From the book
THE ENGLISH SUNDAY
LECTURE I (1901)
THE HEBREW SABBATH
TO note and estimate widespread changes of opinion and practice is part of the business of the preacher. One such change seems particularly to demand consideration at the present time. Those who have reached middle life observe a difference between the observance of Sunday as it was in their youth and as it is in the present day. There were then many households both lay and clerical in which it was strictly observed; now there are few. By strict observance I mean abstinence from society, from games and amusements, and from ordinary secular reading and studies. On the other hand there were very few houses where Sunday was looked on as specially a day for receiving visitors and arranging parties for amusement. Now however there are many.
[WOW AND THIS WAS BACK IN 1901. I GREW UP IN THE 1940s AND 1950s. AND SUNDAY WAS PRETTY “CLOSE UP SHOP” - THE TOWN PRETTY WELL SHUT DOWN; NO SPORTS, ESPECIALLY PRO SPORTS DONE. AND THESE LECTURES GIVEN IN 1901 AND THIS MAN FINDS A BIG DIFFERENCE THEN - Keith Hunt]
Between these two classes, the few who still are strict, and the many who regard Sunday as a free day to be used for society and recreation, there is a much larger class who have no definite convictions, are therefore undecided in their practice, and are being gradually drawn towards the laxer use, mainly by the influence of their children as they grow up. But there is also another influence which tells unfavourably for Sunday observance. There are those who will tell you that if you partake of Holy Communion at an early hour, or even if you are present without communicating at midday, you may then consider that the duty of worship has been discharged and the day is free to spend as you will. It is a feast day. You should amuse yourself and help to amuse others. You are to promote cricket, tennis and other games, and various examples of good men are quoted to encourage you in doing so. It is surely your duty to consider this movement of opinion which you observe taking place in your time and not merely to drift with the tide. You ought to take whatever line you do take from conviction, not from fashion.
It is our duty as clergy to try and help you, to put before you honestly and critically the grounds on which Sunday observance has been supposed to rest, or actually does rest. I will not profess to enter on the subject in an undecided unformed frame of mind. I am convinced that the observance of Sunday in England as it has existed for the last two hundred years or more has its foundation in great religious and moral necessities, and in the will of God for our salvation.
[PRETTY STRONG WORDS ABOVE FOR A DAY (SUNDAY) THAT NOT ONE WORD CAN BE FOUND IN THE ENTIRE BIBLE TO MAKE SUNDAY A HOLY DAY, OR WORDS TO SAY THE WEEKLY SABBATH HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM THE 7TH DAY SABBATH TO THE FIRST DAY SUNDAY - Keith Hunt]
My aim will be constructive, to show you the true grounds of the observance, to deduce practical consequences, to help you if I can to value a possession which you still retain, that you may prevent its slipping away from us. I am not now advocating action by any societies. I daresay societies may do useful work, but what I want to stimulate is individual action, and a sense of individual responsibility on the part of those who are inclined to think that what they do, does not matter.
The first step in our inquiry will be to see what the Hebrew Sabbath was in its original form before it was overlaid in Judaism with the restrictions of the Scribes. The Judaic Sabbath is quite another matter, and will be treated separately in the next lecture. The distinction between the Hebrew and the Judaic Sabbath is vitally important. What we have to do is to see whether the Hebrew Sabbath was rooted in principles and needs still operative, in short to disentangle its essential character.
The Lord has told us that it was made for man. We are to consider in what ways this was the case.
Do not however suppose that I am going to contend that the command to observe the seventh day is a command to observe the first day, or that there was any action either by Apostolical authority or by that of the primitive Church, which transferred the obligations of the seventh day to the first.
We are not under the ceremonial law of Israel, and the law of the Sabbath is ceremonial although we find it in the Decalogue in the midst of religious and moral injunctions, as was natural in an age when those to whom the Commandments were given did not realize a distinction between moral and ceremonial law.
