
appeared to, walked and conversed with, them. In Acts 20:7, apparently
perceiving the use which might be made of it, he places, in the
foreground of the sacred record, the apostle, threading a weary journey
on foot from Troas to Assos; and lastly, in 1 Cor. 16:1, 2, he framed
the language so that it should inculcate, not the idea that the first
day of the week was holy time, but, on the contrary, that it might be
devoted to the secular work of casting up accounts and collecting funds.

With the exposition offered of the words, “I was in the Spirit on the
Lord’s day,” Rev. 1:10, we shall make short work. What we have
previously said on that passage is not sufficiently disturbed to warrant
extended remark. Be it remembered, then, that, as said above, the
passage proves that God has a day in this dispensation. At this point
commences our divergence. We say that the term, “Lord’s day,” refers to
the seventh-day Sabbath. The writer says that it refers to the first day
of the week. The declaration that Christ paid no attention to the
seventh-day Sabbath after his resurrection, needs no reply here, except
that he was under no obligation to do so, and there was no good reason
why he should, since he regarded it strictly in his lifetime, and
enjoined it upon his followers. Perhaps, however, it would be well to
add that he at least never did anything after his resurrection which
might be construed into a desecration of it; whereas, in the case of the
only first-day on which it can be _proved_ that he ever met with his
disciples, after his death, be devoted a portion of its hours to travel
on the highway.

To the objection of the writer that, if the term, “Lord’s day,” in the
case before us, does apply to the seventh-day Sabbath, it is strange
that it should have been called in every case but this “the Sabbath,” we
reply that, were this true, this would simply prove a choice in titles,
and implies no disrespect to the day itself, since the term “Sabbath,”
equally with that of “Lord’s day,” was a sacred denomination. Not so,
however, if he be right in the supposition that the term, “Lord’s day,”
applies to the Sunday; for, if he be correct in this, then indeed we
have something which is _passing strange_. For, in all the New
Testament, that which he is pleased to style the “Christian Sabbath,”
and to which, according to his theory, belonged the honorable name of
“Lord’s day,” is not only so called but once; but, being spoken of nine
times by inspired men, it is mentioned eight times out of the nine by
them in an utter disregard of its hallowed nature, in the terms
employed, since it is referred to by its secular name, first day of the
week, in all these instances. The reader will recollect that, in our
positive argument, we showed that the term, “Lord’s day,” was a fitting
one for the last day of the week, provided the term translated “Lord”
was applicable to God, the Father, as well as to Christ, the Son. 1.
Because it was the day which he blessed and sanctified in Eden, thus
claiming it as his own (Gen. 2:3). 2. Because, in the commandment, he
calls it “the Sabbath of the Lord.” 3. Because, in Isa 58:13, 14, he
makes mention of it in the use of the terms, “Sabbath,” “my holy day,”
“the holy of the Lord,” &c.

In addition, we might cite other honorable and distinguishing terms by
which it is pointed out in the Bible as a day which belongs peculiarly
to the Lord our God, but these are sufficient.

If it be replied that the word translated “Lord” in Rev. 1:10, is
necessarily limited to Christ, we answer: 1. As we have argued formerly,
that he said he was Lord of the Sabbath. Mark 2:27, 28. 2. That the
following texts show conclusively that the divine Son of God was
engaged, equally with the Father, in the creation of this world; and,
therefore, that he undoubtedly shared in the rest which furnished the
foundation for the Edenic Sabbath, as well as in the act of blessing and
sanctifying it, or setting it apart for religious purposes. “All things
were made by him [Christ]: and without him was not anything made that
was made.” John 1:3. “He was in the world, and the world was made by
him, and the world knew him not.” John 1:10. “... Who [God] created all
things by Jesus Christ.” Eph. 3:9. “For by him were all things created,
that are in heaven, and that are in earth; ... all things were created
by him, and for him.” Col. 1:16. “God ... hath in these last days spoken
unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom
also he made the worlds.” Heb. 1:1, 2. Even though we should grant,
therefore, which we do not, that the term translated “Lord,” as above,
applies exclusively to the Son of God, we cannot see why the seventh day
might not, with all propriety, be called after him, the Lord’s day.

In the concluding remarks on this branch of the subject, it will not be
considered out of place for us to remind the reader of the protest which
we offered, in the rejoinder to the second article of the gentleman of
the _Statesman_, against his effort to obtain all the benefit which
could be derived from his interpretation of Rev. 1:10, before he had
struck a single blow, either in the direction of overturning our
construction, or establishing, by fair argument, his own. The reason why
this protest was offered is now apparent. The gentleman there, by
anticipation, _assumed_ that John meant by the term, “Lord’s day,” the
first day of the week. He _promised_ that in due time he would make good
his assertion. But how has it proved, now that he has reached the very
point where he should have fulfilled this engagement? Every one must see
that he has utterly failed. _Proof_ was the very thing which was
_promised_, and which was _needed_, right here. It is the very thing,
also, which he has neglected to adduce. All that is said in reference to
the theory of Wetstein, may have served to give respectability, in point
of length, to the treatment of that which he has regarded a most
important scripture in his line of evidence; but it was utterly
irrelevant to anything which we had said; for the reader will remember
that we emphatically planted ourselves on the position that it was the
weekly Sabbath to which allusion is made.

To the restatement of the scriptures employed in vindication of this
last opinion, there can be no objection, but we inquire again, Where are
the passages, where the deductions from Scripture teachings, by which
the gentleman has proved that the Lord’s day is the first day of the
week? He has not so much as cited one. He has not made even a
respectable effort at argument; but, with a haste which is irreverent,
if not indecent, he rushes away from the book of God, as if impelled by
the conviction that his view will find no support there, and plunges
headlong into the regions of patristic myth and moonshine. At this we
are not surprised. It is just what we expected. Sabbatarians are as well
acquainted with this device as they are with the emptiness of the
so-called Bible argument for the Sunday. It simply serves to strengthen
their conviction, so often expressed in these articles, that the
stronghold of first-day observance will ever be found in writings which
have been manipulated, retrenched, and interpolated, by the church of
Rome. For, be it remembered, it is from the authorities to which the
gentleman now appeals, that the papacy brings its stoutest testimonials
for apostolic succession, papistic supremacy, and the other heresies
which blacken the record of its apostasy.

All it is necessary to say to the reader here is, therefore, that he
should bear in mind that Sabbatarians are willing to leave the
arbitrament of this whole question where it can be determined from the
standpoint of Bible evidence. It is the opposition, and not we, who make
it necessary, in the investigation of this subject, to go upon forbidden
ground. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished
unto all good works.” 2 Tim. 3:16, 17. If, therefore, first-day sanctity
has no warrant in the Bible, which we have seen to be the case, then it
is not among those things which are _profitable_, or which, as Christian
doctrines, are _necessary to furnish the man of God unto all good

Footnote 7:

  This point is an important one; and as we are anxious to satisfy the
  reader that it is well taken, we append the following remarks of
  Albert Barnes, who—though agreeing with the writer in the _Statesman_
  that this passage furnishes proof for Sunday observance—nevertheless
  frankly concedes, as will be seen, that the construction of the
  original phrase for “treasuring up,” is such as to admit of the idea
  that the work was to be done at home. He says: “The phrase in Greek,
  ‘treasuring up,’ may mean that each one was to put the part which he
  had designated into the common _treasury_. This interpretation seems
  to be demanded by the latter part of the verse. They were to lay it
  by, and to put it into the common treasury, that there might be no
  trouble of collecting when he should come. Or, it may, perhaps, mean
  that they were individually to _treasure it up_, having designated in
  their own minds the sum which they could give, and have it in
  readiness when he should come.”

Footnote 8:

  Instead of selecting a wealthy person, able to contribute ten dollars
  per week, as has been done above, let an individual be chosen from the
  poorer classes of Corinthians—say from among these who would be able
  to donate only twenty-five cents per week—and the reader will be more
  forcibly impressed with the unreasonableness of that construction
  which makes it necessary that so small a pittance should first be
  placed or devoted at home, and then carried to the church, and there
  deposited in the general collection.

                           STATESMAN’S REPLY.
                             ARTICLE SEVEN.

Besides the inspired records of the Scriptures, there have come down to
us the writings of men who were contemporaneous with some of the
apostles, and the writings of others who lived in the immediately
succeeding generations. We shall quote from the writings of those who
lived during the two centuries following the close of the canon of
inspiration. These writers give evidence enough that they were not
inspired, as were the penmen of the Divine Word. But it will be borne in
mind that we appeal to them here simply as witnesses to a matter of
fact. Many of their opinions and interpretations of Scripture may not be
worthy of acceptance; but their testimony to the existence of the Lord’s
day, an admitted fact, cannot be disputed. As there has been a great
deal of loose citation from the early fathers on this question, we have
been at considerable pains to translate carefully from the original in
every case, and accompany each quotation with minute and accurate

The first writer from whom we shall quote is Ignatius. This father stood
at the head of the church at Antioch at the close of the first century
and the beginning of the second. After occupying that position for many
years, he was condemned to death, as a Christian, by Trajan, transported
in chains to Rome, and there thrown to lions in the Coliseum for the
amusement of the populace, probably in the year 107. On his way to Rome,
he wrote seven epistles to various churches. Eusebius and Jerome arrange
these writings as follows (1) To the Ephesians; (2) to the Magnesians;
(3) to the Trallians; (4) to the Romans; (5) to the Philadelphians; (6)
to the Smyrneans; (7) to Polycarp, bishop, or presbyter, of Smyrna.
These seven epistles, in connection with a number of others confessedly
spurious, have come down to us in two Greek copies, a longer and a
shorter. A Syriac version of three epistles has recently been found.
Without entering into the controversy concerning these Ignatian
Epistles, we give the conclusion reached by Dr. Schaff, which is very
generally accepted: “The question lies between the shorter Greek copy
and the Syriac version. The preponderance of testimony is for the
former, in which the letters are no loose patch-work, but were produced,
each under its one impulse, were well known to Eusebius, probably even
to Polycarp, and agree also with the Armenian version of the fifth
century.” (History of the Christian Church, vol. i. p. 466.) It is
admitted, even by those who do not accept the Greek copy as genuine,
that it is the work of the close of the second century, or a little
later. In any event, then, it is important testimony. In the epistles to
the Magnesians occurs the following language: “Be not deceived with
false doctrines, nor old, unprofitable fables. For, if we still live in
accordance with Judaism, we confess that we have not received grace. For
even the most holy prophets lived according to Jesus Christ.... If,
then, they who were brought up in ancient things arrived at a newness of
hope, no longer keeping the Sabbath, but living according to the Lord’s
life, ... how can we live without him?... Since we have been made his
disciples, let us learn to live according to Christianity.”[9]—_Ad
Magnes._ capp. 8, 9; Coteler’s Edition, vol. ii. pp. 19, 20. Amsterdam,

In this passage, it will be observed, the writer draws a contrast
between Judaism and Christianity. To keep the seventh-day Sabbath was to
live according to Judaism. To live according to the dominical life, or,
as the thought is otherwise expressed, to live according to
Christianity, was opposed to the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath. The
argument of Ignatius tells strongly in favor of the first-day Sabbath.
If Jews, he argues, brought up in the old order of things, on turning
Christians, no longer keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but live according
to the dominical life, observing as part of that life, the dominical
day, the day on which the Lord rose from the dead, surely those who
never had been Jews should live according to Christianity, and not give
heed to Judaizing teachers.

Passing on, we come to a document called “The Epistle of Barnabas.” This
letter, though not the composition of the Barnabas of the New Testament,
was written in the early part of the second century. It cannot be
determined who was the author, but _the early date_ of the letter is
fully established; and that is the main point. Its language is: “We
celebrate the eighth day with joy, on which Jesus rose from the
dead.”—_Coteler’s Edition of the Apostolic Fathers_, vol. i. p. 47.

The testimony of Justin Martyr is full and explicit. As an itinerant
evangelist for many years during the first half of the second century,
just after the time of the apostle John, he enjoyed an excellent
opportunity of becoming, acquainted with the customs of the whole
church. Writing in the year 139 to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, in
vindication of his Christian brethren, he gives the following account of
their stated religious services: “On the day called the day of the sun
is an assembly of all who live either in cities or in the rural
districts, and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the
prophets are read;” _i. e._, the Old and New Testaments. Then he goes on
to specify the various parts of their first-day services. Just as at the
present day, in Christian congregations, there were preaching, prayer,
the celebration of the Lord’s supper, and the contribution of alms. As
reasons why Christians should observe the first day, he assigns the
following: “Because it was the first day on which God dispelled the
darkness and chaos, and formed the world, and because Jesus Christ, our
Saviour, rose from the dead on it.”—_Robert Stephens’ edition of the
works of Justin Martyr_, p. 162. Lutetiæ, 1551.

In another of his works, the Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, written about
the same time as the Apology, from which we have quoted, occurs this
passage: “The command to circumcise infants on the eighth day was a type
of the true circumcision by which we were circumcised from error and
evil through our Lord Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead on the first
day of the week; for the first day of the week remains the chief of all
the days.” (Stephens’ Edition, p. 59. See also Trollope’s edition of the
Dialogue with Trypho, pp. 85, 86.) The careful reader of Justin Martyr
will observe that, in addressing Trypho the Jew, he uses different terms
for the days of the week from those which he employs in addressing the
Emperor Antoninus. Addressing a heathen emperor, he employs the heathen
names for both the seventh and the first day of the week.

Two important notices of the Lord’s day, all the more important because
of their incidental character, are found in the History of Eusebius.
Dionysius, bishop or presbyter of Corinth, A. D. 170, in a letter to the
church at Rome, a fragment of which is preserved by Eusebius, says:
“To-day we kept the Lord’s holy day, in which we read your letter.”
(Hist. Eccles. iv. 23, Paris Ed. 1678, pp. 117, 118.) The other of these
notices is in regard to a treatise on the Lord’s day, by Melito, bishop
of Sardis, A. D. 170. This treatise, Eusebius remarks, along with others
by the same writer, had come to the historian’s knowledge.—_Hist.
Eccles._ iv. 26, Paris Ed. 1678, p. 119.

Although the letter of Pliny to Trajan is so well known as hardly to
need quotation, we shall close this article with its interesting
testimony in confirmation, from a pagan quarter, of what has already
been adduced from Christian writers: “They [the Christians] affirmed
that the sum of their fault, or error, was that they were accustomed to
assemble on a stated day—_Stato die_—before it was light, and sing
praise alternately among themselves to Christ as God—_carmenque Christo,
quasi Deo, dicere secum, invicem_.” (Plin. Epist. x., 97.) Here we have
the fact that Christians in the early part of the second century met
regularly on a stated day, and this stated day, as all the Christian
authorities of the same date prove, was the first day of the week, the
Lord’s day.

Additional patristic evidence will be given in the next article.

Footnote 9:

  Not a few eminent writers, such as Dwight, and Wilson, of Calcutta,
  who are followed by many lesser authors, quote Ignatius, as saying:
  “Let us no more Sabbatize, but keep the Lord’s day.” From the literal
  rendering of the original above given, it will be seen that these
  writers take an unwarrantable liberty with their author. The words of
  Ignatius are, ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὴν κυριακὴν ζωὴν ζῶντες. To separate the noun
  ζωὴν from the preceding adjective, and connect it with the following
  participle, so as to read, “Living a life according to the Lord’s
  day,” is an unnatural separation of the words of the original. To drop
  out the word ζωὴν is unwarranted. If this word were spurious, then the
  rendering would be, “Living according to the Lord’s day,” the
  adjective κυριακη without the noun for “day” being expressed occurring
  frequently for “the Lord’s day.” But there is no ground for rejecting
  the word “life.” To color the language of an author for the sake of
  giving it point in favor of one side of a question is unworthy of a
  seeker after truth. In the present case there is really nothing gained
  by departing from the precise language of the writer. Another passage,
  often quoted as from Ignatius, is part of the spurious epistle to the
  Galatians. It is as follows: “During the Sabbath, Christ continued
  under the earth, in the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathea had laid
  him. At the dawning of the lord’s day, he arose from the dead. The day
  of the preparation, then, comprises the passion; the Lord’s day
  contains the resurrection.” This certainly has some weight as the
  testimony of comparatively early writer, but it must not be ascribed
  to Ignatius.

                              A REJOINDER.

There is one feature which has characterized this debate, hitherto,
which has been a source of considerable satisfaction. The controversy,
up to this point, has been urged purely with reference to the teaching
of the Bible, as drawn from its sacred pages. Henceforth, however, this
is not to be the case. We are now to have, not the “sure word of
prophecy,” with the clear and forcible lines of textual evidence, drawn
from its inspired utterances, but that “word of prophecy,” supplemented
and explained by the apostolic fathers.

It has been said, and well said, that history repeats itself. If there
was one thing which marked the religious impulse that Protestantism gave
to the world, it was an utter rejection, in the decision of religious
opinions, of everything but Bible authority. The voice of Martin Luther
even now seems to reverberate in our ears, as—when fighting the very
battles which Sabbatarians am being called upon to fight over again—he
retorted in sharp and stinging words upon his cowled and priestly
opponents, who were ever citing patristic evidence, The Bible, and the
Bible alone, is our rule of faith. Again, as we read the words addressed
by him to those friends who were hopefully waiting the expected reply
from the Romanists of his time, to a courageous assault which he had
made upon them from the stand-point of the Bible, it seems as if they
were designed to be prophetic of our time, rather than descriptive of
his own. He said: “You are waiting for your adversaries’ answer; it is
already written, and here it is: ‘The fathers, the fathers, the fathers;
the church, the church, the church; usage, custom; but of the
Scriptures—nothing!’”—_D’Aubirgne’s Hist. Ref._, vol. viii., p. 717.

Wearisome as these repeated conflicts may be to the child of God, there
is a satisfaction in the thought that we hold in our hands the same
weapons, and bear aloft the same banners by which, under the blessing of
God, victory, complete and universal, has been attained in the past. The
opponents of Bible truth have never yet been able to stand before the
thunder of its power, or to balance the ponderous weight of its
influence, in the decision of religious questions. The homely phrase of
the great reformer is just as potent and irresistible in the present
contest as it was in that for which it was framed “When God’s word is by
the fathers expounded, construed, and glossed, then, in my judgment, it
is even like unto one that straineth milk through a coal-sack, which
must needs spoil the milk, and make it black; even so, likewise, God’s
word of itself is sufficiently pure, clean, bright, and clear; but
through the doctrines, books, and writings, of the fathers, it is very
surely darkened, falsified, and spoiled.”

The elegant and convincing logic of Philip Melancthon, the greatest
theologian of the sixteenth century—who, in the following brief lines,
discussed and summed up the whole question—is just as sound and
unanswerable now as it was when, under the blessing of God, it carried
confusion and defeat into the ranks of the papacy, three hundred years
ago. He says: “How often has not Jerome been mistaken! how often
Augustine! how often Ambrose! How often do we not find them differing in
judgment—how often do we not hear them retracting their errors! There is
but one Scripture divinely inspired, and without mixture of error.”
(_Idem._, p. 219.) In fine, we might prove from history that nearly
every Protestant writer, for the last three centuries, has forged for us
weapons which could be employed with the most telling effect in the
controversy in which we are now engaged.

This, however, we have not space to do, but must content ourselves with
several brief citations, by which we will show that the authorities of
our own times—equally with those of the past—are uniform in their
expressions of contempt for testimony which is so largely relied upon by
our reviewer in the present discussion. “To avoid being imposed upon, we
ought to treat tradition as we do a notorious and known liar, to whom we
give no credit, unless what he says is confirmed to us by some person of
undoubted veracity.... False and lying traditions are of an early date,
and the greatest men have, out of a pious credulity, suffered themselves
to be imposed upon by them.—_Archibald Bower._

“But of these, we may safely state that there is not a _truth_ of the
most orthodox creed that cannot be proved by their authority; nor a
_heresy_ that has disgraced the Romish church, that may not challenge
them as it abettors. In point of _doctrine_, their authority is, _with
me, nothing_. The WORD of God alone contains my creed. On a number of
points, I can go to the Greek and Latin fathers of the church, to know
what _they believed_, and what the people of their respective communions
believed; but after all this, I must return to God’s word to know what
he would have me to believe.” (A. Clark, Com. on Prov. 8.) “We should
take heed how we quote the fathers in proof of the doctrines of the
gospel; because he who knows them best, knows that on many of those
subjects they blow hot and cold.” (Quoted in Hist. of Sab. from
Autobiography of Adam Clarke.)

“Most of the writings, bearing the name of the apostolic fathers, are
regarded as spurious by various modern critics. The genuineness of all
has been disputed; but the fragments that remain are curious as relics
of an early age, and valuable as indicating the character of primitive
Christianity.” (Am. Cyc., Art. Apostolic Fathers.) Thus much for the
estimate which Protestants place upon the authorities which are brought
forward by the gentleman in the _Statesman_. Assuredly, he would never
have appealed to them, had he not felt that his cause was hopeless one,
when left to the arbitrament of Scripture.

Should it be pleaded in extenuation of his cause that they have not been
advanced with a view to influencing the judgment of the reader in
reference to the continuity of the old Sabbath, but were introduced
simply to furnish, as suggested in the outset, a criticism showing the
use of the term, “Lord’s day,” in the first three centuries, then, we
inquire, why cite Ignatius at all? It will be perceived at a glance
that, according to the rendering which he has given us—and for which,
and his note thereon, he will receive our thanks, since it will save us
much labor—there is not in it a single mention of the term, “Lord’s
day.” If the passage conveys any meaning at all, it is either that the
Sabbath should be observed in a manner differing from that in which it
was kept by the Jews, or else that it should not be observed at all.

But the last of these propositions, the writer will not admit to be
sound, since he has fairly repudiated such a conception, and has, in so
many words, stated that he heartily agrees with us in the perpetuity of
the Edenic Sabbath. He has also stated that the fourth commandment—which
it will be admitted commences with the words, “Remember the _Sabbath
day_, to keep it holy”—is a Sabbath law which is still binding, and
which, the words of Ignatius to the contrary notwithstanding, forever
settles the question that this is not a Sabbathless dispensation.

What shall be done, then, with the language of the venerable father? We
are well acquainted with the office which it has performed hitherto, and
are anxious to know where it is to throw its baleful shadow hereafter.
In the past, hundreds of individuals whose consciences have been aroused
by appeals to the Bible on the subject of the perpetuity of God’s holy
day, have had their fears quieted, and have been lulled into security by
the very extract with which we are here favored. Why, they have said,
was not Ignatius a disciple of John, and did he not therefore know what
John believed? Did he not also prove his integrity by becoming a martyr
to the faith? Since, therefore, he was possessed of both knowledge and
piety, and since he has called the first day of the week the Lord’s day,
are we not justified in keeping the day which he kept, and rejecting the
day which he rejected? Supported and encouraged in this position, as
they have been by the brethren of the writer who—having either less
candor, or less scholarship, than he—have insisted again and again that
Ignatius did call the first day of the week the Lord’s day, it has been
in many cases utterly impossible for Sabbatarians to disabuse their
minds of this impression. With gratitude, therefore, we shall add the
name of the gentleman to the rapidly increasing list of scholars who,
headed by Kitto, and others of equal distinction, frankly concede that
Sabbatarians have been in the right, and that Ignatius did not speak of
the Lord’s day at all, but simply alluded to the Lord’s life.

