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    History of the Sabbath. The Sabbath from the Time of Constantine to the Reformation

    WE here see how the matter stood until the commencement of Constantine’s career. The Sabbath was generally observed, while Lord’s day was regarded as a festival of no greater importance or authority than Good Friday or Holy Thursday. No text of Scripture, or edict of emperor, or decree of council, could be produced in its favor. But from this time forth may be found emperors and councils combining to give importance to the Lord’s day and to oppose the Sabbath.BISA 26.1

    An important change was undoubtedly produced upon the regard paid to the first day, soon after the accession of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, in the early part of the fourth century. When he became master of Rome, he soon gave himself up to the guidance of the Christian clergy. “He built places of public worship. He encouraged the meeting of synods and bishops — honored them with his presence, and employed himself continually in aggrandizing the church. He was scrupulously attentive to the religious rites and ceremonies which were prescribed to him by the clergy. He fasted, observed the feasts in commemoration of the martyrs, and devoutly watched the whole night on the vigils of the saints,” 1*Jones’ Ch. Hist. p. 164, Am. Ed., 1824. and showed great anxiety for uniformity in the doctrines and observances of religion in the church. He was, therefore, exactly suited to the wishes of the Roman bishop and clergy, in establishing, by his imperial authority, what they had no Scripture to support, and what their influence had hitherto been unable to effect, viz. a uniformity in the celebration of Easter and the first day. In 321, Constantine first published his edicts enjoining upon his subjects these superstitious celebrations which he had been taught to perform.BISA 26.2

    Eusebius says, 2Life of Constantine, B. 4, ch. 18. Basle ed.* “He appointed as a suitable time for prayers the dominical day, which then was an especial day, and now is undoubtedly the very first. His body guard observed the day, and offered in it prayers written by the Emperor. The happy prince endeavored to persuade all to do this, and by degrees to lead all to the worship of God; wherefore he determined that those obeying Roman power should abstain from every work upon the days named after the Saviour, that they should venerate also the day before the Sabbath, in memory, as seems to me, of the events occurring in those days to our common Saviour.”BISA 26.3

    He says again, “An edict also, by the will and pleasure of the emperor, was transmitted to the Prefects of the provinces, that they thenceforth should venerate the dominical day; that they should honor the days consecrated to the Martyrs, and should celebrate the solemnities of the festivals in the churches, all of which was done according to the will of the emperor.” And as quoted by Lucius, he says, that he admonished his subjects likewise that those days which were Sabbaths should be honored or worshipped.BISA 27.1

    Sozomen says, 1*Eccl. Hist. B. 1, ch. 8. “He (Constantine) also made a law that on the dominical day, which the Hebrews call the first day of the week, the Greeks the day of the Sun, and also on the day of Venus, (i.e. Friday,) judgments should not be given, or other business transacted, but that all should worship God with prayer and supplications, and venerate the dominical day, as in it Christ rose from the dead; but the day of Venus, as the day in which he was fixed to the cross.”BISA 27.2

    Dr. Chambers says, 2Encyclop. Art. Sund. Lond. 1791. “It was Constantine the Great who first made a law for the observance of Sunday, and who, according to Eusebius, appointed that it should be regularly celebrated throughout the Roman Empire. Before him, and even in his time, they observed the Jewish Sabbath as well as Sunday; both to satisfy the law of Moses, and to imitate the Apostles, who used to meet together on the first day.” He adds, “Indeed, some are of opinion that the Lord’s day mentioned in the Apocalypse, is our Sunday; which they will have to have been so early instituted.” “By Constantine’s laws, made in 321, it was decreed that for the future the Sunday should be kept a day of rest in all cities and towns; but he allowed the country people to follow their work. In 538, the Council of Orleans prohibited this country labor.”BISA 27.3

