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(un)Holy Days

The observance of the uncommanded holy-days is ever found to interfere with the due sanctification of the Lord’s-day. Adding to the appointments of God is superstition; and superstition has ever been found unfriendly to genuine obedience. Its [adherents], like the Jews of old, have ever been found more tenacious of their own inventions, of traditionary dreams, than of God’s revealed code of duty. Accordingly, there is perhaps no fact more universal and unquestionable, than that the zealous observers of stated fasts and festivals are characteristically lax in the observance of that one day which God has eminently set apart for himself, and on the sanctification of which all the vital interests of practical religion are suspended.

– Samuel Miller, “Presbyterianism the Truly Primitive and Apostolic Constitution of the Church of Christ”

“If once you yield to these English ceremonies, think not that thereafter you can keep yourselves back from any greater evils, or grosser corruptions which they draw after them; for as it is just with God to give such men over to strong delusions as have not received the love of the truth, nor taken pleasure in the sincerity of his worship (2 Thess. 2:10,11); so there is not a more deceitful and dangerous temptation than in yielding to the beginnings of evil. He that is unjust in the least is also unjust in much, says he who could not lie (Luke 16:10). When Uriah the priest had once pleased King Ahaz, in making an altar like unto that at Damascus, he was afterwards led on to please him in a greater matter, even in forsaking the altar of the Lord, and in offering all the sacrifices upon the altar of Damascus (2 Kings 16:10-16). All your winning or losing of a good conscience, is in your first buying; for such is the deceitfulness of sin, and the cunning conveyance of that old serpent, that if his head be once entering in, his whole body will easily follow after; and if he make you handsomely to swallow gnats at first, he will make you swallow camels ere all be done. Oh happy they who dash the little ones of Babylon against the stones (Ps. 137:9)!”

-George Gillespie; English Popish Ceremonies

Gillespie continues:

“Forasmuch, then, as . . . festival days . . . are the wares of Rome, the baggage of Babylon, the trinkets of the whore, the badges of Popery, the ensigns of Christ’s enemies, and the very trophies of Antichrist: we cannot conform, communicate, and symbolize with the idolatrous Papists in the use of the same, without making ourselves idolaters by participation.”

Gordon Clark writes:

It is amazing that a professor in a Presbyterian seminary [James Benjamin Green] should be so Romish and anti-Reformed.  Scripture gives us our rules for worship, and, to repeat, from them we should not subtract, nor to them should we add.  We should turn neither to the left nor to the right.  Now, Scripture does not authorize us to celebrate Pentecost.  The same is true of Christmas.  It began as a drunken orgy and continues so today in office parties.  The Puritans even made its celebration a civil offense.  And yet an argument for celebrating Pentecost was, “Don’t all Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter?”  No, they do not.  My father’s family and church never celebrated Christmas, nor did the two Blanchard administrations in Wheaton College.  But what about Easter?  Surely we must celebrate Easter, shouldn’t we?  Yes indeed, we should, as the Scripture commands, not just once a year in the spring, but fifty-two times a year.”

Martin Luther wrote:

“we have made holy days unholy and working days holy, and do no service but great dishonor to God and His saints with all our holy days.”

Calvin wrote:

“Accordingly, although Papists laugh at us, when we censure their tyrannical laws about outward ceremonies, yet we know that we are pleading a cause of the greatest weight and importance; because the doctrine of faith is destroyed, as soon as the worship of God is infected by such corruptions.  The controversy is not about flesh or fish, or about a black or ashy color, or about Friday or Wednesday, but about the mad superstitions of men, who wish to appease God by such trifles, and, by contriving a carnal worship of him, contrive for themselves an idol instead of God.  Who will deny that this is revolting from the faith?”

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