When does the Sabbath Day Begin/End Revisited

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VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Alexander Smith Paterson, A Concise System of Theology: Being the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, Analyzed and Explained, p. 221:

Obs. 220. -- The Fourth Commandment requireth us to sanctify one whole day in seven, which God hath expressly appointed to be a holy Sabbath to himself.

By one whole day, as the stated time of worshipping God, we are to understand the same that we are to understand by any other whole day -- namely, a period consisting of twenty-four hours, or what is commonly called a natural day. And this day we should begin and end at the same time that we begin and end any other day, -- namely, at midnight.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
James Gilfillan, The Sabbath Defended, p. 121:

A posthumous treatise, by Robert Cleaver, already mentioned as associated with John Dod in various publications, appeared in AD 1625, and again in AD 1630, under the title, "A Declaration of the Christian Sabbath: wherein the Sanctifying of the Lord's Day is proved to be agreeable to the Commandment of God, and to the Gospell of Jesus Christ. Whereunto is added a briefe Appendix touching the limits of the C. S., the Lord's Day: that it beginneth and endeth after Midnight, not after the Sunne Setting in the Evening."[241]

[241] We have not read this volume, which, we suppose, is now rare. The title is given from the second edition, which we have seen in the Marsh Library, Dublin. Both editions are marked in the Catalogue of the Bodleian.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
James Durham treats this subject at some length in his work on the Fourth Commandment in support of the midnight-to-midnight observance of the Christian Sabbath.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
William Pynchon, New England Puritan, wrote A treatise of the Sabbath. Wherein is contained the time of the first institution of it. The manner how the first Sabbath was ordained. Whereunto is annexed A treatise of holy time: and therein the great question about the beginning and ending of the Lords Day is largely discussed: and in both sundry cases of conscience are handled, and many texts of scripture are opened, the practice of the churches in New England are inquired into (1654), a portion of which I have also seen titled Holy time: or, The true limits of the Lords Day I. Proving, that the Lords Day doth begin with the natural morning, and that the morning of the natural day doth begin at mid-night; and so consequently that the Lords Day must both begin with the natural morning at mid-night, and end with the natural evening at mid-night. II. Proving, that the Jews beginning of the day at the sun-set evening was only in relation to the date of the person purified from his levitical uncleanness. III. That the Jews themselves did hold, that the natural day did continue after sun-set till mid-night.

The book is on exhibition at the New York Public Library which says:

William Pynchon
Holy Time: or, The True Limits of the Lords Day
London: Printed by R.I. and are to be sold by T.N[ewbery], 1654
Rare Books Division, from the Lenox Library

The independent-minded Pynchon was one of the original (1630) Massachusetts Bay colonists and it was entirely on his determined initiative that colonization was extended west of the Bay area. The founder of Springfield, he made a fortune in the beaver trade, then turned his hand to theology. His first book, The Meritorious Price (London, 1650), was enough to put him on the wrong side of the theocracy. It has the distinction of being the first book banned (in fact, burned) in Boston; the Library has one of the eight surviving copies. Pynchon was a Judeocentrist of a kind—he gave pride of place to the Hebrew Bible and Jewish studies—but he was not a Judaizer nor a millenarian. Rather than reinventing Christianity in the image of the Hebrew Bible, as did the Cotton club, Pynchon reinvented the Hebrew Bible in the image of Christianity. Reading Christianity into ancient Israelite worship is the function of his next book (1652), The Jewes synagogue: or, A treatise concerning the ancient orders and manner of worship used by the Jewes in their synagogue-assemblies. Gathered out of the Sacred Scriptures, the Jewish rabines, and such modern authors, which have been most conversant in the study of Jewish customes. Finally, there is Holy Time, written after the first pioneer of America’s westward expansion had retreated to England to escape the reach of his nemesis, John Cotton. The book is an attack on the Sabbath schedule—from sundown on Saturday through sundown on Sunday—that had become common in New England in imitation of Cotton’s personal practice. With an epigraph boldly drawn from Maimonides’ Laws of Sacrifices, Pynchon claims to prove “that the Lord’s Day doth begin with the natural morning, and that the morning of the natural day doth begin at midnight; that the Jews’ beginning of the day at the sunset evening was only in relation to the date of the person purified from his Levitical uncleanness; that the Jews themselves did hold that the natural day did continue after sunset till midnight.”
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
George Swinnock, The Works of George Swinnock, Vol. 1, pp. 245-246:

Observe how exact God is in expressing a whole natural day: "From evening to evening you shall keep the Sabbath," Lev 23:32. Their days were reckoned from evening to evening, from the creation; but ours, because Christ rose in the morning, from morning to morning.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I was a bit curious about one of the names above, so did an internet search.

William Pynchon, while I doubt not his defense of the Sabbath, was quite unorthodox, even heretical, in his doctrine of justification.

See the following containing a synopsis of the doctrine propounded in The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption, Justification, Etc.... http://www.dinsdoc.com/foster-1.htm

N.B. pp 703-707.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
I was a bit curious about one of the names above, so did an internet search.

William Pynchon, while I doubt not his defense of the Sabbath, was quite unorthodox, even heretical, in his doctrine of justification.

See the following containing a synopsis of the doctrine propounded in The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption, Justification, Etc.... http://www.dinsdoc.com/foster-1.htm

N.B. pp 703-707.