    To give the more solemnity to the first day of the week, Sylvester, who was bishop of Rome while Constantine was Emperor, changed the name of Sunday, giving it the more imposing title of Lord’s Day. 3Lucius’ Eccl. Hist. Cent. 4, p. 740. Bamp. Enq. p. 98.BISA 27.4

    It is not to be doubted, that the laws of Constantine made the first day more conspicuous throughout the empire, as all public business was forbidden upon it. They changed its character from a special day, in which, as a weekly festival, all kinds of business and labor were performed in city and country, to be, as Eusebius says, the very first. This imperial favor for the first day was oppressive to all who conscientiously regarded the Sabbath from respect to the fourth commandment, in obedience to which the seventh day had always been observed; and if it had produced a general abandonment of its observation, it would not have been very surprising, considering the influence of court example and the general ignorance and darkness of the age. Yet this does not appear to have been the case. The Sabbath was still extensively observed; and to counteract it the Council of Laodicea, about A. D. 350, passed a decree saying, “It is not proper for Christians to Judaize and to cease from labor on the Sabbath, but they ought to work on this day, and put especial honor upon the Lord’s day, as Christians. If any be found Judaizing let him be anathematized.”BISA 27.5

    Yet this did not produce any material change, for Socrates, a writer of the fifth century, who resided at Constantinople, makes the following remarks upon the celebration of the Sabbath, at the time he wrote, A. D. 440. He says, “There are various customs concerning assembling; for though all the churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath day, yet the Alexandrians and the Romans, from an ancient tradition, refuse to do this; but the Egyptians who are in the neighborhood of Alexandria, and those inhabiting Thebes, indeed have assemblies on the Sabbath, but do not participate in the mysteries, as is the custom of the Christians. At Caesarea, Cappadocia, and in Cyprus, on the Sabbath and dominical day, at twilight, with lighted lamps, the Presbyters and Bishops interpret the Scriptures. At Rome they fast every Sabbath.” 1Socrates’ Eccl. Hist. B. 5. ch. 21. Basle ed.BISA 28.1

    This account of the manner of celebrating the Sabbath in the fifth century, is corroborated by Sozomen. 2Eccl. Hist: B. 7, ch. 9. He says, “At Constantinople, and almost among all, the Christians assemble upon the Sabbath, and also upon the first day of the week, excepting Rome and Alexandria; that the ecclesiastical assemblies at Rome were not upon the Sabbath, as in almost all other churches of the rest of the world; and that in many cities and villages in Egypt, they used to commune in the evening of the Sabbath, on which day there were public assemblies.”BISA 28.2

    In regard to fasting on the Sabbath at Rome, here referred to, it ought to be said, that from the earliest times to the fourth century, the practice had been to observe the Sabbath as a holiday. But the Church of Rome, in its opposition to the Jews, made it a fast day, that the separation might be marked and strong. In the eastern churches they never fasted upon the Sabbath, excepting one Sabbath in the year, which was the day before the Passover. But in the western churches they celebrated a fast every week. It was in reference to this that Ambrose said, “When I come to Rome, I fast upon the Sabbath; when I am here, I do not fast.” Augustine also said concerning this, “If they say it is sinful to fast on the Sabbath, then they would condemn the Roman Church, and many places near to and far from it. And if they should think it a sin not to fast on the Sabbath, then they would blame many eastern churches, and the far greater part of the world.” This Sabbath fasting was opposed by the eastern church; and in the sixth general Council held at Constantinople, it was commanded that the Sabbath and dominical day be kept as festivals, and that no one fast or mourn upon them. The practice of fasting, therefore, was chiefly in the western churches, about Rome.BISA 28.3

