4th edition


CHAPTER XXIX - The International Sunday

In this chapter

The International Sunday

(782-785)… A Human Institution under Various Guises
(785)……….. The French Revolution and Weekly Cycle Changed
(786-787)… The Papal Sunday
(787-789)… Continental Sunday
(789-791)… Figmentum Anglicanum Confederacies
(791-792)… Difference of Theory and Practice
(792)……….. Confederations and Alliances
(792-793)… International Federation
(793-794)…Prize Essays
(794)……….. Sunday Question Still Unsolved
(795)……... The Best Constitution to be Amended
(795-797)… Catholic Support
(797-798)… Socialism a Renaissance of Puritanism
(798)……….. A Modern Crusade
(798-799)... Its New Sign of Victory
(800-801)… The Sealing Work
(801)……….. The Mark of the Beast
(801-802)… Roman Challenges
(802-806)… Final War With the Remnant


Toward the middle of the eighteenth century the Sunday institution still bore the evidences of its human origin. The different promoters had all left their stamp upon it to mark the different stages of its development, and the various ways of its observance plainly revealed the different motives from which they were once prompted. As to its history, its antiquity is not to be questioned. Serving as a feast of mirth, in the remote ages of paganism, it easily found favor in the Christian church, when some of the church Fathers dedicated it in the second century to similar purpose in the Christian church. The pagans who flocked, half converted, into the fold of Christ, were still attached to the day of the sun, and were therefore willing to honor it, though the reasons for so doing had undergone a change.

However, when the character of Sunday observance was to be altered, the Roman Caesar had to be implored to lend the aid of his universal power in its behalf. Although he himself was not as yet a member of the Christian church, he promulgated the first law in its favor, serving a double purpose and a common cause in honor of the “venerable sun” represented by Christ, the “Sun of Righteousness,” and Apollo, the invincible sun-go. Both church and state now legislated in favor of Sunday. As the Roman bishop fell heir to the throne of the Caesars, these laws increased in number and severity. If any one refused to obey, he might lose his right hand, or pay large fines. Divine miracles, apparitions, and letters from heaven were adduced to disperse any doubts as to the original motives or design of its early promoters.

Scholars, well versed in philosophy attempted to prove that although the Sunday institution was contrary to God’s ancient law, yet he had promulgated a new law, and in consequence, the papal church had full authority not only to retain Sunday as a sign of its power, but to establish it with divine commands.

As we can trace on an ancient building its various kinds of architecture, so Sunday bears the different marks of the various stages of its development and the various manners of its observance. The Roman ecclesiastical Sunday we have followed from its pagan foundations. In the eleventh century a schism occurred which resulted in the East in the Greek ecclesiastical manner of its observance. Matters became, however, more serious when, in the sixteenth century, the Reformers arose, who insisted in general on the Bible as the sole rule of faith, and charged that the theories heretofore employed in the support of Sunday were papal and sophistically.

However, the Reformers did not see the glory of the divine Sabbath, but, charmed by the antiquity and generality of the rival institution, invented a new theory and created the Reformed method of keeping the day. But their immediate successors, dissatisfied with this new practise, proposed another method, between the Roman and the Reformed, known as the Episcopal. Yet not content with these various existing manners of observing Sunday, a stranger one yet appears, -- the Puritan, -- the originators of which, though leaving the old institution, were audacious enough to claim for their new theory the sanction and the command of the Word of God.

Thus about the year 1750 we find a multitude of theories and divers manners of observance, showing plainly the different stages of development in rearing up the Sunday institution, for the honor of which church Fathers, princes, popes, scholars, reformers, doctors of theology, and law without number, and the churches have toiled, and state and church have shared the cost in common.

The only remedy for this motley array of theories and manners of observance would be to blend them by united legislation, and to base them on some uniform foundation, to which all could agree. To tell the truth, there are divers opinions as to the purpose of this institution: some, in harmony with its original design, want to devote it to joyful feasts or holidays; others wish it partly for that, and partly for rest; and still others wish it for absolute rest. But the word Sunday is a generic one, and as such, it can stand ofr all ideas. Should any trouble arise over the real purpose of Sunday, especially on the part of the noisy party, there might be recourse to the remedy employed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem or later in Scotland: some soldiers with fixed bayonets may be on hand to see that all agree, in harmony with Christian liberty, to rest and worship God at the same time -- all under one grand, universal panoply.


