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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 26

What was, and what is, the fourth Commandment?

What was, and what is, the fourth Commandment?

In our bible the passage ought to have been translated, Remember the Sabbathday to keep it separate (to set it apart) for that is the English meaning. Never mind what it means or is made to mean in Latin or in Greek, in French, German, or Italian, what we need to know is, simply the English meaning of the Hebrew word kadesh; for, all the fuss and botheration, all the theological quarrels and persecutions, all the cruelties inflicted on individuals, families, and states, all the imprisonments and deaths, consequent on the intolerance of page 5 Sabbatists, are ascribable to either the misunderstanding, or the wilful misinterpretation of a single word in the Original text—kadesh.

If pardon can be found for professed religious instructors in consideration of their Ignorance, I confess my nature will not permit me to indulge in the forgiveness of those who knowingly deceive their congregations; who believe one thing and teach the very opposite; following the abominable practice of several Church-fathers, who (in imitation of Paul) scrupled not "to Lie for Truth's sake"; and that such despicable characters have infested the churches in all ages, no well-read man will venture to dispute. Mosheim assures us (vol. I.P. 130) "that it was not only lawful but commendable, to Deceive and Lie for the sake of Truth and Piety, among the Christians of the second century"; and that "pious frauds and impositions were among the causes of the extension of Christianity!" See p. 155. And I am thoroughly convinced, that several Melbourne Sabbatists" do evil, that good may come;" quieting their accommodative consciences with the unctuous proverb, "the end justifies the means." I, for one, do not, cannot believe it possible, that our Pulpit ministers are so ignorant as not to know, that every time they repeat "keep holy the Sabbath day", they propagate a false dogma!

In the XX chapter of Exodus, stands—Remember the sabbathday to keep it holy; and in the V chapter of Deuteronomy stands—Keep the sabbathday to sanctify it; yet, it must be well known to our Sabbatists, that the word which may be called the pivot whereon the Sabbath-question turns, is a false translation; I cannot believe that scholars can be so ignorant as not to know, that holy, sanctify, hallow, ought to have been rendered by our word separate; and well-read theologians must necessarily know, that scores and hundreds of learned writers, including doctors of divinity, archdeacons, deans, bishops, and archbishops, have in their published works repudiated holy and substituted separate in its stead.

"The word holy signifies separate. The Hebrew is kadosh, "to set apart." Park-hurst renders it "to separate, or set apart from its common to some higher use or purpose;" and describes it as corresponding with the word badil, which signifies divide, and first occurs in Genesis I. 4, "God divided the light from the darkness." The vessels of the Sanctuary were to be "holy unto the Lord;" that is, they were to be kept strictly separate for the service of the Sanctuary. The 4th Commandment of the Decalogue may therefore be rendered, Remember the Seventh day to keep it separate: and these terms convey its full meaning.

An Inquiry into the Origin of Septenary Institutions.

Tell me, Is there one among our unco guid Melbourne sabbatists, who is not aware that Calvin was as thorough an Anti-sabbatist as his fellow-reformer Luther? Is there one among them, who is not aware that whenever they mention Calvin as a supporter of Sabbatism, they grossly misrepresent him? Is there any one among them who dares to put in print but a tithe of the nonsense and fallacies and lies they utter from their Pulpits respecting Calvin's authority for keeping "the Lord's day strictly holy"? I cannot think any one of them so ignorant of Calvin's detestation of Sabbatism, as to hold them guiltless of cool, deliberate, wilful lying, when representing Calvin as a puritan- page 6 ical Sabbatist. In 1860 I reviewed a clever work,* by that prince of Anti-sabbatists, Robert Cox of Edinburgh, wherein he has collected all the various passages relating to the Sabbath and Sunday, which lie scattered up and down the 24 volumes of the Reformer's works—with that book in my hand, I should be able to silence every canny lying Sabbatist in Melbourne.

Not to waste paper over what every well-read theologian knows, accept a couple only of extracts from his Commentaries in proof of Calvin's repudiation of the botheratious word holy—

Kadesh, with the Hebrews, is to separate from the common number. God therefore sanctifies the seventh day when he renders it illustrious, that by a special law it may be distinguished from the rest. Gen. ii. 3.

If anyone wishes to render sanctify by one word, it will be to separate. Ezek. xx. 12.

The colossal Calmet interprets to sanctify or hallow, by to set apart, to separate.

Bishop Horsley, by far the most able among the recent Advocates of "the christian sabbath," observes on "He hallowed it, that God distinguished this particular day, and set it apart from the rest."

"How sweet to him, who all the week
Through city crowds must push his way,
To stroll at ease through fields and woods,
And hallow thus the Sabbathday."

Readers of theological writings know as well as Cranmer, Ridley, Chillingworth, Jeremy Taylor, Warburton, Paley, and Arnold knew, that holy does not mean holy in scores of passages; and honest preachers ought to tell their congregations so, and not bamboozle them with incongruities and lies : they know, for instance, that kadesh is applied to the men selected for soldiers, men set apart to cut each others throats—a nice sort of holy men truely! The english word holy has been employed by our translaters (but improperly so) to represent qualities which are not holy in themselves, as in Dent, xxiii. 14—

The Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore, shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

Evidently the word holy ought to have been rendered clean—and cleanse to have been used instead of sanctify in Exodus xix. 10—

The Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.

Even the great stickler for Sabbatism, Dr. Wardlaw, says in his Discourses on the Sabbath (p. 185) The primary import of the word holy is, that the day is set apart."