But what shall we say for those who have been deluded upon this point,
and have thus been prevented from doing what they felt that duty
required? There is a terrible responsibility somewhere. For the scholars
who have abetted this deception, there can be no defense. For the
unfortunate victims of the fraud, it may be said that their situation
would be more hopeful had they not brought themselves into the
difficulty by going upon forbidden ground. Should one be led astray by
an incorrect translation of the Scriptures, God would undoubtedly pardon
the mistake; for the person had done the best he could under the
circumstances, and had sought for light where God had instructed him so
to do. But to those who, having left the only true source of trustworthy
knowledge, have allowed any class of persons, ancient or modern, to
shape their belief differently from what it would have been had they
relied wholly upon the Bible, we fear that Christ will say—as he did to
those in like circumstances in his day, who, having followed the
traditions of their ancestors, were found violating the law of God—“In
vain do ye worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

Before closing on this point, and in order that the citation may not be
employed in the interest of no-Sabbath views, let the reader consider,
for a moment, another feature, and a very important one in this
argument. Having seen that Ignatius—if he wrote the above—did not
mention the Lord’s day, it is proper now to inquire whether it is
certain that he ever penned the language in question, at all? To this it
may be replied, that it is very far from being so. Nay, it is in the
highest degree probable, as the following extracts will prove, that the
venerable man either never wrote a word of those which are cited, or, if
he did, what he said has been so manipulated that it is very far from
conveying the impression which he intended. “From Smyrna, he (Ignatius)
wrote to the churches at Ephesus, Magnesia, Trallia, Rome, and
Philadelphia, and on his voyage, to Polycarp, and the church at Smyrna.
These letters are still extant, though the genuineness of the first
three is doubted by some learned men.” (_Cyc. Relig. Knowl. Art.

The distinguished historian and scholar, Kitto, speaks on this point in
his Cyclopedia, Art. Lord’s Day, as follows: “We must notice one other
passage as bearing on the subject of the Lord’s day, though it certainly
contains no mention of it. It occurs in the epistle of Ignatius to the
Magnesians (about A. D. 100). The whole passage is evidently obscure,
and the text may be corrupt.” Originally, there were fifteen letters
attributed to Ignatius. Centuries ago, however, eight of them were
rejected as hopelessly spurious. The remaining seven have been also
denounced as forgeries, by many writers, with John Calvin at their head.
Others, while holding on to four of the seven, have condemned three, and
among them the letter to the Magnesians, from which the citation which
we are considering was taken. A poor stone, this, which purports to come
from Antioch, for the head-stone of the corner of the temple of
patristic testimonials to the Sunday.

The way is now prepared for the consideration of the second extract,
namely, that of Barnabas. Here, again, the confession of the gentleman
is of service to us, by way of saving labor, since he unequivocally
admits that the Barnabas who wrote the letter from which he quotes, was
not the Barnabas of New-Testament fame. It becomes important, however,
that we should know just who he was who wrote this epistle, before it
should be received as authority in a grave religious discussion. Few
persons would have the temerity to commit their spiritual interests to
the hands of nameless individuals who lived 1700 years ego, unless they
could feel some assurance that the men in whom they were thus confiding
were persons whose judgment should have weight in the decision of
matters of faith.

It is not enough that it should be established, even beyond doubt, that
the writer in question lived in the second century. For no one will
insist that _all the men_ who lived at that time were proper exponents
of the views held by Christians in that period. It is, therefore, but
reasonable that, before any man is brought forward to testify in so
important a matter, he should have either a name which will show that he
was qualified, both morally and intellectually, to act the part of a
public teacher of the opinions held in his time, or, at least, that what
he has written must be of a nature to commend his utterances to our
judgments. Neither of these requisitions, however, is met in the case of
the Barnabas (if his name was really Barnabas) quoted above.[10]

That his epistle has been employed in a gigantic fraud, no one will
dispute. It is headed, “The general Epistle of Barnabas.” At its close,
as given in the apocryphal New Testament, is the subscription,
“Barnabas, the apostle, and companion of Paul.” Now, if he wrote these
words himself, the gentleman will admit that he is unworthy of the
slightest confidence, since he has told a deliberate falsehood. If, on
the other hand, it be insisted that this was the work of subsequent
generations, then we must move with extreme caution. In the region where
this epistle lies, are the unmistakable footprints of men base enough to
pervert the facts, and to employ its contents for an unworthy purpose.

The only alternative left us, therefore, since the author of the
document is unknown to history, is that of examining what he has said,
with reference to its character. Before doing this, however, it will be
well to state—by way of putting the reader on his guard—that the history
of this epistle is of a nature to awaken the most serious suspicion. By
consulting the Am. Cyc., Art. Epistle of Barnabas, he will find it there
stated that this epistle was lost to the world for eight hundred years,
namely, from the ninth to the seventeenth century, and that, when it
came to the surface after its long disappearance, it was found in the
hands of one Sigismond, a Jesuit of that age. The desperate character of
the order to which this man belonged, and the recklessness with which
its members treat documents of the most sacred character, when they can
thereby serve a favorite purpose, need no comment here.

Prof. Stowe, while arguing favorably to the epistle, in some respects,
employs the following words, which have in them great significance, in
view of what has been said above: “We admit that the epistle of Barnabas
is strongly interpolated.”—_Hist. of Books of the Bible_, p. 423.

It is now time to ponder, for a moment, the words of the nondescript
writer quoted above. They are as follows: “We celebrate the eighth day
with joy, on which Jesus rose from the dead.” In them is found not a
single fact which, granting their authenticity, is at all decisive in
the matter at issue. For, be it remembered, the controversy is not as to
whether the ancients were in the habit of holding convocations for any
purpose whatsoever, on the first day of the week, but, whether they
called it the Lord’s day. It will, therefore, be admitted that the term,
Lord’s Day, is not so much as mentioned; whereas, the day which it is
supposed was entitled to the honor of being thus designated, is termed
the “eighth day, the one on which Jesus rose from the dead.” Nor is it
so much as intimated that the day in question was observed as a Sabbath,
or esteemed as holy. The statement employed is that “they celebrated it
with joy.” But this could be said with perfect propriety of any day of
the week on which there regularly occurred a religious festival.

As an illustration of this, it might be mentioned here that a
historian of the present time, while mentioning the usages of this
period, could not be charged with inaccuracy should he declare that
the 25th of December, which is supposed by some to be the day of the
Lord’s nativity, is regularly celebrated. Should he do so, and should
coming generations infer therefrom that it is now regarded as holy,
you will readily perceive the mistake into which they would fall. What
we want, if we must have recourse to such _miserable material_ as that
which we are handling over, is something positive and definite. This
the text undeniably fails to give. We leave it, therefore, as
worthless; 1st. Because we do not know _who_ wrote it. 2d. Because we
do not know _when_ it was written. 3d. Because it is found in an
epistle so corrupted by interpolations that it is not at all reliable
as authority. 4th. Because it has no direct bearing upon the subject.
5th. Because its author—by the absurd and ridiculous sentiments to
which he gave expression—manifestly had a judgment too weak to allow
us to suppose that, in the providence of God, in which nothing falls
out by mistake, he should constitute a pillar in any way necessary to
the establishment of sound religious doctrine.

The third authority brought forward is Justin Martyr. From him we learn
that, on the day of the sun, the church at Rome were in the habit of
convening, partaking of the Lord’s supper, listening to preaching,
engaging in prayer, and in the contribution of alms.

It will be at once perceived that here is the nearest approach yet made
to the accomplishment of the task which our reviewer assigned himself,
and for which he has led the reader away from the oracles of God to the
opinions and practices of men liable to error and mistake. Let it not be
forgotten that the _prominent_ object to be gained by this departure,
was the production of patristic authority for the use of the term,
Lord’s day, in the first three centuries. That this purpose has not been
accomplished, hitherto, all must admit. The next inquiry, therefore, is,
should all points of dispute respecting the reliability of what has been
quoted above, be waived, and should it be granted that Justin Martyr
said what is attributed to him, Has the desired object been reached? The
answer is emphatically in the negative. Justin Martyr avoids the
application of Lord’s day to the day of the sun, as if prevented from
using it by the same fatality which has withheld all the others from
doing so, who have thus far been cited.

Here we might pause, and insist that the gentleman has utterly failed,
in the citation before us, to prove anything which is really relevant to
the subject. It is in vain that he urges, in extenuation of the fact
that Justin calls the first day of the week, the “day of the sun,” that
he is addressing a heathen emperor. He was not afraid to speak to that
emperor of the Old and New Testaments, of the preaching of the word, of
the Lord’s supper, and of the resurrection of Christ; and why should he
thus carefully avoid mention of the Lord’s day? Surely, he did not wish
to convey the impression that Christians observed the day of the sun
because of its heathen character, since he gives the reasons for their
doing so.

But, again, it is claimed that at this period the chosen and peculiar
appellation which had been given by the Holy Spirit, was that of Lord’s
day, and that the Lord’s day, or the Sunday, had become the holy Sabbath
which God commanded. This being true, assuredly we might expect that, in
the work of Justin entitled, “A Dialogue with Trypho, the Jew,” he would
set forth, in the use of its peculiar title, the claims of that day
which had been elevated, by divine command, to the position of the
ancient Sabbath. But does he do this? The gentleman does not urge it. He
does say that, in writing to the Jew, he drops the heathen titles of
Sunday and Saturday, and speaks of the first, and the seventh, day of
the week. But mark again; it is not urged that he anywhere calls the
first day the Lord’s day. Once more, therefore, he has failed on this
branch of the subject.

Now it will be well to regard the matter from the other side of the
question. It must be conceded, as remarked above, that what Justin
Martyr says furnishes stronger support for the idea of worship on the
Sunday than anything else which has been adduced. But here again, we
protest that the Bible, alone and unexplained, is sufficient for the
settlement of this point. Others, if they like, may form their religious
faith upon the practice of uninspired men, handed down to us through the
perilous transit of the ages, protected and shielded from corruption and
innovation by no denunciation of divine wrath against those who change
its phraseology; but we much prefer to stand under the covering ægis of
these words: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto
him the plagues which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22:18.) Nor do we
think that the gentleman himself would seriously urge that this position
is unsound. Let us test it. Justin Martyr is assumed to be a fair
exponent of the religious sentiment of his time. Now, therefore, what he
believed they believed; and what they believed, we ought to believe, if
our position, taken above, is not correct. Proceeding a step farther, we
inquire, what was the faith of Justin Martyr and his contemporaries,
allowing his writings to be the criterion of judgment? To this it may

1st. That they believed in no Sabbath in this dispensation. Proof: “For
if before Abraham there was no need of circumcision, nor of Sabbaths,
nor of feasts, nor of offerings before Moses; so now in like manner
there is no need of them, since Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was, by
the determinate counsel of God, born of a virgin of the seed of Abraham,
without sin.” (Dial. of Trypho.) Does the writer believe this? The
reader well knows that he does not, for he has nobly repudiated it,
again and again.

2d. They believed that the Sabbath was imposed upon the Jews for their
sins. Proof: “It was because of your (_i. e._, Jews) iniquities, and the
iniquities of your fathers, that God appointed you to observe the
Sabbath.” (_Idem._) But our reviewer holds—as must all who accept the
words of Christ (Mark 2:27, 28)—that it was given to Adam in the garden
of Eden, as their representative head, for the benefit of the whole
race, more than two thousand years before there was a Jew in the world.

3d. They believed that, in the administration of the Lord’s supper,
water should be employed. Proof: “At the conclusion of this discourse,
_i. e._, that of the Bishop on Sunday, we all rise up together and pray;
and prayers being over, there is bread, and wine, and water offered.”
(First Apol. Tras. by Reeves.) But modern Christendom look upon this as
an innovation of popery.

4th. They believed that the reasons why Christians should observe the
first day of the week were found in the facts that God dispelled the
darkness and chaos on the first day of the week, and that on that day,
Christ rose from the dead. Proof: Extract given above by the writer in
his article. But the first of these opinions, modern Christians will not
admit at all, and the latter furnishes only one-half of the obligation,
since it ignores all positive law upon the subject.

So we might proceed, but enough has been said to show that Justin
Martyr, as quoted above, is no criterion for the faith of those who have
the Bible in their hands, from which they can learn, contrary to his
views: 1st. That we have a Sabbath. 2d. That it was given to all mankind
as a blessing, and not to the Jews for their sins. 3d. That both the
bread and the wine belong to the laity, as well as to the priests. 4th.
That the reasons for the observance of the Lord’s day do not rest upon
the circumstance that God dispelled the darkness on the first day, but
upon an explicit command of Heaven.

If the reader would satisfy himself from other sources that the
statements of Justin Martyr are to be taken with extreme caution, and
that his judgment was so easily imposed upon as to render him an unsafe
guide in the plainest matters of fact, he will read the following
extract from a publication of the Am. Tract Society: “Justin Martyr
appears indeed peculiarly unfitted to lay claim to authority. It is
notorious that he supposed a pillar erected on the island of the Tiber
to Semo Sanchus, an old Sabine Deity, to be a monument erected by the
Roman people in honor of the impostor, Simon Magus. Were so gross a
mistake to be made by a modern writer, in relating a historical fact,
exposure would immediately take place, and his testimony would
thenceforward be suspected. And, assuredly, the same measure should be
meted to Justin Martyr, who so egregiously errs in reference to a fact
alluded to by Livy, the historian.”—_Spirit of Popery_, pp. 44, 45.

In concluding the remarks which will be offered here—in reference to
those productions which are attributed to Justin Martyr, and which have
been brought forward for the purpose of influencing the mind of the
reader in favor of a cause which has found no support in the
Scriptures—it is proper to state that their authenticity is by no means
above suspicion; or, to speak more accurately, that some of them have
been tampered with, is a matter which is settled beyond dispute. Already
the reader has seen that by some means they have been made to contribute
to the interests of the Romish doctrine of the use of water in the
sacrament, as early as the first part of the second century. If it be
granted that the statement in question is historically true, then the
leaven of the papacy had begun to work so manifestly in the lifetime of
Justin, that the opinions of his associates, as well as of himself,
ought to have no weight with us who have repudiated the great apostasy.

On the other hand, should it be denied that water was then employed, as
stated by the venerable father, there remain but two conclusions between
which the reader can take his choice; either, 1st. Justin did not
correctly represent the faith of his time; or, 2d. What he did say
originally has been molded and fashioned by the plastic hand of the man
of sin, until it is made to support the heresies of the hierarchy. To
our mind, the latter conclusion is undoubtedly the true one. Below will
be found an extract from a distinguished historian of the church, which
proves that what is said above respecting the treatment which the
writings of Justin Martyr have received is correct: “Like many of the
ancient fathers, he [Justin] appears to us under the greatest
disadvantage. Works really his have been lost, and others have been
ascribed to him, part of which are not his; and the rest, at least, of
ambiguous authority.”—_Milner’s History of Church_, Book 2, Chap. 3.[11]

The fourth historic mention of the Lord’s day, as brought forward, is in
the following words of Dionysius. “To-day we kept the Lord’s holy day,
in which we read your letter.” By turning to Eusebius, the curious
reader will discover that the citation incidentally given occupies but
little more space than is required for the words as quoted. Their
importance in this discussion does not demand for them any more room
than was assigned them by the historian from whom they are extracted.
The dispute is not whether there is indeed a Lord’s day, for both
parties are agreed respecting this question. What we wish to ascertain
is, Which day of the week is entitled to this appellation? The reference
before us in no way helps in the settlement of this point. It simply
states that the letter was read on the Lord’s day. Whether that was the
first or the seventh in the cycle of the week is not stated, so we pass
the language as unworthy of further consideration.

The allusion to the fifth authority is even more unsatisfactory than
that of the fourth. It seems that Melito, bishop of Sardis, had written
a discourse on the Lord’s day, which had been seen by Eusebius. As to
its contents, the letter says not one word, neither shall we; for, as it
is not now in existence, it is impossible that any person should be able
to decide which view it would favor, provided it were in being.

The sixth proof is brought from the writings of Pliny. It is couched in
these words: “They [the Christians] affirmed that the sum of their
fault, or error, was, that they were accustomed to assemble on a stated
day, before it was light, and sing praise alternately among themselves,
to Christ, as God.” Without debating the propriety of bringing forward a
heathen writer to prove the practice of a Christian church, we proceed
to examine the testimony itself. Its utter inability to fill the place
assigned to it will be discerned by every intelligent person who
examines its phraseology. In it is the declaration that Christians were
in the habit of assembling on a stated day, at which time they sang
praises alternately among themselves, to Christ, as God.

Now that the statement of the facts is not incompatible with the idea
that they were observers of the seventh day, all must admit. For surely,
there is no incongruity in the notion that it would be in the highest
degree proper for the observers of the ancient Sabbath of the Lord to
devote its sacred hours to the delightful task of singing hymns of
praise, and worshiping Christ, as God. That the language itself as
completely harmonizes with this view, as with any other, will be felt
when we remember that the writer does not say that they assembled on the
first day of the week, or the Lord’s day, at all; but, simply, that it
was on a stated day that they gathered themselves together for the
purposes of worship. A stated day is one which recurs at fixed
intervals. The Sabbath might have been the stated day; or, so far as
anything to the contrary in the passage is concerned, the Sunday might
have been the one. Pliny does not decide the point for us. His
declarations, therefore, have not the slightest force in proving
anything favorable to the opinions of the gentleman.

Furthermore, if inference is to be taken at all, the preponderance would
rather be in favor of the last day of the week, since, in devoting it to
the worship of Christ, they would not only bring upon themselves the
wrath of the heathen, because of their acknowledgment of our Lord’s
divinity; but, also, in the sum of their fault would be found the fact,
that they ignored the sacredness of the day of the sun, and celebrated
another, as holy, by divine command.

Thus much for the uninspired witnesses, brought forward from the first,
and the early part of the second, century of the Christian era. Had they
flatly contradicted what we have seen the teachings of the Bible to be,
they would not have moved us one hair; for we remember that the great
apostle has said, that, though “an angel from Heaven preach any other
gospel unto you, let him be accursed.” But, strangely enough, their
testimony is utterly worthless for the purpose for which it has been
introduced. Not one of them has styled the Sunday the Lord’s day; not
one of them has called it the Sabbath; not one of them has stated that
it was regarded as holy, or that its hours might not, without sin, be
devoted to secular pursuits. Here, then, we leave them, and wait for a
fresh inundation of such as will answer the purpose for which they are
called in a more satisfactory manner than the foregoing.

Footnote 10:

  Did it not appear to be indispensable to the enlightening of the
  reader, as to the consummate folly of the author of the epistle of
  Barnabas, we should not append, as we do, his language in the
  following note, since it is hardly worthy of a place in a chaste and
  dignified discussion. For its citation we hold those, responsible who
  have made this action necessary, and who value the testimony of a man
  so utterly devoid of common-sense: “Neither shalt thou eat of the
  hyena; that is, again, be not an adulterer; nor a corrupter of others;
  neither be like to such. And wherefore so? Because that creature every
  year changes its kind, and is sometimes male and sometimes female.”
  Chap. 9:8.

Footnote 11:

  Since, writing the above, the following interesting item in the
  _Christian Union_, for Feb. 19, has been brought to my notice, and
  will serve to show that continued investigation on the part of
  scholars is rendering the authenticity of the writings of Justin
  Martyr more and more doubtful:—“Dr. Franz Overbeck has lately
  examined, with great care, the ‘epistle to Diognetus,’ which has been
  regarded as one of the most precious relics of the age succeeding that
  of the apostles. He urges several reasons for coming to the conclusion
  that the work was written later than the era of Constantine, and was
  intended by its author to pass as a work Justin Martyr’s. Critics had
  already proved it no genuine work of Justin, and if Dr. Overbeck is
  right, it can no longer be assigned to the age of Justin.”

                           STATESMAN’S REPLY.
                             ARTICLE EIGHT.

The testimony already adduced from the early fathers in our last issue
will be regarded by most of our readers as sufficient in itself. But for
the sake of giving a complete view of the patristic testimony to the
first-day Sabbath up to the close of the third century, we shall occupy
some additional space with extracts, on the accuracy of which our
readers may confidently rely.

First among the witnesses now cited is Irenæus, bishop or presbyter of
Lyons, A. D. 178. Let it be remembered that in the case of this witness
we have the testimony of one who was brought up at the feet of Polycarp,
the disciple and companion of the Apostle John. The first point to be
noted in the testimony of Irenæus is the abrogation of the seventh-day
Sabbath. As the rite of circumcision was no longer required, so the
observance of the seventh-day Sabbath had ceased. Each was a sign or
shadow of the substance to come. This thought is dwelt upon at great
length. (See _Contra Hæreses_, book iv. ch. 30, Grabe’s Edition, Oxford,
1702, pp. 318, 319; also Benedictine Edit., Paris, 1710, p. 246.)

Lest his statements might be understood to be opposed to the authority
of the ten commandments, Irenæus adds the following sentences: “The Lord
spoke the words of the decalogue in like manner to all. They remain,
therefore, permanently with us, receiving, through the Lord’s advent in
the flesh, extension and increase, not abrogation.” (Book iv. ch. 31, p.
320.) Thus the law of the Sabbath remains, though not binding to the
observance of the seventh day.

We now come to this writer’s clear and distinct testimony, in its more
positive aspect, to the Lord’s day. Irenæus took a prominent part in
what has been called the Quarta-Deciman controversy. The question at
issue was—Should the anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection be in
connection with the Jewish passover, on whatever day of the week that
might occur, or on the Lord’s day invariably? This question first arose
on a visit of Polycarp, bishop or presbyter of Smyrna, to Aniest, bishop
of Rome, about 160, and was discussed for many years. Irenæus, acting as
the representative of the Christians in Gaul, wrote to Victor, then
bishop of Rome, in these terms: “The mystery of the Lord’s resurrection
should be celebrated only on the Lord’s day.” (_Euseb. Hist. Eccles._
book v. chap. 23, 24; Paris ed., 1678, pp. 155, 156.) It will be
remarked here that while there was diversity of view in regard to the
_yearly_ celebration of the Lord’s resurrection—a celebration of which
we have no account whatever until the year 160, there was no question
concerning the sacred observance of the first day as the _weekly_
commemoration of the Lord’s rising from the dead.

“We simply add a reference to one of the best known of the fragments of
Irenæus in which there is further explicit testimony to the Lord’s
day—testimony all the more important, because it occurs incidentally in
a treatise concerning the passover, and in connection with a statement
in regard to Pentecost.” (_Fragmentum lib. de Pascha_, Bened. ed.,
Paris, 1742, p. 490.[12])

For the sake of presenting a complete view of the testimony of the
fathers for the first three centuries, we had thought of quoting from
Clement of Alexandria, A. D. 194; Minucius Felix, 210; Commodian, about
270; Victorinus, 290; and Peter, bishop of Alexandria, 300. But as the
testimony will be perfectly conclusive without these witnessess, and as
space is valuable, we shall cite only three more authorities—three
well-known fathers, Tertullian, Origen, and Cyprian.

At the close of the second century, Carthage, the metropolis of Northern
Africa, was the center of numerous flourishing Christian congregations.
Living in Carthage for many years, Tertullian knew well the practice of
the African churches. And although he became, about 202, one of the
errorists known as Montanists, his testimony, however unreliable as to
doctrines, is still indisputable as to facts. From the frequent
references to the Lord’s day in this author we select the following: “By
us, to whom the [Jewish] Sabbaths are strange, and the new moons and
festivals once pleasing to God, the Saturnalia, January, and mid-winter
feasts, and Matronalia [of the heathen] are frequented. O better
fidelity of the heathen to their own religion! They would not share with
us the Lord’s day, nor Pentecost, even if they knew them, for they would
fear lest they should seem to be Christians.” (_De Idolatria_, cap. xiv,
Semler’s edit., Halæ Magdeburg, vol. iv., pp., 167, 168.) The testimony
of this passage is decisive in three points: (1.) The Jewish, or
seventh-day, Sabbath was not observed by Christians. (2.) They were
enjoined not to observe heathen festivals. (3.) To the Lord’s day, as
the proper day for Christian service, belonged the honor to which Jewish
and heathen days had no claim.

