Spain, Portugal and Italy adopted the new calendar at once. France waited until December of that year. Half of Germany adopted it in 1583, the other half waited until 1700. About that time the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark adopted the new calendar also. England did not accept it until 1752. But all through those years, when it was Saturday in Spain it was Saturday in England. The NUMBERS or DATES of the month were different, but the DAYS of the week remained the same.
Astronomers tell us that there has never been any change in the weekly cycle. Historians tell us the same thing. The most learned reference books and encyclopedias in the world agree with this. The week has never changed. The unchangeable nature of the Sabbath is even proven by the languages of mankind. Dr. William Mead Jones of London, England analyzed 160 ancient and modern languages--and found that 108 of them call the seventh day of the week the "Sabbath." This is three out of five of the known languages of mankind! (We have printed a chart of the week showing these language versions. Email us your postal mail address and ask for the tract The Chart of the Week BS-27, 28.)
But do not forget the Jew: Nearly every ancient race of mankind has been obliterated through warfare and intermarriage except the Hebrew race. God has preserved them alive as a living testimony of the truth of the Bible and the only Sabbath that is in it--the Seventh-day Sabbath. For ages they have kept the Bible Sabbath. --And what day is the Bible Sabbath? Ask any Jew. He will tell you it is Saturday--the Seventh day of the week.
Satan hates the Sabbath and wants to destroy it--simply because it comes from God and reminds us that He is our Creator. But down through the centuries God has, by a miracle, preserved the seven day weekly cycle and His holy Sabbath.
(1) "I keep Sunday because it is traditional--because everyone else does."
Scriptural Support: None.
Worship is the reason for the Sabbath. It is the only day God ever gave us to worship Him on. "In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:9. That which God gives us is the truth. We are to believe it and obey it. "Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth." John 17:17. "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:4. "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." 2 Thessalonians 2:13. "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit." Verse 22. It is not safe to refuse obedience to the obvious truths of God's Word. "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." Proverbs 28:9. "If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God." John 7:17, R.V. Our safety alone--is in the clear Word of God. "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20:30. "We ought to obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29. "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:17. "Every plant which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." Matthew 15:13. "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen . . . come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:2, 4. "Here are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14.
(2) "I keep Sunday in honor of the Resurrection."
Scriptural Support: None.
The problem is that God never told you or me to keep Sunday in honor of the resurrection of Christ--or for any other reason. But He decidedly and repeatedly told us to keep holy the Seventh day of the week. What are the greatest events in history? Creation, Calvary and the Second Advent stand out. In Gethsemane on Thursday night and on the cross on Friday morning and afternoon, our salvation hung in the balance. By sundown Friday it was all settled. The price had been paid. The salvation of those who would accept it was assured. Then came the Sabbath day of rest and Jesus our Lord rested in the tomb. On Sunday morning, He rose and another work week began. Mary was told not to detain Him for He had yet to ascend to heaven--which He did that day: a long trip to heaven and back again. And a visit to fearful disciples on a road to Emmaus that evening and in an upper room where still others were hiding from the Jewish leaders. Frankly, the resurrection of Christ is in no way as important as is Calvary. Those who wish to abandon a clear command of God to keep the Seventh day for another day, would do well to keep Friday holy in honor of Calvary.
But the fact is that Sabbathkeepers do remember a definite memorial of the resurrection given us by Christ--for they believe in baptism. The death and resurrection of Christ is symbolized by the ordinance of baptism, and by partaking of it we partake of that experience with Him.
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin [the breaking of the law--1 John 3:4], that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 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 [rise and] walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted [buried] together in the likeness of His death, we shall be [raised] also in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might he destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."--Romans 6:1-6.
As we follow the Bible pattern of baptism by immersion we are enabled to vividly recall the experience of Christ's death, burial and resurrection to life again. The Sundaykeeper, by instituting a certain day in remembrance of the resurrection, makes quite pointless the institution of baptism which was given by Heaven as the intended means of recalling the resurrection event. Perhaps that is why most churches have reduced the ordinance of baptism to the sprinkling of a few drops of water, a procedure that conveys no idea whatever of "baptism into death," or of rising again to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-6).
Some say that they keep Sunday because it is the "great memorial of our redemption." This is not true. The sign or symbol or memorial of our redemption is the Bible Sabbath. Our keeping of it is the sign by which all men shall know that we belong to God our Creator and that it is He, and not we ourselves, who is saving us from sin and will ultimately redeem us from this evil world. The Seventh-day Sabbath is the seal of the law and the sign that He is our Creator (Exodus 31:16-17). And it is the sign that He is our Redeemer. "Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them."--Ezekiel 20:12. His Sabbath kept in our lives is the sign that we belong to Him. "And hallow My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God."--Ezekiel 20:20. The Bible Sabbath is the sign given by our Heavenly Father that He is sanctifying or preparing us for eternal life. "Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you."--Exodus 31:13.
(3) "I keep Sunday because Jesus changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday."
Scriptural support: None.
The preceding reply, this one, and the next two, are four of the most frequently heard reasons for keeping the first day of the week holy that will come to your attention. But all four are without a Scriptural basis. The theological seminaries teach these excuses to their questioning young ministerial students in answer to their queries of concern as to why Christians keep Sunday when the Bible never says to. Then upon graduation, they go out to the local churches and share these ideas with their church members when they ask about the Bible Sabbath and why it is not kept. And on it goes, generation after generation. The problem here is that we go to men for our answers when we should go to God and to His Word.
Jesus never changed the Bible Sabbath to Sunday. He did not do it during His earthly life, as recorded in the four Gospels, and He did not do it at any other time. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28), because He made it (Genesis 2:1-3), for He is the Creator (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:1-3). It is His day, the Lord's Day (Revelation 1:10). While on earth it was His custom to keep the Bible Sabbath and thus give us a careful example of obedience to it (Luke 4:16). He magnified the law and made it honorable (Isaiah 42:21) as he rebuked man-made changes in His laws (Matt 15:9,6). He told us that the Sabbath was made not for a certain race--but for "man"--mankind--you and me (Mark 2:27). Just before His death He predicted the destruction of Jerusalem thirty-nine years later, in A.D. 70, and the end of the world (Matthew 24), and He cautioned His followers to continue to carefully observe the Sabbath even when those terrible events should come to pass years and even centuries later (Matthew 24:3, 20). He carefully instructed His disciples to keep His day holy, and He wanted them to "remember the Sabbath day" (Exodus 20:8) long after He had returned to heaven. --No, there is no word, no hint anywhere in Scripture that Jesus ever changed the Sabbath to Sunday.
(4) "I keep Sunday because the disciples changed the Sabbath to Sunday."
Scriptural support: None.
The disciples would have no more right to change one of the Ten Commandments than you or I would. What man has a right to change the law of God? Only our Creator, the One who gave us the Moral Law and the Sabbath has this right.
The followers of Jesus faithfully kept the Bible Sabbath after His death (Luke 23:56), and later in their missionary work (Acts 13:14-16, 40-46, 16:12-15, 17:1-4). They declared that we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), and Paul could sincerely say of himself and his fellow believers: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." (Romans 3:31). Indeed, the Word of God was being fulfilled that the Gentiles would one day faithfully keep the Sabbath that the Jews were desecrating (Isaiah 56:3-7). Neither the least disciple nor the greatest apostle dared to presume to change the law of God. Nor could they have done so, even if they had tried. No man has successfully been able to do this, although there have been men such as the pope of Rome who have claimed such authority.
(5) "I know the Bible Sabbath is the Seventh day, but I keep Sunday because it is the Lord's Day."
Scriptural support used: Revelation 1:10
There is only one verse of Scripture which is used to prove this, and it doesn't prove anything. Here it is: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet."--Revelation 1:10. John was here speaking of a day quite familiar to him, but a day not specifically named in this verse. Nothing is said here about Sunday. What day was John speaking of? As usual, Scripture is the key to the truths of His Word. Only Scripture can properly explain Scripture. John the Revelator in vision saw Christ, as well as sweeping historical events on the Lord's Day (Revelation 1:10). This was the Day of the Lord. The Bible Sabbath is the day unto the Lord (Exodus 16:23, 25, 31:15, 35:2), the day of the Lord (Exodus 20:10, Leviticus 23:3, Deuteronomy 5:4), and His own day (Isaiah 58:13). Jesus is the Creator who gave us the Sabbath (Eph. 3:9, John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2, Genesis 2:1-3), and John had heard Him call Himself "the LORD of the Sabbath day." (Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28). John well knew which day was the Lord's Day. This day is the Memorial Day of the Creator (Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 3 1:17), and the Memorial Day of the Redeemer (Ezekiel 20:12,20). It is the Lord's Day . . . a day that God wants to share with you. The best day of them all--the Bible Sabbath day--the Seventh day.
The time in which John lived helps explain why he used "the Lord's day" as a synonym for the Sabbath as he wrote the book of Revelation. Christianity was coming into ever greater conflict with pagan Rome. The Roman emperors were often deified--called "lord" and "god"--and worship to them was being required on pain of death. At that time there were "emperor days, "(such as his birthday) at which time religious celebrations were held. The day on which a Caesar visited a certain city was ever afterward considered a holiday there and a day on which he was worshiped. The emperor Domitian was "accustomed to call himself and to be called 'Lord and God.' "--Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, 8th edition, Vol. 2, p. 44. John was banished to the island of Patmos during Domitian's reign and while there given special visions which he wrote down in the Revelation. He saw the glory of his Lord, and he called Him "King of kings and Lord of lords." How meaningful this was to the Christians who would read in the Revelation of the history of pagan and papal Rome and their efforts to make themselves "Lord and God." For untold centuries faithful followers of Christ died rather than call caesars and popes "Lord and God." John was already being introduced to the persecuting power of Rome, and as he prepared in chapter one to speak of the glory of Christ, he declared HIM to be the Lord--Lord of His Day, and Lord of those who accepted Him and His Day. We live at the end of time. Let us today come and worship Him on His Day--the day of the true Lord, the Lord of heaven and earth. The proof of His Lordship is His Creatorship (Revelation 4:11)--which the Bible Sabbath shall memorialize through all eternity. Come, let us worship our Maker and prepare for the magnificent worship services of the future: "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord."--Isaiah 66:22-23.
(6) "I keep Sunday because it is the Christian Sabbath."
Scriptural support: None.
Sunday is not the Sabbath of the Christians in the Bible, nor is it the Sabbath of the Christians in the early centuries afterward. However, we can properly call it "the Catholic sabbath," for it was the bishops of Rome (later called "popes") who first required that Christians observe it. It was half-pagan philosophers of Alexandria in Egypt who first suggested it to Christians, but it was the Roman bishops who first demanded it. All this is repeatedly told us in history. Many of these records are given elsewhere in our Bible Sabbath Series. --But never dare we call it the "Christian Sabbath"--for it is not, and has never been, the Sabbath of Christ. And, you know,--I would rather have the Sabbath of Christ than all the sabbaths that man can invent. Jesus, Himself, told us, "In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:9).
