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Lord's Day | Quotes

Discussion in 'Semper Reformanda' started by JM, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. JM

    JM Reformed Catholic Supporter

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  3. JM

    JM Reformed Catholic Supporter

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    It is, then, most evident that those periods when the Sabbath was held most sacred, were periods when the standard of piety and morals was most elevated. There is, therefore, an inseparable connection between the strict observance of the Sabbath and the growth of piety.

    Nathan L. Rice, ‘The Origin and History of the Sabbath’ in The Christian Sabbath: Its History, Authority, Duties, Benefits, and Civil Relations. A Series of Discourses (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1863), p. 57.
     
  4. JM

    JM Reformed Catholic Supporter

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    What a riddle is this to most people, to tell them of spending the strength of their bodies in prayer, or hearing of the Word, or sanctifying a Sabbath; they think the Sabbath is a time of rest. I confess it is a time of rest from an outward labour, but it is a time of spending strength in a spiritual way; and those that shall worship God aright on the Sabbath, will find it a spending of a great deal of strength, and blessed is that strength that is spent in the worship of God rather than in the ways of sin, as most spend their strength. If God gives thee a heart to spend thy strength in his worship, thou mayest think thus, “Lord thou mightest have left me to have spent my strength in sin, how much better is it spent in the worshipping of thy Name.”

    – Jeremiah Burroughs, “Gospel Worship”

    Delight in God is a gospel frame; therefore the more joyful, the more spiritual: “The sabbath is to be a delight;” not only in regard of the day, but in regard to the duties of it (Isa. 54.13); in regard of the marvellous work he wrought on it; raising up our blessed Redeemer on that day, whereby a foundation was laid for the rendering our persons and services acceptable to God (Ps. 118.24); “This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will be glad and rejoice in it.” A lumpish frame becomes not a day and a duty, that hath so noble and spiritual a mark upon it.

    – Stephen Charnock, Discourses Upon the Existence and Attributes of God

    The observance of the uncommanded holy-days is ever found to interfere with the due sanctification of the Lord’s-day. Adding to the appointments of God is superstition; and superstition has ever been found unfriendly to genuine obedience. Its [adherents], like the Jews of old, have ever been found more tenacious of their own inventions, of traditionary dreams, than of God’s revealed code of duty. Accordingly, there is perhaps no fact more universal and unquestionable, than that the zealous observers of stated fasts and festivals are characteristically lax in the observance of that one day which God has eminently set apart for himself, and on the sanctification of which all the vital interests of practical religion are suspended.

    – Samuel Miller, “Manual of Presbytery,” p. 133

    It is just with God to deprive those of the benefit and comfort of sabbaths and solemn feasts who have not duly valued them, nor conscientiously observed them, but have profaned them, which was one of the sins that the Jews were often charged with. Those that have seen the days of the Son of man, and slighted them, may desire to see one of those days and not be permitted, Luke 17:22.

    – Matthew Henry, Commentary (Lamentations 2)

    God would have us upon the Sabbath rest from all other works, that we may be free to converse with him. Therefore it is so much the more inexcusable if we have nothing else to do , [if we should] deny to converse with God as he requireth of us. If a friend should come to your house to converse with you, and he should know you have no business to take you up, yet you will scarce see him, or spend a little time with him, will he not take it ill? If indeed you could have such an excuse that your business is extraordinary, though your time be less you spend with him, it would not be so ill taken; but when he knows you have nothing to do, and yet you deny time to converse with him, will not this be taken for a slighting him? Thus you deal with God; Had you indeed great occasions and business to do upon that day, though you did not so converse with God in holy duties, it were another matter. God might accept of mercy rather than sacrifice. But when he shall appoint you a day to rest, wherein you have nothing to do but converse with him, yet then to deny it, this is a slighting of the Majesty of God.

    – Jeremiah Burroughs, An Exposition of the Prophecy of Hosea
     
  5. JM

    JM Reformed Catholic Supporter

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    The conscionable keeping of the Sabbath is the mother of all Religion, and good discipline in the Church. Take away the Sabbath, and let every man serve God when he listeth, and what will shortly become of religion and that peace and order which God will have to be kept in his Church? The Sabbath day is God’s Market day, for the week’s provision, wherein he will have us to come unto him, and buy of him without silver or money, the bread of Angels, and water of life, the wine of the Sacrament, and Milk of the Word to feed our fouls; tried gold, to enrich our faith; precious eye-salve to heal our spiritual blindness; and the white raiment of Christ’s righteousness, to cover our filthy nakedness. He is not far from true piety, who makes conscience to keep the Sabbath day, but he who can dispense with his conscience to break the Sabbath for his own profit or pleasure, his heart never yet felt, what either the law of God, or true Religion meaneth. for of this Commandment may that speech of St. James be verified, “He that faileth in one is guilty of all.