With the rise of the French revolution, a new danger threatened the Sunday institution. In the same France where Gregory of Tours had employed his miracles, where the most Sunday laws had been enacted, where the Sabbatarians had been exterminated, where Thomas Aquinas developed his sophistry, where even Protestantism could exist only as the “church of the wilderness,” “the eldest son“ of the church rebelled against his intolerant, corrupt mother, and threw off her grievous yoke. What papal Rome had presumed by changing God’s time and law, what a Tyndale had foreshadowed, what the Reformers considered within the power of man, --that was done by an atheistic nation: in 1793 they changed the weekly cycle of seven into a cycle of ten, appointing every tenth day to be marked by intermission in labour. Heaven-daring as was their deed, yet even they did not carry out what anti-nomians suggest by wresting the words of Paul “unto their own destruction,” to esteem every day alike. However, the weekly cycle was again restored in 1802 by the monarchy.


As this revolution occurred on papal soil, we shall trace cause and effect here.
The scholastic Sunday theology was codified by the council of Trent. However, since the infallibility of the Pope was declared in 1870, Pope Pius IX could justly claim that “the tradition is I,” and on the principle that this continued inspiration rests with the Pope, the Papal See is at liberty to modify the Roman ecclesiastical Sunday theory to suit the emergency, as the end justifies the means. So far as the elaborate system is concerned, the papal church has been successful in entangling its deluded followers with it, so that all difference between the Sabbath and a festival has been obliterated, and their practise, in spirit of all legislation, is in harmony therewith. Butler’s Catechism illustrates how catechisms and priests have effaced this distinction:--

“Say the third commandment.
Ans. --Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
Ques.--What is commanded by the third commandment?
Ans.--To sanctify Sunday.
Ques.-- Which is the chief duty. . .?
Ans. --Assisting at the holy sacrifice of the mass.
Ques.--How are we to keep holy days?Ans. --As we should keep the Sundays.
Ques.--What traditions of the Christian religion existed before the several books of the New Testament were…written?
Ans. The substitution of Sunday, as a holy day, for the Sabbath, or Saturday,”
Pages 34,40,58

The Catechism of the Diocese of Paris, 1857, thus gives the Sabbath commandment in metrical version: “Les Dimanches tu garderas, en servant Dieu devouement” (The Sundays shalt thou observe, by serving God thereon devoutly).


The new law restoring Sunday in France threatened fine and imprisonment, but as it was not backed by public opinion, it remained a dead letter until its repeal (1880). Dec. 22, 1854, Pope Pius IX sanctioned the French Association for the Observance of the Lord’s Day, exciting the zeal of the faithful by special indulgences. Even something similar to the epistle of Eustace was produced,-- the miracle of “Notre Dame de la Salette.” 1
Many tracts were written. Thus the former chaplain of Napoleon I, Abbe Mullois, in “Sunday for the People” page 10, writes:

“Well my friends, there is a law of God which enjoins the sanctification of Sunday; it is a paragraph in the divine code, a paragraph fallen upon the earth amidst the lightning and thunder of Sinai. This is what god has said: ‘I am the Lord, remember the Sunday, to keep it holy.’”

At the World’s Fair (1899) an international conference called by the French government passed forty-eight resolutions in favor of Sunday. Shortly after that, a “six-day law” was passed, allowing only six days’ work a week for women and children, but leaving it to employers to determine upon the day of rest; however, in 1893 this day was specified as Sunday.

The able Socialist, P.J. Proudhon, tells us what the French Sunday is, after all these endeavours:--

“Sunday in the towns is a day of rest without motive or end; an occasion of display for the women and children; of consumption in the restaurants and wine shops; of degrading idleness; of surfeit and debauchery. The workmen make merry, the grisettes dance, the soldier tipples, and the tradesman alone is busy.”

And a leading Catholic author and Sunday promoter, Abbe Gaume, echoes the same ideas: “Thus by a disorder which cries for vengeance to Heaven, the holy day is the day of the week most profaned.” 2

Italy has the same legal provisio--that the weekly rest is a matter to be settled between proprietors and workmen. A prominent priest of Brooklyn, Father S. Malone, thus views the situation:--

“The church in France and Italy has lost much of her prestige, and the consequence is very lax observance of the Sabbath by the masses. Unbelieving men at the head of the governments in both countries allow the people to do just as they please, and we see labour and pleasure the characteristics of the Sunday on the Continent.” 3

Belgium is simply “little France.” In Spain and Portugal, on Sunday multitudes rush from the confessional to the bull-fight. Mexico and papal South America present the same aspect. Russia and its states under the sway of the Greek Church still adhere to Constantine’s policy, in having markets on the “venerable day of the sun,” to further church going. Thus the total failure of the ecclesiastical theory is manifest: its results are a holiday divided between church-going, work, and pleasure.