[MY OH MY WHAT A DECEPTIVE TALK CONCERNING CEREMONIAL AND NONE CEREMONIAL LAWS. THE OLD PROTESTANT COMMENTARIES LIKE ALBERT BARNES NEVER FOUND ANY SUCH IDEAS AS THIS IN THE BIBLE. THE SABBATH LAW GOES BACK TO CREATION AND WAS PARTY OF THE LAWS OF THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD THAT DEFINE SIN—— SEE MY STUDY “THE TEN COMMANDMENTS BEFORE MOSES”—— TO JUST SAY “THE 4TH COMMANDMENT WAS CEREMONIAL THOUGH INSIDE A CODE OF MORAL LAW” IS AN IDEA FROM PLANET PLUTO; WHICH NOT ONE OF THE APOSTLES OF CHRIST ENTERTAINED FOR ONE SECOND, AND THEY CERTAINLY COULD HAVE TOLD US VERY EASILY IN THEIR NEW TESTAMENT WRITINGS IF THAT WAS THE CASE; IF THE 7TH DAY SABBATH WAS ONLY CEREMONIAL AND DID NOT HAVE TO BE OBSERVED TODAY. PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION WAS A HUGE DEBATE, SETTLED IN A CONFERENCE (ACTS 15). IF THE WEEKLY 7TH DAY SABBATH WAS NOT TO BE OBSERVED OR CHANGED FROM SABBATH TO SUNDAY, YOU CAN BE SURE IT WOULD HAVE ALSO BEEN A HUGE DEBATE (SO CRUCIAL WAS IT TO JEWISH LIFE; AS CRUCIAL AS THE PRIESTHOOD AND TEMPLE RITUALS WAS), AND WOULD HAVE TO HAVE HAD A CHURCH CONFERENCE ON THE MATTER, JUST AS PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION HAD TO BE SETTLED WITH A CHURCH CONFERENCE. THE 7TH DAY SABBATH WAS SO IMPORTANT TO JEWISH LIFE, THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES HAD ABOUT 600 LAWS GOVERNING 7TH DAY SABBATH OBSERVANCE (WHICH OF COURSE WAS UTTERLY WRONG AND WAS THEIR THEOLOGY, IT WAS NOT FROM GOD - Keith Hunt]
But my purpose is to show that what the Sabbath did, was to provide for deep needs of human nature, physical and spiritual. Those needs continue as strong as ever, and the Sunday meets them for us as the Sabbath did for Israel.
[BUT GOD NEVER SAID WE COULD MAKE UP OUR OWN RELIGION AS WE SAW FIT FOR WHATEVER OUR NEEDS WERE. IT SHOULD BE EASY TO SEE, IF READING THE BIBLE, GOD IS THE LAW GIVER NOT US. IF WE COULD DECIDE WHAT LAWS WE NEEDED TO FIT INTO OUR LIFE-STYLE, WE WOULD HAVE ENDLESS DEBATES ON WHAT LAWS ETC. WE HAVE ENDLESS “CHURCH DENOMINATIONS” BECAUSE PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH EACH OTHER OVER UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE ITSELF; HOW MUCH MORE IT WOULD BE IF DEBATING AMONG OURSELVES WHAT LAWS CHRISTIANS SHOULD HAVE OR NOT HAVE. THAT WHOLE MIND-SET IS SILLY, LUDICROUS, CRAZY, AND PLANET PLUTO THEOLOGY, IT IS SO FAR OUT - Keith Hunt]
In short my position is, the essential identity of aim in the Hebrew Sabbath and the Christian Sunday in spite of very great superficial differences. If that be so, then the Sabbath may be in some degree a guide for the Sunday, making the amplest allowance for the widely different circumstances of different nations, and for the light and glory shed upon the day of rest by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
[SO CONTINUES THE MIND-SET OF MAN MADE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, USING THE ORIGINAL SABBATH AS KINDA A GUIDE POST FOR SUNDAY, WITH ALLOWANCE FOR DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES OF DIFFERENT NATIONS—— CONTINUING UNDER ALL THAT TO MAKE UP YOUR OWN CHRISTIAN RELIGION—— MORE NINCOMPOOP IDEAS - Keith Hunt]
What truths did it express (the 7th day Sabbath), what needs did it meet?
It has been suggested, and I think with good reason, that the original form of the Fourth Commandment as inscribed on the first table was simply, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”; and that the reasons for doing so added in Exodus and Deuteronomy are comments by the writer or writers. This would explain the difference between the two versions of the commandment, for they are different in the two books. However this may be, we may make use of these comments as inspired comments representing accurately different aspects of the Divine purpose. There are also other mentions of the Sabbath in the Pentateuch, probably (in their present form at least) of later date,1 of which account will be taken in our survey. Then we have also to consider the references in Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Lastly we have the record of Nehemiah's endeavours to prevent trade and work on the Sabbath. Although strictly speaking these efforts belong to the history of the Sabbath in Judaism, they do not really go beyond the earlier practice in Israel. Amos viii. 5, bears witness to intermission of trade on the Sabbath in the eighth century, and that was all or nearly all which Nehemiah strove to ensure.
Putting together the various passages in which the Sabbath is mentioned, and allowing that notwithstanding their difference in date, they may be regarded as legitimate developments and mutually consistent, we have three principal aspects in which the Sabbath is presented to us in the Old Testament.
1. Modern criticism ascribes these other enactments and narratives to a much later date, and takes them in some degree as representing a later strictness of feeling in regard to the Sabbath; as for instance the enforcement of Sabbath observance on pain of death (Ex. xxxi. 15, cp. Num. xv. 32-6); the forbidding of the kindling of fire (Ex. xxxv. 3); and the prohibition to gather or cook manna on the Sabbath (Ex. xvi. 23, 26). The question is fully dealt with in Art Sabbath, Hastings' "Diet, of Bible," vol. iv.
[NOPE NO LATER DATES NEEDED; SABBATH OBSERVANCE OR NON-OBSERVANCE CARRIED THE SENTENCE OF SIN WITH IT, AS DO THE OTHER 9 COMMANDMENTS; SIN IS BREAKING THE TEN COMMANDMENT LAW (1 JOHN 3:4; ROMANS 7:7; JAMES 2:10-12) - JUST THAT SIMPLE, A CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND IT, I SURE DID AS A KID GROWING UP READING THE BIBLE IN A CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOL AND SUNDAY SCHOOL FROM AGE 7 AND ON - Keith Hunt]
are (1) a day of cessation from labour; (2) a festival of redemption; (3) a sign of the relation between Israel and God.
(1) A day of cessation from labour.
God so ordered his universe that His creatures on earth should have night as a season of rest. That was a gracious and necessary dispensation. But it was not sufficient for man in his developed and civilised state. The nation which He specially took in charge "as the bearer of revelation was to have a weekly day of rest as well. And the way in which this was brought about was by God claiming it for Himself. The possible Babylonian origin of the Sabbath does not affect our belief in divine guidance in this matter. It is now a familiar thought that much of common primitive Semitic custom was taken up into the law given to Israel and adapted to higher aims. The way to secure a day of rest for man was to make it God's day. Only so could it be kept from violation.
[GOD GAVE US A DAY; NO NEED FOR US TO PICK AND CHOOSE; THE 7TH DAY WAS SANCTIFIED FROM THE BEGINNING IN GENESIS 2. IT WAS MADE A PART OF THE GREAT MORAL LAW OF GOD, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOL I ATTENDED, WE WERE TO MEMORIZE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AS GIVEN IN THE FULL VERSION OF EXODUS 20. I KNEW EVERY WORD; I KNEW IT POINTED BACK TO GENESIS 2. IT WAS AS CLEAR TO ME AS A CLOUDLESS SKY; IT WAS THE 7TH DAY TO REMEMBER TO KEEP HOLY, NO OTHER DAY OF THE WEEK, BUT THE 7TH DAY - Keith Hunt]
What shall we say of this ? The need of rest for body and mind is not less strong now than it was in Israel, nay, it is infinitely greater. Is not the original method of maintaining it the only sure method? See how the day of rest of our labouring classes is being invaded on all sides. It is becoming more and more apparent that the religious sanction is the only one which can ensure a general day of rest. The greediness of man for gain, the thoughtlessness of those who want amusement, and the competition trade break in on the day, and the original conception of observing one day in the week as holy to God is the only one which can preserve it as a day of rest for man.