The exercises of the Lord’s day, when Christians assembled for public
service, are described by Tertullian in a manner very similar to that of
Justin Martyr, whose account has already been quoted. Prayer, reading
the Scriptures, exhortation, and collections for benevolent purposes are
all mentioned. (_Apol._, cap. xxxix, vol. v., pp. 92-94.) It is to be
noted that Tertullian, like Justin Martyr, in addressing the heathen,
calls the first day of the week “the day of the Sun,” as he also
designates the Jewish Sabbath by its heathen name. (See _Apol._, cap.

We close these citations from Tertullian, with one which is of the
greatest importance in proving that the early Christians observed the
first day of the week, not as a mere holiday, but as a day of rest and
worship—a holy Sabbath to the Lord. “On the Lord’s day, the day of the
Resurrection, we should not only abstain from that,[13] [bending the
knee,] but also from all anxiety of feeling, and from employments,
setting aside all business, lest we should give place to the devil.”
(_De Oratione_, cap. xxiii., vol. iv., p. 22.)

Contemporary with Tertullian at the beginning of the third century was
Origen of Alexandria, one of the most scholarly and learned of all the
early fathers. This writer contrasts the Lord’s day with the Jewish
Sabbath, and shows the superiority of the former. We may not agree with
him when he maintains that the superiority was indicated by the giving
of manna to the Israelites on the first day of the week, while it was
withheld on the seventh. His testimony to the fact of the sacred
observance of the Lord’s day instead of the seventh-day Sabbath is
valid, though his reasons for the admitted superiority may not all be
satisfactory. In the same connection he remarks: “On our Lord’s day the
Lord always rains manna from heaven.” (_Comment on Exodus_, Delarue’s
ed. of Works of Origen, Paris, 1733, vol. ii., p. 154.) In another of
his works he contends that it is one of the evidences of a true
Christian “always to keep the Lord’s day.” (_Contra Celsum_ lib. viii,
vol. i., pp. 758, 759.)

The most important passage in the writings of Origen is found in his
Homilies on the Book of Numbers. Here we first meet with the name
“Christian Sabbath” for the first day of the week, or the Lord’s day:
“Leaving, then, the Jewish observance of the Sabbath, let us see what
the observance of the Sabbath by the Christian ought to be. On the
Sabbath should be performed no worldly acts. If, therefore, you desist
from all secular works, and do nothing of a worldly nature, but occupy
yourselves with spiritual duties, assembling at the church, listening to
the sacred readings mad instructions, thinking of celestial things,
concerned for the hopes of another life, keeping before your eyes the
Judgment to come, and looking not at the things which are present and
visible, but at those which are invisible and future—this is the
observance of the Christian Sabbath.” (_Hom. xxiii in Numeros_, vol.
ii., p. 358.)

Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, about the third century, gives this
explicit testimony to the Lord’s day: “Since in the Jewish circumcision
of the flesh the eighth day was celebrated, the ordinance was
foreshadowed in the future, but completed in truth at the coming of
Christ. For inasmuch as the eighth day, that is, the first day after the
Sabbath, was the day on which the Lord rose and gave us life and
spiritual circumcision, this eighth day, that is the first after the
Sabbath and the Lord’s day, preceded in an image, which image ceased
when the truth afterwards came, and spiritual circumcision was given to
us.” (_Epistle_ lxiv., Works of Cyprian, Bremæ, 1690, vol. ii., p. 161)
The weight of this testimony is not a little augmented by the fact that
the epistle, in which it is found is a synodical epistle, which was sent
forth in the name and with the authority of the Third Council of
Carthage, A. D. 253. The epistle bears this inscription at its head:
“Cyprianus et ceteri Collegæ qui in concilio affuerant numero LXIV. Fido
patri Salutem.”

With this authoritative statement of Cyprian and his sixty-six
colleagues, or co-presbyters, we close our citations from the fathers.
The testimony of succeeding writers is equally clear, but it simply
confirms what has already been fully proved. And now, with the facts of
history in view, as we have learned them from inspired writers and their
immediate successors, it remains for us to examine opposing theories of
the institution of the Sabbath. We shall endeavor to dispose of this
concluding, and perhaps most interesting part of our subject, in two or
three articles.

Footnote 12:

  The culpable carelessness of Dwight, Wilson, and other authors, in
  citing from the early fathers, is nowhere more noticeable than in the
  case of Irenæus. These writers quote him as saying: “On the Lord’s
  day, every one of us Christians, keeps the Sabbath, meditating on the
  law, and rejoicing in the works of God.” There is no reference given
  to the writings of Irenæus. And for good reason. After a most careful
  examination, we are persuaded no such passage is to be found in his
  writings. The mistake was probably first made by President Dwight,
  whose weakness of sight compelled him to depend upon an amanuensis.
  “For twenty years of his presidency,” we are informed by his
  biographer, “he was rarely able to read as much as a single chapter in
  the Bible in the twenty-four hours.” (_Dwight’s Theology_, London,
  1821, vol. i. pp. 91, 95.) Others followed this high authority.

  In order to guard our readers against injuring the cause they would
  advance, we must mention another important instance of considerable
  negligence. In a number of works on the Sabbath, Dr. Justin Edwards’
  “Sabbath Manual,” for example, we find not only the blunders already
  noticed, but another quite as bad. The language—“Both custom and
  reason challenge from us that we should honor the Lord’s day, seeing
  on that day it was that our Lord Jesus completed his resurrection from
  the dead,” is ascribed to Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, about A. D.
  162. The words quoted are in reality those of another Theophilus, who
  was bishop of Alexandria, at the close of the fourth century. We hand
  over these criticisms upon advocates of the first-day Sabbath to our
  seventh-day Sabbatarian friends, trusting to their honor and fairness
  not to separate them from the rest of this discussion. For our own
  part, whether it may be pleasant to the advocates of the seventh-day
  Sabbath, we desire to have for ourselves, and to aid others to have,
  the whole truth. It was in this spirit that we gave room in our
  columns for a full presentation of the arguments on the other side of
  this question.

Footnote 13:

  As a matter of independent interest and importance, we would ask all
  who are interested in the question of the posture in prayer of
  worshipers in the early church, to compare with Tertullian’s
  statement, that of Peter, bishop of Alexandria, A. D. 300, who says:
  “We keep the Lord’s day as a day of joy, because of Him who rose on
  that day, on which we have learned not to bow the knee.” (_Bibl.
  Patrum, apud Gallard_, vol. iv., p. 107.) To the same effect is the
  decision of the Council of Nice, A. D. 325, requiring, as there were
  certain ones who bent the knee on the Lord’s day, that it should be
  the uniform practice to give thanks to God, standing. (_Canon_, xx.)

                              A REJOINDER.

In the rejoinder to the previous article on patristic testimony, the
attention of the reader was called to the fact that our opponent had
utterly failed to find a single instance in which the first day of the
week was called the Lord’s day, by the authorities which he cited, or in
which it was stated by them that it was observed by divine command. Had
we possessed the space necessary for the purpose, the significance of
this failure would have been enlarged upon; for it must be borne in mind
that in the one hundred and thirty-nine years which intervened between
the death of Christ and the writing of the latest citation produced in
his seventh article, lies the most important, and the most promising,
field for such testimonials as would be of the highest value to the
opposition. This is so, not only from the fact that the period in
question was the one in which it is alleged that the transition from the
old to the new Sabbath occurred; but, also, because it was one, which,
from their premises, was the most likely to yield reliable evidence in
regard to apostolic faith, since it lay the nearest to apostolic times.
It is true that even then apostasy had begun its career; for Paul states
that, in his time, “the mystery of iniquity had begun to work.”

But all will agree that the farther we come this side of the
fountain-head, the more natural it would be to find that the pure waters
of the original stream should become steadily darker and more turbid,
until they lost themselves in the sloughs of those corrupt teachings,
which were so far to excel all others, that they were thought to be of a
nature to demand especial attention in the prophecies. But here we are,
as already remarked, seventy-five to eighty years this side of the
cross, and the case of our reviewer in no-wise helped by his effort. In
fact, not only has he failed to place his Sabbath upon the foundation of
the successors of the apostles, but he has also greatly weakened his
probabilities for the future, since in the territory over which we have
passed, we have seen not only the utter unreliability of the fathers
themselves, as teachers, but, also, that their sayings have been
tampered with by the “man of sin,” who, reaching backward as well as
forward, is reckless in his efforts to make everything contribute to the
power and authority of the hierarchy.

But we must proceed in the examination of those individuals who are now
introduced as additional witnesses for the Christian Sabbath. The first
in order is Irenæus, Bishop of Lyons, A. D. 178. It will not be
necessary to consider the language of the gentleman, in which he states
that Irenæus taught the abrogation of the seventh-day Sabbath, since we
have not quoted that father in the defense of an institution which _God
has commanded_. Nor shall we enlarge upon the fact that Irenæus
inculcates the binding obligation of the ten commandments, since it is
enough for us to know that this doctrine is plainly set forth in the

The witness is the gentleman’s. He has brought him forward to prove
that, in his time, the year of our Lord 178, the term, Lord’s day, was
applied to the Sunday. Has he succeeded, at last, in the achievement of
his purpose? If so, it is the first instance in which he has
accomplished the desired object. Apparently, he has triumphed here. But
let us proceed with caution. Has he produced the writings of Irenæus
himself? No, he has not. The words quoted are these: “The mystery of the
Lord’s resurrection should be celebrated only on the Lord’s day.” By
turning to the Hist. of Eusebius, book v., chap. 23, the reader will
find that the language employed does not purport to be that of Irenæus,
as penned by himself, but that of Eusebius, who is giving an account of
a decree passed by certain bishops, which decree was in harmony with a
letter from Irenæus. We quote enough in the 23d chapter to verify our

“Hence there were synods and convocations of the bishops, on this
question; and all unanimously drew up an ecclesiastical decree, which
they communicated to all the churches, in all places, that the mystery
of our Lord’s resurrection should be celebrated on no other day than the
Lord’s day; and that on this day alone we should observe the close of
the paschal fasts. There is an epistle extant, even now, of those who
were assembled at the time.... There is an epistle extant, on the same
question, bearing the name of Victor. An epistle, also, of the bishops
of Pontus, among whom Palmas, as the most ancient, presided; also of the
churches of Gaul, over whom Irenæus presided, ... and epistles from many
others, who, advancing one and the same doctrine, also passed the same
vote, and this their unanimous determination was the one already

It will be observed here that the historian does not quote the language
of the decree as being the exact language of the bishops; also that he
does not pretend to give the precise words of Irenæus, but that he
simply recounts the fact that the epistle of Irenæus was in harmony with
the decree which he had previously given. This it was legitimate for a
historian to do. Eusebius died one hundred and fifty years after
Irenæus, and in his time, we frankly admit that the term, Lord’s day,
was frequently applied to the first day of the week. The historian,
therefore, using the nomenclature of his own period, represents the
bishop of Lyons as favoring the celebration of the Passover on the
Lord’s day, simply because he had said it ought to be observed on the
first day of the week. If we are right in this, then, of course, our
opponents will throw up the whole passage as irrelevant to their present
purpose—since they have not assumed to employ Eusebius, who lived in the
fourth century, as a witness—but have cited his statement because it was
supposed to contain the declaration of Irenæus, who lived at a much
earlier period.

For the purpose of clinching the argument, and showing that the historic
fact is in harmony with what we have said, we quote the following on the
point from Eld. J. N. Andrews, in which it will be seen that in the
original, the term, first day of the week, and not the Lord’s day, as
supposed, might have been employed:—

“Observe ... Eusebius does not quote the words of any of these bishops,
but simply gives their decisions in his own language. There is,
therefore, no proof that they used the term, Lord’s day, instead of
first day of the week; for the introduction to the fiftieth fragment of
his lost writings, already quoted, gives an ancient statement of his
words in this decision, as plain first day of the week. It is Eusebius
who gives us the term, Lord’s day, in recording what was said by these
bishops concerning the first day of the week.”

That which has been said above in reference to the testimony found in
book v., chap. 23, of Eusebius, will largely apply, in principle, to the
citation found in chap. 24, of the same book. In the latter, as in the
former, case, the historian is not giving the exact utterance of
Irenæus, but simply declares, in substance, his decision in regard to
the proper time for the celebration of the passover festival.

Before passing from Irenæus to the consideration of another case of the
fathers, it would be proper to commend the candor of our opponent, as
manifested in his hearty condemnation of the looseness of Dwight and
others in their statements of historic facts. In making the concession
which the gentleman has, he will doubtless bring upon himself the
condemnation of those who exalt success above truth. He has taken from
such one of their most potent weapons. The language of Irenæus, which is
here admitted to be of spurious origin, has figured largely in the
discussion of this question, in the past. It was pointed and decisive,
and seemed to furnish just the material necessary to the satisfactory
making out of a case, otherwise sadly deficient in the proofs which it
needed. It will, therefore, be yielded up with reluctance. Nevertheless,
we hope that the acknowledgment, made by our opponent in this article,
will lead clergymen, for the future, to desist from the use of it, until
they are able to refute what the writer in the _Statesman_ here asserts.

In the meanwhile, the reader must not allow himself to suppose that the
gentleman, by saying what he has, has really brought Sabbatarians under
obligation to hint for new light, since what he here asserts is but a
fact with which they have been familiar for years, and which they have
iterated and re-iterated until they have almost despaired of bringing
their opponents to an acknowledgment of the real state of things.
Occasionally, others outside of their ranks have, as does the gentleman,
borne testimony to the accuracy of their statements. If the reader would
have an illustration of this, taken from the writings of an
anti-Sabbatarian author, he will find it in the works of Domville, in
which, substantially, the same conclusions are reached, Mr. Domville not
only tracing the mistake to Dr. Dwight, but also allowing that the
language cited was probably taken from the interpolated epistle of
Ignatius to the Magnesians.

Up to this point, we have carefully examined, one by one, the historic
quotations from ancient writers, which have been presented for our
consideration; henceforth, we shall pursue a different course. As we
have now reached, in the person of Tertullian, the close of the second,
and the opening of the third, century of the Christian era, we find
ourselves in a period when it is so generally acknowledged that the work
of apostasy was so manifest that the utterances of the men of those
times—even though they were pointed and explicit in regard to the
sanctity of the first day of the week, as looked upon by
themselves—could furnish no reliable standard of Christian faith in our

The gentleman himself is compelled to admit that his own witness,
Tertullian, became, in the second year of the third century, an ardent
advocate of the errors, follies, and heresies, of Montanus. Not only so,
but the writings of that father are proverbial, among scholars, for the
fanciful conceits and the false notions which are so conspicuous upon
their pages. Tertullian was a fiery zealot and a bitter partisan,
manifestly credulous beyond bounds, and more earnest for his sect than
anxious for the reliability of the sources of his information. Zell, in
his popular Encyclopedia, speaks of him as follows:—

“After he was past middle age, he embraced the doctrines of Montanus, to
which his ardent, sensuous imagination, and ascetic tendencies would
incline him. He is said to have been determined to that course by the
ill-treatment he received from the Roman clergy. Whether he remained a
Montanist till his death, cannot be decided.... They [his works] are
characterized by vast learning, profound and comprehensive thought,
fiery imagination, and passionate partisanship, leading into
exaggeration and sophistry. His style is frequently obscure.”

Montanus was a false prophet of the second century, who believed himself
to have received, from the Holy Ghost, revelations which were withheld
from the apostles; he denied the doctrine of the trinity, the propriety
of second marriage, and the forgiveness of certain sins. The disciple of
such a man is surely a strange witness to be found in the employ of
orthodoxy. Should his appearance, however, be excused, as it is above,
by the statement that he was introduced, not because of the reliability
of his own opinion, but simply to testify of the usage of his own times;
it may be replied, first, that an ardent partisan, a person of strong
imagination, and a notorious heretic, is hardly qualified to speak
reliably, even in a matter of this nature, since, from the very
constitution of his mind, he would almost of necessity allow what he
said to be warped by prejudice, or biased by conceptions of interest;
secondly, that in the quotation presented from his pen, it is not a
little remarkable that, instead of asserting a general usage of
Sunday-keeping, he is manifestly finding fault with a large class of his
fellow-Christians for not regarding the day in the same light, and
observing it with the same rigor, that he did; thirdly, that it is by no
means impossible that the very men, whom in his fiery zeal he thus
upbraids, were, after all, sounder than himself in the faith, and would,
could they be fairly heard upon this subject, vindicate their supposed
desecration of the first day, from the same grounds as do the
Sabbatarians now, _i. e._, because they did not look upon it as holy

If the above responses are not satisfactory, and if it be insisted that
the testimony of the witness shall, after all, he received, then we
propose that he be called to the stand once more, and be allowed to fill
up the measure of what he has to say upon this subject. We have seen
that, according to his opinion, many of his fellow-disciples were lax in
their Sunday-keeping habits, and that to one who believed that no labor
should be performed upon it, whatever, they treated it very much as men
would treat a mere festival occasion. But where did Tertullian and his
sympathizers obtain their notions of the manner in which Sunday should
be kept? Was it from the Scriptures? We shall see; here is the witness;
let him speak for himself:

“As often as the anniversary comes around, we make offerings for the
dead as birth-day honors. We count fasting or kneeling in worship on the
Lord’s day, to be unlawful. We rejoice in the same privilege, also, from
Easter to Whitsunday. We feel pained should any wine or bread, though
our own, be cast upon the ground. At every forward step and movement, at
every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we
bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat,
in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead
the sign (of the cross). If for these and other such rules, you insist
upon leaving positive Scripture injunctions, you will find none.
Tradition will be held forth to you as the originator of them, custom,
as their strengthener, and faith, as their observer. That reason will
support tradition, and custom, and faith, you will either yourself
perceive, or learn from some one who has.”—_De Corona_, sects. 3 and 4.

The reader will at once observe that tradition is the foundation which
is here laid for that kind of Sunday observance for which Tertullian was
so great a stickler. Not only so, but the fact is brought to light,
also, that the men whom he represented were in the habit of offering
prayers for the dead; of signing themselves with the sign of the cross;
and going through other ceremonies, which to us, at the present time,
are not only ridiculous in the extreme, but bear upon their face the
impress of the man of sin so unmistakably that none will be deceived.

If Tertullian was indeed a fair specimen of the Christian men of his
time; if his writings have not been tampered with; and if the opinions
of the men of his day, as expressed by himself, should have weight with
us in the decision of religious questions, where shall we stop in our
acceptance of their creeds? If, because they believed with him in the
change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week,
this fact should have weight with us in bringing us to the same
conclusion, independently of Scripture proof, then how can we stop short
of their faith in other particulars? such as the acceptance of tradition
in doctrinal matters, prayers for the dead, the sign of the cross, etc.,
etc. In fact, how can we avoid becoming papists ourselves, in the
largest sense of the term, since, having gone as far as we have for the
purpose of making out Sunday sanctity, we have surrendered nearly all
the distinctive principles of Protestantism?

Of course each individual is at liberty to use his own discretion as to
the measure of confidence which he will give to the writings before us;
so far as we are concerned, personally, we would not attach to them the
slightest weight in the decision of a grave religious question. From the
very nature of that which has been already cited, it is manifestly a
serious slander upon the true church of the second, and the first part
of the third century, to hold them responsible for the fanciful conceits
and destructive errors of this reputed defender of the faith.

Certain it is, that if Tertullian is correctly reported, his writings
are not a safe criterion of the sentiments of the Christians of his age
in very many points, and it may be fairly concluded, that among them is
that concerning the Sabbath, since what he has said of it finds no
warrant in the open Bible, which the men of this day hold in their
hands. Not only is what he has written absurd and dangerous in the
extreme, but his productions are characterized by the most glaring
contradictions. Another has said of him: “It would be wiser for
Christianity, retreating upon its genuine records in the New Testament,
to disclaim this fierce African, than identify itself with his furious,
invectives, by unsatisfactory apologies for their unchristian
fanaticisms.” (Milman, in note on Gibbon’s Dec. and Fall of the Rom.
Emp., chap. xv.)

We leave him, therefore, with his follies and foibles, his errors and
faults, his assertions and contradictions, with those who have a taste
for this kind of literature.

With the case of Origen it will not be necessary that much time should
be consumed. Mr. Mosheim has well remarked of him, that had “the justice
of his judgment been equal to the immensity of his genius, the fervor of
his piety, his indefatigable patience, his extensive erudition, and his
other eminent and superior talents, all encomium must have fallen short
of his merits.” Unfortunately, however, with an erudition which was
truly remarkable, he united a credulity almost without parallel. So
numerous and so grave were the errors of his personal faith, that his
individual opinions, unsupported by facts and arguments, are utterly
worthless in the decision of any theological proposition. Having adopted
the mystical system of interpreting the Scriptures, he reached
conclusions utterly unsound and preposterous in many cases.

That this is so, the orthodox reader will at once perceive, when we
state, first, that he was a believer in the pre-existence of the human
soul, and that souls were condemned to animate mortal bodies, because of
sins committed in a pre-existent state; secondly, that he was a
Restorationist, and believed in the final universal salvation of all
men, after enduring long periods of punishment. Nor does the advocacy of
such sentiments furnish the only difficulty in the way of his testimony,
as drawn from his writings now extant. There would indeed be some
satisfaction derived from the study of these documents, fanciful though
they might appear to be in many respects, if we could only feel assured
that they represented correctly the sentiments of the alleged author.

Unhappily, this is not the case. Those who admire Origen most, while
attributing much in what he is said to have written, to that weakness of
discrimination which is everywhere so manifest in his productions, are
compelled to go beyond this, in order to explain many of the grosser
views therein contained, by admitting that they were not his own, but
that they are the result of fraud and interpolation.

On this point, another, with great candor and friendly charity, when
speaking of the sect known as Origenists, after first stating that “he
was a man of great talents, and a most indefatigable student, but having
a strong attachment to the Platonic philosophy, and a natural turn to
mystical and allegorical interpretations, which led him to corrupt
greatly the simplicity of the gospel, declares that these circumstances
render it very difficult to ascertain exactly what his real sentiments
were.” He says, also, “1. Being a man of unquestionable talents and high
character, his genuine works were interpolated, and others written under
his name, in order to _forge_ his sanction to sentiments of which,
possibly, he never heard.... 3. Origen had many enemies, who probably
attributed to him many things which he did not believe, in order, either
to injure his fame, or bring his character under censure.”—_Encyc. of
Rel. Knowl._, Art. Origenists.

Having said thus much in reference to the testimony before us, it would
be possible to take up the writings of this distinguished father, and
show from them that there is room for a difference of opinion as to
whether he believed that the so-called Christian Sabbath was indeed to
be regarded as of twenty-four hours’ duration, merely, or whether it
covered alike all days of the week, and the whole of our dispensation.
This, however, would be a tedious and unprofitable expenditure of time
and labor. We leave the whole question, therefore, respecting the
teaching of the works of Origen, as one of no significance in this
controversy; first, because if we know anything about what he did
believe, he was wholly unreliable, either as a teacher of sound
doctrine, or as a representative of the better men of his own time; and,
secondly, because what he has written has been so corrupted, that we
have no guarantee that it truthfully expresses what he believed.

As we presume the majority of our readers are not particularly
interested in reference to which posture was assumed in prayer on the
first day of the week, by the early church, and as Peter of Alexandria
and the Council of Nice are quoted solely in reference to “this
independent question,” we shall not discuss the note in which reference
is made to them. There remains, therefore, only the case of Cyprian,
bishop of Carthage, to occupy us longer. What this author says was
written about A. D. 253. It will be observed, that in what is declared
by him and the Council, the first day of the week is called the Lord’s
day; beyond this, his testimony is of no value. It is neither stated
that the title was applied by divine authority, nor is it affirmed that
this day had superseded in Sabbatic honor the ancient Sabbath of the

There is, however, in reference to circumcision as something which
prefigured the Lord’s day, or eighth day, enough of mysticism to furnish
us with a clue to the character of the men whose intellectual
perceptions were so fine that they could discover in an institution
which was administered on the eighth day after the birth of the male
child, on whatever day of the week that eighth day might fall, a
prefiguring of the distinction which was to be bestowed on the definite
first day of the week, which had in it, not eight, but only seven, days,
in all. Mr. Mosheim, in alluding to a period in close proximity to that
in which Cyprian lived, mentions it as one in “which the greater part of
the Christian doctors had been engaged in adopting those vain fictions
of Platonic philosophy and popular opinions, which, after the time of
Constantine, were confirmed, enlarged, and embellished in various ways,”
and from which he declares “arose that extravagant veneration for
departed saints, and those absurd notions of a certain fire destined to
purify separate souls, that then prevailed, and of which the public
marks were everywhere to be seen.”—_Eccles. Hist._, Fourth Century, part
ii., chap. iii.

