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In the first place, watch and pray, as you value your souls, against a spirit of carelessness and indifference in religion. Remember that the life of a Christian is a life of self-denial. It is a race, a pilgrimage, a warfare; its exercises are described by wrestling, striving, watching, and the like. And of all the drones in the world, drones in God's hive are the least deserving the approbation of the Church, and the most under the frown of heaven. The Scriptures probably contain no expression displeasure more impressive than that which is addressed to the Laodiceans on this very subject:-"So, then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." Yet it is astonishing how soon we may be beguiled into such a frame of mind. The commonness of religious exercises, the attractions of the world, and above all, the corruptions of depraved nature, have a constant influence to produce this awful indifference. And few greater evidences can be afforded of it than the neglecting of God in his sanctuary, or carelessly trifling with the morning of a Lord's day.

Secondly. Rise early. Your enjoyment of the Sabbath, and your attendance of the worship of God in the morning of it, greatly depend upon this. If you have much to do before you can unite with God's people for worship, the time of your rising must be arranged accordingly. A lazy, sluggish professor, who can satisfy himself with consuming the best part of the morning in bed, is but ill-prepared for the service of his Maker in the course of it. And scandalous it certainly is to any one who names the name of Christ, that a man who would rise for economic gain at almost any hour any other day in the week, should shut his ears on the morning of the Sabbath, when God is calling him from heaven, and be lulled by the devil to sleep. The conduct of the wicked, who can rise at any time to unite in a party of pleasure; the conduct of heathens, who are waiting the rising of the sun, in order to pay the earliest adorations to him as soon as he makes his appearance; in a word, the conduct of even Satan himself, who is always alert to destroy, if possible, the comforts and souls of men, is a sufficient reproof to such individuals.

Thirdly. Endeavour to enjoy a good Saturday evening. It was a custom with the Jews to have a season of preparation previous to the duties of the Sabbath. Their Sabbath began at six in the evening, and at three in the afternoon began the preparation. God grant us that anxiety for the enjoyment of the Sabbath which will lead to a preparation for it as far as we are able; and a good frame of mind on a Saturday evening will seldom lull a person to sleep or make him indifferent about the worship of God on a Sabbath morning.

Fourthly and lastly. Think of the rapid approach of death, and endeavour to realize yourselves the views and feelings you will then have of what you have been, and what you have done, and what you have left undone, when you are just going to give in your account to God. It is a lamentable fact, there are not a few in our churches or congregations who are all their life planting thorns in that pillow upon which they must lie down and die; and none are doing this more effectually than the careless and the slothful. "Ah!" says one on a death-bed, "that I had been more actively engaged in the service of God!" "O!" cries another, in the anguish of his soul, "that I could but live my time over again! What a different person would I be! O! the sins I have committed; the duties I have neglected; the Sabbaths I have murdered!" But it is in vain! He is just on the borders of eternity; and all the wealth of worlds can neither purchase him a respite from death, nor afford him an opportunity of retrieving his condition forever! "O, that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!"

Excerpted from: The Original Covenanter and Contending Witness [magazine]



Sabbath Keeping: A Biblical Defense by Reformed Ministers from the Past
Other authors included here are: Thomas Boston, Thomas Ridgeley, Robert Shaw, Edward Fisher, and James Bannerman. Six articles, compiled from the major writings of the above authors, demonstrating the continuing validity and morally binding nature of the fourth commandment. Much needed in our day!


_ Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy ($12.75, 5 cassette tapes on 4th commandment. Titles below:)

ï Why Keep the Sabbath? (1/5) ($2.55)
ï Is Sabbath Keeping for the Jews Alone? (2/5) ($2.55)
ï Sabbath Keeping & Building the Kingdom of God (3/5) ($2.55)
ï There is Left a Rest For the People of God (4/5) ($2.55)
ï Lordship, Sabbath Keeping, Holy Days & Christmass (5/5) ($2.55, against Xmas, Easter & other Roman Catholic festival days)


The Sabbath Viewed in the Light of Reason, Revelation, and History, with Sketches of Its Literature (1882)
A massive and thorough book which covers so much ground that it is almost impossible to do justice to it in a short book summary. We will simply say that if you are interested in any aspect of the Sabbath question you will almost certainly find much help here. Major heads include: "Sketches of Sabbatic Controversies and Literature;" "Proofs, From Reason and Experience, of the Excellence and Divine Origin of the Sabbath;" "Testimony of Revelation to a Sacred and Perpetual Sabbath;" "Evidence from History for a Weekly Day of Rest and Worship;" "The Sabbath Defended Against Opposing Arguments, Theories, and Schemes;" "The Claims of the Sabbath Practically Enforced." Includes a general index and an index of texts. 635 pages.
(Rare bound photocopy) $69.95-72%=19.59
(Hardcover photocopy) $39.00 (US funds)

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