"They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason....The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance....The author of the Sunday law...is the Catholic Church." Ecclesiastical Review, February, 1914.
"Sunday is a Catholic institution and its claim to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles....From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first." Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August, 1990.
"Protestants...accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change...In observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope." Our Sunday Visitor, February 5, 1950.
The Apostles substituted Sunday for the Sabbath (Pope Pius XII).
The Apostle Paul set aside and was against keeping the Sabbath (St. John Chrysostom).
St Paul teaches that the Sabbath was not obligatory on Christians (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIII).
The Sabbath and circumcision are on the same level (St. John Chrysostom).
The Sabbath is part of the ceremonial law (The Catholic FAQ, #2).
There is no difference between the seventh day Sabbath and the feast day sabbaths (St. Aurelius Augustine; St. Jerome).
There is no difference between the 10 commandments and the sacrificial laws (St. John Chrysostom).
Jesus Christ has abolished the Sabbath in His body (St. Victorinus).
Jesus Christ abrogated or changed the Sabbath law (The Catholic FAQ, #2).
Jesus Christ broke the Sabbath Himself (St. Victorinus; Lucius Lactantius).
Jesus Christ destroyed the obligation to keep the law of God (Lucius Lactantius).
Jesus Christ destroyed the old law of 10 commandments and established a new law (Lucius Lactantius; Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Book VI).
Jesus Christ did not keep, and He commanded that the Sabbath commandment should not be kept according to the letter of the law (Pope St. Gregory I--the Great).
Jesus Christ Himself did not rest on the Sabbath according to the commandment (Lucius Lactantius).
Jesus Christ fulfilled the law, so no need for us to keep it today (St. Aurelius Augustine).
Jesus Christ fulfilled the Sabbath law and thereby made it void (St. Ephraem Syrus).
Jesus Christ hates Sabbath keeping (St. Victorinus).
Jesus Christ is our Sabbath rest (Pope St. Gregory I--the Great; St. Aurelius Augustine).
Jesus Christ repealed the keeping of the Sabbath commandment (St. John Chrysostom).
Jesus Christ set aside the Sabbath commandment out of necessity (St. Aurelius Augustine).
No one can keep the letter of the law (St. Aurelius Augustine).
We are free from the necessity of keeping the letter of the law, and we are to walk in liberty, walk in the Spirit, and in doing so we are not breaking God’s law (St. John Damascene, of Damascus).
We have freedom from keeping the law in Christ (St. Basil--the Great).
We must forsake and let go of the law and turn to and find Christ (St. John Chrysostom).
Sabbath keeping ended when the old covenant was replaced at Christ’s death (Origen; Universal Catholic Catechism.
In the Old Covenant God’s people kept the Sabbath holy, but in the New Covenant Christians are to keep Sunday holy (Universal Catholic Catechism; St. Aurelius Augustine).
We are not to keep the Old Testament Sabbath commandment literally today, but after a spiritual manner, and are to keep on Sunday (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
The Old Testament dealt with keeping the law, and the New Testament deals with freedom from keeping the law (St. John Chrysostom).
The Bible Sabbath is on Saturday today (The Canons of the Council in Trullo; Often Called the Quinisext Council, Ancient Epitome of Canon LII).
The Sabbath commandment is fulfilled today by observing any day of the week to worship God on (Pope John XXIII).
Sabbath worship is a Jewish law (Universal Catholic Cathechism; Pope St. Gregory I--the Great; St. Victorinus; St. Aurelius Augustine; Polycrates; St. Aurelius Augustine; Ignatius, also called Theophorus; St. John Chrysostom; St. Basil--the Great; Lucius Lactantius; The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIII; The Cathlic Encyclopedia, vol XIV).
The Sabbath has been replaced by Sunday (Universal Catholic Catechism)
The Sabbath commandment was part of the sacrificial ritual law which was done away with (Pope St. Gregory I--the Great).
The Sabbath commandment is not literally to be kept today (Pope St. Gregory I--the Great; St. John Damascene, of Damascus; Ignatius, also called Theophorus; St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath commandment is only to be spiritually kept today (Pope St. Gregory I--the Great; St. John Damascene, of Damascus; Ignatius, also called Theophorus; St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath commandment was only temporary (Tertullian; St. John Chrysostom).
The Sabbath commandment has been abolished (Tertullian; Polycrates; St. John Chrysostom; The Catholic FAQ, #3).
The Sabbath commandment was part of the Old Law (Tertullian).
The Sabbath commandment only began at Mount Sinai with Moses (St. John Damascene, of Damascus).
The Sabbath today means to cease from sin (St. John Damascene, of Damascus).
The Sabbath commandment was done away with at the crucifixion of Christ (St. John Damascene, of Damascus; St. Aurelius Augustine).
The true Sabbath today is the seventh age or Millennium or 1000 year period when Christ will reign (St. Victorinus; St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath today is figurative and not literal (St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath has been fulfilled (St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath has been accomplished (St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath was a shadow (St Aurelius Augustine--A, B, C, D; St. John Chrysostom; Tertullian).
The Sabbath commandment has been done away with (St. John Chrysostom).
The Sabbath commandment was only to be observed during the time of the Israelites (St. Aurelius Augustine; The Catholic FAQ, #2.
The Sabbath commandment was fulfilled by Christ (St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath was only an example and not eternal (St. Aurelius Augustine).
Sabbath observance is no longer binding, because Jesus–our eternal Rest, is come (St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath today is whatever day you choose to rest upon (Archelaus).
The seventh day day Sabbath is earthly (St. Aurelius Augustine).
There is no difference between the Sabbath and any other day of the week today (St. Jerome).
The Sabbath commandment is not a leading commandment (St. John Chrysostom).
The Sabbath commandment is not one which our consciences would define (St. John Chrysostom).
The Sabbath commandment was only partial (St. John Chrysostom).
The Sabbath commandment is unnecessary to be kept today (St. John Chrysostom).
The Sabbath today only signifies sanctification and rest (St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath signifies resting in God Himself (St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath has no evening or ending (thus it is not a 24 hour period each seventh day of the week) (St. Aurelius Augustine).
The seventh day day Sabbath commandment has been changed to giving thanks to God every day (Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Book VI).
The Sabbath today occurs every day (it has no evening, is ongoing) (St. Aurelius Augustine)
The Sabbath means finding eternal rest in God (St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath was not instituted at Eden, but only at Mount Sinai (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XIII).
The Sabbath commandment of God is to keep Sunday holy (The Catholic FAQ, #1).
The Sabbath commandment is the only one out of the 10 that can be altered and changed (The Catholic FAQ, #2).
The Sabbath commandment was fulfilled (The Catholic FAQ, #2).
The Sabbath commandment was not fixed and unalterable (The Catholic FAQ, #2).
The Sabbath commandment was only to be kept from the time of the Israelites till Christ’s death (The Catholic FAQ, #2).
Sabbath keeping before Mount Sinai was only based on an obscure custom (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIII).
Sabbath keeping before Mount Sinai had probable Babylonian origins (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIII).
Sabbath keeping is not obligatory today on Christians (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIII).
It is pleasing with God to break the Sabbath commandment (St. John Chrysostom).
Only Christians keep the Sabbath spiritually and not literally (St. Aurelius Augustine).
Sabbath-keeping today is mythical (St. Basil--the Great).
Sabbath-keeping today is contrary to the doctrines of the gospel (St. Basil--the Great).
Sabbath keeping is a legal observance which we are free from having to keep (St. John Chrysostom).
The Sabbath is not to be literally kept today (Origen).
We will only literally keep the Sabbath in heaven (St. Aurelius Augustine).
Sabbath keeping is only a Hebrew superstition (The Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Nice, Canon VIII).
Sabbath keeping today is unprofitable (St. John Chrysostom).
Sabbath keeping today is ridiculous (St. Basil--the Great).
Sabbath keeping today does harm (St. John Chrysostom).
Sabbath keeping today is wrong (St. John Chrysostom).
Sabbath keeping today means is to serve God every day (St. Irenaeus of Lyons).
Sabbath keeping today is not important for salvation (St. Irenaeus of Lyons).
Sabbath keeping today is by keeping Sunday holy (Pope Leo XIII).
The Sabbath is a mystical rest day and therefore not specifically the seventh-day (Pope Leo XIII).
Sabbath keeping belongs to the ancient order of things (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
The keeping of the seventh day Sabbath has now been transferred to Sunday (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIV; St. Caesarius of Arles; Pope Pius XII; Pope Leo XIII).
The Antichrist are those who preach the necessity of keeping the Sabbath today (Pope St. Gregory I--the Great).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are following a commandment of men (St. John Chrysostom).
Those who keep the Sabbath commandment today contradict Jesus Christ Himself (Pope St Gregory I--the Great).
All who keep the Sabbath will be punished, but those who do not keep it will be saved (St. John Chrysostom).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are trying to turn Christians into Jews (St. Basil--the Great).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are under a yoke of slavery (St. Basil--the Great).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are in darkness (St. John Chrysostom).
Those who keep the Sabbath today think they are going in the right way, when they are not (St. John Chrysostom).
Those who keep the Sabbath literally today are not Christians (The Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Nice, Canon VIII; St. Aurelius Augustine).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are not converted (The Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Nice, Canon VIII).
Those who keep the Sabbath today have their minds hardened (St. John Chrysostom).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are faulty (St. John Chrysostom).
Those who keep the Sabbath today do not believe in Christ (St. John Chrysostom).
Sabbath-keeping today is trying to revive the Mosaic ordinance (Polycrates).
All who keep the Sabbath today are cursed along with the Jews (St. Aurelius Augustine).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are weak in the faith (St. Jerome).
Sabbath keeping today is an old fable (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath have not yet received grace (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath and not Sunday are not the friends of Christ (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath and not Sunday are the enemies of Christ (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath and not Sunday are children of perdition (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath and not Sunday are not lovers of God (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath and not Sunday have a form of godliness, but deny the power (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath and not Sunday corrupt the word of God (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath and not Sunday are corrupters of women (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath and not Sunday make merchandise of Christ (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are following a Hebrew superstition (The Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Nice, Canon VIII)
Those who keep the Sabbath today are mocking Christ (The Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Nice, Canon VIII).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are denying Christ (The Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Nice, Canon VIII).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are not to be permitted into the church (The Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Nice, Canon VIII).
Those who give up the Sabbath and keep Sunday are to be permitted into the church (The Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Nice, Canon VIII).
Those how keep the Sabbath today are carnally wise and will receive death (St. Aurelius Augustine).
Sunday comes after the Biblical Sabbath (The Canons of the Council in Trullo; Often Called the Quinisext Council, Ancient Epitome of Canon LII).
Sunday is not the Biblical Sabbath day (Ignatius--also called Theophorus).
Sunday is the queen and chief of all the days of the week (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Whole glory of seventh day Sabbath has been transfered to Sunday (St. Caesarius of Arles).
Christians must keep Sunday holy in the same way the commandment states to keep holy the Sabbath day (St. Caesarius of Arles).
The Lord’s day was the Paschal Sunday (Polycrates).
Sunday is the Christian Sabbath (Polycrates).
Sunday worship is a tradition handed down by the Apostles (Universal Catholic Catechism).
Sunday worship is a tradition which started on the day of Christ’s resurrection (Universal Catholic Catechism & A).
Sunday is the Lord’s day (Universal Catholic Catechism--A, B, C, D, E; St. Aurelius Augustine; Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Book VII).
Sunday is the day which the Lord hath made (Universal Catholic Catechism).
Sunday is the new creation of God for people to worship on today (Universal Catholic Catechism).
Sunday replaces the Sabbath for Christians (Universal Catholic Catechism-- A, B).
Sunday fulfills the truth of the Sabbath (Universal Catholic Catechism).
Sunday announces man’s eternal rest in God (Universal Catholic Catechism).
Sunday is to be sanctified by Christians (Universal Catholic Catechism).
Sunday is a holy day (Universal Catholic Catechism).
We are to cease to labor on Sunday (Pope St. Gregory I--the Great).
The eighth day of the week is Sunday (Universal Catholic Catechism--A, B, C; St. Aurelius Augustine).
Sunday is the sign of God’s universal beneficence to all (St. Thomas Aquinas).
Sunday is the only Sabbath to observe during the whole year (Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Book VII).
Christians have given up the seventh day Sabbath in order to keep the Lord’s day Sunday instead (Ignatius, also called Theophorus; The Catholic FAQ, #3; The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIV).
Those who keep Sunday holy win the favor of God (Pope Pius XII).
The keeping of Sunday as God’s Sabbath day is based upon tradition and Catholic Church authority (Universal Catholic Catechism;The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIV; Pope John XXIII).
Keeping Sunday holy fulfills God’s sacred Sabbath commandment (Pope John XXIII).
Since the time of Moses, God’s people have kept Sunday holy as the Sabbath commandment states (The Cathoic FAQ, #1).
We worship the Lord and His resurrection by resting on Sunday (St Aurelius Augustine).
In worshiping on Sunday today, we are keeping God’s Sabbath commandment (Pope John XXIII; Universal Catholic Catechism).
Only the friends of Christ keep Sunday (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
The disciples of Christ today keep Sunday–the Lord’s day, and not the Sabbath (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
The 10 commandment law is called the law of Moses (Archelaus).
The 10 commandments have been replaced by the 2 great commandments–love to God and love to man (St. Aurelius Augustine).
Out of all 10 commandments, only the Sabbath commandment was changed (The Catholic FAQ, #2).
All 10 commandments are necessary to be literally kept today except the Sabbath commandment (St. John Chrysostom; St. Aurelius Augustine).
We only need to keep 9 of the 10 commandments literally today and the Sabbath is excluded (St. Aurelius Augustine--A, B).
The law is done away with in Christ (St. John Chrysostom).
The law has been changed (St. John Chrysostom).
The law has been done away with (St. John Chrysostom--A, B).
The law has passed away (St. John Chrysostom).
The law has ended (St. John Chrysostom).
The law should be forsaken (St. John Chrysostom).
If we keep the law we believe not in Christ (St. John Chrysostom).
If we keep the law we have not yet turned to or received Christ (St. John Chrysostom).
If we keep the law we are in bondage (St. John Chrysostom).
