By J.N. Andrews
Preface: History of the Sabbath
The history of the Sabbath embraces a period of 6,000 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 holy use. The Sabbath, therefore, dates from the beginning of our world's history. The first who Sabbatized on the seventh day was God, the Creator; and the first seventh day of time was 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 as 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 nearly 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 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.
J. N. A.
Battle Creek, Mich, Nov. 14, 1873.