It is now time to take a retrospective view of the territory over which
we have been passing. Be it remembered that the reader was lured from
the contemplation of the Scriptures, with this precious promise, that
outside of them were to be found the most convincing proofs that the
Lord’s day was and had been the proper title of the first day of the
week since the resurrection of Christ; but what have we seen?
Manifestly, not that which we had anticipated:

First, we have discovered that Ignatius, the first witness introduced,
does not mention the Lord’s day at all, but simply speaks of the Lord’s

Secondly, that the epistle of Barnabas was a forgery, made up of the
most absurd and ridiculous fancies, and written by an unknown character
somewhere, perhaps in the second or third century, though purporting to
be the work of the companion of Paul.

Thirdly, that it is becoming more and more a matter of doubt whether
that which is attributed to Justin Martyr was ever seen by him, and that
he not only does not call the Sunday the Lord’s day, but also inculcates
in what he says, the Romish heresy respecting the use of water in
sacrament, &c., &c.

Fourthly, that Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, and Melito, bishop of
Sardis, while indeed they do speak of the Lord’s day, do not furnish any
clue by which we can determine which day they regarded as such.

Fifthly, that Pliny, a heathen writer, employs neither the term Lord’s
day nor Sabbath, but simply speaks of a stated day, without

Sixthly, that Irenæus is not properly represented as speaking of the
Sunday in the use of the title Lord’s day, since that expression, in
both the instances alluded to, was the language of Eusebius, who lived
in the fourth century, and not of Irenæus, who lived in the second.

Seventhly, that Tertullian, who lived at the close of the second and the
commencement of the third century, and who was a wild fanatic of the
Montanist school, utterly unworthy to represent the sentiments of his
times, is the first witness from whom the gentleman has succeeded in
obtaining an unequivocal application of the term, Lord’s day, to the
first day of the week; also, that he had connected with it, prayers for
the dead, the sign of the cross, &c., &c.

Eighthly, that Origen was a man of great learning; that it was
questionable whether he believed in a septenary Sabbath, or in one that
covered the whole dispensation; and that, in fact, it is admitted by his
friends that his works have become so corrupt as to be utterly
untrustworthy in the matter of deciding respecting his real opinions.

Ninthly, that Cyprian and his colleagues addressed us from a point of
time too far removed from the period of the alleged change of Sabbaths,
and too fully within that of the great apostasy, to be of service in an
exegesis of the Scriptures.

Tenthly, that three of the most pointed and satisfactory of the
testimonies heretofore employed by first-day writers, are now abandoned
as having been the result of mistake in translation, or in the matter of
attributing them to the proper persons. Summing, up, therefore, in a
word we inquire again, What has been gained by this departure? We
believe that all must see that it has been an entire failure; for, so
far as the Sabbath is concerned, we think the reader will hesitate long
before he will leave the Scriptures, in the matter of deciding upon its
obligation, in order to build the structure of his faith from such
material as we have been handling over.

Also, as to the question of what day John referred to in Rev. 1:10, when
he said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,” he will deliberate
very much before he will decide that it was the first day of the week,
simply because an untrustworthy man, admitted to have been heretical on
many points, called it such 200 years after the birth of Christ, while
Jehovah himself has given to the seventh day that honor, styling it the
“Sabbath of the Lord,” “the holy of the Lord, honorable,” &c., and while
Christ himself has declared in so many words, that he was the Lord of
the Sabbath day. Mark 2:27, 28.

                           STATESMAN’S REPLY.
                             ARTICLE NINE.

With the facts of history before us concerning sacred time for nearly
three centuries after the resurrection of Christ—facts drawn from the
inspired writers of the New Testament and their immediate successors, we
are prepared to consider the different theories of the Christian
Sabbath. These theories may be summed up in three. Of one or another of
these, all the remaining theories are simply modifications.

The first of these three leading theories is as follows: “The Sabbath
was a Jewish institution, and expired with the Jewish dispensation. The
Lord’s day is not in any proper sense a Sabbath. It has an origin, a
reason, and an obligation, not drawn from the fourth commandment, but
peculiarly its own, as an institution belonging specially to the
New-Testament dispensation.”

The second theory, in the order in which we notice these different
views, maintains that the observance of the Sabbath, as required under
the Old-Testament dispensation, knows no change in any particular. The
observance of the seventh day of the week is essential to the proper
observance of the Sabbath under the gospel dispensation. The observance
of the first day of the week is without divine warrant—a departure from
the law of God through the corruptions which crept into the church.

The third theory agrees with the second in maintaining that the Sabbath
existed from the beginning, and that it has never been abolished or
superseded. It disagrees with the second theory in maintaining that the
essential idea of the law of the Sabbath is not the holiness of a
portion of time, but the _consecration of a specified proportion of
time_, one day in seven; that, in accordance with this, a change of day
was admissible; that a change was actually made by divine warrant from
the resurrection of Christ; and that the first day of the week, the
Lord’s day, is the true Christian Sabbath, having its moral sanction in
the fourth commandment.

By many of those who hold the first of these theories, the Lord’s day is
made a purely ecclesiastical institution, without any other warrant for
its observance than the action of the church, by whose authority and in
whose wisdom, the day is set apart for divine service. By others who
accept the same general theory, apostolic authority in the early church
is admitted to afford a divine warrant for the observance of the day. In
a complete treatise on the Lord’s day, a careful discussion of this
theory would be required. Its want of any sufficient foundation could be
satisfactorily shown by a presentation of the following points: (1.) The
declaration of the Lord of the Sabbath is explicit—“The Sabbath was made
for man.” It was not made for any portion of the human family, but for
the race of mankind. (2.) Thus, from the design of its Lord, and the
very nature of the institution, the Sabbath cannot be limited to any
locality or dispensation. (3.) Accordingly, it was given to man at his
creation. (Gen. 3:3.) (4.) For the same reason, the law of the Sabbath
has its proper place, not among ceremonial, local, or positive
enactments, but among the immutable moral precepts of the decalogue.
(5.) This law is, therefore, of universal and perpetual obligation upon
our race. These points would give room for many articles; but, inasmuch
as on all of them there is entire agreement between our seventh-day
Sabbatarian friends and ourselves, we pass to a consideration of the
second theory, which they accept as correct.

To make good their case, the advocates of the second theory must show
that the seventh day continued to be the Sabbath observed by the church
after the resurrection of Christ, just as before; and that, in the
observance of the first day, a great departure took place from the
original practice of the Christian church. They must not make _bare_
statements, but they must furnish proof. Instead of appealing to the
letter of the law, and insisting that fact must conform to their
interpretation of it, they must accept the facts of history, and put
their interpretations to the test. It is more reasonable to conclude
that an interpretation of law is wrong, than to reject the attested
facts of history, when the interpretation and the facts do not

Let us briefly sum up the facts already fully brought to view. Christ
himself, after his resurrection, passed by the seventh day, and
repeatedly put special honor on the first day of the week. This same day
was honored by the Pentecostal gift of the Holy Spirit. Christian
congregations met for regular weekly service, not on the seventh day,
but on the first day of the week. The inspired apostle Paul pointedly
condemned the Judaizing teachers who insisted on the observance by
Christians of the seventh-day Sabbath. The early writers, companions of
the apostles, and others of the succeeding generations, bear the
clearest and most explicit testimony to the same facts—the
non-observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, and the stated meetings of
Christians for divine service on the first day of the week, the Lord’s
day. Now, if their theory is correct, how will the seventh-day
Sabbatarians explain the fact that Christ himself, the Holy Spirit,
inspired apostles, and Christian congregations all through the early
church, ignored the seventh day and honored the first? A general and
vague statement to the effect that an unwarranted change was made from
the original practice of the Christian church will not do here. Was not
the practice of the apostles and first organized congregations of
Christians the original practice of the Christian church? That practice
was, as we have seen, to observe the first day of the week. We repeat
what we have already proved at length, viz., that there is not an
instance in the Scriptures of the observance of the seventh day by any
Christian church, nor of any regard to that day, after Christ’s
resurrection, by apostles or their fellow-laborers, except as they
availed themselves, in their missionary work, of the meetings of Jewish
assemblies in Jewish places of worship. “An unwarranted change!” Let
those who take such language upon their lips consider that their charge
lies at the door of Christ and his Spirit, and the inspired apostles.

But now, for the sake of the argument, let us leave all the testimony of
the inspired writers of the New Testament to the first-day Sabbath out
of view. Again we have the vague charge of unwarranted change. Perhaps
the most definite form of this charge is that which makes the change the
work of the little horn in Daniel’s prophecy, chapter seven. But will
the expounder of Daniel be a little more explicit, and tell us who the
historical personage is, and give us the dates and names of history?
Does the little horn represent Antiochus Epiphanes? if so, then, of
course, his change of the law of the Sabbath must have been before the
Christian era. Will our expositor give us some facts just here? If the
little horn means the papacy, then, according to the prophecy itself, it
did not arise until the Roman Empire, represented by the fourth beast,
was broken into ten fragments, represented by the ten horns. The little
horn sprang up after these, and its change of the law of the Sabbath
must date after the fall of the old empire of Rome. But for centuries
before this event, we have the testimony of numerous writers that the
Christian churches everywhere observed, not the seventh, but the first,
day of the week, the Lord’s day. Again we ask for facts, not mere
statements and theories.

Leaving this vague attempt to connect the assumed unwarranted change
with Daniel’s prophesy, we come to what is, if possible, still more
vague and indefinite. A change, it is asserted, was made by some
particular officer or council of the church, as it became corrupt and
began to depart from the practice of the original church of Christ. Who
was this officer? or where did this council meet? But we will not make
unreasonable demands for historical testimony. Let us grant that such an
officer or such a council there was at some time or other. The question
then arises, When did the change take place? In the days of Cyprian, A.
D. 250? The answer is clear. The change most have been made before his
day. Origen and Tertullian, fifty years earlier, knew only the first day
of the week, the Lord’s day, as the Christian Sabbath. Was the change
then made in their day? We might assume that it was, only for the clear
testimony of Irenæus and Justin Martyr, carrying us back another half
century, and the equally explicit testimony of still earlier writers,
carrying us back to the apostles themselves.

Notwithstanding all this dearth of historical testimony as to the
existence of the supposed ruler or council, let it be further granted
that by some such corrupting authority, at some time a decree changing
the day for Sabbath observance was issued. How did the supposed
legislators establish their decree? How did they make it effectual over
all the different parts of the church? Must we we suppose that a change
like this was effected in the church, and not a scrap of a record left
concerning it? The attempt made by the church to establish a common day
for the anniversary of Christ’s resurrection gave rise to long and
bitter controversy, and led to division. And yet, as Prof F. D. Maurice
has well said, “It is supposed that this far more important change,
affecting all the daily relations and circumstances of life, took effect
by the decree of some apostle or some ecclesiastical synod, of which no
record, no legend, even is preserved! Or, perhaps, a half-heathen, more
than half-heathen, statute of Constantine,[14] about the _Dies Solis_
accomplished what the legislators of the church could not
accomplish—succeeded not only in securing its adoption by Athanasians,
Arians, Semi-Arians, whose controversies Constantine could never heal,
but in securing the allegiance of all the barbarous tribes which
accepted the gospel under such various conditions in later times. Can
any suppositions make greater demands on our credulity than these?” A
Procrustean bed indeed must be that interpretation of the law of the
Sabbath which, to conform them to itself, must thus deal with the facts
of history and the probabilities of historical evidence.

Just here is the difficulty in the theory of Seventh-day Sabbatarians.
They have somehow got lodged in their mind the idea that the last one of
the seven days of the week is the sacred day, the observance of which is
absolutely essential to the proper keeping of the Sabbath. What has
already been proved from history, inspired and uninspired, is sufficient
to show that this theory is unworthy of men who, like Christ and his
apostles, would grasp the true significance of the law of the Sabbath.
But as so much stress is laid upon the question of time, we shall devote
our next article to this crucial and very practical point.

Footnote 14:

  The attempt to attribute the change of day to Constantine’s decree is
  hardly worth noticing. It is enough to remember that it was issued in
  the beginning of the fourth century. No one who knows anything of the
  writings of Tertullian and Origen dating back more than a century
  before Constantine, to say nothing of still earlier writers, will
  venture to ascribe the change to Roman Emperor’s decree. Besides, the
  language of the very decree referred to recognizes the honorable
  diameter of the first day of the week. It recognizes that day as
  already “venerable.”—_The Christian._

                              A REJOINDER.

The thoughtful reader need not be told that the article which he has
just read, entitled, “Theories of the Christian Sabbath,” has advanced
the discussion of the question before us in no material respect. The
space devoted so generously to the consideration of theories, in regard
to the unsoundness of which there is no difference of opinion between
the gentleman and myself, is thrown away, so far as the present argument
is concerned. While this is true, however, if it serves no other
purpose, it has at least made it clear that, if the gentleman fails to
make out his case in the end, it will not be because he has not had
ample room for the presentation and elaboration of facts and arguments,
since one who was crippled in his effort by a lack of space would hardly
be willing to devote so much time and attention to subjects foreign to
the present issue.

That which is said with reference to these theories might also be
repeated in reference to the statement and restatement of points which
it is claimed have been proved. Of course, it is the prerogative of any
writer to conduct his own argument in his own way. All that we would
call attention to is the fact that the line of policy pursued, in these
things, is of a nature to satisfy even the most casual observer, that
one who felt that he had resources upon which to draw, without limit,
would not compel us to pass again and again over the same ground. There
is, however, an apology which might properly be offered in the case of
the gentleman, for calling our attention to these trivial points so
repeatedly, which is found in the fact that his articles were written
before our rejoinders were in print. We believe that, were not this the
case, and had he perused what has been said in reply to them, we should
be spared the monotony of answering them again. However, lest we should
seem to avoid them, it will only be necessary that we say enough,
bearing upon each point, to revive, in the mind of one who has followed
us thus far, the fuller consideration given to all of them heretofore.

To the statement that Sabbatarians, in order to make good their case,
must make their views harmonize with the facts of history, it is enough
to say that, if it is meant by this, the facts of sacred history, as
contained in the Bible, this we have already done; for before it can be
urged that the opposite is true, as we have elsewhere seen, it must be
shown that there is some transaction found in the sacred record which is
in conflict with our interpretation of the law. This has not been done;
for not only has it been made to appear that the Sabbath law is explicit
in its requirement of the observance of the seventh day of the week, but
also that there is not a single case of its violation, by a good man, to
be found in the inspired pages.

Nor is this all; we have gone beyond this, and proved, by the record,
that the opposite was true of the Sunday, since upon it Christ and two
of his disciples, on the day of his resurrection, as well as Paul and
Luke and others at a subsequent period, did perform upon it labor, which
the gentleman himself has not attempted, and will not undertake, to
harmonize with any just conception of intelligent Sabbath-keeping. So
far as it regards the absence of any mention of meetings of Christians
on the Sabbath, it is sufficient to say, as we have already done, that,
as in the history given, the account relates largely to missionary
trips, where there was no church as yet developed, and, consequently, no
possibility of separate meetings, such a record would be out of the
question; also, that the argument is only a negative one, and really can
have no force, until it can be demonstrated that God’s plan is first to
command, and then show, in every instance what the commandment means, by
practical illustrations furnished from the history of his people; a
doctrine which is not only unsound and untrue, but absurd in the

If, on the other hand, the gentleman means to be understood as insisting
that the history of the church since the close of the canon of
inspiration must be made to teach the faith which we hold as one which
has always been entertained by the church, and therefore sound, we
repudiate, in the name of Protestantism, this most pernicious view, and
in all matters of practical duty, such as Sabbath-keeping, we decide
according to the written word. To the first source (church history), the
gentleman has appealed, and if every candid man and woman who has
witnessed his effort has not been disgusted with the source to which he
has applied, then we know of nothing which would be calculated to create
in him this condition of mind.

With the summary, in which it is claimed that Christ, and the apostles,
and the Holy Spirit, and the early church, did repeatedly honor the
first day of the week, we will not weary the reader here. We have
disproved every one of these points, and we trust to the intelligence of
those whom we are addressing, in the confident belief that what has been
said, in the absence of even an attempt at refutation, needs not to be
reproduced here.

We had barely mentioned, in our original articles, that Seventh-day
Adventists held to the opinion that the pope of Rome had been
instrumental in bringing about the change of the Sabbath. No effort was
made to develop the argument on that point, since we did not dare to
presume that room would be granted for the perfecting of the work; in
fact, what was said was uttered rather with a view to calling the
attention of the curious to our published works upon that subject, than
for any other purpose. Now, however, this point is made to assume a
prominence which does not really belong to it, in an argument so largely
doctrinal rather than historic.

With this, nevertheless, we have no fault to find. Nothing is more
satisfactory than the awakening of a spirit of investigation on all
branches of this great subject; at the same time, we submit that the
attitude of the gentleman must be very unsatisfactory to himself, since
he will readily perceive that to an opponent, chafing under a denial of
the privilege of answering him in the columns of his own paper, this
whole affair wears the aspect of an empty bravado. “Tell us,” says the
editor, and he repeats his invitation again and again, “Whom did this
little horn represent? Was it Antiochus? or the pope? If the latter,
then how, and when, and where, did he bring about the transition?”

But we reply, Whom do you mean, sir, by the term, “us”? Truly, you would
not require us to come to Philadelphia to enlighten you personally upon
that point. Certainly, you are not particularly anxious that we should
write a series of articles for the benefit of the readers of the
_Review_, on a matter with which they are as familiar as they are with
the history of their own country; but if, indeed, you had in your mind
the readers of the _Statesman_, then it may be inquired again, How has
it been possible for us to reach them, under the circumstances? since,
throwing your forces behind the wall of your editorial prerogative, and
closing against us the gate of possibility, you have shut us out from
all access to them. Gladly would we have availed ourselves of the
opportunity of doing that which we have been denied the privilege of
attempting before the men, many of whom, we believe, would have been
glad to follow this matter to the end; but as this cannot be done, a
brief reply will be made here.

The first inquiry, relating, as it does, to the point whether Antiochus
Epiphanes or the pope, was meant by the “little horn,” in the seventh of
Daniel, need not consume time. It has been urged by some that the
“little horn,” of Dan. 8:9, applied to the former character. We believe
the papists still insist upon this; but the gentleman, upon
reflection—if in what he has said he has confounded the two—will not
seriously argue against the almost universal admission of Protestant
writers, that the power brought to view in the seventh chapter of
Daniel’s prophecy, is that of the papacy. In fact, reasoning as he does
himself, most satisfactorily, that it could not arise until after the
appearance of the original ten, which represented the final breaking up
of the Roman Empire into ten parts, he more than intimates his personal
conviction that it could not represent Antiochus Epiphanes, who reigned
one hundred and seventy-five years before Christ, since the Roman Empire
was not partitioned among the barbarians who invaded it, until A. D.
483, more than six hundred years after the death of the Syrian king.

The following, from a standard authority, will serve to show an almost
universal agreement on this subject; and with its presentation we pass
to the investigation of questions more difficult, and more worthy of our
reflection. “Among Protestant writers, this (‘the little horn,’ of Dan.
7:8) is considered to be the popedom.”—_A. Clarke, Com. in loco._

“To none can this (‘He shall speak great words againt the Most High’)
apply so well, and so fully, as to the popes of Rome.”—_Idem_, v. 25.

The real point of debate, as intimated above, is the question whether
the Roman Catholic church has been instrumental in bringing about the
change of the Sabbath. The gentleman errs in asserting that we have
anywhere stated that such a change was brought about by any particular
officer or council. This we have never urged, nor does it accord with
the view held by us. The “little horn” represented, not one, merely, but
a whole line of priest-kings, who were to extend from the time of their
rise, to the Judgment, and the setting up of the kingdom of God. Of this
line of rulers, it is stated—not that they should really succeed in
bringing about an actual change in the requirements of the law of
God—but that they should “_think_” to accomplish this end. It is also
said that, for a time, times, and dividing of time (1260 years), the
saints of God and the law of God should be delivered into their hands.
Not, indeed, that God would forsake either his people or his law,
utterly, but that, for the period in question, they should be permitted
to pursue a course destructive to the one, and antagonistic to the
other. In other words, that they should put to death the saints, and
presume to alter the commandments of God.

These specifications are simply introduced by way of identification. It
is not said that the power indicated should spring into life suddenly,
and without a previous stage of development; nor is it declared that the
principles which were to characterize it in its mature life should be
wholly peculiar to itself. Other powers, such as pagan Rome, might have
persecuted the people of God before the rise of the papacy, as they
unquestionably did. Other men might have begun the work of tampering
with the law of God, long before the days of the hierarchy, and might
have prepared to its hands the materials necessary to the accomplishment
of the final blasphemous work of the man of sin.

In the days of Paul, “the mystery of iniquity began to work,” and from
that point, its history was one of gradual development. Some of the most
destructive heresies afterward incorporated into the faith of papists,
it is well understood, were fully fledged, and quite generally accepted,
before the installation of the first pope. So, too, concerning the
first-day Sabbath. There can be little doubt that before the bishop of
Rome became the “Corrector of Heretics,” in A. D. 538, or entered the
chair of St. Peter, the Sunday had come to be regarded, by many, as the
rival, if not the superior, of the ancient Sabbath. Just how extensively
the sentiment prevailed, however, it is hard to determine from church
history, because, as has been shown in a previous article, the sources
of our information have been so corrupted by unprincipled Romanists,
that it is difficult to arrive at the facts in the case.

One thing is certain; there was a mighty struggle on this question, the
gentleman to the contrary, notwithstanding, which has left the marks of
its existence in the records of the past. Clear down to the rise of
Roman Catholicism, there were men who were strenuous for the observance
of the seventh day, and rejecters of its rival. Doubtless the Sunday, by
slow degrees, had worked itself into almost universal acceptance as a
festival resting upon human, and not divine, authority; but the Sabbath
of the Lord still continued in the faith of many, especially in the
East, as a day to be sacredly devoted to the worship of God. On this
point, Neander, the learned church historian, has given distinct and
unequivocal utterance:—

“The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was only a human
ordinance, and it was far from the intention 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.
Perhaps at the end of the second century, a false application of this
kind had began to take place; for men appear, by that time, to have
considered laboring on Sunday as a sin.”—_Rose’s Translation of
Neander_, p. 186.[15]

Giesler also remarks as follows: “While the Christians of Palestine, who
kept the whole Jewish law, celebrated, of course, all the Jewish
festivals, the heathen converts observed only the Sabbath, and in
remembrance of the closing scenes of our Saviour’s life, the passover,
though without the Jewish superstitions. Besides these, the Sunday as
the day of our Saviour’s resurrection, was devoted to religious
worship.”—_Church Hist., Apostolic Age to A. D. 70._

Lyman Coleman, in his “Ancient Christianity Exemplified,” testifies as
follows: “The observance of the Lord’s day as the first day of the week
was at first introduced as a separate institution. Both this and the
Jewish Sabbath were kept for some time; finally, the latter passed
wholly over into the former, which now took the place of the ancient
Sabbath of the Israelites. But their Sabbath, the last day of the week,
was strictly kept in connection with that of the first day for a long
time after the overthrow of the temple and its worship. Down even to the
fifth century, the observance of the Jewish Sabbath was continued in the
Christian church, but with a rigor and solemnity gradually diminishing,
until it was wholly discontinued.... Both were observed in the Christian
church down to the fifth century, with this difference, that in the
eastern church, both days were regarded as joyful occasions; but in the
western, the Jewish Sabbath was kept as a fast.” Chap. 26, sect. 2.