Bruce -- Thanks for this info. I haven't read your link yet but will do soon, dv.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
A.W. Pink, The Ten Commandments:

"The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God". Note well it is not said (here, or anywhere in Scripture) "the seventh day of the week," but simply "the seventh day," that is, the day following the six of work. With the Jews it was the seventh day of the week, namely, Saturday, but for us it is—as the "another day" of Hebrews 4:8 plainly intimates—the first day of the week, because the Sabbath not only commemorates the work of creation, but it now also celebrates the yet greater work of redemption. Thus, the Lord so worded the fourth Commandment as to suit both the Jewish and the Christian dispensations, and thereby intimated its perpetuity. The Christian Sabbath is from midnight Saturday to midnight Sunday: it is clear from John 20:1 that it began before sunrise, and therefore we may conclude it starts at Saturday midnight; while from John 20:19 we learn (from the fact it is not there called "the evening of the second day") that it continues throughout the evening, and that our worship is also to continue therein.

But though the Christian Sabbath does not commence till midnight on Saturday, yet our preparation for it must begin sooner, or how else can we obey its express requirement, "in it thou shalt not do any work"? On the Sabbath there is to be a complete resting the whole day, not only from natural recreations and doing our own pleasure (Isa. 58:13), but from all worldly employment. The wife needs a day of rest just as much as her husband, yea, being the "weaker vessel," more so. Such things as porridge and soup can be prepared on the Saturday and heated on the Sabbath, so that we may be entirely free to delight ourselves in the Lord and give ourselves completely to His worship and service. Let us also see to it that we do not work or sit up so late on the Saturday night that we encroach on the Lord’s day by staying late in bed or making ourselves drowsy for its holy duties.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Matthew Poole's Annotations, Vol. I, p. 249, re Lev. 23.32:

The Jews are supposed to begin every day, and consequently their sabbaths, at the evening, in remembrance of the creation, Gen. i. 5, as Christians generally begin their days and sabbaths with the morning, in memory of Christ’s resurrection.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Edward R. Lambert, History of the Colony of New Haven, Before and After the Union with Connecticut (1838), p. 188:

Concerning the subject of keeping Saturday night as holy time or as part of their Sabbath, some difference of opinion existed among the first ministers of New England. Messrs. [Thomas] Hooker and [Samuel] Stone, of Hartford, considered that the day commenced at midnight, but their opinions were overruled by the Mosaic order, "that from even to even shall ye celebrate your Sabbaths."
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
William Plumer, The Law of God, as Contained in the Ten Commandments, Explained and Enforced, pp.309-310:

When does the Sabbath begin?

There is some diversity in the Christian world respecting the time, at which the Sabbath begins. Some date it from sunset on Saturday till sunset on Sabbath. When asked for their authority, they refer to a phrase which occurs several times in the first chapter of Genesis: "And the evening and the morning were the first day." This has not been considered sufficient proof by the great mass of the Christian world. Nor ought it to be, as all the world knows that no day of creation began in the evening; but all of them began in the morning. That saying of Moses therefore only declares that the day was made up of two parts, the after part, and the fore part. Indeed the evidence in the New Testament seems to be clearly against this view. "Our Sabbath begins where the Jewish Sabbath ended; but the Jewish Sabbath did not end towards the evening, but towards the morning. Matt. 28:1. ‘In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week,’ etc. In the New Testament, the evening following, and not going before this first day of the week, is called the evening of the first day, John 20:19. ‘The same day, at evening, being the first day of the week,’ etc. Our Sabbath is held in memory of Christ’s resurrection, and it is certain that Christ rose early in the morning of the first day of the week."
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Richard Greenham, A Short Forme of Catechising:

Rehearse the fourth Commandement.

Remember the Sabboth day to keep it holy, &c.

What is here generally commanded?

I am commanded to make it my whole delight, to sanctifie the holy Sabboth of the Lord from morning to night.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Alexander Whyte, An Exposition on the Shorter Catechism, pp. 173, 176:

It is well known that the Hebrew Sabbath began at sunset on Friday and ended at sunset on Saturday....And He who was the Lord of life and the Lord of the Sabbath lay in the grave all that fatal seventh day, and we may say that the dead Sabbath of Judaism was buried beside Him, and, unlike Him, never saw a resurrection. But when He rose from the dead, a new Sabbath, a better rest, a true Lord's day rose with Him.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
George Bancroft, The Apostolic Church and the Gospel Ministry, p. 235:

Preparation is to be made for the Sabbath Day on the evening before (Exo. 16:15-23); but the actual observance of the day, biblically, begins in the morning and ends at bedtime or midnight. (Exo. 16:23; Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:9; Acts 20:7).
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
John Wallis, A Defense of the Christian Sabbath, p. 28:

I have insisted the longer on this, because I find him afterward moving another question about what time the Sabbath is to begin and end, and lays great stress upon it, as we shall see anon.

Of which I think we need not be further solicitous than to begin and end this day, according as other days are accounted to begin and end in the places where we live....

...I take it to be very plain from what I have said, that at the time of Christs Death and Resurrection, it [the Christian Sabbath] was accounted to begin very early in the morning, while it was dark, and continue till very late at night, according as we now account our days, from Mid-night to Mid-night.
 
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