In the German empire a stricter Sunday law was enacted March 7, 1888, which forbids employers to compel work on Sunday. In commercial business, the employees are not to work longer than five hours on Sunday. As to its religious observance, it is where the Reformers left it, -- a church holiday devoted to pleasure, work ceasing only within the time specified by the police regulations. The same is true of Austria-Hungary and other countries on the Continent. The Continental Sunday still remains the great eyesore to the English-speaking divines, while their Continental colleagues still, to a great extent, style the English -American Sunday by the same term that was used by the Dutch divines at Dort, in 1618: “Figmentum Anglicanum.

“FIGMENTUM ANGLECANUM: or “An English fiction”.

This “Anglo-American theory of the Lord’s day,” as Dr. Schaff fitly terms it, received a new impetus through the atrocities of the French Revolution. The General Assembly, meeting at Edinburgh on March 1, 1798, solicited in a “Warning and Admonition to the people with the British government in carrying on a war with France, on the ground, among many other reasons, that the French “have effaced from their calendar that day upon which Christians have, from the beginning, celebrated the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” 4

This marks the era of the modern Sunday crusade, or, to use the words of one of its most ardent champions, Rev. W.F.Crafts, “Sabbath crusade.” Yet in its very beginning, one of the able advocates of the “Christian Sabbath,” Bishop Horsley, in his three sermons on Mark 2:27, observing the wise counsel to Sunday reformers:--

“The present humor of the common people leads perhaps more to a profanation of the festival than to a superstitious rigor in the observance of it, but, in the attempt to reform, we shall do wisely to remember that the thanks for this are chiefly due to the base spirit of puritanical hypocrisy, which in the last century opposed and defeated the wise attempts of government to regulate the recreations of the day by authority, and prevent the excesses, which have actually taken place, by a rational indulgence.” 5

But how soon this spirit was revived, however, is seen from a “Pastoral Admonition of the Sanctification of the Sabbath,” which was issued in 1834 by the General Assembly, to be read from every pulpit in Scotland. It is thus worded:--

With deep concern, we have learned that in various parts of the country there has been, for a number of years past, a great increase of unnecessary traveling on the Lord’s day, both for purposes of business and amusements; that shops have been kept open on that day for the sale of provisions and other articles of traffic; that multitudes, forgetful of their most sacred duties and their immortal interests, have become accustomed to wander in the fields, to frequent scenes of recreation, or to spend their time in riot and drunkenness.
….Knowing the terrors of the Lord, we would persuade and adjure the hardened, by all that is bitter in remorse. . . .by all that is woefully agonizing in the gnawing of the worm that dieth not, and in the fire that is not quenched, to awaken from the dream of guilty insensibility, and to flee from the wrath to come to the hope set before them in the gospel.” 6

As both Protestant and Catholic churches, and civil and religious legislation, thus far had failed to make the human church ordinance of Sunday the divine Sabbath rest “according to the commandment” of God, a new plan was devised by the organization of special societies for this express purpose. The first, as far as we can learn, was the Society for Promoting the Due Observance of the Lord’s Day (London, 1831); then in January 1839, the Scottish Society of Promoting, etc., was formed at Edinburgh, and in 1840 came the Philadelphia Sabbath Association.


A very interesting incident occurred in connection with the organization of the Evangelical Alliance, which is recorded by Cox.

“When the fundamentals of the Alliance were under discussion at the first conference on Christian union, at Liverpool, it was found that there was such a variety of opinion respecting the Scriptural ground and authority on which the Sabbath was to be based, that it was deemed prudent and forbearing not to introduce it amongst the various topics that form the doctrinal statement of our common faith, but to give it place, instead, among the sundry objects for common action, with respect to which we could safely combine, without attempting to decide the precise terms upon which united action should be carried on. When the Alliance itself was formed by the conference assembled in London in 1846, although the original doctrinal basis was enlarged, these objects, amongst which Sabbath desecration was one, were still left in the same position.” 7

But the great Babylon of Sunday theories appears in still another instance. When the British Organization of the Evangelical Alliance was formed, the subject of Sabbath desecration was handed to the North-western Division, but there were among the members of the special committee appointed to consider it, “such different views on the theoretical, not the practical, part of the subject: that it was referred back. The only valuable result was the collection of statistics, which were submitted in October, 1848, when the British Organization resolved:--

“That this conference, on consideration of the vast and growing amount of Lord’s day desecration in this country, and the great evil entailed on the country thereby, feel it a solemn and binding duty to lift up their voice against this crying sin.” 8

But if the best English divines cannot agree on the Scriptural ground and authority of their theory, how can the people be expected to agree in practise? Although the Evangelical Alliance even put the immorality of the soul in its platform, yet, to insure agreement, Sunday was left out.


However, where the law and the testimony are lacking, they will say, “A confederacy,” and that their confederacies still increase the following facts will show:

1847, Sabbath Alliance of Scotland
1856 Maryland Sabbath Associaiton
1875 Sunday League, London
1888 The America Sabbath Union (now known as Lord‘s Day Alliance)


Added Note:
The Working Men’s Lord’s Day Rest Association London, (1857-1920)
The Lord’s Day Association of Scotland (1847-1953)
Imperial Alliance for the Defence of Sunday (1908-1965)

These last three are now represented by the “The Lord’s Day Observance Society” which says they were “founded in 1831 and incorporated in 1931“, in Britain.]


And what the Evangelical Alliance would not admit in 1846 resulted in the founding (1876) of the International Federation for the Observance of Sunday Rest Societies, with headquarters in Calvin’s city, Geneva. Not less than twelve world’s congresses in leading cities of Europe and America have been held under the auspices of this international Sunday federation, several of them being in connection with world’s fairs, as at Chicago, Paris, and St. Louis. The first paragraph of the “Declaration of Principles” reads”--

"The Federation founded by the congress held at Geneva, at its meeting of the twenty-ninth of September, 1876, proposes, by the help of God, to labor to restore for the good of all, a better observance of the day of rest, known under the old covenant by the name of the Sabbath, and transferred by the primitive church under the name of the Lord's day, to the first day of the week in remembrance of the resurrection of Christ."

The Federation called for laws to make Sunday a public holiday, and for its protection as a day of rest; laws for the protection of public worship; laws that will insure a good example of the observance of the day in government offices and in public works; and, "finally, that it shall be provided by law that every concession of special privileges to individuals or companies, shall be accompanied by adequate guarantees in favor of Sunday rest for those employed in their respective enterprises.

In 1888 the American Sabbath Union (now known as The Lord’s Day Alliance) was organized. One of its leading spirits and writers was Dr. W.F.Crafts. There are a number of other societies; such as the Lord’s Day Alliance of Canada and the Sunday Rest Association (London.)


Another means employed to stimulate Sunday observance has been the writing of prize essays in its favor. Though Thomas Aquinas and the scholars exhausted their ample stock of philosophy, though Dr, N. Bownd vainly tried to tap a still deeper vein, who knows but that “for filthy lucre’s sake” some modern genius may yet bring out some new and taking theory, to make the world keep Sunday as a rest day? John Henderson, of Park, England, is the one who (1847) first conceived the idea of offering three prizes for the three best essays upon the “Temporal Advantages of the Sabbath to the Laboring classes.” In three months ten hundred forty five essays were received; the prizes were increased to one hundred, five of which came from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. 9
This innovation quickly spread from Great Britain to the Continent and to North America, prizes of even one thousand dollars being offered. When, in 1847, “a friend of God in the blessed England” felt constrained to contribute a prize of one hundred fifty pounds and another of one hundred pounds for the two best German essays to set forth the blessings of Sunday, Dr. F Liebetrut and others freely responded.


The noted Catholic historian, Dollinger, thus descries the failure of this new attempt to remove the insuperable hindrance to establish Sunday observance on Protestant principles:--

“Krausold, Liebetrut, and others, have shown that the principles of the Reformation have rendered it impossible to found upon them an obligation to the solemn observance of the Sabbath. The Sabbath has fallen with the Mosaic law; the Sunday is not to be found commanded as a holy day in the New Testament; the church has no higher authority to introduce such a holy day: to its commands, therefore, there is as little obedience due (through evangelical freedom) as to the ordinance respecting fasting, confession, and so forth. How, then, is it possible to make a Protestant population comprehend that they are bound to the observance of the Sunday as a holy day? The numberless councils for the last thirty years that have been held upon this question have, as a matter of course, only served to establish the complete impossibility of solving it.” 10


