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    CANDID SUNDAY HISTORY

    I will draw the subject to a close by giving a summary of the historical points compiled from a recently-written history:-OGSO 90.1

    “The Sunday is not mentioned by this name in the Old Testament, neither has the day under name of the first day of the week in that book received any prominent place; and it was not appointed a rest-day at all through any law before the year a. d. 321. The old name of the day, which was afterward christened, is the day of the sun; yet this name does not originate from the creation of the sun, since the sun was made on the fourth day of creation.OGSO 90.2

    “At the dawn of creation it introduces the week, but the account does not give it any higher rank than the other days.... Our Sunday meets us from the very beginning as a common day. With the last day of the week, the seventh, it is somewhat different. Of this it is said with emphasis: ‘And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 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.’OGSO 90.3

    “The day of our Lord’s resurrection is indeed a commemorative day, which will never be forgotten or passed by in his church; but from this-as one may think-it does not follow that we should give up the Sabbath, which God himself has ordained, and plainly pointed out at creation, nor that we should move it unto any other day of the week, because that day is a commemorative day. To do this we need just as plain a commandment of God declaring that the first day [that is, the original Sabbath] is repealed. But where do we find such a commandment? It is true that no such a commandment is found.OGSO 90.4

    “In the laws of the State we afterward find the prohibition against Sunday work further and further extended, and the people threatened with more and more punishment if they disregard it. Besides the giving of laws, we also find a new theological doctrine concerning Sunday: that Sunday-keeping is founded on the Sabbath-keeping which God ordained through Moses. Yet this doctrine does not seem through all the sixth century to have become a definite dogma in the church.OGSO 90.5

    “If we try now to collect that which may be learned from history concerning Sunday and the development of Sunday-keeping, then the sum is this: Neither the apostles nor the first Christians nor the ancient councils have marked the Sunday with the name and mark of the Sabbath, but the church and scholastic doctors of the Middle Ages have done this.OGSO 91.1

    “1. That Sunday is not the Sabbath of the Old Testament, and that this is not the common belief in the Christian church; but it is rather a mistaken idea, that the Sabbath should be changed from the seventh to the first day of the week.OGSO 91.2

    “2. That keeping Sunday with rest from labor and divine worship, has not by the most renowned ancient Fathers been founded on the Sabbath of the Old Testament, neither reference to the Sabbath of the Old Testament entered into the confession of the church before the sixth century after Christ.OGSO 91.3

    “3. That this doctrine first arose in the Papal Church,-that Sunday-keeping is commanded in the third commandment, and that the essential and prominent part of this commandment is a decree from God, to wit, to keep a holy day once a week.”OGSO 91.4

    Some may question the correctness of the statement here made, that the doctrine that the fourth commandment requires a seventh part of time, and is so far moral, and not the particular day, which was ceremonial, had its origin in the Catholic Church. Coleman says that Dr. Bound was the first to promulgate this doctrine, in a book published in 1595. But Coleman was certainly incorrect in this, for the same doctrine was taught by Thomas Aquinas more than three centuries before Dr. Bound, and Dr. Heylyn attributed it to the schoolmen of the Middle Ages. It is found distinctly stated in the Catholic catechism entitled, “Abridgement of Christian Doctrine.” There is no room for just doubt that they who argue thus-and the majority of Protestant Sunday-keepers do so argue-are following the lead of the Papal doctors. When this writer says that the Sunday is not the Sabbath of the Old Testament, he means that it is not required by, or does not grow out of, the Sabbath commandment in the Old Testament.OGSO 91.5

    From the decided tone and substance of the above extracts, it may be thought that I have now entered upon a new line, and given the conclusion and the summary of some advocate of the seventh-day Sabbath. But not so. The expression “our Sunday” shows its origin. This is copied from a work, “History of Sunday,” by Rev. A. Grimlund, lately a Lutheran bishop of Norway. And the work itself was written to counteract the influence of Sabbath teachers, and to vindicate the action of the church in retaining a practice so well established by custom. Why, then, if such was his object, did he give such an overwhelming testimony against the Sunday, and so strongly vindicate the Sabbath? In return, I ask, How can anyone give a genuine history of Sunday and do otherwise? All honest historians-and of such I take Rev. Grimlund to be one-are compelled by the facts of the Bible and of history to defend the Sabbath and to condemn the Sunday. Their theological opinions and associations may lead in another direction; their choice might be of another conclusion; but that other conclusion they can never reach by any fair treatment of the Bible and of history. In their cases we are reminded of the prophecy of Balaam. He started out to serve the king of Moab, and to curse Israel; but the Spirit of God turned it into a blessing. Balaam, though his heart was not in union with the message of the Lord, was not yet entirely left of the Lord to follow his own way. And so of these: they are not in sympathy with the commandment of God; they start out to serve the Sunday; but the truth of God turns their witness into a vindication of the Sabbath. And I here state it as my firm conviction that when an individual who has ever been instructed in the truth on this subject, can no longer find evidence in the Bible to support the Sabbath of the Lord, and can find evidence in history to uphold Sunday, it is because the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of truth, has left him to his own way, to walk in the way of his own heart’s devisings.OGSO 92.1

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