Any who keep the law today are heretics (St. John Chrysostom).
The law has been disannulled (St. John Chrysostom).
The law has been cast out (St. John Chrysostom).
The law is of no account now (St. John Chrysostom).
All the law was figurative and a shadow--including the Sabbath (St. John Chrysostom--A, B).
The law has been withdrawn (St. John Chrysostom).
The 10 commandments only gave the force of law to an already known custom of Sabbath-keeping (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIII).
9 of the 10 commandments are naturally to be kept today, but not the Sabbath (The Catholic FAQ, #2).
None of the 10 commandments are commanded for Christians to keep today (The Catholic FAQ, #2).
The Sabbath commandment is the veil which is done away with by Christ–2 Corinthians 3:13-18 (St. John Chrysostom; St. Aurelius Augustine).
The Sabbath was a shadow–Colossians 2:16 (St. Aurelius Augustine--A, B, C; St. John Chrysostom; Tertullian).
The whole law of God was a shadow--2 Corinthians 3:7 (St. John Chrysostom).
Galatians 4:10 & Colossians 2:16 shows that the Sabbath law has been changed (The Catholic FAQ, #2).
Colossians 2:16; Galatians 4:9-10; Romans 14:5 shows that Sabbath observance was not longer obligatory on Christians (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIII).
Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2 shows that the Gentile converts held their religious meetings on Sunday and not Saturday (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol XIII).
There is no need to keep the Sabbath commandment today because we are not under the law, but under grace–Romans 6:14; Galatians 4:4 (St. John Damascene, of Damascus; St. Basil--the Great).
The Spirit of God is calling us away from keeping the letter of the law–2 Corinthians 3:3-6, 17 (St. John Chrysostom).
The Sabbath of Hebrews 4:9 is not the seventh day Sabbath, but represents the rest we find after we get to heaven (St. John Chrysostom).
There is no difference between the Sabbath and any other day of the week today–Romans 14:5 (St. Jerome).
Sabbath keeping today is preaching “strange doctrines”–Hebrews 13:9 (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
We do no need to keep the Sabbath today because “old things are passed away”–2 Corinthians 5:17 (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath commandment today, and therefore refuse to work, should not eat–2 Thessalonians 3:10 (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath and not Sunday are those who mind earthly things–Philippians 3:19 (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
Those who keep the Sabbath today are following a commandment of men–Matthew 15:9 (St. John Chrysostom).
The 10 commandment law has been changed–Hebrews 7:12, 10:5, 7 (St John Chrysostom--A, B; The Catholic FAQ, #2).
The 10 commandments have been disannulled–Hebrews 7:18-20 (St. John Chrysostom).
The 10 commandments have been replaced by the 2 great commandments–love to God and love to man–Matthew 22:37-40 (St. Aurelius Augustine).
Those who keep the Sabbath and not Sunday have a form of godliness, but deny the power–2 Timothy 3:4 (Ignatius, also called Theophorus).
31. Listen also to what I have to say on this other expression which has been adduced, viz., "Christ, who redeemed us from the curse of the law."275 My view of this passage is that Moses, that illustrious servant of God, committed to those who wished to have the right vision,276 an emblematic277 law, and also a real law. Thus, to take an example, after God had made the world, and all things that are in it, in the space of six days, He rested on the seventh day from all His works by which statement I do not mean to affirm that He rested because He was fatigued, but that He did so as having brought to its perfection every creature which He had resolved to introduce. And yet in the sequel it, the new law, says: "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work."278 Does that mean, then, that He is still making heaven, or sun, or man, or animals, or trees, or any such thing? Nay; but the meaning is, that when these visible objects were perfectly finished, He rested from that kind of work; while, however, He still continues to work at objects invisible with an inward mode of action,279 and saves men. In like manner, then, the legislator desires also that every individual amongst us should be devoted unceasingly to this kind of work, even as God Himself is; and he enjoins us consequently to rest continuously from secular things, and to engage in no worldly sort of work whatsoever; and this is called our Sabbath. This also he added in the law, that nothing senseless280 should be done but that we should be careful and direct our life in accordance with what is just and righteous. Now this law was suspended over men, discharging most sharply its curse against those who might transgress it. But because its subjects, too, were but men, and because, as happens also frequently I with us, controversies arose and injuries were inflicted, the law likewise at once, and with the severest equity, made any wrong that was done return upon the head of the wrong-doer;281 so that, for instance, if a poor man was minded to gather a bundle of wood upon the Sabbath, he was placed under the curse of the law, and exposed to the penality of instant death.282 The men, therefore, who had been brought up with the Egyptians were thus severely pressed by the restrictive power of the law, and they were unable to bear the penalties and the curses of the law. But, again, He who is ever the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, came and delivered those men from these pains and curses of the law, forgiving them their offences. And He indeed did not deal with them as Moses did, putting the severities of the law in force, and granting indulgence to no man for any offence; but He declared that if any man suffered an injury at the hands of his neighbour, he was to forgive him not once only, nor even twice or thrice, nor only seven times, but even unto seventy times seven;283 but that, on the other hand, if after all this the offender still continued to do such wrong, he ought then, as the last resource, to be brought under the law of Moses, and that no further pardon should be granted to the man who would thus persist in wrong-doing, even after having been forgiven unto seventy times seven. And He bestowed His forgiveness not only on a transgressor of such a character as that, but even on one who did offence to the Son of man.
But if a man dealt thus with the Holy Spirit, He made him subject to two curses,-namely, to that of the law of Moses, and to that of His own law; to the law of Moses in truth in this present life, but to His own law at the time of the judgment: for His word is this: "It shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."284 There is the law of Moses, thus, that in this world gives pardon to no such person; and there is the law of Christ that punishes in the future world. From this, therefore, mark how He confirms the law, not only not destroying it, but fulfilling it. Thus, then, He redeemed them from that curse of the law which belongs to the present life; and from this fact has come the appellation "the curse of the law." This is the whole account which needs be given of that mode of speech. But, again, why the law is called the "strength of sin, we shall at once explain in brief to the best of our ability. Now it is written that "the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners."285 In these times, then, before Moses, there was no written law for transgressors; whence also Pharaoh, not knowing the strength of sin, transgressed in the way of afflicting the children of Israel with unrighteous burdens, and despised the Godhead, not only himself, but also all who were with him. But, not to make any roundabout statement, I shall explain the matter briefly as follows. There were certain persons of the Egyptian race mingling with the people of Moses, when that people was under his rule in the desert; and when Moses had taken his position on the mount, with the purpose of receiving the law, the impatient people, I do not mean those who were the true Israel, but those who had been intermixed with the Egyptians,286 set up a calf as their god, in accordance with their ancient custom of worshipping idols, with the notion that by such means they might secure themselves against ever having to pay the proper penalties for their iniquities.287 Thus were they altogether ignorant of the strength of their sin. But when Moses returned (from the mount) and found that out, he issued orders that those men should be put to death with the sword. From that occasion a beginning was made ill the correct perception of the strength of sin on the part of these persons through the instrumentality of the law of Moses, and for that reason the law has been called the "strength of sin."
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VI, The Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes:
Chapter XXXV.-He Prays God for that Peace of Rest Which Hath No Evening.
50. O Lord God, grant Thy peace unto us,for Thou hast supplied us with all things,-the peace of rest, the peace of the Sabbath, which hath no evening. For all this most beautiful order of things, "very good" (all their courses being finished), is to pass away, for in them there was morning and evening.
Chapter XXXVI.-The Seventh Day, Without Evening and Setting, the Image of Eternal Life and Rest in God.
51. But the seventh day is without any evening, nor hath it any setting, because Thou hast sanctified it to an everlasting continuance that that which Thou didst after Thy works, which were very good, resting on the seventh day, although in unbroken rest Thou madest them that the voice of Thy Book may speak beforehand unto us, that we also after our works (therefore very good, because Thou hast given them unto us) may repose in Thee also in the Sabbath of eternal life.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. I, THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN, Book XIII:
19. Expel, therefore, from your hearts carnal thoughts, that you may be really under grace, that you may belong to the New Testament. Therefore is life eternal promised in the New Testament. Read the Old Testament, and see that the same things were enjoined upon a people yet carnal as upon us. For to worship one God is also enjoined upon us. "Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" is also enjoined upon us, which is the second commandment. " Observe the Sabbath-day" is enjoined on us more than on them, because it is commanded to be spiritually observed. For the Jews observe the Sabbath in a servile manner, using it for luxuriousness and drunkenness. How much better would their women be employed in spinning wool than in dancing on that day in the balconies? God forbid, brethren, that we should call that an observance of the Sabbath.
The Christian observes the Sabbath spiritually, abstaining from servile work. For what is it to abstain from servilework? From sin. And how do we prove it? Ask the Lord. "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."24 Therefore is the spiritual observance of the Sabbath enjoined upon us. Now all those commandments are more enjoined on us, and are to be observed: "Thou shall not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not bear false witness. Honor thy father and thy mother. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife."25 Are not all these things enjoined upon us also? But ask what is the reward, and thou wilt find it there said: "That thine enemies may be driven forth before thy face, and that you may receive the land which God promised to your fathers."26 Because they were not able to comprehend invisible things, they were held by the visible. Wherefore held? Lest they should perish altogether, and slip into idol-worship. For they did this, my brethren, as we read, forgetful of the great miracles which God performed before their eyes. The sea was divided; a way was made in the midst of the waves; their enemies following, were covered by the same waves through which they passed:27 and yet when Moses, the man of God, had departed from their sight, they asked for an idol, and said, "Make us gods to go before us; for this man has deserted us." Their whole hope was placed in man, not in God. Behold, the man is dead: was God dead who had rescued them from the land of Egypt? And when they had made to themselves the image of a calf, they offered it adoration, and said, "These be thy gods, O Israel, which delivered thee out of the land of Egypt."28 How soon forgetful of such manifest grace! By what means could such a people be held except by carnal promises?
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. VII, TRACTATES ON JOHN, Tractate III:
Chapter 8.-What We are to Understand of God's Resting on the Seventh Day, After the Six Days' Work.
When it is said that God rested on the seventh day from all His works, and hallowed it, we are not to conceive of this in a childish fashion, as if work were a toil to God, who "spake and it was done,"-spake by the spiritual and eternal, not audible and transitory word. But God's rest signifies the rest of those who rest in God, as the joy of a house means the joy of those in the house who rejoice, though not the house, but something else, causes the joy. How much more intelligible is such phraseology, then, if the house itself, by its own beauty, makes the inhabitants joyful! For in this case we not only call it joyful by that figure of speech in which the thing containing is used for the thing contained (as when we say, "The theatres applaud," "The meadows low," meaning that the men in the one applaud, and the oxen in the other low), but also by that figure in which the cause is spoken of as if it were the effect, as when a letter is said to be joyful, because it makes its readers so. Most appropriately, therefore, the sacred narrative states that God rested, meaning thereby that those rest who are in Him, and whom He makes to rest. And this the prophetic narrative promises also to the men to whom it speaks, and for whom it was written, that they themselves, after those good works which God does in and by them, if they have managed by faith to get near to God in this life, shall enjoy in Him eternal rest. This was pre-figured to the ancient people of God by the rest enjoined in their sabbath law, of which, in its own place, I shall speak more at large....
But, on the seventh day (i.e., the same day repeated seven times, which number is also a perfect one, though for another reason), the rest of God is set forth, and then, too, we first hear of its being hallowed. So that God did not wish to hallow this day by His works, but by His rest, which has no evening, for it is not a creature; so that, being known in one way in the Word of God, and in another in itself, it should make a twofold knowledge, daylight and dusk (day and evening). Much more might be said about tile perfection of the number seven, but this book is already too long, and I fear lest I should seem to catch at an opportunity of airing my little smattering of science more childishly than profitably. I must speak, therefore, in moderation and with dignity, lest, in too keenly following "number," I be accused of forgetting "weight" and "measure." Suffice it here to say, that three is the first whole number that is odd, four the first that is even, and of these two, seven is composed. On this account it is often put for all numbers together, as, "A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again,"61 -that is, let him fall never so often, he will not perish (and this was meant to be understood not of sins, but of afflictions conducing to lowliness). Again, "Seven times a day will I praise Thee,"62 which elsewhere is expressed thus, "I will bless the Lord at all times."63 And many such instances are found in the divine authorities, in which the number seven is, as I said, commonly used to express the whole, or the completeness of anything. And so the Holy Spirit, of whom the Lord says, "He will teach you all truth,"64 is signified by this number,65 In it is the rest of God, the rest His people find in Him. For rest is in the whole, i.e.., in perfect completeness, while in the part there is labor. And thus we labor as long as we know in part; "but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."66 It is even with toil we search into the Scriptures themselves. But the holy angels, towards whose society and assembly we sigh while in this our toilsome pilgrimage, as they already abide in their eternal home, so do they enjoy perfect facility of knowledge and felicity of rest. It is without difficulty that they help us; for their spiritual movements, pure and free, cost them no effort.
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Chapter 10.-The Old Law Also Given by God:
And it is for this reason that God made the old testament, because it pleased God to veil the heavenly promises in earthly promises, as if established in reward, until the fulness of time; and to give to a people which longed for earthly blessings, and therefore had a hard heart, a law,which, although spiritual, was yet written on tables of stone. Because, with the exception of the sacraments of the old books, which were only enjoined for the sake of their significance (although in them also, since they are to be spiritually understood, the law is rightly called spiritual), the other matters certainly which pertain to piety and to good living must not be referred by any interpretation to some significancy,43 but are to be done absolutely as they are spoken. Assuredly no one will doubt that that law of God was necessary not alone for that people at that time, but also is now necessary for us for the right ordering of our life. For if Christ took away from us that very heavy yoke of many observances, so that we are not circumcised according to the flesh, we do not immolate victims of the cattle, we do not rest even from necessary works on the Sabbath, retaining the seventh in the revolution of the days, and other things of this kind; but keep them as spiritually understood, and, the symbolizing shadows being removed, are watchful in the light of those things which are signified by them; shall we therefore say, that when it is written that whoever finds another man's property of any kind that has been lost, should return it to him who has lost it,44 it does not pertain to us? and many other like things whereby people learn to live piously and uprightly? and especially the Decalogue itself, which is contained in those two tables of stone, apart from the carnal observance of the Sabbath, which signifies spiritual sanctification and rest? For who can say that Christians ought not to be observant to serve the one God with religious obedience, not to worship an idol, not to take the name of the Lord in vain, to honour one's parents, not to commit adulteries, murders, thefts, false witness, not to covet another man's wife, or anything at all that belongs to another man? Who is so impious as to say that he does not keep those precepts of the law because he is a Christian, and is established not under the law, but under grace?