It may come as a surprise to some, but it is a historical fact that Christians never called Sunday the "Sabbath" until the seventeenth century--over sixteen hundred years after the time of Christ. Before that time, the word "Sabbath" was applied only to the Seventh day of the week--the Bible Sabbath. But in 1595, Dr. Nicholas Bownd (or Bound), a learned Puritan clergyman of Norton in Suffolk, England, set forth the notion that the Sunday is the "Christian Sabbath." Such an idea had never been imagined before. Everyone knew that the Sabbath was the Seventh day. At first this "Puritan Sabbath theory" was opposed by the Church of England as a novelty so utterly new that it was denounced as cunning heresy and rebellion against the state church of England. Even King James I, who authorized the King James translation of the Bible, denounced the "Christian Sabbath" idea. Sunday wasn't the Sabbath--and everyone knew it. But in almost one generation the change was made, for by 1750, church-goers in England were generally calling Sunday "the Sabbath." And thus it has come down to our own day.
This objection takes various forms. In order to avoid obeying a clear commandment of God, one will say "the Sabbath was only made for Adam and Eve," in spite of the fact that down through the ages of Scripture, the Sabbath commandment was often repeated. Another will say that "the Sabbath is not to be kept till the New Earth." But again Scripture proof is lacking. God's people in the Old Testament and Jesus and His disciples in the New,--all kept the Bible Sabbath. And here are two similar objections:
(1) "The Sabbath was made for God, not for man"
Scriptural support used: Exodus 20:10.
Here is the first part of this verse: "the Seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God;" And here is the rest of the verse: "in it thou shalt no do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy maidservant, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates." And here is the verse before it: "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work, but . . . " And so it goes, all through Scripture. The Sabbath that our Creator rested upon--is the Sabbath that He gave us to rest upon. Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man." Mark 2:27. That should settle the matter.
(2) "The first Sabbath was long ages of time--we can't keep it today.
Scriptural support: None.
The thought here is that each day of Creation Week was thousands of years in length. If this were true, then Adam was made on the sixth day (Genesis 1:26, 31) which was thousands of years in length, and this was followed by the seventh day (Genesis 2:1-3), supposedly of "thousands of years, " when God rested on the Seventh day and blessed and hallowed and dedicated it. Following this, Adam fell into sin and was driven from the Garden (Genesis 3). This would mean that Adam lived for many thousands of years before the Sabbath was first given. This, of course, is not true. Adam died at the age of 930. (Genesis 5:3-5). And even more telling than this--why would our heavenly Father command us to keep a day that couldn't be kept? "Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the Seventh day . . . "--is the Fourth Commandment. Exodus 20:9-10.
The whole Scriptural account of Creation Week--and all of Genesis as well--is a simple narrative in man's language for man to understand. Each day is marked off by the "evening" (darkness) and the "morning" (daylight)--the two parts of a twenty-four-hour period. Men that try to phantomize Scripture are really trying to destroy it. And simply because they don't want to obey it. If the days of Creation were thousands of years in length, then the plants brought into existence on the "third day" would all be dead by the time sunlight appeared on the "fourth day." Plants cannot live without sunlight. We are clearly told in Genesis 1:16--in the middle of Creation Week--that the sun rules the day and the moon rules the night. This is obviously time as we know it--time with days that are twenty-four hours long, with daylight ruling half of it.
(1) "If the Seventh-day Sabbath were right, why do not more leading men keep it?"
Scriptural support: None.
In nearly every age of history the majority have been in the wrong, and those faithful few who have studied their Bibles have been in the right. At the time of the Flood, the majority made the wrong decision (Genesis 6). In the time of Paul, Athens was one of the most highly educated cities in the world--but few accepted what Paul told them (Acts 17). They thought he just had "new doctrines" (Acts 17:19). The "leading men" in the days of the prophets and Christ and the Reformers--were generally on the wrong side. In reply to the words of Christ Himself, the people said, "Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?" John 7:48. It was only "the common people" who heard Him gladly. (Mark 12:37). The majority crucified Christ. The men of wealth and influence and high literary attainments generally were not the ones to confess themselves followers of the meek and lowly Jesus. Remember the words of Paul to the Christians of his time: "Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." I Corinthians 1:26. It was the "leading men who burned Huss and Jerome in the fifteenth century. It was the "leading men" who tried to burn Luther in the sixteenth century. And it was the "leading men" who under the urging of the pope of Rome decreed that all Christians must henceforth keep Sunday instead of the Seventh-day Sabbath--in the fourth century. Friend, even though no one kept the Sabbath, it would still be the Sabbath. If you really love God--why not honor HIM instead of man . . . by doing as He has asked.