[GOD GIVES US THE ONE DAY OF REST—— IT IS THE WEEKLY 7TH DAY; STATED VERY CLEARLY BY THE 4TH OF THE GREAT TEN COMMANDMENTS. YOU CANNOT MAKE A DAY HOLY, YOU ARE NOT GOD; ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A DAY HOLY, AND HE ALREADY HAS DONE FROM THE BEGINNING—— THE 7TH DAY OF THE WEEK - Keith Hunt]
This is not as some may think, purring forward a superstitious and unreal reason to cover a merely utilitarian motive. For a true conception of the character and will of God is that He wills the good of man, and is served by all that serves it.
In relation to this point a difficulty arises as to the reason given in Ex. xx. 11, for the hallowing of the seventh day, namely the rest of God after Creation. The same reason is repeated in a still more anthropomorphic form in Ex. xxxi. 17, "He (God) rested and was refreshed (lit. took breath)." And apart from the anthropomorphism, the reason seems to involve the literal acceptance of the six day scheme of Creation. But throughout the Old Testament we find revelation strangely coloured by the circumstances and common Semitic beliefs of the nation through whom and to whom it was given. And making allowance for this we may perhaps say that what the Exodus form of the Fourth Commandment really seeks to impress, is that the order of nature, or rather of God working in nature, is an order of alternate action and rest. There was a period, a period of immense duration, during which God was preparing the world for man. Then there has succeeded a period, a comparatively short period, of a few thousand years during which apparently and from a merely human and relative point of view there has been no new creative action. Things remain as they were, and the history of man is unfolded under the conditions prepared for it. Here is a divine pattern of work and rest. But we must remember how distinctly our Lord protests against the idea of any real cessation of the Divine energy. "My Father worketh even until now, and I work " (John v. 17, R.V.).
[OH THIS GUY IS OBVIOUSLY ONE WHO DOES NOT TAKE AS LITERAL GENESIS 1….. FOR HIM IT IS A “PERIOD OF IMMENSE DURATION” - GOD PREPARING THE WORLD FOR MANKIND; SO TO HIM THE REST GOD DID ON THE 7TH DAY WAS NOT A DAY BUT A PERIOD OF TIME. HENCE YOU THEN MOVE INTO A THEOLOGY OF NO LITERAL HOLINESS OF THE 7TH DAY OF THE WEEK; IT WAS TO HIM, A WAY OF PUTTING WORK AND REST OVER AN IMMENSE PERIOD OF TIME - CLEVER PLANET PLUTO THEOLOGY OF DECEPTION - Keith Hunt]
Israel was commanded to rest on the Sabbath, but the command had a distinctly philanthropic character. That is to say it was not only a commandment to the individual Israelite that he should himself rest, but still more that he should give rest to all those who were under his hand, whether members of his family, or slaves, or cattle. This is clear in Ex. xx. 10, but clearer still in xxiii. 12, and in Deut v. 14. Here again the original direction of the commandment meets our modern needs, and furnishes an analogy but not a direct ordinance for our behaviour to dependents.
[SO ALLEGORY, THIS IS NOT LITERAL BUT ALLEGORICAL, SOMETHING REPRESENTING SOMETHING; AND SO YOU CAN MAKE THE BIBLE SAY A ANYTHING YOU WANT IT TO SAY, JUST AS MANY ATHEISTS HAVE SAID TO CHRISTIANS, “YOU CAN MAKE THE BIBLE SAY ANYTHING YOU WANT IT TO SAY”—— AGAINST SUCH USE OF THE BIBLE THERE IS NO ANSWER. ORIGEN (2ND CENTURY THEOLOGIAN) MADE JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IN THE BIBLE ALLEGORICAL - Keith Hunt]
Thus the first essential character of the Sabbath ordinance is that man needs rest, and needs to be compelled to allow rest to others. God takes a day from man and then gives it back to him. He is the true giver of all rest. From his hands we thankfully received it, as we also receive the duty of work. He gave Israel the sabbath rest. He through human agency an d by gradual evolution has given us our English Sunday.
