Traveling on the Sabbath

 

If we desire the blessing promised to the obedient, we must observe the Sabbath more strictly. I fear that we often travel on this day when it might be avoided. In harmony with the light which the Lord has given in regard to the observance of the Sabbath, we should be more careful about traveling on the boats or cars on this day. In these matters we should set a right example before our children and youth. In order to reach the churches that need our help, and to give them the message that God desires them to hear, it may be necessary for us to travel on the Sabbath; but so far as possible we should secure our tickets and make all necessary arrangements on some other day. When starting on a journey we should make every possible effort to plan so as to avoid reaching our destination on the Sabbath.  {6T 359.4}

 

When compelled to travel on the Sabbath we should try to avoid the company of those who would draw our attention to worldly things. We should keep our minds stayed upon God and commune with Him. Whenever there is opportunity we should speak to others in regard to the truth. We should always be ready to relieve suffering and to help those in need. In such cases God desires that the knowledge and wisdom He has given us should be put to use. But we should not talk about matters of business or engage in any common, worldly conversation. At all times and in all places God requires us to prove our loyalty to Him by honoring the Sabbath.  {6T 360.1}

 

In the days of Nehemiah, when the children of Israel had brought upon themselves humiliation and distress by their departure from God in disregarding his law, they sometimes felt that God had forgotten them. The Lord showed his rebellious people that they were dependent upon him for prosperity and safety, yet his eye was upon them. They were feeble, exposed to the ravages of their enemies; yet they were the guardians of the worship of the true God, and were to preserve a knowledge of his law until the Prince of peace should come. Nehemiah was God’s chosen instrument to effect a reformation among his people, and to deliver them from the oppression of their enemies. The circumstances were discouraging, but Nehemiah was a man of courage and fidelity. He caused the people to be instructed in the law they had broken. Precept by precept it was carefully explained, that all might fully understand the will of God.

 

One of the principal ways in which the people had departed from God was in the desecration of the Sabbath. Heathen merchants, who came to Jerusalem to sell their wares, lodged outside the gates, and when they were opened in the morning, offered their goods for sale. Many of the Jews traded with them on the Sabbath; these not only broke the Sabbath themselves, but tried to remove the scruples of their more conscientious countrymen. Thus to a great extent the sacredness of the Sabbath was destroyed.

 

The Jews acknowledged that their deplorable condition was the result of their transgressions; and in a general assembly, the Levites, as the representatives of the people, confessed God’s goodness in his dealings with them, and their ingratitude and sins as a nation, and pleaded before God: “Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people; since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly. Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them. For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works. Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it; and it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins; also they have dominion over our bodies and over our cattle at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.”

 

Having suffered punishment for their sins, and acknowledged the justice of God in his dealings with them, they covenanted to obey his law. And that it might be a sure covenant, and preserved in a permanent form, it was written out, and the priests, Levites, and princes “sealed unto it.” They had a clear knowledge of the claims of God and of the character of sin; and with those who had real principle, to see and understand was to act.

 

We need Nehemiahs in 1884, who shall arouse the people to see how far they are from God through their transgressions. It is time for the whole Christian world to search the Scriptures for themselves; for in the pulpits all through our land the law of God is made void by precept and example. The papal power has thought to change the law of God by instituting a Sabbath for the world and the Christian church; and this spurious Sabbath is exalted and revered, while the Sabbath of Jehovah is trampled beneath unholy feet. But will the Lord degrade his law to meet the standard of men? Will he accept a man-made institution in place of the Sabbath which he has sanctified and blessed? No; the convenience or profit of men is not to supersede the claims of God; for he is a jealous God. He does not alter his precepts to gratify the desires of the ambitious or the covetous. “Thus saith the Lord” should be sufficient to settle all controversy.

 

He who instituted the Sabbath has never changed it to a common day. He rested on a definite day, and blessed and sanctified a definite day, and he requires the human family to observe that definite day. Every part of God’s plan will be perfectly executed. Satan has interfered, and attempted to thwart it; but there is no change in the law of God. The position that God blessed and sanctified a seventh part of time, and no day in particular, is one of Satan’s devices. By this means he has so confused the minds of many that they regard God’s holy restday as possessing no special sacredness; and because the world do so, they feel at liberty to set it aside, and select a Sabbath that suits their own convenience. And professed ministers of the gospel assure their congregations that this course is right. Those who are conscientiously observing the original Sabbath are styled heretics, deluded fanatics. But who are thus regarded in God’s sight? Whom will he rebuke and punishthose who have kept the day that he blessed and sanctified; or those who, trampling upon the holy commandment, have accepted the institution of the papacy?

