“The Problem of a Weekly Rest” American Sentinel 12, 3, pp. 43, 44.

THE religious and labor federations, the statesmen and theologians, who are laboring over the problem of securing a weekly rest for the toiling masses, are making much ado about nothing. There is no problem involved in the matter at all.

There is not a man on the face of the earth but is now, and has been all his life, supplied with a weekly day of rest. It is given him by none other than the Creator, and by the latter enjoined upon his observance. The only problem that can be connected with it is the problem of doing what the Lord commands.

It is true that some people—very many in fact—make a great problem of obedience to God. But this is because they do not want to obey Him, and do not obey Him in fact. Obedience itself is a very simple thing. Obedience to God, in just the way that God points out, is one of the simplest things in the world. But when men try to obey God in their own way, at once a problem arises; and so great is that problem that it is altogether beyond solution by any wisdom or power on earth. God cannot be obeyed by any man in man’s way.


What God says concerning a weekly rest is that “the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.” God is the author of the Sabbath; and by resting on the seventh day after six days of work and setting apart that day as a day of rest, He made the week. The Sabbath and the week stand in inseparable relation to each other. The very process of making the one, established the other.

The seventh day Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. God fixed it there at creation, and no human power can move it from its place. God commanded—and still commands—every person to keep it holy; and all that any one has to do in the matter is to do as the Lord directs.

But, it is said by many, “I cannot keep the weekly rest day, on my own responsibility, without a great sacrifice.” Possibly that is so. Possibly you would lose your job, and be brought into financial straits. But what of that? If you are willing to make a sacrifice to obey God, you can obey Him. You can take the rest day that He gives you, and get all the good from it that can be realized by any person in the world. If you are a Christian, you will not deny that it does not hurt any individual to lose his job or be brought into a strait place on account of obedience to God. From a Christian point of view, a strait place is not half as bad as a broad place where everything goes smoothly. And if you are not a Christian, you can derive no benefit from the Sabbath, anyway. The Sabbath benefits only those who obey God.

It is said that man needs one rest day in each week; and that is true. If man did not need the Sabbath, the Creator would not have made it. Unremitting toil is not good for the race. No one claims that it is. But the Lord, who made man, knew what kind of a rest man would need, and made the Sabbath to supply that need. The one who takes the Sabbath and keeps it as God has commanded, gets the rest, and the one who does not obey God in this respect, does not get it.

Seven days’ work in the week, it is loudly asserted, is contrary to God’s order. True: and disobedience to one of God’s commands is also contrary to God’s order. And the one is no more contrary, and no more hurtful, than the other.


Laws may be passed to enforce the observance of Sunday; the trades unions may adopt regulations to secure the workingmen a weekly day of rest; but all such work amounts to nothing, so far as securing benefit to men is concerned. It is wholly unnecessary. Why?—Because God himself has legislated on that very point, and his legislation covers the whole ground. No human legislation covers the whole ground. No human legislation can add anything to the command of God; and any legislation that is not in harmony with God’s command, would much better never have been enacted.

No matter what may be the needs of the human race; no matter how eloquently or convincingly the modern “reform” orator may be able to discourse on the evils of unremitting toil, the fact remains that the Creator has taken out of the hands of man all legislation touching a weekly rest, by legislating on the subject himself for every individual on the earth; and that legislation remains in full force to-day. If individuals do not heed it,—if they work seven days in the week themselves, or try to force their employees to work, the only remedy still lies in obedience to God’s command. Man cannot legislate on the subject of a weekly rest without invading the prerogatives of God.

All men are bound by God’s Sabbath law; and when man presumes to make a different law covering the same [44] point, or to re-enact God’s law, he is guilty of nothing less than blasphemy.

These considerations make it clear why human Sabbath laws never benefited the human race in the past, and why no possible benefit can be derived from them to-day.

Share this: