Reformed Covenanter blog posts on the Sabbath

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
This week's post for the Lord's Day is a follow-up to the one posted last Sabbath from James Seaton Reid. It is important for understanding how the decline in Sabbath observance and the decline in religion go hand in hand:

If these be the invariable fruits of a well-directed Sabbath observance, is not this institute inseparably bound up with the general well-being and prosperity of nations? Can any community undervalue and neglect it with impunity? Must not its desecration, especially that systematic desecration which is enforced by the authority of a nation, in the shape of Sabbath mails, and Sabbath travelling, and Sabbath recreations, and, in some kingdoms, of national assemblages, processions, and ceremonials on this day — must not such authoritative desecration, sooner or later, by disparaging divine authority, perverting individual conscience, and diminishing facilities for religious instruction, deteriorate the moral feelings and principles of a people, weaken their convictions of duty, and thus directly injure the character and happiness of a nation?

Can the good of a people be promoted by rendering them less intelligent, less religious, and less moral, than they might otherwise have been? Can that kingdom enjoy substantial prosperity, the mass of whose population are retained within the bounds of an outward decency and morality, merely by the conventional restraints of society, and not by deep and honest convictions of duty? And how are these salutary convictions to exist apart from a well-grounded knowledge of God, and an intelligent acquaintance with the principles of Christian doctrine and morals? How are the mass of a community to acquire this religious knowledge, which is the only stable foundation of a holy life, if there be no Sabbath cessation from daily toil, no Sabbath assemblies, no Sabbath instruction in and out of the church; and if there be, for the rising generation, no Sabbath training at home, and no early familiarity with the soul-stirring and life-giving themes of religion? ...

For more, see:

 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Our post for the Lord's Day this Sabbath comes from the main author of the Heidelberg Catechism, Zacharias Ursinus. In this extract, he distinguishes between the moral and ceremonial elements of the Sabbath commandment. Note that this post is only a summary of his thought; he speaks more at greater length about the issue later in the same work:

Here are two parts of this law, the commandment, & the reason of the same. And again, there are two parts of the commandment, of the which the one is moral or everlasting, namely, that the Sabbath be hallowed, that is to say, that some certain time be appointed for the ministry of the Church, or public worship of God. The other is ceremonial, and for a time, namely, that this time should be the seventh day, and that in it should be observed and kept the ceremonies of the Levitical law. And that this part is for a time, and the other everlasting, we do understand by the end of the commandment, and causes of both these parts.

The end of the commandment is the public praising of God in the congregation, or the conservation or maintenance and use of the ministry of the Church, which is an office ordained by God, to teach the Church concerning God and his will out of the word of God delivered by the Prophets and Apostles, and to minister the sacraments according to the ordinance of God. And God would have at all times of the world that there should be public assemblies of the Church, in the which should sound true doctrine concerning God, for these causes especially.

For the reference, see:

 
Top