 

There is need of a Sabbath reform among us, who profess to observe God’s holy restday. Some discuss their business matters and lay plans on the Sabbath, and God looks upon this in the same light as though they engaged in the actual transaction of business. Others who are well acquainted with the Bible evidences that the seventh day is the Sabbath, enter into partnership with men who have no respect for God’s holy day. A Sabbathkeeper cannot allow men in his employ, paid by his money, to work on the Sabbath. If, for the sake of gain, he allows the business in which he has an interest to be carried on on the Sabbath by his unbelieving partner, he is equally guilty with the unbeliever; and it is his duty to dissolve the relation, however much he may lose by so doing. Men may think they cannot afford to obey God, but they cannot afford to disobey him. Those who are careless in their observance of the Sabbath will suffer great loss.

 

The Lord has a controversy with his professed people in these last days. In this controversy men in responsible positions will take a course directly opposite to that pursued by Nehemiah. They will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but they will try to keep it from others by burying it beneath the rubbish of custom and tradition. In churches and in large gatherings in the open air, ministers will urge upon the people the necessity of keeping the first day of the week. There are calamities on sea and land: and these calamities will increase, one disaster following close upon another; and the little band of conscientious Sabbathkeepers will be pointed out as the ones who are bringing the wrath of God upon the world by their disregard of Sunday.

 

Satan urges this falsehood that he may take the world captive. It is his plan to compel men to accept errors. He takes an active part in the promulgation of all false religions, and will stop at nothing in his efforts to enforce erroneous doctrines. Under a cloak of religious zeal, men, influenced by his spirit, have invented the most cruel tortures for their fellowmen, and have inflicted the most awful sufferings upon them. Satan and his agents have the same spirit still; and the history of the past will be repeated in our day.

 

There are men who have set their minds and will to accomplish evil; in the dark recesses of their hearts they have resolved what crimes they will commit. These men are self-deceived. They have rejected God’s great rule of right, and in its stead have erected a standard of their own, and comparing themselves with this standard they pronounce themselves holy. The Lord will permit them to reveal what is in their hearts, to act out the spirit of the master that controls them. He will let them show their hatred of his law in their treatment of those who are loyal to its requirements. They will be actuated by the same spirit of religious frenzy that goaded on the mob that crucified Christ; church and State will be united in the same corrupt harmony.

 

The church of today has followed in the steps of the Jews of old, who set aside the commandments of God for their own traditions. She has changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant, and now, as then, pride, unbelief, and infidelity are the result. Her true condition is set forth in these words from the song of Moses: “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children; they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?”

 

When Nehemiah moved out as a reformer and deliverer in Israel, he was actuated by love to God and anxiety for the prosperity of his people. His heart was in the work he had undertaken; his hope, his energy his enthusiasm, his determination of character, were contagious, and inspired others with the same courage and lofty purpose. Each man became a Nehemiah in his own sphere, and helped to make stronger the hand and heart of his neighbor; and soon feebleness was succeeded by strength and courage.

 

Here is a lesson for ministers and others who are laboring for the salvation of souls. Those who believe that we have the truth, that God has made us the depositaries of his law, should manifest the same earnestness and zeal that characterized Nehemiah. If ministers are inactive and irresolute, destitute of godly zeal, what can be expected of those to whom they minister? In some instances they may rise above the moral level of their teachers, but not often. But when ministers broaden their plans, and show that they are in earnest, the people will respond to their efforts; and disunited, dispirited workers will become united, strong, hopeful, and eager.

 

It is a sin to be heedless, purposeless, and indifferent in any work in which we may engage, but especially in the work of God. Every enterprise connected with his cause should be carried forward with order, forethought, and earnest prayer. Faithful standard bearers for God and his truth are wanted, and many are ready to respond to the call. As these see the iniquity and violence that exist in consequence of making void the law of God, they will see greater reason than ever to reverence that law, and will greatly prize its righteous, restraining influences. Contempt and reviling increases their love for the precepts of Jehovah. With David they will say, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” ― Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March 18, 1884, (Vol. 61, #12).