See Dr. Campbell's Translation of the Gospels; the Epistle to the Romans, by Dr. Chalmers—and hundreds beside, all in opposition to the employment of the word holy by Sabbatists.

It is surely high time that the lovers of Truth should tear off the robes of imposition and deceit with which our Melbourne puritanical

* The whole doctrine of [unclear: Calvin] about the Sabbath and the Lord's [unclear: say]: extracted from his Commentaries, [unclear: Catechisms]. and Institutes of the Christian religion. By Robert Cox. April 1860. Simpkin, Marshall, and Co. London.

page 7 wolves (in sheep-clothing) have invested themselves; and show to the Working classes especially, the genuine meaning of the 4th Commandment; which, if properly kept, would prove a general blessing (not a curse) and render Sunday the most gladsome day of the week; when man may rest from his 6 days fatigue, recruiting his strength by participating in the allowable pleasures of a recreative and exhilarating 7th day—such as Hebrews delight in, and such as Jesus and his Apostles have taught, we Christians may lawfully and innocently enjoy. There are thousands of thousands who would heartily trample all the irksome restrictions of a puritanical "Lord's day" under their feet, if once convinced that such "Sabbaths" have not anything whatever to do with Christian duties on Sunday; and it is impossible that all classes of Victorians should thoroughly apprehend the 4th Commandment, while so many Pulpits knowingly and of set purpose misrepresent it—or (possibly) do not understand its meaning themselves.
Why the 7th day should be kept separate, set apart from the other days of the week, is so explicitly pointed out in the Commandment itself that it requires some pains to misrepresent it, or even to receive it in the false light in which our Pulpits and Prayerbooks have contrived to pervert it; here it is—
Exodus XX. 8, 9, 10, 11. Deuteronomy v. 12, 13, 14, 15.
Remember the sabbathday to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but, the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work—thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger* that is within thy gates: for, in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day : wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbathday, and hallowed it. Keep the sabbathday to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labor, and do all thy work; but, the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work—thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember, that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence, through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbathday.
In the first insertion we are told, that the 7th day was to be set apart because the Creater rested (jetched breath is the accurate translation) on that day from his laborious work of creation; but, in the second record we are told, that the seventh day was to be set apart as a remembrancer of Jehovah's having delivered the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage; which, If the true cause of the institution of the law contained in the 4th Commandment, then, I ask, in the name of commonsense, What have I to do with that law? How can that law

* thy stranger—that is, thy bondman, thy slave.

page 8 possibly affect me? I am not an Israelite, nor was I ever a slave in Egypt; consequently that ceremonial law (like all other laws given by Moses) is not, cannot be binding upon me—neither will I submit to it!

Notwithstanding the reason assigned in Exodus for setting the 7th day apart, differs (irreconcilably*) from the reason given in Deuteronomy, still, both Copies of the Decalogue agree that rest constituted the grand object Moses had in view—nor is there the least intimation in either of them, of anything relating to holiness or to worship—the two prominent misrepresentations uttered Sunday after Sunday in all our churches and chapels!

The Greeks (renowned for their wisdom) counted their month (lunar month) by 3 periods of 10 days each; and the Romans (celebrated for their practical measures) kept every 8th day as a marketday; yet, neither of these highly lauded nations ever proclaimed a day of rest— never ordered a cessation from bodily labor—never appointed fixed seasons of recreation for the people at large: but, the clear-sighted Moses perceived the physical need of man's weekly recurring rest, and considerately instituted the unappreciable blessing of the recreative Sabbath—whence we derived our inestimable Sunday's cessation from bodily fatigue, of the full and allowable enjoyment of which, the unco guid have already robbed us to a monsterous extent, and are now plotting how they may successfully deprive us of the few lawful and innocent gratifications yet left us—"Shame burn their cheeks to cinder!"

Although Moses may not primarily have intended that the Sabbath should be so strictly observed as the words literally imply, yet, his having issued the Decalogue to the Israelites with the imposing assurance of the words having been written on the tables of stone, "with the finger of God" Moses could not do otherwise than enforce the Law of the Sabbath in its rigor, even to the stoning of a poor fellow to death, for having merely gathered a few sticks upon the sabbathday—which simple act of gathering, Moses and Aaron (after consultation) decided to be a species of work; and as all work was rigidly forbidden on the 7th day, the people brutally stoned the man with stones untill he died!

"Six days shall work be done, but, on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein, shall be put to death. Exodus xxxv. 2.

Moses, great as he was as a Lawgiver to a barbarous race, overshot his mark in the stringency of many items of his Code; and was, I think, rather too fond of hanging and burning and shooting and stoning the pitiably ignorant Israelites, for mere trifles—just as I have seen men, women, and children, strung up on the gallows in England, when British Statesmen valued human life at 5s. a Head!

The Laws of Moses underwent several modifications in the succeeding ages of the more enlightened Prophets; yet, there have ever

* Believers in plenary inspiration must admit, however unwillingly, that the 22nd verse of the Vth ch. of Deuteronomy impugns the authority of the 11th verse of the XXth ch. of Exodus. And what can they say to the unmistakable words, He added no more? Who then added the extra words?

