"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.
"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
"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 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
"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
“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.
"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.
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,
"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,"
"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,
"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
"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
"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.
"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
DISCIPLES OF CHRIST
"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 preceeding 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.
"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 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,"
"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
LUTHERAN 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 worshipped 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.
“It is true that there is no positive command for infant baptism. Nor is there any for
the keeping of the first day of the week. Many believe that Christ changed the Sabbath. But,
from His own words, we see that He came for no such purpose. Those who believe that Jesus changed
the Sabbath base it only on a supposition.” Amos Binney, ‘Theological Compendium’,
"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
"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,
"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 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’