ALL we ask in regard to Sunday laws, is that man’s law for Sunday-keeping shall be no more restrictive than God’s law for Sunday-keeping.
We are frequently told by those who believe in keeping Sunday, and in laws to make people keep it, that the law of God does not command the keeping of a definite day of the week, but only of one day in seven. But these same men say it is necessary that a definite day—Sunday—shall be enforced by human law. Evidently, from their standpoint, God was not so wise as they are, or he would have been more definite.
That God was definite in his Sabbath command, is demonstrated beyond question by the fact that he “blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” God had finished his rest when he blessed the Sabbath day. Genesis 2:3. But God does not bless a thing that is past and gone; his blessing is for the present and the future. He blessed the Sabbath and hallowed it for the benefit of mankind, so that every week, from Adam’s day to ours, there has dawned one day upon the world which was blessed and hallowed. And he who says that this day was not and is not a specified, definite day, might as well claim that God blessed and hallowed the entire week.
There is no rest in being compelled to rest, or recreation in being forced to do something you do not want to do. There is no benefit, physical or intellectual, to be derived from compulsory idleness. The healthy, human system,—thanks to the wisdom of the Creator,—does not take naturally to idleness. And when it is forced to be idle against its will, as in very many cases it is by a Sunday law, it will wear itself out more by chafing and fretting under the restraint than by any ordinary labor it might have performed during the day.
That must be a very restful sabbath to the sinner in which he is compelled to try to act like a saint!
There was recently on exhibition at the Royal Aquarian in London, an old clock, made by a pious Scotchman a century and a half ago, and so constructed that it would keep Sunday; that is, it would stop short at 12 o’clock Saturday night and refuse to tick against until midnight of Sunday. It is just such ideas as this that naturally grow out of a man-made sabbath, as the ancient laws for Sunday-keeping well show. How fortunate it is for our race that the real Sabbath was made by God, and that he, not man, has adapted it to mankind. Otherwise we might expect the universe to come to a dead stop at Saturday midnight—the stars and sun stop shining, the grass and trees stop growing, the earth stop moving, the birds stop singing, in brief, everything stop short for a period of twenty-four hours, save the tolling church bells and the voice of the preacher delivering a sermon on eternal torment or predestination. But we may breathe freely over the actual situation; for it is God who made the Sabbath, and his Sabbath is not against man, but “for” him. Mark 2:27.