The Blue Law - Religious Prejudice in America 

    In 1794, the Blue Law was passed in Pennsylvania, prohibiting the operation of businesses and making Sunday a mandatory day of spiritual observance. 
    This further compounded the plight of Seventh Day Sabbath keepers. 

    Now they would be forced to abstain from any business practice two days out of every week - one for their Godly commanded day of rest and the other which the government imposed by the Blue Law.  Restrictive "Blue Laws", placing all seventh day observers at a definite financial disadvantage from the rest of the population, began to pop up in the Eastern part of the nation. 
    In "Church, State, and Freedom", by Leo Pfeffer, a noted constitutional scholar of the time, writes these words regarding this period of religious prejudice in the history of our still evolving nation: 

    "Enforcing Sunday laws against those observing Saturday ...would seem clearly to be discriminatory and inconsistent with the American tradition of fair play....By requiring him to abstain from engaging in his trade or his business two days a week while his Sunday observing competitor need only abstain one day a week, it obviously imposes on him a competetive disadvantage, and thus penalizes him for adhering to his religious beliefs."   (page 235)
    By 1818 the church that had been founded by Peter Mumford in New Port had become strongly influenced by Protestant doctrine and officially changed their name to "Seventh-day Baptists".    
    Not all church members went along with these changes and some remained faithful to their original doctrines.    
    This remnant of the True Church is referred to in "The Seventh Day Baptists In Europe and America" (pages 19-20), as - 
    "fanatical and unworthy sabbath keepers"
    Now, even in the New World and amongst other Seventh Day Sabbath keepers, those who did not go along with popular beliefs and man-made traditions, were condemned for holding to the Truths they preserved. 
    As the number of states imposing Blue Law restrictions began to spread throughout the East, a clear pattern of Westward migration by Seventh Day Sabbath keepers occurred during the early decades of the 19th century.   The magazine "Sabbath Recorder" from this time period records that: 
    "The country South and West of the Great Lakes was then tempting people [Sabbath keepers] in the East to remove and seek homes in it's fertile lands"
    And so, once again "True Christians" found themselves in search of religious freedom, this time expanding westward across the frontier of America. 
    In the 1840's, Ellen G. (Harmon) White, a young woman claiming to have had divine visions, began the church that has come to be known as the "Seventh Day Adventists". 
    A majority of Seventh Day worshippers were swept away in this Great Advent Movement and accepted the doctrine established by the Adventists under the leadership of Mrs. White as inspired by her supposed visions. 

    But as always, a few remained faithful, and not believing in these visions, broke away from those that followed her.

 

 
 

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The Great Falling Away by Joseph Santora --- ©1998-2002 True Christian Ministries
 
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