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    As the first day of the week is now almost universally observed in the place of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, we design in this article to examine the ground on which this observance rests. It is an injunction of the New Testament, that we “prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” This precept we shall attempt to follow in this investigation. Those who are willing to submit their opinions to the test of scripture and reason, are invited to unite with us in the examination of this subject. If the first day of the week is the Sabbath of the New Testament, and the Rest-day of the Christian church, that fact will appear in all its strength, if the sacred record is examined. But if there is no divine authority for the change of the Sabbath, then the observance of the first day, in the place of the Sabbath of the Lord, must be regarded as a tradition of the elders which makes void the commandments of God.RCSK 3.1

    This subject is not taken up for the benefit of such as do not believe in any Sabbath. Other portions of truth must be presented in order to benefit such. But those who do believe in a Sabbath, yet observe a different day from that enjoined in the commandment, may be benefited by an examination of their reasons for this. Papists believe that their church had power to change the Sabbath, and, on that authority alone, they are perfectly satisfied in observing the first day. Protestants deny the authority of the Romish church, and consequently, attempt to vindicate the change by an appeal to the Bible. This is what we desire them to do. We cannot better weigh the testimony in favor of a change of the Sabbath, than by introducing the Sabbath commandment, which is supposed has been changed.RCSK 3.2

    “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11. This precept, which states the will of God in plain and explicit language, requires us to remember and keep holy, not the day on which God began to labor, but the day of his rest, which he blessed and hallowed. As the commandment is now exactly reversed by the great mass of the professed church, and that too when the majority suppose that they are observing the commandment, we inquire for the authority on which this practice rests.RCSK 4.1

    One of three things is indispensable to those who would prove the change of the Sabbath. 1. One plain statement that God has changed the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. 2. Or a single statement that God has blessed, hallowed and sanctified the first day of the week. 3. Or a single commandment to keep the first day holy as a Sabbath unto the Lord. The reasonableness of this must be apparent to every one. For a plain commandment from the Lord of hosts, can only be changed by an explicit, divine statement authorizing such change. And as the God of heaven has blessed and sanctified his Rest-day, no human authority may presume to choose in its stead another day, and require that that day be observed, unless the Lord himself shall transfer his blessing to that day and command that it be kept holy. These truths are self-evident. But how many of the above particulars do the advocates of this change claim! They do not claim one of them! They do not claim that there is one statement in the Bible that the Sabbath has been changed. They do not claim that there is a single testimony in the Scriptures, that God has ever blessed and sanctified the first day of the week. Nor do they claim that there is one precept in the Volume of inspiration which commands us to observe the first and keep it holy. But what authority, then, do they show for changing the Sabbath! Not a particle of direct testimony, as we have already seen. However, they have several inferences which they think make the subject very plain.RCSK 4.2

    1. Redemption is greater than creation; therefore we ought to keep the day of Christ’s resurrection, instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.RCSK 5.1

    Where has God said this? Nothing of the kind is found in either Testament! Who, then, knows that this is according to truth! Those only, who are wise above what is written. Is not that act by which God formed the world out of nothing, infinitely beyond our conception! Certainly, nothing but infinite power could create the universe; and finite man must be a poor judge of how much creation is exceeded by redemption. But admitting that redemption is greater than creation, who knows that we ought to keep the first day of the week on that account! Has God said that we should? No, never. God has not said that we should keep any day to commemorate redemption. But if it were duty to observe any day for this reason, most certainly the crucifixion day presents the strongest claims. It is not said that we have redemption through Christ’s resurrection, but it is said that we have redemption through his blood. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7. See Colossians 1:14. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9. See Hebrews 9:12, 15.RCSK 5.2

    Then redemption is through the death of the Lord Jesus. Consequently the day on which he shed his precious blood to redeem us and said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30,) is the day that should be observed as a memorial of redemption, if any one day should be observed for that purpose. Nor can it be plead that the resurrection day is the most remarkable day in the history of the church. It needs but a word to prove that it is far exceeded in this respect, by the day of the crucifixion. Which is the most remarkable event, that God should give his beloved Son to die for a face of rebels, or that he should raise that beloved Son from the dead? Every one must acknowledge, that while it is an event of a most wonderful character that God should give his only Son to die for guilty man, it is not a wonderful thing, that he should raise that beloved Son from the dead. Then the crucifixion day has far greater claims than the day of the resurrection. But God has not enjoined the observance of either. And how shameful it is to make void the fourth commandment by wisdom that is folly in the sight of God. 1 Corinthians 1:19, 20.RCSK 5.3

