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Denominational Statements on the Sabbath
Anglican“And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day… The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the Church, has enjoined it.” Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, pages 334, 336.
“There was and is a command to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will however be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found: Not in the New Testament– absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.” Dr. E. T. Hiscox, author of the ‘Baptist Manual’.
“To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ discussion with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it in some of its various aspects, freeing it from its false [Jewish traditional] glosses, never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during the forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Nor, so far as we know, did the Spirit, which was given to bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that He had said unto them, deal with this question. Nor yet did the inspired apostles, in preaching the gospel, founding churches, counseling and instructing those founded, discuss or approach the subject.
Of course I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of Paganism, and christened with the name of the sun-god, then adopted and sanctified by the Papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism.” Dr. E. T. Hiscox, report of his sermon at the Baptist Minister’s Convention, in ‘New York Examiner,’ November 16, 1893 (The leader / spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church agrees with this statement.See Below)
“The Scriptures nowhere call the first day of the week the Sabbath. . .There is no Scriptural authority for so doing, nor of course, any Scriptural obligation.” The Watchman.
“We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government.”-“Baptist Church Manual,” Art. 12.
“There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance.” -WILLIAM OWEN CARVER, “The Lord’s Day in Our Day,” page 49.
“There is nothing in Scripture that requires us to keep Sunday rather than Saturday as a holy day.” Harold Lindsell (editor), Christianity Today, Nov. 5, 1976
“With the views of the law and the Sabbath we once held … and which are still held by perhaps the great majority of the most earnest Christians, we confess that we could not answer Adventists. What is more, neither before or since have I heard or read what would conclusively answer an Adventist in his Scriptural contention that the Seventh day is the Sabbath (Ex. 20:10). It is not ‘one day in seven’ as some put it, but ‘the seventh day according to the commandment.’ ” Words of Truth and Grace, p. 281.
“It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” Priest Brady, in an address, reported in the Elizabeth, NJ ‘News’ on March 18, 1903.
“Protestants … accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change… But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that … in observing Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the Church, the pope.” Our Sunday Visitor, February 5th, 1950.
“Of course these two old quotations are exactly correct. The Catholic Church designated Sunday as the day for corporate worship and gets full credit – or blame – for the change.” This Rock, The Magazine of Catholic Apologetics and Evangelization, p.8, June 1997
Q. Have you any other proofs that they(Protestants) are not guided by the Scripture?
A. Yes; so many, that we cannot admit more than a mere specimen into this small work. They reject much that is clearly contained in Scripture, and profess more that is nowhere discoverable in that Divine Book.
Q. Give some examples of both?
A. They should, if the Scripture were their only rule, wash the feet of one another, according to the command of Christ, in the 13th chap. of St. John; —they should keep, not the Sunday, but the Saturday, according to the commandment, “Remember thou keep holy the SABBATH-day;” for this commandment has not, in Scripture, been changed or abrogated;… Rev. Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism; New York in 1857, page 101 Imprimatuer
Q. Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; —she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority. Rev. Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism; New York in 1857, page 174
Q. In what manner can we show a Protestant, that he speaks unreasonably against fasts and abstinences?
A. Ask him why he keeps Sunday, and not Saturday, as his day of rest, since he is unwilling either to fast or to abstain. If he reply, that the Scripture orders him to keep the Sunday, but says nothing as to fasting and abstinence, tell him the Scripture speaks of Saturday or the Sabbath, but gives no command anywhere regarding Sunday or the first day of the week. If, then he neglects Saturday as a day of rest and holiness, and substitutes Sunday in its place, and this merely because such was the usage of the ancient Church, should he not, if he wishes to act consistently, observe fasting and abstinence, because the ancient Church so ordained? Rev. Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism; New York in 1857, page 181
Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” -Rev. Peter Geiermann C.SS.R., The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50
Q. Must not a sensible Protestant doubt seriously, when he finds that even the Bible is not followed as a rule by his co-religionists?
