VIEWS OF THE REFORMERS ON SABBATH.
We do not cite these as of any weight or authority on the question, for the words of our Lord and the apostles are the only authorities we recognize; yet it is worthy of note that as the early reformers, Luther, Calvin and others, came to get their eyes open to even some few of the truths belonging to this Gospel dispensation, they saw at once that the Jewish Law was not given to, nor intended to be a yoke of bondage to the Gospel Church. They saw what every casual reader should observe, that the apostle Paul contrasts the righteousness or justification which comes by faith, with that which none could attain to be deeds of the Law. Thus he contrasts the Law, with the Gospel substitute. The leaders in the Reformation all recognized the difference between Moses a prophet, and Moses a law-giver, maintaining that as law-giver his authority only extended to Israel. They therefore denied that the Ten Commandments were laws for Christians, though they recognized them as valuable indications or interpretations of principles, to all time and to all people.
Says Luther: "The Ten Commandments do not apply to us, Gentiles and Christians, but only to the Jews. If a preacher wishes to force you back to Moses, ask him if you were brought by Moses out of Egypt."
Calvin is no less explicit. He declares that "the Sabbath is abrogated," and denies "that the moral part of it, that is, the observance of one day in seven, still remains;" while he adds, "it is still customary among us to assemble on stated days for hearing the word, breaking the mystic bread and for public prayers; and also to allow servants and laborers a remission from their labor."
Justification by faith and not by the observance of either Mosaic Laws or Roman Catholic fasts or penances was the plea upon which the Reformation was started.