The Complete Testimony of the Fathers of the First Three Centuries Concerning the Sabbath and First Day


Testimony of the Epistles and Decrees of Pope Fabian

This man was bishop of Rome from A. D. 236 to A. D. 250. The letters ascribed to Fabian were probably written at a considerably later date. We quote them, however, at the very point of time wherein they claim to have been written. Their testimony is of little importance, but they breathe the self-important spirit of a Roman bishop. We quote as follows:- TFTC 82.1

“You ought to know what is being done in things sacred in the church of Rome, in order that, by following her example, ye may be found to be true children of her who is called your mother. Accordingly, as we have received the institution from our fathers, we maintain seven deacons in the city of Rome, distributed over seven districts of the state, who attend to the services enjoined on them week by week, and on the Lord’s days, and the solemn festivals,” etc. - Epistle First. TFTC 82.2

This pope is said to have made the following decree, which contains the only other reference to the so-called Lord’s day to be found in the writings attributed to him:- TFTC 82.3

“We decree that on each Lord’s day the oblation of the altar should be made by all men and women in bread and wine, in order that by means of these sacrifices they may be released from the burden of their sins.” - Decrees of Fabian, b. v. chap 7. TFTC 82.4

In these quotations we see that the Roman church is made the mother of all churches, and also that the Roman bishop thinks himself the rightful ruler over all Christian people. And it is in fit keeping with these features of the great apostasy that the pope, instead of pointing sinful men to the sacrifice made on Calvary, should “decree that on each Lord’s day” every person should offer an “oblation” of “bread and wine” on the altar, “that by means of THESE SACRIFICES they may be released from the burden of their sins”! TFTC 82.5