(2) "If I kept the Bible Sabbath, all my friends would ridicule me."
Scriptural support: None.
And what if they did ridicule you? Would you want the praise of men more than the praise of God? It is a fact that the individual who can be conquered by ridicule is an easy mark for Satan, for it is he that inspires all ridicule and he is very willing to use it to erase Bible principles from our lives. The Bible has never tried to hide the fact that those who obeyed God would often have to face reproach and false accusation from those around them. "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in law." Luke 12:51-53.
Men of God in past ages have had to suffer persecution, ignominy and death. And shall we today refuse obedience to God in the face of ridicule? From his dungeon cell, Paul wrote to young Timothy, "Be not thou ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner. But be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God." 2 Timothy 1:8. If God has reserved for you the Eighth Blessing, then thankfully receive it, remembering the promise that will come with it: "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad,--for great is your reward in heaven. For so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matthew 5:10-12. Paul could look back over his life as he neared its end, and say, "I am not ashamed." And then he added, "for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." 2 Timothy 1:12. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day,--and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." 2 Timothy 4:7-8. Looking down to the end of time, Christ's suffering ones follow their Master up new Calvaries, and view in the ever-nearing distance, the homeland prepared for them. "They desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He hath prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:16. And with this, we do well to recall the warning of Jesus in Mark 8:38. "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Would you rather be on good terms with your neighbor than with God? Would you rather do what others think is right or what God says is right? Would you not rather have them ashamed of you in this day, than to have Christ ashamed of you in the last great day? Remember this: You have nothing except Jesus and the Word of God. Cling to the One and obey the other. And you will find that "the Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Deuteronomy 33:27.
The Bible describes the people of God living in the last days--the remnant of history. "And the dragon [Satan through his organization] was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [the true church at the end of time], which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus." Revelation 12:17. And two verses before the second coming of Christ, we are told: "Here is the patience of the saints: Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12. Some would like to change this to "Here are they that keep nine of the commandments--or none of the commandments-- and the faith of Jesus. "But this is not as God would have it. He wants a people who will fulfill this prophecy of an obedient people down at the end of time--and He will empower them to, by the enabling grace of His Son Jesus Christ. It takes a miracle of grace to accept and keep the faith of Jesus, just as it does to accept and keep His commandments. But in Christ it can be done. Hidden in the cleft of the Rock, you will find that all the biddings of God become enablings.
WHEN THE SABBATH HITS THE HEADLINES. . .
--The question is, "Why don't we?"
TORONTO, Oct. 27 (BUP).--Rev. Philip Carrington, Anglican Archbishop of Quebec, sent local clergymen into a huddle today by saying outright that there was nothing to support Sunday being kept holy.
Carrington told a church meeting in this city of straight-laced Protestantism that tradition, not the Bible, had made Sunday the day of worship.
He quoted the biblical commandment which said the seventh day should be one of rest, and then stated: "That is Saturday."
"Nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday," the Archbishop told a hushed, still audience.
Local parsons read his comments today with set, determined looks. They refused comment. [But see below]--
--Source: News Item in The Albertan (Calgary) Alberta, Canada), Oct. 28, 1949.
Oct. 27.--Sunday is kept holy by Christians, not because there are any Scriptural injunctions [reasons] but because there are religious traditions associated with that day among Christians, Protestant and Catholic spokesmen said today. They were commenting on a statement of Most Rev. Philip Carrington, Anglican Archbishop of Quebec, that there is no commandment which states Sunday must be kept holy.
