J.C. Ryle: The mistakes of the Pharisee about the Sabbath were in one direction. The mistakes of the Christian are in another.


J.C. Ryle with a warning about going overboard in two opposite directions in regard to observing the 4th commandment, Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.”

He refers to Jesus’ interactions with the Pharisees in Matthew 12, our reading for today.

The mistakes of the Pharisee about the Sabbath were in one direction. The mistakes of the Christian are in another. The Pharisee pretended to add to the holiness of the day. The Christian is too often disposed to take away from that holiness, and to keep the day in an idle, profane, irreverent manner. May we all watch our own conduct on this subject. Saving Christianity is closely bound up with Sabbath observance. May we never forget that our great aim should be to “keep the Sabbath holy.” Works of necessity may be done. “It is lawful to do well,” and show mercy.