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The Change of the Sabbath

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    In the “Catholic Catechism of Christian Religion” we have the following questions and answers:ChSa 152.5

    “Question: What does God ordain by this commandment?ChSa 152.6

    “Answer: He ordains that we sanctify, in a special manner, this day on which he rested from the labor of creation.ChSa 152.7

    “Question: What is this day of rest?ChSa 152.8

    “Answer: The seventh day of the week, or Saturday; for he employed six days in creation, and rested on the seventh. Genesis 2:2; Hebrews 4:1, etc.ChSa 152.9

    “Question: Is it, then, Saturday we should sanctify in order to obey the ordinance of God?ChSa 152.10

    “Answer: 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 now we sanctify the first, not the seventh day. Sunday means, and now is, the day of the Lord.ChSa 152.11

    “Question: Had the church power to make such a change?ChSa 152.12

    “Answer: Certainly; since the Spirit of God is her guide, the change is inspired by the Holy Spirit.”ChSa 152.13

    In another Catholic work, called the Abridgement of Christian Doctrine, page 58, the Catholic Church asserts its power to change the law, in the following manner:ChSa 153.1

    “Question: How prove you that the church bath power to command feasts and holy days?ChSa 153.2

    “Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.ChSa 153.3

    “Question: How prove you that?ChSa 153.4

    “Answer: 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.”ChSa 153.5

    In the Catholic Christian Instructed, page 202, is presented the following list of feast-days, which all rest upon the same foundation, namely, the authority of the Catholic Church. Of these, Sunday takes the lead.ChSa 153.6

    “Question: What are the days which the church commands to be kept holy?ChSa 153.7

    “Answer: 1. The Sunday, or our Lord’s day, which we observe by apostolic 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; the day of our Lord’s ascension; Whitsunday, or the day of the coming of the Holy Ghost; Trinity Sunday; Corpus Christi, or the feast of the Blessed Sacrament. 3. We keep the days of the Annunciation, and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 4. We observe the feast of All-Saints; of St. John Baptist; of the holy apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul. 5. In this kingdom [Britain-Ireland] we keep the feast of St. Patrick, our principal patron!”ChSa 153.8

    From pages 202, 203 of the work last quoted, we take the following additional testimony, which also has a very important bearing on the question of the Sabbath, as the points referred to are vital ones in this issue:ChSa 153.9

    “Question: What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday preferably to the ancient Sabbath, which was the Saturday?ChSa 153.10

    “Answer: We have for it the authority of the Catholic Church, and apostolical tradition.ChSa 154.1

    “Question: Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?ChSa 154.2

    “Answer: The Scripture commands us to hear the church (St. Matthew 18:17; St. Luke 10:16), and to hold fast the traditions of the apostles. 2 Thessalonians 2:15. But the Scripture does not in particular mention this change of the Sabbath. St. John speaks of the Lord’s day (Revelation 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 commandments. St. Luke also speaks of the disciples meeting together to break bread on the first day of the week. Acts 20:7. And St. Paul (1 Corinthians 16:2) orders that on the first day of the week the Corinthians should lay by in store what they designed to bestow in charity on the faithful in Judea; but neither the one nor the other tells us that this first day of the week was to be henceforward the day of worship, and the Christian Sabbath; 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 other 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.”ChSa 154.3

    The Doctrinal Catechism, pp. 174,352 offers proof that Protestants are not guided by the Scriptures. We present two of the questions and answers:ChSa 154.4

    “Question: Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?ChSa 154.5

    “Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her, she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.”ChSa 154.6

    “Question: When Protestants do profane work upon Saturday, or the seventh day of the week, do they follow the Scripture as their only rule of faith do they find this permission clearly laid down in the Sacred Volume?ChSa 154.7

    “Answer: On the contrary, they have only the authority of tradition for this practice. In profaning Saturday, they violate one of God’s commandments, which he has never clearly abrogated, “Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.””ChSa 154.8

    Then follows a statement and refutation of the arguments which Protestants usually rely on to prove the change of the Sabbath, such as the resurrection of Christ, the pouring out of the Spirit, the Lord’s day of Revelation 1:10; Acts 20:7. And 1 Corinthians 16:2, showing that these Scriptures contain no evidence of the institution of Sunday observance, but that the practice rests solely upon the authority of the Catholic Church.ChSa 155.1

    In a Roman Catholic work entitled The Shortest Way to End Disputes about Religion, by the Reverend Dr. Manning, approved by the Right Reverend Bishop Fitzpatrick, Coadjutor of the Diocese of Boston, Mass., page 19, we find the following:ChSa 155.2

    “As zealous as Protestants are against the church’s infallibility, they are forced to depend wholly upon her authority in many articles that cannot be evidently proved from any text of Scripture, yet are of very great importance.ChSa 155.3

    “1. The lawfulness for Christians to work upon Saturday, contrary, in appearance, to the express command of God, who bids us ‘keep the Sabbath holy,’ and tells us the seventh day of the week is that day.”ChSa 155.4

    “2. The lawfulness and validity of infant baptism, whereof there is no example in Scripture.”ChSa 155.5

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