    If we would commemorate the events of redemption, no necessity exists that we should destroy the holy Sabbath in order to do it. God has provided us with memorials bearing his own signature; and these we may observe with the blessing of Heaven. Would you commemorate the death of our Lord! Then heed the following: “For I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.RCSK 6.1

    Would you commemorate the burial and resurrection of the Saviour! The following scriptures teach us the will of God in this: “Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death! Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12.RCSK 6.2

    We have now examined the argument for a change of the Sabbath from the supposed superiority of the work of redemption over that of creation. As it is not found in the Bible, it can only occupy the rank of a cunningly devised fable. Can such an argument be deemed sufficient authority for the open desecration of the fourth commandment!RCSK 6.3

    2. But the disciples met on the day of our Lord’s resurrection, to commemorate that event, and the Saviour sanctioned this meeting by uniting with them.RCSK 6.4

    Were every word of this true, it would then amount only to a very slender inference that the Sabbath was changed. But to show the utter fallacy of this inference, we will agree to prove that they did not at that time believe that he had been raised from the dead; but were assembled for the purpose of eating supper, and secluding themselves from the Jews. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” John 20:19. “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven, as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief, and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” Mark 16:14. Then it is a fact that the disciples were not engaged in commemorating the resurrection of the Saviour, for they did not believe that that event had taken place. Certain it is that the disciples did not entertain the most distant idea of a change of the Sabbath. At the burial of the Saviour the women who had followed him, prepared spices and ointments to embalm him; the Sabbath drew on; they “rested the Sabbath-day according to the commandment;” and when the Sabbath was past, they came to the sepulchre upon the first day, to embalm Jesus. Luke 23:53-56; 24:1. Then there is not even a plausible inference, in this case, for perverting the fourth commandment. The disciples kept the Sabbath according to that precept, and resumed their labor upon the first day of the week.RCSK 6.5

    3. But after eight days Jesus again met with the disciples, (John 20:26,) and this must have been upon the first day of the week.RCSK 7.1

    Were it certain that this occurred upon the first day of the week, it would be very slight evidence that that day had become the Sabbath; for there is not even an intimation of the kind. But who knows that “after eight days” means just a week! Certainly it would be nearer the literal construction of the language to conclude that this was upon the ninth day. As an illustration, read Matthew 17:1. “And after six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James and John,” etc. Now turn to Luke 9:28. “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter, and John and James,” etc. Then after six days is about eight days. But if after eight days means just a week, it would then bring this appearing of Christ upon the second day of the week. For the week must be reckoned from the evening, at the close of the first day, (John 20:19,) and the day itself closes at six o’clock. As the day was far spent when the two disciples were at Emmaus, [Luke 24,] and as they returned to Jerusalem, a distance of seven and a half miles, before Christ appeared to the assembled disciples; [Mark 16:12-14;] it is evident that Christ’s first appearing to the eleven [Luke 24:33-36] must have been in the evening which followed the first day, and with which the second day commenced! But granting that Christ’s appearing on this occasion was actually upon the first day of the week, would that appearing make a Sabbath of the day! The appearing of Christ is sufficient to constitute a day a Sabbath, or it is not. If it is sufficient, then the fishing day on which he next showed himself to his disciples, and on which he miraculously aided them to take fish, was a Sabbath! John 21. But if it was not sufficient to constitute the day of its occurrence a Sabbath, then his appearing to several of his disciples on the first day of the week, and to all of them on the Thursday of his ascension, (Acts 1,) did not cause those days to become Sabbaths. If it be asked, how the disciples could be found together, (John 20:26,) unless they had some special object, we answer, that they had one common abode, as may be learned from Acts 1:13. Who can help regretting that such reasons as we have examined, should be deemed sufficient authority for violating one of the ten commandments? But are there no other and better arguments for the change of the Sabbath than those which have been examined? We answer, there are several other reasons urged as proof of this. Whether they are better than those we have already examined, we shall soon learn.RCSK 7.2

    4. The Holy Ghost descended upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, which was the first day of the week. Therefore the first day of the week is the Christian Sabbath. Acts 2:1, 2.RCSK 8.1

    One can hardly refrain from feelings of indignation that grave Doctors of Divinity should found their first-day Sabbath upon such a basis as this. The disciples had been engaged in earnest prayer for ten days. For the day of Pentecost was fifty days from the day of Christ’s resurrection, and forty of those days, the Saviour spent with his disciples. Acts 1:3. Forty days from the resurrection day would end on Thursday, the day of his ascension. A period of ten days after the ascension on Thursday, would include two first days. If the design of God had been to honor the first day of the week, why did not the Holy Ghost descend upon the first of those first days? Why must the day of Pentecost come before the Holy Spirit could descend! The answer is obvious. It was not the design of Heaven to honor the first day of the week, but to mark the antitype of the feast of Pentecost. The slaying of the paschal lamb, on the fourteenth day of the first month, had met its antitype in the death of the Lamb of God, on that day. Exodus 12; John 16; 1 Corinthians 5:7. The offering of the first fruits, on the sixteenth day of the first month, had met its antitype in the resurrection of our Lord on that day, the first-fruits of them that slept. Leviticus 23; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23. It remained that the feast of Pentecost, fifty days later, should also have its fulfillment. Leviticus 23:15-21. The fulfillment of this type is what the pen of inspiration has here recorded. As God has spoken nothing in this place respecting a change of the Sabbath, those who contend that he has, are cited to Proverbs 30:6. “And thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”RCSK 8.2

