The Seventh-Day Men

The Seventh-Day Men: Sabbatarians and Sabbatarianism in England and Wales, 1600-1800

This book traces the history of the widespread Sabbathkeeping movement in Britain during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Brian Jones, pastor, Lewisburg Seventh-day Adventist Church, West Virginia.

The book is a result of 10 years of research tracing the existence, activities, and chief persons of the widespread Sabbathkeeping movement in Britain during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Ball carefully documents from that era the existence of more than 100 Sabbathkeeping groups, mostly Baptists and Seventh Day Baptists, but also Calvinists, Congregationals, Huguenots, Independents, Puritans, and Quakers. Some of these Sabbatarians even observed biblical health laws, an indication that their recovery of long-forgotten Bible truths was extensive.

Ball cites the literature of such great Sabbatarians as Traske, Brabourne, and the Stennetts. These writers were sufficiently influential to have provoked a flurry of anti-Sabbath books and tracts during the 1650s and 1670s from such eminent divines as Baxter, Owen, and Bunyan. But defenders of the Sabbath proved irrefutably the perpetuity of God's law as integral to the new covenant. Some Sabbatarian authors gave pointed exposition to Daniel's prophecy (Dan. 7) that foretells and anathematizes Rome's attempted change of God's law in substituting Sunday for the true Sabbath.

Ball asserts that the Protestant resolve to free the church from all Romanist influences and heresies gave strong, irrepressible influence to the development of Sabbatarian theology and practice. He also affirms that the "English seventh-day movement was more a spontaneous response to the recovered authority of the Bible than a historically or geographically conditioned phenomenon" (p. 46). Thus the revival of Sabbathkeeping in Britain bears little evidence of a nationally organized movement, which accounts partly for the gradual decline and eventual disappearance of most Sabbathkeeping congregations in England by the early nineteenth century.

Ball validates his findings from primary sources, avoids speculation about any of his data, and aims rigorously at objectivity. The book is written in a relaxed, nonpedantic style all too rare in scholarly literature. It will command the respect of all readers who are interested in this remarkable but almost forgotten portion of church history.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
Brian Jones, pastor, Lewisburg Seventh-day Adventist Church, West Virginia.

September 1997

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Hello, Pastor: Small-church insights shared by a member with his new pastor

A member of a small church shares important insights with his new pastor

Mini churches, Maximum challenges

A pastor perceptively tells the stories of his ministry in four small churches

How Group Dynamics Impact Your Ministry

Congregational size decides some "ground rules" for pastors' roles and leadership

We're still here

An illuminating view of the plusses of life and ministry in smaller congregations

Our church has risen to new life!

The inspiring and instructive story of how a small, dying church rose to become a dynamic congregation

Sexual Sin: Could it happen to you?

A pastor's candid account of what precipitated his fall and how he has dealt with the consequences

The Music of Great Preaching

A great musician draws lessons from a great preacher

Ministry and the American Legal System

A useful volume on various legal questions affecting the clergy.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - SermonView - WideSkyscraper (160x600)