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THE third article of the Mosaic Code not only enunciates the law of
rest, but says just how much time shall be given to its observance; it
prescribes neither a week nor a few hours, but one day in seven. If you
have a taste for such things and look well, you will find several
reasons put forth as justifying this special designation of one day in
seven. The number seven the Jews regarded as a sacred number; the
Romans, as the symbol of perfection. Students of antiquity have
discovered that among nearly all peoples this number in some way or
other refers to the Deity. Science finds that nature prefers this
number; light under analysis reveals seven colors, and all colors refer
to the seven orders of the solar spectrum; the human voice has seven
tones that constitute the scale of sound; the human body is renewed
every seven years. Authorities on hygiene and physiology teach that one
day in six is too much, one day in eight is too little, but that one
day in seven is sufficient and necessary for the physical needs of man.

These considerations may or may not carry conviction to the average
mind. On the face of it, they confirm rather than prove. They do not
reveal the necessity of a day of rest so much as show its
reasonableness and how it harmonizes with nature in its periodicity,
its symmetry and its exact proportion to the strength of man. As for
real substantial reasons, there is but one,--a good and sufficient,--
and that is the positive will of God. He said: keep this day holy;
such is His command; no man should need a better reason.

The God-given law of Moses says Saturday, Christians say Sunday.
Protestants and Catholics alike say Sunday, and Sunday it is. But this
is not a trifling change; it calls for an explanation. Why was it made?
What is there to justify it? On what authority was it done? Can the
will of God, unmistakably manifested, be thus disregarded and put aside
by His creatures? This is a serious question.

One of the most interesting things in the world would be to hear a
Protestant Christian, on Protestant grounds, justify his observance of
the Sunday instead of the Sabbath, and give reasons for his conduct.
"Search the Scriptures." Aye, search from Genesis to Revelations, the
Mosaic prescriptions will hold good in spite of all your researches.
Instead of justification you will find condemnation. "The Bible, the
Bible alone" theory hardly fits in here. Are Papists the only ones to
add to the holy writings, or to go counter to them? Suppose this change
cannot be justified on Scriptural grounds, what then? And the fact is,
it cannot.

It is hardly satisfactory to remark that this is a disciplinary
injunction, and Christ abrogated the Jewish ceremonial. But if it is
nothing more than this, how came it to get on the table of the Law? Its
embodiment in the Decalogue makes it somewhat different from all other
ceremonial prescriptions; as it stands, it is on a par with the veto to
kill or to steal. Christ abolished the purely Jewish law, but he left
the Decalogue intact.

Christ rose from the dead on Sunday, 'tis true; but nowhere in writing
can it be found that His resurrection on that day meant a change in the
Third Commandment. In the nature of the event, there is absolutely no
relation between it and the observance of Sunday.

Where will our friend find a loop-hole to escape? Oh! as usual, for the
Sunday as for the Bible, he will have to fall back on the old Church.
What in the world could he do without her? He will find there an
authority, and he is obliged to recognize it, even if he does on
ordinary occasions declaim against and condemn it. Incidentally, if his
eyes are open, he will discover that his individually interpreted Bible
has failed most woefully to do its work; it condemns the Protestant

This day was changed on the sole authority of the Holy Roman Catholic
Church, as the representative of God on earth, to whose keeping was
confided the interpretation of God's word, and in whose bosom is found
that other criterion of truth, called tradition. Tradition it is that
justifies the change she made. Deny this, and there is no justification
possible, and you must go back to the Mosaic Sabbath. Admit it, and if
you are a Protestant you will find yourself in somewhat of a mess.

A logical Protestant must be a very uneasy being. If the Church is
right in this, why should she not be right in defining the Immaculate
Conception? And if she errs here, what assurance is there that she does
not err there? How can he say she is right on one occasion, and wrong
on another? What kind of nonsense is it that makes her truthful or
erring according to one's fancy and taste? Truly, the reformer
blundered when he did not treat the Sunday as he treated the Pope and
all Church authority, for it is papistical to a degree.



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