"Six days thou shalt work; but, on the seventh day thou shalt resi: in earing time, and in harvest, thou shalt rest." Yet, in the face of this Mosaic command, archbishop Cranmer (author of the XXXIX Articles of the church of England, and chief compiler of the Book of Common Prayer) directed his Clergy to teach the people—"They would grievously offend God, if they abstained from working on Sundays in harvest time." Sec Visitation Articles.

page 9 existed those banes to society the unco quid, whose inhumanities have been branded on every age of the world—and, would it were not so, they are visible in Victoria! Fortunately, we are not without our Ezras and Nehemiahs and Levites in Melbourne, who are capable of instructing the people in the true meaning of the words and texts of scripture, which are too often strangely and perniciously warped in churches and chapels. When the Hebrews had become wretchedly Priest-ridden, and were depressed beyond longer endurance, they called for Ezra to bring forth the Book of the Law of Moses; and Ezra brought the Law before the congregation in the street; and Ezra stood upon a platform of wood, made for the purpose; and Ezra opened the Book in the sight of all the people; and Ezra, with others, read therein, from the morning untill miaday—

"So they read in the Book of the Law of God, distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading."

Whence we gather, that the Readers were not mumblers, like the generality of our Pulpit gentry in 1871, who cannot read a chapter in the Bible intelligibly; for, it is written, they read distinctly, and in such an effective manner, as to give the sense—which, to their shame be it said, but very few Melbourne ministers are capable of doing—easy as the Art of good-reading is of acquirement, ana unpardonable as bad-reading is, when it can be cured in the short space of a few days only!

But, to proceed with this interesting biblical account, as recorded in the VIIIth chapter of Nehemiah—And Nehemiah, and Ezra, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people—This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep (for all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law) then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet; and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared; for, this day is holy unto our Lord; neither be ye sorry, for, the joy of the Lord is your strength! So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for, the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.

Hence we learn, that the people had been misinformed as to the nature and purport of sabbaths, and holy days, and holy weeks, and holy years, which Ezra and Nehemiah and the Levites taught them to appreciate rightly, as days and times and seasons of pleasurable rest, innocent recreation, and rational enjoyment; for we read—

And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth; because, they had understood the words that were declared unto them."

And, rely upon it, as soon as our Victorian ascetics (whether preachers or catechists) shall themselves have learned the biblical import of the Sabbath, they too will teach the people that Sunday was made for Man's recreation, not for Man to be put into a moral prison once a week, confining him in closely pent up places of worship, wherein he may regale himself with psalmsinging, muttering heartless prayers, and dozing over dry-as-dust theological disquisitions.

Theology is a thing of the head, while religion has its seat in the heart. Religion cannot be bought or sold; but there is a roaring trade driven in Theology—it is one of the best-paying trades a-going.

page 10

"Go thou and seek the House of Prayer!
I to the Woodlands wend, and there
In lovely Nature see the God of Love.
The swelling organ's peal
Wakes not my soul to zeal
Like the wild music of the wind-swept grove.
The gorgeous altar and the mystic vest
Rouse not such ardor in my breast
As where the noontide beam,
Flashed from the broken stream,
Quick vibrates on the dazzled sight;
Or, when the cloud-suspended rain
Sweeps in shadows o'er the plain;
Or, when reclining on the clift's huge height
I mark the billows burst in silver light.

Go thou and seek the House of Prayer!
I to the Woodlands shall repair,
Feed with all Nature's charms my eyes,
And hear all Nature's melodies.
The primrose bank shall there dispense
Faint fragrance to the awakened sense;
The morning beams that life and joy impart,
Shall with their influence warm my heart,
And the full tear that down my cheek will steal,
Shall speak the prayer of praise I feel!

Go thou and seek the House of Prayer!
I to the Woodlands bend my way
And meet Religion there!
She needs not haunt the high-arched dome to pray
Where storied windows dim the doubtful day :
With liberty she loves to rove
Wide o'er the heathy hill or cowslipped dale,
Or, seek the shelter of the embowering grove,
Or, with the streamlet wind along the vale.
Sweet are these scenes to her; and when the night
Pours in the north her silver streams of light,
She woos Reflection in the silent gloom,
And ponders on the world to come!


That holy days (festivals) are common among Hebrew families, is well known. I have been a frequent participater in their 7th day festivities, and also in several of their special ceremonial gatherings; and I embrace this opportunity of recording, that Hebrew celebrations of holy days and holy seasons, partake of much more genuine conviviality, and considerably less of irreligion and indiscretion, than similar feasts among Christians. During upwards of a quarter of a century's residence on the Continent of Europe, it was my good fortune to spend several hours every week in company with Hebrews; and I now bear testimony to their outshining most Christians in decorum, and several of the boasted christian virtues—especially in family affection, and in humane feelings—"Honor to whom honor is Due!"

Although Melbourne and its suburbs may boast of a long list of "religious teachers" who would as soon think of going to a cricket-match, a boat-race, or a bowling-green on a Sunday, as to a convivial party, yet, when their acknowledged Lord and Master was invited to a festival on the 7th day, He not only accepted the invitation, but went—Jesus went to the feast on the Sabbathday. Perhaps, if Jesus were to make his appearance in Melbourne, and be known as Jesus by our unco guid, and our worthy Governor were to invite Jesus and all our page 11 Pulpit ministers to a Sunday festival at Toorak, most of them would turn their backs on Jesus, when they saw him going to the feast; for they preach and print, that "there is nothing worse could befall us, than the introduction of Continental Sabbaths; nothing worse than the Continental desecration of the Lord's day"—but, I maintain, that there are many worse things already among us! Our priests, parsons, and preachers trafficking in superstition, is worse; their trading in men and women's mental mealinesses, is worse; their proclaiming the infalibility of creeds and canons and beliefs, is worse; their anathamatizing and persecuting all who differ from them in opinion, is worse; and their thwarting the spread of knowledge, by debarring the masses of the people from being instructed in school acquirements, and educated in our museums on Sundays, is worse, considerably worse; and if our colonial Newspapers have not reported infamous scandals and arrant lies, then, several of our "religious teachers" and "pious instructers" have done deeds that are a hundred, a thousand times worse! Our cantankerous Sabbatists should remove the splinters out of their own eyes, before they presume to attempt taking motes out of the eyes of their less guilty neighbors. But, our unco guid, like certain gentry mentioned in the Bible, strain out gnats and swallow camels.

