Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 8, 1866

Proper Observance of the Sabbath

Rochester, New York

December 25, 1866

This manuscript is published in entirety in 1T 531-533.

(Portion of Vision Given December 25, 1865, at Rochester, New York)

In regard to the observance of the Sabbath, there has been too much slackness. There has not been promptness to fulfill the duties within the six working days which God has given to man, and carefulness not to infringe upon one hour of the holy, sacred time God has reserved for Himself. I saw that there was no business of man’s that should be considered of sufficient importance to transgress the fourth precept of Jehovah. There are cases that Christ has given us where we may labor even upon the Sabbath in saving the life of man or of animals. But, if for our own advantage from a pecuniary point of view we violate the letter of the fourth commandment, we are Sabbathbreakers and become guilty of transgressing the whole of the commandments, for if we offend in one point we are guilty of all. 1LtMs, Ms 8, 1866, par. 1

If, in order to save, we break over the express commands of Jehovah, where is the stopping place? Where set the bounds? Transgress in a small matter, and look upon it as a matter of no particular sin on our part, and the conscience becomes hardened, the sensibilities blunted, and we can go still further until labor to quite an extent may be performed and we still flatter ourselves that we are Sabbathkeepers, when, according to Christ’s standard, we are breaking every one of God’s holy precepts. There is a fault with many Sabbathkeepers in this respect, but God is very particular, and all who think that they are saving a little time or advantaging themselves by infringing a little on the Lord’s time, will meet with loss sooner or later. God cannot bless them as it would be His pleasure to do, for His name is dishonored by them, His precepts lightly esteemed, and instead of obtaining gain, God’s curse will visit them and they will lose ten or twenty fold more than they gain. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me, ... even this whole nation.” [Malachi 3:8, 9.] 1LtMs, Ms 8, 1866, par. 2

God has given to man six days in which he may work for himself, and has reserved to Himself only one day in which He is to be honored. He is to be glorified, His authority respected. And yet man will steal a little of the time God has reserved for Himself and thus rob God. God reserved the seventh day as a period of rest for man, for the good of man, as well as for His own glory. He saw that the wants of man required a day of rest from toil and care, that his health and life would be endangered without a period of rest and relaxation from the care and taxation upon him through labor and anxiety upon the six days. 1LtMs, Ms 8, 1866, par. 3

The Sabbath was made for man, for the benefit of man, and to knowingly transgress the holy commandment forbidding labor upon the seventh day is a crime in the sight of Heaven which was of such magnitude under the Mosaic law as to require the death of the offender. But this was not all. The offender that was not deemed worthy to live was to suffer, for God would not take a transgressor of His law to heaven. He must suffer the second death, which was full and final penalty of the transgressor. 1LtMs, Ms 8, 1866, par. 4