Wm. Twisse, whose antique style comports with that of the period in
which he wrote, most pointedly declares the same fact in a work
entitled, “The Morality of the Fourth Commandment:” “Yet for some
hundred years in the primitive church, not the Lord’s day only, but the
seventh day also, was religiously observed, not by Ebion and Cerinthus
only, but by pious Christians also, as Baronius writeth and Gomaius
confesseth, and Rivut also.” Page 9, London, 1641.

Morer, in speaking of the early Christians, remarks of them as follows:
“The primitive Christians had a great veneration for the Sabbath, and
spent the day in devotion and sermons, and it is not to be doubted but
they derived the practice from the apostles themselves.”—_Morer’s Lord’s
Day_, p. 189.

Edward Brerewood, professor in Gresham College, London, writes: “The
ancient Sabbath did remain, and was observed by the Christians of the
east church above three hundred years after our Saviour’s death, and
besides that, no other day, for more hundred years than I spoke of
before, was known in the church by the name of the Sabbath.” Page 77,
ed. 1631.

Prof. Stuart, in speaking of the period between A. D. 321 and the
council of Laodicea, A. D. 364, furnishes the following interesting
statement, which discloses the historic fact concerning the ebb and flow
of discussion on this subject in the early church: “The practice of it
[the keeping of the Sabbath], was continued by Christians who were
jealous for the honor of the Mosaic law, and finally became, as we have
seen, predominant throughout Christendom. It was supposed at length that
the fourth commandment did require the observance of the seventh-day
Sabbath [not merely a seventh part of time], and reasoning as Christians
of the present day are wont to do, viz., that _all_ which belongs to the
ten commandments was immutable and perpetual, the churches in general
came gradually to regard the seventh-day Sabbath as altogether
sacred.”—_Appendix to Gurney’s Hist. of Sabbath_, pp. 115, 116.

Concerning the same council, Prynne has made a similar historic record;
“The seventh-day Sabbath was solemnized by Christ, the apostles, and
primitive Christians, till the Laodicean Council did, in a manner, quite
abolish the observance of it.... The Council of Laodicea, A. D. 364,
first settled the observance of the Lord’s day, and prohibited keeping
of the Jewish Sabbath, under an anathema.”—_Dissertation on the Lord’s
Sabbath_, pp. 33, 44, ed. 1633.

In alluding to the differences in practice between the eastern and the
western churches, Neander distinctly sets forth the resolute animosity
of the latter to the ancient Sabbath of the Lord, and the manner in
which they sought to bring it into disrepute, while elevating the Sunday
into favor. He says: “In the western churches, particularly the Roman,
where opposition to Judaism was the prevailing tendency, this very
opposition produced the custom of celebrating the Saturday as a fast
day. This difference of customs would, of course, be striking, where
members of the Oriental church spent their Sabbath day in the western
church.”—_Hist. Chris. Rel. and Church, First Three Centuries. Rose’s
trans._, p. 186.

Peter Heylyn also marks the peculiar favor shown to the first day of the
week in the western church; and while he declares at one time that it
was near “nine hundred years from the Saviour’s birth before restraint
of husbandry on this day [Sunday] had been first thought of in the
east,” he elsewhere records the fact that in the fifth and sixth
centuries general unanimity respecting the exaltation to divine honor
was reached. He writes: “The faithful, being united more than ever
before, became more uniform in matters of devotion, and in that
uniformity did agree together to give the Lord’s day all the honors of a
holy festival, yet this was not done all at once, but by degrees, the
fifth and sixth centuries being fully spent before it came unto that
hight which has since continued. The emperors and the prelates in these
times had the same affections, both earnest to advance this day above
all others; and to the edicts of the one, and to the ecclesiastical
constitutions of the others, it stands indebted for many of those
privileges and exemptions which it still enjoyeth.”—_Hist. Sab._, part
2, chap. 4, sect. 1.

Thus it has been proved, by citations from men who have possessed the
resources, as well as the disposition, to make themselves acquainted
with the history of the first centuries of the Christian church, first,
that the first day of the week was looked upon for a long time as a
merely human institution; secondly, that the Edenic Sabbath was for
centuries after the crucifixion of Christ quite generally celebrated;
thirdly, that prejudice against it seems to have been strongest and to
have originated earliest at Rome, where, in order to bring it into
odium, it was made a day of fasting, while the Sunday was treated as a
festival; fourthly, that after a struggle, which extended through
hundreds of years, the ancient Sabbath was finally quite generally
repudiated, and the Sunday, through the united efforts of prelates,
councils, and emperors, was enthroned and enforced upon all.

Into the details of this long and varying conflict, in which victory
seems first to have favored the one side and then the other, we are
restricted by the limits of our communication from entering. The
intelligent reader can readily fill in the outlines which have been
given, and will not be slow to perceive that the contest, from the very
nature of things, must have been one of intense interest and heated
debate. If he would satisfy himself most fully that the gentleman is
mistaken in saying that it has left no traces, we refer him for a more
full discussion to the authorities quoted.

Changing now the point of view, we will come to the present time. We
return once more to the charge that the church of Rome, availing itself
of the condition of things which preceded its rise, has consummated the
terrible work which was begun with the great apostasy, long before the
papacy proper was fully developed. In prosecuting the labor thus entered
upon, the reader is invited to pause a moment and decide upon certain
principles which ought to govern in the decision of the question. He
will remember that if he has been educated in the observance of Sunday,
he will be in danger of requiring more testimony than could reasonably
be demanded, since his education, and personal interest, and standing,
would all incline him to a conservatism which needs to be guarded with a
jealous care, lest it should result in a bias which would terminate in
the rejection of sufficient light.

All that we ask him to do is to treat this subject the same as he would
any other matter of fact. To illustrate: If the body of a murdered man
were discovered upon the street, and if there should be found in the
community one whose character was bad in every respect, concerning whom
those who knew him best had given warning; if on the garments of this
suspicious personage blood stains were found; if, in the meantime, a
careful examination of the wounds should show that they had been
inflicted by a weapon peculiar to the notorious individual; and if, in
addition to the foregoing, he should step forward and frankly confess
that he had done the deed, no court in the world would hesitate to
inflict the penalty of the law, because of any doubt regarding the guilt
of the offending party. Now applying the same principles to the case in
hand, if every one can be shown to hold good in every particular, then
consistency demands that they should produce a conviction equally clear
and strong with that in the mind of the court, in determining in the
case of the homicide upon the infliction of punishment.

But is it true that the charge against the Roman Catholic church can be
made out as conclusively as that against the individual mentioned above?
Let us see. The first point there brought forward was the unquestionable
fact that the man had been murdered. This was the starting point of the
whole affair. That which answers to it in the case before us is the fact
that the change of the Sabbath has been made out beyond reasonable
doubt; for God commanded the observance of the seventh day, while,
somehow, Christendom is generally observing the first, though utterly
incapable of furnishing Scripture warrant for the change.

The second point was that respecting the bad reputation of a certain
character in the community—its parallel in the persons of the popes is
found in the fact that, as we have seen, their rise and history were
symbolized centuries before their appearance under the type of the
“little horn” of the seventh of Daniel, by one who never errs in his
analysis of character, and who declared of the “man of sin” that he
should “think to change times and laws,” and that they should be given
into his hands for “a time and times and the dividing of time,” thus
proving that this blasphemous power who was to open his mouth in
blasphemy against God is capable of attempting the transfer of God’s
holy Sabbath to a day different from that pointed out in the

The third point, which related to blood stains upon the garments of the
suspected person, finds its counterpart in the teachings of Romanism,
most clearly. We learn, in the writings of Moses, that the blood is the
life of the individual. This, however, is not more true than it is that
the fourth commandment is the life of the Sabbatic institution. If you
mar that commandment, you mar the Sabbath in the same ratio. If you
destroy that commandment, you destroy the Sabbath. But the assumed
ability to alter this precept as well as others of the decalogue is one
of the very crimes of which Rome has been guilty, by which she has
blotched all over in the most loathsome manner the garments of a once
spotless Christianity, and a profoundly reverent faith. That this is so
will become manifest when we present a copy of the decalogue as it has
been mutilated by the Romish church in the exercise of a pretended
divine right to accomplish such a work. For this purpose we append the
ten commandments as they stand in Butler’s catechism.[16]

“1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me,
&c. 2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. 3.
Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day. 4. Honor thy father and
thy mother. 5. Thou shalt not kill. 6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
7. Thou shalt not steal, 8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against
thy neighbor. 9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. 10. Thou
shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”

Hero it will be seen that the second commandment is dropped out
altogether, and that the tenth is divided; a portion of it retaining its
ancient number, and the remaining portion of it being numbered as the
ninth commandment, thereby making the complement of the original ten,
which would have been reduced to nine by ignoring the one against image
worship. It will also be perceived that with the exception of the words,
“Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day,” the fourth commandment
is left out entirely. True, it may be that in the Douay Bible the
original commandments are allowed to remain intact, but we shall see
hereafter that the above arrangement is not accidental, and that the
power to make these changes is unhesitatingly claimed.

The fourth point was that concerning the form and nature of the wound,
whereby it was discovered that it was made with a weapon precisely such
as one possessed by the suspected party. The correspondence in this
particular will be found in the boundary of the new Sabbath; in its
beginning and ending, occurring as they do at twelve o’clock, midnight,
are the unmistakable marks of the band of one who most assuredly did not
live at Jerusalem, and who left upon the creature of his own power the
badge of its origin at Rome.

The Jews, as we have seen heretofore, by the agreement of commentators
and scholars generally, as well as by the testimony of the Bible,
commenced and ended their days with the setting of the sun. At Rome, on
the other hand, as well as in other parts of the world, the day began as
we now begin the Sunday—at midnight. In this, it is made apparent that
some one has been tampering with a day which it is claimed was hallowed
by Christ eighteen hundred years ago; since, if it had originated at
that time and in that place, it would have conformed in its beginning
and ending to the weekly Sabbath, the day of Pentecost, and the other
days in the Jewish calendar. The presumption concerning whom this person
is, is already made out. The certainty respecting it will be established
under the next heading.

The fifth point cited above was the confession of the culprit. Under
ordinary circumstances, this alone would have made a conviction
inevitable. Answering to it in the fullest degree are the oft-repeated
declarations of Romanists, that they have changed the Sabbath from the
seventh to the first day of the week, and that they had the ability and
the right thus to do. Respecting these assumptions, we might introduce
quotations almost without number, but we must content ourselves with a
few brief but pointed ones.[17]

“_Ques._ What are the days which the church commands to be kept holy?”

“_Ans._ 1. The Sundays, or our Lord’s day, which we observe by
apostolical tradition instead of the Sabbath. 2. The feasts of our
Lord’s nativity, or Christmas day; his circumcision, or New Year’s day;
the Epiphany, or twelfth day; Easter day, or the day of our Lord’s
resurrection, with the Monday following,” &c.

“_Ques._ What was the reason why the weekly Sabbath was changed from the
Saturday to the Sunday?”

“_Ans._ Because our Lord fully accomplished the work of our redemption
by rising from the dead on Sunday and by sending down the Holy Ghost on
Sunday; as therefore the work of our redemption was a greater work than
that of our creation, the primitive _church_ thought the day in which
this work was completely finished was more worthy her religious
observation than that in which God rested from creation, and should be
properly called the Lord’s day.”

“_Ques._ But has the church power to make any alterations in the
commandments of God?”

“_Ans._ The commandments of God, as far as they contain his eternal law,
are unalterable and indispensable, but as to whatever was only
ceremonial they cease to oblige, since the Mosaic law was abrogated by
Christ’s death; hence, as far as the commandment obliges us to set aside
some part of our time for the worship and service of our Creator, it is
an unalterable and unchangeable precept of the eternal law in which the
church cannot dispense. But, forasmuch as it prescribes the seventh day
in particular for this purpose, it is no more than a ceremonial precept
of the old law which obligeth not Christians, and therefore, instead of
the seventh day and other festivals appointed by the old law, the
_church_ has prescribed the Sundays and holidays to be set apart for
God’s worship, and these we are now obliged to keep in consequence of
God’s commandment, instead of the ancient Sabbath.”

“_Ques._ What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday preferable to the
ancient Sabbath, which was the Saturday?”

“_Ans._ We have for it the authority of the Catholic church and
apostolic tradition.”

“_Ques._ Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for
the Sabbath?”

“_Ans._ The Scripture commands us to hear the church (Matt. 18:17, Luke
10:16), and to hold fast the traditions of the apostles. 2 Thess. 2:15.
But the Scriptures do not in particular mention this change of the
Sabbath. John speaks of the Lord’s day (Rev. 1:10); but he does not tell
us what day of the week this was, much less does he tell us that this
day was to take the place of the Sabbath ordained in the commandment;
... so that truly the best authority we have for this, is the testimony
and ordinance of the church. And, therefore, those who pretend to be so
religious of the Sunday, whilst they take no notice of the festivals
ordained by the same church authority, show that they act by humor, and
not by reason and religion, since Sundays and holy days all stand upon
the same foundation, viz., the ordinance of the church.”—_Cath.
Christian Instructed_, pp. 209-211.

“_Ques._ Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to
institute festivals of precept?”

“_Ans._ 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 scripture
authority.”—_Doctrinal Catechism._

“_Ques._ If keeping the Sunday be a church precept, why is it numbered
in the decalogue, which are the commandments of God and the law of

“_Ans._ Because the substance, or chief part of it, namely, that the day
be set apart for the service of God, is of divine right and of the law
of nature; though the determining this particular day, Sunday, rather
than Saturday, be a church ordinance and precept.”—_Abridgment of Chris.
Doc._, pp. 57, 59.

Thus much for the connection of the papacy with the change of the
Sabbath. The reader, repudiating the claim for apostolical tradition,
which is of no value with Protestants, and rejecting as fallacious the
assumed antiquity of the Roman Catholic church, will discover that there
still remains the bold assumption of the ability on the part of that
church to change the Sabbath, and also of the historic fact that it has
done so. Mr. Gilfillan, while, of course, from his standpoint rejecting
the notion that the pope has either in reality changed, or even
possessed the ability to change, the divinely appointed day of rest,
frankly acknowledges that he arrogates to himself the power so to do, in
the following language:—

“Rome, professing to retain, has yet corrupted every doctrine,
institution, and law of Jesus Christ, recognizing for example, the
mediator between God and man, but associating with him many other
intercessors; avowing adherence to the Scripture, but the Scripture as
supplemented and made void by the writings and traditions of men; and,
in short, without discarding the Lord’s day, adding a number of
encumbering holidays, giving them in many instances an honor equal and
even superior to God’s own day, and claiming for the ‘Vicar of Christ’
lordship even of the Sabbath.”—_The Sabbath_, p. 457.

Into the details respecting the fasts; the decrees of councils; the
bulls of popes: the myths concerning the calamities which have befallen
those laboring on the Sunday; the forgery of an epistle in its
interests, which it was claimed fell from Heaven; and the astounding
miracles with which the hierarchy has accomplished the prodigious task
of making the transfer, we are not permitted to enter here, nor will it
be required that we should do so. Any person acquainted with the arts
usually employed at Rome will readily perceive the methods which she has
called to her assistance. All that a reasonable man could possibly ask
is found in the transition from one day to another, in the fact that the
law of God was to be tampered with by a persecuting power which was to
continue its oppressions of the saints of God for twelve hundred and
sixty years, and in the further consideration that no persecuting power
except that of Rome has ever continued for that length of time.

Concerning the decree of Constantine, the only place which we assign to
it in the controversy between the friends of the Lord’s Sabbath and its
rival, is that which it holds because of its having made the transition
easy. The first day of the week being the one generally observed by the
heathen and by this decree enforced by statute, had in its favor the
practice and sympathy of the masses of men. This law, though passed by a
heathen, and in the interest of the heathen religion, was, as would
naturally have been the case, of great service to those who subsequently
favored the change of day, since it gave to their effort not only the
color, but also the material advantage, of legality; by it, men, under
certain circumstances, were compelled to celebrate the day of the sun
even though they had previously regarded that of the Lord. This, of
course, was burdensome, and worked greatly to the advantage of the
heathen festival.

One of two views must be taken of the statute of Constantine: If it were
Christian, then it proves that Sunday observance, at the time of its
passage, was exceedingly lax, since by its terms only men in the cities
and towns were prohibited from laboring upon it, while those in the
country were by it allowed and encouraged to carry on the vocations of
the farm. If, on the other hand, it were heathen in its origin, then the
suggestion that it recognizes the venerableness of the day of the sun,
even at so early a period as that of its promulgation, is entirely
without force, since it thereby becomes manifest that it received this
dignifying appellation, not because it had long been venerated by the
disciples of our Lord, but because from time immemorial it had been
honored by the heathen—a doubtful compliment to the Christian Sabbath.

Footnote 15:

  For the extracts given in this connection, the reader is referred to
  “Sabbath and Sunday,” by A. H. Lewis, and to “The History of the
  Sabbath,” by J. N. Andrews.

Footnote 16:

  The commandments as given above are supposed to be repeated by the
  individual Romanist in response to the injunction, “Say the ten
  commandments of God.”

Footnote 17:

  The following citations will be found in a small tract published at
  the “_Review_ and _Herald_” Office, entitled, “Who Changed the

                           STATESMAN’S REPLY.
                              ARTICLE TEN.

Our readers will recollect that the chief difference between the second
and the third theories of the Christian Sabbath, as we stated them in
our last issue, is in reference to the question of time. Seventh-day
Sabbatarians, on the one hand, maintain that the last one of the seven
days of the week is _the_ sacred day, and that the observance of this
very day is absolutely essential to the proper observance of the Sabbath
of the Lord, and the keeping of the fourth commandment. On the other
hand, we set forth what we believe to be the true theory of the
Christian Sabbath, according to which the essential idea of the law of
the Sabbath is the consecration to God of an appointed proportion of
time—one day in seven, and not the essential holiness of any particular

We have already seen that the interpretation of the fourth commandment
which insists on the essential holiness of the last day of the week
would convict the risen Lord, and his inspired apostles, and the whole
church of Christ, even in its purest days, of the violation of that
precept of the divine law. But let us now examine a few practical points
in connection with this second theory.

1. If the seventh day of the week is to be rigidly adhered to, as the
law of the fourth commandment, it must be the seventh from the creation,
in regular weekly succession. Will any seventh-day Sabbatarian venture
to affirm that, through all the changes of our race, through all the
breaks of history, through the bondage in Egypt, and the repeated
captivities of God’s ancient people, to say nothing of the miracles in
connection with Joshua’s victory, and Hezekiah’s sickness, unbroken
succession of the weekly divisions of time has been maintained? Does the
last day of our week answer, in an exact numbering of days, to the
seventh day on which God rested after completing the work of creation?
The interpretation which we are now considering demands this conformity
to the fourth commandment in its letter. He would be a bold man indeed,
who would affirm that his seventh day in this nineteenth century is the
exact day which his own view of the law of the Sabbath would require him
to keep holy. Our present first day may correspond to the original
seventh day. Who knows?

2. But admit that these essentially holy twenty-four hours, at the close
of each week, may be marked without doubt, how can all Christians in
different parts of the world keep them? How can men in different
longitudes and latitudes so mark off the week as to have it end with
this intrinsically holy portion of time? The difference in local time in
different parts of the earth is a fact familiar to every school-boy. The
circumference of the earth, for the convenience of calculation, is
divided into three hundred and sixty degrees. As the sun appears to make
a circuit round the earth every time the earth rotates on its axis, that
is, every twenty-four hours, the apparent motion of the sun from east to
west will be fifteen degrees each hour. Let it be noon of the seventh
day at any given point in our land, and it will be sunset ninety degrees
east, and sunrise ninety degrees west. At what point of the earth’s
surface shall men claim the right to have the seventh or holy day begin
with their sunset or their midnight, and demand that all others east and
west shall measure their holy day from so many hours before or after
their own midnight or sunset, as their portion may require?

Or, again, in extreme northern and southern latitudes, where perpetual
day and constant night alternate with the annual revolution of the
earth, how shall the seventh day be marked? How shall this essentially
holy day of twenty-four hours be known? As God, in his infinite wisdom,
has seen fit to make our earth, and ordain the laws of its diurnal
revolution on its axis, and its annual orbit round the sun, it is simply
impossible for the inhabitants of the world to keep holy the same
identical period of time. The interpretation of the law of the Sabbath
at which we are looking is in conflict, therefore, with the laws of the
solar system.

3. Our seventh-day friend, perhaps, retreats to his last refuge. There
is no portion of absolute time essentially holy. That was never meant.
Very well, then, what is meant? Why, that each one in his own longitude
or latitude should observe the seventh day as it is measured by his own
local time. We apprehend that, in some latitudes, the seventh day,
measured by local time, running through some thousands of hours, would
be a weariness to the strictest even of seventh-day Sabbatarians. But we
will leave these extreme cases. They must keep holy the appointed
proportion—one-seventh of their time. That must be the law of the
Sabbath to them. But in the belt of the earth nearer the equator, local
time, measured by the natural division of days, must be followed.

Now, let it be said, we have no desire to treat a serious subject
lightly. But our friends insist on an interpretation of the fourth
commandment which can hardly be treated seriously. We can scarcely blame
Dr. Geo. Junkin for employing this shaft of ridicule. He says,
substantially, suppose all our seventh-day Sabbatarians (and their
number is not an insuperable objection to the experiment), having
labored six days, according to the commandment, come to the night of
Friday. By an excusable artifice, sponges, saturated with a powerful
anæsthetic agent, are held to their noses, and they are laid up, in
perfect unconsciousness, for a whole day beyond the close of their usual
time of sleep. They awake, supposing it to be the seventh day of the
week, as to them, so conscious intelligent beings, and subjects of law,
it certainly would be to all intents and purposes. But in fact, by the
actual measurement of time, it is the first day of the week. Might there
not be in this way a practical solution of the whole difficulty?

But the actual rising and the setting of the sun may be insisted on
whether our seventh-day advocates are conscious or not. Suppose, then,
that one of them takes the now rather popular trip of a tour round the
world. Going west at the rate of, say thirty degrees a week, starting
from New York, he would lengthen each of his days from sunrise to
sunrise—supposing the sun to rise at six o’clock, local time, all along
the belt of his course—a little over seventeen minutes; and thus,
keeping his own count of time, and observing every seventh solar day, on
his return to New York at the end of twelve weeks, his seventh-day
Sabbath would really be the first day of the week. Though he might not
be _mentally_ converted to the first-day theory of the Christian
Sabbath, he would at least be _physically_ converted, and would either
be compelled to accept the change, or make a week of six solar days to
harmonize in Sabbath observance with his seventh-day brethren at home,
or take to his journeying again, and complete the circuit of the earth
in the opposite direction, in order to maintain unbroken the succession
of weeks of seven days each, and have his Sabbath fall on the one and
only day which will suit his interpretation of the fourth commandment.

If, instead of going by the west, our traveler should go by the east,
journeying at the same rate of thirty degrees each week, he would
diminish the length of each of his days a little over seventeen minutes,
and on arriving once more at New York, at the end of twelve even weeks
by the time of that city, but twelve weeks and one day by his own time,
his seventh-day Sabbath would fall on the sixth day of the week, and we
would have a new order of Sabbatarians.