When seen from a political and special point of view, the Laws of Moses merit our approbation; for, with all their defects and deformities, they extort our approval of their general aptness; yet, excelent as they were in their day, they certainly are not suited to the advanced minds of 1871; they are not sufficiently refined: for, even much of their Morality, is gross Immorality with us; despite all our shortcomings, we have progressed far beyond the condition of the barbarous Israelites when Moses conducted them out of the land of Egypt, where they had long been held in bondage and steeped in ignorance. Neither the world nor the people in it, have been at a still-stand during the centuries that have elapsed since the framing of the Mosaic laws; many of which were laws of expedience, laws of dire necessity, not even in accordance with the views and sentiments of the better-informed Moses, but given in statesmanlike consideration of the extreme hardness of heart peculiar to that stiff-necked race.

The Prophets, in succeeding ages, modified the Mosaic Code; and 1800 years ago, incomparably superior Laws were given from Mount Olivet, by him who spake as never man spake, and who for ever abolished the Laws given on Mount Sinai—at least for those of us who are not Hebrews; as the old dispension of Moses ceased, and the new dispensation of Jesus commenced; consequently, Christians have no more to do with the laws in the Pentateuch, than with the laws in the Zend-Avesta of Zoroaster, or, the laws in the Koran of Mahomet.

Hence, the glaring impropriety of Sabbatists striving to force upon us the observance of a mere ceremonial Hebrew law, contained in the 4th Commandment—rendering the enforcement tenfold more censurable by their attaching to that law a meaning which all their sophistry cannot establish. Many of them know perfectly well, that rest, and rest only, was the special object of that law; they know that the 4th Commandment has not so much as the shadow of a shade of holiness implied in it; yet, like thousands of their predecessors, existing Pulpit page 12 teachers continue to promulgate known error, and hesitate not, under Church sanction, to "Lie for Truth's sake;" and, for the sake of their darling Sabbatism, commit "pious frauds" to their own lasting disgrace, and the perversion of genuine Christianity!

The Melbourne "Sunday Observance Society" is a standing reproach to our avowed "Christian denominations," and a withering sarcasm on our pretensions to civilisation and intellectual improvement; for, that Society is an amalgamation of Mosaic commands and Christian precepts; a hodge-podge of retrogradation and advancement; a sickening mixture of sense and nonsense, perfectly disgusting to every lover of social, political, moral, intellectual, and religious culture!

Yet, let us not huddle up all Pulpits in one enormous mass of enmity to human progress, as there are many honorable Exceptions among our religious teachers; brave men and true, whose adamantine virtues preserve the mass of priests, parsons, and preachers from being utterly washed away by the floods of righteous indignation!

As to the 4th Commandment's instituting the 7th day as a "Day of Worship, requiring all Christians to assemble themselves together in churches and chapels, for prayer and praise," there is not a syllable about worship, or anything akin to it, from beginning to end! 'Tis true, we have been told, that

"The most prominent and characteristic duty of the Sabbath, is the duty of attendance on the public worship of God in the sanctuary "*

but, I fearlessly pronounce that so-called duty, a degradation of the 4th Commandment itself, which teaches no other duty than that of refraining from work; and those who would impose upon us the duty of public worship on the 7th day, need to be reminded of Deut. iv. 2—Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it," etc. Did the Israelites ever conceive it to be their duty to spend the Sabbath in religious exercises? No! Did the Pharisees? No! Did Jesus? No! Did his Apostles? No! Is there any record in the bible of the Hebrews ever having been charged with dereliction of duty by not performing acts of devotion on the Sabbath? No! Is the profanation of the Sabbath ever represented in scripture as anything else than work? No! Then why are we to be pestered by a parcel of Bible-improvers who neither understand the words nor apprehend the meaning of the Decalogue?

I am credibly informed, that some of our Melbourne unco guid pulpit-ministers are indignant at the change which has of late years been manifested by several ministers in Scotland, who have gradually swerved from their rigid Sabbatarian prejudices, and become lenient towards those of liberal sentiments. Our canny Melbourne sabbatists deeply regret "the good old times," when persecutions by fine, imprisonment, ana floggings, were the order of the day for all who "profaned the holy Sabbath"—
"Because of the contempt of the Word, and evil keeping of the Sabbath, the Session ordains, that the maister and maistress of every house, and sa mony as are of years of judgement (except when need requireth otherwise) shall be present in

* The Duty and Privilege of Keeping the Sabbath, p. 57.

page 13 the Kirk in due time every Sabbath to hear the sermon before and after noon, under pain of 12d. the first, 2s. the second, and for the third 5s. also 5s. toties quoties thereafter; as also for the third fault, to be debarred fra the benefits of the Kirk till they make repentance as the Session sall enjoin."

