The revelation of the Sabbath as a day of rest seems to be the first law of conduct unfolded to human thought, for in the second chapter of Genesis we read that "God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it;" showing that the consecration of the Sabbath seems to go back to the dawn of human consciousness, for when the Bible was written men were already observing the Sabbath, and it was not a new institution. Noah observed an interval of seven days when sending the birds out of the ark. When the commandments were written "with the finger of God," the fourth commandment read: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy," which implies a recalling of what had already been established.

The Sabbath was intended to be a period of joyful rest and recreation in communion with God, who Himself, according to Scripture, rested on the seventh day. There were several festivals connected with the Sabbath during the early history of the Hebrew people. The seventh day was to be observed not only in the sanctuary, but in all their dwellings. The seventh or Sabbatic month was ushered in by the blowing of trumpets, and was called the feast of trumpets. The seventh day was holy, the seventh month was holy, and the seventh or Sabbatical year was one of rest. The people were taught that the land belonged to God, and it kept its Sabbath to Him, when it was not planted or sown. During the Sabbatical year creditors were bound to release poor debtors, and the Hebrew slaves were freed. The non-observance of the Sabbatical year was one of the sins which caused the Jews to be taken captive by Babylon.

January 15, 1910

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