 

Searching for the Lost

 

Bible Carried to Every Man’s Door.–The Bible is unchained. It can be carried to every man’s door, and its truths may be presented to every man’s conscience. There are many who, like the noble Bereans, will search the Scriptures daily for themselves, when the truth is presented, to see whether or not these things are so. Christ has said, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me.” Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, bids men not only to read but to “search the Scriptures.” This is a great and important work, and it is committed to us, and in doing this we shall be greatly benefited; for obedience to Christ’s command will not go unrewarded. He will crown with especial tokens of His favor this act of loyalty in following the light revealed in His Word.–Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 84. (1889)  {Ev 461.4}

 

Many need instruction as to how they should appear in the assembly for worship on the Sabbath. They are not to enter the presence of God in the common clothing worn during the week. All should have a special Sabbath suit, to be worn when attending service in God’s house. While we should not conform to worldly fashions, we are not to be indifferent in regard to our outward appearance. We are to be neat and trim, though without adornment. The children of God should be pure within and without.  {6T 355.2}

 

On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment.  {6T 355.3}

 

We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time. Whenever it is possible, employers should give their  workers the hours from Friday noon until the beginning of the Sabbath. Give them time for preparation, that they may welcome the Lord’s day with quietness of mind. By such a course you will suffer no loss even in temporal things.  {6T 356.1}

 

Attending School on Sabbath

Whoever obeys the fourth commandment will find that a separating line is drawn between him and the world. The Sabbath is a test, not a human requirement, but God’s test. It is that which will distinguish between those who serve God and those who serve him not; and upon this point will come the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. {CCh 268.2}

 

Some of our people have sent their children to school on the Sabbath. They were not compelled to do this, but the school authorities objected to receiving the children unless they should attend six days. In some of these schools, pupils are not only instructed in the usual branches of study, but are taught to do various kinds of work; and here the children of professed commandment-keepers have been sent upon the Sabbath. Some parents have tried to justify their course by quoting the words of Christ, that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day. But the same reasoning would prove that men may labor on the Sabbath because they must earn bread for their children; and there is no limit, no boundary line, to show what should and what should not be done. {CCh 268.3}

 

Our brethren cannot expect the approval of God while they place their children where it is impossible for them to obey the fourth commandment. They should endeavor to make some arrangement with the authorities whereby the children shall be excused from attendance at school upon the seventh day. If this fails, then their duty is plain, to obey God’s requirements at whatever cost. {CCh 268.4}

 

Competitions and Prizes

 

On Sabbath morning [Marshalltown, Iowa, campground, August 16, 1884], a large company met for Sabbath school. Classes were soon arranged including all except a few who chose seats outside the tent. But these were not left to themselves; teachers were appointed, and two or three interesting classes formed. All were as busy as bees, and everywhere, in the tent and out of it, was heard the hum of voices. The school was well conducted and orderly, and to me the exercises were very interesting. [THIS PARAGRAPH FROM THE REVIEW AND HERALD OF OCTOBER 21, 1884, WAS OMITTED IN TSS.]  {CSW 181.2}

 

By request I spoke about thirty minutes, warning them against letting their Sabbath school degenerate into a mere mechanical routine. We should not seek to imitate Sunday schools, nor keep up the interest by offering prizes. The offering of rewards will create rivalry, envy, and jealousy; and some who are the most diligent and worthy will receive little credit. Scholars should not try to see how many verses they can learn and repeat; for this brings too great a strain upon the ambitious child, while the rest become discouraged.  {CSW 182.1}

 

Try none of these methods in your Sabbath schools; but let superintendents and teachers make every effort to have life and interest in their schools. What a blessing it would be if all would teach as Jesus taught! He did not aim to attract attention by eloquence or by overwhelming grandeur of sentiment. On the contrary, His language was plain, and His thoughts were expressed with greatest simplicity; but He spoke with loving earnestness. In your teaching be as near like Him as possible. Make your exercises interesting. Let the teachers show that they have thoroughly learned the lesson, and are intensely interested in it. Let there be no frivolous or superficial interpretations of the Scriptures, but let each be prepared to go to the bottom of the subject presented.–TSS 110, 111.

