To live well is to work well, to show a good activity.
Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it rests in Thee.
—Augustine of Hippo
The rhythm of work and rest seems to help us function more purposefully and energetically, living in the responsive obedience to the pattern God designed for us.
–Lynne M. Baab
The sabbath helps us know experientially that nothing we do will make God love us more.
–Lynne M. Baab
Has it ever struck you that the trouts bite best on the Sabbath? God’s critturs tempting decent men.
—James Matthew Barrie
A being is free only when it can determine and limit its activity.
A world without a Sabbath would be like a man without a smile, like a summer without flowers, and like a homestead without a garden. It is the joyous day of the whole week.
—Henry Ward Beecher
The savings bank of human existence is the weekly Sabbath.
—William Garden Blaikie
To quarrel with the Sabbath, therefore, is for a man to quarrel with his own constitution.
The busyness of things obscures our concentration on God … Never let a hurried lifestyle disturb the relationship of abiding in Him. This is an easy thing to allow, but we must guard against it.
We doctors, in the treatment of nervous disease, are no constantly compelled to prescribe periods of rest. Some periods are, I think, only Sundays in arrears.
—Sir James Crichton-Browne
I feel as if God had, by giving the Sabbath, given fifty-two springs in each year.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Sabbath ceasing means to cease not only from work itself, but also from the need to accomplish and be productive, from the worry and tension that accompany our modern criterion of efficiency, from our efforts to be in control of our lives as if we were God, from our possessiveness and our enculturation, and, finally, from the humdrum and meaninglessness that result when life is pursued without the Lord at the center of it all.
—Marva J. Dawn
Sabbath is not meant as a day of gloom but a day of gladness.
The Sunday is the core of our civilization, dedicated to thought and reverence. It invites to the noblest solitude and to the noblest society.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.
—Harry Emerson Fosdick
It would be as difficult to take an inventory of the benefits the world receives from the sunshine as to enumerate the blessings we derive from the Christian Sabbath.
—Hervey Doddridge Ganse
The streams of religion run deep or shallow, according as the banks of the Sabbath are kept up or neglected.
The happiness of heaven is the constant keeping of the Sabbath. Heaven is called a Sabbath, to make those who have Sabbaths long for heaven, and those who long for heaven love Sabbaths.
On Sunday heaven’s gates stand open
I think the world of today would go mad, just frenzied with strain and pressure, but for the blessed institution of Sunday.
He who ordained the Sabbath loves the poor.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes
It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.
—C. S. Lewis
As we keep or break the Sabbath day, we nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope by which man rises.
Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
He who ordained the Sabbath loves the poor.
—James Russell Lowell
The spiritual rest, which God particularly intends in this Commandment, is this: that we not only cease from our labor and trade, but much more, that we let God alone work in us and that we do nothing of our own with all our powers.
I have not the smallest doubt that, if we and our ancestors had, during the last three centuries, worked just as hard on the Sunday as on the week days, we should have been at this moment a poorer people and a less civilised people than we are.
—Thomas Babington Macaulay
A believer longs after God, to come into his presence, to feel his love, to feel near to him in secret, to feel in the crowd that he is nearer than all the creatures. Ah! dear brethren, have you ever tasted this blessedness? There is greater rest and solace to be found in the presence of God for one hour than in an eternity of the presence of man.
—Robert Murray McCheyne
Where there is no Christian Sabbath, there is no Christian morality; and without this, free institutions cannot long be sustained.
When your tongue is silent, you can rest in the silence of the forest. When your imagination is silent, the forest speaks to you. It tells you of its unreality and of the Reality of God. But when your mind is silent, then the forest suddenly becomes magnificently real and blazes transparently with the Reality of God.
Without a Sabbath, no worship; without worship, no religion; and without religion, no permanent freedom.
—Charles Forbes Montalembert
Show me a nation that has given up the Sabbath, and I will show you a nation that has got the seed of decay.
—Dwight L. Moody
I believe that the Sabbath question today is a vital one for the whole country. It is the burning question of the present time. If you give up the Sabbath the church goes; if you give up the church the home goes; and if the home goes the nation goes. That is the direction in which we are traveling.
—Dwight L. Moody
There is a restlessness and fretfulness in these day which stand like two granite walls against Godliness. Contentment is almost necessary to Godliness, and Godliness is absolutely necessary to contentment. A very restless man will never be a very Godly man, and a very Godly man will never be a very restless man.
Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center.
