Lord's Day The expression so rendered in the Authorized English Version (ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾷ) occurs only once in the New Testament, viz., in Re 1:10, and is there unaccompanied by any other words tending to explain its meaning. It is, however, well known that the same phrase was, in after ages of the Christian Church, used to signify the first day of the week, on which the resurrection of Christ was commemorated. Hence it has been inferred that the same name was given to that day during the time of the apostles, and was in the present instance used by St. John in this sense, as referring to an institution well known, and therefore requiring no explanation. This interpretation, however, has of late been somewhat questioned. It will be proper here, therefore, to discuss this point, as well as the early notices of this Christian observance. leaving the general subject to be treated under SABBATH. The broader topic of the hebdomadal division of time will be discussed under the head of WEEK.
I. Interpretation of the Phrase "Lord's Day" in the Passage in question. — The general consent both of Christian antiquity and of modern divines has referred it to the weekly festival of our Lord's resurrection, and identified it with "the first day of the week," on which he rose, with the patristical "eighth day," or "day which is both the first and the eighth" — in fact, with ἡ τοῦ ῾Ηλίου ῾Ημέρα, the "Solis dies," or "Sunday" of every age of the Church. On the other hand, the following different explanations have been proposed.
1. Some have supposed St. John to be speaking, in the passage above referred to, of the Sabbath, because that institution is called in Isa 58:13, by the Almighty himself, "My holy day." To this it is replied; If St. John had intended to specify the Sabbath, he would surely have used that word, which was by no means obsolete, or even obsolescent, at the time of his composing the book of the Revelation. It is added, that if an apostle had set the example of confounding the seventh and the first days of the week, it would have been strange indeed that every ecclesiastical writer for the first five centuries should have avoided any approach to such confusion. 'hey do avoid it; for, as Σάββατον is never used by them for the first day, so Κυριακή is never used by them for the seventh day. SEE SABBATH.
2. A second opinion is, that St. John intended by the "Lord's day" that on which the Lord's resurrection was annually celebrated, or, as we now term it, — Easter day. On this it need only be observed, that though it was never questioned that the weekly celebration of that event should take place on the first day of the hebdomadal cycle, it was for a long time doubted on what day in the annual cycle it should be celebrated. Two schools, at least, existed on this point until considerably after the death of St. John. It therefore seems unlikely that, in a book intended for the whole Church, he would have employed a method of dating which was far from generally agreed upon. It is to he added that no patristical authority can be quoted, either for the interpretation contended for in this opinion, or for the employment of ἡ Κυριακὴ ῾Ημέρα to denote Easter day. SEE EASTER.
3. Another theory is, that by "the Lord's day" St. John intended "the day of judgment," to which a large portion of the book of Revelation may be conceived to refer. Thus, "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day" (ἑγενόμην ἐν πνεύματι ἐν τῇ ῳψρυαςῇ ῾Ημέρᾷ) would imply that he was rapt, in spiritual vision, to the date of that "great and terrible day," just as St. Paul represents himself as caught up locally into Paradise. Now, not to dispute the interpretation of the passage from which the illustration is drawn (2Co 12:4), the abettors of this view seem to have put out of sight the following considerations. In the preceding sentence St. John had mentioned the place in which he was writing — Patmos — and the causes which had brought him thither. It is but natural that he should further particularize the circumstances under which his mysterious work was composed, by stating the exact day on which the revelations were communicated to him, and the employment, spiritual musing, in which he was then engaged. To suppose a mixture of the metaphorical and the literal would be strangely out of keeping. Though it be conceded that the day of judgment is in the New Testament spoken of as ῾Η τὃῦ Κυρίου ῾Ημέρα, the employment of the adjectival form constitutes a remarkable difference, which was observed and maintained ever afterwards (comp. 1Co 1:8,14; 1Co 5:5: 1Th 5:2; 2Th 2:2; Lu 17:24; 2Pe 3:10). There is also a critical objection to this interpretation, for γὶνρσθαι ἐν ἡμέρᾳ is not = diem gere (comp. Re 4:2). This third theory, then, which is sanctioned by the name of Augusti, must be abandoned.