However, a special issue in the United States of America demands some attention. Seventh-day Adventists, as early as 1847, claimed from Revelation 13:11-18, that the time would come when this lamblike government, (America) where church and state are separated, would speak like a dragon, and contrary to its present Constitution, would persecute those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

The first small cloud appeared in February, 1863, when representatives of eleven denominations met at Xenia, Ohio, and drew up an amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment was adopted by the national convention. Jan. 27, 1864. A new organization, the National Association to Secure the Religious Amendment of the United States Constitution, was thus added to the list. In article 2 of its constitution we read:

The object of the society shall be to maintain existing Christian features in the American government; to promote needed reforms in the actions of the government touching the Sabbath.”

Their official organ bears the significant name of the Christian Statesman

And here is more:--

"We cordially, gladly, recognize the fact that in South American Republics, and in France and other European countries, the Roman Catholics are the recognized advocates of national Christianity, and stand opposed to all the proposals of secularism ... Whenever they are willing to co-operate in resisting the progress of political atheism, we will gladly join hands with them in a World's Conference for the promotion of National Christianity, -- which ought to be held at no distant day -- many countries could be represented only by Roman Catholics." -- Christian Statesman (Official organ of the National Reform Association), Dec. 11, 1884, p. 2.

Dec. 2-8, 1908, a still more powerful organization, with a strong Sunday plank in its platform, was organized in Philadelphia. Not less than four hundred thirty delegates, representing thirty denominations, constituted the first quadrennial meeting of the Federal Council of churches of Christ in America. (Note: In 1950 the Federal Council of Churches was absorbed by a larger body, the National Council of Churches


Another still stronger party is the Roman Catholic Church. Its aim is outlined by Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical of Nov. 7. 1885, wherein all Catholics in the United States are exhorted that they must “penetrate wherever possible in the administration of civil affairs, and . . .do all in their power to cause the constitutions of States, and legislation, to be modeled in the principles of the true church,”

[Defence of Sunday
First and foremost, it is the duty of all Catholics worthy of the name and wishful to be known as most loving children of the Church…to make use of popular institutions, so far as can honestly be done, for the advancement of truth and righteousness; to strive that liberty of action shall not transgress the bounds marked out by nature and the law of God; to endeavor to bring back all civil society to the pattern and form of Christianity which We have described. (# 46 Immortale Dei (On The Christian Constitution Of States) Nov. 1,1885)

A long editorial, “Rome in the United States,” points out plainly that it is only a matter of time until Rome will gain her point, and that politicians already feel that, wherever she casts her influence, in that direction the scales will turn.

It is very significant that the first German authority on law, Prof. P. Hinschius, declares that, though the United States acknowledges the entire separation of church and state in its Constitution, yet it goes far beyond this principle in the way in which it enjoins Sunday observance, often forbidding the most innocent amusements. That the judges are influenced by the prevailing sentiment, he assigns as the only reason the courts do not declare such ordinances unconstitutional.” 11

The address of Pope Leo XIII delivered March 20, 1881, reveals the deep interest he took in the Sunday movement:--

“The observance of the sacred day which was willed expressly by God from the first origin of man, I imperatively demanded by the absolute and essential dependence of the creature upon the Creator,” “And it is precisely to this fatal tendency, which today prevails, to desire to lead mankind far away from God, and to order the affairs of kingdoms and nations as if God did not exist, that today is to be attributed this contempt and neglect of the day of the Lord. 12

The American Catholic prelates followed in December, 1884, with a special pastoral letter:--

“One of the surest marks and measures of the decay of religion in a people is their non-observance of the Lord’s Day. In traveling through some European countries, a Christian’s heart is pained by the almost unabated rush of toil and traffic on Sunday.. . .

“The church mourned, protested, struggled, but was almost powerless to resist the combined forces of popular avarice and Caesar’s influence, arrayed on the side of irreligion.. . .The Lord’s day is the poor man’s day of rest; it has been taken from him-- and the labouring classes are a seething volcano of social discontent. . .Let all our people remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.”13

Editor's note: In more recent years, May 31, 1998, we see Pope John Paul II presenting His "Dies Domini" in which he departs from the traditional distinction the Catholic church has made between Sabbath and Sunday, and now tries to embed Sunday observance into the Sabbath commandment of the Decalogue in an attempt to give it a Divine imperative and urge for it civil legislation to facilitate it's observance."


This Catholic statement mentions another strong factor in favor of Sunday, -- it is the “poor man’s rest day,” Dr. Crafts says:--

“Even more than in the United States, Continental agitations against Sunday work have originated in labour organizations. Socialism is leading a renaissance of Puritanism.” “The Sunday rest movement is being urged all over Continental Europe-- the suspension of industry, without any restraint of Sunday vices.” “Antichristian associations of working men in France and Germany and an anti Sabbath convention in the United States have made the right to such a rest a plank in their infidel platforms.” 14

While Sunday reformers are willing to accept the offered hand of infidels, papists, or anyone who will assist them, yet this same author shows what must inevitably follow:--

“Protestants, Catholics, and sceptics, monarchists and Republicans, cooperated in 1890-1892 in promoting the Sunday-rest movement on humanitarian and hygienic grounds. There was too little of appeal to divine authority and conscience, too little law. The movement somewhat reduced the Sunday toil and traffic, but not the Sunday dissipation, and was chiefly valuable a showing that to make the Sabbath a holiday make it a workaday and a devil’s day.” 15


That Sunday reformers consider this movement a crusade, Mr. Crafts thus expresses:--

“Leo XIII has given his hearty endorsement to Count Cissey of France, in his crusade for a better observance of the Lord’s day.” 16


Now, the crusaders had a cross as their sign or mark, as they went forth to slay and torment in infidels and heretics. We shall let Mr. Crafts inform us what is the mark of this movement:--

“As Columbus and other explorers of his period were accustomed to set u a cross in each new land discovered, in anticipation of conquering it for some Christian kingdom, so the Lord’s day has been set up in every land of our world, as a monument of its anticipated conquest for its divine Lord. There is no other token of Christian unity, of world unity, like this oft-recurring, everywhere-present Lord’s day, dedicated to the universal Lordship of Christ. It is a s if a monarch sent a messenger every week to all his subjects to touch each one, of hem upon the shoulder and remind him that his Lord would have him remember to be loyal. Controversy has led some of us who believe that the lord’s day is also the Christian Sabbath, to slight the former title, because some who use it make each selfish sinner ’the son of man,’ who is ’lord of the Sabbath,’ and separate the day from the Decalogue. But the Lord’s day, in its proper use, is the more regnant term, the sign in which we are to conquer,” 17 A most striking coincidence! Under Constantine’s theocracy the “venerable day of the sun” became the “significant and expressive sign of the union” between paganism and Christianity, as the fitting seal of the false universal theocracy. In the twentieth century, under an attempted union of church and state in America, this same Sunday, as the “Lord’s day,” becomes the great “token of Christian unity” between Protestants and infidels, the sign of loyalty “in which we are to conquer,”

But there is another statement equally striking in a German “Sunday book,” published in 1866, and containing three hundred twenty-eight pages. This was issued by the Christian Union in north Germany, in a ten thousand edition to begin with. “How beautiful is the Sunday in Scotland;. . . A thousand essays of which Scotch working men declared in its favor,” are the words which serve as introduction, on pages 9,10. Then it applies the one-day-in-seven theory to the Lutheran wording: “Thou shalt keep holy the holy day,” After quoting some texts and church Fathers in behalf of Sunday, section 3, “The Sabbath a Sign,’ follows. From Ezekiel 9, Revelation 7, Ex. 31:13,14, and Revelation 13, it is then shown that --

“There is to be, on one hand, the enforcement of the mark of the beast, which the rude, impudent, wicked desecrators of the Sabbath bear manifestly and openly, who are separated from God and his holy church. . . Their part will be eternal torment.”
But blessed are they who bear God’s sign, and whom the man in linen had marked with the inkhorn. As truly as the Sabbath is the sign of the covenant between the true God and his people, so truly must this sign be found with those who belong to God’s people.” 18


This is a fair acknowledgment that the sealing work of Revelation 7 is nothing less than the perfecting in number and character of the true Israel in the last days, by the special threefold message of Revelation 14, and that the Sabbath, instituted in Eden by Christ, will be the distinctive sign between them and their God, wherewith they are sealed; and further, that the great issue set forth in Revelation 13 and 14 will be the observance of the true Sabbath. These evident truths are perverted by the writer of this book on Sunday, who, blinded by the one-day-in-seven theory, applies them to Sunday.


