Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thomas Watson...Concerning the Lord's Day

We must on this day rest from all the works of our calling. As Abraham, when he went to sacrifice, left his servant and ass at the bottom of the hill, Gen. xxii. 5: so when we are to worship God this day, we must leave all secular business behind. — And as Joseph, when he would speak with his brethren, thrust out the Egyptians: so when we would have converse with God this day, we must thrust out all earthly employments. Though works of necessity may be done and works of charity, (for God will have mercy, and not sacrifice) yet in other cases we must cease from all worldly negotiations. It is observable concerning Mary Magdalene, that she refused to anoint Christ’s dead body on the Sabbath day, Luke xxiii. 56. She had before prepared her ointment, but came not come to the sepulcher till the Sabbath was past. She rested that day from all work, though it were a commendable and glorius work; the anointing of Christ’s dead body.

When this blessed day approacheth, we must lift up our heart in thankfulness to God, that he has put another price into our hands for gaining heavenly wisdom. These are our spiritual-harvest days; now the wind of God’s Spirit blows upon the sails of our affections, and we may be much further on in our heavenly voyage. Christian, lift up thy heart to God in thankfulness, that he hath given thee another golden season, and be sure you improve it; it may be the last. Seasons of grace are not like the tide; if a man misseth one tide, he may have another.

This day approaching, we must in the morning dress and fit our souls for the receiving of the Word. The people of Israel must wash their garments before the law was delivered to them.Our hearts must be washed by prayer and repentance, the oracles of God being to be delivered to us.

And being met together, we must set ourselves, as in the presence of God, with seriousness and delight to hear God’s sacred Word. Take heed of distractions which fly-blow our duties.

We must labor to be bettered by every Sabbath: where the Lord lays out cost, he looks for fruit. Fresh anointings of God are to be thirsted after; and new cubits are to be added to our spiritual stature. We must not be like the Salamander, which lives in the fire but never becomes hotter. Christians should on these days aspire after communion with God, and endeavor to have the illapses of his Spirit, and clearer discoveries of his love in Christ. In short, we should do on a Sabbath as Moses: he ascended the Mount that he might have a sight of God.

You can read his entire chapter here.