The reason of the diversity is obvious. The trip around the world,
according to the supposed rate of travel, would occupy just twelve
weeks, or eighty-four days of twenty-four hours each, measured by local
time at New York. The total number of hours, reckoning each day
twenty-four even hours, would be 2,016. The traveler, proceeding
westward at the rate of thirty degrees a week, would add to each day’s
length just seventeen and one-seventh minutes—making each day from
sunrise to sunrise, reckoning this always at six o’clock, local time,
twenty-four hours, seventeen and one-seventeenth minutes long. He would,
therefore, in the whole number of hours of his trip, 2,016, see the sun
rise only eighty-three instead of eighty-four times. Going east, he
would shorten each day’s length, reducing it from sunrise to sunrise, to
twenty-three hours and forty-two and six-seventh minutes. In this case,
the whole number of hours, 2,016, would divide up into eighty-five solar
days. To one remaining at New York, there would be eighty-four solar
days; to the one going west around the world, the same absolute time
would be summed up in eighty-three solar days; and to the one going
east, it would extend itself to eighty-five solar days. Thus at the
close of every trip round the world, the Christian traveler or sailor
must readjust the reckoning of his days, in order to observe the Lord’s
day with his brethren at home. When our Constitution shall have been
amended, and a true Christian regard shall be shown to all citizens, if
our seventh-day friends feel grievously oppressed by the Sabbath laws,
which will then be no dead letter, we shall do our utmost to have the
national government provide a number of comfortable vessels, and give
our friends a gratuitous trip round the world. We shall take care that
the officers are instructed not to sail by the east; for our seventh-day
Sabbatarians would then go away only to come home and be sixth-day
Sabbatarians. Due care will be taken to have them proceed in the right
direction, and to induce them on their return to stay at home, and
government’s oppression of them by Sabbath laws will then forevermore
have ceased.

In all seriousness, we ask, How can a thoughtful man, in view of the
fact of the earth’s revolution round the sun, and its effect on the
measurement of time, hold to the second theory of the Christian Sabbath?
We have a matter of fact to record just here. In 1790, nine mutineers
from the English vessel, the Bounty, along with six men and twelve women
from Tahiti, landed on what is known as Pitcairn’s island in the Pacific
Ocean. John Adams, one of the mutineers, after the violent death of the
other men, was converted by reading a copy of the Bible, and became a
true Christian. Keeping his own count of the days, he observed the
weekly Sabbath, with the community which was growing up, and which he
was at great pains to instruct in the Christian religion. Some time
after, an English vessel visited the islands, keeping their count of the
days. The officers and crew of this vessel landed at the island on
Saturday, but, to their astonishment, found a Christian community
keeping the Christian Sabbath. The original settlers and the visitors
had gone to the island in different directions. Did the sailors, who
kept one day, not observe the Sabbath? Or did the islanders, who kept
another day, violate the fourth precept of the decalogue?

Two colonies of seventh-day advocates might leave the same port, one
going east and the other west, and might locate on islands on the same
parallel of longitude, but on different parallels of latitude. Each,
keeping its own record of time, would be found, on settling in their
permanent home, to be observing a different day as the weekly Sabbath.
Would either colony admit that it was in the wrong? If they were to live
apart, each might properly observe its own day; if together, would it
matter which day might be observed?

Thus the principle as to time in Sabbath observance insists, not on the
essential holiness of any twenty-four hours in themselves, but on the
dedication to God of one day in seven, one seventh of the time as nearly
as that proportion can be measured by the most convenient means
available. This, the third theory does, while it accepts all the facts
of history. With one more article, in favor of the third theory of the
Christian Sabbath, we shall close this whole discussion.

                              A REJOINDER.

Were it not true that we had long since ceased to be surprised at
anything which an individual could say when opposing the claims of the
Lord’s Sabbath, after having received the light concerning them, our
astonishment at the position taken by the gentleman of the _Statesman_,
in the foregoing article, would have no bounds.

To one who has followed him thus far in an elaborate argument, running
through a series of nine communications, all for the purpose of
establishing, from both Scripture and history, the change of the Sabbath
from the seventh to the first day of the week, and the obligation under
which all men are now placed to observe the latter instead of the
former, it will be extremely difficult to explain, on grounds honorable
to himself, this sudden repudiation of all which he has said in the
past, while endeavoring to defend the newly found theory of the
observance of one day in seven, to the exclusion of any definite day

In his second article, he says, “We are concerned here and now simply
with the transfer of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of
the week.” In the third article, when speaking of apostolic times, he
remarks again, “It was also seen that while the observance of the
seventh day was not continued, another day of the week, the first, took
its place as the stated day for religious assemblies and services.”
Farther on, he writes again, as follows: “On the last seventh day on
which the disciples rested, according to the commandment, the Lord
himself is lying in the tomb. The glory of the seventh day dies out with
the fading light of that day, throughout the whole of which the grave
claimed the body of the Redeemer. But the glory of the Sabbath of the
Lord survives. It receives fresh luster from the added glories of the
Lord of the Sabbath. ‘The Stone which the builders refused has become
the head of the corner.’ It is very early in the morning, the first day
of the week. Again, ‘God said, Let there be light; and there was light’
The Sun of Righteousness has risen with healing in his wings. This is
the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. The
first day of the week has become the Lord’s day.”

But we must cease from our quotations, for them is no limit to
expressions synonymous with the above. Not only so, but were additional
proof necessary, by more ample extracts, it could be made to appear that
the whole theory of his defense, as already declared, has rested
entirely upon the change of the day from the seventh, which was observed
till the death of Christ, to the first, which was honored especially by
our Lord, by his personal appearance to the disciples on the first and
second Sundays following the resurrection, and by the outpouring of the
Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, with the especial view of teaching
the disciples that it had become holy time; also, that they, grasping
the moral of the lesson imparted by example, if not by positive precept,
inculcated the doctrine of the change, and made it binding upon all.

If we are right in this, and the reader who has followed the debate thus
far will unhesitatingly admit that such are the facts, then, of course,
the gentleman is arrayed against himself in a manner most distasteful,
no doubt, to his personal feelings, as well as disastrous to his
polished logic; for to the mind of the merest school-boy it must be
apparent that a change of Sabbath from one day of the week to another,
involves the definiteness of the day thus honored; _i. e._, if the first
day of the week is now the Christian Sabbath because of the nature of
events which transpired upon it in particular, then, of course, it
occupies that position to the exclusion of all other days; but this
utterly demolishes the seventh-part-of-time theory, which the gentleman
has adopted, the very essence of which is, that there is now no
superiority in days, and the individual is left free to choose any one
which may best accord with his tastes or subserve his interests.

Here, then, we come to a dead halt. Which shall we believe, the nine
articles of the gentleman, or the tenth, which is in direct conflict
with their teachings? Should we go by the bulk of the testimony, then we
must decide that there is a definite day, according to the conviction of
our opponent. But if he still holds to that doctrine, then that which he
has said against the seventh-day Sabbath, on the ground that the earth
is round, and, therefore, that the Edenic Sabbath could not be kept in
all portions of it, is deprived of all its force. For, assuredly, if he
believes that God now requires all men to honor the first day of the
week, the world over, then he must admit that it is possible for them to
do so.

But if it is possible for men both to find and to celebrate the first
day of the week, on a round world, then, beyond all dispute, the same
process which will enable them to do this, will also qualify them to
locate and to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. For it is just as certain
as mathematical demonstration can make it, that in a week consisting of
seven days, having found the first of the number, in order to discover
the last, you have but to take the one which preceded the known day, or,
if you please, count forward six days from the one already established,
and you have the last day of the Week to which it belongs.

So, too, with every objection urged in the communication. The one in
regard to the difficulties which would be experienced in an attempt to
keep the Sabbath of the commandment at the poles, is just as fatal to
the first day as it is to the seventh. All this talk, also, in regard to
the impossibility of preserving a correct count, and of the lengthening
and shortening of the days, as the traveler passes from the east to the
west, if it has any force at all, or even the semblance of force, must
be met and answered equally by the observers of the so-called Christian
Sabbath, with those of the Sabbath of the Lord. This being true, we
might pause right here, and roll the burden onto the opposition. Having
raised the dust which is blinding the eyes of the ignorant, yet
conscientious, it would be but substantial justice for Sabbatarians to
fall back and say to them, Take the field, gentlemen, and wrest from the
hand of the infidel and the atheist the weapons with which you have
armed them to be employed against you in the very work in which you are
engaged; for, be it remembered that the children of this world are wiser
in their generation than the children of light, and they will readily
perceive the advantage which they have gained by such doctrines and
difficulties as those to which the gentleman has called their attention.

This, however, we shall not do, but shall ourselves, in due time, strike
at the very root of the error, in the interest of a definite and
universal day of holy rest. Before entering upon this work,
nevertheless, there is a matter which concerns Sabbatarians most deeply,
to which attention should be directed.

The gentleman and his friends are pressing upon the nation the necessity
of the Constitutional Amendment—contrary to his former declaration, in
which he said there was no necessary connection between the Sabbath and
the amendment. He now justifies our strictures upon the disingenuousness
of his argument, by deliberately stating, in the article before us, with
an air of triumphant exultation, that, the amendment once secured, the
Sabbath laws in this country will then cease to be a dead letter. By
this, he means, of course, that they will be carried into operation. But
what are those Sabbath laws? They are laws enforcing the first day of
the week, in nearly every State in the Union.

Now, we believe that what the gentleman says will be fulfilled; but
right here is the proper place to offer a solemn protest. Will the
gentleman fine and imprison my brethren and myself for disregarding the
first day of the week, after having conscientiously kept the seventh? If
so, we ask for the logic by which such a course could be justified, on
the ground that the seventh-part-of-time theory is correct? Now, mark
it, the object of the amendment is to make the Bible the fountain of
national law. All the enactments of the Congress and all the decisions
of the judiciary are to be in harmony with it. If, therefore, Sabbath
laws are passed, they must be such as the Scriptures would warrant; for
the Sabbath, be it remembered, which this movement seeks to enforce, is
the one which the Bible teaches.

But, according to the last theory, the day which God now requires to be
observed is not any one in particular, but simply one in seven, the
individual being left to make the selection of the one which he prefers
thus to honor. Now, therefore, it is submitted that if God has given to
man this prerogative of choice, then be has done so because this course
was the one which commended itself to infinite wisdom, and no person or
set of persons has a right to come between the creature and the Creator,
depriving the former of rights which the latter has guaranteed to him.
If the Bible Sabbath is indeed an indefinite one, we say to these
gentlemen, Hands off; in the name of religion and the Bible you shall
not perform a work which twill do violence to a large class of
conscientious citizens, and which, according to your own argument, is
contrary to the doctrine of the Christian Sabbath, as laid down in the
word of God. Be consistent with yourselves and your views of Scripture.

If, indeed, you are sincere in believing that Sabbatarians violate no
divine law in the keeping of the seventh day, then we say to you in the
name of charity, Why not allow them, so long as they are Christian men
and women, and obedient citizens, to carry out their convictions of
duty, without compelling them, by the appliances of persecuting
legislation, to keep the particular first-day Sabbath which indeed you
have chosen for yourselves, but for which you have now ceased to claim
any special divine honor? To form them, either to disregard their own
convictions of duty, or to keep two days holy, would lie an act of
despotism but one remove from that terrible bigotry which, in the
Inquisition, resorted to the rack and the thumbscrew; not, indeed, to
make men better Christians or better citizens, but to coerce them into
the acceptance of institutions for which there was no divine authority.

But we must pans to the consideration of other points. To the objection
that the seventh day may have been lost since creation, and that he is a
bold man who would affirm his ability to locate it now, it may be
replied that, while Sabbatarians claim for themselves no unusual amount
of courage, they do insist that it is an easy matter to demonstrate the
succession of weeks, and the proper place of the original seventh day in
the septenary cycle at the present time. The way in which this may be
done is as follows: At the creation of the world, God blessed and
sanctified the seventh day, because that on it he had rested. At the
exodus from Egypt, he gave to the people a written law, enforcing the
Sabbatic observance of the day on which he had originally ceased from
his labors. On the sixth, Moses said to the people, “To-morrow is the
rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord.” For forty years subsequent to
this, God marked out this day from the others by causing that no manna
should fall upon it whatever, whereas it fell upon every other one of
the seven.

Thus we have the authority of God himself, who assuredly could not
mistake, that the people of Israel, in the outset, had committed to them
the original seventh day, since God not only gave them a Sabbath, but
also, according to the reason of the commandment, the Sabbath of the
Lord. Descending the line of history to the days of Christ, we find him
declaring that he had kept his Father’s commandments (John 15:10). But
one of these commandments was that relating to the Sabbath; in order,
therefore, to the proper observance of it, Christ must have been able to
decide which day in the week it was. That this was the case, none will
dispute. Thus the day is located in his time satisfactorily, since he
kept the same one which the Jews regarded, and which preceded the day of
his resurrection. From that time to this, we have the general agreement
of Jews, Christians, and heathen, in regard to the precise place in the
week of both the first and the seventh day. Surely, this is all which
could be demanded in order to reach reasonable certainty.

The difficulty which the gentleman finds in harmonizing the will of God,
as expressed in the law of nature and that of a definite Sabbath for the
people living near the poles, is apparently possessed of some force. It
is, however, not peculiar to him. These barren wastes of ice and snow,
though far removed from our civilization, are apparently destined to
figure as largely in the spiritual world as they do in that of
scientific research; not only on the Sabbath question, but also in that
of baptism, it has a part to act. Think, says the advocate of
sprinkling, as a shudder runs through his whole system, think of an
immersion administered in the regions of eternal ice. Then having
suitably impressed his auditors with the physical difficulties in the
way of Bible baptism, he concludes that God never could have ordained
immersion as the only method, since it is impracticable in the extreme
north, and God surely would have commanded a form of ordinance which
could be carried out in all parts of the world.

In harmony with this line of deduction is the difficulty stated by our
friend. Chiming in with the theory that the laws of nature and the law
of God must run harmoniously together, it is shown that at the poles the
days and nights are six months long; and, therefore, that a twenty-four
hour Sabbath, definitely located upon the last day of the week, is out
of the questions. The conclusion drawn is that, as the theory of the
seventh-day Sabbatarians is in conflict with the ordinance of nature in
these portions of the globe, it must be contrary to the original design
of God.

But pause a moment; suppose we should grant that in the region in
question there are men who cannot keep the seventh-day Sabbath as
originally ordained, does that prove of necessity that it ought not to
be hallowed in those portions of the world where there is no difficulty
in the way of its observance? We think not. To illustrate: Were a man to
pass his life in a coal mine, hundreds of feet beneath the surface,
laboring continually, and never seeing the sun at all, would he,
therefore, be exempted from the definite Sabbath? You answer, No. But
why is this reply returned? Manifestly, because the difficulty is not
with God and Isis laws, or the sun, but with the individual who has
voluntarily placed himself under abnormal circumstances. In other words,
he has located himself where the God of nature never designed that he
should, and, in so doing, he has himself created a difficulty which he
himself can remove.

So, too, with the Northman. If he finds it impossible to keep a Sabbath
which is most perfectly adapted to the wants of mankind, it is simply
because he has placed himself in a region which God has doctored waste
and uninhabitable as emphatically as can be done by nature speaking
through the language of eternal ice and snow, and the disappearance for
six months in a year of that great luminary whose light and heat are so
indispensable to the comfort and advancement of the race. But, if this
is true, then the argument from the conflict between the law of the God
of nature and that of revelation, concerning a definite day of rest,
loses all of its force; for the whole trouble arises, not from any want
of adaptation on the part of such a rest to the circumstances of those
who are where God would have them located, but from a disregard, in the
first place, on the part of the nations in question, of the manifest law
of prohibition to the settlement of regions which were designed to
remain unoccupied.

Their relief can be found in one of two directions: They can, in the
interest of their own progress, retrace their steps to localities where
the more advanced portion of the race feel the genial influence of a
diurnal sun; or, should they insist upon remaining in the bleak regions
of their choice, it is possible for them, according to the accounts of
travelers, to mark by the variations of the twilight, even in their six
months’ night, the boundaries of the Sabbath and the week days as they
come and go to those residing in more temperate regions.

It is now time to grapple with the theory that it is impossible for
those traveling around the world and those living in different portions
of it to keep one and the same day. The first thing to be settled is the
matter of what is meant by the expression, “the same day.” Upon this
point, the gentleman has wasted many words. We have never insisted upon
the identical hours. All that we demand is that the mine day should be
observed throughout the habitable globe, _i. e._, each individual should
celebrate in his own particular locality the seventh day of the week as
it comes to him in its passage round the earth—to use the language of
common parlance.

Whether this can be done or not is a question which involves the wisdom
of God; for, granting that he gave the fourth commandment as a Sabbath
law, and the regulations concerning the Sabbath, as found in the books
of Moses, there is no room for dispute that he understood the statute to
enforce the keeping of a definite day, and not merely one-seventh part
of time, In the sixteenth chapter of Exodus, where the Sabbath is first
introduced, is found an excellent opportunity to test this matter. He
there marks out the day which he had hallowed as the one which followed
the sixth, and the only one on which no manna fell. For forty years,
also, this practice of separating the day of his rest by a weekly
miracle from all others was continued. But why should he have done this
if there was no choice, and if the keeping of the seventh part of time
was all that was necessary? Nay, more, why did he make it absolutely
impossible for a man to celebrate any other day but the seventh day of
the week? That he did so, we can prove in a few words.

We will suppose that a person entertaining the sentiments of the
gentleman should have attempted to carry them out in the forty years
during which God led the people in the wilderness; also, that his first
experiment was that of Sunday rest. In this he would have failed
utterly. Do you ask, How? I answer that God had decreed that no manna
should fall on the seventh day (Ex. 16:26), and that the manna which was
to be eaten on the Sabbath should be gathered on the day before (Ex.
16:5). It would therefore have been impossible for the individual in
question to provide food for his Sunday rest. But, disgusted with this
kind of Sabbath-keeping, suppose he should have tried, in order, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the result would not have
varied materially. On Sunday, there was an utter absence of all food; on
the other days, that which had been previously gathered, instead of
being fit for use, would have been found corrupted and changed into
loathsome worms, since God had told the people that only the manna which
was gathered on the sixth day should be kept until the day following;
and some of them, having made the experiment of disobeying in the
particular in question, found the result as cited above (Ex. 16:19, 20).
On the other hand, should the same individual have decided finally to
consecrate the seventh day of the week, he would have found no
difficulty whatever. Gathering his double portion of the manna on the
sixth day, by a miracle of God it would have been preserved pure and
wholesome through the last day of the week.

But how can this be accounted for on the hypothesis that no particular
day was chosen by the Lord? If, indeed, he had adopted the indefinite
plan, and had left the people to choose for themselves, it is certain
that he did this because it was the best method. But if it were the best
method, and if it were in accordance with his view of the statute, then,
assuredly, he would not have stultified himself and mocked the people by
first granting them a privilege and then, by his providence, preventing
them from carrying it out.

Should it be suggested that this law was confined to the land of
Palestine and to the Jews in its operation, I answer; first, that at the
time spoken of the people were in Arabia, not in Judea, and that even
should that be granted, which is not true, viz., that the fourth
commandment related simply to the Hebrews, this does not affect the
question at all, for no one will insist that Jews were only obliged by
it when in Judea. Wherever they might be, they were required to keep the
Sabbath, whether in bondage in Assyria, or traversing the known world in
quest of gain. From Spain to India, from Scythia to Africa, this law was
designed to apply and did apply for hundreds of years before it will be
even claimed that it was abolished. This being true, it is established
beyond question that God himself imposed upon men, traversing the whole
of the eastern continent, a uniform day of worship.

Do you inquire when they commenced it? I answer, At sunset, agreeably to
the direction in Lev. 23:32. Did they go eastward to the Pacific, or
westward to the Atlantic, they were required to commence their rest at
that hour. Was it impossible for them to do so? He that says so charges
God with folly. Were they capable of carrying out the requirement? Then,
at least on the eastern continent, the definite day was a practicable
thing. God knew how his people would be scattered; he gave them the
institution of the Sabbath, adapted to whatever circumstances they might
be placed in; he marked out that Sabbath from the rest of the week, and
in the outset settled beyond controversy the question that it was not
movable in its nature. Therefore, he who would accept the theory which
we have been considering and repudiate the one which we indorse, must do
it in the face of God’s explanatory providence, in the teeth of his
written law, and against the practice of his people, Israel, who for
centuries have had no difficulty in finding the Sabbath in every

So much for the law and its history, making clear, as it does, that our
opponents do not understand the possibilities of the case as God looks
upon them. We will now proceed to the consideration of the difficulties
which they discover in the realization of our theory.

It is claimed that, in going around the world eastward, a day is gained;
and in going around westward, a day is lost, to the traveler. From these
premises it is argued that a definite day cannot be kept. Has it ever
occurred to the gentleman that his own theory would be somewhat
disturbed by the same trip? Mark it, it is exactly one-seventh part of
time which is to be kept. It will hardly be urged that all the old
watches in the land are reliable enough to be trusted in a journey of
this length, and, besides, suppose we had lived in a period when such
time-pieces were not known, then what? Oh! says the objector, we would
have gone by the sun. Then you agree with us, after all, that the sun
presents the most available method of marking the day; but remember,
now, that you are on your journey round the earth, westward; you travel
six days, each one considerably lengthened out by the fact that you are
going with the sun; you stop and rest on the seventh day, which you call
the Sabbath. Unfortunately, however, as you have been lying still, it is
considerably shorter than your six days of work; by this means you have
cheated the Lord out of one-seventh of the whole time which all of the
six days had in excess over the one on which you rested. Traveling
eastward, the opposite would be true, and your days of rest would be
longer than your days of labor, and would not, therefore, represent
one-seventh part of time.

Again, we might show by argument the complete anarchy into which the
community would be thrown by the realization of this doctrine, that each
man for himself is at liberty to fix upon his weekly Sabbath. Nothing
would be easier to prove than that it would seriously obstruct your
courts of justice; that it would render stated worship impossible; in
fine, that it would bring confusion into every walk in life.

Do you reply that you will obviate the difficulty by legislative
enactment, and that you will make this whole nation, from New York to
San Francisco, regard the Sunday for the sake of uniformity and good
order? I answer; first, have you then improved upon God’s great plan?
Did he not know that a definite day would be the best, and would he not
have been likely to give it to us? Secondly, then you admit that it is,
after all, possible to keep one and the same day across the whole of
this continent; for were this not true it would be idle for you to
attempt to produce uniformity by legislation. But putting this
concession of yours in regard to the western, alongside of God’s
enforcement of a definite day for centuries, on the whole of the
eastern, continent, the circuit of the globe is made, and the
possibility of keeping a definite Sabbath on both hemispheres is

Before me lies the draft of an electrical clock, which is styled, “The
clock of all nations.” The design is an ingenious one, and serves to
show at a glance the difference in time between prominent cities in all
parts of the globe. For this purpose, a central dial is drafted,
representing the meridian of New York. The hands on this dial indicate
the precise hour of noon. Around this central figure are arranged twenty
additional dials, on each one of which is marked by the hands the time
of day as it will exist in the cities named, commencing on the east of
New York with Pekin, and terminating to the west of it with San
Francisco. By it, you perceive at a glance the precise variation of time
in the different longitudes to which these cities belong.

For example, while the clock of New York indicates twelve, noon, the one
in Pekin indicates twenty minutes before one in the morning; the one in
Rome, fifteen minutes to six P. M.; the one in London, five minutes of
five P. M.; and so on until you reach New York, where it is twelve M.
Then passing westward of that point, where the time is, of course,
slower, the dial for Chicago marks seven minutes past eleven A. M.; that
of St. Louis, five minutes of eleven A. M.; that in San Francisco,
fifteen minutes before nine A. M. By this means, the variation between
Pekin and San Francisco is shown to be about sixteen hours, or nearly
two-thirds of one whole day. By the same method, the reader will at once
discern that it is possible to locate the commencement of the day at any
one of these points in its passage around the world.

