“Too Late to Deny It” American Sentinel 9, 33, pp. 258, 259.

IN the Catholic World for August, “Rev.” Walter Elliott, a Roman Catholic missionary, tells of his experience among the Seventh-day Adventists in Michigan. “Father” Elliott says:—

The sect is the most venomous enemy of Catholicity in these parts…. And yet some of our Catholic journals have favored it on the question of the observance of the Sunday as against Protestantism generally. I am persuaded that this is bad policy, to say the least of it. If Protestants, as a body, are mistaken as to the office of scripture, they are right as to the day of the Lord. Do not be too eager to make men give up the truth by showing them that they are “illogical.” … Our policy is to favor the right side among our jarring brethren, rather than to compel consistency. Say to them, First be right, and then be consistent and get wholly right. To play off error against inconsistency is not fraternal. Furthermore, the Seventh-day Adventists incline to be Old Testament Christians, Puritans of the worst sort, and are making a propaganda of much energy, and not without results. If what the Catechism of the Council of Trent calls the Christian Sabbath shall lose its place in our national customs, and if its legal observance shall drop out of the competency of our legislators, the end will be the abolition of a general observance of any day of rest and prayer at all—a calamity of the first order. I have been almost everywhere assailed with quotations from one of our oldest and most respectable Catholic journals against the scripture basis of the observance of the first day of the week—claiming that it has not any scripture authority whatever, is wholly without a scripture basis, etc. Such, however, is not the sense of the Catholic Church.

The “reverend” “father” seems to be hard hit by the quotation from “one of our oldest and most respectable Catholic journals,” but his denial is vain. He quotes Catholic authorities in support of his position, but that is also vain. It is not the Catholic Mirror alone (the old and respectable journal referred to) which asserts the fact that there is no scriptural authority for Sunday observance. “The Faith of Our Fathers,” by Cardinal Gibbons, has on page 111, this paragraph:—

You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the [259] sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.

In “Catholic Belief,” a standard Catholic work, published in this city by Benziger Brothers, and indorsed by Cardinal McCloskey, June 5, 1884, we find this on page 251, from the Creed of Pius IV.:—

I most steadfastly admit and embrace the apostolical and ecclesiastical traditions, and all other observances and constitutions of the same church.

The dagger refers to a foot-note as follows:—

That is, I admit as points of revealed truth what the church declares the apostles taught as such, whether clearly or not clearly expressed or not even mentioned in the written word of God; as, for instance, that baptism is to be conferred on infants, that Sunday instead of Saturday (called the Sabbath) is to be kept holy; and moreover, I admit those points of discipline which the church holds as established by the apostles, or by their successors as lawful rulers of the church in the early centuries of Christianity, such as points of liturgy or of church government.

We have italicized the salient part of this note to call attention to the fatal confession which it contains in reference to two cherished dogmas of so-called orthodoxy. Priest Elliott will have to add this and the cardinal’s book to his Index Expurgatorius. But it will be hard for him to conceal the naked truth. The fact is as it is, and it would be none the less a fact if every papist in the world denied it. There is no scriptural authority for Sunday, and this politic priest knows it. It may have been “bad policy” for the Catholics to tell the truth on this point; but they have told it as their published works abundantly prove. [259]

Share this: