‘And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.’ Genesis 15:11
Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 58:13–14
I am not under the law, and therefore I keep this day, not the seventh, but the first day of the week, on which my Saviour rose again from the dead—keep it not of law, but of grace—keep it not as a slavish bondage, not as a day on which I am chained and hampered with restraints against my will, but a day in which I may take holy pleasure in serving God, and in adoring before his throne. The sabbath of the Jew is to him a task; the Lord’s Day of the Christian, the first day of the week, is to him a joy, a day of rest, of peace, and of thanksgiving; and if you Christian men can earnestly drive away all distractions, so that you can really rest today, it will be good for your bodies, good for your souls, good mentally, good spiritually, good temporally, and good eternally. Let me give you a second reason. You will find, if you are able to take a perfect rest, by driving away these evil thoughts when you are worshipping God, that you will do your work during the other days of the week far better … If you have a bad Lord’s Day, you will have a bad week; but if you have a good day of rest, you will find it good with your souls the whole week long; not that you will be without trouble all the week; that would not be good for you; but you shall never be without grace during the week; nor if you have peace on the Sunday shall you be without peace on the Monday; the old Puritans used to say the first day of the week was the market-day; … This is our market-day, and if we gain but little today, we shall have slender diet during the other days; but if we get the basket loaded well, if we have reason to say, ‘The Lord has satisfied my soul with fatness, and caused my spirit to delight in his word,’ you will find that during the week your peace shall be like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
For meditation: The Lord’s Day is the one day in the week when Christians should feel free to do what they most want to do. What does a spiritual person really want to do (Psalm 27:4; 84:2,10)? Do you, like Abraham, drive away the things that interfere with your worship of God? Jesus did (John 2:13–17).
Sermon no. 420
24 November (1861)