    – Lewis Bayly, (The Practice of Piety, pp. 229, 230)

    t is a very great trouble to all that love God to hear his ordinances mocked at, and particularly his sabbaths. Zion calls them her sabbaths, for the sabbath was made for men; they are his institutions, but they are her privileges; and the contempt put upon sabbaths all the sons of Zion take to themselves and lay to heart accordingly; nor will they look upon sabbaths, or any other divine ordinances, as less honourable, nor value them less, for their being mocked at.

    – Matthew Henry, Commentary (Lamentations 1)

    [W]herever the Lord’s Day is presumptuously ignored or defiantly desecrated and people absent themselves from corporate worship of the living and true God, there true religious knowledge wanes and, without that, idolatry, immorality, and disrespect for law are spawned (see Rom. 1.18-32). In short, the result of Sabbath neglect on a wide scale is inevitably national and international paganism and moral perversity.

    – Dr. Robert Reymond, Contending for the Faith

    Men think that neglecting and slighting of ordinances, profaning of the Lord’s day and holy things, is no such great evil, if it be an evil at all; but there is hardly any thing kindles the wrath of God hotter than the casting off, despising, and abusing the ordinances and mediums appointed of God, for his worship, our good, comfort, and salvation. Their sins here of this nature put God into fury, which is more than anger or wrath; upon pouring out of fury, and such pouring out as to consume them. Heb. 10.25—27, he tells you of some that did forsake the assemblies, cast off the ordinances of God, which was a wilful and provoking sin, excluding mercy, and hastening judgment and fierce indignation, which should destroy. When God in his infinite wisdom and mercy hath condescended to man’s weakness, given him ordinances and mediums wherein he will be worshipped, and through which he will do good to the creature, and now the foolish creature to neglect, despise, or profane them, this pierces God’s heart, and transforms his patience into fury, and puts him into ways of destruction.

    – William Greenhill, (An Exposition of the Prophet Ezekiel, p. 499)

    Was it the will of God that his glorious rest from the work of creation, wherein the Eternal Mind took a complacency in the copies of its own wisdom, and the products of its own power, should be thus commemorated here on earth, by a holy rest every seventh day from worldly employments, while it is continually celebrated in heaven, by those blessed spirits there, who rest not day nor night from praising him? And will you in effect tell him to his face, that [the Sabbath] does not deserve such a frequent and solemn commemoration? And is the will and law of the eternal God nothing with you? Is his authority and honour of so small account in your eyes? Shall the service of the flesh, to which you are not debtors, be preferred before the service of your God, to whom you are infinitely indebted?

    – Matthew Henry, A Serious Address to Those Who Profane the Lord’s Day
     
  6. JM

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    He who never works is unfitted for worship. Work is to pave the way for worship, as worship is to fit us for work….The more diligent and faithful we are in performing the duties of the six days, the more shall we value the rest of the seventh.

    – A.W. Pink

    [Saturday] Evening preparation will be like the tuning of an instrument, it will fit the heart better for the duties of the ensuing Sabbath.

    – Thomas Watson

    [W]e love the Lord’s day, because it is his. Every hour of it is dear to us – sweeter than honey, more precious than gold. It is the day He rose for our justification. It reminds us of His love, and His finished work, and His rest. And we may boldly say that that man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ who does not love the entire Lord’s day.

    – Robert Murray M’Cheyne

    [The Sabbath] is a day which God hath seen fit to usher in with a memento in the Fourth Commandment, “Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.” As if the Lord should have said, “I know your frailty, that you have slippery and treacherous memories, and possibly may, yea certainly will forget some, nay many other things, in which you are concerned, but let this be fastened as a nail in a sure place, be sure to think of this, to be mindful of this. I charge and command you to remember it. Remember the Sabbath day before it comes, so as to rejoice in the thoughts of it, to long for it, and to prepare for it, that upon the day of praise you may have on your garments of praise, souls in a right frame, and remember to sanctify and keep it holy when it is come.”

