How Sunday Keeping Started Page Two




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How and when did people begin to observe Sunday in place of the seventh-day Sabbath? Sir William Domville, a noted historian of the Church of England, throws some light upon this subject. He says, "Centuries of the Christian era passed away before the Sunday was observed by the Christian church as a Sabbath. History does not furnish us with a single proof or indication that it was at any time so observed previous to the Sabbatical edict of Constantine in AD 321: "The Sabbath: or an Examination of the Six Tests," page 291.

Chambers' Encyclopedia says, "By none of the Fathers before the fourth century is it [Sunday] identified with the Sabbath, nor is the duty of observing it grounded by them, either on the fourth commandment, or on the precept by Christ or His apostles." -Article "Sabbath."

Dr. Neander, regarded as the leading church historian of the Christian era, says: "The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday. Perhaps at the end of the second century a false application of this kind had begun to take place; for men appear by that time to have considered laboring on Sunday as a sin. "-The History of the Christian Religion and Church, Henry John Rose's translation, page 186.

Dr. Kitto, author of the Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature says: "Though in later times we find considerable reference to a sort of consecration of the day (Sunday), it does not seem at any period of the ancient church to have assumed the form of such an observance as some modern religious communities contend for. Nor do the writers in any instance pretend to allege any divine command, or even apostolic practice in support of it:- Article, "Lord's Day."

The Catholic Bishop Eusebius who presided in Constantinople in A,D.330, writes: "All things whatsoever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord's day." -Cox's Sabbath Laws Vol. 1, page 361.

Dr. William Pryrine, who wrote a treatise in AD 1633, a Dissertation on the Lord's Day, says: "The seventh-day Sabbath was . . . solemnized by Christ, the apostles, and primitive Christians, till the Laodicean Council did in a manner quite abolish the observation of it. . . . The Council of Laodicea [about AD. 364] . . . first settled the observation of the Lord's day, and prohibited . . . the keeping of the Jewish Sabbath under an anathema." -Page 163.

Dr. Peter Heylyn, (Church of England) Bible commentator, declared that the first day of the week and its observance was based "on custom first, and voluntary consecration . . . and finally confirmed and ratified by Christian princes throughout their empires; . . . from the canons and decrees of councils, the decratals of popes and orders of particular prelates, when the sole managing of ecclesiastical affairs was committed to them." History of the Sabbath" part 2, chapter 3, section 12, pages 94, 95.

The Kansas City Catholic, a Roman Catholic church paper, expressly states: "The Catholic church of its own infallible authority created Sunday a holy day to take the place of the Sabbath."

Father C. Enright, C.S.S.R., of the Redemptorist College, Kansas City, Missouri, in June, 1893, published the following statement : "The Bible says. 'Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.' The Catholic church says, No! By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day, and command you to keep the first day of the week. And lo, the entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church!"

Cardinal Gibbons, in his official church paper the Catholic Mirror, Dec. 23, 1893, said: "Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping of Sunday. Compromise is impossible."

The Catholic Virginian of October 3, 1947, makes this declaration : "Nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the seventh day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the church (Roman) outside the Bible."

It was predicted by the prophet Daniel that a religious power was to arise out of the Roman Empire after it was divided into ten kingdoms, which was to "speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws (of the Most High) : and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of times." Daniel 7: 25. Almost all Protestant Bible commentators are agreed that the "horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots," (verse 8), and that was to think himself able to "change the times and laws" of the Most High, unmistakably refers to the papal power that rooted up and conquered three Arian powers in "the fourth kingdom," or the Roman Empire.

John the Revelator refers to this same power which was to arise out of the Roman Empire, and says of it : "Who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." "A thousand two hundred and three score days." "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 13: 4-8; 12: 6.

The Apostle Paul also speaks of this same religious power, whom he calls "that man of sin, . . who opposeth and exalteth him- self above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." 2 Thessalonians 2: 3, 4.

And Paul in writing to the church in Rome where this power, which he called "the mystery of iniquity," was to arise, says: "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"Romans 6: 16. Let us say with Joshua: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24: 15.

(copied from a tract "GOOD NEWS SERIES" No. 14 Signs Publishing Co Australia)

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"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, 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 manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that in them is and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20: 8-11.

"1 AM THE LORD, 1 CHANGE NOT." Malachi 3:6.