AN ADVENTURE IN
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.
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
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
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?”
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.”
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.
“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
“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.”
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.
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.
what we want, right here,” he burst forth exultantly. “Here is page
after page headed ‘Sunday laws and ordinances.’ Now we will settle
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.
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.
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.
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.
isn’t a complete concordance, and doesn’t give all the words,” he
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.
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
As a last
precaution, they looked carefully over their list of proofs for Sunday
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.
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
3. We are not
under the law and the old covenant any more, but are under grace and 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
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
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
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
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
“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.
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.”
“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
“Good luck to
your logic,” was all she said. And they were soon sleeping the sleep of
CONTINUE - CHAPTER 2