Jeremiah 17:27
But if you do not listen to Me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying a load while entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in its gates to consume the citadels of Jerusalem.'"
Sermons
Sabbath SanctificationS. Conway Jeremiah 17:19-27
The Hallowing of the Sabbath DayD. Young Jeremiah 17:19-27
The Sabbath and its ObligationA.F. Muir Jeremiah 17:19-27


I. IT WAS OF UNIVERSAL OBLIGATION. The prophet was to stand in "the gate of the children of the people" and "all the gates" to proclaim its sanctity. The laity and the priests, the princes and the people, were all bound to observe it, as one of the patriarchal and Mosaic institutions. It is expressly enjoined in one of the "ten words," and without reservation of any class.

II. HOW IT SHOULD BE OBSERVED.

1. By rest. Labor was to cease as far as practicable. The body was to be set at liberty from its burden. Traffic was to cease. The constant stream which flowed out and in the gates of the temple might still go on, but for a different purpose. Care and worry were to be laid aside. The mind was to abstain from business.

2. By religious exercises. (Ver. 26.) It is worthy of remark that this portion of the command is not spoken of as a binding duty like the other, or a merely negative one. It is referred to as part of the blessing that would ensue on thorough Sabbath observances; that they should have sacrifices to give, and be willing and eager to offer them. With the cessation of secular traffic the religious instincts of the people would recover themselves, and their natural channel would be filled. The true rest of man consists, not in mere abstinence from labor, but in the free play of his higher faculties - a change of occupation and interest. And the real wealth and success of man will show itself in his religious gifts. They are poor who have nothing to spare for God. Their conception of life is such that the true riches exist not for them, however they may have succeeded in accumulating material resources. The chief end of man is thus to be secured in the increase of Divine service and the hearty dedication of himself and his substance to Jehovah.

III. THE BLESSINGS THAT WOULD ATTEND UPON SABBATH OBSERVANCE.

1. National perpetuity. Jerusalem, the center of the theocracy, should remain forever. This indicates the essential and fundamental position occupied by the Sabbath amongst Mosaic institutions. It was in this way that the idea and authority of Jehovah were to be impressed upon the heart of Israel But to the preservation of this primitive revelation was due the strength of Israel within herself and against the heathen.

2. National prosperity. It is a goodly spectacle that is presented in this promise. There is no lack of gifts nor of willingness to give. Only a time of profound peace and of abounding harvests could furnish such a demonstration.

3. National unity. Jerusalem is the convergent point of many pilgrim trains: "from the places about... from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south." In this way the brotherhood and the solidarity of the people would be sealed.

4. National piety. This is the natural outcome even of rudimental religious observances. It is the tendency of true religion to increase upon itself. It cannot remain stationary. Therefore this outburst of enthusiasm and Divine service.

IV. HOW IT IS REPRESENTED IN EVANGELICAL TIMES. So far as it was a physical requirement for the health and efficiency of man, it must still be observed. This is a question for comparative physiology. But the essence of the Sabbath is rather in its religious observance. What becomes of that? The spirit of it is still preserved in the Lord's day, although under new associations and under other obligations. - M.









But hallow ye the Sabbath day.
An old Christian, living at Salem, was much annoyed by the conduct of some of his neighbours who persisted in working on the Sabbath. One Sabbath, as he was going to Church, his Sabbath breaking neighbours called out to him sneeringly from the hayfield, "Well, father, we have cheated the Lord out of two Sundays anyway!" "I don't know that," replied the old gentleman, "I don't know; the account is not yet settled."

The true spirit of the Sabbath appointment is, not that we should condense the religion of the week into the Sabbath, but that we should carry forth from the Sabbath its hallowed impulses and feelings into the other days of the week, to elevate and sustain us amid its wearisome secularities and depressing cares. The Lord has given us the Sabbath, not to relieve us of out religion, but so to revive our religion on that day as to impel its healthy tide into the remotest nook and corner of everyday duty.

(Andrew Thomson.).

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