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But their intellectual knowledge, which shall be great, shall keep them acquainted not only with their own past woes, but with the eternal sufferings of the lost. For if they were not to know that they had been miserable, how could they, as the Psalmist says, for ever sing the mercies of God? Certainly that city shall have no greater joy than the celebration of the grace of Christ, who redeemed us by His blood. There shall be accomplished the words of the psalm, "Be still, and know that I am God."93 There shall be the great Sabbath which has no evening, which God celebrated among His first works, as it is written, "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God began to make."94 For we shall ourselves be the seventh day, when we shall be filled and replenished with God's blessing and sanctification. There shall we be still, and know that He is God; that He is that which we ourselves aspired to be when we fell away from Him, and listened to the voice of the seducer, "Ye shall be as gods,"95 and so abandoned God, who would have made us as gods, not by deserting Him, but by participating in Him. For without Him what have we accomplished, save to perish in His anger? But when we are restored by Him, and perfected with greater grace, we shall have eternal leisure to see that He is God, for we shall be full of Him when He shall be all in all. For even our good works, when they are understood to be rather His than ours, are imputed to us that we may enjoy this Sabbath rest. For if we attribute them to ourselves, they shall be servile; for it is said of the Sabbath, "Ye shall do no servile work in it."96 Wherefore also it is said by Ezekiel the prophet, "And I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctify them."97 This knowledge shall be perfected when we shall be perfectly at rest, and shall perfectly know that He is God.
This Sabbath shall appear still more clearly if we count the ages as days, in accordance with the periods of time defined in Scripture, for that period will be found to be the seventh. The first age, as the first day, extends from Adam to the deluge; the second from the deluge to Abraham, equalling the first, not in length of time, but in the number of generations, there being ten in each. From Abraham to the advent of Christ there are, as the evangelist Matthew calculates, three periods, in each of which are fourteen generations,-one period from Abraham to David, a second from David to the captivity, a third from the captivity to the birth of Christ in the flesh. There are thus five ages in all. The sixth is now passing, and cannot be measured by any number of generations, as it has been said, "It is not for you to know the times, which the Father hath put in His own power."98 After this period God shall rest as on the seventh day, when He shall give us (who shall be the seventh day) rest in Himself.99 But there is not now space to treat of these ages; suffice it to say that the seventh shall be our Sabbath, which shall be brought to a close, not by an evening, but by the Lord's day, as an eighth and eternal day, consecrated by the resurrection of Christ, and prefiguring the eternal repose not only of the spirit, but also of the body. There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. This is what shall be in the end without end. For what other end do we propose to ourselves than to attain to the kingdom of which there is no end?
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Again, when he (Apostle Paul) says, "They are our examples," and "these things happened to them for an example," he shows that, now that the things themselves are clearly revealed, the observance of the actions by which these things were prefigured is no longer binding. So he says elsewhere, "Let no man judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon or of the sabbath-days, which are a shadow of things to come."3 Here also, when he says, "Let no one judge you" in these things, he shows that we are no longer bound to observe them. And when he says, "which are a shadow of things to come," he explains how these observances were binding at the time when the things fully disclosed to us were symbolized by these shadows of future things....the resurrection of the Lord,-the day of whose resurrection, the third after His passion, was the eighth day, coming after the Sabbath, that is, after the seventh day...
4. The rest of the Sabbath we consider no longer binding as an observance, now that the hope of our eternal rest has been revealed. But it is a very useful thing to read of, and to reflect on.
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That is, the Church admits and avows the Jewish people to be cursed, because after killing Christ they continue to till the ground of an earthly circumcision, an earthly Sabbath, an earthly passover, while the hidden strength or virtue of making known Christ, which this tilling contains, is not yielded to the Jews while they continue in impiety and unbelief, for it is revealed in the New Testament. While they will not turn to God, the veil which is on their minds in reading the Old Testament is not taken away. This veil is taken away only by Christ, who does not do away with the reading of the Old Testament, but with the covering which hides its virtue.
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28. Regarding the Sabbath and circumcision, and the distinction in foods, in which you say the teaching of Moses differs from what Christians are taught by Christ, we have already shown that, as the apostle says, "all those things were our examples."49 The difference is not in the doctrine, but in the time. There was a time when it was proper that these things should be figuratively predicted; and there is now a different time when it is proper that they should be openly declared and fully accomplished. It is not surprising that the Jews, who understood the Sabbath in a carnal sense, should oppose Christ, who began to open up its spiritual meaning. Reply, if you can, to the apostle, who declares that the rest of the Sabbath was a shadow of something future.
50 If the Jews opposed Christ because they did not understand what the true Sabbath is, there is no reason why you should oppose Him, or refuse to learn what true innocence is. For on that occasion when Jesus appears especially to set aside the Sabbath, when His disciples were hungry, and pulled the ears of corn through which they were passing, and ate them, Jesus, in replying to the Jews, declared His disciples to be innocent. "If you knew," He said "what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent."51 They should rather have pitied the wants of the disciples, for hunger forced them to do what they did. But pulling ears of corn, which is innocence in the teaching of Christ, is murder in the teaching of Manichaeus. Or was it an act of charity in the apostles to pull the ears of corn, that they might in eating set free the members of God, as in your foolish notions? Then it must be cruelty in you not to do the same. Faustus' reason for setting aside the Sabbath is because he knows that God's power is exercised without cessation, and without weariness. It is for those to say this, who believe that all times are the production of an eternal act of God's will. But you will find it difficult to reconcile this with your doctrine, that the rebellion of the race of darkness broke your god's rest, which was also disturbed by a sudden attack of the enemy; or perhaps God never had rest, as he foresaw this from eternity, and could not feel at ease in the prospect of so dire a conflict, with such loss and disaster to his members.
29. Unless Christ had considered this Sabbath-which in your want of knowledge and of piety you laugh at-one of the prophecies written of Himself, He would not have borne such a testimony to it as He did. For when, as you say in praise of Christ, He suffered voluntarily, and so could choose His own time for suffering and for resurrection, He brought it about that His body rested from all its works on Sabbath in the tomb, and that His resurrection on the third day. which we call the Lord's day, the day after the Sabbath, and therefore the eighth, proved the circumcision of the eighth day to be also prophetical of Him. For what does circumcision mean, but the eradication of the mortality which comes from our carnal generation? So the apostle says: "Putting off from Himself His flesh, He made a show of principalities and powers, triumphing over them in Himself."52 The flesh here said to be put off is that mortality of flesh on account of which the body is properly called flesh. The flesh is the mortality, for in the immortality of the resurrection there will be no flesh; as it is written, "Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God." You are accustomed to argue from these words against our faith in the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, which has already taken place in the Lord Himself. You keep out of view the following words, in which the apostle explains his meaning. To show what he here means by flesh, he adds, "Neither shall corruption inherit incorruption." For this body, which from its mortality is properly called flesh, is changed in the resurrection, so as to be no longer corruptible and mortal. This is the apostle's statement, and not a supposition of ours, as his next words prove. "Lo" he says, "I show you a mystery: we shall all use again, but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the last trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."53 To put on immortality, the body puts off mortality. This is the mystery of circumcision, which by the law took place on the eighth day; and on the eighth day, the Lord's day, the day after the Sabbath, was fulfilled in its true meaning by the Lord. Hence it is said, "Putting off His flesh, He made a show of principalities and powers." For by means of this mortality the hostile powers of hell ruled over us. Christ is said to have made a show or example of these, because in Himself, our Head, He gave an example which will be fully realized in the liberation of His whole body, the Church, from the power of the devil at the last resurrection. This is our faith. And according to the prophetic declaration quoted by Paul, "The just shall live by faith." This is our justification.54 Even Pagans believe that Christ died. But only Christians believe that Christ rose again. "If thou confess with thy mouth," says the apostle, "that Jesus is the Lord, and believest in thy heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."55 Again, because we are justified by faith in Christ's resurrection, the apostle says, "He died for our offenses, and rose again for our justification."56 And because this resurrection by faith in which we are justified was prefigured by the circumcision of the eighth day, the apostle says of Abraham, with whom the observance began, "He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith."57 Circumcision, then, is one of the prophecies of Christ, written by Moses, of whom Christ said, "He wrote of me." In the words of the Lord, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves,"58 it is not the circumcision of the proselyte which is meant, but his imitation of the conduct of the scribes and Pharisees, which the Lord forbids His disciples to imitate, when He says: "The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses' seat: what they say unto you, do; but do not after their works; for they say, and do not."59 These words of the Lord teach us both the honor due to the teaching of Moses, in whose seat even bad men were obliged to teach good things, and the reason of the proselyte becoming a child of hell, which was not that he heard from the Pharisees the words of the law, but that he copied their example. Such a circumcised proselyte might have been addressed in the words of Paul: "Circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law."60 His imitation of the Pharisees in not keeping the law made him a child of hell. And he was twofold more than they, probably because of his neglecting to fulfill what he voluntarily undertook, when, not being born a Jew, he chose to become a Jew.
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5. We are not afraid to meet your (Faustus’) scoff at the Sabbath, when you call it the fetters of Saturn. It is a silly and unmeaning expression, which occurred to you only because you are in the habit of worshipping the sun on what you call Sunday. What you call Sunday we call the Lord's day, and on it we do not worship the sun, but the Lord's resurrection. And in the same way, the fathers observed the rest of the Sabbath, not because they worshipped Saturn, but because it was incumbent at that time, for it was a shadow of things to come, as the apostle testifies.7
The Gentiles, of whom the apostle says that they "worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator,"8 gave the names of their gods to the days of the week. And so far you do the same, except that you worship only the two brightest luminaries, and not the rest of the stars, as the Gentiles did. Besides, the Gentiles gave the names of their gods to the months. In honor of Romulus, whom they believed to be the son of Mars, they dedicated the first month to Mars, and called it March. The next month, April, is named not from any god, but from the word for opening, because the buds generally open in this month. The third month is called May, in honor of Maia the mother of Mercury. The fourth is called June, from Juno. The rest to December used to be named according to their number The fifth and sixth, however, got the names of July and August from men to whom divine honors were decreed; while the others, from September to December, continued to be named from their number. January, again, is named from Janus, and February from the rites of the Luperci called Februae. Must we say that you worship the god Mars in the month of March? But that is the month in which you hold the feast you call Bema with great pomp. But if you think it allowable to observe the month of March without thinking of Mars, why do you try to bring in the name of Saturn in connection with the rest of the seventh day enjoined in Scripture, merely because the Gentiles call the day Saturday? The Scripture name for the day is Sabbath, which means rest. Your scoff is as unreasonable as it is profane....Thus we have shown regarding circumcision, and the Sabbath, and the distinction of food, and the sacrifice of animals, that all these things were our examples, and our prophecies, which Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill, by fulfilling what was thus foretold. Your opponent is the apostle, whose opinion I give in his own words: "All these things were our examples."10...
To conclude, Catholic Christians are in no difficulty regarding the words of Christ, though in one sense they may be said not to observe the law and the prophets; for by the grace of Christ they keep the law by their love to God and man; and on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.11 Besides, they see in Christ and the Church the fulfillment of all the prophecies of the Old Testament, whether in the form of actions, or of symbolic rites, or of figurative language. So we neither join in superstitious follies, nor declare this verse false; nor deny that we are followers of Christ; for on those principles which I have set forth to the best of my power, the law and the prophets which Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill, are no other than those recognized by the Church.
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So, when you (Faustus) ask why a Christian does not keep the Sabbath, if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, my reply is, that a Christian does not keep the Sabbath precisely because what was prefigured in the Sabbath is fulfilled in Christ. For we have our Sabbath in Him who said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls."23
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Now, to make our statement all the clearer, let us look at the Decalogue itself. It is certain, then, that Moses on the mount received the law, that he might deliver it to the people, written on tables of stone by the finger of God. It is summed up in these ten commandments, in which there is no precept about circumcision, nor anything concerning those animal sacrifices which have ceased to be offered by Christians. Well, now, I should like to be told what there is in these ten commandments, except the observance of the Sabbath, which ought not to be kept by a Christian,-whether it prohibit the making and worshipping of idols and of any other gods than the one true God, or the taking of God's name in vain; or prescribe honour to parents; or give warning against fornication, murder, theft, false witness, adultery, or coveting other men's property? Which of these commandments would any one say that the Christian ought not to keep? Is it possible to contend that it is not the law which was written on those two tables that the apostle describes as "the letter that killeth," but the law of circumcision and the other sacred rites which are now abolished? But then how can we think so, when in the law occurs this precept, "Thou shall not covet," by which very commandment, notwithstanding its being holy, just, and good, "sin," says the apostle, "deceived me, and by it slew me?"99 What else can this be than "the letter" that "killeth"?