    It is perhaps difficult to determine exactly the relative importance attached to the seventh and first day of the week, at this time. Sufficient may be found, however, to assure us, that the Sabbath was observed, and that no one regarded Sunday as having taken its place. This is shown by the provision of the Council of Laodicea, A. D. 365, that the Gospels should be read on that day. It is shown by the action of a Council in 517, (mentioned in Robinson’s History of Baptism,) which regulated and enforced the observance of the Sabbath. It is shown by the expostulation of Gregory of Nyssa, “How can you look upon the Lord’s day, if you neglect the Sabbath? Do you not know that they are sisters, and that in despising the one you affront the other?” And as sisters we find them hand in hand in the Ecclesiastical Canons. Penalties were inflicted by the councils both of Laodicea and Trull, on clergymen who did not observe both days as festivals.BISA 29.1

    How the first day of the week, or Lord’s day, was observed in the early part of the fifth century, we may learn from the words of St. Jerome. In a funeral oration for the Lady Paula, he says: “She, with all her virgins and widows who lived at Bethlehem in a cloister with her, upon the Lord’s day, repaired duly to the church, or house of God, which was nigh to her cell; and after her return from thence to her own lodgings, she herself and all her company fell to work, and every one performed their task, which was the making of clothes and garments for themselves and for others, as they were appointed.”BISA 29.2

    St. Chrysostom, patriarch of Constantinople, “recommended to his audience, after impressing upon themselves and their families what they had heard on the Lord’s day, to return to their daily employments.” 1Burnside on the Sabbath, p. 16.BISA 29.3

    Dr. Francis White, Lord Bishop of Ely, speaking of this matter, says, “The Catholic Church for more than six hundred years after Christ, permitted labor, and gave license to many Christian people to work upon the Lord’s Day at such hours as they were not commanded to be present at the public service by the precepts of the church.”BISA 30.1

    In the sixth century efforts were made to prevent this labor. The following promulgation of a synod held by command of King Gunthram,*The original publication had the spelling “Junthran.” Perhaps Lucius really does spell the name “Junthran,” but Peter Heylyn's History of the Sabbath gives the spelling as “Gunthram” and the year as 588. of Burgundy, will show the condition of things, and the means used to improve them: “We see the Christian people, in an unadvised manner, deliver to contempt the Dominical day, and, as in other days, indulge in continual labor.” Therefore they determined to teach the people subject to them, to keep the dominical day, which, if not observed by the lawyer, he should irreparably lose his cause, but if a countryman or servant did not keep it, he should be beaten with heavier blows of cudgels. 2Lucius’ Eccl. Hist. p. 323. The council of Orleans, held 538, prohibited the country labor on Sunday, which Constantine, by his laws, permitted. This council also declared, “that to hold it unlawful to travel with horses, cattle and carriages, to prepare food, or to do anything necessary to the cleanliness and decency of houses or persons, savors more of Judaism than Christianity. 3Chambers’ Cyclop. Art. Sunday. In another council held at Narbonne in France, in the seventh century, they also forbid this country work. 4Lucius’ Eccl. Hist. p. 103.BISA 30.2

    Early in the 7th century, in the time of Pope Gregory I., the subject of the Sabbath attracted considerable attention. There was one class of persons who declared, “that it was not lawful to do any manner of work upon the Saturday, or the old Sabbath; another that no man ought to bathe himself on the Lord’s day, or their new Sabbath.” 5Dr. Peter Heylyn’s Hist. Sab. part 2, p. 135. Against both of these doctrines Pope Gregory wrote a letter to the Roman citizens. Baronius, in his Councils, says, “This year (603) at Rome, St. Gregory, the Pope, corrected that error which some preached, by Jewish superstition, or the Grecian custom, that it was a duty to worship on the Sabbath, as likewise upon the dominical days; and he calls such preachers the preachers of Antichrist.” Nearly the same doctrine was preached again in the time of Gregory VII., A. D. 1074, about five hundred years after what we are now speaking of. This is sufficient to show that the Sabbath was kept until those times of decline which introduced so many errors in faith and practice. Indeed, it is sufficient to show, that wherever the subject has been under discussion, the Sabbath has found its advocates both in theory and in practice.BISA 30.3

