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Made for Man
THE God that made the earth,
In earth, and sea, and sky,
The Sabbath day was blessed,
And so it must abide;
'Twas made for man, 'twas made for all.
And when from Sinai's mount,
And all His precepts spoke,
The Son of God appeared
With tidings of great joy; God's precepts He revered,
He came not to destroy; None of the law was set aside, But every tittle ratified.
Our Saviour did not die
To render null and void
We'll go in peace and sin no more.
- R. F. Cottrell.
NOT at once did the innovation of Sunday observance set aside the Sabbath of the Lord in the practice of even the general church. And through history, when the general church had fallen away, we catch glimpses here and there of faithful witnesses to God's holy Sabbath truth.
An old English writer, Professor Brerewood, of Gresham College, London, put in shortest phrase what many writers say:
"They know little who do not know that the ancient Sabbath did remain and was observed by the Eastern churches three hundred years after our Saviour's passion."-"Treatise on the Sabbath," p. 77.
Canon 29, of the Council of Laodicea (A. D. 364), shows that the ecclesiastical system was laboring to put an end to Sabbath keeping:
"Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday [the Sabbath], but shall work on that day; but the Lord's day [as they called Sunday] they shall especially honor, and, as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they be found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ."— Hefele, "History of the Councils of the Church," Vol. II, book 6, sec. 93, canon 29.
Sozomen's Ecclesiastical History shows Rome evidently leading in the effort to abolish any recognition whatever of the Sabbath:
"The people of Constantinople, and of several other cities, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the next day; which custom is never observed at Rome, or at Alexandria."- Book 7, chap. 19. Seventh Century
There were true Sabbath keepers in Rome itself, teaching the truth of God among the people, and bringing upon themselves the denunciation of Pope Gregory the Great, who wrote "to his most beloved sons the Roman citizens:"
"It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as to forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call these but preachers of Antichrist?"-"History of the Councils" (Labbe and Cossart), Vol. V, col. 1511; see also "Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers," Vol. XIII, book 13, epistle 1.
The Pope's legates at Constantinople (A. D. 1054) were called to discuss with Nicetas, "one of the most learned men at that time in the East," says Bower, whose position was "that the Sabbath ought to be kept holy, and that priests should be allowed to marry."-"History of the Popes," Vol. II, p. 358.
The people of north Scotland, the ancient Culdee church founded by Columba and his followers, far removed from direct papal influence, was still keeping the seventh-day Sabbath in the eleventh century. Of this church Andrew Lang says in his "History of Scotland:"
"They worked on Sunday, but kept Saturday in a Sabbatical manner."- Volume I, p. 96.
Skene, in his classic work, "Celtic Scotland," says of these Sabbath keepers:
"They seemed to have followed a custom of which we find traces in the early monastic church of Ireland, by which they held Saturday to be the Sabbath, on which they rested from all their labors."- Book 2, chap. 8.
Margaret, of England, married Malcolm the Great, the Scottish king, in 1069. An ardent Catholic, Queen Margaret at once set about Romanizing the Celtic church. She called in the church leaders, and held long discussions with them. At last, with the help and authority of her royal husband, and quoting the instructions of "the blessed Pope Gregory," she succeeded in turning the ancient Culdee church in Scotland away from the Sabbath. (See "Life of St. Margaret," by Turgot, her confessor.)
Twelfth to Fourteenth Century
Among the numerous sects of southern Europe and the Alpine valleys, that were pursued and persecuted by Rome, were at least some who saw and obeyed the Sabbath truth. Thus, of one of these bodies, the historian Goldastus says:
"They were called Insabbatati, not because they were circumcised, but because they kept the Sabbath according to the Jewish law.""Deutsche Biographie," Vol. IX, art. “Goldast.,” p. 327.
Sabbath keepers in Norway drew the condemnation of a church council held in 1435:
"The archbishop and the clergy assembled in this provincial council at Bergen do decide that the keeping of Saturday must never be permitted to exist, except as granted in the church law."-Keyser's "Norske Kirkes Historie," Vol. II, p. 488.
With the setting free of the Word of God by the Reformation, and the protest against the doctrine of papal tradition, multitudes saw that the Sunday institution was not of divine origin; while not a few went farther, recognizing the claims of God's Sabbath. Moravia was a refuge, in those early Ref