In the passage where he speaks to the Corinthians about the letter that kills, and the spirit that gives life, he expresses himself more clearly, but he does not mean even there any other "letter" to be understood than the Decalogue itself, which was written on the two tables. For these are His words: "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who hath made us fit, as ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance, which was to be done away; how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more shall the ministration of righteousness abound in glory.100 A good deal might be said about these words; but perhaps we shall have a more fitting opportunity at some future time. At present, however, I beg you to observe how he speaks of the letter that killeth, and contrasts therewith the spirit that giveth life. Now this must certainly be "the ministration of death written and engraven in stones," and "the ministration of condemnation," since the law entered that sin might abound.101 But the commandments themselves are so useful and salutary to the doer of them, that no one could have life unless he kept them. Well, then, is it owing to the one precept about the Sabbath-day, which is included in it, that the Decalogue is called "the letter that killeth?" Because, forsooth, every man that still observes that day in its literal appointment is carnally wise, but to be carnally wise is nothing else than death? And must the other nine commandments, which are rightly observed in their literal form, not be regarded as belonging to the law of works by which none is justified, but to the law of faith whereby the just man lives? Who can possibly entertain so absurd an opinion as to suppose that "the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones," is not said equally of all the ten commandments, but only of the solitary one touching the Sabbath-day? In which class do we place that which is thus spoken of: "The law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression?"102 and again thus: "Until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law?"103 and also that which we have already so often quoted: "By the law is the knowledge of sin?"104 and especially the passage in which the apostle has more clearly expressed the question of which we are treating: "I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet?"105
Now carefully consider this entire passage, and see whether it says anything about circumcision, or the Sabbath, or anything else pertaining to a foreshadowing sacrament. Does not its whole scope amount to this, that the letter which forbids sin fails to give man life, but rather "killeth," by increasing concupiscence, and aggravating sinfulness by transgression, unless indeed grace liberates us by the law of faith, which is in Christ Jesus, when His love is "shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given to us?"106 The apostle having used these words: "That we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter,"107 goes on to inquire, "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay; I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, worked death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual; whereas I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that I do not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. But then it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing. To will, indeed, is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now, if I do that which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? The grace of God, through Jesus Christ out Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."108
Chapter 26.-No Fruit Good Except It Grow from the Root of Love.
It is evident, then, that the oldness of the letter, in the absence of the newness of the spirit, instead of freeing us from sin, rather makes us guilty by the knowledge of sin. Whence it is written in another part of Scripture, "He that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow,"109 - not that the law is itself evil, but because the commandment has its good in the demonstration of the letter, not in the assistance of the spirit; and if this commandment is kept from the fear of punishment and not from the love of righteousness, it is servilely kept, not freely, and therefore it is not kept at all. For no fruit is good which does not grow from the root of love. If, however, that faith be present which worketh by love,110 then one begins to delight in the law of God after the inward man,111 and this delight is the gift of the spirit, not of the letter; even though there is another law in our members still warring against the law of the mind, until the old state is changed, and passes into that newness which increases from day to day in the inward man, whilst the grace of God is liberating us from the body of this death through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Chapter 27 [XV.] - Grace, Concealed in the Old Testament, is Revealed in the New.
This grace hid itself under a veil in the Old Testament, but it has been revealed in the New Testament according to the most perfectly ordered dispensation of the ages, forasmuch as God knew how to dispose all things. And perhaps it is a part of this hiding of grace, that in the Decalogue, which was given on Mount Sinai, only the portion which relates to the Sabbath was hidden under a prefiguring precept. The Sabbath is a day of sanctification; and it is not without significance that, among all the works which God accomplished, the first sound of sanctification was heard on the day when He rested from all His labours. On this, indeed, we must not now enlarge.
But at the same time I deem it to be enough for the point now in question, that it was not for nothing that the nation was commanded on that day to abstain from all servile work, by which sin is signified; but because not to commit sin belongs to sanctification, that is, to God's gift through the Holy Spirit. And this precept alone among the others, was placed in the law, which was written on the two tables of stone, in a prefiguring shadow, under which the Jews observe the Sabbath, that by this very circumstance it might be signified that it was then the time for concealing the grace, which had to be revealed in the New Testament by the death of Christ, - the rending, as it were, of the veil.112 "For when," says the apostle, "it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away."113 ....
Chapter 36 [XXI.] -The Law Written in Our Hearts.
What then is God's law written by God Himself in the hearts of men, but the very presence of the Holy Spirit, who is "the finger of God," and by whose presence is shed abroad in our hearts the love which is the fulfilling of the law,155 and the end of the commandment?156 Now the promises of the Old Testament are earthly; and yet ( with the exception of the sacramental ordinances which were the shadow of things to come, such as circumcision, the Sabbath and other observances of days, and the ceremonies of certain meats,157 and the complicated ritual of sacrifices and sacred things which suited "the oldness" of the carnal law and its slavish yoke) it contains such precepts of righteousness as we are even now taught to observe, which were especially expressly drawn out on the two tables without figure or shadow: for instance, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," "Thou shalt do no murder, "Thou shalt not covet,"158 "and whatsoever other commandment is briefly comprehended in the saying, Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself."159 Nevertheless, whereas as in the said Testament earthly and temporal promises are, as I have said, recited, and these are goods of this corruptible flesh (although they prefigure those heavenly and everlasting blessings which belong to the New Testament), what is now promised is a good for the heart itself, a good for the mind, a good of the spirit, that is, an intellectual good; since it is said, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their hearts will I write them,"160 - by which He signified that men would not fear the law which alarmed them externally, but would love the very righteousness of the law which dwelt inwardly in their hearts....
As then the law of works, which was written on the tables of stone, and its reward, the land of promise, which the house of the carnal Israel after their liberation from Egypt received, belonged to the old testament, so the law of faith, written on the heart, and its reward, the beatific vision which the house of the spiritual Israel, when delivered from the present world, shall perceive, belong to the new testament...
By the law of works, then, the Lord says, "Thou shalt not covet: "202 but by the law of faith He says, "Without me ye can do nothing;"203 for He was treating of good works, even the fruit of the vine-branches. It is therefore apparent what difference there is between the old covenant and the new,-that in the former the law is written on tables, while in the latter on hearts; so that what in the one alarms from without, in the other delights from within; and in the former man becomes a transgressor through the letter that kills, in the other a lover through the life-giving spirit. We must therefore avoid saying, that the way in which God assists us to work righteousness, and "works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure,"204 is by externally addressing to our faculties precepts of holiness; for He gives His increase internally,205 by shedding love abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given to us."206 ...
The righteousness of the law is proposed in these terms,-that whosoever shall do it shall live in it; and the purpose is, that when each has discovered his own weakness, he may not by his own strength, nor by the letter of the law (which cannot be done), but by faith, conciliating the Justifier, attain, and do, and live in it. For the work in which he who does it shall live, is not done except by one who is justified. His justification, however, is obtained by faith; and concerning faith it is written, "Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring down Christ therefrom;) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is (says he), the word of faith which we preach: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."279 As far as he is saved, so far is he righteous. For by this faith we believe that God will raise even us from the dead,-even now in the spirit, that we may in this present world live soberly, righteously, and godly in the renewal of His grace; and by and by in our flesh, which shall rise again to immortality, which indeed is the reward of the Spirit, who precedes it by a resurrection which is appropriate to Himself,-that is, by justification. "For we are buried with Christ by baptism unto death, thatlike as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walkin newness of life."280 By faith, therefore, in Jesus Christ we obtain salvation,-both in so far as it is begun within us in reality, and in so far as its perfection is waited for in hope; "for whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."281 "How abundant," says the Psalmist, "is the multitude of Thy goodness, O Lord, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee, and hast perfected for them that hope in Thee!"282 By the law we fear God; by faith we hope in God: but from those who fear punishment grace is hidden. And the soul which labours under this fear, since it has not conquered its evil concupiscence, and from which this fear, like a harsh master, has not departed,-let it flee by faith for refuge to the mercy of God, that He may give it what He commands, and may, by inspiring into it the sweetness of His gracethrough His Holy Spirit, cause the soul to delight more in what He teaches it, than it delights in what opposes His instruction. In this manner it is that the great abundance of His sweetness,- that is, the law of faith,-His love which is in our hearts, and shed abroad, is perfected in them that hope in Him, that good may be wrought by the soul, healed not by the fear of punishment, but by the love of righteousness....
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. V, On the Spirit and the Letter In One Book, Addressed to Marcellinus:
1. Although the arrangement of the Psalms, which seems to me to contain the secret of a mighty mystery, hath not yet been revealed unto me, yet, by the fact that they in all amount to one hundred and fifty, they suggest somewhat even to us, who have not as yet pierced with the eye of our mind the depth of their entire arrangement, whereon we may without being over-bold, so far as God giveth, be able to speak. Firstly, the number fifteen, whereof it is a multiple this number fifteen, I say, signifieth the agreement of the two Testaments. For in the former is observed the Sabbath, which signifieth rest; in the latter the Lord's Day, which signifieth resurrection. The Sabbath is the seventh day, but the Lord's Day, coming after the seventh, must needs be the eighth, and is also to be reckoned the first. For it is called the first day of the week, and so from it are reckoned the second, third, fourth, and so on to the seventh day of the week, which is the Sabbath. But from Lord's Day to Lord's Day is eight days, wherein is declared the revelation of the New Testament, which in the Old was as it were veiled under earthly promises. Further, seven and eight make fifteen. Of the same number too are the Psalms which are called "of the steps," because that was the number of the steps of the Temple.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. VIII, Psalm CL:
4. Next comes Apollinarius, who is no less a cause of sorrow to the Churches. With his facility of writing, and a tongue ready to argue on any subject, he has filled the world with his works, in disregard of the advice of him who said, "Beware of making many books."4 In their multitude there are certainly many errors. How is it possible to avoid sin in a multitude of words?5 And the theological works of Apollinarius are founded on Scriptural proof, but are based on a human origin. He has written about the resurrection, from a mythical, or rather Jewish, point of view; urging that we shall return again to the worship of the Law, be circumcised, keep the Sabbath, abstain from meats, offer sacrifices to God, worship in the Temple at Jerusalem, and be altogether turned from Christians into Jews. What could be more ridiculous? Or, rather, what could be more contrary to the doctrines of the Gospel? Then, further, he has made such confusion among the brethren about the incarnation, that few of his readers preserve the old mark of true religion; but the more part, in their eagerness for novelty, have been diverted into investigations and quarrelsome discussions of his unprofitable treatises.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. VIII, Letter CCLXIII:
3. It is written, he says, in Leviticus "Neither shall thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness. beside the other in her life time."3 From this it is plain, he argues, that it is lawful to take her when the wife is dead. To this my first answer shall be, that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law; otherwise we shall be subject to circumcision, the sabbath, abstinence from meats. For we certainly must not, when we find anything which falls in with our pleasures, subject ourselves to the yoke of slavery to the law; and then, if anything in the law seems hard, have recourse to the freedom which is in Christ.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. VIII, Letter CLX, To Diodorus:
John i. 14.-"And the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us."
[1.] I Desire to ask one favor of you all, beforeI touch on the words of the Gospel; do not you refuse my request, for I ask nothing heavy or burdensome, nor, if granted, will it be useful only to me who receive, but also to you who grant it, and perhaps far more so to you. What then is it that I require of you? That each of you take in hand that section of the Gospels which is to be read among you on the first day of the week, or even on the Sabbath, and before the day arrive, that he sit down at home and read it through, and often carefully consider its contents, and examine all its parts well...
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. XIV, HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN, Homily XI:
"And the Father is with Me." That they may not deem the "who sent Me" to be a mark of inferiority, He saith, "is with Me"; the first belongeth to the Dispensation, the second to the Godhead.
"And He hath not left Me alone," for I do always those things that please Him.
Again He hath brought down His discourse to a humbler strain, continually setting Himself against that which they asserted, that He was not of God, and that He kept not the Sabbath. To this He replieth, "I do always those things that are pleasing unto Him"; showing that it was pleasing unto Him even that the Sabbath should be broken. So, for instance, just before the Crucifixion He said, "Think ye that I cannot call upon My Father?" (Matt. xxvi. 53.) And yet by merely saying, "Whom seek ye?" (c. xviii. 4, 6) He cast them down backwards. Why then saith He not, "Think ye that I cannot destroy you," when He had proved this by deed? He condescendeth to their infirmity. For He took great pains to show that He did nothing contrary to the Father. Thus He speaketh rather after the manner of a man; and as "He hath not left Me alone," was spoken, so also was the, "I do always those things that are pleasing unto Him."
Ver. 30. "As He spake these words, many believed on Him."
When He brought down His speech to a lowly strain, many believed on Him. Dost thou still ask wherefore He speaketh humbly? Yet the Evangelist clearly alluded to this when he said, "As He spake these things, many believed on Him." By this all but proclaiming aloud to us, "Oh hearer, be not confounded if thou hear any lowly expression, for they who after such high teaching were not yet persuaded that He was of the Father, were with good reason made to hear humbler words, that they might believe." And this is an excuse for those things which shall be spoken in a humble way. They believed then, yet not as they ought, but carelessly and as it were by chance, beingpleased and refreshed by the humility of the words. For that they had not perfect faith the Evangelist shows by their speeches after this, in which they insult Him again. And that these are the very same persons he has declared by saying,
Ver. 31. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word."
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. XIV, HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN, Homily LIII:
"He that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth."
How many things, for instance, even now do the Jews, without knowing what they do, but walking as though they were in darkness? They think that they are going the right way, when they are taking the contrary; keeping3 the Sabbath, respecting the Law and the observances about meats, yet knowing not whither they walk.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. XIV, HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN, Homily LXVIII:
For what Christ laid to their charge now, of this Isaiah also spake from the very first; that the words of God they despise, "for in vain do they worship me," saith He; but of their own they make much account, "teaching," saith He, "for doctrines the commandments of men." Therefore with reason the disciples keep them not.
3. Having, you see, given them their mortal blow; and from the facts first, then from their own suffrage, then from the prophet having aggravated the charge, with them indeed He discourses not at all, incorrigibly disposed as they are now come to be, but directs His speech to the multitudes, so as to introduce His doctrine, great and high, and full of much strictness; and taking occasion from the former topic, He proceeds to insert that which is greater, casting out also the observance of meats.
But see when. When He had cleansed the leper, when He had repealed the Sabbath, when He had shown Himself King of earth and sea, when He had made laws, when He had remitted sins, when He had raised dead men, when He had afforded them many proofs of His Godhead, then He discourses of meats.
For indeed all the religion of the Jews is comprised in this; if thou take this away, thou hast even taken away all. For hereby He signifies, that circumcision too must be abrogated.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. X, HOMILIES ON MATTHEW, Homily LI:
He says that there are "three" rests: one, that of the Sabbath, in which God rested from His works; the second, that of Palestine, into which when the Jews had entered they would be at rest from their hardships and labors; the third, that which is Rest indeed, the kingdom of Heaven; which those who obtain, do indeed rest from their labors and troubles. Of these three then he makes mention here.
And why did he mention the three, when he is treating of the one only? That he might show that the prophet is speaking concerning this one. For he did not speak (he says) concerning the first. For how could he, when that had taken place long before? Nor vet again concerning the second, that in Palestine. For how could he? For he says,"They shall not enter into My rest." It remains therefore that it is this third....