"An abstract is given of cases of Sabbath breaking, found in the Record of the Session of St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh. In 1587, David Dugall is censured for going to Cramond on the Lord's day morning with shoes—a delightful walk, by which he must have been greatly refreshed, and probably was enabled to visit his relations : repeating the offense in 1595, he is publicly rebuked, and obliged to find surety that he shall never be guilty of a similar offense, under a penalty, for the first transgression, of 20s.; for the second of 40s.; for the third, of banishment from the parish. In 1598, several persons in West Port, Potterrow, and Water of Leith, for profaning the Sabbath by May games, were referred to the Bailies of their respective districts. In 1599, five persons, for drinking in the country on the Lord's day, were admonished, and obliged to find security for their good behavior in future, under a penalty of 40s. In 1602, David Ochiltree "for fishing on Sabbath, and other crimes," was delivered over to the civil magistrate. In 1605, David Knipper was "set at the pillar" for playing at bowls on Sabbath. In 1610, three individuals were referred to the Session for Edinburgh, for playing at the "Pennystones" on Sabbath. In 1614, several were fined 20s. each for playing at football on that day. In 1619, this penalty was imposed upon two women for "flyting" [scolding] on the Lord's day; and in 1625, upon three men for selling bread, one of whom was "imprisoned because he could not pay his fine." In 1630, several persons were fined 20s. for taking "laverocks" [larks] on Sabbath. In 1631, several, for fishing on Sabbath, were fined 20s. each, and imprisoned." In 1652, John Coutts and others were fined 40s. each "for selling milk on the Lord's day"—But enough! I can quote scores of pages of Scotch intolerance, such as would delight the hearts of some of our Melbourne canny Sabbatarian Evil-doers to see re-enacted in this colony!

But, quitting the 4th Commandment, I proceed farther, and pronounce, without fear of rational contradiction, that All the laws of Moses, without exception, were totally annulled upwards of 1800 years ago— Controvert this who can!

It is an insult to commonsense, it is degrading to us as men and christians, that a handful of Melbourne Sabbatists should take upon themselves the re-introduction of Laws, for our observance, which scores and hundreds of the most erudite and celebrated theologians have for ages declared obsolete; and if pardon can be found for the consummate impudence of our Sabbatists, it can only be in consideration of the profundity of their ignorance. But, the day has arrived when these reckless Sabbatarian Pests to Society must be told in plain terms, that Jesus and his Apostles maintained the abrogation of All the laws of Moses—that the Church-fathers maintained their abrogation—that Clergymen and Dissenting-ministers have long maintained their abrogation—that Moralists, Philosophers, Statesmen, Literati, and Philanthropists, have never ceased maintaining their abrogation—the full and complete and intire abrogation of All the laws of Moses—and that wide-awake Victorians, repulse with scorn and contempt all efforts of the "Sunday Observance Society" to bring them into subjection to laws which are not suited to our conditions as a people—capable of thinking, judging, and acting for ourselves! It is preposterous to think that manhood should learn of infancy; that comparatively civilized Christians should learn of barbarous Hebrews! Out, I say, upon all the meddlesome and mischievous and mendacious crimpers of our rights as men and citizens! Out upon all who would deprive us of our privileges as christians! Out upon all Sabbatists, from the least unto the greatest!

page 14

Passing over more Anti-sabbatists in number than all the Pulpit-teachers in Melbourne put together, I shall quote, very briefly, from a few only, in support of my assertion.

The great and indomitable Luther, in his "Explanations of the ten Commandments," writes as follows—

We must remark at the outset, that the X Commandments do not apply to us Gentiles and Christians, but, to the Jews only—in the New testament, Moses comes to an end, and his Laws lose their force—He must bow in the presence of Christ—Moses died, and his government terminated when Christ came"—Etc.

The celebrated Hooker, a host in himself, writes in the IV book of his "Ecclesiastical Polity"—

They which honor the Law as an image of the wisdom of God himself, are, notwithstanding, to know, that the same had an end in Christ."

That favorite child of Genius, Jeremy Taylor, bishop of Down and Connor and Dromore, avers—

The Lord's day did not succeed in the place of the Sabbath, for, the Sabbath was abrogated. The Lord's day was merely an ecclesiastical institution."

The prince of theologians, Milton, is as curt as he is decisive on this point—

On the introduction of the Gospel, or New covenant through faith in Christ, the whole of the preceding covenant—in other words, the intire Mosaic Law was abolished!"

The Rev. H. W. Parkinson exclaims—You may read those Commandments in churches, but, I do not care, I will pay no attention to them. All Christian precept is summed up in this, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy Neighbor as thyself." I do not find any morality in the Decalogue at all; I find it only in the words of Jesus. The Jewish Sabbath has passed away—Christians do not observe the Sabbathday, do not begin to rest at sunset, do not refrain from every manner of work. Seeing then, that the Old testament Sabbath is repealed, does the New testament appoint one? No! a hundred times No! a thousand times No! There is no day now sanctified and set apart by Divine appointment. The Christian dispensation does not recognize distinctions either of place or of time. All places and times are alike in its eyes, and God claims them all. Under the Mosaic economy, Jerusalem was holier than any other city, and the Temple holier than any other place in the city, and the Sanctuary within the veil holier than any other place in the Temple. All that has passed away. Men try to perpetuate Jewish notions by consecrating churches and cemetaries, and all that nonsense, but, this great truth overrides them all—"The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof."

