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

s 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.