What then does he say? (c. iv. 9.) "There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God." And see how he has summed up the whole argument. "He sware," saith he, to those former ones, "that they should not enter into" the "rest," and they did not enter in. Then long after-their time discoursing to the Jews, he says, "Harden not your hearts," as your fathers, showing that there is another rest. For of Palestine we have not to speak: for they were already in possession of it. Nor can he be speaking of the seventh [day]; for surely he was not discoursing about that which had taken place long before. It follows therefore that he hints at some other, that which is rest indeed.
[10.] For that is indeed rest, where "pain, sorrow and sighing are fled away" (Isa. xxxv. 10): where there are neither cares, nor labors, nor struggle, nor fear stunning and shaking the soul; but only that fear of God which is full of delight. There is not, "In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat thy bread," nor "thorns and thistles" (Gen. iii. 19, gen. iii. 18); no longer, "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and to thy husband shall be thy desire and he shall rule over thee." (Gen. iii. 16.) All is peace, joy, i gladness, pleasure, goodness, gentleness. There is no jealousy, nor envy, no sickness, no death whether of the body, or that of the soul. There is no darkness nor night; all [is] day, all light, all things are bright. It is not possible to be weary, it is not possible to be satiated: we shall always persevere in the desire of good things.18
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. XIV, Homilies on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Homily VI:
[4.] He had said, that there is also a change of law, and up to this point he has shown it; henceforward he enquires into the cause, that which above all gives full assurance to men's minds, [I mean] the knowing the cause thoroughly; and it leads us more to faith14 when we have learned also the cause, and the principle according to which [the thing] comes to pass.
Ver. 18. "For there is verily" (he says) "a disannulling of the commandment going before, for the weakness and unprofitablehess thereof." Here the Heretics15 press on. But listen attentively. He did not say "for the evil," nor, "for the viciousness," but "for the weakness and unprofitablehess [thereof]," yea and in other places also he shows the weakness; as when he says "In that it was weak through the flesh." (Rom. viii. 3.) [The law] itself then is not weak, but we.
Ver. 19. "For the Law made nothing perfect." What is, "make nothing perfect"? Made no man perfect, being disobeyed. And besides, even if it had been listened to, it would not have made one perfect and virtuous. But as yet he does not say this here, but that it had no strength: and with good reason. For written precepts were there set down, Do this and Do not that, being enjoined only, and not giving power within.16 But "the Hope" is not such.
What is "a disannulling"? A casting out. A "disannulling" is a disannulling of things which are of force. So that he implied, that it [once] was of force, but henceforward was of no account, since it accomplished nothing. Was the Law then of no use? It was indeed of use; and of great use: but to make men perfect it was of no use. For in this respect he says, "The Law made nothing perfect." All were figures, all shadows; circumcision, sacrifice, sabbath. Therefore they could not reach through the soul, wherefore they pass away and gradually withdraw. "But the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we draw nigh unto God."
[5.] (Ver. 20) "And forasmuch as not without the taking of an oath."17 Thou seest that the matter of the oath becomes necessary for him here. Accordingly for this reason he previously treated much [hereon], how that God swore; and swore for the sake of [our] fuller assurance.
"But the bringing in of a better hope." Forthat system also had a hope, but not such as this. For they hoped that, if they were wellpleasing [to God], they should possess the land,that they should suffer nothing fearful. But in this [dispensation] we hope that, if we are well pleasing [to God], we shall possess not earth, but heaven; or rather (which is far better than this) we hope to stand near to God, to come unto thevery throne of the Father, to minister unto Him with the Angels. And see how he introduces these things by little and little. For above he says "which entereth into that within the veil", (c. vi. 19), but here, "by which we draw nigh unto God."
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. XIV, Homilies on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Homily XIII:
For he shows not only that there is no difference between the Jew and the uncircumcised, but that the uncircumcised has even the advantage, if he take heed to himself, and that it is he that is really the Jew; and so he says:
Ver. 12. "For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly."
Here he attacks them as doing all things for show.
Ver. 29. "But he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter."
By saying this he sets aside all things bodily. For the circumcision is outwardly, and the sabbaths and the sacrifices and purifications: all of which he hints in a single word, when he says, "For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly." But since much was made of the circumcision, inasmuch8 as even the sabbath gave way to it (John vii. 22), he has good reason for aiming more especially against it.
But when he has said "in the spirit" he thereafter paves the way for the conversation9 of the Church, and introduces the faith. For it too is in the heart and spirit and hath its praise of God. And how cometh he not to show that the Gentile which doeth aright is not inferior to the Jew which doeth aright, but that the Gentile which doeth aright is better than the Jew which breaketh the Law? It was that he might make the victory an undoubted one. For when this is agreed upon, of necessity the circumcision of the flesh is set aside, and the need of a good life is everywhere demonstrated. For when the Greek is saved without these, but the Jew with these is yet punished, Judaism stands by doing nothing. And by Greek he again means not the idolatrous Greek, but the religous and virtuous, and free from all legal observances.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. XI, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, Homily VI:
If thy enemy sees thy care for his welfare, he will undoubtedly relinquish his hatred.
Say to him: " art thou not ashamed and dost thou not blush before the Jews who keep their sabbath with such great strictness, and from the evening of it abstain from all work? And if they see the sun verging towards setting on the day of the Preparation they break off business, and cut short their traffic: and if any one who has been making a purchase from them, before the evening, comes in the evening bringing the price, they do not suffer themselves to take it, or to accept the money." And why do I speak of the price of market wares and transaction of business? Even if it were possible to receive a treasure they would rather lose the gain than trample on their law.
Are the Jews then so strict, and this when they keep the law out of due season, and cling to an observance of it which does not profit them, but rather does them harm: and wilt thou, who art superior to the shadow, to whom it has been vouchsafed to see the Sun of Righteousness, who art ranked as a citizen of the Heavenly commonwealth, wilt thou not display the same zeal as those who unseasonably cleave to what is wrong, thou who hast been entrusted with the truth, but although thou art summoned here for only a short part of the day, canst thou not endure to spend even this upon the hearing of the divine oracles? and what kind of indulgence, pray, could you obtain? and what answer will you have to make which is reasonable and just? It is utterly impossible that one who is so indifferent and indolent should ever obtain indulgence, even if he should allege the necessities of wordly affairs ten thousand times over as an excuse. Do you not know that if you come and worship God and take part in the work which goes on here, the business you have on hand is made much easier for you? Have you worldly anxieties? Come here on that account that by the time you spend here you may win for yourself the favour of God, and so depart with a sense of security; that you may have Him for your ally, that you may become invincible to the daemons because you are assisted by the heavenly hand.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. IX, To Those Who Had Not Attended the Assembly:
Ver. 14. (of 2 Corinthians 3) "But their minds were hardened, for until this day remaineth the same veil in the reading of the Old Covenant, [it] not being revealed to them that it is done away in Christ."
See what he establisheth by this. For what happened then once in the case of Moses, the same happeneth continually in the case of the Law. What is said, therefore, is no accusation of the Law, as neither is it of Moses that he then veiled himself, but only the senseless Jews. For the law hath its proper glory, but they were unable to see it. `Why therefore are ye perplexed,' he saith, `if they are unable to see this glory of the Grace, since they saw not that lesser one of Moses, nor were able to look steadfastly upon his countenance? And why are ye troubled that the Jews believe not Christ, seeing at least that they believe not even the Law? For they were therefore ignorant of the Grace also, because they knew not even the Old Covenant nor the glory which was in it. For the glory of the Law is to turn [men] unto Christ.'
[3.] Seest thou how from this consideration also he takes down the inflation of the Jews? By that in which they thought they had the advantage, namely, that Moses' face shone, he proves their grossness and groveling nature. Let them not therefore pride themselves on that, for what was that to Jews who enjoyed it not? Wherefore also he keeps on dwelling upon it, saying one while, "The same veil in the reading of the old covenant remaineth," it "not being revealed that it is done away in Christ:" another while, that "unto this day when Moses is read," (v. 15.) the same "veil lieth upon their heart; "showing that the veil lieth both on the reading and on their heart; and above, "So that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly upon the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which" (v. 7.) glory " was passing away." Than which what could mark less worth in them? Seeing that even of a glory that is to be done away, or rather is in comparison no glory at all, they are not able to be spectators, but it is covered from them, "so that they could not steadfastly look on the end of that which was passing away;" that is, of the law, because it hath an end; "but their minds were hardened." `And what,' saith one, `hath this to do with the veil then?' Because it prefigured what would be.
For not only did they not then perceive; but they do not even now see the Law. And the fault lies with themselves, for the hardness is that of an unimpressible and perverse judgment. So that it is we who know the law also; but to them not only Grace, but this as well is covered with a shadow; "For until this day the same veil upon the reading of the old covenant remaineth," he saith, it "not being revealed that it is done away in Christ."
Now what he saith is this. This very thing they cannot see, that it is brought to an end, because they believe not Christ. For if it be brought to an end by Christ, as in truth it is brought to an end, and this the Law said by anticipation, how will they who receive not Christ that hath done away the Law, be able to see that the Law is done away? And being incapable of seeing this, it is very plain that even of the Law itself which asserted these things, they know not the power nor the full glory. `And where,' saith one, `did it say this that it is done away in Christ?' It did not say it merely, but also showed it by what was done. And first indeed by shutting up its sacrifices and its whole ritual in one place, the Temple, and afterwards destroying this. For had He not meant to bring these to an end and the whole of the Law concerning them, He would have done one or other of two things; either not destroyed the Temple, or having destroyed it, not forbidden to sacrifice elsewhere. But, as it is, the whole world and even Jerusalem itself He hath made forbidden ground for such religious rites; having allowed and appointed for them only the Temple. Then having destroyed this itself afterwards He showed completely even by what was done that the things of the Law are brought to an end by Christ; for the Temple also Christ destroyed.
But if thou wilt see in words as well how the Law is done away in Christ, hear the Lawgiver himself speaking thus; "A Prophet shall the Lord raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; (Deuteronomy chapter 17, verse 15 and Deuteronomy chapter 17, verse 19) Him shall ye hear in all things what soever He shall command you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed." (Acts chapter 3, verse 22 and Acts chapter 3, verse 23) Seest thou how the Law showed that it is done away in Christ? For this Prophet, that is, Christ according to the flesh, Whom Moses commanded them to hear, made to cease both sabbath and circumcison and all the other things. And David too, showing the very same thing, said concerning Christ, "Thou art a Priest after the order of Melchizedek," (Psalms chapter 110, verse 4) not after the order of Aaron.
Wherefore also Paul, giving a clear interpretation of this, says, "The priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the Law." (Hebrews chapter 7, verse 12) And in another place also he says again, "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not. In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hadst had no pleasure: then said I, Lo, I come." (Hebrews chapter 10, verse 5 and Hebrews chapter 10, verse 7).
And other testimonies far mere numerous than these may be adduced out of the Old Testament, showing how the Law is done away by Christ. So that when thou shalt have forsaken the Law, thou shalt then see the Law clearly; but so long as thou holdest by it and believest not Christ, thou knowest not even the Law itself. Wherefore also he added, to establish this very thing more clearly;
Vet. 15. "But even unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart."
For since he said that in the reading of the Old Testament the veil remaineth, lest any should think that this that is said is from the obscurity of the Law, he both byother things showed even before what his meaning was, (for by saying, "their minds were hardened," he shows that the fault was their own,) and, in this place too, again. For he said not, `The veil remaineth on the writing,' but "in the reading;" (now the reading is the act of those that read;) and again, "When Moses is read." He showed this however with greater clearness in the expression which follows next, saying unreservedly, "The veil lieth upon their heart." For even upon the face of Moses it lay, not because ofMoses, but because of the grossness and carnal mind of these.
[4.] Having then suitably accused them, he points out also the manner of their correction. And what is this?
Ver. 16. " Nevertheless when [one] shall turn to the Lord," which is, to forsake the Law, "the veil is taken away."
Seest thou that not over the face of Moses was there that veil, but over the eyesight of the Jews? For it was done, not that the glory of Moses might be hidden, but that the Jews might not see. For they were not capable. So that in them was the deficiency, for it caused not him to be ignorant of any thing, but them. And he did not say indeed, "when thou shalt let go the Law," but he implied it, for "when thou shalt turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away." To the very last he kept to the history. For when Moses talked with the Jews he kept his face covered; but when he turned to God it was uncovered. Now this was a type of that which was to come to pass, that when we have turned to the Lord, then we shall see the glory of the Law, and the face of the Lawgiver bare; yea rather, not this alone, but we shall then be even in the same rank with Moses. Seest thou how he inviteth the Jew unto the faith, by showing, that by coming unto Grace he is able not only to see Moses, but also to stand in the very same rank with the Lawgiver. `For not only,' he saith, `shalt thou look on the glory which then thou sawest not, but thou shalt thyself also be included in the same glory; yea rather, in a greater glory, even so great that that other shall not seem glory at all when compared with this.' How and in what manner? `Because that when thou hast turned to the Lord and art included in the grace, thou wilt enjoy that glory, unto which the glory of Moses, if compared, is so much less as to be no glory at all. But still, small though it be and exceedingly below that other, whilst thou art a Jew, even this will not be vouchsafed thee; but having become a believer, it will then be vouchsafed thee to behold even that which is far greater than it.' And when he was addressing himself to the believers, he said, that "that which was made glorious had no glory;" but here he speaks not so; but how? "When one shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away:" leading him up by little and little, and first setting him in Moses' rank, and then making him partake of the greater things. For when thou hast seen Moses in glory, then afterwards thou shalt also turn unto God and enjoy this greater glory.
[5.] See then from the beginning, how many things he has laid down, as constituting the difference and showing the superiority, not the enmity or contradiction, of the New Covenant in respect to the old. That, saith he, is letter, and stone, and a ministration of death, and is done away: and yet the Jews were not even vouchsafed this glory. (Or, the glory of this.) This table is of the flesh, and spirit, and righteousness, and remaineth; and unto all of us is it vouchsafed, not to one only, as to Moses of the lesser then. (ver. 18.) "For," saith he, "we all with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord," not that of Moses.