A. Surely, when he sees them baptize infants, abrogate the Jewish Sabbath, and observe Sunday for which [pg. 7] there is no Scriptural authority; when he finds them neglect to wash one another’s feet, which is expressly commanded, and eat blood and things strangled, which are expressly prohibited in Scripture. He must doubt, if he think at all. …
Q. Should not the Protestant doubt when he finds that he himself holds tradition as a guide?
A. Yes, if he would but reflect that he has nothing but Catholic Tradition for keeping the Sunday holy; … Controversial Catechism by Stephen Keenan, New Edition, revised by Rev. George Cormack, published in London by Burns & Oates, Limited – New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: Benzinger Brothers, 1896, pages 6, 7.
“The Church, on the other hand, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, to the first, made the Third Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s Day. The Council of Trent (Sess. VI, can. xix) condemns those who deny that the Ten Commandments are binding on Christians.” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Commandments of God, Volume IV, © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company, Online Edition © 1999 by Kevin Knight, Nihil Obstat – Remy Lafort, Censor Imprimatur – +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 153.
”The [Roman Catholic] Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.” The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, p. 4.
“All of us believe many things in regard to religion that we do not find in the Bible. For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the Church outside the Bible.” The Catholic Virginian, “To Tell You The Truth,” Vol. 22, No. 49 (Oct. 3, 1947).
“… you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” The Faith of Our Fathers, by James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, 88th edition, page 89. Originally published in 1876, republished and Copyright 1980 by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., pages 72-73.
‘Deny the authority of the Church and you have no adequate or reasonable explanation or justification for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday in the Third – Protestant Fourth – Commandment of God… The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” Catholic Record, September 1, 1923.
“But since Saturday, not Sunday, is specified in the Bible, isn’t it curious that non-Catholics who profess to take their religion directly from the Bible and not the Church, observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes, of course, it is inconsistent; but this change was made about fifteen centuries before Protestantism was born, and by that time the custom was universally observed. They have continued the custom, even though it rests upon the authority of the Catholic Church and not upon an explicit text in the Bible. That observance remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away – like a boy running away from home but still carrying in his pocket a picture of his mother or a lock of her hair.”The Faith of Millions
“Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the Church ever did, happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. “The Day of the Lord” (dies Dominica) was chosen, not from any directions noted in the Scriptures, but from the Church’s sense of its own power. The day of resurrection, the day of Pentecost, fifty days later, came on the first day of the week. So this would be the new Sabbath. People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th Day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” Sentinel, Pastor’s page, Saint Catherine Catholic Church, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995
“If Protestants would follow the Bible, they would worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church.” Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal, in a letter dated February 10, 1920.
“The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church.” Monsignor Louis Segur, ‘Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today’, p. 213.
What Important Question Does the Papacy Ask Protestants?
Protestants have repeatedly asked the papacy, “How could you dare to change God’s law?” But the question posed to Protestants by the Catholic church is even more penetrating.
Here it is officially: “”You will tell me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Changed! but by whom? Who has authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God? When God has spoken and said, Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day, who shall dare to say, Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of worldly business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead?
This is a most important question, which I know not how you can answer. You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only; and yet in so important a matter as the observance of one day in seven as a holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of that day which the Bible has commanded.
The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the ten commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered.”” *Library of Christian Doctrine: Why Don’t You Keep Holy the Sabbath-Day? (London: Burns and Oates, Ltd.), pp. 3, 4.
“There is but one church on the face of the earth which has the power, or claims power, to make laws binding on the conscience, binding before God, binding under penalty of hell-fire. For instance, the institution of Sunday. What right has any other church to keep this day? You answer by virtue of the third commandment (the papacy did away with the 2nd regarding the worship of graven images, and called the 4th the 3rd), which says ‘Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.’ But Sunday is not the Sabbath. Any schoolboy knows that Sunday is the first day of the week. I have repeatedly offered one thousand dollars to anyone who will prove by the Bible alone that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep, and no one has called for the money. It was the holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday, the seventh day, to Sunday, the first day of the week.” – T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture delivered in 1893.
”Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.” C. F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, in answer to a letter regarding the change of the Sabbath, November 11, 1895.
“Tradition, not Scripture, is the rock on which the church of Jesus Christ is built.” Adrien Nampon, Catholic Doctrine as Defined by the Council of Trent, p. 157
“The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine law”. The pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts a vicegerent of God upon earth” Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, art. Papa, II, Vol. VI, p. 29.
