Reformed Covenanter blog posts on the Sabbath

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
I intentionally make an effort to publish one blog post each Lord's Day on the Sabbath. Today's offering comes from J. C. Ryle on over-busyness, personal religion, and the Sabbath.

These posts are collected together into a category on the Sabbath, though I need to update the earlier posts (Wordpress now allows you to justify the margins, which makes for ease of reading).
That’s a great service you’re providing.

This quote from Rice is a gem:

The fact that God made it a civil institution, indicates clearly the duty of all civil legislators, unless it can be shown that the reasons why the Jewish nation should have a Sabbath, do not apply to other nations. But as individuals and families have their respective accountability to God, so do nations. And as the civil ruler is “a minister of God,” he must make his legislation conform to God’s legislation. …
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
... It is altogether erroneous to ascribe to the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment a character of gloom and harshness and severity, utterly uncongenial to the free and joyous spirit of Christianity, and to suppose that we cannot submit to its authority or attempt to obey it without involving ourselves in degrading bondage. Such seems to be the notion entertained by many, and which lies at the root of their ill-disguised or undisguised aversion to this precept of the Decalogue. It is taken for granted that if we consider ourselves bound by the Fourth Commandment, to be consistent, we must be out-and-out Pharisees. ...

For more, see William Symington II: Against Pharisaic Sabbath observance.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
... It is altogether erroneous to ascribe to the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment a character of gloom and harshness and severity, utterly uncongenial to the free and joyous spirit of Christianity, and to suppose that we cannot submit to its authority or attempt to obey it without involving ourselves in degrading bondage. Such seems to be the notion entertained by many, and which lies at the root of their ill-disguised or undisguised aversion to this precept of the Decalogue. It is taken for granted that if we consider ourselves bound by the Fourth Commandment, to be consistent, we must be out-and-out Pharisees. ...

For more, see William Symington II: Against Pharisaic Sabbath observance.
Daniel, the fuller excerpt from your link in this quote only adds to the edification of the above few lines. I hear this objection raised often in my circles. Have you read much of Symington? I only ask because ironically I was looking at an RHB deal for his full works 2 days ago, but I have not read much of him personally.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
... It is altogether erroneous to ascribe to the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment a character of gloom and harshness and severity, utterly uncongenial to the free and joyous spirit of Christianity, and to suppose that we cannot submit to its authority or attempt to obey it without involving ourselves in degrading bondage. Such seems to be the notion entertained by many, and which lies at the root of their ill-disguised or undisguised aversion to this precept of the Decalogue. It is taken for granted that if we consider ourselves bound by the Fourth Commandment, to be consistent, we must be out-and-out Pharisees. ...

For more, see William Symington II: Against Pharisaic Sabbath observance.
Stealing this for a NP meme. As bad as this objection is, far worse to give any reason to any to think it.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Daniel, the fuller excerpt from your link in this quote only adds to the edification of the above few lines. I hear this objection raised often in my circles. Have you read much of Symington? I only ask because ironically I was looking at an RHB deal for his full works 2 days ago, but I have not read much of him personally.
Grant, this William Symington is actually the son of the author of Messiah the Prince and The Atonement and Intercession of Christ. His chapter on the Sabbath in the collection from which this source is cited is the only thing that I have read by the younger Symington.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Stealing this for a NP meme. As bad as this objection is, far worse to give any reason to any to think it.
You are seizing the memes of production. :)

Seriously, though, those of us who wish to uphold the fourth commandment do need to be careful that we are not lending weight to this objection. While Judaical Sabbatarianism is not the biggest problem today, it still raises its head from time to time.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
You are seizing the memes of production. :)

Seriously, though, those of us who wish to uphold the fourth commandment do need to be careful that we are not lending weight to this objection. While Judaical Sabbatarianism is not the biggest problem today, it still raises its head from time to time.
I'll give you credit and share the royalties 50/50. ;) Agreed that it is a minority problem, even among the defenders where I think because we have lost any cultural remembrance of the observance the violations may be downplayed and activities broadened to be anything that can be remotely classed as 'Sunday activity' albeit it may amount to something like changing the names of the squares in Monopoly to bible locations, etc. But the other extreme will be among the defenders of it, maybe who have held on to it faithfully through the long decline from any cultural deference, who object to such and such thing, and neglecting that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.
 

W.C. Dean

Puritan Board Freshman
Grant, this William Symington is actually the son of the author of Messiah the Prince and The Atonement and Intercession of Christ. His chapter on the Sabbath in the collection from which this source is cited is the only thing that I have read by the younger Symington.
Daniel, where can I find this work from William Symington the younger, and other works of his? I really enjoyed the portion and would love to have more of it.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Daniel, where can I find this work from William Symington the younger, and other works of his? I really enjoyed the portion and would love to have more of it.
It is available on archive.org. I am not sure about other works of the younger William Symington, as this lecture is all that I have read by him. I will have a look and see what is available.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Q. 37. Why is mention here made of all within our gates?

A. To show that this commandment is not only directed to private persons, but to magistrates, and masters of families as such, who, though they cannot compel men to believe, they may restrain them from violating the rest of the sabbath, and compel them to such external worship of God as all men are immediately obliged to; even all within the gates of their cities or houses.

For the reference, see Richard Baxter on the Sabbath command directed to magistrates and heads of families.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
Q. 37. Why is mention here made of all within our gates?

A. To show that this commandment is not only directed to private persons, but to magistrates, and masters of families as such, who, though they cannot compel men to believe, they may restrain them from violating the rest of the sabbath, and compel them to such external worship of God as all men are immediately obliged to; even all within the gates of their cities or houses.

For the reference, see Richard Baxter on the Sabbath command directed to magistrates and heads of families.
Excellent! I have never thought about that phrase in Exodus in great detail. The phrase being included would seem to serve as a refutation of those who claim the magistrate has no duty to see the 4th commandment upheld within their gate.

If a Mayor, Governor, or President is bound to the moral law of God, then what does “within their gate” entail? (rhetorical):detective:
 
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Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
This week's post for the Lord's Day is a little different than usual. I found this letter from Patrick Fairbairn to Amos A. Phelps in a manuscript collection housed in the Boston Public Library:

I take the opportunity of Dr. [William] Cunningham’s going to America, to send to your care, and for your distribution, a few copies of a pamphlet I published last-year on a particular branch of the Sabbath controversy. I meant to have requested your acceptance of them, when you were here, but I did not see you again, as I expected, at the Assembly of the Free Church.

If you think the argument maintained in it sound (as I of course do) and conceive it would be of importance to have the whole or any party of it re-published in any of your periodicals, or publications connected with the Sabbath, or religion generally, you will only promote the object I had in view, by your sending a copy of it, with my respects, to the Editor of the Biblical Repository [John Holmes Agnew], which I have for some years been in the habit of reading.

It would give me a great pleasure to hear from you personally at any time, or from any member of your Society, regarding the state and progress of the Sabbath cause in the States.

For the reference, see Patrick Fairbairn’s letter on the progress of the Sabbath cause in the United States.
 
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