Reformed Covenanter blog posts on the Sabbath

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
... The sanctification of the Sabbath day is the appointing of an holy day to the public worship of God: or else it is to bestow a day in holy works and exercises. There are four parts of the sanctification of the Sabbath the handling of God’s word, the using of the Sacraments public calling on God by prayer, and the exercising of the works of mercy. ...

For more, see Amandus Polanus on the fourth commandment.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
The post for this Lord's Day is a lengthy one from Benjamin Morgan Palmer. It touches on a point that fewer and fewer Christians seem to understand these days, namely, that the Christian life involves making costly sacrifices:

... All kinds of business lie under peculiar disadvantages, of one kind or another, which are taken into account in estimating the value of their productions. If a Christian man, labouring productively five-sixths of his time, cannot compete with those who labour seven-sixths, there is perhaps no alternative but to exchange his calling for another, in which he may have less profits, and a sounder conscience. In other words, we uncover an important distinction, that to make out a sacrifice is not to prove a necessity.

We greatly fear that a large proportion of Sabbath breaking, especially on the part of professing Christians, is traceable to the neglect of this distinction. A man, for instance, is unexpectedly delayed upon a journey, perhaps almost within sight of his home—to tarry by the way will involve much inconvenience and discomfort, and perhaps pecuniary risk or loss—then add the anxieties he may feel about wife and children, and he is at once flattered into the belief of a stringent necessity upon him to violate God’s law.

Beloved brethren! How often must it be repeated, that a Christian profession, from first to last, involves sacrifices frequent and severe! Whoever assumes it, does in act and in form place himself on God’s altar, a whole burnt-offering. He is “bought with a price” and the vow is taken with awful solemnity, as in the court of Heaven to “glorify God in his body and his spirit, which are God’s.” And surely we are inattentive observers of Divine Providence, if we do not discover many circumstances in our life ordered expressly to test the sincerity and value of this profession. ...

For more, see Benjamin Morgan Palmer on the Sabbath, industrialisation, and making sacrifices.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Alas, even sabbath-time, the purest, the most refined part of time, a creation out of a creation, time consecrated by Divine sanction, how cheap and common is it in most men’s eyes, while many do sin away, and the most do idle away those hallowed hours!

Seneca was wont to jeer the Jews for their ill husbandry, in that they lost one day in seven, meaning their sabbath: truly it is too true of the most of christians, they lose one day in seven, whatever else; the sabbath for the most part is but a lost day; while some spend it totally upon their lusts, and the most, I had almost said the best, do fill up the void spaces and intervals of the sabbath from public worship, with idleness and vanity! ...

For the reference, see Thomas Case on the sin of idling away the Sabbath.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
This is the divine command—a command that occupies one-tenth part of the moral law, that was written by God’s own finger on tables of stone, and, by his Almighty voice, sounded out from Sinai, that it might pour its obligations upon every ear, through every age of time. Beware, also, how you make this day a day of pleasure and amusement. The common sense of every man must teach him that the Sabbath was instituted for a higher purpose. ...

For more, see Gardiner Spring: The Sabbath is not merely a day of relaxation.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
The post for this Sabbath comes from the seventeenth-century English theologian, Edward Leigh:

Now having expounded the words of the Commandment, let us come briefly to handle the question, Whether this Commandment be perpetual, binding all men in all ages, or whether temporary binding only the men which lived before the resurrection of Christ, and no further? It is manifest that the Laws given in the old Testament are to be distinguished in regard of their continuance into these two kinds. For the will of the Law-giver (from which the force, extent, and continuance of the Law hath its original) was that some of them should be observed but till the resurrection of Christ and no longer, and again that some should continue in force from the time of their making to the world’s end.

Now concerning this fourth Commandment, it is apparent that the Law-giver did intend that it should bind all men for ever from the time that he gave it. For how could he declare his mind in this behalf more plainly then by equalling it in all things with those precepts which are known to be of everlasting continuance, and by separating it from, and exalting it above all those other which are known to have been but Temporary. It was promulgated in the same majestic manner with the same voice, at the same time, and in the same place that the other nine. It was delivered to the same person to be laid up together in the same Ark, and so is a part of the same Covenant, whence those Tables are called the Tables of the Covenant, and that Ark the Ark of the Covenant. ...

For more, see Edward Leigh on the perpetual obligation of the fourth commandment.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
... The text [Luke 2:27] also discovers to us the time when the Sabbath was appointed. It was made for man, not for any particular nation, age, or dispensation, but for the whole race. The word man is generic, and can mean nothing less than the human race. But if the Sabbath was made for the race, its appointment must have been coeval with the creation of man. The Scriptures afford ample evidence that this is true.

First. It is confirmed by the obvious meaning of the inspired narrative: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his works which God created and made.” To bless and sanctify a day, can mean nothing but to set it apart for religious services, and to make it a day of special blessing to those who rightly observe it. ...

For more, see Nathan L. Rice on the origin of the Sabbath.
 
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