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Sabbath History

Denominational Statements on the Sabbath

Church of England Quotes about
The Sabbath

Many people think that Sunday is the Sabbath. But neither in the New Testament nor in the early church is there anything to suggest that we have any right to transfer the observance of the seventh day of the week to the first. The Sabbath was and is Saturday and not Sunday, and if it were binding on us then we should observe it on that day, and on no other.
—Rev. Lionel Beere, All-Saints Church, Ponsonby, N.Z. in Church and People, Sept. 1, 1947.
Nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. ...! That is Saturday.
—P. Carrington, Archbishop of Quebec, Oct. 27, 1949; cited in Prophetic Signs, p 12.
The observance of the first instead of the seventh day rests on the testimony of the church, and the church alone.
—Hobart Church News, July 2, 1894; cited in Prophetic Signs, p 14.
Where are we told in Scripture that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the Seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day. The reason why we keep the first day holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many things, not because the Bible, but because the Church, has enjoined them.
—Rev. Isaac Williams, Ser. on Catechism, p. 334.
The seventh day, the commandment says, is the Sabbath of The Lord thy God. No kind of arithmetic, no kind of almanac, can make seven equal one, nor the seventh mean the first, nor Saturday mean Sunday. ... The fact is that we are all Sabbath breakers, every one of us.
—Rev. Geo. Hodges.
Not any ecclesiastical writer of the first three centuries attributed the origin of Sunday observance either to Christ or to His apostles.
—SIR WILLIAM DOMVILLE, Examination of the Six Texts, pages 6, 7. (Supplement).
There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about ab­staining from work on Sunday. . . . Into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters…, The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday.
—CANON EYTON, 'The Ten Commandments, pages 52, 63, 65.
Is there any command in the New Testament to change the day of weekly rest from Saturday to Sunday? None.
—Manual of Christian Doctrine, page 127.
The Lord's day did not succeed in the place of the Sabbath....The Lord's day was merely an ecclesiastical institution. It was not introduced by virtue of the fourth commandment, because for almost three hundred years together they kept that day which was in that commandment...The primitive Christians did all manner of works upon the Lord's day, even in times of persecution, when they are the strictest observers of all the divine commandments; but in this they knew there was none.
—BISHOP JEREMY TAYLOR, Ductor Dubitantium, Part I, Book II, Chap. 2, Rule 6. Sec. 51, 59.
Sunday being the day on which the Gentiles solemnly adore that planet and called it Sunday, partly from its influence on that day especially, and partly in respect to its divine body (as they conceived it), the Christians thought fit to keep the same day and the same name of it, that they might not appear causelessly peevish, and by that means hinder the conversion of the Gentiles, and bring a greater prejudice than might be otherwise taken against the gospel.
—T. M. MORER, Dialogues on the Lord's Day, pages 22, 23.
The Puritan idea was historically unhappy. It made Sun­day into the Sabbath day. Even educated people call Sunday the Sabbath. Even clergymen do.

But, unless my reckoning is all wrong, the Sabbath day lasts twenty-four hours from six o'clock on Friday evening. It gives over, therefore, before we come to Sunday. If you suggest to a Sabbatarian that he ought to observe the Sabbath on the proper day, you arouse no enthusiasm. He at once replies that the day, not the principle, has been changed. But changed by whom? There is no injunction in the whole of the New Testament to Christians to change the Sabbath into Sunday.
—D. MORSE­-BOYCOTT, Daily Herald, London, Feb. 26, 1931.
The Christian church made no formal, but a gradual and almost unconscious transference of the one day to the other.
—F.W. FARRAR, D.D., The Voice From Sinai, page 167.
Take which you will, either of the Fathers or the moderns, and we shall find no Lord's day instituted by any apostolical man­date; no Sabbath set on foot by them upon the first day of the week.
—PETER HEYLYN, History of the Sabbath, page 410.
Merely to denounce the tendency to secularise Sunday is as futile as it is easy. What we want is to find some principle, to which as Christians we can appeal, and on which we can base both our conduct and our advice. We turn to the New Testament, and we look in vain for any authoritative rule.

There is no recorded word of Christ, there is no word of any of the apostles, which tells how we should keep Sunday, or indeed that we should keep it at all. It is disappointing, for it would make our task much easier if we could point to a definite rule, which left us no option but simple obedience or disobedience. . . . There is no rule for Sunday observance, either in Scripture or history.
—DR. STEPHEN, Bishop of Newcastle, N.S.W., in an address reported in the Newcastle Morn­ing Herald, May 14, 1924.