Sabbaths are called days of rest for the heart, days of the completion of labor.? Hutton, Essays, 2:229 ? ?Because there is in God?s mind a spring of eternal rest as well as of creative energy, we are enjoined to respect the law of rest as well as the law of labor.? We may question, indeed, whether this doctrine of God?s rest does not of itself refute the theory of eternal, continuous, and necessary creation.
(b) Neither our Lord nor his apostles abrogated the Sabbath of the Decalogue. The new dispensation does away ?with the Mosaic prescriptions as to the method of keeping the Sabbath, but at the same time declares its observance to be of divine origin and to be a necessity of human nature.
Not everything in the Mosaic Law is abrogated in Christ. Worship and reverence, regard for life and purity and property are binding still. Christ did not nail to his cross every commandment of the Decalogue. Jesus does not defend himself from the charge of Sabbath breaking by saying that the Sabbath is abrogated, but by asserting the true idea of the Sabbath as fulfilling a fundamental human need. <410227>Mark 2:27 ? ?The Sabbath was made [by God] for man, and not man for the Sabbath.? The Puritan restrictions are not essential to the Sabbath nor do they correspond even with the methods of later Old Testament observance. The Jewish Sabbath was more like the New England Thanksgiving than like the New England Fast Day. <160812>Nehemiah 8:12, 18 ? ?And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink and to send portions, and to make great mirth? And they kept the feast seven days and on the 8th day was a solemn assembly, according unto the ordinance? ? seems to include the Sabbath day as a day of gladness.
Origen, in Homily 23 on Numbers (Migne, II:358): ?Leaving therefore the Jewish observances of the Sabbath, let us see what ought to be for a Christian the observance of the Sabbath. On the Sabbath day nothing of all the actions of the world ought to be done.? Christ walks through the cornfield, heals a paralytic, and dines with a Pharisee, all on the Sabbath day. John Milton, in his Christian Doctrine, is an extreme anti- sabbatarian, maintaining that the Decalogue was abolished with the Mosaic Law. He thinks it uncertain whether ?the Lord?s day? was weekly or annual. The observance of the Sabbath, to his mind, is a matter not of authority, but of convenience. Archbishop Paley: ?In my opinion St. Paul considered the Sabbath a sort of Jewish ritual and not obligatory for Christians. A cessation on that day from labor beyond the time of attending public worship is not intimated in any part of the New Testament. The notion that Jesus and his apostles meant to retain the
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