“The leader of the Catholic church is defined by the faith as the Vicar of Jesus Christ (and is accepted as such by believers). The Pope is considered the man on earth who “takes the place” of the Second Person of the omnipotent God of the Trinity.” John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 3, 1994
“…pastoral intuition suggested to the Church the christianization of the notion of Sunday as “the day of the sun”, which was the Roman name for the day and which is retained in some modern languages.(29) This was in order to draw the faithful away from the seduction of cults which worshipped the sun, and to direct the celebration of the day to Christ, humanity’s true “sun”.” John Paul II, Dies Domini, 27. The day of Christ-Light, 1998 (Prominent protestant leaders agree with this statement – See here for a statement by Dr. E. T. Hiscox, author of the ‘Baptist Manual’)
“The Sun was a foremost god with heathen-dom…The sun has worshippers at this hour in Persia and other lands…. There is, in truth, something royal, kingly about the sun, making it a fit emblem of Jesus, the Sun of Justice. Hence the church in these countries would seem to have said, to ‘Keep that old pagan name [Sunday]. It shall remain consecrated, sanctified.’ And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Jesus.” William Gildea, Doctor of Divinity, The Catholic World, March, 1894, p. 809
“The retention of the old pagan name of Dies Solis, for Sunday is, in a great measure, owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects – pagan and Christian alike – as the ‘venerable’ day of the sun.”” Arthur P. Stanley, History of the Eastern Church, p. 184
“When St. Paul repudiated the works of the law, he was not thinking of the Ten Commandments, which are as unchangeable as God Himself is, which God could not change and still remain the infinitely holy God.”-Our Sunday Visitor, Oct. 7, I951.
“Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holydays?
Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church.” Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine (1833 approbation), p.58 (Same statement in Manual of Christian Doctrine, ed. by Daniel Ferris [1916 ed.], p.67)
“Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the NEW LAW, that he himself has explicitly substituted sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as holy days. The church chose sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days as holy days.” – Vincent J. Kelly, Forbidden Sunday and Feast-Day Occupations, Washington, DC, Catholic University of America Press, Studies in Sacred Theology, No. 70.,1943, p. 2.
“If we consulted the Bible only, we should still have to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is, Saturday, with the Jews, instead of Sunday; …” — A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies, by Rev. John Laux M.A., Benzinger Brothers, 1936 edition, Part 1.
“Sunday is a Catholic institution, and… can be defended only on Catholic principles…. From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first.” Catholic Press, Aug. 25, 1900
“The Sabbath was Saturday, not Sunday. The Church altered the observance of the Sabbath to the observance of Sunday. Protestants must be rather puzzled by the keeping of Sunday when God distinctly said, ‘Keep holy the Sabbath Day.’ The word Sunday does not come anywhere in the Bible, so, without knowing it they are obeying the authority of the Catholic Church.” Canon Cafferata, The Catechism Explained, p. 89.
”Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.” John Cardinal Gibbons, The Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893.
“I do not believe that the Lord’s day came in the room of the Jewish Sabbath, or that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh to the first day, for this plain reason, where there is no testimony, there can be no faith. Now there is no testimony in all the oracles of heaven that the Sabbath is changed, or that the Lord’s Day came in the room of it.” Alexander Campbell, in The Reporter, October 8, 1921
“It has reversed the fourth commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of God’s Word, and instituting Sunday as a holiday.” – Dr. N. Summerbell, History of the Christian Church, Third Edition, p. 415
“There is no direct scriptural authority for designating the first day the Lord’s day.” – Dr. D. H. Lucas, Christian Oracle, Jan. 23, 1890.
“The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath. There never was any change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change.” First-Day Observance, pp. 17, 19.
Disciples of Christ
“There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day ‘the Lord’s Day.’” Dr D.H. Lucas, Christian Oracle, January, 1890
Church of Christ
“But we do not find any direct command from God, or instruction from the risen Christ, or admonition from the early apostles, that the first day is to be substituted for the seventh day Sabbath.” “Let us be clear on this point. Though to the Christian ‘that day, the first day of the week’ is the most memorable of all days … there is no command or warrant in the New Testament for observing it as a holy day.” “The Roman Church selected the first day of the week in honour of the resurrection of Christ. …” Bible Standard, May, 1916, Auckland, New Zealand.
“… If the fourth command is binding upon us Gentiles by all means keep it. But let those who demand a strict observance of the Sabbath remember that the seventh day is the ONLY sabbath day commanded, and God never repealed that command. If you would keep the Sabbath, keep it; but Sunday is not the Sabbath. The argument of the ‘Seventh-day Adventists’ is on one point unassailable. It is the Seventh day not the first day that the command refers to.” G. Alridge, Editor, The Bible Standard, April, 1916.
“There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day the Lord’s day.”-DR. D. H. LUCAS, Christian Oracle, Jan. 23, 1890.
“The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath. There never was any change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change.”-“First-Day Observance,” pages 17, 19.
“It has reversed the fourth commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of God’s Word, and instituting Sunday as a holiday.” DR. N. SUMMERBELL, “History of the Christian Church,” Third Edition, page 4I5.
“To command…men…to observe…the Lord’s day…is contrary to the gospel.” – “Memoirs of Alexander Campbell,” Vol. 1, page 528.
“It is clearly proved that the pastors of the churches have struck out one of God’s ten words, which, not only in the Old Testament, but in all revelation, are the most emphatically regarded as the synopsis of all religion and morality.”-ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, “Debate With Purcell,” page 214.
“I do not believe that the Lord’s day came in the room of the Jewish Sabbath, or that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh to the first day, for this plain reason, where there is no testimony, there can be no faith. Now there is no testimony in all the oracles of heaven that the Sabbath was changed, or that the Lord’s day came in the room of it.”-ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, Washington Reporter, Oct. 8, 1821.
Church of England
“Many people think that Sunday is the Sabbath. But neither in the New Testament nor in the early church is there anything to suggest that we have any right to transfer the observance of the seventh day of the week to the first. The Sabbath was and is Saturday and not Sunday, and if it were binding on us then we should observe it on that day, and on no other.” Rev. Lionel Beere, All-Saints Church, Ponsonby, N.Z. in Church and People, Sept. 1, 1947.
“Nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. …! That is Saturday.” P. Carrington, Archbishop of Quebec, Oct. 27, 1949; cited in Prophetic Signs, p 12.
“The observance of the first instead of the seventh day rests on the testimony of the church, and the church alone.” Hobart Church News, July 2, 1894; cited in Prophetic Signs, p 14.
“Where are we told in Scripture that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the Seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day. The reason why we keep the first day holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many things, not because the Bible, but because the Church, has enjoined them.” Rev. Isaac Williams, Ser. on Catechism, p. 334.
“The seventh day, the commandment says, is the Sabbath of The Lord thy God. No kind of arithmetic, no kind of almanac, can make seven equal one, nor the seventh mean the first, nor Saturday mean Sunday. … The fact is that we are all Sabbath breakers, every one of us.” Rev. Geo. Hodges.
“Not any ecclesiastical writer of the first three centuries attributed the origin of Sunday observance either to Christ or to His apostles.”-SIR WILLIAM DOMVILLE, “Examination of the Six Texts,” pages 6, 7. (Supplement).
“There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. . . . Into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters…, The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday.” -CANON EYTON, ‘The Ten Commandments,” pages 52, 63, 65.
“Is there any command in the New Testament to change the day of weekly rest from Saturday to Sunday? None.”-“Manual of Christian Doctrine,” page 127.
“The Lord’s day did not succeed in the place of the Sabbath….The Lord’s day was merely an ecclesiastical institution. It was not introduced by virtue of the fourth commandment, because for almost three hundred years together they kept that day which was in that commandment…The primitive Christians did all manner of works upon the Lord’s day, even in times of persecution, when they are the strictest observers of all the divine commandments; but in this they knew there was none.”-BISHOP JEREMY TAYLOR, “Ductor Dubitantium,” Part I, Book II, Chap. 2, Rule 6. Sec. 51, 59.