Now, as the true Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, and not Sunday, is the seal between Christ and His people, the token of true loyalty to him and his Father’s law, the breaking of that Sabbath is the “mark of the beast,” This “mark” is definitely fixed in Rev. 13:17, as the “mark, or the name, of the beast: described in Rev. 13:1-10, which we found to be the Papacy. Prelate Bengel’s comments on Revelation 13 are of special import:--

“The beast here described is the Papacy. But what adds to the difficulty is that during the last few years some in the evangelical church have not only let go of the right explanation, but contend against it, although ever since the time of the Waldenses, this has been confirmed by the blood of so many witnesses for the truth; it has also been sustained at great cost by the reformation; it has been proven by the ever increasing light, and there is a positive necessity to persevere in the tribulation to come. From the truth of this explanation, neither enemies nor friends of the truth can move us.” 19

The last issue will be between the observance of the Sabbath of God and the “mark” of the Papacy, which will contain its name. But the distinctive mark of the Papacy we have found to be Sunday, called the ‘Lord’s day,” Thus the final issue comes between Sabbath and Sunday. But in Rev. 13:18, we read: “Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of man; and this number is six hundred threescore and six.”

The Papacy is a government; the Pope is a “man,” and the official title on which he bases all his decrials, all his indulgences, the power to forgive sins, etc., is Vicarius Filii Dei, “Vicar of the Son of God,” Latin is the official world-wide language of the papacy. Taking the letters in this title that have numerical value, this is the result:--

V I C a r I V s
5, 1, 100, 1, 5,

f I L I I
1, 50, 1, 1,

D e I
500, 1


The Pope pretends that he has, in honor of Christ and by virtue of the authority conveyed to him as vicar of the Son of God, changed the seventh-day Sabbath into the first-day “Lord’s day,” although Christ Himself instituted the seventh day at creation by his own rest, blessing, and sanctification. A few extracts will show that the Papacy vaunts this change as a sing of her authority today, as much as she did in the days of the Reformers:--

“The Catholic Church of its own infallible authority created Sunday a holy day to take the place of the Sabbath of the old law.” 20

“The Bible says, ‘Remember that you keep holy the Sabbath day.’ The Catholic Church says, No! By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day, and command you to keep the first day of the week. And lo, the entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church! 21

“Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternations: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.” 22

These are papal challenges scattered broadcast in one country within less than a year. The German Catholics distribute “prize riddles for Protestant preachers,” against the prize essays. The first of these “riddles” is, To supply a clear and definite text for Sunday observance. 23


The great burden of the third angel’s message is, therefore, not only to warn, as did the Reformers, against the Papacy as the power which perverts the gospel, but also in addition to this, to warn against the Papacy as the power which presumed to change God’s times and law, and thus to develop a people who will not only keep “the faith of Jesus,” but also “the commandments of God.” Rev. 14:12.

This issues is to come first and most prominently in the very country where it would be least expected,-- in the most liberal government, which was so long the refuge of persecuted Protestants,-- that country which has grown up out of the earth into a cast republic since the Papacy received her deadly wound during the French Revolution, -- the United States of America. That pagan Rome should have persecuted the early Christians in their observance of the Sabbath of Jehovah; that the Papacy should have done so during her long reign; or that Russia, and even Protestant Europe, where a union of church and state still remain, intolerance simply changing in names and objects, should do so, is a fact for which some excuse might be offered; but that in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the very country whose Constitution guarantees liberty of conscience to all its citizens, and which leads in modern inventions, should show such an intolerant spirit, seems incredible.

Yet the sure word of prophecy never fails. While most of the States of the Union have exemption clauses in their Sunday laws, which favor those who conscientiously observe the seventh day as the Sabbath, there have been instances where these were lacking, or where they had been stricken out. During the winter of 1884-85 the exemption clause in the Sunday law of Arkansas was repealed. A number of Seventh-day Adventist were at once arrested and fined. Even the supreme court upheld the decision of the lower court, until Arkansas reinstated its exemption clause, in 1887. Tennessee, however, still has no exemption clause.

This subject is ably dealt with in “American State Papers,” 24 From which we quote the following statements’:

It is a fact, however, that no less than seventeen out of the forty-eight States in the United States having Sunday laws have actually prosecuted conscientious observers of the seventh day. These States are Alabaman, California, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi., Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas. Sunday laws are a prolific source of religious persecution as is evidenced by the fact that form 1885 to 1896, as a result of their enforcement, over one hundred Seventh-day Adventists in the United States, and about thirty in foreign countries, were prosecuted for quiet work on the first day of the week, resulting in fines and costs amounting to $2,269.69 and imprisonments totalling 1,438 days, and 455 days served in chain-gangs.”

