Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Earthly Sabbath a Type of the Heavenly

Thomas Downie, "The Earthly Sabbath a Type of the Heavenly," in The Believer on Pisgah: Sabbath Evening Meditations on Heaven, pp. 7-8:

What renders the Sabbath in an especial manner precious to the believer is, that it is a type of the eternal Sabbath which he hopes to spend with the Redeemer in the mansions of bliss. Like John in Patmos, when he was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, he obtains visions of celestial glory, which stimulate him to increased diligence in preparing for the high destiny that awaits him.

The earthly Sabbath is a type of the heavenly as regards the rest which it provides for man. The Sabbath is a day of rest: 'In it thou shalt not do any work' (Ex. xx. 10). For the comfort and refreshment of man the Sabbath was appointed. To the sons of toil, oppressed by labour and hardship during the week, how welcome is the return of the Sabbath! When Saturday evening comes, what gladness fills their hearts as they can. take up the language of Moses, and say, 'To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord!' To the merchant, whose mind has been oppressed with worldly care, what a load is lifted from his spirits as the morning of the Sabbath dawns upon him, and he has the prospect of devoting one day to the attention of matters higher than those of time. Nor is it only during the hours of the Sabbath that its advantages as a season of rest are enjoyed: the prospect of its return, amid the toil and bustle of the week, is as water to the weary and thirsty traveller.

Viewing the earthly Sabbath as a day of rest, how appropriately is it an emblem of the heavenly Sabbath—the rest that remaineth for the people of God. In his eternal home, the believer enters into repose, which no storm will ever arise to disturb. The careworn labourer, when he reaches the Saturday evening of life and falls asleep in Christ, awakes in a world on whose horizon no cloud of care or sorrow shall ever be seen. There will be rest from every calamity that on earth harasses and grieves the people of God. Disease, which in this vale of tears often causes its victims months or years of suffering, will never invade the eternal home of the redeemed. Crosses and disappointments, which here below frequently wring the heart with anguish, will be unknown there. Bereavement, which so often enters the household on earth, and leaves desolation and woe behind, will never be experienced in our Father's house of many mansions. There will be rest from sin, with all the misery which it entails. The moment the believer enters upon the possession of his heavenly inheritance, his nature will be made perfectly holy, and never again will he have to contend with the storms of temptation from without, or the workings of unbelief from within. Satan will not enter the regions of bliss to disturb his peace; he shall for ever be beyond the reach of the ungodly influence with which on earth he had daily to contend; with his warfare ended, he shall wear the diadem of victory, and repose in safety in the arms of infinite love. Time's week of labour has ended, and the eternal Sabbath of rest and enjoyment has begun.

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