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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 60. How is the sabbath to be sanctified?
A. The sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful in other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

1. Must we rest on the sabbath day? Yes: six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, Exod 31:15. Must we rest from worldly employments? Yes: ye shall hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein, Jer. 17:24. And from recreations? Yes: not finding thine own pleasure, Isa. 58:13. Is this to signify our being dead to this world? Yes: for he that is entered into his rest has ceased from his own works, Heb. 4:10. And to awaken us to think of' leaving it? Yes: for here we have no continuing city, Heb. 13:14. Must this rest be dedicated to God? Yes: it is a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord, Exod. 35:2.

2. Must we spend time on that day in the public exercises of God's worship? Yes: for it is a holy convocation, Lev. 23:3. Must we do so every sabbath, as we have opportunity? Yes: From one sabbath to another shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord, Isa. 66:23. And must we not absent ourselves from public worship? No: Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, Heb. 10:25. Must we spend time on that day in the private exercises of religion? Yes: It is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings, Lev. 23:3. Did the disciples of Christ thus spend the first Lord's day? Yes: for on the first day of the week the disciples were assembled, John 20:19.

3. Must we prepare for the sabbath day beforehand? Yes: It was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on, Luke 23:54. Must the sabbath be a day of holy joy? Yes: We will rejoice and be glad in it, Ps. 118:24. Must it be a day of praise? Yes: the psalm for the sabbath day begins, It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, Ps. 92:1. Must we be spiritual in the duties of the day? Yes: I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, Rev. 1:10. And must we take pleasure in them? Yes: Call the Sabbath a delight, Isa.58:13.

4. Are works of mercy and charity proper for a sabbath day? Yes: Ought not this woman to be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day, Luke 13:16. And may works of necessity be done on that day? Yes: Do not you on the sabbath lead your ox, or your ass, to watering, Luke 13:15.

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