THE Progressive Farmer, of Raleigh, Tenn., publishes in its issue of March 19, a very candid editorial entitled, “The Day of Rest.” We extract from it the following paragraph:—
The time-keepers and almanac manufacturers doubtless think they have it down right. But it is possible that some smart Aleck has slipped a cog. Certainly we ought to observe the seventh day as we are commanded, and if our present Sunday is the first day of the week, we ought to get right.
The last sentence states the truth honestly and pointedly, and is deserving of attention. We will start our investigation with the crucifixion. The 56th verse of the 23rd chapter of Luke reads thus: “And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” The next verse, the first verse of the 24th chapter, says: “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.”
From the above it is evident that the “Sabbath day according to the commandment,” in the time of Christ, and as late as the writing of the book of Luke, was the seventh day, or the day preceding the first day of the week.
No one will claim that so long as Jerusalem and the Jewish nation were preserved there was any chance of losing the identity of the seventh day or Sabbath.
After the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in A.D. 70, the Jews were scattered to the four winds, and from that day to this, they have been found in every nation under heaven. And nowhere and at no time has there been during these nineteen centuries any disagreement as to which day is the Sabbath or seventh day, among all these millions of scattered Jews. The Jews in China, Russia, Italy, France, England, Australia, and America, all keep the same seventh day. Since the seventh day has been thus providentially and infallibly preserved, it cannot be possible that the first day has been lost. It is impossible to preserve the seventh day and lose the first day. Hence, since our Saturday is the seventh day of the week, “our present Sunday is the first day of the week,” and every man, woman, and child, who is observing the first day, ought, if they desire like the editor of the Progressive Farmer, to obey God, to cease keeping the first day and commence “to observe the seventh day as we are commanded.”
Let us now view it from another side. Those who keep Sunday, say they do it in honor of the resurrection of Christ, who rose from the dead on the first day of the week. They claim that the practice of keeping the first day originated very early. They also acknowledge that Christian converts from the Jews continued to observe the seventh day, and all who know anything about the history of Christianity know that there was a conflict in the Church as to whether the first day or the seventh day should be observed. Constantine contributed to this controversy by issuing his famous edict in 321 A.D., commanding “that all judges, people of the cities, and artificers rest on the venerable day of the sun.” Later the Council of Laodicea anathematized those who observed the seventh day. Could it be possible that the day of the week could be lost when there was a severe controversy as to which was the proper day to observe?
The impossibility of losing a day is made apparent by asking if anyone remembers an instance where a whole family lost the day of the week? There are frequent cases where an individual makes this mistake, but invariably other members of the family will set him right. But should a whole family lose their reckoning their neighbors would correct them. And if a whole neighborhood should lose the day of the week, the adjoining neighborhoods would convince them of the error. Should a whole State or Province err in their reckoning, other State and Provinces would right them. And should all the people of a nation go to sleep, and thereby lose a day, other nations would convince them of their mistake. And should all the people of all the nations of all the world lose the same day (how absurd!), then the God of the universe, who made the Sabbath for man, who blessed and sanctified it at creation’s morn, and who recommended its observance in tones of thunder from Sinai’s flaming top, while the earth trembled, and who wrote it with his own finger on tables of stone, who gave the life of his only begotten Son to save man from the penalty of its violation, and it from the burdensome traditions of men,—would he not arise in his majesty and announce anew the day of sacred rest?
Is it not a little strange that men are satisfied that Sunday is the first day of the week, the day on which Christ rose,—so satisfied that they will enact laws to preserve it from desecration, and put seventh-day observers in prison for not observing it, and yet declare that they are not sure but we have lost a day, and therefore we are not sure that Saturday is the seventh day, and that Sunday is the first day?
Let every one who refuses to observe the seventh day as God commands for fear that time has been lost, stop and think what excuse he will give when summoned before the judgment bar of God. When asked why he did not observe the seventh day as commanded, it would devolve upon him to prove that the day was lost; and in order to prove that the day was lost, he would have to prove how it was lost, where it was lost, and when it was lost. And to prove how, where, and when the day was lost, would be to find the lost day, and when the lost day is thus found there is no lost day.
We sincerely hope that the editor of the Progressive Farmer and all who are like minded, will not be deceived by the illogical, impossible, unreasonable, and unscientific “lost time” idea.