SABBATH

HOW THE SABBATH SHOULD BE KEPT BY BISHOP J. B. RYLE

“Ryle was a 19th-century Anglican pastor. He was born in 1816. When he died in 1900, he was relatively unknown outside the Anglican Church in Britain. But since Ryle’s death, his books have slowly grown in popularity. Writing a tribute to Ryle in 2002, J.I. Packer noted that Ryle’s books had sold more than 12 million copies and had been translated into at least a dozen languages; the numbers continue to climb….1 “A hundred years later,” wrote his biographer, “we can see that there were few more influential evangelicals in the Victorian era than Bishop Ryle.”2 Ryle was a contemporary of Charles H. Spurgeon, Dwight L. Moody, George Mueller, and Hudson Taylor. When Ryle was 15, Charles Darwin graduated from Cambridge. His was the age of Dickens, the American Civil War, and a British Empire on which the sun never set” William P. Farley (ref#203).

“I propose,…to show the manner in which the Sabbath ought to be kept….My desire is simply to state what appears to be in the mind of God as revealed in Holy Scripture…One plain rule about the Sabbath is that it must be kept as a day of rest. All work of every kind ought to cease as far as possible, both of body and mind….Whatever, in short, is necessary to preserve and maintain life, whether of ourselves, or of the creatures, or to do good to the souls of men, may be done on the Sabbath Day without sin” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“The other great rule about the Sabbath is, that it must be kept holy. It is not to be a carnal, sensual rest, like that of the worshippers of the golden calf, who ‘sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play’ (Exodus 32:6). It is to be emphatically a holy rest. It is to be a rest in which, as far as possible, the affairs of the soul may be attended to” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“I see no harm in a quiet walk on a Sunday, provided always that it does not take the place of going to public worship, and is really quiet, and like that of Isaac (Gen 24:63). I read of our Lord and His disciples walking through the cornfields on the Sabbath Day. All I say is, beware that you do not turn liberty into license—beware that you do not injure the souls of others in seeking relaxation for yourself—and beware that you never forget you have a soul as well as a body” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“I do not tell anyone that he ought to pray all day, or read his Bible all day, or go to church all day, or meditate all day, without…cessation, on a Sunday. All I say is, that the Sunday rest should be a holy rest. God ought to be kept in view; God’s Word ought to be studied; God’s House ought to be attended; the soul’s business ought to be specially considered; and I say that everything which prevents the day being kept holy in this way, ought as far as possible to be avoided” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“I want every Christian to be a happy man: I wish him to have ‘joy and peace in believing,’ and to ‘rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ I want everyone to regard Sunday as the brightest, cheerfulest day of all the seven…” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

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