But since some maintain that the expression, "when one shall turn to the Lord," is spoken of the Son, in contradiction to what is quite acknowledged; let us examine the point more accurately, having first stated the ground on which they think to establish this. What then is this? Like, saith one, as it is said, "God is a Spirit;" (John chapter 4, verse 24) so also here, `The Lord is a Spirit.' But he did not say, `The Lord is a Spirit,' but, "The Spirit is the Lord." And there is a great difference between this construction and that. For when he is desirous of speaking so as you say, he does not join the article to the predicate. And besides, let us review all his discourse from the first, of whom hath he spoken? for instance, when he said, "The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life:" (ver. 6.) and again, "Written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; "(ver. 3.) was he speaking of God, or of the Spirit? It is very plain that it was of the Spirit; for unto It he was calling them from the letter. For lest any, hearing of the Spirit, and then reflecting that Moses turned unto the Lord, but himself unto the Spirit, should think himself to have the worse, to correct such a suspicion as this, he says,
Ver. 17. "Now the Spirit Is the Lord." This too is Lord, he says. And that you may know that he is speaking of the Paraclete, he added,
"And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
For surely you will not assert, that he says, `And where the Lord of the Lord is.' "Liberty," he said, with reference to the former bondage. Then, that you may not think that he is speaking of a time to come, he says,
Ver. 18. "But we all, with unveiled face, reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord."
Not that which is brought to an end, but that which remaineth.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. XII, Homilies on Second Corinthians, Homily VII:
And that you may learn that we know this from the first, the Lawgiver, when He afterwards gave laws, and said, "Thou shalt not kill," did not add, "since murder is an evil thing," but simply said, "Thou shall not kill;" for He merely prohibited the sin, without teaching. How was it then when He said, "Thou shalt not kill," that He did not add, "because murder is a wicked thing." The reason was, that conscience had taught this beforehand; and He speaks thus, as to those who know and understand the point. Wherefore when He speaks to us of another commandment, not known to us by the dictate of consciences He not only prohibits, but adds the reason. When, for instance, He gave commandment respecting the Sabbath; "On the seventh day thou shalt do no work;" He subjoined also the reason for this cessation. What was this? "Because on the seventh day God rested from all His works which He had begun to make." And again; "Because thou weft a servant in the land of Egypt." For what purpose then I ask did He add a reason respecting the Sabbath, but did no such thing in regard to murder? Because this commandment was not one of the leading ones. It was not one of those which were accurately defined of our conscience, but a kind of partial and temporary one; and for this reason it was abolished afterwards. But those which are necessary and uphold our life, are the following; "Thou shalt not kill; Thou shalt not commit adultery; Thou shalt not steal." On this account then He adds no reason in this case, nor enters into any instruction on the matter, but is content with the bare prohibition.
The seventh day is called the Sabbath and signifies rest. For in it God rested from all His works389 , as the divine Scripture says: and so the number of the days goes up to seven and then circles back again and begins at the first. This is the precious number with the Jews. God having ordained that it should be held in honour, and that in no chance fashion but with the imposition of most heavy penalties for the transgression390 . And it was not in a simple fashion that He ordained this, but for certain reasons understood mystically by the spiritual and clear-sighted391 .
So far, indeed, as I in my ignorance know, to begin with inferior and more dense things, God, knowing the denseness of the Israelites and their carnal love and propensity towards matter in everything, made this law: first, in order that the servant and the cattle should rest392 as it is written, for the righteous man regardeth the life of his beast393 : next, in order that when they take their ease from the distraction of material things, they may gather together unto God, spending the whole of the seventh day in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and the study of the divine Scriptures and resting in God. For when394 the law did not exist and there was no divinely-inspired Scripture, the Sabbath was not consecrated to God. But when the divinely-inspired Scripture was given by Moses, the Sabbath was consecrated to God in order that on it they, who do not dedicate their whole life to God, and who do not make their desire subservient to the as though to a Father, but are like foolish servants, may on that day talk much concerning the exercise of it, and may abstract a small, truly a most insignificant, portion of their life for the service of God, and this from fear of the chastisements and punishments which threaten transgressors. For the law is not made for a righteous man but for the unrighteous395 . Moses, of a truth, was the first to abide fasting with God for forty days and again for another forty396 , and thus doubtless to afflict himself with hunger on the Sabbaths although the law forbade self-affliction on the Sabbath. But if they should object that this took place before the law, what will they say about Elias the Thesbite who accomplished a journey of forty days on one meal397 ? For he, by thus afflicting himself on the Sabbaths not only with hunger but with the forty days’ journeying, broke the Sabbath: and yet God, Who gave the law, was not wroth with him but shewed Himself to him on Choreb as a reward for his virtue. And what will they say about Daniel? Did he not spend three weeks without food398 ? And again, did not all Israel circumcise the child on the Sabbath, if it happened to be the eighth day after birth399 ? And do they not hold the great fast which the law enjoins if it falls on the Sabbath400 ? And further, do not the priests and the Levites profane the Sabbath in the works of the tabernacle401 and yet are held blameless? Yea, if an ox should fall into a pit on the Sabbath, he who draws it forth is blameless, while he who neglects to do so is condemned402 . And did not all the Israelites compass the walls of Jericho bearing the Ark of God for seven days, in which assuredly the Sabbath was included403 .
As I said404 , therefore, for the purpose of securing leisure to worship God in order that they might, both servant and beast of burden, devote a very small share to Him and be at rest, the observance of the Sabbath was devised for the carnal that were still childish and in the bonds of the elements of the world405 , and unable to conceive of anything beyond the body and the letter. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Only-begotten Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons406 . For to as many of us as received Him, He gave power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on Him407 . So that we are no longer servants but sons408 : no longer under the law but under grace: no longer do we serve God in part from fear, but we are bound to dedicate to Him the whole span of our life, and cause that servant, I mean wrath and desire, to cease from sin and bid it devote itself to the service of God, always directing our whole desire towards God and arming our wrath against the enemies of God: and likewise we hinder that beast of burden, that is the body, from the servitude of sin, and urge it forwards to assist to the uttermost the divine precepts.
These are the things which the spiritual law of Christ enjoins on us and those who observe that become superior to the law of Moses. For when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away409 : and when the covering of the law, that is, the veil, is rent asunder through the crucifixion of the Saviour, and the Spirit shines forth with tongues of fire, the letter shall be done away with, bodily things shall come to an end, the law of servitude shall be fulfilled, and the law of liberty be bestowed on us. Yea410 we shall celebrate the perfect rest of bureau nature, I mean the day after the resurrection, on which the Lord Jesus, the Author of Life and our Saviour, shall lead us into the heritage promised to those who serve God in the spirit, a heritage into which He entered Himself as our forerunner after He rose from the dead, and whereon, the gates of Heaven being opened to Him, He took His seat in bodily form at the right hand of the Father, where those who keep the spiritual law shall also come.
What belongs to us411 , therefore, who walk by the spirit and not by the letter, is the complete abandonment of carnal things, the spiritual service and communion with God. For circumcision is the abandonment of carnal pleasure and of whatever is superfluous and unnecessary. For the foreskin is nothing else than the skin which it superfluous to the organ of lust. And, indeed, every pleasure which does not arise from God nor is in God is superfluous to pleasure: and of that the foreskin is the type. The Sabbath, moreover, is the cessation from sin; so that both things happen to be one, and so both together, when observed by those who are spiritual, do not bring about any breach of the law at all.
Further, observe412 that the number seven denotes all the present time, as the most wise Solomon says, to give a portion to seven and also to eight413 . And David414 , the divine singer when he composed the eighth psalm, sang of the future restoration after the resurrection from the dead. Since the Law, therefore, enjoined that the seventh day should be spent in rest from carnal things and devoted to spiritual things, it was a mystic indication to the true Israelite who had a mind to see God, that he should through all time offer himself to God and rise higher than carnal things.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. IX, Chapter XXIII, Against the Jews on the question Sabbath:
On the day of the preparation, then, at the third hour, He received the sentence from Pilate, the Father permitting that to happen; at the sixth hour He was crucified; at the ninth hour He gave up the ghost; and before sunset He was buried.67 During the Sabbath He continued under the earth in the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathaea had laid Him. At the dawning of the Lord's day He arose from the dead, according to what was spoken by Himself, "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man also be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."68 The day of the preparation, then, comprises the passion; the Sabbath embraces the burial; the Lord's Day contains the resurrection.
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians:
Chapter VIII.-Caution Against False Doctrines.
Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace. For the divinest prophets lived according to Christ Jesus. On this account also they were persecuted, being inspired by His grace to fully convince the unbelieving that there is one God, who has manifested Himself by Jesus Christ His Son, who is His eternal Word, not proceeding forth from silence,45 and who in all things pleased Him that sent Him.
Be not deceived with strange doctrines, "nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies,"46 and things in which the Jews make their boast. "Old things are passed away: behold, all things have become new."47 For if we still live according to the Jewish law, and the circumcision of the flesh, we deny that we have received grace. For the divinest prophets lived according to Jesus Christ. On this account also they were persecuted, being inspired by grace to fully convince the unbelieving that there is one God, the Almighty, who has manifested Himself by Jesus Christ His Son, who is His Word, not spoken, but essential. For He is not the voice of an articulate utterance, but a substance begotten by divine power, who has in all things pleased Him that sent Him.48
If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things49 have come to the possession of a new50 hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance51 of the Lord's Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death-whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith,52 and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master-how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for Him as their Teacher? And therefore He whom they rightly waited for, being come, raised them from the dead.53
If, then, those who were conversant with the ancient Scriptures came to newness of hope, expecting the coming of Christ, as the Lord teaches us when He says, "If ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me; "54 and again, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad; for before Abraham was, I am; "55 how shall we be able to live without Him? The prophets were His servants, and foresaw Him by the Spirit, and waited for Him as their Teacher, and expected Him as their Lord and Saviour, saying, "He will come and save us."56 Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness; for "he that does not work, let him not eat."57 For say the [holy] oracles, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread."58 But let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body, admiring the workmanship of God, and not eating things prepared the day before, nor using lukewarm drinks, and walking within a prescribed space, nor finding delight in dancing and plaudits which have no sense in them.
59 And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days [of the week]. Looking forward to this, the prophet declared, "To the end, for the eighth day,"60 on which our life both sprang up again, and the victory over death was obtained in Christ, whom the children of perdition, the enemies of the Saviour, deny, "whose god is their belly, who mind earthly things,"61 who are "lovers of pleasure, and not lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."62 These make merchandise of Christ, corrupting His word, and giving up Jesus to sale: they are corrupters of women, and covetous of other men's possessions, swallowing up wealth63 insatiably; from whom may ye be delivered by the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians:
St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Adversus haereses, Book IV Chapter 16:
And again,167 "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord: and he that eateth, eateth unto the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, unto the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks." For they who were still weak in faith and thought some meats clean, some unclean: and supposed there was a difference between one day and another, for example, that the Sabbath, and the New Moons, and the Feast of Tabernacles were holier than other days, were commanded to eat herbs which are indifferently partaken of by all. But such as were of stronger faith believed all meats and all days to be alike.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. VI, The Letters of St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book II:
Chapter XVII.-Of the Superstitions of the Jews, and Their Hatred Against Jesus.
But they alleged other causes for their anger and envy, which they bore shut up212 within in their hearts-namely, that He destroyed the obligation213 of the law given by Moses; that is, that He did not rest214 on the Sabbath, but laboured for the good215 of men; that He abolished circumcision; that He took away the necessity of abstaining from the flesh of swine;216 -in which things the mysteries of the Jewish religion consist.
On this account, therefore, the rest of the people, who had not yet withdrawn217 to Christ, were incited by the priests to regard Him as impious, because He destroyed the obligation of the law of God, though He did this not by His own judgment, but according to the will of God, and after the predictions of the prophets. For Micah announced that He would give a new law, in these terms:218 "The law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations."219 For the former law, which was given by Moses, was not given on Mount Zion, but on Mount Horeb;220 and the Sibyl shows that it would come to pass that this law would be destroyed by the Son of God:-
"But when all these things which I told you shall be accomplished, then all the law is fulfilled with respect to Him."
But even Moses himself, by whom the law was given which they so tenaciously maintain, though they have fallen away from God, and have not acknowledged God, had foretold that it would come to pass that a very great prophet would be sent by God, who should be above the law, and be a bearer of the will of God to men. In Deuteronomy he thus left it written:221 "And the Lord said unto me, I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my word in His month, and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him. And whosoever will not hearken to those things which that Prophet shall speak in my name, I will require222 it of him." The Lord evidently announced by the law-giver himself that He was about to send His own Son-that is, a law alive, and present223 in person, and destroy that old law given by a mortal,224 that by Him who was eternal He might ratify afresh a law which was eternal.