    According to Lucius, Pope Urban II., in the eleventh century, dedicated the Sabbath to the Virgin Mary, with a Mass. 1Bampfield’s Enq. p. 101. Binius says, “Pope Innocent I., constituted a fast on the Sabbath day, which seems to be the first constitution of that fast; but dedicating the Sabbath to the Virgin Mary was by Urban II. in the latter part of the eleventh century.” 2Eccl. Hist. p. 29. About this time we find Hesychius*The original publication had the spelling “Esychius,” but Peter Heylyn does spell it “Hesychius.” teaching the doctrine that the precept for the observance of the Sabbath is not one of the commandments, because it is not at all times to be observed according to the letter; and Thomas Aquinas, another Romish ecclesiastic, saying, “that it seems to be inconvenient that the precept for observing the Sabbath should be put among the precepts of the Decalogue, if it do not at all belong to it; that the precept, ‘Thou shalt not make a graven image,’ and the precept for observing the Sabbath, are ceremonial.”BISA 31.1

    The observance of the first day was not so early in England and in Scotland as in most other parts of the Roman Empire. According to Heylyn, there were Christian societies established in Scotland as early as A. D. 435; and it is supposed that the gospel was preached in England in the first century by St. Paul. For many ages after Christianity was received in these kingdoms, they paid no respect to the first day. Binius, a Catholic writer, in the second volume of his works, gives some account of the bringing into use the Dominical day [Sunday] in Scotland, as late as A. D. 1203. “This year,” he says, “a council was held in Scotland concerning the introduction of the Lord’s day, which council was held in 1203, in the time of Pope Innocent III.,” and quotes as his authority, Roger Hoveden, Matth. Paris, and Lucius’ Eccl. Hist. He says, “By this council it was enacted that it should be holy time from the twelfth hour on Saturday noon until Monday.”BISA 31.2

    Boethius (de Scotis, p. 344) says, “In A. D. 1203, William, king of Scotland, called a council of the principal of his kingdom, by which it was decreed, that Saturday, from the twelfth hour at noon, should be holy; that they should do no profane work, and this they should observe until Monday.”BISA 31.3

    Binius says that in A. D. 1201, Eustachius, Abbot of Flay, came to England, and therein preached from city to city, and from place to place. He prohibited using markets on Dominical days; for he said that this command underwritten concerning the observation of the Dominical day, came from heaven. The history of this singular epistle, entitled A holy command of the Dominical day, the pious Abbot stated to be this: “It came from Heaven to Jerusalem, and was found on St. Simon’s tomb in Golgotha. And the Lord commanded this epistle, which for three days and three nights men looked upon, and falling to the earth, prayed for God’s mercy. And after the third hour, the patriarch stood up; and Akarias the archbishop stretched out his mitre, and they took the holy epistle of God and found it thus written.”BISA 31.4

    [We will give some extracts from this epistle, partly as a matter of curiosity, and partly to show the credulity of our ancestors, and by what means they were awed into what was to them a new religious observation.]BISA 32.1