    – Samuel Slater

    Constraint makes a thing easy in its own nature, to become toilsome; love makes a difficult thing easy. He that is banished his native country, thinks every step tedious: let his own will call him forth, his travel is pleasant; else men would not cross the seas to see fashions. There was a man so well affected to his own city, that in fifty years he never went a league out of it; as if, like a fish, he must needs die if taken out of his own element. Not long after his luck was to commit an offence; whereof being convicted, and liable to severe punishment, the favouring judge, intending to mitigate it, because this was his first error, confined him on the pain of death to the limits of that city. Now what was to his opinion formerly a delight, becomes a bondage and vexation; nothing in the city pleaseth him, all his desire is to gad abroad. How many miles can we ride and run in a day to see one beast pursue another! The unevenness of the way, the uncertainty of the weather, troubles us not, because we have a love to the sport. If the charge of a superior commands us to measure over so many miles, we soon complain of weariness. The sabbath finds many in the fields, walking to the neighbour villages, for wanton delights. If they were commanded to travel so far to church, and to serve God, they would say, with Jeroboam, it was too long a journey. All negligence in good things is from the [lack] of love.

    – Thomas Adams, An Exposition Upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter

    It is not too much to say that the prosperity or decay of organized Christianity depends on the maintenance of the Christian Sabbath. Break down the fence which now surrounds the Sunday, and our Sunday schools will soon come to an end. Let in the Hood of worldliness and pleasure-seeking on the Lord’s Day, without check or hindrance, and our congregations will soon dwindle away. There is not too much religion in the land now. Destroy the sanctity of the Sabbath, and there would soon be far less. Nothing in short, I believe, would so thoroughly advance the kingdom of Satan as to withdraw legal protection from the Lord’s Day. It would be a joy to the infidel; but it would be an insult and offense to God . . . . I am no Pharisee. Let no hard-working man who has been confined to a close room for six weary days, suppose that I object to his taking any lawful relaxation for his body on the Sunday. I see no harm in a quiet walk on a Sunday, provided always that it does not take the place of going to public worship, and is really quiet, and like that of Isaac (Gen. 24.63). I read of our Lord and His disciples walking through the cornfields on the Sabbath Day. All I say is, beware that you do not turn liberty into license — beware that you do not injure the souls of others in seeking relaxation for yourself — and beware that you never forget you have a soul as well as a body . . . . I am no enthusiast. I want no tired laborer to misunderstand my meaning, when I bid him to keep the Sabbath holy. I do not tell anyone that he ought to pray all day, or read his Bible all day, or go to church all day, or meditate all day, without let or cessation, on a Sunday. All I say is, that the Sunday rest should be a holy rest. God ought to be kept in view; God’s Word ought to be studied; God’s House ought to be attended; the soul’s business ought to be specially considered; and I say that everything which prevents the day being kept holy in this way, ought as far as possible to be avoided.

    – J.C. Ryle
     
  7. JM

    JM Reformed Catholic Supporter

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    Consider, sirs, you are God’s creatures, and the work of his hands; you are his reasonable creatures, the priests of the visible creation, the collectors of his praises, to gather them in from the inferior creatures, which do all praise him objectively, and to pay them in by actual adorations. For this noble purpose you were endued with noble powers, those of reason; you were taught more than the beasts of the earth, and were made wiser than the fowls of heaven. All the supports and comforts of your lives are likewise the creatures of God’s power, and the gifts of his providence; so that you are bound both in duty and gratitude to serve and praise him. And dare you then prostitute that time [Lord’s Day] to the world and the flesh which is consecrated to the honour of your great Lord, the author of your beings, the protector of your lives, and the giver of all your comforts? You do thus in effect say to the Almighty, “Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of thy ways,” like those impudent sinners, Job 21.14. And “do ye thus requite the Lord, oh foolish creatures and unwise?” Oh faithless creatures and unjust?

    – Matthew Henry

    [W]e love the Lord’s day, because it is his. Every hour of it is dear to us – sweeter than honey, more precious than gold. It is the day He rose for our justification. It reminds us of His love, and His finished work, and His rest. And we may boldly say that that man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ who does not love the entire Lord’s day.