In like manner, Isaiah225 thus prophesied concerning the abolition of circumcision: "Thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah who dwell at Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord your God, and take away the foreskins of your heart, lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it." Also Moses himself says:226 "In the last days the Lord shall circumcise thine heart to love the Lord thy God." Also Jesus227 the son of Nun, his successor, said: "And the Lord said unto Jesus, Make thee knives of flint very sharp, and sit and circumcise the children of Israel the second time." He said that this second circumcision would be not of the flesh, as the first was, which the Jews practise even now, but of the heart and spirit, which was delivered by Christ, who was the true Jesus. For the prophet does not say, "And the Lord said unto me," but "unto Jesus," that he might show that God was not speaking of him, but of Christ, to whom God was then speaking. For that Jesus represented228 Christ: for when he was at first called Auses,229 Moses, foreseeing the future, ordered that he should be called Jesus; that since he had been chosen as the leader of the warfare against Amalek, who was the enemy of the children of Israel, he might both subdue the adversary by the emblem230 of the name, and lead the people into the land of promise. And for this reason he was also successor to Moses, to show that the new law given by Christ Jesus was about to succeed to the old law which was given by Moses. For that circumcision of the flesh is plainly irrational; since, if God had so willed it, He might so have formed man from the beginning, that he should be without a foreskin. But it was a figure of this second circumcision, signifying that the breast is to be laid bare; that is, that we ought to live with an open and simple heart, since that part of the body which is circumcised has a kind of resemblance to the heart, and is to be treated with reverence. On this account God ordered that it should be laid bare, that by this argument He might admonish us not to have our breast hidden231 in obscurity; that is, not to veil any shameful deed within the secrets of conscience. This is the circumcision of the heart of which the prophets speak, which God transferred from the mortal flesh to the soul, which alone is about to endure. For being desirous of promoting our life and salvation in accordance with His own goodness, in that circumcision He hath set before us repentance, that if we lay open our hearts,-that is if we confess our sins and make satisfaction to God,-we shall obtain pardon, which is denied to those who are obstinate and conceal their faults, by Him who regards not the outward appearance, as man does, but the innermost secrets of the heart.232
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VII, Book IV, Of True Wisdom and Religion:
Thus was he (John the Baptist) born to make ready for the Lord a people fit for Him, at the end of the Covenant now grown old, which is the end of the Sabbatic period. Hence it is not possible that the rest after the Sabbath should have come into existence from the seventh of our God; on the contrary, it is our Saviour who, after the pattern of His own rest, caused us to be made in the likeness of His death, and hence also of His resurrection.101
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. X, Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John, Book II:
By the grace, then, of the Holy Spirit, along with numerous other results, this most glorious consequence is clearly demonstrated, that with regard to those things which were written in the prophets or in the law of Moses, it was only a few persons at that time, viz., the prophets themselves, and scarcely another individual out of the whole nation, who were able to look beyond the mere corporeal meaning and discover something greater, i.e., something spiritual, in the law or in the prophets; but now there are countless multitudes of believers who, although unable to unfold methodically and clearly the results of their spiritual understanding,108 are nevertheless most firmly persuaded that neither ought circumcision to be understood literally, nor the rest of the Sabbath, nor the pouring out of the blood of an animal, nor that answers were given by God to Moses on these points. And this method of apprehension is undoubtedly suggested to the minds of all by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV, Book II:
[a.d. 130-196.] This author2 comes in as an appendix to the stories of Polycarp and Irenaeus and good Anicetus, and his writings also bear upon the contrast presented by the less creditable history of Victor. If, as I suppose, the appearance of our Lord to St. John on "the Lord's day" was on the Paschal Sunday, it may at first seem surprising that this Apostle can be claimed by Polycrates in behalf of the Eastern custom to keep Easter, with the Jews, on the fourteenth day of the moon. But to the Jews the Apostles became "as Jews" in all things tolerable, so long as the Temple stood, and while the bishops of Jerusalem were labouring to identify the Paschal Lamb with their Passover.
The long survival of St. John among Jewish Christians led them to prolong this usage, no doubt, as sanctioned by his example. He foreknew it would quietly pass away. The wise and truly Christian spirit of Irenaeus prepared the way for the ultimate unanimity of the Church in a matter which lies at the base of "the Christian Sabbath," and of our own observance of the first day of the week as a weekly Easter. Those who in our own times have revived the observance of the Jewish Sabbath, show us how much may be said on their side,3 and elucidate the tenacity of the Easterns in resisting the abolition of the Mosaic ordinance as to the Paschal, although they agreed to keep it "not with the old leaven."
Our author belonged to a family in which he was the eighth Christian bishop; and he presided over the church of Ephesus, in which the traditions of St. John were yet fresh in men's minds at the date of his birth. He had doubtless known Polycarp, and Irenaeus also. He seems to have presided over a synod of Asiatic bishops (a.d. 196) which came together to consider this matter of the Paschal feast. It is surely noteworthy that nobody doubted that it was kept by a Christian and Apostolic ordinance. So St. Paul argues from its Christian observance, in his rebuke of the Corinthians.4 They were keeping it "unleavened" ceremonially, and he urges a spiritual unleavening as more important. The Christian hallowing of Pentecost connects with the Paschal argument.5 The Christian Sabbath hinges on these points.
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VIII, Remains of the Second and Third Centuries, From His Epistle to Victor and the Roman Church Concerning the Day of Keeping the Passover:
In the Sixth Indiction, and the Thirteenth Year From His Ordination.
To the Roman Citizens.
Gregory, servant of the servants of God, to his most beloved sons the Roman citizens.
It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as to forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call these but preachers of Antichrist, who, when he comes, will cause the Sabbath day as well as the Lord's day to be kept free from all work. For, because he pretends to die and rise again, he wishes the Lord's day to be had in reverence; and, because he compels the people to judaize that he may bring back the outward rite of the law, and subject the per-tidy of the Jews to himself, he wishes the Sabbath to be observed.
For this which is said by the prophet, Ye shall bring in no burden through your gates on the Sabbath day (Jerem. xvii. 24), could be held to as long as it was lawful for the law to be observed according to the letter. But after that the grace of Almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ has appeared, the commandments of the law which were spoken figuratively cannot be kept according to the letter. For, if any one says that this about the Sabbath is to be kept, he must needs say that carnal sacrifices are to be offered: he must say too that the commandment about the circumcision of the body is still to be retained. But let him hear the Apostle Paul saying in opposition to him, If ye be circumcised, Christ profiteth you nothing (Galat. v. 2).
We therefore accept spiritually, and hold spiritually, this which is written about the Sabbath. For the Sabbath means rest. But we have the true Sabbath in our Redeemer Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ. And whoso acknowledges the light of faith in Him, if he draws the sins of concupiscence through his eyes into his soul, he introduces burdens through the gates on the Sabbath day.
We introduce, then, no burden through the gates on the Sabbath day if we draw no weights of sin through the bodily senses to the soul. For we read that the same our Lord and Redeemer did many works on the Sabbath day, so that he reproved the Jews, saying, Which of you doth not loose his ox or his ass on the Sabbath day, and lead him away to watering (Luke xiii. 15)? If, then, the very Truth in person commanded that the Sabbath should not be kept according to the letter, whoso keeps the rest of the Sabbath according to the letter of the law, whom else does he contradict but the Truth himself?
Another thing also has been brought to my knowledge; namely that it has been preached to you by perverse men that no one ought to wash on the Lord's day. And indeed if any one craves to wash for luxury and pleasure, neither on any other day do we allow this to be done. But if it is for bodily need, neither on the Lord's day do we forbid it. For it is written, No man ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth it and cherisheth it (Ephes. v. 29). And again it is written, Make not provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof (Rom. xiii. 14). He, then, who forbids provision for the flesh in the lusts thereof certainly allows it in the needs thereof. For, if it is sin to wash the body on the Lord's day, neither ought the face to be washed on that day. But if this is allowed for a part of the body, why is it denied for the whole body when need requires? On the Lord's day, however, there should be a cessation of earthly labour, and attention given in every way to prayers, so that if anything is done negligently during the six days, it may be expiated by supplications on the day of the Lord's resurrection.
These things, most dear sons, being endowed with sure constancy and right faith, observe; despise the words of foolish men, and give not easy belief to all that you hear of having been said by them; but weigh it in the scale of reason, so that, while in firm stability you resist the wind of error you may be able to attain to the solid joys of the heavenly kingdom.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. XIII, Book XIII:
248. Allied to what We have said so far is the question of the Sunday rest.
Praise to the Fountain that was sent1 for our propitiation. Praise be to Him Who made void the Sabbath by fulfilling it! Praise too to Him Who rebuked the leprosy and it remained not, Whom the fever saw and fled! Praise to the Merciful, Who bore our toil! Glory to Thy coming, which quickened the sons of men!
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. XIII, THE NISIBENE HYMNS, Nineteen Hymns on the Nativity of Christ in the Flesh, Hymn II:
Now tell me, Marcion, what is your opinion of the apostle's language, when he says, "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, which is a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ? "895 We do not now treat of the law, further than (to remark) that the apostle here teaches clearly how it has been abolished, even by passing from shadow to substance-that is, from figurative types to the reality, which is Christ. The shadow, therefore, is His to whom belongs the body also; in other words, the law is His, and so is Christ. If you separate the law and Christ, assigning one to one god and the other to another, it is the same as if you were to attempt to separate the shadow from the body of which it is the shadow.
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III, The Five Books Against Marcion, Book V:
It follows, accordingly, that, in so far as the abolition of carnal circumcision and of the old law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so also the observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary.
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III, An Answer to the Jews, Translated by the Rev. S. Thelwall, Chapter IV.-Of the Observance of the Sabbath:
On the sixth day the things that were wanting were created; and thus God raised up man from the soil, as lord of all the things which He created upon the earth and the water. Yet He created angels and archangels before He created man, placing spiritual beings before earthly ones. For light was made before sky and the earth. This sixth day is called parasceve,5 that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. For He perfected Adam, whom He made after His image and likeness. But for this reason He completed His works before He created angels and fashioned man, lest perchance they should falsely assert that they had been His helpers. On this day also. on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God, or a fast. On the seventh day He rested from all His works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord's day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. And let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should appear to observe any Sabbath with the Jews, which Christ Himself, the Lord of the Sabbath, says by His prophets that "His soul hateth; "6 which Sabbath He in His body abolished, although, nevertheless, He had formerly Himself commanded Moses that circumcision should not pass over the eighth day, which day very frequently happens on the Sabbath, as we read written in the Gospel.7 Moses, foreseeing the hardness of that people, on the Sabbath raised up his hands, therefore, and thus figuratively fastened himself to a cross.8 And in the battle they were sought for by the foreigners on the Sabbath-day, that they might be taken captive, and, as if by the very strictness of the law, might be fashioned to the avoidance of its teaching.9
And thus in the sixth Psalm for the eighth day,10 David asks the Lord that He would not rebuke him in His anger, nor judge him in His fury; for this is indeed the eighth day of that future judgment, which will pass beyond the order of the sevenfold arrangement. Jesus also, the son of Nave, the successor of Moses, himSelf broke the Sabbath-day; for on the Sabbath-day he commanded the children of Israel11 to go round the walls of the city of Jericho with trumpets, and declare war against the aliens. Matthias12 also, prince of Judah, broke the Sabbath; for he slew the prefect of Antiochus the king of Syria on the Sabbath, and subdued the foreigners by pursuing them. And in Matthew we read, that it is written Isaiah also and the rest of his colleagues broke the Sabbath13 -that that true and just Sabbath should be observed in the seventh millenary of years.
Wherefore to those seven days the Lord attributed to each a thousand years; for thus went the warning: "In Thine eyes, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day."14 Therefore in the eyes of the Lord each thousand of years is ordained, for I find that the Lord's eyes are seven.15 Wherefore, as I have narrated, that true Sabbath will be in the seventh millenary of years, when Christ with His elect shall reign.
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VII:
How Christ Became a Fulfiller of the Law, and What Parts of It He Put a Period To, or Changed, or Transferred.
XXIII. For He did not take away the law of nature, but confirmed it. For He that said in the law, "The Lord thy God is one Lord; "135 the same says in the Gospel, "That they might know Thee, the only true God."136 And He that said, "Thou shalt love thy neighhour as thyself,"137 says in the Gospel, renewing the same precept, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another."138 He who then forbade murder, does now forbid causeless anger.139 He that forbade adultery, does now forbid all unlawful lust. He that forbade stealing, now pronounces him most happy who supplies those that are in want out of his own labours.140 He that forbade hatred, now pronounces him blessed that loves his enemies.141 He that forbade revenge, now commands long-suffering;142 not as if just revenge were an unrighteous thing, but because long-suffering is more excellent. Nor did He make laws to root out our natural passions, but only to forbid the excess of them.143 He who had commanded to honour our parents, was Himself subject to them.144 He who had commanded to keep the Sabbath, by resting thereon for the sake of meditating on the laws, has now commanded us to consider of the law of creation, and of providence every day, and to return thanks to God, He abrogated circumcision when He had Himself fulfilled it. For He it was "to whom the inheritance was reserved, who was the expectation of the nations."145 He who made a law for swearing rightly, and forbade perjury, has now charged us not to swear at all.146 He has in several ways changed baptism, sacrifice, the priesthood, and the divine service, which was confined to one place: for instead of daily baptisms, He has given only one, which is that into His death. Instead of one tribe, He has appointed that out of every nation the best should be ordained for the priesthood; and that not their bodies should be examined for blemishes, but their religion and their lives. Instead of a bloody sacrifice, He has appointed that reasonable and unbloody mystical one of His body and blood, which is performed to represent the death of the Lord by symbols. Instead of the divine service confined to one place, He has commanded and appointed that He should be glorified from sunrising to sunsetting in every place of His dominion.147 He did not therefore take away the law from us, but the bonds. For concerning the law Moses says: "Thou shalt meditate on the word which I command thee, sitting in thine house, and rising up, and walking in the way."148 And David says: "His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he meditate day and night."149 For everywhere would he have us subject to His laws, but not transgressors of them. For says He: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that search out His testimonies; with their whole heart shall they seek Him."150 And again: "Blessed are we, O Israel, because those things that are pleasing to God are known to us."151 And the Lord says: "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."152
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VII, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Book VI:
Which Days of the Week We are to Fast, and Which Not, and for What Reasons.
XXIII. But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites;108 for they fast on the second and fifth days of the week. But do you either fast the entire five days, or on the fourth day of the week, and on the day of the Preparation, because on the fourth day the condemnation went out against the Lord, Judas then promising to betray Him for money; and you must fast on the day of the Preparation, because on that day the Lord suffered the death of the cross under Pontius Pilate. But keep the Sabbath, and the Lord's day festival; because the former is the memorial of the creation, and the latter of the resurrection. But there is one only Sabbath to be observed by you in the whole year, which is that of our Lord's burial, on which men ought to keep a fast, but not a festival. For inasmuch as the Creator was then under the earth, the sorrow for Him is more forcible than the joy for the creation; for the Creator is more honourable by nature and dignity than His own creatures.
XXX. On the day of the resurrection of the Lord,124 that is, the Lord's day, assemble yourselves together, without fail, giving thanks to God...
Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VII, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Introductory Notice to Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, Book VII, Concerning the Christian Life, and the Eucharist, and the Initiation into Christ:
That Hebrews ought not to be received unless they have been converted in sincerity of heart.
Since certain, erring in the superstitions of the Hebrews, have thought to mock at Christ our God, and feigning to be converted to the religion of Christ do deny him, and in private and secretly keep the Sabbath and observe other Jewish customs, we decree that such persons be not received to communion, nor to prayers, nor into the Church; but let them be openly Hebrews according to their religion, and let them not bring their children to baptism, nor purchase or possess a slave.