“Sunday being the day on which the Gentiles solemnly adore that planet and called it Sunday, partly from its influence on that day especially, and partly in respect to its divine body (as they conceived it), the Christians thought fit to keep the same day and the same name of it, that they might not appear causelessly peevish, and by that means hinder the conversion of the Gentiles, and bring a greater prejudice than might be otherwise taken against the gospel.”-T. M. MORER, “Dialogues on the Lord’s Day,” pages 22, 23.
“The Puritan idea was historically unhappy. It made Sunday into the Sabbath day. Even educated people call Sunday the Sabbath. Even clergymen do.”
“But, unless my reckoning is all wrong, the Sabbath day lasts twenty-four hours from six o’clock on Friday evening. It gives over, therefore, before we come to Sunday. If you suggest to a Sabbatarian that he ought to observe the Sabbath on the proper day, you arouse no enthusiasm. He at once replies that the day, not the principle, has been changed. But changed by whom? There is no injunction in the whole of the New Testament to Christians to change the Sabbath into Sunday.’ – D. MORSEBOYCOTT, Daily Herald, London, Feb. 26, 1931.
“The Christian church made no formal, but a gradual and almost unconscious transference of the one day to the other.”- F.W. FARRAR, D.D., “The Voice From Sinai,” page 167.
“Take which you will, either of the Fathers or the moderns, and we shall find no Lord’s day instituted by any apostolical mandate; no Sabbath set on foot by them upon the first day of the week.”-PETER HEYLYN, “History of the Sabbath,” page 410.
“Merely to denounce the tendency to secularise Sunday is as futile as it is easy. What we want is to find some principle, to which as Christians we can appeal, and on which we can base both our conduct and our advice. We turn to the New Testament, and we look in vain for any authoritative rule. There is no recorded word of Christ, there is no word of any of the apostles, which tells how we should keep Sunday, or indeed that we should keep it at all. It is disappointing, for it would make our task much easier if we could point to a definite rule, which left us no option but simple obedience or disobedience. . . . There is no rule for Sunday observance, either in Scripture or history.”-DR. STEPHEN, Bishop of Newcastle, N.S.W., in an address reported in the Newcastle Morning Herald, May 14, 1924.
“The Christian Sabbath’ [Sunday] is not in the Scripture, and was not by the primitive [early Christian] church called the Sabbath.” Timothy Dwight, Theology, sermon 107, 1818 ed., Vol. IV, p49 Note: Timothy Dwight (1752-1817) was president of Yale University from 1795-1817.
“It is quite clear that, however rigidly or devoutly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath … The Sabbath was founded on a specific divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday … There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday.” Dr. Dale, The Ten Commandments, pp. 106, 107.
“It must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day.” Buck’s Theological Dictionary page 403.
“There is no command in the Bible requiring us to observe the first day of the week as the Christian Sabbath.”-ORIN FOWLER, A.M., “Mode and Subjects of Baptism.”
“The current notion that Christ and His apostles authoritatively substituted the first day for the seventh, is absolutely without any authority in the New Testament.”-DR. LYMAN ABBOTT, Christian Union, Jan. 18, 1882.
“The current notion that Christ and His apostles authoritatively substituted the first day for the seventh, is absolutely without any authority in the New Testament.” Dr. Layman Abbot, in the Christian Union, June 26, 1890.
“We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church of Christ.” Bishop Symour, Why We keep Sunday.
“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.” Phillip Carrington, quoted in Toronto Daily Star, Oct 26, 1949 [Carrington (1892-), Anglican archbishop of Quebec, spoke the above in a message on this subject delivered to a packed assembly of clergymen. It was widely reported at the time in the news media].
“The day is now changed from the seventh to the first day … but as we meet with no Scriptural direction for the change, we may conclude it was done by the authority of the church.” ‘Explanation of Catechism’
“Probably very few Christians are aware of the fact that what they call the ‘Christian Sabbath’ (Sunday) is of pagan origin.”
“The first observance of Sunday- that history records is in the fourth century’, when Constantine issued an edict (not requiring its religious observance, but simply abstinence from work) reading, ‘let all the judges and people of the town rest and all the various trades be suspended on the venerable day of the sun.’ At the time of the issue of this edict, Constantine was a sun-worshipper; therefore it could have had no relation whatever to Christianity.” – HENRY M. TABER. “Faith or Fact” (preface by Robert G. Ingersoll), page 112.