    5. Paul once broke bread upon the first day of the week. Therefore the first day of the week is the Christian Sabbath. Acts 20:7.RCSK 9.1

    We answer, that at one period the apostolic church at Jerusalem broke bread every day. Acts 2:42-46. Hence, according to this view, every day of the week is a Christian Sabbath! If a single instance of breaking bread at Troas, upon the first day of the week, was quite sufficient to constitute it a Sabbath, would not the continued practice of the apostolic church in breaking bread every day, be amply sufficient to make every day a Sabbath? Moreover, as the act of the Great head of the church in breaking bread must be quite as important as that of his servant Paul, must not the day of the crucifixion be pre-eminently the Christian Sabbath, as Christ instituted, and performed this ordinance on the evening with which that day commenced? 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. And as the breaking of bread commemorates the crucifixion of our Lord, and not his resurrection, would not the crucifixion day be as appropriate for the breaking of bread, as the resurrection day?RCSK 9.2

    But on what day of the week did this act of Paul occur? For if it is of sufficient importance to make the day of its occurrence the future Sabbath of the Church, the day is worth determining. The act of breaking bread was after midnight. For Paul preached to the disciples until midnight; then healed Eutychus; then attended to breaking the bread. Verses 7-11. If, as time is reckoned at the present day, the first day of the week terminated at midnight, then Paul’s act of breaking bread took place upon the second day of the week, which should henceforth be regarded as the Christian Sabbath, if breaking bread on a day makes it a Sabbath. But if the Bible method of commencing the day, viz: from six o’clock P.M. was followed, it would appear that the disciples came together at the close of the Sabbath for an evening meeting, as the Apostle was to depart in the morning. Paul preached until midnight, and then broke bread with the disciples early in the morning of the first day of the week. Did this constitute that day the Sabbath! If so, then why did Paul, as soon as it was light, start on his long journey to Jerusalem? If Paul believed it to be the Christian Sabbath, why did he violate it? If he did not believe it to be sacred time, why should you? This text affords direct proof that the first day of the week is not the Sabbath. And it is indeed quite remarkable that this single instance of religious worship on the first day, should be urged as proof that the Sabbath of the Lord has been changed, while this same book gives the account of religious worship on at least eighty-four Sabbaths. Acts 13:14, 44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4, 11.RCSK 10.1

    6. Paul commanded the church at Corinth to take up a collection on the first day of the week. Therefore the Sabbath must have been changed to that day. 1 Corinthians 16:2.RCSK 10.2

    The readiness with which men grasp at every thing that can be made to support this first-day Sabbath, may be seen in the use made of this text. It is first claimed that Paul commanded a public collection on that day, and then it is inferred that He, who once commanded that we remember and keep holy the day of his rest, had now changed his mind and would have us remember and keep holy the day on which he began to labor. But it is a remarkable fact that Paul enjoins exactly the reverse of a public collection. He does not say “Place your alms in the public treasury on the first day of the week;” but he says, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store.” The text, therefore, does not prove that the Corinthian church was assembled for public worship on that day, but on the contrary, it does prove that each must be at his own home, where he could examine his worldly affairs, and lay by himself in store as God has prospered him. If each one should thus, from week to week, collect of his earnings, when the Apostle should come, their bounty would be ready, and each would be able to present to him what they had gathered. The method of giving, enjoined in the New Testament, is the reverse of a public contribution. “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; that thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:3, 4. This humble, unostentatious method of giving alms in secret, was what Paul enjoined upon the Corinthians. So that if the first-day Sabbath has no better foundation than the inference drawn from this text, it truly rests upon sand.RCSK 10.3