A little consideration would teach all who are willing to learn, that our "Sunday Observance Society" has been established in Ignorance and continues to exist solely by the prevalence of Superstition; for,

"Were the Lord's Day a real substitute for the Sabbath, not the rattling of a wheel, not the clang of a horse's hoof would be heard on that day in our streets, from sunset on Saturday night to sunset on Sunday evening; not a fire would burn during that period on any hearth, nor a streak of smoke hover over any chimney; for, it is clearly and distinctly prescribed by the law, "That thy cattle, and thy page 15 male servant, and thy female servant shall fast"—and again, "Ye shall not kindle a fire in any of your habitations on the Sabbathday."

The Jewish Chronicle.

The Rev. Dr. Hook, Vicar of Leeds (after the Sabbatists had disgraced themselves by their riotous conduct) preached a sermon in the parish church, on the Observance of Sunday, from Col. II. 16, telling his hearers—
I.That the Jewish Sabbath, as a divine institution was abrogated by Christ and his Apostles;
II.That the modern Sunday is simply an ecclesiastical ordinance; and
III.That Recreation is not only allowable but desirable on Sunday, as maintained by the Reformers, by Matthew Parker (the first Protestant archbishop of Canterbury) by Aylmer (bishop of London) and many others."
In 1858, the Scotch Presbytery took into serious consideration, the most effectual means of preventing "the frightful desecration of the Sabbath by the people walking out, to the great scandal of godly persons"! and we are now told that our "Sunday Observance Society" is endeavoring to prevent the citizens of Melbourne from any longer taking a walk with their wives and families in any of their own parks and gardens on a Sunday! What next? Should these over-righteous Sabbatarian robbers succeed in their unwarrantable attempts, we shall soon have a repetition of such insufferable enactments as the following—

"No man shall run on the Sabbathday, or, walk in the garden, or elsewhere, except reverently to and fro from Meeting.

"No one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep house, cut hair, or shave, on the Sabbathday.

"No woman shall kiss her child on the Sabbath, or Fastingday.

"If any man shall kiss his wife, or wife her husband, on the Lord's day, the party in fault shall be punished at the discretion of the Magistrates"

The whole doctrine of the Sabbath.

Such are some of the blessings the "Sunday Observance Society" has in store for us. Confound their vigilance! the mischievous members of the Melbourne "Sunday Observance Society" have not only closed our Public Libraries, our Galleries of Art, and our Museums against us, and are now plotting to shut us out of our Parks and our Gardens, but, what is more, not satisfied with pulling the wires which make their own Puppits dance, they are at this very time contriving how best they may pull our Telegraph wires out of the hands of the Public, and are assiduously exerting their influence to curtail, if they cannot at once succeed in robbing us of all the pleasurable advantages we derive from our Steamboats, and our Railroads on Sunday! I trust, however, that as soon as ever the masses of the Working classes shall become thoroughly persuaded that Sunday was made for their rational enjoyment, and they themselves not made to be the slaves of a parcel of canting, whining, sycophantic Sabbatists, that Petitions from all parts of the colony may be poured into our Houses of Legislature, praying for the redress of grievances inflicted upon Victorians by the pernicious "Sunday Observance Society"—and that the Sunday-question may be used at the coming Elections as one of the touchstones whereon to try the sincerity of Aspirants to seats in the New parliament, as true Representatives of the People.

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It is provoking to hear Clergymen, and other so-called Expounders of the scriptures, annexing precepts and commands (which are restricted in their very nature to but One class of persons) to any and to all classes indiscriminately; reminding me of a judicious observation in the writings of that chief of the Swiss divines, Ostervald—

It is a great fault, not to expound the Scripture according to the true scope of it; instead of applying all that it contains to all sorts of persons, without distinction."

When certain busy bodies told the Gentile converts, "Except ye be circumcized, after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved;" sturdy Peter would not stand their superstition and fanatical nonsense, but manfully opposed their subjecting Gentiles to the ordinances of Moses, saying—

Why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the Disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? We believe, that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they."

And the decision of the Apostles and Elders at the notable Council in Jerusalem, with James as chairman, was—that Gentiles were not to be annoyed by having the Mosaic laws thrust upon them; neither will we Victorians permit our Sabbatarian busy bodies to palm the abrogated laws of Moses upon us!

Paul, more than any other of the apostles, strove to eradicate Mosaic doctrines out of the Christian churches, and to get rid of the trammels of the Laws, and the authority of Moses: to the Romans he wrote—

One man esteemeth one Day above another; another esteemeth every Day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the Day regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the Day, to the Lord he doth not regard it."

To the Galatians he wrote—

Now, after that ye have known God—or rather, are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, where unto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years—I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain!"

To the Colossians he wrote—

Let no man judge you in meat, or, in drink, or, in respect of a holy day, or, of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come—but, the body is Christ."

Were Paul to visit our Victorian churches and chapels, he would be shocked on discovering that we are so enamored of the "beggarly elements;" still clinging to worn-out laws; still groping in Egyptian darkness, after the lapse of 18 centuries!

But, what said Jesus? Has he thrown any light on the darkened Sabbath-question? Can we gather anything definite from Him, regarding the abrogation of the laws of Moses? He said—

Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or, the Prophets; I am not come to destroy, but, to fulfil."

Short, but, pithy; containing a volume of matter for our consideration—"I came not to destroy, but to fulfil"—Did he fulfil the law? or, did he not? If he did not fulfil the Law, then, was his coming page 17 abortive, his mission vain; but, if be accomplished his object, then, was the Law fulfilled; the Mosaic dispensation closed, and a New dispensation opened—Law was superseded by Grace; and all the laws in the Pentateuch annulled, abrogated, abolished, at once and for ever!

