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THE HISTORY OF THE SABBATH

AND FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK

BY

J.N. ANDREWS and L.R. CONRADI

 

Contents

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PART I— BIBLE HISTORY

 

CHAPTER I …. IN THE BEGINNING — THE CREATION …… Time and eternity— The Creator and his work— Events of the first day of time— Of the second— Of the third— Of the fourth— Of the fifth— Of the sixth— God’s image in man.

 

CHAPTER II …. THE INSTITUTION OF THE SABBATH …… Events of the seventh day— Why the Creator rested— Acts by which the Sabbath was made— Time and order of their occurrence— Meaning of word sanctified— Fourth commandment refers origin of Sabbath to creation— Second mention of Sabbath confirms this fact— Christ’s testimony— When did God sanctify the seventh day?—  Object of the Author of the Sabbath— Testimony of Josephus and Philo— Negative argument from book of Genesis considered— Adam’s knowledge of Sabbath easily transmitted to patriarchs.

 

CHAPTER III …. THE SABBATH COMMITTED TO THE HEBREWS …… Object of chapter— Total apostasy of human family in antediluvian age— Destruction of mankind— The family of Noah spared— Second apostasy in patriarchal age— The apostate nations left to their own ways— The family of Abraham chosen— Separated from rest of mankind— Their history— Their relation to God— The Sabbath in existence at exodus— Analysis of Exodus 16— Sabbath committed to Hebrews.

 

CHAPTER IV …. THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT

The Holy One upon Mount Sinai— Three great gifts bestowed upon Hebrews— Sabbath proclaimed by voice of God— Position assigned it in moral law— Origin of the Sabbath— Definite character of the commandment— Revolution of the earth upon its axis— Name of the Sabbatic institution— Seventh day of the commandment identical with seventh day of New Testament week— Testimony of Nehemiah— Moral obligation of fourth commandment.

 

CHAPTER V …. THE SABBATH COMMANDMENT WRITTEN BY THE FINGER OF GOD …… Classification of precepts given through Moses— The Sabbath renewed— Solemn ratification of covenant between God and Israel— Moses called up to receive law which God had written on stone— Ten commandments probably proclaimed on Sabbath— Events of the forty days— The Sabbath becomes sign between God and Israel— The penalty of death— Tables of testimony given to Moses, and broken when he saw idolatry of the people— The idolaters punished— Moses goes up to renew the tables— The Sabbath again enjoined— Tables given again— Ten commandments the testimony of God— Who wrote them?— Three distinguished honors which pertain to the Sabbath— The ten commandments a complete code— Relation of fourth commandment to the atonement— Reason why God should write the law.

 

CHAPTER VI …. THE SABBATH DURING THE DAY OF TEMPTATION …… General history of Sabbath in wilderness— Its violation one cause of excluding that generation from the promised land— Its violation by their children in the wilderness one cause of their final dispersion from Canaan— The statute respecting fires on Sabbath— Various precepts relative to the Sabbath— The Sabbath not a Jewish feast— The man who gathered sticks on Sabbath— Appeal of Moses in behalf of Decalogue— The Sabbath not derived from the covenant at Horeb— Final appeal of Moses in behalf of the Sabbath— The original fourth commandment— Sabbath not a memorial of flight from Egypt— What words were engraved on stone?— General summary from books of Moses.

 

CHAPTER VII …. THE FEASTS, NEW MOONS, AND SABBATHS OF THE HEBREWS …… Enumeration of the Hebrew festivals— The Passover— Pentecost— Feast of Tabernacles— New moons— First and second annual Sabbaths— Third— Fourth— Fifth— Sixth and seventh— The Sabbath of the land— The jubilee—  Testimony of Isaiah— Hosea— Jeremiah.

 

CHAPTER VIII …. THE SABBATH FROM DAVID TO NEHEMIAH …… Silence of six successive books of the Bible relative to the Sabbath— This silence compared with that of the book of Genesis— The siege of Jericho— The standing still of the sun— David’s act of eating the showbread— The Sabbath of the Lord, how connected with, and how distinguished from, the annual Sabbaths— Earliest reference to the Sabbath after days of Moses— Incidental allusions to the Sabbath— Testimony of Amos— Of Isaiah— The Sabbath a blessing to mankind— Condition of being gathered to Holy Land— The Sabbath not a local institution— Commentary on fourth commandment— Testimony of Jeremiah— Jerusalem to stand if Sabbath kept— This offer despised— The Sabbath distinguished from other days of the week— The Sabbath after Babylonish captivity— Time for commencing Sabbath— Violation of Sabbath caused destruction of Jerusalem.

