“Keeping the Fourth Commandment” American Sentinel 10, 34, pp. 266, 267.

THE commandments of God are given men to be kept every day in the week, and to this rule the fourth commandment is no exception.

That commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” The Sabbath day is holy, for God made it so; and we are commanded to keep it holy. How are we to do this?

God made the Sabbath day holy by resting from his work upon it, blessing and sanctifying it. Genesis 2:2, 3. This separated the Sabbath day from the other days of the week. [267] They are working days; it is the sacred rest day. Ezekiel 46:1.

This distinction we are commanded to preserve. In the words of Deuteronomy 5:12, we are to “keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it.” To sanctify means to make separate, or distinct, from surrounding things. This definition is based upon Scripture.

When the Lord was about to come down in his majesty upon Mount Sinai and proclaim his law in the presence of the assembly of Israel, he gave directions to Moses concerning the mount, telling him, “Thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it; whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death.” And afterwards Moses, alluding to the same, said, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for Thou chargedst us, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.” Exodus 19:12, 23.

Another illustration is furnished in the narrative of God’s meeting with Moses at the burning bush. As Moses turned to behold the bush, God said to him, “Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5.

Mount Sinai, while it was the abode of God, was sanctified,—set apart from the country about it, by the bounds placed around it, through which the people were not permitted to pass. The ground about the burning bush was likewise set apart from other ground, being made holy by the presence of God. By being thus separated or set apart, it was sanctified.

To sanctify the Sabbath, therefore, we must keep it separate, or distinct, from other days. It has been made so by the act of God, and this distinction we must preserve. Hence, while we are to regard the Sabbath as a sacred rest day, we must also regard the other days as working days. And this precludes us from regarding Sunday as a rest day.

Therefore it is utterly impossible to keep the Sabbath holy—to sanctify it—while making a weekly rest day of Sunday. To make Sunday a rest day, is to break in upon the distinction which pertains to the Sabbath. To keep the Sabbath commandment, we must regard the first six days as working days, as well as rest upon the seventh.

Let no one then assert that the law of the State commanding the observance of Sunday is not of a nature to interfere with the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath. It is directly contrary to the fourth precept of God’s law, and forces upon every observer of that precept whom it reaches, the question whether he shall render obedience to God or to man?

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