The commandment for Sabbath observance reads: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle; not thy stranger that is within thy gates; for 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.”
The Sabbath commandment is placed in the very bosom of the Decalogue, amid the unchangeable precepts of Jehovah. And yet from many pulpits of our land a contemptuous cry is raised against the Sabbath instituted by the Lord God of heaven, and it is stigmatized as “the old Jewish Sabbath.” Let all who are seeking for truth remember that the Sabbath was instituted in Eden before there was a Jew in existence, and that the Saviour said, “The Sabbath was made for man.” The fourth commandment was spoken with the other nine of God’s moral precepts, amid the thunders and grandeur of Mount Sinai, and in the holy of holies in the heavenly sanctuary above, is the ark of God. It is called the “ark of the testament,” and under its cover,–the mercy seat,–are the ten commandments that were written with the finger of God.
On the tables of the law, written with the finger of the infinite God, is the fourth commandment. Does the commandment read, “The first day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God?”–No, it reads: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested [the first day?] the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day; and hallowed it.” Thus it reads to-day in the sacred law as engraven by the finger of God, and thus it is preserved in the ark in the temple of God in heaven.
The institution of the Sabbath was made when the foundation of the earth was laid, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Like the other nine precepts of the law, it is of imperishable obligation. It is the memorial of God’s creative power, the reminder of his exalted work. The fourth commandment occupies a sacred position in the law, and bears the same hallowed nature as do the other great moral precepts of God. God has stamped it with his divine authority as a law of his eternal government. No change can come to it, nothing can alter the thing that has gone out of his lips, or lessen in any degree its sacred obligation. The law of the Sabbath is placed in the very midst of the Decalogue, and walled in with the sacred immutability of truth, justice, and holiness.
The fall of Adam was a terrible thing, and the consequences of his sin so fraught with evil that language cannot portray it. By his disobedience of the divine law, the world was thrown into disorder and rebellion. Because of his disobedience, man was under the penalty of breaking the law, doomed to death. The only definition given in the word of God as to what is sin, is found in 1 John 3:4: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.” The law of God is that standard by which character is to be measured in the judgment. Do those who are contending that the first day of the week should be observed instead of the day commanded by Jehovah, understand what they are doing? Do they realize that they are leading men to trample upon one of the precepts of Jehovah?
What significance has the Sabbath if its observance is transferred to the first day of the week? God gave it to men as a memorial of his creative work in six days and his rest upon the seventh. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you; everyone that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”
Satan, the apostle, the rebel against the government of God, has proposed to obliterate the fourth commandment, which brings to view the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and, instead of the Sabbath, he designs to cause all men to honor a common working day. God blessed the seventh day, he rested upon it and sanctified it for man’s observance, but Satan is determined to set aside the claims of the Sabbath, and cause men to accept a spurious sabbath. The excuse for refusing to observe the Sabbath of God’s appointment is often made that it does not make any difference upon which day we rest, so long as it is one day in the seven. But it makes every difference upon which day you rest. Resting upon the day God commanded reveals the fact that you honor the Maker of heaven and earth; but disregarding that fact makes it evident that you do not honor God or obey his commandment to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Your non-observance of the memorial of creation shows that you place no merit upon the day that has been sanctified and blessed, and think that you will be excused if you observe the day that has been appointed by the Papacy, which has exalted itself above God and all that is worshiped.
You accept a common working day instead of the day that has been sanctified and blessed, but in thus doing you offer positive insult to the God of heaven. In holding to an observance commanded by the Papal Church, you exalt the opinions and traditions of men above the commandments of the God of heaven.