“I challenge any priest or minister of the Christian religion to show me the slightest authority for the religious observance of Sunday. And, if such cannot be shown by them, why is it that they are constantly preaching about Sunday as a holy day? …The claim that Sunday
takes the place of Saturday, and that because the Jews were supposed to be commanded to keep the seventh day of the week holy, therefore the first day of the week should be so kept by Christians, is so utterly absurd as to be hardly worth considering….That Paul habitually observed and preached on the seventh day of the week, is shown in Acts 18:4-‘And be reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath’ (Saturday).”-Id., pages ,114, 116.
“The observance of the Lord’s Day (Sunday) is founded not on any command of God, but on the authority of the Church.” Augsburg Confession of Faith.
“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 of Faith, Art. 28, par. 9.
“They [Roman Catholics] allege the change of the Sabbath into the Lord’s day, as it seemeth, to the Decalogue [the ten commandments]; and they have no example more in their mouths than they change of the Sabbath. They will needs have the Church’s power to be very great, because it hath dispensed with the precept of the Decalogue.” The Augsburg Confession, 1530 A.D. (Lutheran), part 2, art 7, in Philip Schaff, the Creeds of Christiandom, 4th Edition, vol 3, p64 [this important statement was made by the Lutherans and written by Melanchthon, only thirteen years after Luther nailed his theses to the door and began the Reformation].
“For up to this day mankind has absolutely trifled with the original and most special revelation of the Holy God, the ten words written upon the tables of the Law from Sinai.”-“Crown Theological Library,” page I78.
“The Christians in the ancient church very soon distinguished the first day of the week, Sunday; however, not as a Sabbath, but as an assembly day of the church, to study the Word of God together, and to celebrate the ordinances one with another: without a shadow of doubt, this took place as early as the first part of the second century.”-Bishop GRIMELUND, “History of the Sabbath,” page 60.
“The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance.”- AUGUSTUS NEANDER, “History of the Christian Religion and Church,” Vol. 1, page 186.
“I wonder exceedingly how it came to be imputed to me that I should reject the law of Ten Commandments…Whosoever abrogates the law must of necessity abrogate sin also.”-MARTIN LUTHER, Spiritual Antichrist,” pages 71, 72.
“We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish Sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christian of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both.” The Sunday Problem, a study book by the Lutheran Church (1923) p.36
“But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel …. These churches err in their teaching, for scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect” John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday, pp.15, 16
Lueran Free Church
“For when there could not be produced one solitary place in the Holy Scriptures which testified that either the Lord Himself or the apostles had ordered such a transfer of the Sabbath to Sunday, then it was not easy to answer the question: Who has transferred the Sabbath, and who has the right to do it?” George Sverdrup, ‘A New Day.’
“This ‘handwriting of ordinances’ our Lord did blot out, take away, and nail to His cross. (Colossians 2: 14.) But the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away…. The moral law stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual law. …Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind and in all ages.” -JOHN WESLEY, “Sermons on Several Occasions,” 2-Vol. Edition, Vol. I, pages 221, 222.
“No Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.”-“Methodist Church Discipline,” (I904), page 23.
“The Sabbath was made for MAN; not for the Hebrews, but for all men.”-E.O. HAVEN, “Pillars of Truth,” page 88.
“The reason we observe the first day instead of the seventh is based on no positive command. One will search the Scriptures in vain for authority for changing from the seventh day to the first. The early Christians began to worship on the first day of the week because Jesus rose from the dead on that day. By and by, this day of worship was made also a day of rest, a legal holiday. This took place in the year 321.
“The reason we observe the first day instead of the seventh is based on no positive command. One will search the Scriptures in vain for authority for changing from the seventh day to the first… Our Christian Sabbath, therefore, is not a matter of positive command. It is a gift of the church… “-CLOVIS G. CHAPPELL, “Ten Rules for Living,” page 61.
