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Username: Jeremiah

Post Number: 59
Registered: 1-2004

Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 11:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Found on LLT's website;

"Ambrose, the celebrated bishop of Milan, said that when he was in Milan he observed Saturday, but when in Rome observed Sunday. This gave rise to the proverb, 'When you are in Rome, do as Rome does.'" Heylyn, "The History of the Sabbath" (1612)"

Here's the actual quote, from St Augustine, in context;

Letter XXXVI.

(a.d. 396.)

To My Brother and Fellow-Presbyter Casulanus, Most Beloved and Longed For, Augustin Sends Greeting in the Lord.

31. The next day is the Jewish Sabbath, on which day Christ's body rested in the grave, as in the original fashioning of the world God rested on that day from all His works. Hence originated that variety in the robe of His bride which we are now considering: some, especially the Eastern communities, preferring to take food on that day, that their action might be emblematic of the divine rest; others, namely the Church of Rome, and some churches in the West, preferring to fast on that day because of the humiliation of the Lord in death. Once in the year, namely at Easter, all Christians observe the seventh day of the week by fasting, in memory of the mourning with which the disciples, as men bereaved, lamented the death of the Lord (and this is done with the utmost devoutness by those who take food on the seventh day throughout the rest of the year); thus providing a symbolical representation of both events,-of the disciples' sorrow on one seventh day in the year, and of the blessing of repose on all the others. There are two things which make the happiness of the just and the end of all their misery to be confidently expected, viz. death and the resurrection of the dead. In death is that rest of which the prophet speaks: "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." In resurrection blessedness is consummated in the whole man, both body and soul. Hence it came to be thought that both of these things [death and resurrection] should be symbolized, not by the hardship of fasting, but rather by the cheerfulness of refreshment with food, excepting only the Easter Saturday, on which, as I have said, it had been resolved to commemorate by a more protracted fast the mourning of the disciples, as one of the events to be had in remembrance.

Chap. XIV.

32. Since, therefore (as I have said above), we do not find in the Gospels or in the apostolical writings, belonging properly to the revelation of the New Testament, that any law was laid down as to fasts to be observed on particular days; and since this is consequently one of many things, difficult to enumerate, which make up a variety in the robe of the King's daughter, that is to say, of the Church,-I will tell you the answer given to my questions on this subject by the venerable Ambrose Bishop of Milan, by whom I was baptized. When my mother was with me in that city, I, as being only a catechumen, felt no concern about these questions; but it was to her a question causing anxiety, whether she ought, after the custom of our own town, to fast on the Saturday, or, after the custom of the Church of Milan, not to fast. To deliver her from perplexity, I put the question to the man of God whom I have just named. He answered, "What else can I recommend to others than what I do myself?" When I thought that by this he intended simply to prescribe to us that we should take food on Saturdays-for I knew this to be his own practice-he, following me, added these words: "When I am here I do not fast on Saturday; but when I am at Rome I do: whatever church you may come to, conform to its custom, if you would avoid either receiving or giving offence." This reply I reported to my mother, and it satisfied her, so that she scrupled not to comply with it; and I have myself followed the same rule. Since, however, it happens, especially in Africa, that one church, or the churches within the same district, may have some members who fast and others who do not fast on the seventh day, it seems to me best to adopt in each congregation the custom of those to whom authority in its government has been committed. Wherefore, if you are quite willing to follow my advice, especially because in regard to this matter I have spoken at greater length than was necessary, do not in this resist your own bishop, but follow his practice without scruple or debate.


Now, from St Ambrose himself;

9. For the strife which before existed in the flesh being removed, an universal peace has been made in heaven; that men might be like Angels upon earth, that the Gentiles and Jews might be made one, that both the new and old man might be united, the middle wall of partition, which, as a hostile barrier, had once divided them, being broken down. For the nature of our flesh having stirred up anger discord and dissension, and the law having bound us with the chains of condemnation, Christ Jesus subdued by mortification the wantonness and intemperance of the flesh, and made void the law of commandment contained in ordinances, declaring thereby that the decrees of the spiritual Law are not to be interpreted according to the letter; putting an end to the slothful rest of the Sabbath and to the superfluous rite of outward circumcision, and opening to all access by one Spirit unto the Father. For how can there be any discord, where there is one calling, one body and one spirit?

-Ambrose to Irenaeus, letter LXXVI

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Username: Flyinglady

Post Number: 2275
Registered: 3-2004

Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 2:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Very interesting that the men who followed the apostles fasted or did not fast on the seventh day and the first day of the week. For some it was "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". And not one seemed to mind. "For how can there be discord, where there is one calling, one body and one spirit?"
AMEN. God you are awesome.
Jeremiah, thank you so much for these quotes.
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Username: Jeremiah

Post Number: 60
Registered: 1-2004

Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 1:03 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Check this out!

"Report of court proceedings: 2 October AD 325"

Here's a link telling of the earliest practical attestation of Sunday observance;


I think it's pretty interesting.

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Username: Jeremy

Post Number: 1056
Registered: 10-2004

Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 11:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for those quotes, Jeremiah. That is amazing how they take things out of context and proclaim a man to be a "Sabbath-keeper" who denounced the Sabbath as obsolete!

It also looks to me like Augustine believed the Bible alone to be authoritative, and not "Tradition" or the writings of the saints (including his own).

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Username: Jeremiah

Post Number: 61
Registered: 1-2004

Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 12:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What inspired my research on the "when in Rome" quote was that one of my SDA friends brought it up last Sabbath saying St Ambrose was a sabbath keeper. I decided to find out. :-)

You'll notice on these pro-Sabbath sites that they like to use quotes about early Christians written in the 16th and 17th centuries. I, on the other hand, like to use primary sources.

