“The Sabbath a Memorial” The American Sentinel 7, 36, pp. 284, 285.

APROPOS of our notes in last week’s paper upon the nature and design of the Sabbath, are the following paragraphs from “The Abiding Sabbath,” published by the American Tract Society:—

Not to a single race, but to man; not to man alone, but to the whole creation; not to the created things alone, but to the Creator himself, came the benediction of the first Sabbath. Its significance extends beyond the narrow limits of Judaism, to all races, and perhaps to all worlds. It is a law spoken not simply through the lawgiver of a chosen people, but declared in the presence of a finished heaven and earth. The declaration in Genesis furnishes the best commentary on the saying of Jesus: “The Sabbath was made for man.” For man, universal humanity, it was given with its benediction.

The reason of the institution of the Sabbath is one which possesses an unchanging interest and importance to all mankind. The theme of the creation is not peculiar to Israel, nor is worship of the Creator confined to the children of Abraham. The primary article of every religious creed, and the foundation of all true religion, is faith in one God as the Maker of all things. Against atheism, which denies the existence of a personal God; against materialism, which denies that this visible universe has its roots in the unseen; and against secularism, which denies the need of worship, the Sabbath is therefore an eternal witness. It symbolically commemorates that creative power which spoke all things into being, the wisdom which ordered their adaptations and harmony, and the love which made, as well as pronounced, all “very good.” It is set as the perpetual guardian of man against that spiritual infirmity which has everywhere led him to a denial of the God who made him, or to the degradation of that God into a creature made with his own hands.

The words which we have italicized express truth which, if rightly understood and accepted in its fullness, would forever put an end to the “civil Sabbath” plea for Sunday laws. The Sabbath was primarily made for man, not that he might rest but that he might worship his Creator in the beauty of holiness. It was to be to man a memorial of God’s finished work, a monument erected at the end of each week to remind man of the time [285] “when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy,” because “God saw everything that he had made and, behold, it was very good.” Physical rest is an incident, not the object, of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. [288]

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