 

CHAPTER IX …. THE SABBATH FROM NEHEMIAH TO CHRIST …… Great change respecting Sabbath-breaking after return from Babylon— Decree of Antiochus Epiphanes against Sabbath— Massacre of 1,000 Sabbath-keepers in wilderness— Similar massacre at Jerusalem— Decree of Jewish elders relative to resisting attacks on Sabbath— Other martyrdoms— Victories of Judas Maccabeus— How Pompey captured Jerusalem— Teaching of Jewish doctors respecting Sabbath— State of Sabbath at first advent.

 

CHAPTER X …. THE SABBATH IN THE TIME OF CHRIST …… Christ’s mission— His qualifications as a judge of Sabbath observance— State of institution at first advent— The Saviour at Nazareth— At Capernaum— Discourse in the corn field— Case of man with withered arm— Christ among his relatives— Case of impotent man— Of man born blind— Of woman bound by Satan— Of man with dropsy— Object of Christ’s teaching and miracles relative to the Sabbath— Unfairness of many antisabbatarians— Examination of Matt. 24:20— The Sabbath not abrogated at crucifixion— Fourth commandment after that event— Sabbath not changed at Christ’s resurrection— Examination of John 20:26— Of Acts 2:1,2— Redemption furnishes no argument for change of Sabbath— Examination of Ps. 118:22-24— The Sabbath neither abolished nor changed at cross.

 

CHAPTER XI …. THE SABBATH DURING THE MINISTRY OF THE APOSTLES …… Knowledge of God preserved in family of Abraham— Call of Gentiles— New covenant puts law of God into heart of each Christian— A temple in heaven; an ark containing great original of law in ark on earth; before it, a priest who can take away sin— Old and New Testaments compared— Human family in all ages amenable to law of God— Good olive tree shows intimate relation between church of New Testament and Hebrew church— Apostolic church observed Sabbath— Examination of Acts 13— Assembly of apostles at Jerusalem— Sabbatarian origin of church at Philippi— At Thessalonica— At Corinth— Churches in Judea and many among Gentiles began with Sabbath-keepers— Examination of 1 Cor. 16:1,2— Self-contradiction of Dr. Edwards— Paul at Troas— Examination of Rom. 14:1-6— Flight of disciples from Judea— Bible Sabbath at close of first century.

 

PART II— SECULAR HISTORY OF THE SABBATH

 

CHAPTER XII …. EARLY APOSTASY IN THE CHURCH …… Pure doctrines of early church— The Bible their only standard— Paul’s prophecy of mystery of lawlessness— Gnosticism one of the factors— Greek philosophy another— Greater apostasy after death of apostles— Influence of philosophy on church— Gnosticism becomes doctrine of church— A striking prophetic fulfillment— Doubtful character of early writings of church Fathers— Introduction of evil practices under pleasing pretenses— Age does not change wrong into right— Nature of tradition illustrated— The two rules of faith— Bible as a sufficient guide challenged.

 

CHAPTER XIII …. THE FIRST WITNESSES FOR SUNDAY …… Strange contrasts between Sabbath and Sunday— Admissions of Protestant and Catholic authors concerning Sunday— Sunday observance a subject upon which church historians disagree— Neander’s statement— An unsound basis for Mosheim’s statement— His own witnesses testify against him— Still worse, Mosheim against Mosheim— His new Sunday theory exploded— Epistle of Barnabas a Gnostic production— Testimony of Pliny determines nothing in the case— Epistle of Ignatius misquoted— “The teaching of the twelve apostles”— Definition and use of (kvpiakn’)— The Bible, and the Bible only, the Protestant rule.