In order to do this, let it be supposed that the day begins when it did
in Bible times, with the setting of the sun. It is, if you please,
Sunday at Pekin, and those who keep that day commence to celebrate it at
sunset. Now, if we would ascertain just when the citizens of Rome would
enter upon a like service, it is only necessary to determine how long it
would take the sunset to travel the distance separating these two
cities. By consulting the draft in question, we find that the time at
Rome is six hours and fifty-five minutes slower than that at Pekin. This
being the case, the sunset would reach them, and they would enter upon
the first day of the week just six hours and fifty-five minutes after
those dwelling on the meridian of Pekin have done so.

So we might go through the whole list. As the world revolves upon its
axis, it would bring London to the same point where the people of Rome
saw the sun sink in the west and entered upon the Sunday, just fifty
minutes subsequent to that event. The citizens of New York would begin
their Sunday, also, with the sunset, four hours and fifty-five minutes
after those of London did so; and those of Chicago, fifty-five minutes
later than those of New York; and those of San Francisco, two hours and
twenty minutes subsequent to those of Chicago. All, however, would be
hallowing the same day, though not, for a portion of the time, the same
hours.[18] Each, in his own proper locality, would commence to keep the
day when it reached him, and continue to keep it until by a complete
revolution of the earth he is brought around to the commencement of
another day, as indicated by another decline of the sun. This is as God
would have it.

In the passage from Egypt to Palestine there was a variation of some
minutes; but there was no change in the time of commencing the Sabbath.
From even to even shall you keep your Sabbaths, was the divine edict,
and his people, in going eastward or westward, obeyed this injunction.
In doing so they needed no time-piece; nor would the traveler at the
present time. In every habitable region, according to God’s plan, the
great luminary of heaven visibly marks the boundaries of sacred time.
The day began in the east, and travels to the west. A complete
revolution of the earth brings it, with its complement of light and
darkness, to the home of every man, no matter as to the meridian of
longitude in which he lives. It is the same day, in the Bible sense, as
that kept by the Christian thousands of miles to the east of him, though
it may not begin at exactly the same moment.

Practically, this question has no real significance whatever. Though it
may puzzle the brain of one who has not before him the facts, it has
been settled forever in a most remarkable manner by the usage of
mankind. The fact is beyond cavil that, from the extreme eastern
boundary of the eastern continent to the extreme western verge of the
western continent, there is such a perfect agreement upon this point
that each day of the week, commencing on the western shore of the
Pacific, continues its course across Asia, Europe, and America, until it
arrives at the eastern shore of the same sea. So true is this that, were
there a line of churches surmounted with bells, in hearing distance of
each other, they could ring in the commencement of any day; say at
Yokohama in Japan, and its march could be made known along the whole
line from that place to San Francisco by a like practice in each of the
churches, without a solitary break until the last bell on the Pacific
coast had announced its arrival there. Whether it be admitted that it
can be done or not, it is a fact that the Christians from China to
California do observe the same Sabbath or Sunday all along the line
between the two points.

Should it be replied that, although there is a uniform reckoning of the
days to those passing from San Francisco eastward to China, or from
China westward to San Francisco, that, nevertheless, should they cross
the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco westward to China, or from China
eastward to San Francisco, it would be necessary for them in the first
case to add a day, and in the last, to drop one, in order to make their
time harmonize with that of the people in these two countries, the reply
is, that this is very true. It does not, however, prove that there is no
definite day which can be kept alike by the inhabitants of the two
continents; for in order to the keeping of the same day on a round world
there must somewhere be a day-line, in other words, there must be a
point where the day begins. In crossing that line the same result would
ensue as that claimed in the passage from California to China _via_ the
Pacific, _i. e._, a day must be either dropped or added in the reckoning
of the individual making the transit.

We have already seen that God’s plan was to measure the days by the
setting of the sun. This being the case, the fourth day, on which the
sun was made, commenced at the precise point where at the time of its
creation it would have appeared to a person to the east of it as sinking
out of sight in the west. The day commencing at that point passed around
the earth until every portion of it had in succession witnessed the
setting of the sun on the fifth day. The only difficulty that remains in
the case, consequently, is that of deciding where the day-line should be
located. As already discovered, the practice of nations has fixed it in
the Pacific Ocean. It is not a little remarkable that sailors change
their reckoning while crossing that ocean backward or forward, and
circumnavigate the globe at will without the slightest confusion. The
only instance which has been cited in which any trouble has occurred, or
any confusion of date has arisen, is that of Pitcairn’s Island, in which
they failed to make the change under consideration.[19] Had they done
this, they would have found themselves in harmony with the great mass of
men living on the same meridian with their insignificant island.

The only matter of debate which remains is that concerning the proper
location of the day-line. Has there or has there not been a mistake made
in fixing upon the place where it belongs? Certain it is that the
providence of God seems to harmonize with the present arrangement. Man
commenced his existence in the east. The progress of empire has been
westward. Emigration has carried with it a harmonious system of counting
the days, by which they have been recognized as beginning on the
eastern, and traveling to the western, continent. Especially is this
true of the Christian world.

But, again, is there not, aside from this providential arrangement and
from the universal opinion that the day does begin in the east, as well
as the fact that scientific men have established the point of changing
the reckoning somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, some additional reason for
supposing that God would choose this locality for the beginning of the
day? We answer, There is. Should the day-line run through any continent
or large body of land, it will be readily perceived that it would
produce great confusion, since, on the one side of it, though imaginary
in its character, individuals would be keeping the seventh day of the
week, while on the other, their neighbors in close proximity to them
would not yet have made their exit from the sixth.

To avoid this difficulty, therefore, the only remedy which could be
found would consist in the employment of some great natural boundary,
such as a range of mountains or an expanse of water, by which those on
one side of the day-line would be so separated as to prevent the
disorder which must arise from constant and uninterrupted
intercommunication. That there is any range of mountains stretching
northward and southward from pole to pole which would answer the purpose
in question, no one will insist. The only resource left, consequently,
is that of those vast bodies of water called seas or oceans.

Turning now to the one which is known as the Atlantic Ocean, it is found
that the day-line could not be run through it without intercepting some
habitable portion of the globe. The only resource which remains is found
in the Pacific Ocean, which, as has been seen, has been selected by the
mass of mankind as a suitable place in which to make those changes that
would be necessary in case the day-line was actually located therein.
Happily, an examination of a large globe will prove that a line drawn
from Behring’s Straits southward across the latitudes which are
available for the homes of mankind will not touch any portions of land
whatever, or at least if it strikes any they would be so insignificant
in their character that they would not be worthy of mention.

With these remarks, the subject of the day-line is dismissed with the
conviction that the necessity of its existence, the fact that it must be
found in the Pacific Ocean if anywhere, and the uniform recognition in
practice, if not in theory, by all nations, of its location in that sea,
unite in furnishing a combination of facts which render assurance
justifiable in the mind of one who does not insist upon more testimony
than he ought to demand.

There remain now but two matters in the article of the gentleman which
need to be disposed of. These are found in the contemptuous sneer at the
insignificance of the numbers of Sabbatarians, and the witticisms, if
such they may be called, which are indulged in in the employment of the
suggestion concerning the use of the sponges saturated with stupefying
chemicals and the gratuitous trip around the world, which it is proposed
to give them.

To answer these sallies to the satisfaction of some would be impossible,
while with others, possessing the power of logical discrimination and
knowing that the office of mere wit is most frequently that of diverting
the attention from a course of reasoning which it is felt cannot be met,
such an effort would be uncalled for. The paucity in numbers is the same
old, threadbare objection which every great reform has been compelled to
meet since the world began. While the administration of narcotics and
the trip round the world would be just as fatal to the exact observer of
the seventh part of time as it would to one celebrating a definite day,
even though it were admitted that the consequences of such a journey
would be as claimed by the writer.

But besides all this, it will be discovered that the basis of the whole
transaction, both in the case of the sponge and the vessel, is fraud,
deceit, and force. Stupefy a man with narcotics for twenty-four hours;
or nail him down under the hatches of a circumnavigating vessel; break
the compass; send him round the world; let the whole community conspire
to falsify the facts in the case; do not let him know where he has been;
falsify the truth regarding the day observed by first-day keepers; and
then, forsooth, you have changed the practice, if not convinced the
judgment, of a little handful of conscientious, definite Sabbath-day
keepers. Wonderful, gentlemen! Wonderful in the extreme! What results
for such prodigious efforts! Alas, for truth, when it must pass such an
ordeal as this! We blush, but not for ourselves. We would almost be
willing to inhale the anæsthetic or run the hazard of the voyage at sea,
taking our chances respecting the proper preservation of the
Heaven-appointed day of rest, if, by so doing, we might prevent our
brethren of the Amendment school, for whose welfare we have the most
earnest desire, from making so sorry a show of the low estimate which
they place upon the importance of employing in a controversy like this,
arguments which appeal only to the Christian’s head and heart, instead
of those which appeal to the baser faculties of the mind.

A summary of the ground traveled in this rejoinder would run somewhat as

1. That in adopting the seventh-part-of-time theory, the gentleman has
abandoned the definite first day which he sought to establish in the
first nine of his articles.

2. That the seventh-part-of-time theory is just as fatal to the Sunday
as it is to the Sabbath.

3. That it overturns the practicability of the proposed Amendment, since
it seeks to enforce a definite day, and since, according to it,
Sabbatarians have a Bible right to observe the seventh day in the
exercise of a divinely given choice of days.

4. That it is possible to establish the identity of the last day of the
week at the present time with that upon which God rested at the
completion of the emotion; from the providential manner in which God
pointed it out in the exodus from Egypt; the fact that Christ and his
disciples kept the Sabbath according to the commandment; the general
agreement among Jews, Christians, and heathen concerning its place in
the week from that time to this.

5. That the objection concerning the conflict between a definite Sabbath
and the laws of nature at the poles does not array the God of nature
against himself, or our version of his commandment, since the trouble
does not imply any want of foresight on the part of the Deity, but
rather a disregard of the plainest teachings of both providence and
nature on the part of those who have placed themselves where it was
never designed that men should locate.

6. That if a definite day is impossible, then the wisdom of God is
impeached, since, both by the letter of the commandment and by his
providential interpretation of it for forty years, that is the very
thing which it inculcates.

7. That a definite day can be kept on the eastern continent, since this
had been done for hundreds of years before the change of the law will be
even claimed.

8. That a definite day can be observed on the western continent, since
this is the very object which the Amendment is designed to secure.

9. That the trip around the world would render it as impossible to keep
an exact seventh part of time as it would a definite seventh day.

10. That the seventh-part-of-time theory would introduce into society
the direst confusion, defeating even the administration of justice.

11. That, practically, the whole world from the extreme east to the
extreme west does keep a definite day.

12. That the loss and gain of time creates no disturbance except in the
crossing of the Pacific Ocean.

13. That with a definite day, there must be a day-line.

14. That that day-line is, by the uniform practice of nations, and the
providence of God, which renders it impossible that it should exist
anywhere else, drawn through the Pacific Ocean.

15. That it only remains for us to do just what we are doing and have
been doing for centuries in order to prove by actual demonstration that
all the difficulties in the way of a definite Sabbath can be readily
disposed of by those who are desirous of keeping the law of God as it

Footnote 18:

  By consulting the figures given above, the reader will be able to
  demonstrate, not only the fact that the inhabitants along the line
  from Pekin to San Francisco, can hallow the same day, but also that
  the day which they hallow will be identical in some of its hours. For
  example: It was shown that the people of Rome commence their day six
  hours and fifty-five minutes later than do those of Pekin. Deducting
  these six hours and fifty-five minutes from twenty-four hours we have
  left seventeen hours and five minutes as the period of time during
  which the citizens of these two cities would be celebrating the
  Sabbath in common. Applying the same principle to other cities, we
  find that London and Pekin would worship together for sixteen hours
  and fifteen minutes; New York and Pekin, eleven hours and twenty
  minutes; Chicago and Pekin, ten hours and twenty-five minutes; S.
  Francisco and Pekin, eight hours and five minutes.

Footnote 19:

  The gentleman might have cited the case of Alaska, also, as a parallel
  to that of Pitcairn’s Island. The inhabitants of this region, like
  those of the island mentioned, sailed eastward to this continent
  across the Pacific Ocean, and failed to drop the required day in their
  reckoning. The result was, that when we purchased that territory, they
  were found to be keeping Saturday instead of Sunday. We believe,
  however, that the mistake is now rectified.

                           STATESMAN’S REPLY.
                            ARTICLE ELEVEN.

The third theory of the Christian Sabbath, in the order in which we have
been considering the different theories, affirms that the Sabbath was
instituted at the creation of man, and that it has never been abolished
or superseded. This theory further maintains that the essential idea of
the law of the Sabbath is not the holiness of any particular portion of
time, but the consecration of a specified proportion of time, viz., one
day in seven; that, in accordance with this essential idea of the
Sabbath, a change of day was admissible; that a change was actually made
by divine warrant, on account of, and dating from, the resurrection of
Christ; and that the first day of the week, the Lord’s day, is the true
Christian Sabbath, having its moral sanction in the fourth commandment.

Enough has already been written in these columns, in disproving the
opposing theories, to show that this theory of the Sabbath is the true
one. Two things being admitted, there appears to be no escape from this
theory. Let it be admitted, first, that God instituted the Sabbath for
all mankind, and that its law is of unchanging as well as universal
application. This is readily conceded by those with whom we are now in
discussion. Then, in the second place, let it be admitted that the
inspired apostles, under the guidance of Christ and his Spirit, and with
their manifest approbation, ceased to observe the seventh day, and
actually observed the first day of the week. This our opponents are very
loth to admit. But the testimony given by us at considerable length is
simply overwhelming and incontrovertible. The third theory, and it
alone, harmonizes the immutable law of the Sabbath with the actual
change of day.

In further confirmation of the correctness of this theory, it remains
for us, in concluding this discussion, to show that this third theory
accords with the fourth commandment, and meets every aspect of the
design of the institution of the Sabbath.

The principal feature of the design of the Sabbath is the setting forth
of God’s sovereign control, as creator, of man and the time of man, as
God’s creature. Called into being by the Creator, and made lord over the
irrational and material creation, man was taught that his time was to be
used for God’s honor. It was a trust from the Creator; and that man
might not forget this, one-seventh of the time in regular recurrence was
marked out to be consecrated specially to the Lord of all. This is the
very idea in the commemoration of the work of creation. It is to keep
alive the knowledge of God as the Creator and Sovereign Ruler of man. To
commemorate the creation, is to keep before the mind, week by week, the
duty of using our time for the honor of the Author and Upholder of our

Nor is the example of God’s resting the seventh day made insignificant
by this theory of the Christian Sabbath. “In six days God made the
heavens and the earth, and rested the seventh day.” God’s people in
different parts of the world do and must begin their work at different
times, and yet in each locality they labor six days and rest the
seventh. It is the proportion of time which is the law of the
commandment, enforced by the divine example; and hence the Christian
Sabbath, in the true import of the commandment, is as really the seventh
day as the Jewish Sabbath. The Christian labors six days, and not the
seventh, according to the divine example and the divine command.

In this way, also, the true theory of the Christian Sabbath meets the
design of the institution as it was intended to arrest the current of
the outward life and lead up the soul to unseen and eternal verities.
And here there is a most important argument for the change of the day
for Sabbath observance. It is most reasonable to believe that, if there
be any work which more gloriously manifests the perfections of God, and
serves better to turn the thoughts of men to things above, than the work
of creation, the day which commemorates such a work would be the
appropriate time for Sabbath observance.

So far as the essential idea of the Sabbath connects itself with a
particular day, the argument is of great weight in favor of a change
from the seventh to the first day of the week. The weekly division is
the main thing, let the week begin when it may. It may begin on what we
now call the third, or fourth, or any other, day. It will matter little.
But as the first day, in our enumeration of the days, will always bring
to mind the great work of redemption, accomplished by the Saviour, who
on the first day of the week rose from the dead, the observance of this
day as the Sabbath best answers one of the principal designs of that

And then, how fittingly does the observance of the first day, the day of
the Lord’s resurrection, correspond to the design of the Sabbath as a
foretaste of the heavenly rest—the _Sabbatismos_ or Sabbath-keeping that
remains for the people of God. Rejoicing here on the Christian Sabbath
in what our Redeemer has done for us, we look forward with joyful
anticipations to the many mansions which he has gone before us to
prepare, that we may be “forever with the Lord.”

           “Bright shadows of true rest; some shoots of bliss;
             Heaven once a week;
           The next world’s gladness prepossessed in this,
             A day to seek

           Eternity in time; the steps by which
             We climb above all ages; lamps that light
           Man through his heap of dark days; and the rich
             And full redemption of the whole week’s flight.

           ‘The milky way chalked out with suns; a clue
             That guides through evening hours; and in full story
           A taste of Heaven on earth; a pledge and cue
             Of a full feast; and the out-courts of glory.’”

                              A REJOINDER.

It is a peculiarity of this discussion that we are prevented, in our
rejoinders, from anticipating the positions which our opponent has in
store for us. Were it possible to proceed upon principles of
consistency, in debate, and conclude that he, having adopted such and
such views, would continue to maintain them steadily for the future,
there would be a sort of satisfaction found in preparing material to be
employed hereafter. But we have learned, by actual experience, that in
this debate such anticipatory action would be labor lost. For example:
In the last reply, which had to do with the seventh-part-of-time theory,
we had intended to show that, were it true, and that, were the
observance of one day in seven all that is now required, even then
Sabbatarians stood upon a footing as safe as that of their opponents,
since the observance of the seventh day answered to the keeping of
one-seventh part of time, equally with that of the celebration of the
first day of the week.

Being prevented by want of space from indulging in these reflections, we
laid them over for another week, supposing that they would come in play
equally well at this time, Alas! what a mistake! We should have struck
when the iron was hot. Unfortunately, we are not now confronting the
no-day-in-particular doctrine, as we were then; but it is the “Lord’s
day” again, the first day of an indefinite week, “a particular, definite
day, enforced by the command and the example of Christ and the
apostles,” which once more stands before us. How it is that we have been
borne so rapidly over the space which separates these antagonistic
positions, the reader will have to decide for himself; for we confess to
a perfect want of ability, on our own part, to render him any
assistance. Without the slightest attempt at logical deduction, we are
first informed that the essential idea in Sabbath observance is not that
of the keeping of a particular day, but the consecration of one day in
the week, allowing the week to begin wherever it may. This, we are told,
would suitably commemorate God’s rest at the creation of the world; and,
also, that if, in addition, we make the day of our rest identical with
the first day of the week, we can thereby celebrate both creation and
redemption. For this very purpose, we are informed, the Sabbath
commandment was changed, so as to admit of the introduction of a new

But pause a moment. Has the gentleman told us just what change was made?
Has he told us what words were stricken out? and how it now reads? The
reader has not forgotten that this is the very thing the opposition were
challenged to perform. He will perceive that this, also, is the very
thing which the gentleman has failed to accomplish, and cannot hereafter
do, since the reply under review is the last of his series. If it be
said that he has cited us to the fourth commandment, as given in the
twentieth of Exodus, as containing the law as it now reads, then he is
self-condemned; for he admits that the phraseology of that commandment
did enforce a definite day, and that, the last day of the week.

But once more: Passing over the absurdity of claiming a change in the
law, where there is no ability to produce the statute as amended, let us
go back from Sinai to Eden, along with the gentleman, and see if we
cannot find, independent of the commandment, evidence that the creation
Sabbath was not a portable institution, to be trundled about at the
caprice of any and every individual. Mark it, now, it is granted that
what is called the Jewish Sabbath law enforced the keeping of the
seventh day, and admitted of no other as a substitute. But whence is
this conclusion drawn? Undeniably, from the words, “The seventh day is
the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.”

But where has the gentleman learned that the creation Sabbath was
enjoined in the use of language less explicit and limited in its meaning
than are the words of the decalogue? If he knows anything about the
original decree of Jehovah, and the limitations with which he guarded
the Sabbath in the outset, he, like ourselves, is compelled to go to the
sacred record for information. If, in going there, he has been able to
find anything which would prove that the Edenic Sabbath was less fixed
in its character than that of Sinai, then he has made some progress. The
only scripture which will throw any light upon the subject will be found
in Gen. 2:1-3.

Unhappily for the gentleman, however, it is fatal to his conception that
the original Sabbath varied in any way from that of the Jews—so-called.
In the account of its institution, the language employed is almost
precisely the same with that subsequently traced upon the tables of
stone. It is there declared that God sanctified (_i. e._, set apart to a
holy use) the _seventh day_. The reason for this action is the fact that
he had rested upon it. Now, it will be observed that it was the
“_seventh day_” that God blessed and sanctified, and no other. It is
submitted, therefore, as the gentleman concedes, that the same
expression (_i. e._, the seventh day), when employed in the commandment
given to Moses, did locate the Sabbath institution immovably upon the
last day of the week, until the law was changed; that the same language,
when employed originally, must have produced the same result; in other
words, if the command to keep the seventh day, as given on Mount Sinai,
held the people strictly to the observance of the last day of the week,
so, too, Jehovah, in the beginning, restricted the whole race to a
Sabbath which was, equally with the other, the seventh, and, therefore,
the last day of the week.

In order to avoid this conclusion, it will be required that, by some
means, he should be able to show that the same terms which were employed
by God, at one time, have a different meaning from that attached to
them, as employed by him at another time. Not only so, the Sabbath in
Genesis, like that in Exodus, is further limited and defined by two
additional facts. First, it was the day on which God rested; secondly,
it was the day which he blessed because He had rested upon it.
Therefore, before any other day could be substituted for it, these two
things must be true of it, as matter of history. This, however, can
never be the case, as it regards any day of the week, save the last;
consequently, he who celebrates any other is not celebrating the one
which God imposed in the beginning. So much for the definiteness of the
Sabbath which was given to Adam.

Should it be replied that what has been remarked is correct, and that it
is not argued that any one was at liberty to keep any other day than the
seventh of the week, until Christ changed the law, and thereby
authorized them so to do, we reply, Very good; that brings us back again
to the original proposition, which is, Did he make such a change? If he
did, then it is just as important that we should have clear and
conclusive evidence that such an alteration was made by him, as it is
that we should have the abundant testimony which we now possess that a
definite Sabbath was originally given to mankind.

All this speculation in regard to what might have been done with perfect
consistency under a given state of facts is worse than idle. What we
demand is this—What _has been_ done? Instead of concluding that Christ
did a certain thing because it would have been right so to do, first
show us, by actual Scripture quotation, that he really performed the
work in question, and the consistency of his action will take care of
itself. A theology which has no broader, firmer basis than individual
conception of the propriety of certain occurrences which may never have
taken place at all, is not worth the paper on which it is drawn out.
This, nevertheless, is the very material with which we are dealing.

Eleven articles, ostensibly written to afford divine authority for the
change of days, are concluded; and, from beginning to end, there is not
found in them a “Thus saith the Lord” for the transfer. Again and again
it is inferred that such and such transactions meant so-and-so. Again
and again it is concluded that such and such things are admissible, not
because of any scriptural warrant, but because they seem good in the
eyes of those with whose practice they best conform. The reason why this
is so, the reader will readily perceive. It is found, not in the fact
that the learned gentleman who represents the opposition is insensible
to the superiority of positive Bible statements over individual surmise,
but in the necessity under which he is placed, to employ the only
material which he has at hand. Meeting him, therefore, where he is, let
us prove the unreliability of such deductions as he is indulging in by
actual test. The points which he is attempting to establish are these:
1. The original idea of the Sabbath can be met by the observance of the
first day of the week, as well as by that of the last. 2. That the
commemoration of Christ’s resurrection can only be suitably carried out
by hallowing the first day of every week.

Now, as to the first of these propositions, it will only be safe to
decide that it is correct after giving it mature reflection. We have
already seen that God’s original plan for preserving the memory of
creation week was that of setting apart the last day of each subsequent
week for the imitation, on our part, of his rest thereon. To say,
therefore, that it would have answered just as well to allow the
individual to take any other day—say the first day of the week—for this
purpose, is to argue that God acted without cause in making the
selection which he did and enforcing it for four thousand years. If the
question were one of indifference, why did he not leave the day unfixed?
Why not allow them then to commemorate his rest on the first day, as the
gentleman would have done now, arguing that the ends of the original
Sabbath would, in this way, be fully met. Certain it is that no good
reason can be assigned why it would now be more proper to commemorate
the rest of Jehovah by a variable Sabbath than it has been heretofore.
This being true, the gentleman’s logic is found to be unsound, or else
the action of the Deity was inconsiderate.