    – Robert Murray M’Cheyne

    Social worship cannot be conducted without the appointment of a stated day; and what more reasonable than that the Divine authority, who is the object of this worship, should meet this necessity, by Himself fixing the day for all mankind? And even for the cultivation of our individual devotion, a periodical season is absolutely necessary to creatures of habit and of finite capacities, like us. What is not regularly done will soon be omitted; for periodical recurrence is the very foundation of habit. Unless these spiritual thoughts and exercises were attached to some certain season, they would inevitably be pushed out of the minds of carnal and sensuous beings like man, by the cares of this world. Now when it is our duty to perform a certain work, it is also our duty to employ all the necessary means for it. The question, whether the Sabbath command is moral or positive, seems therefore, to admit of a very simple solution. Whether one day in six., or one in eight, might not have seemed to the Divine wisdom admissible for this purpose; or which day of the seven, the first or last, should be consecrated to it, or what should be the particular external ceremonies for its observance; all these things, we freely admit, are of merely positive institution, and may be changed by the Divine Legislator. But that man shall observe some stated, recurring period of religious worship, is as much a dictate of the natural reason and conscience, as immediate a result of the natural relations of man to God, as that man shall worship his God at all. And no reason can be shown why this original moral obligation was more or less stringent upon the Israelites of the Mosaic period, than on men before or since them. If the ground of the Sabbath institution, in the moral relations existing by nature, is universal and perpetual, is it not reasonable to expect the precept to be so also?

    – R.L. Dabney

    Reading the Holy Bible and other good books, repetition, catechising, singing psalms, praying, praising, profitable discourse; these are the exercises which, if they meet with a heart piously and devoutly affected toward God, will furnish us with such a pleasing variety of good works, to fill up those hours of the Lord’s day which are not spent in public worship, or in works of necessity and mercy, and will turn so much to our advantage that we shall complain of nothing so much as the speedy returns of the Sabbath evening, and the shadows thereof.

    – Matthew Henry

    Covetousness needs neither clock nor bell to waken it; its own desires will not allow it to take rest. Want does not break so many sleeps for provision the next day, as abundance doth for increase. Where shall we find men thus eager after spiritual wealth, which alone can make them happy? We seek for that, as the Israelites did for Canaan, when they made forty years’ travel of a forty days’ journey: so softly do we pursue the blessings of our eternal peace, that if we can reach home by that time we come to threescore, we think it time enough. But in the pursuit of profit and pleasure, we drive Jehu’s pace, as if we were mad. Under religion men travel a pack-horse motion, as if they were weary of their burden; but run after vanity, like horses with an empty coach. We would be strong at twenty, rich at thirty, we would be wise at forty, but to be holy we can tarry till fifty. When our own business wakens us, what common day in the week finds us tardy? But on the sabbath, when God’s special service calls us up, we take our ease, and make bold to lie in bed. Nature and our vain misconstruction of God hath taught us, that if any work be left undone, it shall be his.

    – Thomas Adams, (An Exposition Upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, pp. 508, 509)

    The very fact that this precept found a place in the awful “ten words,” is of itself strong evidence that it is not a positive and ceremonial, but a more; and perpetual statute. Confessedly, there is nothing else ceremonial here. An eminent distinction was given as we saw, Lect. 30th to the subjects of these ten commands, by the mode in which God delivered them. How can it be believed that this one ceremonial precept has been thrust in here, where all else is of obligation as old, and as universal as the race? This is strengthened also by the reflection that the ground first assigned in Genesis, and here repeated for its enactment, is in no sense Jewish or national. God’s work of creation in six days, and His rest on the seventh, have just as much relation to one tribe of Adam’s descendants as to another. Note the contrast: that, in many cases, when ceremonial and Jewish commands are given, like the Passover, a national or Jewish event is assigned as its ground, like the exodus from Egypt.

    – R.L. Dabney

    [The Sabbath] is holy of the Lord and honourable: and he has put blessings into it, which he has encouraged us to expect from him in the religious observance of that day. It is the day which the Lord hath made, let not us do what we can to unmake it. He has blessed, honoured, and sanctified it, let not us profane it, dishonour it, and level that with common time which God’s blessing has thus dignified and distinguished.

    – Matthew Henry
     
  8. JM

    JM Reformed Catholic Supporter

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    We love God’s day. We do not only keep a sabbath, but love a sabbath. ‘If thou call the sabbath a delight’ (Isaiah 58.13). The sabbath is that which keeps up the face of religion amongst us; this day must be consecrated as glorious to the Lord. The house of God is the palace of the great King, on the sabbath God shows Himself there through the lattice. If we love God we prize His day above all other days. All the week would be dark if it were not for this day; on this day manna falls double. Now, if ever, heaven gate stands open, and God comes down in a golden shower. This blessed day the Sun of righteousness rises upon the soul. How does a gracious heart prize that day which was made on purpose to enjoy God in!

