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    PART II

    SUNDAY ESTABLISHED IN THE CHURCH BY THE PAPACY

    Now as far as the first proposition is concerned, I think I have done all that I proposed; I have given such proofs, and such an abundance of them, that every candid person must admit that it is clearly proved that the name, origin, authority, and sacredness of the Sunday institution are altogether and only pagan. Thus far there is not a Christian feature about it. With great confidence I approach the examination of the second question, for which the way is so well prepared. But in passing, I will say that I have carefully avoided giving the testimony of anyone who was committed in favor of Sabbath-keeping. Every author quoted was in favor of the Sunday. If ever anybody had a right to feel confident in his position, we surely have in regard to the assertion that the Sunday is, in every feature, a heathen institution.OGSO 29.2

    Is the institution of Sunday, as a church festival, or day of Christian observance, of Papal origin? In other words, did the Papacy set up the Sunday in the church as a substitute for the Sabbath of the Lord?OGSO 30.1

    Let it be understood that when we speak of the Papacy, or of the Papal power, we refer, not to the Popes merely, but to that church system of which the Pope was the head. In the quotation given on page 9, there is found a careless expression which ought to be noticed, lest the reader be misled to take a wrong view of our position. The writer says: “They claim it as an actual historical fact that ... the Pope did change the Sabbath to Sunday.” And, “the only proof offered is simply quotations from Catholic catechisms.” But Catholic catechisms never claim that the Pope changed the Sabbath to Sunday. They always declare that the church changed the Sabbath; and it is known to everyone who has any knowledge of these matters, that the legislative power of the church lay in the councils. True, the Pope was the head of the church, and as such he had great influence in the action of the councils. His headship grew out of the primacy which was settled upon the bishop of Rome by the first general Council of Nicæa, A. D. 325. The primacy was given to the bishop of Rome as bishop of the imperial city; but the Popes, in general letters or declarations of the faith, gave the decisions of the councils as their authority. And this was the recognized relative position that the Popes and councils maintained toward each other as long as the emperors convened the councils. Instances are not wanting of the “Christian emperors” giving effect to the decrees of the councils, in imitation of Constantine, who confirmed the acts of the Council of Nicæa. That church, that hierarchy, of which the bishop of Rome was primate, and of which he became the head or sovereign pontiff through the acts of its councils, confirmed by the Popes and emperors, changed the Sabbath to Sunday. This is exactly what they claim, and all history attests that their claim is just, as I propose to show.OGSO 30.2

    It is easy to see where the advocates of Sunday fail to apprehend the truth on this point. Their failure no doubt lies right here: they do not appreciate the fact that almost everything that is attributed to the Catholic Church, and can be traced to no other source, is more or less veiled in obscurity as to its origin. I invite them to take up in order the institutions which are attributed to the Papacy, and show the precise or exact origin of each. For instance: Do they believe that the Popes of Rome ever exercised civil power? They must answer in the affirmative. Will they inform us when and where that power was conferred, or how they took that power? And if they cannot clearly and satisfactorily do that, will they therefore deny that the Popes ever exercised that power? or will they assert that their power must be of divine origin? A Catholic work now before me, entitled, “Pope Pius IX,” and published “with the approbation of the Lord Bishop of Beverly” (Sadlier, New York), speaking of this, says:-OGSO 31.1

    “And now we approach a most important topic-the rise of the temporal power of the Popes. There is this which plainly marks it as the gradual, silent work of God: No one can point with precision and certainty to the precise time when it did rise.... It grew as the trees grow from the soil. You cannot say when the acorn first bursts its shell and the lordly oak springs forth. Tell me whence the broad river draws its waters; tell me of all the streams, all the little rivulets and fountains, that feed it, and I will then tell you every source which gave rise to the temporal sovereignty of the Popes. Like everything natural, everything providential, we can only catch indications of it here and there, in the days of its infancy, for I speak of times long before Charlemagne.”OGSO 32.1

    Very few of the dogmas called Papal can be traced to their origin. As seen above, the Catholics base their claim on this fact, that you cannot mark their origin, that, being believed or practiced so early, they must have been derived from the apostles. This is exactly the popular argument for Sunday. But Archbishop Whately drew an argument against them from this very fact; inasmuch as the Scriptures thoroughly furnish the man of God to all good works, if these dogmas were of divine institution we could easily trace them to their divine origin-to the word of God. It matters not a whit who or how many kept Sunday, or how near to the time of the apostles it was kept. Did God command it? do the Scriptures thoroughly furnish us with proofs for its observance? Lacking this, it lacks everything that is required to make it a Christian ordinance.OGSO 32.2