 

Controversy to Be Avoided

 

While there is need of thorough investigation of the word of God, that precious truth may be discovered and brought to light, we should be guarded, that the spirit of controversy does not control in our discussions of the Sabbath school lesson. In bringing out points upon which there may be a difference of opinion, the grace of Christ should be manifested by those who are seeking for an understanding of the word of God. There should be liberty given for a frank investigation of truth, that each may know for himself what is the truth. Among the pupils of the Sabbath school there should be a spirit of investigation, that those who are old enough to discern evidence may be encouraged to search for fresh rays of light, and to appreciate all that God may send to His people. The light which God will send to His people will never appear unless there is a diligent searching of the word of truth.  {CSW 27.1}

 

“And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord. Bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over, lay up for you, to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade; and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that today; for today is a Sabbath unto the Lord. Today ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none.”  {1SP 225.1}

 

The Lord is no less particular now in regard to his Sabbath, than when he gave the foregoing special directions to the children of Israel. He required them to bake that which they would bake, and seethe (that is, boil) that which they would seethe, on the sixth day, preparatory to the rest of the Sabbath. Those who neglect to prepare for the Sabbath on the sixth day, and who cook food upon the Sabbath, violate the fourth commandment, and are transgressors of God’s law. All who are really anxious to observe the Sabbath according to the commandment, will not cook any food upon the Sabbath. They will, in the fear of that God who gave his law from Sinai, deny themselves, and eat food prepared upon the sixth day, even if it is not so palatable. God forbade the children of Israel’s baking and boiling upon the Sabbath. That prohibition should be regarded by every Sabbath-keeper, as a solemn injunction from Jehovah to them. The Lord would guard his people from indulging in gluttony upon the Sabbath, which he has set apart for sacred meditation and worship.  {1SP 225.2}

 

Women as Christian Workers

Who can have so deep a love for the souls of men and women for whom Christ has died, as those who are partakers of his grace? Who can represent the truth and the example of Christ better than Christian women who are practicing the truth in their earnest efforts to bring souls to the light? Who are so well adapted to be teachers in the Sabbath-school? With a heart imbued with the love of Christ, teaching the children of her class, praying with them and for them, she may see souls converted. The true mother is adapted to be the teacher of children. I do not recommend that woman should become a voter or an office-holder; but as a missionary, teaching the truth by epistolary correspondence, distributing tracts and soliciting subscribers for periodicals containing the solemn truth for this time, she may do very much. In conversing with families, in praying with the mother and children, she will be a blessing. Women can be instruments of righteousness, rendering holy service to God. It was Mary who first preached a risen Saviour. {GW92 383.2}

 

We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. Overeating befogs the brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many have done more than they think to dishonor God.  {6T 357.2}

 

While cooking upon the Sabbath should be avoided, it is not necessary to eat cold food. In cold weather let the food prepared the day before be heated. And let the meals, though simple, be palatable and attractive. Provide something that will be regarded as a treat, something the family do not have every day.  {6T 357.3}

 

The Sabbath school and the meeting for worship occupy only a part of the Sabbath. The portion remaining to the family may be made the most sacred and precious season of all the Sabbath hours. Much of this time parents should spend with their children. In many families the younger children are left to themselves to find entertainment as best they can. Left alone, the children soon be come restless and begin to play or engage in some kind of mischief. Thus the Sabbath has to them no sacred significance.  {6T 358.1}

 

In pleasant weather let parents walk with their children in the fields and groves. Amid the beautiful things of nature tell them the reason for the institution of the Sabbath. Describe to them God’s great work of creation. Tell them that when the earth came from His hand, it was holy and beautiful. Every flower, every shrub, every tree, answered the purpose of its Creator. Everything upon which the eye rested was lovely and filled the mind with thoughts of the love of God. Every sound was music in harmony with the voice of God. Show that it was sin which marred God’s perfect work; that thorns and thistles, sorrow and pain and death, are all the result of disobedience to God. Bid them see how the earth, though marred with the curse of sin, still reveals God’s goodness. The green fields, the lofty trees, the glad sunshine, the clouds, the dew, the solemn stillness of the night, the glory of the starry heavens, and the moon in its beauty all bear witness of the Creator. Not a drop of rain falls, not a ray of light is shed on our unthankful world, but it testifies to the forbearance and love of God.  {6T 358.2}