“Sabbath in the Hebrew language signifies rest, and is the seventh day of the week… and it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day.” Charles Buck, A Theological Dictionary, “Sabbath”
“In the days of very long ago the people of the world began to give names to everything, and they turned the sounds of the lips into words, so that the lips could speak a thought. In those days the people worshiped the sun because many words were made to tell of many thoughts about many things. The people became Christians and were ruled by an emperor whose name was Constantine. This emperor made Sunday the Christian Sabbath, because of the blessing of light and heat which came from the sun. So our Sunday is a sun-day, isn’t it?”-Sunday School Advocate, Dec. 31, 1921.
“The moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken… Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other.”-JOHN WESLEY, “Sermons on Several Occasions,” Vol. I, Sermon XXV.
“The Sabbath instituted in the beginning, and confirmed again and again by Moses and the prophets, has never been abrogated. A part of the moral law, not a jot or a tittle of its sanctity has been taken away.” New York Herald 1874, on the Methodist Episcopal Bishops Pastoral 1874
“You will tell me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Changed! But by whom? Who has authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God? When God has spoken and said, ‘Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day,’ who shall dare to say, ‘Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead’? This is a most important question, which I know not how you can answer.”
“You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only; and yet in so important a matter as the observance of one day in seven as a holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of that day which the Bible has commanded. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten Commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered.”-“The Library of Christian Doctrine,” pages 3, 4.
“The first precept in the Bible is that of sanctifying the seventh day: ‘God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.’ Genesis 2:3. This precept was confirmed by God in the Ten Commandments: ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep It holy. …The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.’ Exodus 20: 8, 10. On the other hand, Christ declares that He is not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. (Matthew 5: 17.) He Himself observed the Sabbath: ‘And, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.’ Luke 4: r6. His disciples likewise observed it after His death: ‘They . . . rested the Sabbath day, according to the commandment.’ Luke 23: 56. Yet with all this weight of Scripture authority for keeping the Sabbath or seventh day holy, Protestants of all denominations make this a profane day and transfer the obligation of it to the first day of the week, or the Sunday. Now what authority have they for doing this? None at all but the unwritten word, or tradition of the Catholic Church, which declares that the apostle made the change in honour of Christ’s resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Ghost on that day of the week.”-JOHN MILNER, “The End of Religious Controversy,” page 71.
“Sabbath means, of course, Saturday, the seventh day of the week, but the early Christians changed the observance to Sunday, to honour the day on which Christ arose from the dead.”-FULTON OURSLER. Cosmopolitan, Sept. 1951, pages 34, 35.
“I do not pretend to be even an amateur scholar of the Scriptures. I read the Decalogue merely as an average man searching for guidance, and in the immortal ‘Ten Words’ I find a blueprint for the good life.”-Id., page 33.
“Most certainly the Commandments are needed today, perhaps more than ever before. Their divine message confronts us with a profound moral challenge in an epidemic of evil; a unifying message acceptable alike to Jew, Moslem, and Christian. Who, reading the Ten in the light of history and of current events, can doubt their identity with the eternal law of nature?”-Id., page 124.
“The Sabbath is commanded to be kept on the seventh day. It could not be kept on any other day. To observe the first day of the week or the fourth is not to observe the Sabbath. . . . It was the last day of the week, after six days of work, that was to be kept holy. The observance of no other day would fulfil the law.”-H. J. FLOWERS, B.A., B.D., “The Permanent Value of the Ten Commandments,” page 13.
“The evaluation of Sunday, the traditionally accepted day of the resurrection of Christ, has varied greatly throughout the centuries of the Christian Era. From time to time it has been confused with the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath. English speaking peoples have been the most consistent in perpetuating the erroneous assumption that the obligation of the fourth commandment has passed over to Sunday. In popular speech, Sunday is frequently, but erroneously, spoken of as the Sabbath.”-F. M. SETZLER, Head Curator, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institute, from a letter dated Sept. 1, 1949.
“He that observes the Sabbath aright holds the history of that which it celebrates to be authentic, and therefore believes in the creation of the first man; in the creation of a fair abode for man in the space of six days; in the primeval and absolute creation of the heavens and the earth, and, as a necessary antecedent to all this, in the Creator, who at the close of His latest creative effort, rested on the seventh day. The Sabbath thus becomes a sign by which the believers in a historical revelation are distinguished from those who have allowed these great facts to fade from their remembrance.’ – JAMES G. MURPHY, “Commentary on the Book of Exodus,” comments on Exodus 20: 8-11.
