Milman: "If we may believe the biographies in the Augustan history, a more ambitious scheme of a universal religion had dawned upon the mind of the emperor. The Jewish, the Samaritan, even the Christian, were to be fused and recast into one great system, of which the sun was to be the central object of adoration" "History of Christianity," Book 2, chap. 8.
Stanley: "The retention of the old pagan name Dies Solis or Sunday, for the weekly Christian festival is, in a great measure, owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects, pagan and Christian alike, as the 'venerable day of the sun.' . . . It was his mode of harmonizing the discordant religions of the empire under one common institution." History of the Eastern Church," lecture 6, par. 15.
Thus Constantine's aim was to establish universal sun-worship; and the first step toward this was his decree for the observance of the sun's day (Sunday); and as the ultimate result nearly all Christendom has been led to abandon the Sabbath of Jehovah, and in its place adopt the pagan festival.
As the very best, then Sunday observance is a man-made institution an institution of the Catholic Church, and view it as we will, it is a relic of paganism sun-worship an idolatrous system which the Lord has denounced as in His sight, the greatest abomination, and against which He declares that He will "deal in fury." See Ezekiel 8:15-18.
On the other hand, the seventh-day Sabbath is of Divine origin, and is enjoined as one of God's immutable and unchangeable laws. Further, it is the sign of true worship the sign declared by God Himself to be the sign between Him and His people for ever.
"And hallow My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God." Ezekiel 20:20. Or as Spurrell's translation renders it: "And sanctify My Sabbaths that they may be a token between Me and between you, that ye may acknowledge that I am Jehovah your God.
Thus has God enjoined upon us the observance of His Sabbath as the token or sign by which we acknowledge Him as our God.
The majority of Christians today are altogether unaware of these facts, and are unwittingly honouring a human ordinance of heathen origin, but meanwhile disobeying the God of heaven. But is view of the facts which we here present and which truthfully set out the real situation, should we not earnestly and sincerely consider how our observance of a day instituted by a half heathen monarch and fostered by the "man of sin" will affect our standing before God.
God says: "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy . . . . the seventh day is the Sabbath."
The Catholic Church says: "No! By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day, and command you to keep holy the first day of the week." Then whom shall we obey God or the Catholic Church? "To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are." Romans 6:16.
Now, the ten commandments are to be the rule or standard of the judgment. We shall be judged by that law. Our lives our acts will be measured by those ten precepts; and the willful violation of any one of them will result in such violators being shut out of the kingdom of heaven. God is particular. He demands implicit obedience as a first essential. When Saul presumed to vary God's command, he lost his kingdom, and was told that "to obey is better than sacrifice." So today the observance of Sunday a day which God has never made holy, and which, and which is beyond the power of man to make holy much less to keep holy will never compensate for the desecration of the seventh day God's holy day. Concerning this point the Rev. Geo Hodges writes: "The seventh day, the commandment says, is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. No kind of arithmetic, no kind of almanac, can make seven equal to one, nor the seventh mean the first, nor Saturday mean Sunday. . . . The fact is that we are all Sabbath-breakers, every one of us."
Another writer says: "If our authority for keeping Sunday be the fourth commandment simply, just as it stands without interpretation, without reservation, the whole Christian world lies convicted of a most moral breach of God's law. Stay! this is not quite true. There is a curious sect, called, I believe, 'Seventh-day Adventists' which literally obeys. they alone, then of all Christians, keep the whole of God's commandments. . . . those who deny the church's authority, if they desire to be consistent, should keep Saturday as the Jews do . . . and refuse to have to do with an institution which is admittedly Catholic." St. Cyprian's Parish Chronicle, Durban, Natal.
Then shall we be content to go on breaking God's law, desecrating his Sabbath knowing that we are judgment bound, and will have to answer at the bar of heaven for the persistent and willful breaking of God's law any more than we could hope to be exonerated in an earthly court, had we broken the law of the land? We cannot indeed.
Then why not cease to be a Sabbath-breaker by becoming a Sabbath-keeper, and thus come into right relationship with Christ by honouring His law? In doing so we demonstrate our love for Him, for Christ says: "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me." John 14:21. And again: "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." John 14:14.
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