    – Thomas Watson, All Things for Good

    I confess this rule is not absolute as unto all seasons and occasions: there may be a time wherein the observation of the Sabbath must give place to the pulling an ox or an ass out of a pit; and on all such occasions the rule is, that mercy is to be preferred before sacrifice. But, in the ordinary course of our walking before God, faith will take care that a due attendance unto all duties of religion be preferred to all the occasions of this life; they shall not be shuffled off on trifling pretences, nor cast into such unseasonable seasons as otherwise they will be. There also belongs unto that weanedness from this world, which is necessary unto an eminency in degrees of humiliation and repentance, watching unto prayer.

    – John Owen, Gospel Grounds and Evidences of the Faith of God’s Elect

    [T]he observance of the sabbath is indeed the hem and hedge of the whole law; where no conscience is made of that, farewell both godliness and honesty; for, in the moral law, it stands in the midst between the two tables.

    – Matthew Henry

    Among all the visible creatures, it is man’s peculiar excellency, that he is capable of considering and worshipping his Maker, and was made for that purpose; yet being composed of the dust of the earth and the breath of God, a body and a soul, the necessities of that meaner part, while we are in this life, employ as much, and take up a great part of our little time. And in this regard God hath wisely and graciously set apart a day for us, one of each seven, to be appropriate to that our highest employment, the contemplating and solemn worshipping of his Majesty. This is the scope of this precept.

    – Robert Leighton, Works

    [T]he chief reason of [the institution of the Sabbath day] seems to be that of recalling mankind to a reflection upon the goodness of God in the creation. For God, who knoweth what is in man, could not be ignorant that without such an injunction, everyone would eagerly pursue their several projects and employments without stopping to reflect; leaving their piety behind them, and ending their course at downright atheism.

    – John Brailsford

    The sabbath is a day of special concernment to God and his people. “I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them.” As the rainbow is a sign of special concernment between God and the world, so is the sabbath. It is an argument and evidence that God looks upon them as his people, where his sabbath is, and that they acknowledge God their God, who keep his sabbaths; by it God keeps alive the memory of his glorious, great, and gracious works, and by it the people are brought to glorify and magnify his name for those works; by it he distinguisheth his people from the profane, and by it they distinguish him from the idol gods; in it the Lord sanctifies his people, and they in it do worship him; it is the day wherein they meet, visit, and make each other cheerful and glorious. Let us have more honourable thoughts of the sabbath, and not think it concerns not us; if we be his people, it is still a “sign” between him and them.

    – William Greenhill, An Exposition of the Prophet Ezekiel

    If God by his grace incline our hearts to keep the law of the fourth commandment, it will be an evidence of a good work wrought in us by his Spirit. If we sanctify God’s day, it is a sign between him and us that he has sanctified our hearts: hence it is the character of the blessed man that he keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, Isa. 56.2.

    – Matthew Henry

    [One] glorious end for which God made the Sabbath was that the Sabbath on Earth might be a type and figure of the Sabbath in Heaven. That in this initial and imperfect Sabbath on earth, we might see (though in a glass darkly) what the Saints and Angels are doing in Heaven without ceasing; that we might peep into Heaven before we come thither, and long and wait for that eternal Sabbath. A day wherein God bows the Heaven and comes down, and offers himself in wayes of sweet and friendly Communion with his people, Exod. 20.23.

    – Thomas Case, Supplement to Exercises at Cripplegate

    Disobedience, even in a small matter, is very provoking. (2.) God is jealous for the honour of his sabbaths. If walking out on the sabbath to seek for food was thus reproved, walking out on that day purely to find our own pleasure cannot be justified.

    – Matthew Henry
     
  9. JM

    JM Reformed Catholic Supporter

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    When we are to attend upon God in solemn ordinances it concerns us to sanctify ourselves, and to get ready beforehand. Wandering thoughts must be gathered in, impure affections abandoned, disquieting passions suppressed, nay, and all cares about secular business, for the present, dismissed and laid by, that our hearts may be engaged to approach unto God.

    – Matthew Henry

    This is a fit thought for the sabbath day, morning: -“Now I rest from the world; how shall I rest from it eternally? Now I deal with God invisibly, but one day visibly.”-They who love eternal rest, will certainly love the sabbath.