 

CHAPTER XIV …. A FORGED CHAIN OF SUNDAY EVIDENCES …… The missing link sought— Were the martyrs of Pliny’s time tested by the question, “Hast thou kept the Lord’s day?”— Justin Edwards affirms— Domville’s telling refutation— The correct time and question— Ignatius’s spurious epistles still more interpolated— Justin Martyr’s designation of the first day changed— Theophilus of Antioch, or of Alexandria?— Pseudo-Ignatius remodeled for a testimony of Irenaeus— Unqualified statement of Dionysius— Indefinite title of Melito’s treatise— First day of week in Bible and postapostolic age— “Almost immediately” means a century— “Probable insinuations in Scripture”— A forged chain of tradition.

 

CHAPTER XV …. ORIGIN OF SUNDAY OBSERVANCE …… Worship of heavenly bodies oldest form of idolatry— Names of days of week— Prominence of Sunday— Condition of pagan Rome— Its form of worship— Reaction of paganism and Christianity on each other— Pagan influences on Christian forms of worship— Patriotism and expediency as factors for change of day— Greek apologists— Justin Martyr— Reasons for the Sunday festival— A “new law,” and a perpetual Sabbath— Irenaeus’s view of Decalogue— Eusebius’s record of Irenaeus’s Sunday position— First instance of papal assumption— Rome again conquers world.

 

CHAPTER XVI …. THE LORD’S DAY OF THE FATHERS …… Christianity at beginning of third century— Roman bishop already called “pontifex maximus”— Eastern sun-worship at its height in Rome— Why Sunday called Lord’s day— The lord of bishops and the lord of days— Day of birth of light— Clement of Alexandria— His mystical numbers— The prophetic day of Plato— The mystic Lord’s day— Tertullian’s contradictions— His position on the Sabbath— Pagans’ and Christians’ affiliated worship— Worship toward the east— Christians mingle with heathen in their festivities— Ancient custom and unwritten tradition— Origen— His spiritual Lord’s day and festivals— Cyprian— Commodian’s Lord’s day— Victorin’s assumptions— Peter of Alexandria— Position of the Fathers reviewed— Conclusion drawn.

 

CHAPTER XVII …. THE CIVIL-ECCLESIASTICAL SUNDAY …… A new era in Sunday observance— Division in empire and church— Constantine favors Christianity— Sole ruler of the empire— He desires consolidation— Half pagan and half Christian— The first Sunday law and its associate— Schaff’s comment upon it— Sunday markets ordained— Military Sunday law— Sunday the mark of friendly union— The first general council— Its decrees claimed as divine commands— The Easter controversy settled— The ruling motive, hatred to the Jews— The first Sunday canon—The spiritual Sabbath of Eusebius— Constantine the second Moses— The transference of the spiritual Sabbath— The new spiritual law of Eusebius— Its carnal nature— The Catholic theocracy— The Levitical priesthood revived in Catholicism— The crimes of Constantine— His duplicity until death.

 

CHAPTER XVIII …. THE LEGAL LORD’S DAY …… Sunday the universal, legal, weekly holiday— Canons of the council of Laodicea— Sunday fasting anathematized— Civil legislation— Laws of Valentinian, Valens, Theodosius (Sen.)— Councils troublesome occasions— Agitation for the change of the heathen name— Church attendance and communion service enforced on Sunday— Attendance at shows forbidden— Athanasius— Gregory of Nyssa— Ambrose— Jerome— Augustine— Chrysostom— Apostolic constitutions— Paganized Christian Worship— Christmas— Wilberforce on Sunday evolution— Court sessions of the “rightly” called Lord’s day sacrilegious.

 

CHAPTER XIX …. THE SABBATH DURING THE FIRST FIVE CENTURIES …… The Sabbath spiritual and moral— Its new luster in gospel dispensation— Written in heart of true Israel— The disciples’ prayer regarding it— Dr. Zahn’s testimony— Paul a Nazarene and heretic, yet true— The real issue at council at Jerusalem— Flight to Pella— The Nazarenes— Statements of Harnack, Gieseler, Guericke, Neander— Not heretics, but the true Israel— Gnostic Sabbath fasting to spite God of the Jews— Reason for intensified feelings against the Jews in general— Justin Martyr’s weak-minded Christians— Christian Sabbath-keepers branded heretics— Sabbath a weekly festival— Augustine— Chrysostom, Ambrose, Basil, Asterius, Gregory of Nyssa, Apostolic constitutions as proofs— The Sabbath in Egypt and Ethiopia— “False Sabbaths”— Standing in prayer on Sabbath— Communion on Sabbath— Bishop of Rome introduces Sabbath fasting— Augustine’s refutation of it— Sabbath rest from work a “superstition”— The reproach of Christ for genuine Sabbath observance.

