5th Century Sabbath Observance
"For although almost all churches
throughout the world celebrated the sacred mysteries (the Lord's
Supper) on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of
Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, refuse
to do this." The footnote which accompanies the foregoing
quotation explains the use of the word "Sabbath." It says:
"That is, upon the Saturday. It should be observed, that Sunday
is never called "the Sabbath' by the ancient Fathers and
historians." Socrates, "Ecclestical
History," Book 5, chap. 22, p. 289.
"The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere,
assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the
week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria."
History," Book 7, chap.19.
THE WORLD-AUGUSTINE, BISHOP OF HIPPO
Augustine shows here that the Sabbath was observed in his day
"in the greater part of the Christian world," and his
testimony in this respect is all the more valuable because he
himself was an earnest and consistent Sunday-keeper. See "Nicene
and Post-Nicene Fathers," 1st Series, Vol.1, pp. 353, 354.
POPE INNOCENT (402-417)
Pope Sylvester (314-335) was the first to order the churches
to fast on Saturday, and Pope Innocent (402-417) made it a binding
law in the churches that obeyed him, (In order to bring the Sabbath
into disfavour.) "Innocentius did ordain the Saturday or
Sabbath to be always fasted." Dr.
Peter Heylyn, "History of the Sabbath, Part 2, p. 44.
5TH CENTURY CHRISTIANS
Down even to the fifth century the observance of the Jewish
Sabbath was continued in the Christian church. "Ancient
Christianity Exemplified," Lyman Coleman, ch. 26, sec. 2, p.
In Jerome's day (420 A.D.) the devoutest Christians did ordinary
work on Sunday. "Treatise of
the Sabbath Day," by Dr. White, Lord Bishop of Ely, p. 219.
"Wherefore, except Vespers and Nocturns, there are no
public services among them in the day except on Saturday (Sabbath)
and Sunday." John Cassian, A
French monk, "Institutes," Book 3, ch. 2.
"Augustine deplored the fact that in two neighbouring
churches in Africa one observes the seventh-day Sabbath, another
fasted on it." Dr. Peter Heylyn,
"The History of the Sabbath." p. 416.
SPAIN (400 A.D.)
"Ambrose sanctified the seventh day as the Sabbath (as
he himself says). Ambrose had great influence in Spain, which was
also observing the Saturday Sabbath." Truth
Triumphant, p. 68.
SIDONIUS (SPEAKING OF KING THEODORIC OF
THE GOTHS, A.D. 454-526)
"It is a fact that it was formerly the custom in the
East to keep the Sabbath in the same manner as the Lord's day and to
hold sacred assemblies: while on the other hand, the people of the
West, contending for the Lord's day have neglected the celebration
of the Sabbath." "Apollinaries
Sidonli Epistolae," lib.1, 2; Migne, 57.
CHURCH OF THE EAST
"Mingana proves that in 410 Isaac, supreme director of
the Church of the East, held a world council,-stimulated, some
think, by the trip of Musacus,-attended by eastern delegates from
forty grand metropolitan divisions. In 411 he appointed a
metropolitan director for China. These churches were sanctifying the
"There are several cities and villages in Egypt where,
contrary to the usage established elsewhere, the people meet
together on Sabbath evenings, and, although they have dined
previously, partake of the mysteries." Sozomen.
"Ecclesiastical History Book 7, ch. 119