[WOW….DID YOU GET THAT? “HE (GOD) THROUGH HUMAN AGENCY AND BY GRADUAL EVOLUTION HAS GIVEN US OUR ENGLISH SUNDAY.” WHERE IN THE BIBLE DID GOD SAY HUMAN PEOPLE COULD TAKE THE 4TH COMMANDMENT INTO THEIR OWN HANDS? WHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAY GOD WOULD BY GRADUAL EVOLUTION GIVE US THE 1ST DAY TO BE A HOLY DAY? IT IS JUST NOT THERE! WHAT THE AUTHOR IS DOING IS LOOKING AT HISTORY, SEEING WHAT DID GRADUALLY - GRADUALLY - HAPPEN - AND THEN STATING THIS IS HOW GOD DID IT, AS LIKE MEN WERE BEING LED BY GOD TO SLOWLY AND GRADUALLY OVER TIME CHANGE THE 4TH COMMANDMENT FROM THE 7TH DAY TO THE 1ST DAY. WHAT PROOF FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT DID GOD GIVE THIS POWER TO MEN? IF YOU WANT TO QUOTE ROMANS 14, YOU ARE HOOPED, FOR THERE PAUL SAID THE MAN COULD HAVE THIS DAY OR THAT DAY (THE TRUTH ON THIS CHAPTER 14 IS COVERED BY MYSELF IN ANOTHER STUDY), NOT THAT HE HAD TO CHOOSE THE 1ST DAY. IF YOU WANT TO QUOTE COL. 2:16; WELL FOR MOST PEOPLE THAT VERSE IS USED TO DO AWAY WITH SABBATH OBSERVANCE ALTOGETHER, SO IT DOES NOT HELP SUNDAY HOLY DAY TEACHERS. I EXPLAIN COL. 2:16 IN ANOTHER STUDY. NOPE, THERE AIN’T ANYWHERE THAT GOD GAVE TO MEN TO SLOWLY CHANGE THE SABBATH TO SUNDAY - Keith Hunt]
He gives us a typical rest, and will give us a final rest hereafter. So the Epistle to the Hebrews has taught us (Heb. iv. 9).
[AND THAT SECTION OF HEBREWS IS FULLY EXPOUNDED ON BY DR. SAMUELE BACCHIOCCHI ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
(2) The Sabbath was a festival of redemption. This appears from the motive given for the commandment in Deut. v. 15, which there takes the place of the reference to God's rest after Creation in Ex. xx. 11. There was of course the yearly festival of redemption from Egypt, namely the Passover. But that was not enough, the Sabbath also was a commemoration of the deliverance from bondage. A true understanding of the Old Covenant and its relation to the New Covenant may be said to depend on realising the space which the redemption from Egypt filled in the religious consciousness of Israel. It was to them what the Resurrection of Christ is to us, and this relation is duly recognised in the Church lectionary for Easter Day, and the choice of Psalms. It was to them the assurance of the love of God, it was the act which had made them His people, it was that on which they rested all their hopes. Here was the ever fresh inspiration of psalmists and prophets, here was the note which never failed to touch the heart of the nation—"When Israel came out of Egypt; and the house of Judah from among the strange people.”
One day in seven ways not too often to commemorate it, nor is it too often for us to commemorate the greater redemptive work which is its antitype.
[BUT IT IS NOT ONE DAY IN SEVEN FOR ISRAEL, IT WAS THE 7TH DAY, AND IF YOU WANT TO POUPLE THAT WITH THE PASSOVER, THEN FINE, BUT IT IS THE 7TH DAY WITH ALSO THE PASSOVER, NOT THE FIRST. AND THE RESURRECTION ARGUMENT….. WELL FIRST THERE IS NO WORD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT TO SAY WE HAVE TO SET APART AS HOLY THE RESURRECTION DAY. SECOND, JESUS AND THE APOSTLES NEVER SAID ONE WORD ABOUT MAKING THE RESURRECTION DAY INTO A HOLY DAY, OR SUPPLANTING THE WEEKLY 4TH COMMANDMENT LAW OF THE 7TH DAY TO THE RESURRECTION DAY. IF THAT WAS SO, ESPECIALLY KNOWING HOW IMPORTANT THE 7TH DAY SABBATH WAS TO THE JEWS, WE WOULD HAVE VERY CLEAR STATEMENTS BY THE APOSTLES IF IT WAS GOING TO BE CHANGED TO THE FIRST DAY. AND SUCH CLEAR STATEMENTS JUST AIN’T THERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT - Keith Hunt]
The analogy between the Passover and the Sabbath, and Easter day and Sunday is as complete as it well can be. Nowhere does the essential unity between the Sabbath and the Sunday appear more clearly than in this aspect.