    “I, the Lord, who commanded you that ye should observe the Dominical day, and ye have not kept it, and ye have not repented of your sins, as I said by my gospel, heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away; I have caused repentance unto life to be preached unto you, and ye have not believed; I sent pagans against you, who shed your blood, yet ye believed not; and because ye kept not the Dominical day, for a few days ye had famine; but I soon gave you plenty, and afterwards ye did worse: I will again, that none from the ninth hour of the Sabbath until the rising of the sun on Monday, do work any thing unless what is good, which if any do, let him amend by repentance; and if ye be not obedient to this command, Amen, I say unto you, and I swear unto you by my seat, and throne, and cherubim, who keep my holy seat, because I will not change any thing by another epistle; but I will open the heavens, and for rain I will rain upon you stones and logs of wood, and hot water by night, and none may be able to prevent, but that I may destroy all wicked men. This I say unto you, ye shall die the death, because of the Dominical holy day, and other festivals of my saints which ye have not kept. I will send unto you beasts having the heads of lions, the hair of woman, and tails of camels; and they shall be so hunger-starved that they shall devour your flesh, and ye shall desire to flee to the sepulchres of the dead and hide you for fear of the beasts; and I will take away the light of the sun from your eyes; and I will send upon you darkness, that without seeing, ye may kill one another; and I will take away my face from you, and will not show you mercy; for I will burn your bodies and hearts of all who keep not the Dominical holy day. Hear my voice, lest ye perish in the land because of the Dominical holy day. Now know ye, that ye are safe by the prayers of my most holy mother Mary, and of my holy angels who daily pray for you. I gave you the law from Mount Sinai, which ye have not kept. For you I was born into the world, and my festivals ye have not known; the Dominical day of my resurrection ye have not kept; I swear to you by my right hand, unless ye keep the Dominical day and the festivals of my saints, I will send pagans to kill you.”BISA 32.2

    Provided with this new command from heaven, “Eustachius preached in various parts of England against the transgression of the Dominical day, and other festivals; and gave the people absolution upon condition that they hereafter reverence the Dominical day, and the festivals of the saints.” The time appointed as holy, was from the ninth hour on the Sabbath until Monday morning at sunrise. And the people vowed to God, that hereafter they would neither buy nor sell any thing but food on Sunday.BISA 33.1

    “Then,” says Binius, “the enemy of man, envying the admonitions of this holy man, put it into the heart of the king and nobility of England, to command that all who should keep the aforesaid traditions, and chiefly all who had cast down the markets for things vendible upon the Dominical day, should be brought to the king’s court to make satisfaction about observing the Dominical day.” Binius relates many miraculous things that occurred on the Sabbath to those that labored after the ninth hour — i.e. after three o’clock in the afternoon of the seventh day, or Saturday. He says, upon a certain Sabbath, after the ninth hour, a carpenter, for making a wooden pin, was struck with the palsy; and a woman, for knitting on the Sabbath, after the ninth hour, was also struck with the palsy. A man baked bread, and when he broke it to eat, blood came out. Another grinding corn, blood came in a great stream instead of meal, while the wheel of his mill stood still against a vehement impulse of water. Heated ovens refused to bake bread, if heated after the ninth hour of the Sabbath; and dough left unbaked, out of respect to Eustachius’s new doctrine, was found on Monday morning well baked without the aid of fire. These fables were industriously propagated throughout the kingdom; “yet the people,” says Binius, “fearing kingly and human power, more than divine, returned as a dog to his own vomit, to keep markets of saleable things upon the Dominical day.”BISA 33.2

    Mr. Bampfield says, 1Enq. p. 111. “The king and princes of England, inBISA 33.3

    1203, would not agree to change the Sabbath, and keep the first day, by this authority. This was in the time of King John, against whom the popish clergy had a great pique for not honoring their prelacy and the monks, by one of whom he was finally poisoned.”BISA 34.1

    Binius (Councils, Cent. 18) states that King John of England, in 1208, in the tenth year of his reign, for not submitting to popish impositions upon his prerogatives, was excommunicated by the Pope, and his kingdom interdicted, which occasioned so much trouble at home and abroad, that it forced him at last to lay down his crown at the feet of Mandulphus, the Pope’s agent. After he was thus humbled by that excommunication and interdiction, the king, in the fifteenth year of his reign, by writ, removed the market of the city of Exon from Sunday, on which it was held, to Monday. 1Prinn’s Hist. Pope’s Usurpa. part 3, p. 17. The market of Launceston was removed from the first to the fifth day of the week. In the second and third years of Henry III. many other markets were removed from the first to other days of the week, which King John would not permit to be done. 2Bamp. Enq. p. 116. He also issued a writ which permitted the removal of markets from the first day to other days without special license.BISA 34.2

