SPEAKING of a change of views recently experienced by a W. C. T. U. evangelist relative to the question of which day is the Sabbath, the N. Y. Christian Advocate, of May 6, says:—
“The question between those who observe Sunday as the Lord’s day and those who maintain that the only day to be observed as a sacred day is the seventh day, is a complex one, that the study of many years would not really exhaust. There are some questions upon which practical wisdom for busy Christians is to follow the teachings of the Church in all matters that are not flatly and unmistakably contradictory to the Word of God.”
In other words, this question of which day is the sabbath being so complex and difficult of solution, it is impracticable for the individual Christian to undertake it, and his proper course is to follow the teachings of the Church. This is the principle of popery, as straightly put as it would be by an acknowledged spokesman of Rome.
It sounds odd to hear this leading Methodist organ falling back upon this purely papal principle in defense of Protestant practice in the observance of the Sabbath. Yet, after all, it is not strange, but perfectly natural; for Protestant practice in this important matter, as generally observed, is not Protestant at all, but papal; that is, the observance of Sunday as a sacred day rests not upon the Word of God, but upon tradition and the precepts of “the Church”; and when the champions of Sunday observance find themselves under the necessity of defending it, they at once fall back upon the papal principle of directing conscience by the word of man, instead of the Word of God. Papal practice must be defended by papal principles.