    I do not make these remarks because they apply particularly to the Sunday; I do not admit that it stands with the other Papal institutions, veiled in even comparative obscurity. In this respect it has a prominence all its own-it can be traced to the Papal power without the least shadow cast upon the evidence. I am confident that I can point out the two springs which, more than all others, gave rise to the baleful stream of temporal church power. But I have called attention to the obscurity of the origin of Papal dogmas, solely to show that the advocates of Sunday are inconsistent and unreasonable in their claim; they ask for the Sunday what they cannot begin to give for other institutions which they freely admit are of Papal origin. Fortunately, we can meet their most unreasonable demand with full and sufficient proof, as I shall now show.OGSO 32.3

    The reader will bear witness that the origin of the Sunday as a day of rest from labor, has been clearly shown; it is only pagan. We have now to consider its authority as a church institution. I shall show that the Papacy took it up from the hands of the emperors, and strictly enforced its observance, and took most effective steps to suppress and utterly abolish the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath. It is claimed that on this point we depend entirely on the catechisms of the Catholic Church; that after 200 years of searching, Sabbath-keepers have not been able to find an item of reliable history to prove their position and to justify their faith. We shall let facts show the falsity of this charge.OGSO 33.1

    Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, was the first to speak of the transfer of the honors and duties of the Sabbath to Sunday. Let the reader carefully note this important fact. His words are as follows:-OGSO 33.2

    “And all things whatsoever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these, we have transferred to the Lord’s day, as more appropriately belonging to it, because it has the precedence, and is first in rank, and more honorable than the Jewish Sabbath.”-Commentary on Psalm 92.OGSO 34.1

    I cannot give the room for all the notice that this first Sunday-sabbath testimony deserves. The Lord in his own institution doubtless knew best to which day the duties were most appropriate, and which day was most honorable. See Isaiah 58:13. In this transaction the pronoun “we” cuts a great figure-much greater than it will be able to maintain in the day when God shall bring every work into judgment on the authority of his commandments. Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Romans 2:12, 16. Eusebius did not intend to disparage the transfer of Sabbath obligation; he was the obsequious flatterer of Constantine, and fully coincided with his decree in favor of the venerable day of the sun; and he never failed to speak in a manner to tickle the vanity of his royal patron. He spoke the exact truth in regard to the transfer. That the church took it up and united with the emperors in enforcing its observance, Dr. Heylyn, a historian of undisputed veracity and of unbounded research, testifies thus:-OGSO 34.2

    “And as the day of rest from labors, and restraint from business upon that day, it received its greatest strength from the supreme magistrate as long as he retained that power which to him belongs; as after from the canons and decrees of councils, the decretals of Popes and orders of particular prelates, when the sole managing of ecclesiastical affairs was committed to them.”-History of the Sabbath, Part 2, chap. 3, sec. 12.OGSO 34.3

    Bearing in mind that it has been fully proved that the decree of Constantine was the first authority for Sunday rest, I ask if here is not a most important item of reliable history in proof of our position? Of the times more than a century later than Constantine, Heylyn speaks thus of the building up of this institution:-OGSO 34.4

    “The faithful, being united better than before, became more uniform in matters of devotion; and in that uniformity did agree together to give the Lord’s day all the honors of an holy festival. Yet was not this done all at once, but by degrees, the fifth and sixth centuries being well-nigh spent before it came into that height which hath since continued. The emperors and the prelates in these times had the same affections, being earnest to advance this day above all other; and to the edicts of the one, and ecclesiastical constitutions of the other, it stands indebted for many of those privileges and exemptions which it still enjoyeth.”-History of the Sabbath, Part 2, chap. 4, sec. 1.OGSO 35.1

    One of the most effectual means of degrading the Sabbath, and of exalting the Sunday above it, in the feelings and practice of the people, was to make the Sabbath a fast-day, and to forbid fasting on the Sunday. A rigidly enforced fast is always burdensome to any people; and while the Sabbath was made a gloomy day to them, everything was done that could be, to make the Sunday a day of personal enjoyment. It is easy to tell which day would become the popular one, under such circumstances. This was the course pursued by the governors of the church, as all historians testify. It was a shrewd step in the direction of an entire change of the day of Sabbath observance. But it was not by any one step that this change was brought about. Nor was it a brief work. As the historian says, it was not done all at once, but by degrees. Dr. Hase in his “Church History” (Part 1, div. 2, A. D. 100-312, sec. 69) thus testifies:-OGSO 35.2

    “The Roman Church regarded Saturday as a fast-day, in direct opposition to those who regarded it as a Sabbath. Sunday remained a joyful festival, in which all fasting and worldly business was avoided as much as possible, but the original commandment of the decalogue respecting the Sabbath was not then applied to that day.”OGSO 36.1

    This practice, “in direct opposition to those who regarded it as a Sabbath,” was altogether of Rome. The Eastern churches long refused to comply with this order, as Dr. Heylyn testifies:-OGSO 36.2