4. As a less definite modification of this last view we may mention, finally, that others have regarded the phrase in question as meaning simply "the day of the Lord," the substantive being merely exchanged for the adjective, as in 1Co 11:20: κυριακὸν δεῖπνον, "the Lord's Supper," which would make it merely synonymous with the generally expected temporal appearance of Christ on earth: ἡ ἡμέρα κυρίου, '"the day of the Lord" (1Th 5:2). Such a use of the adjective became extremely common in the following ages, as we have repeatedly in the fathers the corresponding expressions Dominicae crucis, "the Lord's cross;" Dominicae nativitatis, "the Lord's nativity" (Tertullian, De Idol. page 5); λογίων κυριακῶν (Eusebius, Histor. Ecclesiastes 3:9). According to their view, the passage would mean, "In the spirit I was present at the day of the Lord," the word "day" being used for any signal manifestation (possibly in allusion to Joe 2:31), as in Joh 8:56: "Abraham rejoiced to see my day." The peculiar use of the word ἡμέρα, as referring to a period of ascendency, appears remarkably in 1Co 4:3, where ἀνθρωπίνης ἡμέρας is rendered "man's judgment." Nevertheless, this interpretation, besides the objection of its vagueness as a date, is clogged with all the difficulties that attach to the preceding one.
All other conjectures upon this point may be permitted to confute themselves, but the following cavil is too curious to be omitted. In Scripture the first day of the week is called ἡ μία σαββάτων, in post- scriptural writers it is called ἡ Κυριακὴ ῾Ημέρα as well; therefore the book of Revelation is not to be ascribed to an apostle, or, in other words, is not part of Scripture. The logic of this argument is only surpassed by its boldness. It says, in effect, because post-scriptural writers have these two designations for the first day of the week, therefore scriptural writers must be confined to one of them. It were surely more reasonable to suppose that the adoption by post-scriptural writers of a phrase so pre-eminently Christian as ἡ Κυριακὴ ῾Ημέρα to denote the first day of the week, and a day so especially marked, can be traceable to nothing else than an apostle's use of that phrase in the same meaning.
II. Early Notices of this Christian Observance. — Supposing, then, that ἡ Κυριακὴ ῾Ημέρα of St. John is the Lord's day, as now applied to the first day of the modern week, we have to inquire here, What do we gather from holy Scripture concerning that institution? How is it spoken of by early writers up to the time of Constantine? What change, if any, was brought upon it by the celebrated edict of that emperor, whom some have declared to have been its originator?
1. Scripture says very little concerning it, but that little seems to indicate that the divinely-inspired apostles, by their practice and by their precepts, marked the first day of the week as a day for meeting together to break bread, for communicating and receiving instruction, for laying up offerings in store for charitable purposes, for occupation in holy thought and prayer. The first day of the week so devoted seems also to have been the day of the Lord's resurrection, and therefore to have been especially likely to be chosen for such purposes by those who "preached Jesus and the resurrection." The Lord rose on the first day of the week (τῇ νυᾶ'/σαββάτων), and appeared, on the very day of his rising, to his followers on five distinct occasions — to Mary Magdalene, to the other women, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, to St. Peter separately, to ten apostles collected together. After eight days (μεθ᾿ ἡμέρας ὀκτώ), that is, according to the ordinary reckoning, on the first day of the next week, he appeared to the eleven (Joh 20:26). He does not seem to have appeared in the interval —it may be to render that day especially noticeable by the apostles, or it may be for other reasons. But, however this question be settled, on the day of Pentecost, which in that year fell on the first day of the week (see Bramhall, Disc. of the Sabbath and Lord's Day, in Works, 5:51, Oxford edition), "they were all with one accord in one place," had spiritual gifts conferred on them, and in their turn began to communicate those gifts, as accompaniments of instruction, to others. At Troas (Ac 20:7), many years after the occurrence at Pentecost, when Christianity had begun to assume something like a settled form, St. Luke records the following circumstances: St. Paul and his companions arrived there, and "abode seven days, and upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them." From the statement that "Paul continued his speech till midnight," it has been inferred by some that the assembly commenced after sunset on the Sabbath, at which hour the first day of the week had commenced, according to the Jewish reckoning (Jahn's Bibl. Antiq. § 398), which would hardly agree with the idea of a commemoration of the resurrection. But further, the words of this passage, Ε᾿νδὲ τῇ μιᾶ'/ τῶν σαββάτων, συνηγμένων τῶν μαθητῶν τοῦ κλάσαι ἄρτον... . have been by some considered to imply that such a weekly observance was then the established custom; yet it is obvious that the mode of expression would be just as applicable if they had been in the practice of assembling daily. Still the whole aim of the narrative favors the reference to what is now known as Sunday. In 1Co 16:1-2, St. Paul writes thus: "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches in Galatia, even so do ye: Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him. that there be no gatherings when I come." This direction, it is true, is not connected with any mention of public worship or assemblies on that day. But this has naturally been inferred; and the regulation has been supposed to have a reference to the tenets of the Jewish converts, who considered it unlawful to touch money on the Sabbath (Vitringa, De Synagogâ, translat. by Bernard, pages 75-167). In consideration for them, therefore, the apostle directs the collection to be made on the following day, on which secular business was lawful; or, as Cocceius observes, they regarded the day "non ut festum, sed ut ἐργάσιμου" (not as a feast, but as a working day; Vitringa, page 77). Again, the phrase μία τῶνσαββάτων is generally understood to be, according to the Jewish mode of naming the days of the week, the common expression for the first day. Yet it has been differently construed by some, who render it " upon one of the days of the week" (Tracts for the Times, 2:1, 16). In Heb 10:25, the correspondents of the writer are desired "not to forsake the assembling of themselves together, as the manner of some is, but to exhort one another," an injunction which seems to imply that a regular day for such assembling existed, and was well known; for otherwise no rebuke would lie. Lastly, in the passage given above, St. John describes himself as being in the Spirit "on the Lord's day." Taken separately, perhaps, and even all together, these passages seem scarcely adequate to prove that the dedication of the first day of the week to the purposes above mentioned was a matter of apostolic institution, or even of apostolic practice. But, it may be observed, that it is, as any rate, an extraordinary coincidence, that almost as soon as we emerge from Scripture we find the same day mentioned in a similar manner, and directly associated with the Lord's resurrection; and it is an extraordinary fact that we never find its dedication questioned or argued about, but accepted as something equally apostolic with confirmation, with infant baptism, with ordination, or at least spoken of in the same way. As to direct support from holy Scripture, it is noticeable that those other ordinances which are usually considered scriptural, and in support of which Scripture is usually cited, are dependent, so far as mere quotation is concerned, upon fewer texts than the Lord's day is. Stating the case at the very lowest, the Lord's day has at least "probable insinuations in Scripture" (Bp. Sanderson), and so is superior to any other holy day, whether of hebdomadal celebration, as Friday in memory of the crucifixion, or of annual celebration, as Easter day in memory of the resurrection itself. These other days may be, and are, defensible on other grounds, but they do not possess anything like a scriptural authority for their observance. If we are inclined still to press for more pertinent scriptural proof, and more frequent mention of the institution, for such we suppose it to be, in the writings of the apostles, we must recollect how little is said of baptism and the Lord's Supper, and how vast a difference is naturally to be expected to exist between a sketch of the manners and habits of their age, which the authors of the holy Scriptures did not write, and hints as to life and conduct, and regulation of known practices, which they did write.
2. On quitting the canonical writings we turn naturally to Clement of Rome. He does not, however, directly mention "the Lord's day," but in 1Co 1:31, he says, πάντα τάξει ποιεῖν ὀφείλομεν, and he speaks of ώρισμένοι καιροὶ καὶ éραι, at which the Christian προσφοραὶ καὶ λειτουργίαι should be made.
Ignatius, the disciple of St. John (ad. Magn. c. 9), contrasts Judaism and Christianity, and, as an exemplification of the contrast, opposes σαββατίζειν to living according to the Lord's life (κατὰ τὴν Κυριακὴν ζωὴνζῶντες).
The epistle ascribed to St. Barnabas, which, though certainly not written by that apostle, was in existence in the earlier part of the 2d century, has (c. 15) the following words: "We celebrate the eighth day with joy, on which, too, Jesus rose from the dead." A pagan document now comes into view. It is the well-known letter of Pliny to Trajan, written (about A.D. 100) while he presided over Pontus and Bithynia. "The Christians (says he) affirm the whole of their guilt or error to be that they were accustomed to meet together on a stated day (stato die), before it was light, and to sing hymns to Christ as a god, and to bind themselves by a sacrnamentun, not for any wicked purpose, but never to commit fraud, theft, or adultery; never to break their word, or to refuse, when called upon, to deliver up any trust; after which it was their custom to separate, and to assemble again to take a meal, but a general one, and without guilty purpose" (Epist. 10:97).
A thoroughly Christian authority, Justin Martyr, who flourished A.D. 140, stands next on the list. He writes thus: "On the day called Sunday (τῇ τοῦ ἡλίουλεγομένῃ ἡμέρᾷ) is an assembly of all who live either in the cities or in the rural districts, and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read." Then he goes on to describe the particulars of the religious acts which are entered upon at this assembly. They consist of prayer, of the celebration of the holy Eucharist, and of collection of alms. He afterwards assigns the reasons which Christians had for meeting on Sunday. These are, "because it is the First Day, on which God dispelled the darkness (τὸσκότος) and the original state of things (την ὕλην), and formed the world, and because Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead upon it" (Apol. 1:67). In another work (Dial. c. Tryph.) he makes circumcision furnish a type of Sunday. "The command to circumcise infants on the eighth day was a type of the true circumcision by which we are circumcised from error and wickedness through our Lord Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead on the first day of the week (τῇ μιᾶ'/ σαββάτων); therefore it remains the chief and first of days." As for σαββατίζειν, he uses that with exclusive reference to the Jewish law. He carefully distinguishes Saturday (ἡ κρονικὴ), the day after which our Lord was crucified, from Sunday (ἡ μετὰ την κρονικὴν ἣτις ἐστιν ἡ τοῦ ῾Ηλίου ἡμέρα), upon which he rose from the dead. If any surprise is felt at Justin's employment of the heathen designations for the seventh and first days of the week, it may be accounted for thus. Before the death of Hadrian, A.D. 138, the hebdomadal division (which Dion Cassius, writing in the 3d century, derives, together with its nomenclature, from Egypt) had, in matters of common life, almost universally superseded in Greece, and even in Italy, the national divisions of the lunar month. Justin Martyr, writing to and for heathen, as well as to and for Jews, employs it, therefore, with a certainty of being understood.
The strange heretic, Bardesanes, who, however, delighted to consider himself a sort of Christian, has the following words in his book on "Fate," or on "the Laws of the Countries," which he addressed to the emperor M. Aurelius Antoninus: "What, then, shall we say respecting the new race of ourselves who are Christians, whom in every country and in every region the Messiah established at his coming; for, lo! wherever we be, all of us are called by the one name of the Messiah, Christians; and upon one day, which is the first of the week, we assemble ourselves together, and on the appointed days we abstain from food" (Cureton's Translation).
Two very short notices stand next on our list, but they are important from their casual and unstudied character. Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, A.D. 170, in a letter to the Church of Rome, a fragment of which is preserved by Eusebius (Eccles. Hist. 4:23), says, τὴν σήμερον ουν κυριακὴν ἁγίαν ἡμέραν διηγάγομεν, ἐν ῃ ἀνέγνωμεν ὑμῶν τὴν ἐπιστολήν. And Melito, bishop of Sardis, his contemporary, is stated to have composed, among other works, a treatise on the Lord's day (ὁ περὶ τῆς Κυριακῆς λόγος).
The next writer who may be quoted is Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, A.D. 178. He asserts that the Sabbath is abolished; but his evidence to the existence of the Lord's day is clear and distinct (De Orat. 23; De Idol. 14). It is spoken of in one of the best-known of his Fragments (see Beaven's Irenaeus, page 202). But a record in Eusebius (5:23, 2) of the part which he took in the Quarta-Deciman controversy shows that in his time it was an institution beyond dispute. The point in question was this: Should Easter be celebrated in connection with the Jewish Passover, on whatever day of the week that might happen to fall, with the churches of Asia Minor, Syria, and Mesopotamia, or on the Lord's day, with the rest of the Christian world? The churches of Gaul, then under the superintendence of Irenaeus, agreed upon a synodical epistle to Victor, bishop of Rome, in which occurred words somewhat to this effect: "The mystery of the Lord's resurrection may not be celebrated on any other day than the Lord's day, and on this alone should we observe the breaking off of the paschal fast." This confirms what was said above, that while, even towards the end of the 2d century, tradition varied as to the yearly celebration of Christ's resurrection, the weekly celebration of it was one upon which no diversity existed, or was even hinted at.
Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 194, comes next. One does not expect anything very definite from a writer of so mystical a tendency, but he has some things quite to our purpose. — In his Strom. (4:3) he speaks of τὴν ἀρχιγονον ἡμέραν, τὴν τῷ ὄντι ἀνάπαυσιν ημῶν, τὴν δὴκαὶ πρώτην τῷ ὄντι φωτὸς γένεσιν, κ. τ. λ.,words which bishop Kaye interprets as contrasting the seventh day of the Law with the eighth day of the Gospel. As the same learned prelate observes, "When Clement says that the Gnostic, or transcendental Christian, does not pray in any fixed place, or on any stated days, but throughout his whole life, he gives us to understand that Christians in general did meet together in fixed places and at appointed times for prayer." But we are not left to mere inference on this important point, for Clement speaks of the Lord's day as a well-known and customary festival (Strom. 7), and in one place gives a mystical interpretation of the name (Strom. 5).
Tertullian, whose date is assignable to the close of the 2d century, may, in spite of his conversion to Montanism, be quoted as a witness to facts. He terms the first day of the week sometimes Sunday (Dies Solis), sometimes Dies Dominicus. He speaks of it as a day of joy ("Diem Solis laetitile indugemus," Apol. c. 16), and asserts that it is wrong to fast upon it, or to pray standing during its continuance ("Die Dominico jejunium nefas dueimons, vel de geniculis adorare," De Cor. c. 3). Even business is to be put off, lest we give place to the devil ("Differentes etiam negotia, ne quem Diabolo locum demus," De Orat. c. 13).
Origen contends that the Lord's day had its superiority to the Sabbath indicated by manna having been given on it to the Israelites, while it was withheld on the Sabbath. It is one of the marks of the perfect Christian to keep the Lord's day.
Minucius Felix (A.D. 210) makes the heathen interlocutor, in his dialogue called Octavius, assert that the Christians come together to a repast "on a solemn day" (solenni die).
Cyprian and his colleagues, in a synodical letter (A.D. 253), make the Jewish circumcision on the eighth day prefigure the newness of life of the Christian, to which Christ's resurrection introduces him, and point to the Lord's day, which is at once the eighth and the first.
Commodian (circ. A.D. 290) mentions the Lord's day. Victorinus (A.D. 290) contrasts it, in a very remarkable passage, with the Parasceve and the Sabbath.
Lastly, Peter, bishop of Alexandria (A.D. 300), says of it, "We keep the Lord's day as a day of joy, because of him who rose thereon." The results of our examination of the principal writers of the two centuries after the death of St. John may be thus summed up. The Lord's day (a name which has now come out more prominently, and is connected more explicitly with our Lord's resurrection than before) existed during these two centuries as a part and parcel of apostolical, and so of scriptural Christianity. It was never defended, for it was never impugned, or, at least, only impugned as other things received from the apostles were. It was never confounded with the Sabbath, but carefully distinguished from it (though we have not quoted nearly all the passages by which this point might be proved). It was not an institution of severe sabbatical character, but a day of joy (χαρμοσύνη) and cheerfulness (εὐφροσύνη), rather encouraging than forbidding relaxation. Religiously regarded, it was a day of solemn meeting for the holy Eucharist, for united prayer, for instruction, for almsgiving; and though, being an institution under the law of liberty, work does not appear to have been formally interdicted, or rest formally enjoined, Tertullian seems to indicate that the character of the day was opposed to worldly business. Finally, whatever analogy may be supposed to exist between the Lord's day and the Sabbath, in no passage that has come down to us is the fourth commandment appealed to as the ground of the obligation to observe the Lord's day. Ecclesiastical writers reiterate again and again, in the strictest sense of the words, "Let no man, therefore, judge you in respect of an holiday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days" (Col 2:16). Nor, again, is it referred to any sabbatical foundation anterior to the promulgation of the Mosaic economy. On the contrary, those before the Mosaic aera are constantly assumed to have had neither knowledge nor observance of the Sabbath. As little is it anywhere asserted that the Lord's day is merely an ecclesiastical institution, dependent on the post-apostolic Church for its origin, and by consequence capable of being done away, should a time ever arrive when it appears to be no longer needed.
If these facts be allowed to speak for themselves, they indicate that the Lord's day is a purely Christian institution, sanctioned by apostolic practice, mentioned in apostolic writings, and so possessed of whatever divine authority all apostolic ordinances and doctrines (which were not obviously temporary, or were not abrogated by the apostles themselves) can be supposed to possess.
3. But, on whatever grounds "the Lord's day" may be supposed to rest, it is a great and indisputable fact that four years before the (Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, it was recognised by Constantine, in his celebrated edict. as "the venerable Day of the Sun." The terms of the document are these:
"Imperator Constantinus Aug. Helpidio.