[YA AND EASTER AND SUNDAY SURE DO GO TOGETHER FROM ROMAN PAGANISM AND ANTI-JEWISHNESS, WHICH AROSE IN THE 2ND CENTURY A.D. IT ALL HOOKED UP REAL NICE FOR THOSE AT ROME, FROM WHERE IT ALL STARTED, LEADING INTO THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH - Keith Hunt]
It is true that no regulations were given as to how this commemoration was to be made effective, except so far as rest would of itself bring deliverance to mind. The commandment seems chiefly bent on getting a clear space. It is negative, and leaves the positive observances to be filled up afterwards. They were filled up, possibly to some extent in early days by resort to prophets (as is suggested by 2 Kings iv. 23), certainly in later days by the synagogue and its gatherings for study and instruction in the law. So it is with us. The first thing is a clear space, and it is for the Church of the day to provide suitable means of commemorating redemption by sacraments, worship, instruction, and works of charity.
[AGAIN WE ARE BACK TO MAKING UP YOUR OWN CHRISTIAN RELIGION AS YOU THINK YOU ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD—— BUT GOD NEVER GAVE MAN THE RIGHT TO MAKE UP HOW AND WHEN HE WOULD WORSHIP THE ETERNAL GOD. IT IS THE ALMIGHTY THAT GIVES THE LAWS AND TELLS US HOW AND WHEN TO WORSHIP HIM - Keith Hunt]
(3) The sabbath was a sign, that is to say a constant taken and reminder of the covenant between Jehovah and Israel. Just as the rainbow was a token of the covenant with Noah (Gen. ix. 12), so the sabbath was a the token of the covenant by the hand of Moses.
The only difference was that the rainbow was there without human agency, while the Sabbath required man's obedience to maintain it. This is the view of the Sabbath in Ex.xxxi. 13, ff. “It is a sign between me and you.” And so it proves to be. Here we see God's providence looking on to the future. When Israel was carried away captive, and when at other times she sent forth her dispersed into foreign lands, they left behind them much that was distinctive. Sacrifices could not be offered in lands which were not the Lord’s. But the Sabbath could be observed, ands its observance in a strange land gave it far more than before the character of the sign. Hence Ezekiel the prophet of the captivity dwells on this aspect of it. “More over I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between the and them” (Ezk. xx. 12). The observance of the Day sustained the people in the confidence that they were the people of Jehovah.
[YES INDEED THE SABBATH IS ONE SIGN OF WHO BELONGS TO THE TRUE GOD OF HEAVEN. THE 4TH COMMANDMENT HAS NEVER BEEN CHISELLED OUT OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS - Keith Hunt]
The trials, losses, and even the contempt which it involved them in their foreign homes helped to bind Israel together, and to preserve the national faith and the national existence. How they regarded the Sabbath in those later times we shall consider in the next lecture.
And does not this office of a sign belong to the Christian Sunday?
[IT IS A SIGN FOR SURE—— A SIGN OF WHO DOES NOT BELONG TO GOD; IT IS A SIGN OF PAGANISM—— SUN WORSHIP—— A SIGN THAT SAYS YOU FOLLOW THE WHIMS, DESIRE, AND “STAY AWAY FROM ANYTHING JEWISH” AS IT MANIFESTED ITSELF IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. - Keith Hunt]
It is not merely a commemoration, but an assurance of our relation to God. Its observance by the Church reminds us of this relation, and so meets a need of human nature. The differ -ence in outward things which Sunday presents, where it is observed, are a sign and a token
which we welcome. Yet in another sense Sunday is a sign, a sign by which sincere earnest Christian life shows itself to those around. The Christian man necessarily, not ostentatiously makes a great difference between his life and occupations on Sunday and on other days, while other men do not. His observance of the day is sign to them, sometimes regarded with cavilling and contempt, but often exercising an influence and winning respect.
