Change of the Sabbath

According to the prophet, what was to be Christ's attitude toward His Father's law?" The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness' sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honorable." Isa. 42:21.

How much of the law did He uphold? "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Matt. 5:18.

How were those to be regarded who should break one of these commandments?" Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be least in the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:19.

How much of the law did Christ say is suspended on the two great commandments of love? "On these two commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets." Matt. 22:40.

NOTE. - The entire code of ten commandments is clearly binding on Christians. From the above texts we learn that Christ had no thought of changing any of them. One of these commands the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath. But the practice of most Christians is different; they keep the first day of the week instead, many of them believing that Christ changed the Sabbath. But we see from His own words that He has not attempted such a work.

What is said of the power represented by the "little horn? "And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws." Dan. 7:25.

What power claims authority to change God's law? The Roman Church.

What part of the law has this power thought to change? The fourth commandment.

NOTE. - "They [the Catholics] allege the Sabbath changed into Sunday, the Lord's Day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it appears; neither is there any example more boasted of than the changing of the Sabbath day. Great, say they, is the power and authority of the Church, since it dispensed with one of the ten commandments." Augsburg Confession, art. 28. "It [the Roman Church] has reversed the fourth commandment, doing away with the Sabbath of God's word, and instituting Sunday as a holy day." N. Summerbell, in History of the Christians, page 418.

Who first enjoined Sunday keeping by law?

Constantine the Great.

NOTE. - "The earliest recognition of the observance of Sunday as a legal duty is a constitution of Constantine in 321 A.D., enacting that all courts of justice, inhabitants of towns, and workshops were to be at rest on Sunday (venerable day of the sun), with an exception in favor of those engaged in agricultural labor." Encyclopedia Britannica, art. Sunday, ninth edition, 1887. "Constantine the Great made a law for the whole empire (321 A.D.) that Sunday should be kept as a day of rest in all cities and towns; but he allowed the country people to follow their work." Encyclopedia Americana, art. Sabbath.

What did Constantine's law require? "Let all the judges and town people, and the occupation of all trades rest on the venerable day of the sun; but let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty attend to the business of agriculture; because it often happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines; lest the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by Heaven." Translated from the original edict in Latin, now in Harvard College.

NOTE. - It will be noticed that in this edict no sacred title is given to the day to be observed; it is called simply the "venerable day of the sun," and was enforced only as such. Constantine, like his ancestors, was a worshiper of the sun. The first day of the week had for ages been dedicated to that worship, and from that fact retains the name Sunday. See Webster. But on acknowledging Christ, Constantine refused to surrender the venerable day of the sun, and brought it into Christianity with him, and thus it was handed down to the Christian church.

When and by what authority was Sunday first enjoined upon Christians as the Lord's day?

Prynne says: "The seventh-day Sabbath was... solemnized by Christ, the apostles, and primitive Christians, till the Laodicean Council did, in a manner, quite abolish the observation of it... The Council of Laodicea [364 A.D.]... first settled the observation of the Lord's day." Dissertation on the Lord's Day Sabbath, page 162, 1633.

What did this council decree about the Sabbath? "Because Christians ought not to Judaize, and to rest in the Sabbath, but to work in that day... Wherefore if they shall be found to Judaize, let them be accursed from Christ." Ibid, pages 33, 34. The foregoing are Protestant testimonies.

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