But if any of them, out of a sincere heart and in faith, is converted and makes profession with his whole heart, setting at naught their customs and observances, and so that others may be convinced and converted, such an one is to be received and baptized, and his children likewise; and let them be taught to take care to hold aloof from the ordinances of the Hebrews. But if they will not do this, let them in no wise be received.
Ancient Epitome of Canon VIII.
Hebrews must not be received unless they are manifestly converted with sincerity of heart.
The Greek commentators Balsamon and Zonaras understood the words "nor to baptize their children" to mean, " these seeming Christians may not `baptize their own children,'" because they only seem to be Christians. But parents were never allowed to baptize their own children, and the true sense of the words in question comes out clearlyfrom the second half of the canon.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. XIV, The Seventh Ecumenical Council, The Second Council of Nice, The Canons of the Holy and Ecumenical Seventh Council, Canon VIII:
ON all days of the holy fast of Lent, except on the Sabbath, the Lord's day and the holy day of the Annunciation, the Liturgy of the Presanctified is to be said.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LII.
Throughout the whole of Lent except upon the Lord's day, the Sabbath, and upon the day of the Annunciation, the presanctified gifts shall be offered....It may also be said, excepting on Saturdays and Sundays, and on the Festival of the Annunciation, on other days during the Fast, to wit, on those of festivals and their Vigils, and on the Commemoration of the Dedication of the Church.
Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. XIV, The Canons of the Council in Trullo; Often Called the Quinisext Council, Excursus on the Marriage of the Clergy, Canon LII:
Meaning of the Sabbath
The Sabbath was the consecration of one day of the weekly period to God as the Author of the universe and of time. The day thus being the Lord's, it required that man should abstain from working for his own ends and interests, since by working he would appropriate the day to himself, and that he should devote his activity to God by special acts of positive worship. After the Sinaitic covenant God stood to Israel in the relation of Lord of that covenant. The Sabbath thereby also became a sign, and its observance an acknowledgment of the pact: "See that thou keep my sabbath; because it is a sign between me and you in your generations; that you may know that I am the Lord, who sanctify you" (Ex., xxxi, 13). But while the Sabbath was primarily a religious day, it had a social and philanthropic side. It was also intended as a day of rest and relaxation, particularly for the slaves (Deut., v, 14). Because of the double character, religious and philanthropic, of the day, two different reasons are given for its observance. The first is taken from God's rest on the seventh day of creation: "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, . . .and rested on the seventh day: therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it" (Ex., xx, 11; xxxi, 17). This does not mean that the Sabbath was instituted at the Creation, as some commentators have thought, but that the Israelites were to imitate God's example and rest on the day which He had sanctified by His rest. The Sabbath as the sign of the Sinaitic covenant recalled the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. Hence, in the second place, the Israelites are bidden to remember that they were once slaves in Egypt, and should therefore in grateful remembrance of their deliverance rest themselves and allow their bond-servants to rest (Deut., v, 14-15). As a reminder of God's benefits to Israel the Sabbath was to be a day of joy (Is., lvii, 13) and such it was in practice (cf. Osee, II, 11; Lam., II, 6). No fasting was done on the Sabbath (Judith, viii, 6) on the contrary, the choicest meals were served to which friends were invited.
Origin of the Sabbath
The Sabbath is first met with in connection with the fall of the manna (Ex., xvi, 22 sqq.), but it there appears as an institution already known to the Israelites. The Sinaitic legislation therefore only gave the force of law to an existing custom. The origin of this custom is involved in obscurity. It was not borrowed from the Egyptians, as the week of seven days closing with a day of rest was unknown to them. In recent years a Babylonian origin has been advocated. A lexicographical tablet gives shabattu as the equivalent of um nuh libbi, "the day of the appeasement of the heart" (of the gods). Furthermore, a religious calendar of the intercalary month Elul and of the month Marchesvan mentions the 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, and 19th days, the latter probably because it was the 49th (7x7) day from the beginning of the preceding month, as days on which the king, the magician, and the physician were to abstain from certain acts. The king, for instance, was not to eat food prepared with fire, put on bright garments, ride in a chariot, or exercise acts of authority. These days were then, days of propitiation , and therefore shabattu days. We have thus periods of seven days the last day of which is marked by abstention from certain actions, and called shabattu, in other words the equivalent of the Sabbath. A Babylonian origin is not in itself improbable, since Chaldea was the original home of the Hebrews, but there is no proof that such is actually the case. The reading shabattu is uncertain, shapattu being at lest equally probable. Besides, there is no evidence that these days were called shabattu; the signs so read are found affixed only to the 15th day of the month, where, however, sha patti, "division" of the month is the more probable reading. These days, moreover, differed entirely from the Sabbath. They were not days of general rest, business being transacted as on other days. The abstention from certain acts had for object to appease the anger of the gods; the days were, therefore, days of penance, not of joy like the Sabbath. Lastly, these days followed the phases of the moon, whereas the Sabbath was independent of them. Since the Sabbath always appear as a weekly feast without connexion with the moon, it cannot be derived, as is done by some writers, from the Babylonian feast of the full moon, or fifteenth day of the month, which, moreover, has only doubtful claim to the designation shabattu....
The Sabbath in the New Testament
Christ, while observing the Sabbath, set himself in word and act against this absurd rigorism which made man a slave of the day. He reproved the scribes and Pharisees for putting an intolerable burden on men's shoulders (Matt., xxiii, 4), and proclaimed the principle that "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mark, ii, 27). He cured on the Sabbath, and defended His disciples for plucking ears of corn on that day. In His arguments with the Pharisees on this account He showed that the Sabbath is not broken in cases of necessity or by acts of charity (Matt., xii, 3 sqq.; Mark, ii, 25 sqq.; Luke, vi, 3 sqq.; xiv, 5). St. Paul enumerates the Sabbath among the Jewish observances which are not obligatory on Christians (Col., ii, 16; Gal., iv, 9-10; Rom., xiv, 5). The gentile converts held their religious meetings on Sunday (Acts, xx, 7; 1 Cor., xvi, 2) and with the disappearance of the Jewish Christian churches this day was exclusively observed as the Lord's Day. (See SUNDAY.)
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIII:
1. In this day and age, what's the right way to observe the third commandment, "Keep holy the sabbath day"?
The same way Christians have observed it for two thousand years: Attend Mass and abstain from all unnecessary work. Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., explains, "Sunday should be dedicated to the Lord, at least in intention, if not by actual practice of other good works. Some activities that are in conformity with Sunday observance are reading the Bible or the life of some saint, praying the rosary, engaging in serious conversation on God and the things of the spirit, and so forth.
"Sunday should be a day of joy and relaxation. It is the time for a family meal, for healthy recreation, for sport, for taking a stroll, or for going for a drive. In these and similar activities we can both praise God for his goodness and refresh our bodies and minds after the week's work.
Since the time of Moses, abstinence of all unnecessary work has been an essential part of the Sunday observance. We have all heard that the Church forbids all 'servile' work on Sundays. Formerly, 'servile work' was defined as hard physical labor; thus, digging ditches, plowing, splitting wood, and so forth were so forbidden on Sunday except in cases of emergency or real necessity.
"In the past twenty years or so many exceptions have been placed on the meaning of servile work by moral theologians that it is just about impossible to lay down general rules. Thus, many men who spend the whole week behind a desk find real refreshment working in their garden, mowing the lawn, washing their car. Although these activities require physical labor, they are not now considered to be 'servile' in the situation of contemporary technology in America.
"It seems to me that what all should try to do is to observe the spirit of Sunday--worship, rest, and joy. If some kind of work does not fit into that pattern and is truly unnecessary, then it should be avoided. If anyone has serious doubt about whether or not he or she is violating God's law of the Sunday rest, then that person should seek the advice of a priest" (Fundamentals of Catholicism [San Francisco: Ignatius, 1982], I:174-175).
[Reprinted with permission from the November 1992 issue of This Rock magazine.]
2. In a recent This Rock article ("Changing the Sabbath", December 1993), you stated that Christ used his authority to alter the sabbath in Matthew 12:8, but a footnote in my Confraternity Version of the Bible says he did not alter the commandment, but urged it be interpreted in a more reasonable way. How could he alter one of the Ten Commandments, anyway?
Jesus exercised his sovereign power to abrogate the sabbath law in at least some way. This is why he states, "For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath" (Matt. 12:8). Both "Son of Man" and "Lord" are references to Christ's sovereign power. The footnote in your Confraternity Version is wrong. Footnotes in Catholic Bibles are not infallible. (See "Dragnet" in the January 1994 issue of This Rock for a place where we caught one such footnote in an outright historical error)
The sabbath command is the only one of the Ten Commandments which can be altered in any way, because only it is a part of the ceremonial law. This is taught by the Roman Catechism issued after the Council of Trent:
The other commandments of the Decalogue are precepts of the natural law, obligatory at all times and unalterable. Hence, after the abrogation of the Law of Moses, all the Commandments contained in the two tables are observed by Christians, not indeed because their observance is commanded by Moses, but because they are in conformity with nature which dictates obedience to them.
This Commandment about the observance of the sabbath, on the other hand, considered as to the time appointed for its fulfillment, is not fixed and unalterable, but susceptible of change and belongs not to the moral, but the ceremonial law. Neither is it a principle of the natural law; we are not instructed by nature to give external worship to God on that day, rather than on any other. And in fact the sabbath was kept holy only from the time of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh.
The observance of the sabbath was to be abrogated at the same time as the other Hebrew rites and ceremonies, that is, at the death of Christ. . . . Hence St. Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, when reproving the observers of the Mosaic rites, says: "You observe days and months and times and years; I am afraid of you lest perhaps I have labored in vain amongst you" [Gal. 4:10]. And he writes to the same effect to the Colossians [Col. 2:16].
[Reprinted with permission from the April 1994 issue of This Rock magazine.]
3. In ancient Judaism the sabbath was from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. If Sunday is the Christian sabbath, should we celebrate it from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday? Is this why attending an anticipatory Mass on Saturday evening fulfills our Sunday obligation?
The Sunday obligation applies to the modern Sunday, reckoned from midnight to midnight. This was established by canon 1246 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law.
The ancient Jews reckoned days from sundown to sundown, meaning that for them the first part of the day was evening. This is why Genesis 1 says things like, "And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day" (Gen. 1:5). The same custom was observed by the ancient Phoenicians, Athenians, Arabs, Germans, and Gauls. Today Jews and other groups who keep the sabbath, such as the Seventh-Day Adventists, continue to celebrate it from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. This way of reckoning time was not the only one in the ancient world. For example, the Romans reckoned days from midnight to midnight--the system we use today.
The option of attending an anticipatory Mass on Saturday evening has nothing to do with the fact the sabbath began at sundown. This provision was originally introduced for Catholics who had to miss Sunday Mass for a good reason (for example, because they had to work). The 1983 Code of Canon Law simply states: "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied b assistance at a Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere at a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.
Sunday is often spoken of as "the Christian sabbath," but this is not a technical description. Sunday is not a strict replacement for the sabbath (which has been abolished), but a day the Church instituted to fulfill a parallel function. Thus Ignatius of Antioch, the earliest Church Father to address this question, states that Christian converts "have given up keeping the sabbath and now order their lives by the Lord's Day instead, the day when life first dawned for us, thanks to him [Christ] and his death." (Letter to the Magnesians 9 [A.D. 107]).
[Reprinted with permission from the April 1994 issue of This Rock magazine.]
The Catholic FAQ, "Keep holy the Lord's Day":
1166. "' By a tradition handed down from the apostles which took its origin from the very day of Christ's Resurrection, the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord's Day or Sunday.'[SC 106.] The day of Christ's Resurrection is both the first day of the week, the memorial of the first day of creation, and the 'eighth day,' on which Christ after his 'rest' on the great Sabbath inaugurates the 'day that the Lord has made,' the 'day that knows no evening.'[Byzantine liturgy.] The Lord's Supper is its center, for there the whole community of the faithful encounters the risen Lord who invites them to his banquet:[Cf. Jn 21:12 ; Lk 24:30 .] The Lord's day, the day of Resurrection, the day of Christians, is our day. It is called the Lord's day because on it the Lord rose victorious to the Father. If pagans call it the 'day of the sun,' we willingly agree, for today the light of the world is raised, today is revealed the sun of justice with healing in his rays.[St. Jerome, Pasch.: CCL 78, 550.]"
Universal Catholic Catechism:
2165. " Sunday is expressly distinguished from the Sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the Sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish Sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God.
For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:[Cf. 1 Cor 10:11 .] Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the Sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.[St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Magn. 9, 1: SCh 10, 88.]"
Universal Catholic Catechism:
2174. "Jesus rose from the dead 'on the first day of the week.'[Cf. Mt 28:1 ; Mk 16:2 ; Lk 24:1 ; Jn 20:1 .] Because it is the 'first day,' the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the 'eighth day' following the Sabbath,[Cf. Mk 16:1 ; Mt 28:1 .] it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday: We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day (after the Jewish Sabbath, but also the first day) when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.[St. Justin, I Apol. 67: PG 6, 429 and 432.]"
2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship 'as a sign of his universal beneficence to all.'[St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II 122, 4.] Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people."
2177. " The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. 'Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church.'[CIC, can. 1246 # 1.]
2186. "Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday...
2188. "In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church's holy days as legal holidays. They have to give everyone a public example of prayer, respect, and joy and defend their traditions as a precious contribution to the spiritual life of society. If a country's legislation or other reasons require work on Sunday, the day should nevertheless be lived as the day of our deliverance which lets us share in this 'festal gathering,' this 'assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven.'[Heb 12:22-23 .]"
2189. "'Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy' [Deut 5:12 .]. 'The seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord' (Ex 31:15)."
2190. " The Sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ. "
2191. "The Church celebrates the day of Christ's Resurrection on the 'eighth day,' Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord's Day (cf. SC 106)."
2192. "' Sunday...is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church' [CIC, can. 1246 # 1.]. 'On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass' (CIC, can. 1247)."
Universal Catholic Catechism:
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6. The Twelve Reasons Given For Sunday Worship Examined