    The parliament of England met on Sundays until the time of Richard II., who adjourned it from that to the following day.BISA 34.3

    In A. D. 1203, “A council was held in Scotland to inaugurate the king, and [concerning] the feast of the Sabbath: and there came also a legate from the Pope, with a sword and purple hat, indulgences and privileges to the young king. It was also there decreed, that Saturday, from the twelfth hour at noon, should be holy.” 3Boethius, B. 13, of Scotland, p. 788. Bamp. Enq. 114. The Magdeburgenses say, this Council was about the observation of the Dominical day newly brought in, and that they ordained that it should be holy from the twelfth hour of Saturday even till Monday. 4Ibid.BISA 34.4

    Binius says, “A synod was held in Oxford, A. D. 1223, by Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, where they determined that the Dominical day be kept with all veneration, and a fast upon the Sabbath. 5Binius, p. 385.BISA 34.5

    The first law of England made for the keeping of Sunday, was in the time of Edward VI., about 1470. “Parliament then passed an act, by which Sunday and many holy days, the feasts of all Saints, of holy Innocents, were established as festivals by law. This provided also, that it should be lawful for husbandmen, laborers, fishermen, and all others in harvest, or any other time of the year when necessity should require, to labor, ride, fish, or do any other kind of work, at their own free will and pleasure, upon any of the said days.” 1Bamp. p. 118.BISA 34.6

    By such means as these, the observation of the first day was gradually but forcibly urged upon the people, wherever they owned allegiance to the Pope as head of the church, and in England and Scotland, as late as the thirteenth century, and the Sabbath was as gradually brought into contempt and disuse.BISA 35.1

    The process by which the change was effected appears to be this: By first obtaining an annual celebration of the first day at the close of the Passover in honor of the resurrection; then a partial observation of the day weekly, it being then generally so observed among the heathen; then obtaining for it the support of civil laws, ecclesiastical canons, and penalties, and by giving it the title of Lord’s day; then by requiring the consecration of the entire day. To abate and ultimately eradicate all respect for the Sabbath, it was first turned into a fast, then it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, resting upon it stigmatized as Judaism and heresy, and the preaching of it called Antichrist; and finally, pronouncing the fourth commandment ceremonial, and abstracting it from the Decalogue. And thus, so far as the Roman church was concerned, the point was gained, and thus probably she performed her part in the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 7:25, “He shall think to change TIMES and LAWS; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”BISA 35.2

    The cause of the Sabbath must also have been seriously affected by the rise of the Ottoman empire in the seventh century, and the success of the Mahometans in conquering the eastern division of the church. Mahomet, as he professed, formed the plan of establishing a new religion; or, as he expressed it, of replanting the only true and ancient one professed by Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the prophets; by destroying idolatry, and weeding out the corruptions which the later Jews and Christians had, as he supposed, introduced. He was equally opposed to both Jews and Christians. To distinguish his disciples the more fully from both, he selected as their day of weekly celebration, the sixth day, or Friday. And thus, as a writer of the seventeenth century remarked, “they and the Romanists crucified the Sabbath, as the Jews and the Romans did the Lord of the Sabbath, between two thieves, the sixth and the first day of the week.”BISA 35.3

    We have thus traced the history of the Sabbath in the Roman church down to the thirteenth century; and we see that through the whole of this period, the seventh day every where retained at least the nominal honor of being called the Sabbath, and that no other day had ever borne that title; and that not until the remarkable letter found on St. Simon’s tomb, had it been asserted by any one that the observation of the first day, Lord’s day, or Sunday, was enjoined by the authority of Jesus or his apostles, nor any example of theirs plead in its favor. Even then it was not pretended that the Scriptures suggest its observation.BISA 36.1