    – John Lightfoot

    Herein he receives the clearest apprehension of all his duties and of all his privileges – his most delightful views of the Divine character, and his most lively devotion to the Divine service – his chief supplies of strength to overcome temptation, and his most cheering anticipations of an evangelical rest.

    Herein he is called off from the seducing world – he is roused from the insinuating sloth – he is warned of the besetting sin – he is reminded of the forgotten duty – he is led away from the slippery path and his feet, shod anew, with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, are helped forward in the journey to his heavenly home: and it is a sign of what has been preparing for him there, where his mind and heart shall be consummated in that holiness which is the image of the heavenly Adam, and so enter in its comprehensive powers on the fulness of his everlasting joy; there, where God shall unveil to him his face, and disclose the full beams of his unutterable love; and where the Lamb, the glory of God, and the light of Heaven, shall illuminate all his thoughts, quicken all his affections, feed him with living bread, lead him to fountains of living waters, and awaken his new song of never-ending praise.

    – Rev. John Crosthwaite

    The Sabbath day is a market day, a harvest day for the soul; it is an opportunity,—it is a time fitted for the doing of that which cannot be done at all, or not so well done, at another time: now, if this day be suffered to run waste, and other business minded than that which is the proper work of the day, our souls cannot but be miserably impoverished and neglected, and the vineyards we are made keepers of cannot but be like the field of the slothful, and the vineyard of the man void of understanding.

    – Matthew Henry

    [T]he Sabbath-day is a type of the eternal Sabbath which we shall keep for ever in Heaven; and shall not I think of my eternal sabbath upon the Sabbath? shall not I be much in Heaven when I am keeping a rest upon earth, that represents my eternal rest in Heaven? let us upon our day of rest meditate much upon our eternal rest. Oh let us upon our Sabbath-day meditate upon the Everlasting Sabbath which we shall keep with God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, for ever in Heaven.

    – Edmund Calamy, “The Art of Divine Meditation”

    God bids men pray in their family, they live in the total neglect of it: he bids them sanctify the sabbath, they follow their pleasures on that day: God bis them abstain from the appearance of sin, they do not abstain from the act; they live in the act of revenge, in the act of uncleanness. This is an high contempt of God; it is rebellion, and rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.

    – Thomas Watson

    Rest assured, that a Christian, having the love of God written in his heart, and denying the Sabbath a place in its affections, is an anomaly that is no where to be found. Every Sabbath image, and every Sabbath circumstance, is dear to him. He loves the quietness of that hallowed- morn. He loves the church-bell sound, which summons him to the house of prayer. He loves to join the chorus of devotion, and to sit and listen to that voice of persuasion which is lifted in the hearing of an assembled multitude. He loves the retirement of this day from the din of worldly business, and the inroads of worldly men. He loves the leisure it brings along with it— and sweet to his soul is the exercise of that hallowed hour, when there is no eye to witness him but the eye of heaven— and when in solemn audience with the Father, who seeth him in secret, he can, on the wings of celestial contemplation, leave all the cares, and all the vexations, and all the secularities of an alienated world behind him.

    O how is it possible, that a man can be under the dominion of a principle of piety, who does not love that day which brings round to piety its most precious opportunities ? How is it possible, that he can wear the character of a religious being, if the very day which offers him the freest time for the lessons and the exercises of religion, is spent in other exercises or idly suffered to roll over his head in no exercise at all ? How is it possible, that there can exist within him any honest care of his eternity, if the best season for carrying on, without disturbance, the preparations of eternity, pass away in disgust and in weariness? How is it possible, with all the tenderness of his instinctive nature for the members of his family, that there ban be one particle of tenderness for their souls, if this day run on at large from all the restraints of Christian discipline, and careless parents giving themselves up to neglect and to indolence, make no effort to reclaim the wild ignorance of children, untaught and untrained to that wisdom which is unto salvation ?