To me there just isn't a way the SDA's can win, looking at history! They can claim the reformers, but you read them and they aren't anything like SDA. They can claim the early Christians, and they aren't anything like SDA either, only in different ways!

I have yet to find some authentic SDA Christians living before the 1850's or so. Especially not living in the time of the Apostles! Unless the people who Galatians was written to are them... that might be the closest match.

I still haven't taken the step Jackob took of telling people at the SDA church that I'm not SDA.

Maybe based on these quotes Augustine looks "sola scriptura" but I could probably find other quotes that don't sound that way.

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Username: Jeremiah

Post Number: 62
Registered: 1-2004

Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 1:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For what it's worth, here's something by Augustine about what is authoritative to him.

From his Contra Epistolam Manichaei Quam Vacant Fundamenti a.d. 397;

Chapter 4.-Proofs of the Catholic Faith.

5. For in the Catholic Church, not to speak of the purest wisdom, to the knowledge of which a few spiritual, men attain in this life, so as to know it, in the scantiest measure, indeed, because they are but men, still without any uncertainty (since the rest of the multitude derive their entire security not from acuteness of intellect, but from simplicity of faith,)-not to speak of this wisdom, which you do not believe to be in the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house. Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should, though from the slowness of our understanding, or the small attainment of our life, the truth may not yet fully disclose itself. But with you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me, the promise of truth is the only thing that comes into play. Now if the truth is so clearly proved as to leave no possibility of doubt, it must be set before all the things that keep me in the Catholic Church; but if there is only a promise without any fulfillment, no one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion.

Chapter 5.-Against the Title of the Epistle of Manichaeus.

6. Let us see then what Manichaeeus teaches me; and particularly let us examine that treatment which he calls the Fundamental Epistle, in which almost all that you believe is contained. For in that unhappy time when we read it we were in your opinion enlightened. The epistle begins thus:-" Manichaeus, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the providence of God the Father. These are wholesome words from the perennial and living fountain." Now, if you please, patiently give heed to my inquiry. I do not believe Manichaeus to be an apostle of Christ. Do not, I beg of you, be enraged and begin to curse. For you know that it is my rule to believe none of your statements without consideration. Therefore I ask, who is this Manichaeus? You will reply, An apostle of Christ. I do not believe it. Now you are at a loss what to say or do; for you promised to give knowledge of the truth, and here you are forcing me to believe what I have no knowledge of. Perhaps you will read the gospel to me, and will attempt to find there a testimony to Manichaeus. But should you meet with a person not yet believing the gospel, how would you reply to him were he to say, I do not believe? For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.5 So when those on whose authority I have consented to believe in the gospel tell me not to believe in Manichaeus, how can I but consent? Take your choice. If you say, Believe the Catholics: their advice to me is to put no faith in you; so that, believing them, I am precluded from believing you;-If you say, Do not believe the Catholics: you cannot fairly use the gospel in bringing me to faith in Manichaeus; for it was at the command of the Catholics that I believed the gospel;-Again, if you say, You were right in believing the Catholics when they praised the gospel, but wrong in believing their vituperation of Manichaeus: do you think me such a fool as to believe or not to believe as you like or dislike, without any reason? It is therefore fairer and safer by far for me, having in one instance put faith in the Catholics, not to go over to you, till, instead of bidding me believe, you make me understand something in the clearest and most open manner. To convince me, then, you must put aside the gospel. If you keep to the gospel, I will keep to those who commanded me to believe the gospel; and, in obedience to them, I will not believe you at all. But if haply you should succeed in finding in the gospel an incontrovertible testimony to the apostleship of Manichaeus, you will weaken my regard for the authority of the Catholics who bid me not to believe you; and the effect of that will be, that I shall no longer be able to believe the gospel either, for it was through the Catholics that I got my faith in it; and so, whatever you bring from the gospel will no longer have any weight with me. Wherefore, if no clear proof of the apostleship of Manichaeus is found in the gospel, I will believe the Catholics rather than you. But if you read thence some passage clearly in favor of Manichaeus, I will believe neither them nor you: not them, for they lied to me about you; nor you, for you quote to me that Scripture which I had believed on the authority of those liars. But far be it that I should not believe the gospel; for believing it, I find no way of believing you too. For the names of the apostles, as there recorded,6 do not include the name of Manichaeus. And who the successor of Christ's betrayer was we read in the Acts of the Apostles;7 which book I must needs believe if I believe the gospel, since both writings alike Catholic authority commends to me. The same book contains the well-known narrative of the calling and apostleship of Paul.8 Read me now, if you can, in the gospel where Manichaeus is called an apostle, or in any other book in which I have professed to believe. Will you read the passage where the Lord promised the Holy Spirit as a Paraclete, to the apostles? Concerning which passage, behold how many and how great are the things that restrain and deter me from believing in Manichaeus.

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Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 3349
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 3:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Whether or not Augustine believed in church authority does affect whether or not I believe it is valid. The problem I have with church authority is that while the church got many things right and we owe them a debt of gratitude for many theological clarifications, they also established a lot of interpetations and traditions that disagree with the Bible.

I really can't accept as valid authority any body that claims a mixed gospel. The RCC and the Orthodox churches have mixed many things, such as worship of saints/Mary, a human priesthood, good works as related to keeping salvation, etc. in with the good things they also espouse. A mixed gospel is not the true gospel.

I see it kind of like Ellen: much of what seh wrote sounds orthodox, but much of what she wrote was not. Church authority has the same problem.

Interesting quotes nonetheless, Jeremiah!


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