Reformed Theology, the Lord's Day

Begg on Stonewall Jackson and the Fourth Commandment

Alistair Begg says:

General Jackson is a legend in American History. Any of you who have read of Jackson know that he was a man of extreme principle and character. At the very heart of this was his conviction of faith in Jesus Christ. And his extreme rigorous character attached itself also to the observance of the Sabbath. And writing in his biography, his widow says,

Certainly he was not less scrupulous in obeying the divine command to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” than he was in any other rule of his life. Since the Creator had set apart this day for his own, and commanded it to be kept holy, he believed that it was as wrong for him to desecrate it by worldly pleasure, idleness, or secular employment, as to break any other commandment of the decalogue. Sunday was his busiest day of the week, as he always attended church twice a day and taught in two Sabbath schools! He refrained as much as possible from all worldly conversation, and in his family, if secular topics were introduced, he would say, with a kindly smile, “We will talk about that to-morrow.”

He never travelled on Sunday, never took his mail from the post-office, nor permitted a letter of his own to travel on that day, always before posting it calculating the time it required to reach its destination; and even business letters of the utmost importance were never sent off the very last of the week, but were kept over until Monday morning, unless it was a case where distance required a longer time than a week.

One so strict in his own Sabbath observance naturally believed that it was wrong for the government to carry the mails on Sunday. Any organization which exacted secular labor of its employees on the Lord’s day was, in his opinion, a violator of God’s law.

And so his life was marked by a rigorous obedience to the Law of God. Now, loved ones, here’s the question: Is this quote from Jackson an anachronism? In other words, if Jackson was right, where does that leave us? Cos’ if we’re right, most of us, he was wrong. But one thing is for sure: we’re not both right. — Alistair Begg, Holy Day or Holiday?, sermon

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