“One Day in Seven But No Day in Particular” American Sentinel 10, 18, pp. 137, 138.

THE following question and answer appeared in the Christian Statesman of March 30:—

Q. 32.—A.F.B., Evergreen, Ala. “If you can refer us to anything in the Bible for Sunday, as strong as the Sabbath commandment is for Saturday, I would be pleased to see it. ‘The seventh day (Saturday) is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.’ Why not keep it? It is a perpetual sign between God and his people. If you do not keep it you have no perpetual sign between you and your God.”

Ans.—The fourth commandment is “strong” for neither Saturday nor Sunday. It is strong for “the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” The institution for rest and worship of one day in seven or the seventh day is that for which the fourth commandment has its place in the Decalogue. A mere day cannot be a sign between God and his people. The institution of the Sabbath, a day religiously kept and honored as a day of rest and worship, is such a sign. And this is to be a perpetual sign. The obligation to keep the Sabbath is a perpetual obligation of immutable moral law. This immutable moral law does not change with the variations of solar days north or south of the equator, or east and west of any given meridian, or during the journeyings of the sun from topic to tropic or the journeyings of humanity from arctic to Antarctic seas or in either easterly or westerly direction round the world. The law of the Sabbath as embodied in the fourth commandment and in man’s nature is immutable law for man because it is universally and perpetually the same for all men in every part of the world.

Such juggling with Scripture is pitiful, and it illustrates to what lengths men will go to defend a cherished dogma.

With a hope of converting even the editor of the Christian Statesman from the error of his way, we will show the inconsistency of this attempted answer; and to do this we will begin with the scripture record of the origin of the Sabbath, as found in Genesis 2:1-3:—

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. [138]

Now we ask in all candor, does this scripture teach that God rested on a particular day, or does it teach that he rested on an “institution” which is one day in seven but no day in particular?

The scripture says, “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested,” etc. Does this scripture teach that God sanctified and blessed a particular day or that he sanctified and blessed one day in seven but no day in particular?

The above illustrates the absurdity of the Statesmans answer. But the Statesman, while making use of this jugglery against the seventh-day Sabbath, does not dare apply it to first-day observance. The Statesman speaks of the first day as a sanctified, holy day. But where did it get its holiness? The only biblical account of the hallowing of a Sabbath day, the Statesman insists does not apply to any particular day. For what reason, then, does the Statesman apply it to the first day of the week? Did an all-wise God not know which day to hallow and therefore hallowed no day in particular, and then left it for finite men like the editor of the Statesman to decide which day of the seven was the proper day upon which to place this holiness?

And did God, after handing to man his holiness to be placed on a particular day which he was not able to decide upon himself,—did he then commission men like the editor of the Christian Statesman to enforce this man-hallowed day on all other men under penalty of sin against God, and consequent final ruin: and in case a man should refuse to accept men like the editor of the Christian Statesman as vicegerent of God on earth, has God authorized them to use the heavy hand of civil law to compel him to honor the man-hallowed day?

We doubt not that at this point the Statesman will attempt to parry this fatal logic by asserting that although the holiness of the Sabbath institution is not necessarily associated with any particular day of the seven, and can therefore be shifted from one day to the other, nevertheless God himself, the Lord Jesus, or his inspired apostles must do the shifting and not man. However, this diplomatic dodge will avail nothing unless it can be shown from the Scriptures that they did so shift the holiness once placed on the seventh day, to the first day. But this no mortal man can do.

The Christian Statesman calls the first day of the week “the Sabbath of the Lord thy God;” but while it is recorded that “the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,” it is nowhere stated in the Scriptures that the Sabbath of the Lord has been transferred from the seventh day to the first day. The Statesman will contend that the Lord’s blessing and sanctification was temporarily attached to the seventh day of the week, but is now attached to the first day of the week; but no man can find a scripture record of the transfer of this blessing and sanctification to the first day of the week.

The Christian Statesman applies the term “Sabbath” to the first day of the week; but cannot find when the Lord of the disciples ever applied that term to any other than the seventh day.

The Christian Statesman asserts that although it was once sin to perform secular labor on the seventh day of the week, such labor can now be performed on that day without sin; but while teaching and practicing this, it is unable to produce a single scripture in support of its teaching and practice.

The Christian Statesman contends that at one time it was lawful to do secular work on the first day of the week, but that now it is a sin against God to perform such work on that day; and yet the Statesman cannot possibly find a single scripture to sustain this position. And what is more, it was this very lack of scriptural support for first day observance that led to the invention of the “one day in seven but no day in particular” theory. This theory was invented with a view to utilizing the fourth commandment in support of first-day observance. But centuries passed before the latter part of the sixteenth century did the Church seriously attempt to place the sacred robe of the fourth commandment on the pagan Sunday.

The utter absence of scriptural support for first-day holiness must drive every “one day in seven but no day in particular” advocate to the conclusion that all the sanctification and all the holiness placed on the first day of the week were placed there by man. For according to this position God did not intend to bless any particular day but only an institution which may be shifted from one day to another; but since neither God, the Lord Jesus, nor his inspired apostles ever shifted it from the seventh day on which it was first placed, to the first day, the holiness and sanctification claimed for Sunday are purely of human manufacture.

The Statesman hints at the close of its answer that the definite seventh day cannot be observed because of a difference of longitude and latitude. In all sincerity we ask, did not the Lord who created the world and who rested from his creative work on the seventh day, and then blessed and sanctified it “because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made;”—did not the Creator know the shape of the world which he had created? Or did he command the observance of the seventh day under the impression that it could be observed, and then several centuries later learn from the editor of the Christian Statesman and others that the world was so shaped that it was impossible to observe a particular day, and therefore the best that could be done under the circumstances would be to observe “one day in seven but no day in particular,” which must be understood to be the first day of the week and no other, always and everywhere, the world over, under penalty of fines and imprisonment in this life, and in the life to come everlasting torture in the flames of hell? [144]

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