22. Summary of Facts About Sunday
1. GOD commenced his work of creating the world by working on the first day of the first week of time, while he rested on the seventh day of that week; thus distinguishing the first day as a “working day,” while he made the seventh a rest day. Can it be wicked to follow the example of the God of heaven, and work on Sunday?
2. Not an instance can be found in the Bible where Sunday was ever observed as a rest day, or a hint given that its character as a “working day” was ever changed to that of a rest day. Indeed, God in the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) permits or commands men to work upon it; and the prophet Ezekiel calls it one of the “working days.” Ezekiel 46:1. Can it be a sin to treat it as God expressly permits in his own law?
3. Not a command in all the Bible can be found to observe Sunday as a rest-day or a day for religious worship. No record of its ever being blessed or set apart for any sacred use whatever, no command to break bread upon it, no hint of any change of the Sabbath in any way, nor the slightest proof that the sacredness of the original Sabbath was ever transferred to it.
4. Jesus worked at the carpenter’s trade (Mark 6:3) till he was nearly thirty years old. He worked six days, and rested on the Sabbath; hence he performed many a day’s work on Sunday. Is our Savior’s example safe to follow?
5. The apostles and early Christians also worked on the first day of the week, and not an instance can be found of their treating it in any other way than as a “working day.” Indeed, as no law was ever given in the Bible to observe it as a Sabbath, it cannot be wrong to work upon it. Where no law is, there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15. Sin is the transgression of the law.” I John 3:4. Hence it cannot be sin to do ordinary business on Sunday.
6. There are only nine instances in all the Bible where the first day of the week is mentioned: Genesis 1:5; Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2. These instances refer to only three different days, the first being the day when God began to create. The next six referring to that first day on which Christ was raised from the dead. While the one in Acts 20 is the last particular day referred to; and the direction concerning the “laying by in store,” in I Corinthians 16:2, does not refer to any one first day, but to a duty to be done on all of them. It is remarkable that in every instance here referred to, the Scripture record gives plain evidence that it was a “working day.”
7. The first instance we have already noticed, in which God commenced his work of creating. The day of Christ’s resurrection was one of the busiest days of which we have any record in the word of God. The disciples went out with the materials which they had prepared for the anointing of Christ’s body, which work they would not do on the day previous. When they did not find him, they spent the time hurrying here and there, inquiring ok one another concerning the strange occurrences. Two of them walked fifteen miles on that day, out to Emmaus and back, and Christ himself walked much of the way with them. A strange way to observe a Sabbath! As the first Sabbath of a series gives the proper example for all the rest, it is therefore perfectly proper to travel on a journey afoot many miles on the first day of the week. Thus we have the example of Christ and his disciples for treating the first day as a working day since the resurrection of Christ.
8. So also of the last specific instance in which the first day is mentioned, Acts 20:7. Paul walked nineteen and a half miles from Troas to Assos on the first day of the week. And though there was one religious meeting held in the dark part of that first day, the only case of the kind brought to view in all the Bible, yet the fact of his journeys plainly proves that Paul regarded it simply as a “working day.”
9. The recommendation of Paul to the Corinthians for every one to “lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him,” on the first day of the week proves the same thing. This laying by him was “by himself at home,” as many versions render it. Their doing this as God had prospered them would imply a reckoning of their accounts, a business inconsistent with the sacredness of a Sabbath, but every way consistent with a “working day.” How strange that upon such evidence good people should try to change a “working day” into the Sabbath!
10. After the death of the apostles, during the second century, we find some voluntary regard being paid to Sunday, with Good Friday and other festival days, for which no command of Scripture was ever assigned, and later on, “custom” was quoted as additional evidence. Subsequently some held religions meetings upon it, and finally the Catholic Church favored it, calling it the Lord’s Day, about A.D. 200. At last Constantine, a heathen, passed a law (A.D. 321) commanding a portion of the people to rest from labor on “the venerable day of the sun.” This heathen law was the first ever made requiring cessation from labor on Sunday.
11. From various first-day authors we have shown that Sunday was a heathen “memorial” of sun worship, the first form of idolatry; hence the name Sunday. It was regarded all through the heathen world as a weekly festival; hence Constantine calls it “the venerable day of the sun.” This fact enabled the Catholic Church the more readily to exalt it among the vast body of heathen nominally converted to Christianity.
12. The Roman Catholic Church continued till the Reformation to exalt the Sunday, fining and whipping men who would not keep it, appealing to base frauds and false miracles to sustain it, till its partial observance became general, while the ancient Sabbath was suppressed. Yet it took nearly a thousand years before the first clay was called the Sabbath, even by the Catholic Church.
13. In the Protestant Reformation, those who were engaged in it came from the Catholic Church, and brought Sunday along with them, though many of the Reformers regarded it simply as a festival day, like the other church festivals.
14. The doctrine of a Sunday Sabbath, as now taught, was never promulgated in its present form, claiming divine authority for the change, and sustaining itself from the fourth commandment, until put forth by Revelation Nicholas Bound in 1595, and hence is an entirely modern doctrine. It has been extensively taught in Great Britain and the United States, but has not been generally adopted on the continent of Europe. It is a doctrine having no foundation whatever in Scripture.
15. The Catholic Church everywhere claims to have changed the Sabbath, and the facts of history abundantly verify the statement. The prophet clearly foretold the change (Daniel 7:25), and the final reform (Revelation 12:17; 14:12). When this heathen “memorial,” entrenched by the power of the Catholic Church in the very “temple” or church of God, would be cast aside by the people who prepare for the coming of Christ. These will “keep the commandments of God” as the Father gave them.
Dear reader, on which side of this last conflict will you place yourself? Which of these days will you keep? Will you take God’s ancient Sabbath, recognized in the Holy Scriptures as his holy day for more than 4,000 years? Or will you take the festival of “pope and pagan” as your day of rest, and still trample under foot the law of the great Jehovah? Choose you this day whom you will serve.”