 

Tell them of the way of salvation; how “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Let the sweet story of Bethlehem be repeated. Present before the children Jesus, as a child obedient to His parents, as a youth faithful and industrious, helping to support the family. Thus you can teach them that the Saviour knows the trials, perplexities, and temptations, the hopes and joys, of the young, and that He can give them sympathy and help. From time to time read with them the interesting stories in Bible history. Question as to what they have learned in the Sabbath school, and study with them the next Sabbath’s lesson.  {6T 358.3}

 

As the sun goes down, let the voice of prayer and the hymn of praise mark the close of the sacred hours and invite God’s presence through the cares of the week of labor.  {6T 359.1}

 

Thus parents can make the Sabbath, as it should be, the most joyful day of the week. They can lead their children to regard it as a delight, the day of days, the holy of the Lord, honorable.  {6T 359.2}

 

I counsel you, my brethren and sisters: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” If you desire your children to observe the Sabbath according to the commandment, you must teach them by both precept and example. The deep engraving of truth in the heart is never wholly effaced. It may be obscured, but can never be obliterated. The impressions made in early life will be seen in afteryears. Circumstances may occur to separate the children from their parents and their home, but as long as they live the instruction given in childhood and youth will be a blessing.  {6T 359.3}

 

When the day’s work on Friday should be planned with reference to the Sabbath of the Lord, there is Satan working with those children of disobedience to prolong the service into the sacred hours, and give their orders that those under their direction shall do work on the Sabbath, and then they exult and Satan triumphs.  {TM 272.2}

 

Dress and Deportment

 

Every teacher in the Sabbath school should be a follower of Christ, and those who have not identified themselves as the disciples of Christ, showing by a consistent life that they are Christians, should not be invited to become teachers in the Sabbath school, for they have need that some one first teach them the foundation principles of the love and fear of God. “Without Me,” Christ says, “ye can do nothing.” Then of what value would be the teaching of one who knew nothing by personal experience of the power of Christ? It would be a great inconsistency to urge such a one to take a class in the Sabbath school, but it is even worse to permit a class to be under the influence of a teacher whose dress and deportment deny the Saviour, whom he professes to serve.  {CSW 93.2}

 

Sabbath Work

 

Physicians need to cultivate a spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. It may be necessary to devote even the hours of the holy Sabbath to the relief of suffering humanity. But the fee for such labor should be put into the treasury of the Lord, to be used for the worthy poor, who need medical skill but cannot afford to pay for it.–Health, Philanthropic, and Medical Missionary Work, page 42.  {MM 216.2}

 

Day of Days

 

And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God. Ezekiel 20:20. {FLB 274.1}

 

The Sabbath should be made so interesting to our families that its weekly return will be hailed with joy.  {FLB 274.2}

 

The Sabbath school and the meeting for worship occupy only a part of the Sabbath. The portion remaining to the family may be made the most sacred and precious season of all the Sabbath hours.  {FLB 274.3}

 

In the minds of the children the very thought of the Sabbath should be bound up with the beauty of natural things. . . . Happy the father and mother who can teach their children God’s written word with illustrations from the open pages of the book of nature; who can gather under the green trees, in the fresh, pure air, to study the Word and to sing the praise of the Father above.  {FLB 274.4}

 

In pleasant weather let parents walk with their children in the fields and groves. Amid the beautiful things of nature tell them the reason for the institution of the Sabbath. Describe to them God’s great work of creation. Tell them that when the earth came from His hand, it was holy and beautiful. Every flower, every shrub, every tree, answered the purpose of its Creator. . . . Show that it was sin which marred God’s perfect work; that thorns and thistles, sorrow and pain and death, are all the result of disobedience to God. Bid them see how the earth, though marred with the curse of sin, still reveals God’s goodness.  {FLB 274.5}

 

If we can cultivate within us a beauty of soul corresponding to the beauty of nature around us, there will be a blending of the divine and human agencies.  {FLB 274.6}

 

As the sun goes down, let the voice of prayer and the hymn of praise mark the close of the sacred hours and invite God’s presence through the cares of the week of labor.  {FLB 274.7}

 

Thus parents can make the Sabbath, as it should be, the most joyful day of the week. They can lead their children to regard it as a delight, the day of days, the holy of the Lord, honorable.