If the lamblike government speaks as a dragon, what can we expect of the others? Can we wonder if we learn that hundreds of Seventh-day Adventists in the Old World have for years been fined, imprisoned, and exiled? The author knows instance on the continent of Europe, the Sunday frolic of which has become a proverb among English-speaking Sunday reformers, where the police have been sent some tine miles to the homes of Sabbath observers in a forest, to see whether or not they were working on Sunday after they had rested on the Sabbath day “according to the commandment.”

This indicates against whom this Sunday crusade will be directed. Protestants, Romanists, sceptics, infidels, working men, all unite to set up the mark of the Papacy in all lands. Mr. Crafts and other Sunday reformers are traveling everywhere, and scores of mighty associations work for the “international world’s Sunday,” Not only the Poe, the Roman clergy, but even the Virgin has spoken in favor of it.

None other tha Mr. Crafts give us the details: In 1872 the Associacion para la Observacion do los Dios Festivos was organized in Santander, Spain. It published a ten-page tract, “El Domingo” The larger part of the publication speaks of the need of suspending work on Sunday, “chiefly based on French writings, but liberally fortified by the Sabbath laws of some of the United States, and by Old Testament texts and arguments. It is almost Puritan in severity,” But on the last page these words are used to rally their co-religionists to a new crusade:--

“Well known are the words that the one most holy Virgin spoke to the children shepherds of the Alps in the Mount of la Salette, and which she charged them to repeat to all men: “Blasphemy and the profanation of feast-days are the sins that most deeply arouse the indignation of my Son. Tell my people that if they do not cease from these sins, great punishment will fall upon the world; as also if they depart from these evil things, days of happiness will be their lot,”’25

The modern crusade is on. Sunay is the sign by which the crusaders expect to conquer disloyalty to Christ, to the government, to the church, to the Virgin Mary, and to the interests of the working men. Death to Israel is the charge flung out to irritate the masses against the remnant of Sabbath-keepers in the last days. Will the crusade actually be carried on?-- The prophetic word, of which it is said, “Here is wisdom,” answers:--

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnatn of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Rev. 12:17.

1. Hessey, Bampton Lectures, p. 359

September 19, 1846, an apparition of Mary appeared to two children in the diocese of Grenoble, on the slopes of Mount Salette. Her message: “I do not want My Son to give up on these people thus, I am charged to pray unceasingly and urge you to pray. But you will pray in vain, it will be in vain, my sorrow for you will be in vain. I gave six days to work, I reserved for myself the seventh and no one wants to grant it to Me; …Also those which drive the carts cannot talk any more without using the name of My Son as a swear word: these are the two things which make the arm of My Son heavy and will bring judgment. …There will come great famine.”
Famines did ravage European lands in the years of 1848-1852.

2. Crafts, “Sabbath for Man,” p. 149 Return>

3. Id. P. 64 Return>

4. Cox, Sabbath Laws. P. 340 Return>

5. Cox, Sabbath Laws, p. 120, note Return>

6. Acts of the General Assembly, pp. 1163-1165 Return>

7. Cox, Sabbath Laws, pp. 367, 368 Return>

8. Sabbath Laws, p. 268 Return>

9. Gilfillan, the Sabbath, p. 167. Return>

10. Church and Churches, or Papacy and Temporal Power, London, 1861 Return>

11. Staat un Kirche, p. 222 Return>

12. Sabbath for Man” pp. 60,61 Return>

13. “Sabbath for Man” pp. 594, 595 Return>

14. Id. pp. 17,18,231 Return>

15. Id. Pp. 584 Return>

16. Id. P. 60 Return>

17. Id. P. 662 Return>

18. Sonntagbuch, Eisleben, 1866, pp. 29-38 Return>

19. Erklarte Offenb. Joh., Stuttgart, 1834, pp. 423,433 Return>

20. Kansas City Catholic, Feb. 9, 1893 Return>

21. Father C, Enright. C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, Mo., june, 1893 Return>

22. Catholic Mirror (Cardinal Gibbon’s organ) Dec. 23,1893 Return>

23. Bonifacius Broschueren, 18, 1887, Paderborn. Return>

24. Revised edition. Pp. 733,734 Return>

25. Crafts, “Sabbath of Man” pp. 155, 156 Return>

Continue to Chapter 30

History of the Sabbath, Table of Contents