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    What day of the week was observed by the Apostles and Primitive Christians?

    The practice of the Apostles and early Christians is justly admitted to have an influence in determining how we should understand and discharge our religious duties. For this reason, the strongest efforts are made to show that they regarded the first day of the week as the Sabbath. But the Scriptures afford no evidence of this. On the contrary, there is the fullest proof that they religiously observed the seventh day — the only day which is called Sabbath in the New Testament. In confirmation of this statement, we notice the distinction that is constantly made in the writings of the Apostles between the Sabbath and the first day of the week. The seventh day is uniformly called the Sabbath, and the first day is mentioned only as such. Had the writers of the New Testament adopted any other day for the Sabbath than the one commonly called by that name, their manner of speaking of these days is both mysterious and deceptive, as it is directly calculated to mislead us respecting a religious duty. No person who regards the first day for the Christian Sabbath, will apply this name to the seventh day; neither will one observing the seventh day, style the first day of the week the Sabbath. The reason is obvious. Such a course would be contrary to his understanding of truth, and it would lead others to misunderstand his sentiments. For this reason the Apostles would not do it.BISA 22.2

    In addition to this custom of calling the seventh day the Sabbath, we find it was the custom of those early Christians to assemble for divine worship on the Sabbath day. The manner in which the Sabbath and the first day following our Lord’s crucifixion were observed, sufficiently proves what the sentiments and practice of the disciples were at that time. It is said of them, that “they rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment,” and on the first day they “traveled and went into the country.” In the 13th chapter of Acts, we are told that Paul and his company went to a place of worship in Antioch on the Sabbath day; and we have a sketch of the sermon preached by Paul on that occasion. By the request of his Gentile hearers, he preached the ext Sabbath, when nearly the whole city came to hear him. In Philippi, Paul and his company, on the Sabbath, resorted to the river side where prayer was wont to be made. At this time Lydia was converted and baptized. In the 18th chapter of Acts, it is said of Paul, who was associated with certain disciples in Corinth, that “he reasoned in the synagogues every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and Greeks;” and this practice he continued in their city a year and a half. At Ephesus, Paul went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews, which is also admitted to have been on the Sabbath day. In Thessalonica, there was a synagogue of the Jews, and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures; Acts 17:2. — These quotations are sufficient to show that the Apostles and primitive Christians observed the ancient Sabbath. In Acts 28:17, Paul, in reply to the slanderous reports of his enemies, declares that he had committed nothing against the customs of the fathers. Now, was it the custom of the fathers to keep the seventh day for the Sabbath? And was it contrary to their custom to keep the first day? If so, then Paul kept the seventh day of the week, and not the first, for the Sabbath. In this thing there was a perfect agreement among all the Christians of the apostolic churches. The Jews, who were ever ready to accuse them, and render them despicable in the eyes of their nation, never upbraided them with a violation of the weekly Sabbath, which with them was a crime worthy of death. These facts are sufficient to prove that the Apostles and their associate Christians religiously observed the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.BISA 22.3

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