 

Make Friday the Preparation Day.–On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness, and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked, and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule, you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun, let all secular work be laid aside, and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment.  {CG 528.2}

 

These experiences prepared their hearts to appreciate and receive instruction regarding the value of missionary effort as a part of their education. As this subject was presented in the school and in the church, during the week of prayer, students and teachers sought to act upon the suggestions, and opportunities for labor were found in all directions. Sabbath and Sunday afternoons, from sixteen to twenty students are engaged in holding prayer meetings, Bible readings, young people’s meetings, and preaching services, in from six to ten different places. One result of this work we already see–the workers are greatly blessed. Other results may be seen in the future.–RH Oct. 4, 1898.{DG 119.3}

 

On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment. {CCh 263.2}

 

As a means of intellectual training, the opportunities of the Sabbath are invaluable. Let the Sabbath-school lesson be learned, not by a hasty glance at the lesson scripture on Sabbath morning, but by careful study for the next week on Sabbath afternoon, with daily review or illustration during the week. Thus the lesson will become fixed in the memory, a treasure never to be wholly lost.  {Ed 251.3}

 

The preaching at our Sabbath meetings should generally be short. Opportunity should be given for those who love God to express their gratitude and adoration.  {6T 361.1}

 

When the church is without a minister, someone should be appointed as leader of the meeting. But it is not necessary for him to preach a sermon or to occupy a large part of the time of service. A short, interesting Bible reading will often be of greater benefit than a sermon. And this can be followed by a meeting for prayer and testimony.  {6T 361.2}

 

Those who occupy a leading position in the church should not exhaust their physical and mental strength through the week so that on the Sabbath they are unable to bring the vivifying influence of the gospel of Christ into the meeting. Do less temporal, everyday labor, but do not rob God by giving Him, on the Sabbath, service which He cannot accept. You should not be as men who have no spiritual life. The people need your help on the Sabbath. Give them food from the word. Bring your choicest gifts to God on His holy day. Let the precious life of the soul be given to Him in consecrated service.  {6T 361.3}

 

Let none come to the place of worship to take a nap. There should be no sleeping in the house of God. You do not fall asleep when engaged in your temporal business, because you have an interest in your work. Shall we allow the service which involves eternal interests to be placed on a lower level than the temporal affairs of life?  {6T 361.4}

 

The Sabbath school at —– was made the one great theme of interest with Brother E. It absorbed the minds of the young, while other religious duties were neglected. Frequently, after the Sabbath school was closed, the superintendent, a number of teachers, and quite a number of scholars, would return home to rest. They felt that their burden for the day was ended, and that they had no further duty. When the bell sounded forth the hour for public service, and the people left their homes for the house of worship, they would meet a large portion of the school passing to their homes. And, however important the meeting, the interest of a large share of the Sabbath school could not be awakened to take any pleasure in the instruction given by the minister upon important Bible subjects. While many of the children did not attend public service, some that remained were not advantaged by the word spoken, for they felt that it was a wearisome tax.–TSS 7.  {CSW 183.1}

 

Small Company Sabbath Schools

 

Companies of Sabbathkeepers may be raised up in many places. Often they will not be large companies; but they must not be neglected; they must not be left to die for want of proper personal effort and training. The work should not be left prematurely. See that all are intelligent in the truth, established in the faith, and interested in every branch of the work, before leaving them for another field. . . .  {CSW 183.2}

 

It has been proved in the missionary field that, whatever may be the preaching talent, if the laboring part is neglected, if the people are not taught how to work, how to conduct meetings, how to act their part in missionary labor, how to reach people successfully, the work will be nearly a failure. There is much to be done in the Sabbath school work, also, in bringing the people to realize their obligation and to act their part. God calls them to work for Him, and the ministers should guide their efforts.–TSS 109.  {CSW 184.1}

 