 

CHAPTER XX …. SUNDAY HOLINESS DURING THE MIDDLE AGES …… The rise of the Papal See— The eldest son of the church— Character of the Franks— Dr. Zahn on how Sunday holiness became established among the half-heathen tribes— Council of Orleans and Judaizing on Sunday— Stripes for Sunday desecration— Sunday penalties fixed under divine inspiration at Macon— The implacable anger of the clergy for Sunday work— The staute of Childebert— The miracles of Gregory of Tours— Divine judgements upon Sunday work fabricated— Perpetual slavery for continued Sunday work— First appearance of scrolls from heaven in favor of Sunday—The first English Sunday laws— Canons of English councils— Marriage forbidden, under penance, on the Lord’s day— Boniface’s Sunday laws— Loss of right hand for working on Sunday— A Sunday scroll condemned by the Pope— Charlemagne the standard-bearer of St. Peter— Forced conversions— Alcuin first to bring forth transfer of Sabbath to Sunday— Carolingian capitularies regarding Sunday— Council of Paris implores imperial arm to punish Sunday desecration— Leo’s criticism on Constantine’s Sunday law— Stealing on Sunday worse than on other days— Sunday legislation in Hungary— Olaus, king of Norway— Souls relieved in purgatory on Sunday— The holy Sunday commandment— Chronologists record its approval— Innocent III— New Sunday miracles— Letters from heaven still for sale— Neglect of church attendance fined— Gregory IX’s Decretals on feast-days— Indulgences for Sunday work granted— Inconsistencies of Sunday legislation.

 

CHAPTER XXI …. THE SABBATH DURING THE DARK AGES …… The apostasy manifest— Gregory’s epistle to the Romans— Sabbath-keepers in Rome— The preachers of Antichrist— The fallible Pope— Traces of the Sabbath in the British church— Their suppression by the Papacy— Sabbath-keepers on the Continent— The anathema of Laodicea repeated— The council of Friul— Italian peasants observe the Sabbath— The questions of the Bulgarians— Sabbath fasting causes final separation between East and West— The Pasagini— Papal bulls against them— How their Sabbath arguments were met— The papal anathema and the imperial interdict at Verona— Inquisition set at work— Still the truth spreads— Frederic II interdicts— Ethiopia holds to the Sabbath of Jehovah— The Jesuits at work— Sabbath-keepers in China— The Nasrani— The Sabbath in the East Indies— The Inquisition active— The Jacobites— Sabbath fasting— The Sabbath dedicated to the Virgin Mary— Wonderful fulfillment of God’s prophecies.

 

CHAPTER XXII …. SUNDAY THE DISTINCTIVE MARK OF PAPAL POWER …… The Roman Church at the height of its power— Scholasticism— The influence of Aristotle— Thomas Aquinas the light of the Roman Church— Scholastic sophistry concerning new law and Sabbath commandment— Sunday-keeping grows out of the decision of church and custom of Christians— Steady stream of Sunday legislation still goes on— “By virtue of canonical obedience”— Pharisaical Sabbatarianism repeated— Too many festivals— Dr. Eck on authority of the church— Augsburg Confession— Decisive speech of Cardinal del Fossa— “Almost divine wisdom”— Catechism of council of Trent— Bellarmine’s Catechism— “Keep holy the festivals”— Catholic Sunday position reviewed.

 

CHAPTER XXIII …. THE “INCOMPLETE” SUNDAY OF THE REFORMERS …… General conditions at time of Reformation— Growing demand for reforms— Bible in the language of people— Luther’s address to German nobility— Sunday Sabbath of school men controverted in every point— Tied to no day in particular— Work on Sunday not sinful— Who instituted Sunday did not concern Reformers— Luther assigns Sunday to the common people only— Weakness and inconsistency of position held by Reformers— Review of their theory— Sunday left suspended in air— How to view the Reformers and their work.