Clearly, the simplest and the most judicious thing for those to do who find themselves nailed by the cogency of reason, is—frankly to acknowledge that the Law was given by Moses, and that Grace and Truth came by Jesus; and, like sensible converts to a more rational doctrine, let them, with all their heart and soul and strength, shovel the Rabbinical Sabbath out of the way, with the rest of the Puritanical rubbish, and follow him who not only broke the Sabbath, again and again, and said he had a right to break it, but, who fearlessly declared, that the Sabbath was made for Man!

There is no convincing men against their will; and as soon as one objection is overthrown, another starts up, untill one gets tired of knocking Sabbatarian antagonists down. After all that I have advanced, I may still be told, with more assurance than modesty, that "the Decalogue at least is still in full force, having been endorsed by Christ, over and over again." No such thing; Jesus never endorsed the Decalogue; and it is a calumny to assert it! As a Hebrew he was bound to respect it, and as the Fulfiller of the Law, he could not have done otherwise; but, having fulfilled it, as a matter of course it was at an end, utterly abolished—except to Hebrews alone. I am told by an out and outer, that, "when asked, What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? Christ answered, If thou wilt enter into life, Keep the Commandments; and by that reply, Christ endorsed the Decalogue." I repeat, Jesus never endorsed the Decalogue; the inferences drawn from that dialogue are false, and cannot bear scrutiny—here it is :

Behold one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? and he said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but One, and that is God: but, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother, and Thou shalt lore thy neighbor as thyself. Matt. XIX.

But, these Commandments, instanced by Jesus, do not constitute the Decalogue; and the last, the most important of them, is not in the Decalogue at all. More than this, in the Commandments quoted by Jesus, there is not a syllable about either of the 2 precepts, the punctilious observance of which, the Pharisees attached the most weight—neither the making of graven images, nor the keeping of the sabbath, are so much as even hinted at—therefore, I again repeat, Jesus never endorsed the Decalogue!

In XXII of Matt, we have a still more remarkable allusion to the Commandments, thus recorded—

A lawyer asked him a question, tempting him, saying, Master which is the great Commandment in the Law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; this is the page 18 first and great Commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself—on these 2 Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets I"

Here we have a marked token of disrespect paid to the Decalogue, by Jesus, who quoted 2 precepts which are, not in the Decalogue, as constituting the pith of the whole Law (Love to God and Love to Man) therefore, I once more repeat, defying the "Sunday Observance Society" to convict me of error, Jesus never endorsed the Decalogue!

In Mr. J. Baxter Langley's able reply to a Sermon, preached by the Rev. Robert Maguire (1857) occur the 2 following paragraphs—

The Sabbath is a ceremonial; it can be kept by those who have no religion in the heart. In this, it is essentially Jewish, and opposed to that deeper religion that has no external forms, but which leads the heart to worship God in spirit and in truth, and which teaches that "a broken and a contrite heart" is more acceptable than all "burnt offerings and sacrifices." The observance of the Sabbath is not moral in itself; and hence, the greatest Sabbatarians were not the best men, nor always good men. Sir John Dean Paul and his fellows, with Redpath and others, were strict Sabbatarians; and the most Sabbatarian city in the world, is the most drunken.

If anyone would carefully read Deuteronomy IX. 9, 11, 15, and also Deut. X. 4, comparing these passages with Exodus XX. 18, they will see that the 2 tables of stone contained the 10 Commandments only; that these alone were given with such terific display of thunder and lightning and fire. Now, if reference is made to the 2nd. Corinthians III. the Apostle will be found instituting a comparison between the new epistle of Christ, written "not on tables of stone, but in the fleshy tables of the heart," and describing that which was written on tables of stone as "the ministration of death," "the ministration of condemnation," as "that which is done away," and as "that which is abolished." Similar views are expressed in Colossians II. 14. It is clear from this passage, that St. Paul regarded the X Commandments as abolished, and, with them, the Sabbath."

Another objection to our spending a rational Sunday, is that frightful bugbear "The Continental Sabbath"! just as if the modes of keeping Sunday on the Continent of Europe, could vie with the drunkenness, debauchery, and vice practised in Australia! just as if England, Ireland, and Scotland, did not cast France, Germany, and Holland quite into the shade in the committal of hypocrisy, superstition, and crime! just as if we British subjects were not immeasurably deeper sunk in domestic strife, social depravity, and flagrant immorality, than any of the nations held up to our abhorrence by the slanderous "Sunday Observance Society!"

None but those who have never seen with their own eyes, never heard with their own ears, could so expose their ignorance, so calumniate others much less guilty than themselves, so unblushingly and wickedly bear false witness against their neighbors! Did space permit, I could bring scores of eyewitnesses and earwitnesses to confront the infamous representations of the foul aspersers connected with the "Sunday Observance Society," which would stamp them as execrable defamers of men much better than themselves!

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Dr. Copleston (Bishop of Llandaff) wrote home from Shaffhausen; much that would put our "Sunday Observance Society" to shame; and, among other things, he stated—

In all places of worship I have attended (except One) I must say, that there was greater appearance of devotion, than the English church ordinarily presents. The people seemed to make it more their own business. They come before the Service begins; many sit there an hour with their books, and seem to be engaged in private prayer. I confess, I cannot understand the ground upon which the English boast themselves to be a peculiarly religious people. I observe on the Continent, Sunday is regarded as a festival, and all sorts of innocent amusements go on in the evening after divine service is over. This is the case as much in Protestant as in Catholic countries; and I believe Heylin (in his treatise on the Sabbath) is right, in saying that the Day was never, in the History of the Church, considered as profaned by the practice, till about the latter end of our Elizabeth's reign, when the puritan notions began to prevail."