A rabbi recalled that the first Christians were Jews and celebrated the Sabbath on the last day of the week and it was not until the reign of the Emperor Constantine [321 A.D.] that the day was changed by Christians.
At a service commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Church of England prayer book, Archbishop Carrington recalled that "the Bible commandment says on the seventh day thou shalt rest. That is Saturday. Nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday." Tradition, he said, had made it a day of worship.
A spokesman for St. Augustine's, the Roman Catholic seminary for the diocese of Toronto, said: "Strictly speaking, that archbishop is correct. There is no Scriptural rule for the observance of Sunday." But he doesn't go far enough.
"In the Bible, there is evidence that Christ established a church, to carry on his work. He gave that Church [the Catholic Church] authority to carry out God's rule on earth. Because the resurrection occurred on Sunday, and because of the general acceptance today of Sunday as a day of rest, it's fitting that now Sunday should be observed instead of Saturday, as under the old rule [the Bible rule].
"The [Catholic] Church has a specific church commandment stating Sunday should be observed.
"Protestants observed Sunday because for many centuries they had been part of the Roman Catholic Church, and had observed the Church commandment," he said.
"There is no specific command in the New Testament about which day shall be kept holy," [Sabbath keeping is throughout the New Testament; Sunday keeping is totally missing] said Rev. G.H. Dowker of Grace Church-on-the-Hill. "The simple fact is, we keep holy the first day of the week because it was the day of the resurrection of Christ."
Rev. Northcote Burke of Christ church, Deer Park, said he thought the archbishop used the statement merely to illustrate church tradition [the sayings of men] . "Certainly the tradition of the sabbath has always been to keep the Lord's day on the first day of the week. The early Christians used it because it was the day Christ arose again" [Early Christians did not keep it until they were forced to, in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries].
"Our Lord rose from the dead on the first day of the week," said Father Hourigan of the Jesuit Seminary. "That is why the [Catholic] Church changed the day of obligation from the seventh day to the first day of the week. The Anglicans and other Protestant denominations retained that tradition when the Reformation came along."
Rabbi David Monson, of Beth Shalom synagogue, said the change was made because of Emperor Constantine [who reigned from 306 to 337 A.D.]. "He changed the Christian Sabbath to Sunday," he said. The original Christians celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday.
Rev. W.H. Grotheer of First Seventh Day Adventist church, Awde St., said he agreed with Archbishop Carrington's statement. He explained Adventists still observe Saturday as the sabbath, in harmony with the fourth commandment which says "Six days shalt thou labor but the seventh day is the Sabbath." Mr. Grotheer recalled "Jesus rose on the first day (of the week) according to Mark 16:9 and in Luke 23:56 it definitely states the day before the resurrection is the Sabbath according to the fourth commandment."
Rev. Herbert Delaney, speaking for the chancery of the Roman Catholic diocese of Toronto, agreed that under the old rule of the Scriptures [the only rule in Scripture], the Sabbath was the holy day. But he said Sunday was observed under a specific commandment of the [Catholic] Church, after the coming of Christ, in an 'interpretation' of the original commandment.
Father Delaney said the reason for the change from Saturday to Sunday under the new rules was that Christ had risen on Sunday.
Dr. E. Crossley Hunter of Trinity United church said the explanation lies not only in tradition, but also in records of the New Testament.
"Again and again in the New Testament we find reference to the Lord's day as the first day of the week [Untrue. There is not one instance of this in the New Testament], whereas in the Old Testament it refers to the seventh day," he said. "However, the archbishop is quite right in the literal meaning of the commandment."
One minister remarked: "We've become so accustomed to keeping Sunday as our holy day that it isn't likely this belated discovery is going to change our attitude overnight. Certainly not in Toronto."
--Source: News Item in Toronto (Canada) Daily Star, Oct. 27, 1949.
Philip Carrington (MA., D.D., Litt.D., S.D.T., D.C.L.) was born in 1892 in England.
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