"Omnes judices urbanaeque plebes et cunctarutm artium officia venerabili Die Solis quiescant. Ruri tamen positi agrorum culturae liberni licenterque inserviant, quonian frequenter evenit ut non aptius alio die frumenta sulcis aut vineae scrobibus mandentur, ne occasione momenti pereat commoditas coelesti provisione concessa." — Dat. Non. Mart. Crispo II et Constantino II Coss.
Some have endeavored to explain away this document by alleging, 1st. That "Solis Dies" is not the Christian name of the Lord's day, and that Constantine did not therefore intend to acknowledge it as a Christian institution. 2d. That, before his conversion, Constantine had professed himself to be especially under the guardianship of the sun, and that, at the very best, he intended to make a religious compromise between sunworshippers, properly so called, and the worshippers of the "Sun of Righteousness," i.e., Christians. 3dly. That Constantine's edict was purely a calendarial one, and intended to reduce the number of public holidays, "Dies Nefasti" or "Feriati," which had, so long ago as the date of the "Actiones Verrinae," become a serious impediment to the transaction of business; and that this was to be effected by choosing a day which, while it would be accepted by the paganism then in fashion, would, of course, be agreeable to the Christians. 4thly. That Constantine then instituted Sunday for the first time as a religious day for Christians. The fourth of these statements is absolutely refuted, both by the quotations made above from writers of the 2d and 3d centuries, and by the terms of the edict itself. It is evident that Constantine, accepting as facts the existence of the "Solis Dies," and the reverence paid to it by some one or other, does nothing more than make that reverence practically universal. It is "venerabilis" already. It is probable that this most natural interpretation would never have been disturbed had not Sozomen asserted, without warrant from either the Justinian or the Theodosian Code, that Constantine did for the sixth day of the week what the codes assert that he did for the first (Eccles. Hist. 1:8; comp. Eusebius, Vit. Const. 4:18). The three other statements concern themselves rather with what Constantine meant than with what he did. But with such considerations we have little or nothing to do. He may have purposely selected an ambiguous appellation. He may have bean only half a Christian, wavering between allegiance to Christ and allegiance to Mithras. He may have affected a religious syncretism. He may have wished his people to adopt such syncretism. He may have feared to offend the pagans. He may have hesitated to avow too openly his inward leanings to Christianity. He may have considered that community of religious days might lead by-and-by to community of religious thought and feeling. He may have had in view the rectification of the calendar. But all this is nothing to the purpose. It is a fact, that in the year A.D. 321, in a public edict, which was to apply to Christians as well as to pagans, he put especial honor upon a day already honored by the former — judiciously calling it by a name which Christians had long employed without scruple, and to which, as it was in ordinary use, the pagans could scarcely object. What he did for it was to insist that worldly business, whether by the functionaries of the law or by private citizens, should be intermitted during its continuance. An exception, indeed, was made in favor of the rural districts, avowedly from the necessity of the case, covertly, perhaps, to prevent those districts where paganism (as the word pagus would intimate) still prevailed extensively from feeling aggrieved by a sudden and stringent change. It need only be added here that the readiness with which Christians acquiesced in the interdiction of business on the Lord's day affords no small presumption that they had long considered it to be a day of rest, and that, so far as circumstances admitted, they had made it so long before.
Were any other testimony wanting to the existence of Sunday as a day of Christian worship at this period, it might be supplied by the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325. The fathers there and then assembled make no doubt of the obligation of that day — do not ordain it — do not defend it. They assume it as an existing fact, and only notice it incidentally in order to regulate an indifferent matter — the posture of Christian worshippers upon it (Conc. Nic. canon 20).
Chrysostom (A.D. 360) concludes one of his Homilies by dismissing his audience to their respective ordinary occupations. The Council of Laodicea (A.D. 364), however, enjoined Christians to rest (σχολάζειν) on the Lord's day. To the same effect is an injunction in the forgery called the Apostolical Constitutions (7:24), and various other enactments from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1100, though by no means extending to the prohibition of all secular business.
See Pearson, On the Creed, 2:341, edit. Oxf.; Jortin, Remarks on Eccles. Hist. 3:236; Baxter, On the Divine Appointment of the Lord's Day, page 41, ed. 1671; Hessey, Bampton Lecture for 1860; Gilfillan, The Sabbath, page 8. SEE SUNDAY.