Chapter I - part 1

SAM BROWN (Auto Repairs: Spare Parts and Accessories: The Premier Garage of Enterprise) came home to supper one Friday evening with a disgruntled look on his face and an out-of-sorts shrug of his shoulders.
          “You know, Sarah,” he said to his wife, after he had blunted the edge of an appetite always hearty, “that new repair man,  Richards, that I hired last Monday morning, that crackerjack of a workman I’ve been praising up all week? Why, I never had such a man, —greedy for work and knows the business from A to Z. Well, I was afraid it was too good to last. He’s gone and spoiled it all; threw three flies right into the ointment.”
          “Why, Sam, what’s he done?” ejaculated Sarah.
          “He came to me just before quitting time tonight and asked if he could have tomorrow off, and every other Saturday, because he said his knowledge of the Bible and the promptings of his conscience led him to keep Saturday as the Sabbath. Said he would work Sunday if I wanted him to, glad to do it; for he needed the money for his family, and the commandment says to work six days in the week, as well as to rest the seventh. Saturday’s our biggest day, Sarah. Of all the fanaticism in religion, that goes beyond the limit!”
          His partner in life, never got as excited over anything as Sam did. She ruminated a while. “If he is so conscientious, why didn’t he tell you all this before you hired him? Is that honest, to deceive that way?” she observed.
          “That’s just what I came back at him with,” answered Sam, “and what do you think he said?— That men he asked for work always thought he was lazy and no good, and was only trying to get two days off a week instead of one, when he told them beforehand, and they wouldn’t give him a chance to prove up. So he decided not to say anything about it till he had to. I don’t know that that was acting a lie, Sarah. He certainly earned his wages this week, and I don’t have to keep him if I don’t want to. I’m glad he stayed this long. Say, but we were cluttered up with work last Monday; and now we are just about caught up for the extra rush tomorrow. And the worst is, I owe most of it to him. He’s a clipper,” and auto-repair Sam looked off into space thoughtfully.
          “But, Sam,” his wife interrupted his meditations, “you’re a deacon in our church; didn’t you show him that Saturday is the wrong day to keep?”
          “Didn’t I? Well, I should say I did,—or tried to,” he added ruefully, as he recollected the experience. “I said something about Sunday being my Sabbath; and he said maybe it was, but Saturday is  God’s  Sabbath,  and  quoted  the  verse,  ‘The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God (Exodus 20:10), that he wasn’t keeping Saturday for Sunday as I said he was, but was keeping Saturday for the Sabbath. He said that the Bible teaches that the Sabbath begins at sundown and ends at sunset, and I didn’t know that. Why, Sarah, that man acts as if he knows the Bible like a preacher, from the very first verse of Genesis to the very last verse of—let’s see, what is the last book in the Bible?—anyway, he said,—”
          “Yes, yes, ‘he said, he said,’ but what I want to know, Sam Brown, is what you said.”
          “Well, I didn’t have any Bible with me, and we didn’t have much time; but I told him the Bible has plenty of proof that Sunday is the right day to keep; that it is preposterous to think that all the Christian world has been wrong about the day all these years, and a lot of facts like that. He told me he would be glad to read the Sunday texts; and I told him I would sure have them ready for him Monday morning.”
          “Why, Sam, you’re not going to keep him on, are you?” objected Sarah.
          “Am I? I should say I am! He’s worth more to me in five days than the other men are in six. And I’ll need him Monday morning to help take care of the Sunday wrecks,” and Sam tipped his chair back complacently.

