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Chapter 100

Sabbath Legislation

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Who made the Sabbath and gave it to mankind?
"In six days the Lord made the 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." Exodus 20:11.

To whom does the Sabbath belong?
"The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Verse 10.

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.

In religious matters, to whom alone are we accountable for our words and actions?
"So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God." Rom. 14:12.

How does God show the holiness of the Sabbath day?
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Exodus 20:8. "The seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation." Leviticus 23:3.
Since the Sabbath is holy, is to be kept holy, and is a day for holy convocations, it must be

So then, what is the true nature of all Sabbath legislation?
It is religious legislation.

Religious legislation unites church with state. What has generally been the result of enacting religious legislation?
Religious intolerance and persecution.

What was the first Sunday law in history?
Constantine's Sunday law of March 7, 321.
NOTE. - "On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain sowing or for vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost. (Given the 7th day of March, Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time.)" Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; translated by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 3 (1902), p. 380, note.

What church council required Sunday observance and forbade Sabbath observance?
The Council of Laodicea decreed that Christians should keep the Sunday, and that if they persisted in resting on the Sabbath, "they shall be shut out from Christ." (See Hefele, A History of the Councils of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 316.)

Was there any additional governmental Sunday legislation in later years?
"Constantine's decrees marked the beginning of along, though intermittent series of imperial decrees in support of Sunday rest." Ibid. p. 29.