    The thing is not to be conceived ; and upon the strength of all these impossibles, do we assert, that every real Christian has the love of the Sabbath engraven on the tablet of the inner man—that if you had a window to his bosom, you would there see the fourth commandment filling up as large a space of that epistle, which is written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, as it does on the decalogue of Moses—that this is not the peculiarity of some accidental Christians, meeting our observation on some random walk over the face of ‘Christian’ society—that it is the constant and universal attribute of all Christians—that in every age of the church the love of the Sabbath, and an honest delight in all its pious and profitable observances, have ever stood out among the visible lineaments of the new creature in Jesus Christ our Lord—that the great Spirit, whose office it is to inscribe the law of God on the hearts of those whose sins are forgiven them; and whom he has admitted into the privileges of his new and his better covenant, has never omitted, in a single instance, to make the remembrance of the Sabbath one of the most conspicuous, and one of the mo6t indelible articles of that inscription. And thus has it happened, that without any statutory enactment in the whole compass of the New Testament upon the subject —without any formal setting forth of Sabbath observation, or any laying down of a Sabbath ceremonial, the grave, the solemn, the regular, and with all this, the affectionate keeping of this distinguished day, has come down to us through a series of eighteen centuries, and may be recognised to this hour as the ever present badge of every Christian individual; and as the great index and palladium of religion in every Christian land.

    – Thomas Chalmers

    Reader, suppose thou wert a person of great quality and estate, and the king should send thee word that he would dine with thee to-morrow, what preparation wouldst thou make for his entertainment ? Would not thy first work be to cleanse thy house, by causing the dust to be swept out, the floors to be washed, nay, rubbed, everything to be neat and cleanly ? Wouldst thou not put up thy choicest hangings, lay on thy richest carpets, bring out thy best plate, adorn thy room with thy costliest furniture, endeavour that all things should be in point, somewhat suitable to the dignity of so great a prince ? I tell thee, that the great King of all the world doth give thee notice in his word, that on such a day, being the Sabbath, he intends to sup with thee. Now, friend, what preparation wilt thou make to testify thy respect to this blessed and only potentate ? Canst thou beforehand do less than sweep out the dust of sin, and wash the room of thine heart clean, adorn it with the best furniture, the graces, the embroidery of the Holy Ghost ? Truly unless this be done, Christ will not think himself welcome; nay, all thy pretended entertainment of him, will be not only infinitely unworthy of, but also provoking to, so jealous and glorious a prince.

    – George Swinnock

    Such as care not for ordinances, but say, “When will the sabbath be over?” plainly discover want of love to God.

    – Thomas Watson

    We do not give good heed to the second commandment when we read or hear God’s word in a prayer-less temper, 2 Thess. 3.1; when we do not labour to attend upon the word without distraction, 1 Cor. 7.35; when we are not thankful for the privilege of hearing God’s word, Ps. 103.2; Heb. 13.15; when we do not, as new-born babes, desire the pure word of God, 1 Peter2.2; when we read or hear with our minds full of prejudice, 1 Kings 22.8; when we are actuated by no regard to God, but are merely following a custom, being satisfied with a decent appearance, Ezek.33.31; when we do not earnestly lay hold of divine truth, Heb. 2.1; when we do not believe the truth read or heard, Heb. 4.2; when we soon forget the truth, or fail to practise it, James 1.22-25; when we do not tremble at God’s word, Isa. 66.2; when from mere stupidity of mind, we sleep when we should be all attention ; Rom. 11.8; when we are offended at the truth. Acts 7.54; when we have itching ears, 2 Tim. 4.3; when we are satisfied with the gifts of the preacher, though there be no growth of grace in our own hearts; when we go to the house of God rather to see and be seen, to notice and be noticed, than to hear what God the Lord will say; when we are more pleased with enticing words of man’s wisdom than with the words and wisdom of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 2.1-5; when we do not set our hearts as a fair mark for the arrows of truth; when we dislike clear, discriminating, searching sermons; when we are more anxious after the curious than the profitable; when we do not embrace the promises of God; when we believe that we have little more to do with God’s word than to hear it and criticise the preacher; when we irreverently treat any sacred truth; when we have little or no love to the truth as it is in Jesus; When slight excuses hinder us from hearing God’s word; and when we put a low estimate upon the gospel ministry.

    – William S. Plumer
     
  10. JM

    JM Reformed Catholic Supporter

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    The sabbath-day is not only a day of honour to God, but a day of blessing to us; it not only a day wherein we give God worship, but a day wherein he gives us grace; on this day a blessing drops down from heaven. This is a great argument for the keeping the sabbath-day holy. God is not benefited by it, we cannot add one cubit to his essential glory, but we ourselves are advantaged; the sabbath-day, religiously observed, entails a blessing upon our souls, our estate, our posterity; as the not keeping this day holy, brings a curse, Jer. 17.27 - Thomas Watson
     
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