1. WHO made the Sabbath?
"In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all
that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the
Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Ex. 20:11.
2. To whom does the Sabbath belong?
"The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God."
3. To whom, then, should its observance be
rendered? "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and
to God the things that are God's." Mark 12:17.
make Sabbath laws, therefore, they require Sabbath observance to be
rendered to the government, or, presumably, by indirection, to
God through the government, which amounts to the same thing.
4. In religious things, to whom alone are we
"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to
God." Rom. 14:12.
men make compu1sory Sabbath laws, they make men accountable to the
government for Sabbath observance.
5. How does God command us to keep the Sabbath
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Ex. 20:8.
6. What does He indicate as one of its
"Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the
Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work
therein: it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings." Lev.
7. Seeing, then, that the Sabbath is holy,
is to be kept holy, and is a day for holy convocations,
what must be its character?
It must be religious.
8. What, then, must be the nature of all
It is religious legislation.
9. When the state enacts religious laws, what
A union of church and state.
10. What has always been the result of
religious legislation, or a union of church and state?
Religious intolerance and persecution.
11. What was Constantine's Sunday law of March
"Let all the judges and town people, and the occupation
of all trades rest on the venerable day of the sun; but let those who
are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty, attend to the
business of agriculture; because it often happens that no other day is
so fit for sowing corn and planting vines; lest the critical moment
being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by heaven."-
Corpus Juris Civilis Cod., lib. 3, tit. 12, 3.
12. What further imperial legislation in behalf
of Sunday observance was issued in 386?
"By a law of the year 386, those older changes effected by
the emperor Constantine were more rigorously enforced, and, in general,
civil transactions of every kind on Sunday were strictly forbidden."-
Neander's "Church History," Vol. II, . page 300, edition 1852.
13. At the instance of church bishops, what
still further law was secured under Theodosius the Younger, in 425?
"In the year 425, the exhibition of spectacles on Sunday and
on the principal feast-days of the Christians was forbidden, in order
that the devotion of the faithful might be free from all disturbance."-
Id., pages 300, 301.
14. What does the historian say of this
"In this way the church received help from the state for
the furtherance of her ends. . . . But had it not been for that
confusion of spiritual and secular interests, had it not been for the
vast number of mere outward conversions thus brought about, she
would have needed no such help."-
Id., page 301.
15. What did Charlemagne's Sunday law of 800
"We decree. . . that servile works should not be done on the
Lord's day, . . . that is, that neither should men do field work, either
in cultivating the vineyards or by plowing in the fields, by cutting or
drying hay, or by placing a fence, or by making clearings in the woods
or felling trees or working on stones or constructing houses or working
in the garden; neither should they come together to decide public
matters nor be engaged in the hunt. . . . Women may not do any textile
work nor cut out clothes nor sew nor make garments. . . . But let them
come together from all sides to church to the solemnities of the mass,
and let them praise God for all things which he does for us on that
"Historical Chronicles of Germany," Sec. 2, Vol. I, 22 General
M. Martio 23, page 61, par. 81.
16. How does the Sunday law of Charles II, of
"For the better observation and keeping holy the Lord's day,
commonly called Sunday: be it enacted. . . that all the laws enacted and
in force concerning the observation of the day, and repairing to the
church thereon, be carefully put in execution; and that all and every
person and persons whatsoever shall on every Lord's day apply themselves
to the observation of the same, by exercising themselves thereon in the
duties of piety and true religion, publicly and privately."-
"Revised Statutes of England From 1235-1685 A.D." (London, 1870),
pages 779,780; cited in "A Critical History of Sunday Legislation," by
A. H. Lewis, D. D., pages 108, 109.
17. What did the first Sunday law enacted in
America, that of Virginia, in 1610, require?
"Every man and woman shall repair in the morning to the
divine service and sermons preached upon the Sabbath day, and in the
afternoon to divine service, and catechizing, upon pain for the
first fault to lose their provision and the allowance for the whole
week following; for the second, to lose the said allowance and
also be whipped; and for the third to suffer death."-
Articles, Laws, and Orders, Divine, Politique, and Martial, for the
Colony in Virginia: first established by Sir Thomas Gates, Knight,
Lieutenant-General, the 24th of May, 1610.
are the original Sunday laws, after which all the Sunday laws of Europe
and America have been modeled. Church attendance is not generally
required by the Sunday laws of the present day, nor was it required, in
terms, by the earliest Sunday laws; but that is and ever has, been the
chief object of all Sunday legislation from Constantine's time on, and
it is as much out of place today as it ever was.
Preparing For Eternity Copyright © 2003-2020 All Rights Reserved