    There are some traces of the Sabbath found among those Christians who separated from the Catholic communion, or were never embraced in it. Among these is the Greek church, which separated from them about the middle of the eleventh century, and had a larger extent of empire than the papists now have. According to Brerewood’s Enquiries, p. 128, this church solemnizes Saturday festivals, and forbids as unlawful to fast on any Saturday except in Lent; retaining the custom followed before their separation. The same author states that the Syrian Christians, who composed a numerous body in the East, celebrate divine worship solemnly on both the Sabbath and first day, continuing the custom of the Roman church at the time they separated from that community. Sandy’s Travels, p. 173, speak of a Christian empire in Ethiopia that celebrate both Saturday and Sunday, “that they have divers errors and many ancient truths.” The Abyssinian Christians are another numerous body, whose principal residence is in the empire of Abyssinia, in Central Ethiopia. They are represented as being similar in some respects to the Papists. Purchase speaks of them as “subject to Peter and Paul, and especially to Christ, as observing the Saturday Sabbath.” 1Purchase’s Pilgrim, part 2, p. 1176. They are also mentioned by Brerewood. Mosheim mentions a sect of Christians in the twelfth century in Lombardy, called Pasaginians, charged with circumcising their followers, and keeping the Jewish Sabbath. Mr. Benedict considers the account of their practicing the bloody right a slander charged on them on account of their keeping the Jewish Sabbath. 2Hist. Bap. v. 2, p. 44. Binius says that in 1555 there were Christians in Rome who kept the Sabbath, and therefore called Sabbatarii, and are represented as differing in other respects from the Romanists. this. He says, “Their doctrines are, as far as the author knows, the doctrines of the Bible. Besides this, they maintain the solemn observation of Christian worship throughout our empire on the seventh day.” 1Researches, p. 160. If the author used the phrase in its usual and Scripture sense, he has added a numerous body of Christians to those who have retained the ancient Sabbath.BISA 36.2

    There has probably not existed a class of Christians since the Apostles’ time, who could more justly claim to be apostolic than the Waldenses, who were formerly a numerous people living in the valleys of Piedmont, whither they retired, says Mr. Burnside, on the promulgation of Constantine’s laws for the observation of the first day, in the fourth century; where they remained, according to Scaliger and Brerewood, in the time of Elizabeth of England, i.e. the latter part of the sixteenth century. 2Burnside on the Sab. p. 108. They adhered firmly to the apostolic faith, and suffered severe persecutions from the Catholics, who were their most bitter enemies. Mr. Robinson, in his History of Baptism, says, “they were called Sabbati and Sabbatati; so named from the Hebrew word Sabbath, because they kept the Saturday for the Lord’s day.” They were also called Insabbatati, because they rejected all the festivals, or Sabbaths, in the low Latin sense of the word. The account the Papists gave of their sentiments in 1250, is briefly this: That they declared themselves to be the apostolic successors, and to have apostolic authority; that they held the church of Rome to be the ‘Whore of Babylon;’ that none of the ordinances of the church which have been introduced since Christ’s ascension, ought to be observed; that baptism is of no advantage to infants, because they cannot actually believe. They reject the sacrament of confirmation, but instead of that, their teachers lay their hands upon their disciples. Mr. Jones says, because they would not observe saints’ days, they were falsely supposed to neglect the Sabbath also. Another of their enemies, an Inquisitor of Rome, charged them with despising all the feasts of Christ and his saints. Another, a Commissioner of Charles 7. of France, reported to him, “that he found among them none of the ceremonies, images nor signs of the Romish church, much less the crimes with which they were charged; on the contrary, they kept the Sabbath day, observed the ordinance of baptism, according to the primitive church, and instructed their children in the articles of the Christian faith and commandments of God. the Waldenses, that they rejected all the traditions and ordinances of the church of Rome as being superstitious and unprofitable, and that they made light of the whole body of clergy and prelates; on which account, having been expelled their country, they dispersed themselves in different places, viz. Piedmont, Calabria, Dauphiny, Provence, Languedoc, Bohemia, England, and elsewhere.” 1Jones’’ Church Hist. p. 844.BISA 37.1

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