Moody Bible Institute
“The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word ‘remember,’ showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?” – D.L. MOODY, “Weighed and Wanting,” page 47.
“I honestly believe that this commandment [the fourth, or Sabbath commandment] is just as binding today as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated, but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside; He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place. ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.’ It is just as practicable and as necessary for men today as it ever was-in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age.’ – Id., page 46.
“This Fourth is not a commandment for one place, or one time, but for all places and times.” D.L. Moody, at San Francisco, Jan. 1st, 1881.
“The Christian Sabbath (Sunday) is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive church called the Sabbath.” Dwight’s Theology, Vol. 14, p. 401.
“A further argument for the perpetuity of the Sabbath we have in Matthew 24:20, Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter neither on the Sabbath day. But the final destruction of Jerusalem was after the Christian dispensation was fully set up (AD 70). Yet it is plainly implied in these words of the Lord that even then Christians were bound to strict observation of the Sabbath.” Works of Jonathon Edwards, (Presby.) Vol. 4, p. 621.
“We must not imagine that the coming of Christ has freed us from the authority of the law; for it is the eternal rule of a devout and holy life, and must therefore be as unchangeable as the justice of God, which it embraced, is constant and uniform.” JOHN CALVIN, “Commentary on a Harmony of the Gospels,” Vol. 1, page 277.
“God instituted the Sabbath at the creation of man, setting apart the seventh day for the purpose, and imposed its observance as a universal and perpetual moral obligation upon the race.” American Presbyterian Board of Publication, Tract No. 175.
“The observance of the seventh-day Sabbath did not cease till it was abolished after the [Roman] empire became Christian,” American Presbyterian Board of Publication, Tract No. 118.
“The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in regard to the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator who gave it. Neither doth Christ in the gospel in any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.” “Westminster Confession of Faith,” Chap. 19, Art. 5.
“The Sabbath is a part of the Decalogue-the Ten Commandments. This alone for ever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution … Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand…The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath.”- T.C. BLAKE, D.D., “Theology Condensed,” pages 474, 475.
“Sunday being the first day of which the Gentiles solemnly adored that planet and called it Sunday, partly from its influence on that day especially, and partly in respect to its divine body (as they conceived it) the Christians thought fit to keep the same day and the same name of it, that they might not appear carelessly peevish, and by that means hinder the conversion of the Gentiles, and bring a greater prejudice that might be otherwise taken against the gospel” T.M. Morer, Dialogues on the Lord’s Day
“There is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. The observance of Ash Wednesday, or Lent, stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday. Into the rest of Sunday no Divine Law enters.” Canon Eyton, in The Ten Commandments.
“Some have tried to build the observance of Sunday upon Apostolic command, whereas the Apostles gave no command on the matter at all…. The truth is, so soon as we appeal to the litera scripta [literal writing] of the Bible, the Sabbatarians have the best of the argument.” The Christian at Work, April 19, 1883, and Jan. 1884
“The sacred name of the Seventh day is Sabbath. This fact is too clear to require argument [Exodus 20:10 quoted]… on this point the plain teaching of the Word has been admitted in all ages… Not once did the disciples apply the Sabbath law to the first day of the week, — that folly was left for a later age, nor did they pretend that the first day supplanted the seventh.” Joseph Hudson Taylor, ‘The Sabbatic Question’, p. 14-17, 41.
“The first four commandments set forth man’s obligations directly toward God…. But when we keep the first four commandments, we are likely to keep the other six. . . . The fourth commandment sets forth God’s claim on man’s time and thought…. The six days of labour and the rest on the Sabbath are to be maintained as a witness to God’s toil and rest in the creation. . . . No one of the ten words is of merely racial significance…. The Sabbath was established originally (long before Moses) in no special connection with the Hebrews, but as an institution for all mankind, in commemoration of God’s rest after the six days of creation. It was designed for all the descendants of Adam.”-Adult Quarterly, Southern Baptist Convention series, Aug. 15, 1937.