[IT MAY WELL SHOW SOMETHING TO OTHER PEOPLE AROUND THEM, THOSE WHO OBSERVE “GOING TO CHURCH” ON SUNDAY, BUT IT WINS NO BROWNIE POINTS WITH GOD PER SE IN HIS PALN OF SALVATION. THE ETERNAL DOES KNOW THEY ARE DECEIVED, BLINDED TO TRUTH, SO HE CERTAINLY CAN ANSWER SUCH PEOPLE IN PRAYERS AND ETC. THOSE PEOPLE ARE BLINDED, THEY HAVE NOT BEEN TOLD THE TRUTH BY THEIR MINISTERS, THEY ARE SINCERE BUT SIN-CERELY WRONG! YES THEY CAN WIN SOME KIND OF RESPECT WITH OTHERS, BUT TODAY IN THE 21ST CENTURY MOST PEOPLE COULD CARELESS WHAT YOU DO ON SUNDAY - Keith Hunt]
There is yet another aspect of the original Hebrew Sabbath. It is implied, I think, in at least one passage of the Old Testament, though not explicitly developed. I refer to Is. lviii. 13, “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day.” The prophet uses a phrase which is in strictness only applicable to refraining to tread on holy ground, and this implies an analogy between holy ground and a holy day. It should be added that the word translated pleasure means elsewhere, and probably here, not pleasure but business. To do business on the sabbath was analogous to profanely treading on holy ground, such as certain portions of the Temple. Let us follow out the analogy and see what it implies in the prophet’s conception of the sabbath.
All the land of Israel belonged to God. They were strangers and sojourners in it under His protection. Yet a certain portion of its soil was set apart for Him in recognition that the whole was His. So with the fruits of the land. All were from Him and all were His. This is recognized in a striking way in 1 Chron. xxix. 14-16, yet of these first-fruits were set apart and offered to Him in acknowledgement of His ownership of the whole. So was it also of time and life. Of these also a portion was set apart, a Sabbath was specially dedicated to God to remind Israel, and to acknowledge before Him, that all time was His.
Here again we recognize in the Hebrew Sabbath a provision for the needs of the human soul in all ages of the world. The believer in God will admit that all life is God’s and due to God’s service. But the concession is a vague one and the concession is a fruitless one. Narrow it down to one day in seven, and the result will be not a narrowed idea of what is due to God, but a concentration of devotion and service which is vivid enough to spread its light and warmth over the rest of the week. That is the ideal, and it is by the presentation of ideals that human life is raised and purified.
THE LAST SECTION IS INDEED WELL SAID, AS IT DOES APPLY TO THE SABBATH. BUT IT IS THE SABBATH THAT WAS FROM THE BEGINNING, FROM GENESIS 2. AND THE SABBATH OF THE 4TH COMMANDMENT OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS GIVEN TO ISRAEL, AND INCORPORATED IN THE OLD COVENANT. THE NEW COVENANT DID NOT TO COME TO DO AWAY WITH LAW, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, BUT TO MAKE THEM MORE BINDING, AS JESUS WAS TO COME TO MAGNIFY THE LAW AND MAKE IT HONORABLE [ISA. 42:21]; WHICH HE CERTAINLY DID IN THE SO-CALLED “SERMON ON THE MOUNT” [MAT. 5, 6, 7]. AND IT WAS JESUS WHO SAID, “THE SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN AND NOT MAN FOR THE SABBATH” [MARK 2:27].
THE SABBTH WAS MADE; IT WAS MADE AT THE BEGINNING, SET APART AT THE BEGINNING, SANCTIFIED AT THE BEGINNING—— GENESIS 2.
IT WAS NEVER CHANGED BY JESUS; IT WAS NEVER CHANGED BY THE APOSTLES OF THE FIRST CENTURY.
IT IS ONE OF THE POINTS OF THE LAW THAT DEFINES SIN FOR US.
NO NEW TESTAMENT WORDS DO AWAY WITH THE SABBATH LAW; NO NEW TESTAMENT WORDS TEACH THAT THE SABBATH LAW WAS EVER CHANGED TO SUNDAY.
THERE WAS NEVER EVER ANY CHURCH CONFERENCE HELD TO DEBATE THE SABBATH COMMANDMENT, LIKE AS THERE WAS FOR PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION, AS IN ACTS 15.
THE SABBATH LAW STILL REMAINS AS THE SABBATH LAW FROM THE BEGINNING. THE SABBATH LAW STILL REMAINS AS IT IS IN EXODUS 20.