Books Index | Chapter 1

History of the Sabbath and the First Day of the Week

By J. N. Andrews

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Table of Contents

    Preface   3
Part I - Bible History   9
    Chapter   1 - The Creation   9
    Chapter   2 - The Institution of the Sabbath   13
    Chapter   3 - The Sabbath Committed to the Hebrews   33
    Chapter   4 - The Fourth Commandment   44
    Chapter   5 - The Sabbath written by the Finger of God   51
    Chapter   6 - The Sabbath during the Day of Temptation   64
    Chapter   7 - The Feasts, New Moons and Sabbaths of the Hebrews   82
    Chapter   8 - The Sabbath from David to Nehemiah   92
    Chapter   9 - The Sabbath from Nehemiah to Christ   109
    Chapter 10 - The Sabbath during the last of the Seventy Weeks   115
    Chapter 11 - The Sabbath during the Ministry of the Apostles   158
Part II - Secular History   193
    Chapter 12 - Early Apostasy in the Church   193
    Chapter 13 - The Sunday-lord’s Day not Traceable to the Apostles   204
    Chapter 14 - The First Witnesses for Sunday   228
    Chapter 15 - Examination of a Famous Falsehood   243
    Chapter 16 - Origin of First-day Observance   258
    Chapter 17 - The Nature of Early First-day Observance   282
    Chapter 18 - The Sabbath in the Record of the Early Fathers   308
    Chapter 19 - The Sabbath and First-day during the First Five Centuries   332
    Chapter 20 - Sunday during the Dark Ages   368
    Chapter 21 - Traces of the Sabbath during the Dark Ages   398
    Chapter 22 - Position of the Reformers Concerning the Sabbath and First Day   432
    Chapter 23 - Luther and Carlstadt   446
    Chapter 24 - Sabbath-keepers in the Sixteenth Century   459
    Chapter 25 - How and When Sunday Appropriated the Fourth Commandment   470
    Chapter 26 - English Sabbath-keepers   479
    Chapter 27 - The Sabbath in America   493
        Index of Authors Quoted   513
        Index of Scriptures   516
        Index of Subjects   522


    The history of the Sabbath embraces the period of 6000 years. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. The acts which constituted it such were, first, the example of the Creator; secondly, his placing his blessing upon the day; and thirdly, the sanctification or divine appointment of the day to a holy use. The Sabbath, therefore, dates from the beginning of our world’s history. The first who Sabbatized on the seventh day is God the Creator; and the first seventh day of time is the day which he thus honored. The highest of all possible honors does, therefore, pertain to the seventh day. Nor is this honor confined to the first seventh day of time; for so soon as God had rested upon that day, he appointed the seventh day to a holy use, that man might hallow it in memory of his Creator.
    This divine appointment grows out of the nature and fitness of things, and must have been made directly to Adam, for himself and wife were then the only beings who had the days of the week to use. As it was addressed to Adam while yet in his uprightness, it must have been given to him as the head of the human family. The fourth commandment bases all its authority upon this original mandate of the Creator, and must, therefore, be in substance what God commanded to Adam and Eve as the representatives of mankind.
    The patriarchs could not possibly have been ignorant of the facts and the obligation which the fourth commandment shows to have originated in the beginning, for Adam was present with them for a period equal to more than half the Christian dispensation. Those, therefore, who walked with God in the observance of his commandments did certainly hallow his Sabbath.
    The observers of the seventh day must therefore include the ancient godly patriarchs, and none will deny that they include also the prophets and the apostles. Indeed, the entire church of God embraced within the records of inspiration were Sabbath-keepers. To this number must be added the Son of God.

    What a history, therefore, has the Sabbath of the Lord! It was instituted in Paradise, honored by several miracles each week for the space of forty years, proclaimed by the great Lawgiver from Sinai, observed by the Creator, the patriarchs, the prophets, the apostles, and the Son of God! It constitutes the very heart of the law of God, and so long as that law endures, so long shall the authority of this sacred institution stand fast.
    Such being the record of the seventh day, it may well be asked, How came it to pass that this day has been abased to the dust, and another day elevated to its sacred honors? The Scriptures nowhere attribute this work to the Son of God. They do, however, predict the great apostasy in the Christian church, and that the little horn, or man of sin, the lawless one, should think to change times and laws.
    It is the object of the present volume to show, 1. The Bible record of the Sabbath; 2. The record of the Sabbath in secular history; 3. The record of the Sunday festival, and of the several steps by which it has usurped the place of the ancient Sabbath.
    The writer has attempted to ascertain the exact truth in the case by consulting the original authorities as far as it has been possible to gain access to them. The margin will show to whom he is mainly indebted for the facts presented in this work, though it indicates only a very small part of the works consulted. He has given the exact words of the historians, and has endeavored, conscientiously, to present them in such a light as to do justice to the authors quoted.
    It is not the fault of the writer that the history of the Sunday festival presents such an array of frauds and of iniquities in its support. These are, in the nature of the case, essential to its very existence, for the claim of a usurper is necessarily based in fraud. The responsibility for these rests with those who dare commit or uphold such acts. The ancient Sabbath of the Lord has never needed help of this kind, and never has its record been stained by fraud or falsehood.

Battle Creek, Mich., Nov. 18, 1873
J. N. Andrews


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Books Index | Chapter 1