The Rev. Dr. Guthrie informed his canny countrymen (in his Plea, 1850) that he spent some months in Paris; and although his avocations led him frequently through the worst parts of the city, and occasionally late in the evening (a city then containing a population 6 times larger than Edinburgh) he saw "but One drunken man, and No drunken woman"! But, this is not all the Rev. Dr. told his toddy-loving countrymen; he adds—

We stepped from the Steamer upon one of the London quays, and had not gone many paces, when our national pride was humbled, and any Christianity we may have had was put to the blush, by the disgusting spectacle of Drunkards reeling along the streets, and filling the air with strange and horrid imprecations. In one hour we saw in London—and in Edinburgh, with all her schools and churches and piety, we see every day—more Drunkenness than we saw in five long months in guilty Paris! "Tell it not in Gath; publish it not in the streets of Askelon." Surely these facts disclose a state of things for which British Christians ought to blush."

Plea on behalf of Drunkenness, etc.

Dr. Guthrie, to show his calumnious Sabbatarian countrymen that France is not a solitary instance of superiority in this respect over Scotland, quotes other examples; one from a gentleman presiding over the Horticultural Gardens in Ceylon, who published a book of Travels in he Brazils, in reference to which the Rev. Doctor observes—

Most people know the low state of morality in the Brazils, that there, the marriage tie is almost intirely loosed, and that Priests and People are one swelterng mass of corruption. This gentleman, glad to breathe once more the pure air of religious land, reached Liverpool on a Sabbath morning; but, what was the scene which met him on his native shores? On that sacred day, ere he had spent as many Hours in Liverpool as he had spent Years in the Brazils, he saw more Drunkards than he had seen during his whole sojourn in a country where the ordinary decencies of life are laughed to scorn! Whether our nation is or is not the most Drunken nation in the world, we leave others to settle; but surely, these are facts which ought to fill us with shame."

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Let us now take a peep at Amsterdam, the capital of Holland, where it was my privilege to reside upwards of a quarter of a century; and how, think you, do the Dutch spend Sunday? I'll tell you.

With the Dutch, Sunday is a day of rest and worship, and social enjoyment, interspersed with a variety of innocent pleasures and lawful gratifications—the most agreeable day of the week, welcomed by all grades of society. Although the 4th Commandment does not enjoin, does not so much as intimate anything about Worship, yet, the Dutch scrupulously set certain hours apart on their leisure-day, to acknowledge and adore Uncreated Beneficence; the Ministers of the various Sects joining their Congregations in the innocent amusements commonly indulged in there, on Sundays.

After morning service, it is customary to stroll from church or chapel into the Botanical, Zo-ological, and other Gardens, to admire the Creater in his manifold works; or, to enter the Galleries of Art; or, to delight in other pleasurable and instructive sights; making Sunday (as 30,000 Hebrews in Amsterdam make Saturday) the most gladsome of days, recruiting themselves from the fatigues of the week, and gathering fresh energy for the prosecution of their avocations in life.

The afternoon services are only partially attended, as the generality of persons prefer paying family or friendly visits, to dozing after a comfortable dinner, under the nap-stimulating influence of a prosy sermon.

Generally speaking, the evening services are not so thronged as those of the morning; many persons, male and female, being more inclined for walking out, to see and to be seen; or, sitting by the sides of the river Y, or the river Amstel; or taking excursions on the Water; or, by Rail; or, surrounding the detached tables in some of the many Tea-gardens in the vicinity of the city, where, listening to various species of Music, they can breathe the invigorating air, delighting in each others company—talk, sing, gambol, swing, run, dance, or play, as their inclination dictates. But observe—and it is worthy of every Australian's observation, I cannot call to mind a single instance of anyone's being Drunk in any of those places of pleasurable resort and convivial gratification, except—————my own Countrymen!

I have traversed Holland, have spent days and weeks in the different Provinces of the Netherlands, have witnessed hundreds of popular gatherings, and several National festivals; yet, during the long space of 28 years, I saw not Half the licentiousness, rioting, and drunkenness, which may be seen any day and every day in Melbourne alone! Let me not be misunderstood, neither misinterpreted—I have seen more immorality in a single Day in Melbourne, than I saw during my 28 years residence in Holland!

Read this, and blush if you can, ye calumnious and lying defamers of "Continental Sabbath breakers" as ye piously designate those Foreigners, the latchets of whose shoes ye are not worthy to unloose! Out upon your "Sunday Observance Society"! which, under the cloak of morality, is a fruitful source of immorality, by your closing the public Educational Institutions on the only day in the week when the Workingmen, with their Wives and their Children, can conveniently visit them: where Lecturers might teach them how to look through page 21 Nature up to nature's God; elevating and humanizing the masses of the people, and clearing the streets of Melbourne, on Sundays at least, of both Loafers and Larrikins. Throw but open all the public Schools of Instruction (Libraries, Galleries of Art, Museums, etc.) and the Magistrates will soon have "nothing to do" in the Police Courts on Monday. A marts wife and family are his best safeguards against immoral and brutalizing tendences and temptations; just as lawful and elevating Enjoyment is the surest way to prevent unlawful and debasing Gratifications.