God has given men six days wherein to labor, and He requires that their own work be done in the six working days. Acts of necessity and mercy are permitted on the Sabbath, the sick and suffering are at all times to be cared for; but unnecessary labor is to be strictly avoided. “Turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and . . . honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure.” Isaiah 58:13. Nor does the prohibition end here. “Nor speaking thine own words,” says the prophet. Those who discuss business matters or lay plans on the Sabbath are regarded by God as though engaged in the actual transaction of business. To keep the Sabbath holy, we should not even allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character. And the commandment includes all within our gates. The inmates of the house are to lay aside their worldly business during the sacred hours. All should unite to honor God by willing service upon His holy day.  {PP 307.3}

 

Sabbath Meetings

 

Christ has said: “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20. Wherever there are as many as two or three believers, let them meet together on the Sabbath to claim the Lord’s promise.  {6T 360.2}

 

The little companies assembled to worship God on His holy day have a right to claim the rich blessing of Jehovah. They should believe that the Lord Jesus is an honored guest in their assemblies. Every true worshiper who keeps holy the Sabbath should claim the promise: “That ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Exodus 31:13.  {6T 360.3}

 

The preaching at our Sabbath meetings should generally be short. Opportunity should be given for those who love God to express their gratitude and adoration.  {6T 361.1}

 

When the church is without a minister, someone should be appointed as leader of the meeting. But it is not necessary for him to preach a sermon or to occupy a large part of the time of service. A short, interesting Bible reading will often be of greater benefit than a sermon. And this can be followed by a meeting for prayer and testimony.  {6T 361.2}

 

Often Make Sabbath Meeting a Bible Class.–It has often been presented to me that there should be less sermonizing by ministers acting merely as local pastors of churches, and that greater personal efforts should be put forth. Our people should not be made to think that they need to listen to a sermon every Sabbath. Many who listen frequently to sermons, even though the truth be presented in clear lines, learn but little. Often it would be more profitable if the Sabbath meetings were of the nature of a Bible class study. Bible truth should be presented in such a simple, interesting manner that all can easily understand and grasp the principles of salvation.–Letter 192, 1906.  {Ev 348.1}

 

More Than Sermons Needed.–A minister is one who ministers. If you confine your work to sermonizing, the flock of God will suffer; for they need personal effort. Let your discourses be short. Long sermons wear out both you and the people. If ministers would make their sermons only half as long, they would do more good and would have strength left for personal work. Visit families, pray with them, converse with them, search the Scriptures with them, and you will do them good. Give them evidence that you seek their prosperity, and want them to be healthy Christians.–Manuscript 8a, 1888.  {Ev 348.2}

 

Visiting in Homes

 

Teachers and workers in every department of the Sabbath school work, I address you in the fear of God, and tell you that unless you have a living connection with God, and are often before Him in earnest prayer, you will not be able to do your work with heavenly wisdom, and win souls for Christ. The worker for God must be clothed with humility as with a garment. The Lord will recognize and bless the humble worker who has a teachable spirit, a reverential love for truth and righteousness, wherever such a worker may be. If you are thus, you will show a care for your scholars by making special efforts for their salvation. You will come close to them in loving sympathy, visiting them at their homes, learning their true condition by conversing with them concerning their experience in the things of God, and you will bear them in the arms of your faith to the throne of the Father.–TSS 68, 69.  {CSW 75.1}

 

Sabbath Dishes.–We would charge all not to wash their dishes on the Sabbath if this can possibly be avoided. God is dishonored by any unnecessary work done on His holy day. It is not inconsistent, but proper, that the dishes should be left unwashed till the close of the Sabbath, if this can be managed.–Letter 104, 1901.  {3SM 258.4}

 

Wearing dirty Garments

God required them also to wash their clothes. He is no less particular now than he was then. He is a God of order, and requires his people now upon the earth to observe habits of strict cleanliness. And those who worship God with uncleanly garments and persons, do not come before him in an acceptable manner. He is not pleased with their lack of reverence for him, and he will not accept the service of filthy worshipers, for they insult their Maker. The Creator of the heavens and of the earth considered cleanliness of so much importance that he said, “And let them wash their clothes.”  {1SP 233.2}

 

BLESSINGS

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