IN a sermon delivered by the pastor of a Portland, Me., church, recently, against some people of the city who observe the seventh day, the speaker said:—
“We should co-operate with the Sabbath Protective League of Boston, which has done much. I am only waiting for them to get a hand into Maine for them to stop some things; for example, the electrics which run regularly, the drug stores in full blast, restaurants, etc. On the streets we see men at work on Sunday. We are drifting, drifting. The time is coming when no Sunday man will be sure of his rest.
“If the Christian Sabbath goes down then the church goes; and when the church goes civilization goes. We better hold on to the Sabbath.”
But how does this clergyman propose to stop all this? Oh, he will invoke the arm of the civil power; he will have the laws enforced; shutting up the drug stores and restaurants, stopping the electric cars, etc. This will save the Sabbath; and the Sabbath in turn will save the church, and the church will save civilization.
All then that saves the church, or that saves civilization, according to this clergyman’s conception, is the law of the State for the observance of Sunday. Is not this the conclusion that must be drawn from his affirmations?
But what Sabbath will be saved by the Sunday laws? and what church will be saved by the saving of the sabbath? What sabbath and what church will be saved by this man-made instrument of salvation? Will it not necessarily be a man-made sabbath and a man-made church? Certainly it cannot be the Sabbath of God’s eternal law; for if that Sabbath should be lost the fourth commandment would be lost, a great breach would be made in the Decalogue, and Christ would be a false witness for declaring that not a jot or a tittle of the law should ever fail. Nor can it be the Christian Church that would be lost; for that church is declared to be the “body of Christ;” and surely the body of Christ is not joined to the Head by the state laws.
The true Sabbath and the Christian Church are essential to the highest civilization; but as the former are independent of Sunday laws, so likewise is the latter. Nowhere in history is this contradicted by the testimony of events.