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The Signs of the Times, vol. 13

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    January 13, 1887

    “A Scrap of History” The Signs of the Times 13, 2, p. 23.

    IN the Congregationalist of December 9, 1886, the Rev. Wolcott Calkins, D.D., says:—SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.1

    “I came across a curious scrap of history one day last summer, when I was searching for something else, in a library at Paris. It was the record of a trial in the south of France, in 1794 or 1795, for breaking the law of the Republic enforcing rest from work on the tenth day. A blacksmith was fined by the court for continuing his work on the day of rest. The revolution which had suppressed church, Sabbath, and ‘all the rest of the superstitions,’ had attempted to provide and enforce a substitute for the Christian sabbath.”SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.2

    Just now, when all over our land there is a loud and persistent cry for law to enforce a substitute for the Sabbath of the Lord, this is an interesting piece of history. The church of Rome had substituted the observance of Sunday for that of the Sabbath of the Lord. France in the revolution substituted the observance of every tenth day for that of Sunday. France had just as much right to enforce the observance of this tenth day as she or any other country, or the church of Rome or any other church, had to enforce the observance of Sunday. This tenth day was as much a Sabbath as Sunday was or is. And there was just as much right and justice in France’s punishment of that blacksmith for working on the tenth day as there is in any of the States of the United States punishing people now for working on Sunday.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.3

    If that case in France had been one wherein the punishment fell upon a man who had already kept Sunday, we have not the least doubt that all those in our country who demand Sunday laws would count it injustice and oppression, if not persecution. And yet throughout the United States the demand is being made by which all who keep the Sabbath of the Lord shall be compelled to keep Sunday also; and in certain States which now have Sunday laws, those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord have been, and are being, fined and imprisoned and cruelly treated because they have by downright spies been detected in some trifling act that could be construed into a degree of work that could be touched by the law. The people of Arkansas and Tennessee can very properly stop their mouths at mention of the French Revolution.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.4