Chapter I - part 2

          “There’s a man at the front door,  Sam,” whispered his wife, “a book agent, I guess,” she added as she whisked off her apron and closed the kitchen door.
          “It’s Richards himself,” said her husband, looking. “I’ll invite him in.” But Sarah disappeared into the rear sanctum, not caring to meet such a monstrosity.
          He didn’t come in. They talked a while at the door, and when he was gone, she rejoined her husband, who now carried the book the repair man had brought.
          “If it don’t beat all, Sarah,” he blurted out. “He wasn’t trying to sell that book he had under his arm. Here it is. It’s a concordance, if you know what that is. It helps you find any text you want in the Bible, by the words used in it. He said he brought it over so it would be easier for us to find all those Sunday texts I spoke about.”
          “That’s rubbing it in, isn’t it?” asked Sarah.
          “No, he doesn’t seem to be a bit sarcastic. He’s so plagued courteous that it’s impossible to get mad at him. I never saw such a man.
          “You haven’t got a bit of fighting spirit in you, Sam Brown, and I’m ashamed of you. You’ll be a Saturday keeper yourself yet,” declared Sarah.
          “Never you fear, little woman. That man’s got to be set right; that’s all. And I’m the man to do it.  He’s just a flat  tire, and needs mending and pumping up. Some religious fanatic has sideswiped him hard. He’s got to be repaired.”
          After some coaxing and chiding on Sam’s part, Sarah was persuaded to take the charitable view, and that night the Browns planned their campaign. They got out the big family Bible and thumbed it through, and delved into the concordance to get its lineup and how to use it.
          The man of the house had turned over to the first books of the Bible.
          “Good; here’s what we want, right here,” he burst forth exultantly. “Here is page after page headed ‘Sunday laws and ordinances.’ Now we will settle Richards.”
          Sarah peered over his shoulder to where his positive finger pointed. “Samuel Billington Brown,” she scolded. “I’ve been telling you all along that you need specs. That proves it. That isn’t Sunday, that’s sundry!” Sam looked closer, and his face fell.
          “Gimme that concordance, woman,” he said rather crossly, “and let’s begin by listing all the texts with the word Sunday in them. You get paper and pencil and take them down as I call them off. Ah, here’s one, in Hebrews 1:1.’Sunday times,’—sounds like a newspaper, doesn’t it?” His wife wanted to make sure; so she turned to the place in the Bible.
          “Here,” she urged, “take my glasses if you can’t see straight. Again that is sundry, not Sunday. ‘God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,’ and so on. Let me have it, Sam, and I’ll see how many times the word Sunday is found.
          Crestfallen, he handed it over. A man hates to yield to a woman, least of all to his wife, when it comes to seeing through a thing. Sarah looked down the columns of small print carefully; but to her chagrin could not find the word Sunday mentioned once in the Bible. As if this failure on her part vindicated him, her husband’s spirits rose.
          “Maybe that isn’t a complete concordance, and doesn’t give all the words,” he suggested helpfully.
          She turned to the title page. “It says here it is complete, and lists every word. Well, that’s news to me. But, I just happened to think. Sunday is the first day of the week; and it speaks of the first day of the week in the Bible. There’s a text that says,  ‘Forsake  not  the  assembling  of  yourselves together on the first day of the week.’  Let’s find that.”
          But they could not find that either, the nearest approach to it being Hebrews 10:25, which did not say that at all. So they decided that they were up against a real problem, for whose solution they would have to use their best thinking powers, and also turn to wiser heads for help. Sam Brown and his wife Sarah were known to their neighbors as conscientious Christians, regular in church attendance, and honest to a fault. Nothing before had ever so gotten inside their religious armor as this. They would have to look to their guns; and were determined to do it. This was now no small matter to be turned aside with a laugh. So far, the laugh seemed to be on them; and the experience was humiliating.

Chapter I - part 3

          They studied that night; and the next day Sam broached the matter to one of the older heads among his workmen, and also to casual customers. He got some pointers; and one man loaned him a book with arguments against Saturday keeping. Saturday night they hurried home from the usual shopping tour, and got together some good points. Sunday morning, instead of spending a lot of time on the newspaper, they were at it again. They went to church, invited the minister to dinner, and all afternoon gathered from him ammunition for the fray. By Sunday night, Sam Brown was all chuckles, and Sarah beaming smiles. Surprising to them that they had not gotten reasons for their hopes before. Now the truth could be vindicated. They contemplated indulgently the convincing of the man Richards, setting a lost soul right, and incidentally gaining a good workman for the usual six days in the week, and making business prosper so that they could give more to the church.
          As a last precaution, they looked carefully over their list of proofs for Sunday keeping:

         1. The Saturday Sabbath was given to the Jews only, at Sinai, as a memorial of their deliverance from Egypt, and was not kept before that time.

          2. The seventh-day Sabbath was abolished by Christ at the cross, after which He and the disciples and the early Christians kept Sunday in honor of His resurrection.

          3. We are not under the law and the old covenant any more, but are under grace and the new covenant.

          4. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is a greater event in the history of salvation than is the creation of the world; therefore its memorial is greater.

          5. God blessed the institution, not the day; and any day will do, for it is the spirit in which it is kept that counts; but we keep Sunday to be in harmony with others.

          6. It is impossible to know which is the right day, anyway, for time records have been lost because of the many calendar changes in history.

          7. With people living all over a round world, they cannot keep the same day at the same time.

          8. If Sunday keeping were wrong, God’s Spirit and our consciences would reveal the wrong to us.

          9. If Sunday is the wrong day, why wasn’t it found out long before this; and why don’t the great religious leaders and statesmen and historians know about it?

          10. To keep Saturday instead of Sunday puts us all out of kilter with the rest of the world; we would be laughed at; couldn’t do business; couldn’t hold a job.

          “There,” ejaculated Sam triumphantly, as he laid down the list of proofs, “if that don’t wreck the Saturday keeping business beyond repair and make it fit only for the junk man, then I miss my guess. Why, Sarah, any one of those arguments will make Richards look sick, poor man, and with these ten it’s like having forty ways for Sunday. His wife studied the arguments thoughtfully.
          “I was always taught that Sunday is the seventh day of the week,” she observed. “Maybe you’d better put that in as number 1l.
          “Now, ain’t that just like a woman?” he laughed; “don’t you see that that argument and number—let’s see—number two, would eat each other up, Sarah? Be logical. If we say Christ changed the day from the seventh to the first, sure can’t say that Sunday is the seventh. No, the calendar says Sunday is the first day of the week, and I calculate it’s right.”
          Sarah flushed. “Have you got all the texts ready to go with these arguments?” she asked as she changed the subject.
          “Yes, they are all here handy. All I will have to do will be to read ‘em to the young man; he’ll flounder around a little, I reckon, change the subject—like you did just now, —and then we’ll get on with Monday’s rush of work,” and he peered at his wife through lowered eyebrows in a queer way he had.
          “Good luck to your logic,” was all she said. And they were soon sleeping the sleep of the self-satisfied.



Home | Bookstore | Links | Comments


PO BOX 300