IN behalf of Sunday laws it is said that “Sabbath-keeping develops and strengthens the religious nature, and fosters reverence for God and his revealed truth, which is the basis of all well-being and prosperity.”
This is true, if it be God’s Sabbath that is kept, and it be kept in God’s appointed way. But how is it as regards the sabbath-keeping which is secured by Sunday laws?
Does a Sunday law develop and strengthen the religious nature? How is that nature strengthened? Is it not by faith in God? All must admit that it is; but what has a Sunday law to do with faith? What has the aid of the civil power to do with faith? Is not the act of seeking for and depending upon such aid the very opposite of faith in God?
“Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” Jeremiah 17:5, 6. Thus has God answered those who would put their dependence upon an earthly power.
On the other hand, how is it with those who do the opposite? We read further in this chapter: “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful in the year of drouth, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
This is the kind of experience that “develops and strengthens the religious nature”; and it comes altogether from faith in God. Faith in God is trust in God; and trust in the arm of flesh is the opposite of trust in God. It is the opposite of faith.
Can it be said, either, that Sunday laws “foster reverence for God and his revealed truth”? Do they call  attention to God at all? The law calls attention to the legislative body which enacts it. A human Sabbath law, therefore, calls the attention of the people away from God to a human power as the source of authority in Sabbath observance; and this does not foster reverence for God, but the very opposite. God is the only authority for Sabbath observance, and he alone can rightfully be recognized in such a matter. Any other “authority” is self constituted, and a daring usurper of the prerogative of Heaven.
And what have Sunday laws to do with fostering regard for God’s “revealed truth”? What Sunday law ever called attention to God’s truth? It is the very absence of such truth from the foundation of that institution which prompts its adherents to seek a declaration from an earthly power. It is the absence of any divine law in support of the day that calls for support from the laws of men.
For the very reason, therefore, that “Sabbath-keeping develops and strengthens the religious nature and fosters reverence for God and his revealed truth,” no human law ought ever to intrude itself into the matter of Sabbath observance. A human law in the domain of religion can only act as a barrier between man and his God.