Christ and the Sabbath


Christ and the Sabbath

By W. W. Prescott.

[No. 14, Religious Liberty Library]

There is at present a widespread agitation over the Sabbath question. For nearly half a century the attention of the public has been called to this subject anew; but a growing tendency to religious legislation in recent years, and the misguided efforts to enforce “Sabbath-keeping” by pains and penalties, have done more than anything else to make this topic a living issue of the day. It is therefore important to understand the real nature of the institution in behalf of which the State is so strongly urged to legislate. When its real character is understood, it will be apparent that it is a purely spiritual thing, with which civil government can properly have nothing whatever to do. The State cannot recognize any distinction in days without committing itself to a course of action whose logical result is persecution. This is the danger of the present hour, and every one ought to know it. The purpose of this contribution to the literature already existing on this subject is to emphasize the spiritual nature of the Sabbath, and as a consequence, the impossibility of enforcing it, or even protecting it, by civil law. CAS 3.1

The seeker after truth will always find it in Him who said, “I am ... the truth;” and every ray of spiritual light when traced to its source, leads to “the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” No dogma is of any value merely as an abstract proposition. Every Christian doctrine must be an expression of the life of Christ in the soul of the believer or it will contribute nothing toward that experience in which we “are changed into the same image from glory to glory” and “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” The test of every doctrine should therefore be, Does it lead to a better knowledge of Christ as the revelation of God to us, and to a growing experience in Christ as a living, personal Saviour? It must be borne in mind, however, that it is “in obeying the truth through the Spirit” that it becomes life in us, and that therefore the judgment of the unrenewed mind is not a safe guide in pronouncing upon spiritual truth. The true Christ is not always recognized by those who make the most ostentatious profession of their acquaintance with him. Thus it was that “he came unto his own, and his own received him not.” But when Christ dwells in the heart by faith, then the Bible becomes the voice of God to the soul, and Christ in the word and Christ in the heart are in sweet accord. CAS 3.2

It is the purpose of this pamphlet to set forth Christ in the Sabbath and the Sabbath in Christ, and to call attention to the spiritual nature of the institution as being the one way, above all others, by which God in Christ makes himself known to man. CAS 4.1