Turning, now, to the second proposition, the reader will be instantly
struck with its unqualified antagonism to the first point which is
sought to be made out.

Remember, now, that the gentleman is arguing stoutly for first-day
sanctity. He is not so particular when the week begins, but it must have
just seven days, and the first of them must be devoted to the
commemoration of the Lord’s resurrection, Should you ask him why he is
thus particular in the selection of the first day of the week, he would
reply, “Why, that is the day on which the Lord arose, and it is his
resurrection, as the crowning act in the work of redemption, which we
seek to honor.” But, reader, would it not occur to you, immediately,
that this is a repudiation of all which he has said concerning the
Edenic Sabbath? Nosy, mark it; what God demands, is, that we should
honor the seventh day of the week, as the one which he rested upon,
blessed, and sanctified. If, therefore, the rest, the blessing, and the
sanctification of that day can be suitably remembered by the observance
of another day differing from it, then the assumption that an event is
most impressively handed down by the dedication, for this purpose, of
the very day on which it transpired, is unsound.

But if this assumption be unsound, then all of the gentleman’s talk in
regard to the necessity for a change of days, in order to the suitable
commemoration of the resurrection of Christ and the completion of the
work of redemption, is without force. For, assuredly, if he is right in
supposing that God’s rest in Eden, on the seventh day, can he
commemorated as well on the first day as on the seventh, then the same
principle will hold good in regard to the events which transpired on the
first day of the week, _i. e._, they can be kept in remembrance by the
hallowing of the seventh day as well as by that of the first. But this
being true, his argument for the necessity of the change of Sabbaths is
gone, and his philosophy of the change proved to be unsound. The only
purpose which it has served in this controversy has been the revelation
of that which is really the conviction of its author, as it is that of
men generally, that there is no time in which great transactions can be
so suitably commemorated as that of the day on which they took place.
When the nation wishes to celebrate the anniversary of its independence,
it sets apart for this purpose the fourth of July, which answers exactly
to the day of the month on which the Declaration of Independence was
made. Substitute for this another day, and you have marred the
impressiveness of the occasion.

So, too, with God’s rest on creation week; it must be so celebrated that
all the associations connected with it will be calculated to lead the
mind back to its origin and object. Turn it around, as the gentleman
proposes to do, _i. e._, substitute the first day of the week in the
place of the last, and you have precisely reversed God’s order. You have
put the rest-day first, and cause the six laboring days to follow;
whereas, God, knowing that rest was only needed _after_ labor, worked
six days and then rested the seventh, not because he was weary, but
because he desired to put on the record for us an example to be strictly
followed. The gentleman, however, without the slightest warrant, has,
with a rash hand, laid hold of the divine procedure, and now says that
the order pursued was not necessary to the inculcation of the great
lessons which God designed to impart.

To this, I reply, 1. That God’s actions are never superfluous. 2. That,
if we err at all, it is safer to err on the side of the divine example.
3. That if the idea of God’s working six days is in any way connected
with a proper Sabbath rest, then it is indispensable that the Sabbath
should follow, and not precede, the working portion of the week. 4. That
if the rest of God, merely, is the object which we should keep before
our minds by a proper regard for the Sabbatic institution, the gentleman
has himself shown, by the logic which he has employed, that the only
suitable period for the keeping of that rest is found in that portion of
the week on which God ceased from his labors.

The remark of the gentleman that the work of redemption furnishes a
subject worthy of being remembered by observance with Sabbatic honor of
the day on which it was completed, is worthy of passing notice. The idea
which he advances is one which is quite prevalent, and employed with
great satisfaction by clergymen generally, when controverting the claims
of God’s ancient rest-day. The strength of the position lies in the fact
that it distinguishes between redemption and creation, assuming, perhaps
correctly, that the latter is more exalted than the former. Having won
the assent of the mind to this proposition, the reader is quietly
carried over to conclusions much less obvious than the first. Almost
unconsciously he is led to decide, with his instructor, that, since
redemption is a greater work than creation, it ought, therefore, to be
honored by a day of rest.

Now we shall not enter into this matter largely, but we simply suggest
that either this decision is the result of human, or else it is the
product of divine, wisdom. If it is human wisdom, then its teachings
should be followed with extreme caution. If it is divine wisdom, then
they can be obeyed with the most implicit confidence. Just at this
point, therefore, it is all-important that the test be applied. Has
Jehovah ever said that the commemoration of creation week had become
less desirable on account of the possible redemption of a fallen race,
by the death of his Son? The most careful reader of the Bible has failed
to find any such language; in fine, the intimation that such is really
the fact is rather a reflection upon the Deity himself, since, from it,
it might be inferred that the glory of his work had been dimmed by the
fall of the race.

But, again, if the Lord has not said that he would not have the memory
of creation cherished still, has he ever said that he would have the
work of redemption signalized by a weekly rest? Once more the student of
the Scriptures unhesitatingly answers in the negative; but if God has
failed to make this declaration, who shall presume to put words in his
mouth, and read the thoughts of his mind, as those having authority so
to do? The man who will undertake to do it is venturing upon ground
which lies hard by that of blasphemy. God never neglects to say that
which ought to be said; he never calls upon any man to go beyond his
commandments, for in them, says Solomon (Eccl. 12:13), is found the
whole duty of man.

Furthermore, were we to reason upon this matter at all, every
consideration would lead us to the conclusion that the inference of our
opponents is not correct. In the first place, redemption is not yet
fully completed in the case of any individual. In the second place, the
Scripture says we have (are to have) redemption through his _blood_
(Col. 1:14). But his blood, it is generally supposed, was shed upon
Friday, and, therefore, it is not impossible that the hallowing of that
day would more suitably commemorate redemption than that of any other
day. In the third place, it was proved at length in a former article,
that if creation was suitably commemorated by a day of rest, redemption,
which is an event entirely opposite in its character, would naturally be
celebrated by some institution of an entirely different nature. In other
words, the Sabbath inculcates cessation from labor by the indulgence of
inaction, while all the events connected with the resurrection of Christ
rendered inactivity impossible.

But finally, we are not left, in a matter of this significance, to the
unreliable decisions of the human mind. Not only is it true that God has
never appointed a day of septenary inactivity, as the Heaven-chosen
memorial of the resurrection of the divine Son of God; but it is also
true that God himself, in the exercise of a wisdom which will hardly be
impugned by finite beings, has selected an institution entirely
different from that under consideration for the illustration of that
phase of the work of redemption which was seen in the resurrection of

Says the great apostle to the Gentiles: “Therefore we are buried with
him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the
dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness
of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his
death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” Rom. 6:4,
5. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also we are risen with him
through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the
dead.” Col. 2:12.

Baptism, that is, Bible baptism, or the immersion of the individual
beneath the water, most forcibly commemorates the death of our Lord. As
the administrator lowers the body of the passive subject beneath the
yielding wave, by the very necessity of the case, breathing is, for the
time, suspended, and the person, as nearly as may be while in life, as
he lies motionless in the hands of the individual to whom he has
committed himself in the exercise of an act of faith, shadows forth the
death and burial of his Lord in a most impressive manner. As he rises,
also, from that position, and, proceeding to the shore, unites once more
with the throng of living beings who surround him, he most forcibly
illustrates the coming back again of our Lord from death and the grave
to a life of infinite activity and glory.

All, therefore, which is necessary in order to the remembering, by
outward expression, of that most glorious event, which gave back to the
disciples, from the nations of the dead, the body of the beloved Master,
is that we go forward in the fulfillment of an ordinance which has been
provided for that purpose, and which sets forth the events which are
thought worthy of a memento in a manner as superior to that in which it
could be done by mere inaction, as God’s conception of what would be
suitable under such circumstances is higher than that of man. The wonder
is that any one should have lost sight of the original design of an
institution which is remarkably expressive of the purpose for which it
was created. In fact, had not the same power which has changed the
Sabbath also tampered with the ordinance of baptism by changing the
original form into one less expressive of its historic associations, we
believe that the view which is now passing under consideration never
could have suggested itself to any mind.

But, reader, it is now time that our labor should be drawn to a close.
In the providence of God, we have walked together over the territory
devoted to the great and important Sabbath question. With pleasure, we
are about to lay down our pen for the last time, and submit the whole
matter to you for the pronouncing of the final verdict of your
individual judgment. As we do so, it is with feelings of most profound
gratitude to God for a truth which, while there is underlying it a cross
so heavy that it cannot be lifted by human strength unaided, is,
nevertheless, so plain that its mere statement is its most complete
demonstration. Were it not true that society is at present so organized
that the keeping of the seventh day involves social, political, and
pecuniary sacrifice, much greater than he is aware of who has not
considered the matter, we would not hesitate to say that a complete and
speedy revolution could be wrought upon this subject in a brief space of
time. Never, in the history of any reformation which has heretofore
occurred, were men covered with a more complete panoply of defense, and
armed with more destructive weapons of offense, than are God’s
commandment-keeping people at the present period. The only mystery
connected with the subject is, that, being as plain as it is, the fact
of the change should not have attracted universal attention before.

Traversing again the ground over which we have come with the gentleman
who has managed the opposition in this debate, the poverty of his
resources is most striking. In all that he has said, he has proved
nothing which has in any way relieved his case, nor can his failure be
attributed to any lack of capacity on his part. In the handling of the
material with which he has had to do, he has displayed not a little
ingenuity. The arguments which he has employed and the positions which
he has taken are those of the orthodox ministry generally at the present
time. His failure is entirely attributable to the natural weakness of
the position which he has sought to defend. His was indeed a hard task.
He felt the moral necessity of a Sabbath, as a Christian man; and,
finding the religious world keeping the first day of the week, he sought
to defend this practice from the Bible stand-point. But, alas for his
cause! The more he has appealed to this source, the more certain has it
become that the Bible, and the usages of Christendom in this matter, can
never he harmonized. In its pages we find the most ample authority for a
day of rest, but none for the one which is generally honored as such.
The record in brief stands as follows:—

1. There is a Sabbath.

2. That Sabbath is the seventh, and not the first, day of the week, for
the following reasons:—

(1.) In the beginning God rested on the seventh day, thereby laying the
foundation for its Sabbatic honor (Gen. 2:3); whereas, he never rested
upon the first day.

(2.) He blessed the seventh day; whereas, he never blessed the first

(3.) He sanctified the seventh day, or devoted it to a religious use;
whereas, he never sanctified the first day.

(4.) The day of his rest, his blessing, and his sanctification, he
commanded to be kept holy, in a law of perpetual obligation; whereas, he
never commanded the observance of the first day.

(5.) The Lord Jesus Christ recognized the obligation of the seventh day
by a life-long custom of observing it (Luke 4:16); whereas, the Lord
Jesus Christ never rested upon the first day of the week; but always
treated it as a secular day.

(6.) He also recognized its perpetuity forty years after his death, when
speaking of events connected with the destruction of Jerusalem, by
instructing his disciples to pray that their flight might not occur
thereon (Matt. 24:20); whereas, he never spoke of the first day as one
to be honored in the future, nor, indeed, so far as we know, did he ever
take it upon his lips at all.

(7.) It is the day which the holy women kept, according to the
commandment, after the crucifixion of our Lord (Luke 23:66); whereas,
there is no account that any good man has ever rested upon the first day
out of regard for its sanctity.

(8.) It is the day on which Paul, as his manner was, taught in the
synagogue (Acts 17:2); whereas, Paul never made the first day of the
week, habitually, one of public teaching, a thing which he would have
been sure to do had he looked upon it as sacred to the Lord.

(9.) Being mentioned fifty-six times in the New Testament, it is in all
these instances called the Sabbath; whereas, the first day is mentioned
eight times in the New Testament, and in every case it is called,
simply, the first day of the week.

(10.) In the year of our Lord 95, it is spoken of by John as the Lord’s
day (Rev. 1:10); whereas, the first day is in no case mentioned in the
use of a sacred title.

(11.) It is mentioned not only as the Sabbath, but it is also spoken of
as the next Sabbath, and every Sabbath, thus proving that it had no
rival (Acts 13:4; 15:21); whereas, the day before the first, and the
sixth day after it, being spoken of as the Sabbath, it (_i. e._, the
first day) is classed with the other days of the week.

(12.) In the Acts of the Apostles, and, in fine, in the whole canon of
the New Testament, there is not a single transaction which is related as
having occurred upon the seventh day in the least incompatible with the
notion that it continued to be regarded as holy time, while the law
which enforces its observance is inculcated in the clearest and most
emphatic terms (Matt. 5:17-19; Rom. 3:31; Jas. 2:8-12); whereas, the
first day was one on which Christ indulged in travel on the highway in
company with others, after his resurrection, without informing them of
its character or rebuking them for sin. It is also a day on which two of
the disciples walked the distance of fifteen miles on one occasion,
while on another, Paul performed the journey of nineteen and one-half
miles on foot, while Luke and seven companions worked the vessel around
the headland for a much greater distance (Luke 24:13, 29; Acts 20:1-13.)

In view of the above, the whole question of obligation may be summed up
in the following words: Shall we keep a day which God has commanded,
which Christ inculcated, and which holy men regarded from the opening
until the close of the canon of Scripture? or shall we disregard that,
putting in its place one which neither God, nor Christ, nor a holy
angel, nor an inspired man, ever, anywhere, under any circumstances,
enjoined, and which, in addition, God and Christ, and holy men and
women, are everywhere in the sacred word brought to view as treating in
a manner such as they would only treat a day of secular character?

In fine, it is simply the same old test applied once more to human
action, which has in all ages been the measure of moral character, _i.
e._, Shall we obey God? or shall we not? Shall we gratify our own
inclination and have our own way by pertinaciously persisting in a
course of action for which we have no Scripture warrant? or shall we
take the Bible in one hand and, accepting its doctrines as the words of
life, follow them to their legitimate consequences in our daily walk?
Says John, “This is the love of God, that ye keep his commandments.”
Says James, “Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my
faith by my works.”

Sublime sentiments, indeed! In them is expressed the moving, controlling
principle of every Christian heart. Oh! that all men in the ages of the
past had held to the noble purpose of taking God at his word, believing
that he meant just what he said, and walking out with a noble courage
upon their confidence in his wisdom to legislate, and his right to
command. Had they done so; had they been willing to be taught instead of
going uninstructed; had they submitted to be led instead of insisting
upon independent action, how much misery would have been spared our
kind. Take, for example, the case of Eve—God exempted one tree in the
garden from the rest, saying, “Thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day
that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Unhappily, the mother
of all living ventured to deviate from the command of God in what
appeared to her an unimportant particular, and, as the result, a race
was plunged into the terrible consequences of rebellion.

It would seem as if this should have been enough to teach all, that it
is only safe to do just what God requires in small, as well as great,
things. Alas! however, this has not been the case. Nadab and Abihu, with
the example of Eve before them, contrary to the directions of the Lord,
ventured to substitute natural fire for the hallowed fire of the altar.
To them, there was no apparent difference; but in a moment the curse of
God fell upon them and they were borne lifeless, and without the honors
of an ordinary funeral service, away from the camp of Israel. Uzzah,
despising the commandment of the Lord, by which the Levites alone were
to touch the ark, in an unguarded moment, reached out his hand to steady
it, and God made a breach upon him in the presence of the people. Uzzah
fell lifeless before the ark which contained the same law which is under
consideration. It was not the ark that sanctified the law; but, rather,
the law that sanctified the ark.

If, therefore, God was so jealous of that which was merely the vehicle
of the ten words spoken by his voice and written by his finger, how must
he feel in regard to those words themselves? In them, is found the
embodiment of the whole duty of man. With them, God now tests, as he has
always tested, the characters of men. “Know ye not,” says Paul, “his
servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of
obedience unto righteousness?”

True, it may be, that we can transgress that law at the present time
without suffering the _visible_ displeasure of God, as did those whom,
in the past, he set forth as examples of his wrath. But let us not
deceive ourselves on this account; God is no respecter of persons. Moral
character is what he admires, exact obedience is what he demands. In his
providence, at the present time, it is our fortune to live in an epoch
when great light is shining upon the long dishonored and mutilated
Sabbath commandment. A worldly church, having departed from the
simplicity of gospel teaching and gospel method for the propagation of
truth, has called to her aid the elements of force and the appliances of
law. Closing their eyes to light, ample in itself for all the purposes
of duty and doctrine, they have entered upon a crusade, determining to
venture the experiment, so oft repeated, of enforcing, as doctrines, the
commandments of men.

The end of this matter God knows, and has pointed out in his word. With
outward success they may meet; but it will be at the terrible cost of
that vital godliness which is alone found where the arm of God is made
the arm of our strength. For those who, in the past, have ignorantly
broken the law of Jehovah, God has ample forgiveness; but for those who,
in the face of God’s providential dealings, and in diametrical
opposition to the plain teachings of his word, to which their attention
is being called, shall still persist, not only in disobedience, but,
also, in acts of oppression against those who prefer the narrow and
rugged path of Bible fidelity, there can be nothing in reserve but the
terrible displeasure of him whose right it is to command.

Reader, whoever you may be, and whatever may have been your past
convictions and life, we turn to you in a final appeal. As you revere
God, as you love Christ and his precious word, we exhort you in this
matter to seek wisdom from the only true source. Be not discouraged by
the disparity in numbers, neither tremble before the hosts which may
frown upon you in the coming contest. “The Lord, he is God.” Under the
shadow of his wing we can safely abide. No nobler destiny was ever
vouchsafed to the obedient among the children of men, than is prepared
for those who shall prove their fealty to the God of Heaven by a noble
testimony to their love for him, by the keeping of his holy Sabbath,
under circumstances, in the near future, which shall indeed try the
souls of men.

May God grant that both reader and writer, nay more, also our opponent
in this discussion—toward whom we entertain none but the kindliest
feelings—also, all, everywhere, who are indeed the children of the
living God and the brethren of our blessed Lord, may come to see eye to
eye in this matter, so that, finally, we shall be brought safely through
the perils of this last great conflict, which the true church is to
endure, and stand victorious over all our enemies upon the Mount Zion of
our God, there to sing the song of a deliverance complete and eternal,
in a world where, from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to
another, all flesh shall come to worship before the Lord. (Isa. 66:23.)

                       INDEX OF POINTS DISCUSSED.



   Tendency toward Sabbath Discussion, 5
   Various Views concerning Reform, 6
   Inquiry as to Proper Action, 13

   Religious View of Sabbath Reform, 16
   Sabbath Commandment, 19
   Has this Law been Changed? 22

   Reasons for Sunday Observance Examined, 28
   The Resurrection, 30
   Example of Christ, 32

   Texts on First Day of the Week, 36
   They do Not Prove its Sacredness, 39
   The Meeting of John 20:19, Considered, 42

   John 20:26, Examined, 48
   Act of Worship does Not Consecrate the Day, 50
   1 Cor. 16:2, Examined, 54

   Acts 20:7, Examined, 57
   Acts 2:1, Considered, 63
   Pentecost Not First Day, but Fiftieth Day, 64
   Rev. 1:10, Examined, 66
   Proposed Amendment of the Constitution Not in Harmony with Bible
      Truth, 68

   Bible View of the Sabbath, 71
   The Law Changed by the Catholic Power, 76
   Position of Seventh-day Adventists, 79
   Proposed Amendment Dangerous to our Liberties, 83



   Seventh-day Sabbatarianism and the Christian Amendment, 87
   Supposed Action of Missionaries, 89
   The Proposed Amendment Expresses only Fundamental Principles, 91

   Amendment Not Related merely to Principles, but to Sunday in
      Particular, 96
   Supposition of Missionary Action Examined, 103

   The Seventh Day Not Observed by the Early Christian Church, 107
   Examination of New-Testament Proofs, 108

   Our Common Ground, 116
   The Seventh Day, only, the Sabbath in the New Testament, 119
   No Effort Has been Made to Place Sunday upon Precept, 124
   Consideration of Col. 2:14-17, 125
   Rom. 14:5, Examined, 129
   Survey of the Ground Passed Over, 131

   Testimony of the Gospels for the First-day Sabbath, 133
   Resurrection of Christ, 134
   John 20, 136

   No Evidence of First-day Sacredness, 140
   The Gospels do Not Call First Day the Sabbath, 150

   Argument for the First-day Sabbath from the Gift of the Holy Spirit
      on the Day of Pentecost, 154
   Authors Differing Concerning the Day of the week, 155
   Argument for the First Day, 156

   Value of Testimony—First-day Keepers Witnessing that Pentecost Fell
      on the Sabbath, 163
   No Reason Stated, nor Commandment Found, for First-day Sabbath, 172

   First-day Sabbath at Troas, 177
   The Reckoning of Time Considered, 179

   No Custom Found in Acts 20, 183
   Argument for Change of Time Considered, 191
   Evidence of Acts 20 Favorable to the Sabbath, 201

   Testimony of Paul and John to the First-day Sabbath, 202
   Examination of 1 Cor. 16:2, 203
   Of Rev. 1:10, 205

   1 Cor. 16:2, 207
   —Testimony of J. W. Morton, 207
   —Concession of Albert Barnes, 209
   —Paul’s Plan of Systematic Beneficence, 211
   —Devotion at Home, 214
   Rev. 1:10, 219
   —The Sabbath is the Lord’s Day, 220
   —Christ Lord of the Sabbath, 221
   —No Proof Given that First Day is the Lord’s Day, 222

   Testimony of the Early Fathers to the First-day Sabbath, 225
   Testimony of Ignatius, 225
   Errors of Dr. Dwight, etc., Corrected, 227
   Barnabas and Justin Martyr, 228
   Dionysius, 229
   Pliny, 230

   Value of Traditional Testimony, 231
   Ignatius, 235
   Barnabas, 239
   Justin Martyr, 243
   What Justin Martyr Believed, 246
   Dionysius, Melito, Pliny, 250
   Deficiency of Testimony for First-day as a Sabbath, 253

   Patristic Testimony to the First-day Sabbath, 254
   Irenæus, 254
   Errors of Dr. Dwight and Others in Quoting this Father, 256
   Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, 257

   The Apostasy, 261
   Testimony of Irenæus, 262
   Of Tertullian, 267
   Of Origen, 273
   Of Cyprian, 276
   Summary View of the Case, 277

   Theories of the Christian Sabbath, 280
   Claim of an Unwarranted Change of the Sabbath Considered, 284

   No Advance Ground Taken, 287
   Harmony of Sabbath Law and Sacred History, 289
   Roman Apostasy and Change of Sabbath, 293
   Seventh-day Sabbath in the Early Church, 296
   Testimony of Romanists, 304

   The Principle as to Time in Sabbath Observance, 313
   One Day in Seven, not the Seventh Day, Required, 313
   Difficulties of Keeping Definite Day, 314

   Inconsistency of the _Statesman’s_ Positions, 321
   No-Definite-Day Argument Fatal to First Day, and to any Sabbath, 325
   Inconsistency of his Position on Necessity of Legislation, 326
   Difficulties of Sabbath-Keeping Considered, 329
   Absurdity of the Theory of an Indefinite Day, 333
   Definite Time Around the World, 339
   Summary, 348

   The True Theory of the Christian Sabbath, 351
   First Day of the Week the True Christian Sabbath, 351
   A Memorial of Redemption, 353

   Inconsistency of the Replies, 355
   No Amendment of Sabbath Law Produced, 356
   A Gospel Memorial of the Resurrection, 367
   Sabbath Keeping Involves Sacrifice, 369
   Summary of Evidence for the Sabbath, 371
   The Commandment, or Tradition? 374
   Conclusion, 377


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