    7. John was in the Spirit upon the Lord’s day, which is the first day of the week. Revelation 1:10.RCSK 11.1

    It is peculiarly unfortunate for the advocates of a change of the Sabbath, that in every instance they are obliged to assume the very point which they ought to prove. This text is clear proof that there is a day in the gospel dispensation which the Lord claims as his. But is there one text in the Book of God that testifies that the first day of the week is the Lord’s day! There is not one. Has God ever claimed the day as his! Never. Has God ever claimed any day as his, and reserved it to himself? He has. “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:3. “To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord thy God.” Exodus 16:23. “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:10. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable,” etc. Isaiah 58:13. “Therefore, the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:28. Then the seventh day is the day which God reserved to himself, when he gave to man the other six; and this day he calls his holy day. This is the day which the New Testament designates the Son of man as Lord of. Is there one testimony in the Scriptures that the Lord of the Sabbath has put away his holy day and chosen another! Not one. Then that day which the Bible designates as the Lord’s day, is none other than the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.RCSK 11.2

    We see, therefore, that there is no authority for the change of the Sabbath; hence, those who believe in a Sabbath, must either resort to the so-called Christian Fathers for proof of the change, or they must observe the Sabbath according to the commandment. The history of the change will be given hereafter. But we now ask, what right have the elders of the Christian church to change the fourth commandment, any more than the elders of the Jewish church had to change the fifth! The Pharisees pretended that they had a tradition handed down from Moses, which authorized them to change the fifth commandment; the Papist and Protestant Doctor of Divinity pretend that they have a tradition handed down from Christ and the apostles, authorizing them to change the fourth. But if Christ rebuked the Pharisees for holding a damnable heresy, what would he not say to the like act on the part of his own professed follows! Matthew 15:3-9. And further, if we allow the Fathers to corrupt the fourth commandment, must we not also admit their right to corrupt all the ordinances of the News Testament! And as they have established purgatory, invocation of saints, the worship of the virgin Mary, etc., must we not receive those also?RCSK 12.1

    The Protestant professes to receive the Bible alone as his standard of faith and practice. The Papist receives the Bible and the tradition of the Fathers as his rule. The Protestant cannot prove the change of the Sabbath from his own standard, (the Bible,) therefore he is, on this point, obliged to adopt that of the Papist. viz: the Bible as explained and corrupted by the Fathers. The change of the Sabbath is proved by Papists as follows:RCSK 12.2

    “Ques. What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday, preferably to the ancient Sabbath which was the Saturday?RCSK 12.3

    “Ans. We have for it the authority of the Catholic Church, and apostolic tradition.RCSK 12.4

    “Q. Does the Scripture any where command the Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?RCSK 13.1

    “A. The Scripture commands us to hear the Church, (Matthew 18:17; 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. 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. Luke also speaks of the disciples meeting together to break bread on the first day of the week. Acts 20:7. And 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.RCSK 13.2

    “Q. What was the reason why the weekly Sabbath was changed from the Saturday to the Sunday?RCSK 13.3

    “A. Because our Lord fully accomplished the work of our redemption by rising from the dead on a Sunday, and by sending down the Holy Ghost on a Sunday; as therefore the work of our redemption was a greater work than that of our creation, the primitive church thought the day on which this work was completely finished, was more worthy her religious observation than that in which God rested from the creation, and should be properly called the Lord’s day.”—Catholic Christian Instructed. Chapter xxiii.RCSK 13.4

    This testimony from the “Right Rev. Dr. Challoner,” shows conclusively that the fourth commandment, which the New Testament has never changed, has been corrupted by the Romish Church. And in this testimony we find the authority of the Protestant church for saying that the commandment was changed because redemption was greater than creation.RCSK 13.5

    We have seen that there is no divine authority for the change of the Sabbath, and that the various arguments urged in its behalf are totally destitute of foundation in the word of God. And we here see that the principal of these arguments were invented by the church of Rome. The change of the Sabbath, therefore, rests upon the Papal church. Those who despise the Lord’s Sabbath, and in its stead honor the Sabbath of the Romish church, virtually acknowledge that the Papal apostasy is above God and able to change his times and laws. Daniel 7:25; 2 Thessalonians 2.RCSK 13.6

    Those who believe in a change of the Sabbath of the Lord, should look at these facts: The Sabbath of the Lord means the Rest-day of the Lord. Six days the Almighty wrought in the work of creation. The seventh day he rested from all his work. The Sabbath, or Rest-day of the Lord, is, therefore, a definite day, which can no more be changed to one of the days upon which God wrought, than the resurrection day can be changed to one of the days upon which Christ did not rise, or the crucifixion day be changed to one of the six days of the week upon which Christ was not crucified. Hence, it is as impossible to change the Rest-day of the Lord, as it is to change the crucifixion day, or the day of the resurrection.RCSK 14.1

    To all who read this article we submit one question: Must it not be sinful in the sight of Heaven for men to change the Sabbath of the Lord, for another day, and then steal that commandment which guards the holy Sabbath, to enforce the observance of that new day!RCSK 14.2

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