 

CHAPTER XXIV …. THE REFORMERS AND THE SABBATH COMMANDMENT …… God’s wonderful dealings— Even great men err— Care necessary in the beginning of the Reformation— Old dogmas retained— Luther’s preface to Revelation and James— Third or fourth commandment, which?—   “Thou shalt keep holy the festival”— Who alone sanctifies the day?— Theory and practice clash— The threefold division of the Decalogue— Antinomianism— Contradictions of the Reformers— If the law is binding, the seventh day must be kept— Both Sabbath and Sunday destroyed.

 

CHAPTER XXV …. SABBATH-KEEPERS FROM FIFTEENTH TO SEVENTEENTH CENTURY …… An unbroken chain of witnesses— The Anabaptists— The attitude of the Reformers toward them— Sabbath-keepers among themselves— The Sabbatarians in Moravia— Their belief concerning Isaiah 58— Schwenkfeld’s mystic refutation— Witnesses in Bohemia— Silesia— Poland— Holland— England— Their view by Hospinian— Carlstadt and the Sabbath— Luther “Against the Sabbatarians”— Eossi and Pechi— Persecution of Transylvanian Sabbath-keepers— Their literature— Christian Sabbatarians in Russia before Reformation— Their persecution— The “Enlightener”— Saturday-keeping condemned in Norway— Puzzle to church historians— Lutheran edicts against “Saturday-keeping”— Epistle of Gustavus I to Finnish Sabbatarians— The Sabbath movement in Sweden— Its origin and association with revivals— “A sect everywhere spoken against,” and “yet true.”

 

CHAPTER XXVI …. PROTESTANT MISAPPROPRIATION OF THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT …… Light rejected results in retrogression— Episcopalians and Puritans— Festivals, or Sunday alone— The Puritan Sabbath— Bownd’s sophistry— Secret of its success— Thomas Aquinas— Papal Sunday canons revived in the kirk— “Book of Sports”— The grievances at Dort— Articles of peace gender strife— The Puritan theocracy in New England— Erring Reformers and wise Puritans— Westminster Confession— Sunday controversy renewed— The Barabbas of the fourth commandment.

 

CHAPTER XXVII …. THE SABBATH FROM SEVENTEENTH TO NINETEENTH CENTURY …… Sabbath observance the logical result— Traske— Brabourne— Spread of Sabbatarians— The Stennet family— John James’s martyrdom— Bampfield— Status of English Seventh-day Baptists— Causes for decline— Mumford in New England— First Seventh-day Baptist church at Newport— General Conference— Israelites and Abrahamites— Sabbath suppressed in Transylvania— Russian Subotniki— Rabinowitch and his work— Tennhardt’s writings and labors— Count Zinzendorf a Sabbath-keeper— Blessed Sabbaths at Bethlehem— Konrad Beissel— Harmony between law and gospel— A new world provided for the Sabbath seed.

 

CHAPTER XXVIII …. GOD’S HOLY SABBATH WORLD-WIDE …… A prophetic salutation— Fulfilled prophecies enlighten— “Providence” in a New World— Increased knowledge of the prophecies a sign of the end— General preaching of the gospel another sign— The 2300 days of Dan. 8:14— The great advent movement— Bitter disappointment— The true sanctuary and service— The first Seventh-day Adventist church— Truth refined in the crucible of affliction— A world-wide movement— The third angel’s message a living reality— Interesting statistics— Rev. 14:12 fulfilled.

 

CHAPTER XXIX …. THE INTERNATIONAL SUNDAY …… A human institution under various guises— The weekly cycle changed— Catholic Sunday— Continental Sunday— Figmentum Anglicanum Confederacies— Difference of theory and practice— International federation— Prize essays— Sunday question still unsolved— The best Constitution to be amended— Catholic support— Socialism a renaissance of Puritanism— A modern crusade— Its new sign of victory— The sealing work— The mark of the beast— Roman challenges— Final war with the remnant.

 

CHAPTER XXX …. THE ETERNAL SABBATH REST OF ISRAEL …… The divine building— One “Master Workman”— Memorial of God’s creation— Its great object— The final struggle of the remnant— The great victory— The overcomer’s reward— The Sabbath on the new earth.