    “In this difference it stood a long time together, till in the end the Roman Church obtained the cause, and Saturday became a fast almost through all parts of the Western world. I say the Western world, and of that alone, the Eastern churches being so far from altering their ancient custom that in the sixth council of Constantinople, A. D. 692, they did admonish those of Rome to forbear fasting on that day, upon pain of censure.”-History of the Sabbath, Part 2, chap. 2, sec. 3.OGSO 36.3

    But Rome prevailed. It was decreed by the Council of Nicæa, and confirmed by Constantine, that “the primacy should remain with Rome;” and, though the Eastern churches long resisted the usurpations of the Roman bishops, this decree was never reversed, and the emperors were diligent to see that it was enforced. As long as the primacy of Rome was acknowledged, and maintained by the emperors, of course the faith promulgated by Rome was “Catholic,” and all dissenters were heretics, to be punished with anathemas from the church, and more immediate penalties by the emperors. The action of Justinian, who fully established the supremacy of the Pope (John 2.), is proof as strong as any can require, that the emperors stood at nothing that could make effective the Roman faith. The following is from Bower’s “History of the Popes,” vol. 1, p. 334:-OGSO 36.4

    “While the Arian king was striving by the most just and equitable laws to clear the church from all simony in the West, the Catholic emperor was employing the most unjust and unchristian means of clearing her from all heresies in the East, that of persecution, and the most cruel persecution any Christian emperor had yet set on foot or countenanced. For by an edict which he issued to unite all men in one faith, whether Jews, Gentiles, or Christians, such as did not, in the space of three months, embrace and profess the Catholic faith, were declared infamous, and, as such, excluded from all employments, both civil and military, rendered incapable of leaving anything by will, and their estates confiscated, whether real or personal. These were convincing arguments of the truth of the Catholic faith; but many, however, withstood them; and against such as did, the imperial edict was executed with the utmost rigor. Great numbers were driven from their habitations with their wives and children, stripped and naked.”OGSO 37.1

    Such were the means by which people came to the unity of the faith in the early church. It must be borne in mind that Justinian and other emperors did not declare any faith,-they simply enforced the faith which had been declared by the Catholic bishops and councils. And what was the declared faith and practice of the Catholic Church, in regard to the Sabbath and Sunday, in the time of this inhuman conduct of Justinian? Leo the Great was made Pope a little less than a century before Justinian’s execrable action in behalf of the church. Of Leo, “McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia” says:-OGSO 37.2

    “Leo 1., saint and Pope, surnamed The Great, noted as the real founder of the Papacy.”OGSO 38.1

    He was the real founder of the Papacy in this sense, that he did more than all his predecessors to subject all the churches to the authority of the Roman bishops; and Bower represents his course, in the accomplishment of this purpose, as dishonorable, unscrupulous, utterly unworthy of anyone bearing the name of a Christian. But it is enough that he put forth every effort to establish the Papacy that he should be sainted; it is this that covers all sins in their estimation. The character and position of Leo cannot but be appreciated in connection with the upbuilding of the Sunday institution. The Bibliotheca Sacra has an article on the subject of the change of Sabbath, written by Rev. L. Coleman, author of “Ancient Christianity Exemplified.” In this article he speaks as follows:-OGSO 38.2

    “The reasons for keeping the first day in preference to the seventh have been already stated from Justin Martyr. They are more fully explained by Leo the Great, of the fifth century. On this day the world had its origin. On the same day, through the resurrection of Christ, death came to an end, and life began. It was upon this day also that the apostles were commissioned by the Lord to preach the gospel to every creature, and to offer to all the world the blessings of salvation. On the same day came Christ into the midst of his disciples, and breathed upon them, saying, Receive the Holy Ghost. And finally, on this day the Holy Ghost was shed upon the apostles. So that we see as it were an ordinance from Heaven evidently set before us, showing that on this day, on which all the gifts of God’s grace have been vouchsafed, we ought to celebrate the solemnities of Christian worship.”-Vol. 1, pp. 533, 534.OGSO 38.3

    This expression of Pope Leo is, indeed, a very important document-important because of the position of the author; of the influence he exerted over the church, which, as we here see, is not lost even to the present day; important as most fully explaining the reasons for keeping Sunday, not one of which the Scriptures ever noticed; important as an example, showing how an ordinance from Heaven can be deduced from a Papal “as it were.” And if such respect is paid to these words of Pope Leo the Great, in this century, by a leading Protestant publication in America, what must have been their influence, their force, when Leo had supreme control over the faith of Christendom, and was backed by the authority of the emperors? In the entire absence of evidence from the Scriptures, in favor of the Sunday institution, what can we think of the knowledge or frankness of a man who will affirm that not an item of history can be produced to show that the Papacy changed the Sabbath?OGSO 38.4

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