“We meet dozens of people, have so many conversations. We do not feel how much energy we spend on each activity, because we imagine we will always have more energy at our disposal. This one little conversation. This one little extra phone call, this one quick meeting, what can it cost?…..But it does cost…..it drains yet another drop of our life. Then, at the end of days, weeks, months, years, we collapse, we burn out, and cannot see where it happened. It happened in a thousand unconscious events, tasks and responsibilities that seemed easy and harmless on the surface, but that each one after the other used a small portion of our precious life. And so, we are given a commandment, which is actually a gift: ‘Remember the Sabbath’”.
I never knew a man to escape failure, in either body or mind, who worked seven days in the week.
—Sir Robert Peel
Sabbath is that uncluttered time and space in which we can distance ourselves from our own activities enough to see what God is doing.
“Sabbath is not primarily about us or how it benefits us; it is about God, and how God forms us. It is not, in the first place, about what we do or don’t do; it is about God – completing and resting and blessing and sanctifying. These are all things that we don’t know much about……But it does mean stopping and being quiet long enough to see – open-mouthed – with wonder – resurrection wonder…..we cultivate the “fear of the Lord”. Our souls are formed by what we cannot work up or take charge of. We respond and enter into what the resurrection of Jesus continues to do.”
If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing, and from robbing he next comes to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.
—Thomas De Quincey
The green oasis, the little grassy meadow in the wilderness, where, after the week-day’s journey, the pilgrim halts for refreshment and repose.
“I’ve yet to meet a pastor whose life is balanced, rhythmic, whole, centered, [and] anchored who is not practicing Sabbath.
Do not let Sunday be taken from you. If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.
God always and eternally intended the Sabbath to be a lifestyle—an attitude, a perspective, an orientation for the living that enables us to govern our lives and steer clear of bondage.
Sabbath keeping isn’t a condition of getting into heaven. It is the condition we will find heaven when we get there.
The bow cannot be always bent without fear of breaking. Repose is as needful to the mind as sleep to the body. . . Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength. . . . It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less.
Money gained on Sabbath-day is a loss, I dare to say. No blessing can come with that which comes to us, on the devil’s back, by our willful disobedience of God’s law. The loss of health by neglect of rest, and the loss of soul by neglect of hearing the gospel, soon turn all seeming profit into real loss.
In place of our exhaustion and spiritual fatigue, He will give us rest. All He asks is that we come to Him . . . that we spend a while thinking about Him, meditating on him, talking to Him, listening in silence, occupying ourselves with Him totally and thoroughly lost in the hiding place of His presence.
At least one day in every seven, pull off the road and park the car in the garage. Close the door to the toolshed and turn off the computer. Stay home, not because you are sick but because you are well. Talk someone you love into being well with you. Take a nap, a walk, and hour for lunch. Test the premise that you are worth more than you can produce – that even if you spent one whole day of being good for nothing you would still be precious in God’s sight. And when you get anxious because you are convinced that this is not so – remember that your own conviction is not required. This is a commandment. Your worth has already been established, even when you are not working. The purpose of the commandment is to woo you to the same truth.
—Barbara Brown Taylor
He that remembers not to keep the Christian Sabbath at the beginning of the week, will be in danger of forgetting, before the end of the week, that he is a Christian.
—Sir Edward Turner
Break down Sunday, close the churches, open the bars and the theatres on that day, and where would values be? What was real estate worth in Sodom?
—Herman Lincoln Wayland
The longer I live, the more highly do I estimate the importance of a proper observance of the Christian Sabbath, and the more grateful do I feel towards those who take pains to impress a sense of this importance on the community.
Sunday is nature’s law as well as God’s. No individual or nation habitually disregarding it has failed to fall upon disaster and grief.
Our Sabbaths must be our satisfaction; not our burden, but our blessing.
They that have delight in the Sabbath of God, shall find delight in the God of the Sabbath.
O what a blessing is Sunday, interposed between the waves of worldly business like the divine path of the Israelites through the sea! There is nothing in which I would advise you to be more strictly conscientious than in keeping the Sabbath day holy. I can truly declare that to me the Sabbath has been invaluable.
—Samuel Wilberforce, son of William Wilberforce
Of all time Sabbath-time is the most precious and valuable; it being the time God has allotted and set apart for himself, and upon the improvement whereof the glory of God and salvation of our souls depend in a most peculiar manner; it being the day of special access to God, and of free commerce and correspondence between heaven and earth. It is heaven’s weekly market day, or God’s deal-day to the poor and needy; the day of access to God’s presence-chamber.
He that would prepare for heaven, must honour the Sabbath upon earth.
The Sabbath is the link between the paradise which has passed away and the paradise which is yet to come.
There is so much more to sabbath than what we stop doing, but for the purposes of disciplining power, simply stopping matters a great deal.
But on the seventh day God stops not only to bless but to “hallow” or set apart the sabbath. The holiness of God is revealed not just in what he does but how he rests.