The value of the Sabbath as a means of education is beyond estimate.
Whatever of ours God claims from us, He returns again, enriched,
transfigured, with His own glory. The tithe that He claimed from Israel
was devoted to preserving among men, in its glorious beauty, the pattern
of His temple in the heavens, the token of His presence on the earth. So
the portion of our time which He claims is given again to us, bearing
His name and seal. "It is a sign," He says, "between Me
and you; . . . that ye may know that I am the Lord;" because
"in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that
in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the
Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 31:13; 20:11. The Sabbath is
a sign of creative and redeeming power; it points to God as the source
of life and knowledge; it recalls man's primeval glory, and thus
witnesses to God's purpose to re-create us in His own image.
The Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in Eden, and in
God's purpose they are indissolubly linked together. On this day more
than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden. It
was God's plan for the members of the family to be associated in work and
study, in worship and recreation, the father as priest of his household,
and both father and mother as teachers and companions of their children.
But the results of sin, having changed the conditions of life, to a
great degree prevent this association. Often the father hardly sees the
faces of his children throughout the week. He is almost wholly deprived
of opportunity for companionship or instruction. But God's love has set
a limit to the demands of toil. Over the Sabbath He places His merciful
hand. In His own day He preserves for the family opportunity for
communion with Him, with nature, and with one another.
Since the Sabbath is the memorial of creative power, it is the day
above all others when we should acquaint ourselves with God through His
works. In the minds of the children the very thought of the Sabbath
should be bound up with the beauty of natural things. Happy is the
family who can go to the place of worship on the Sabbath as Jesus and
His disciples went to the synagogue--across the fields, along the shores
of the lake, or through the groves. Happy the father and mother who can
teach their children God's written word with illustrations from the open
pages of the book of nature; who can gather under the green trees, in
the fresh, pure air, to study the word and to sing the praise of the
By such associations parents may bind their children to their hearts,
and thus to God, by ties that can never be broken.
As a means of intellectual training, the opportunities of the Sabbath
are invaluable. Let the Sabbath-school lesson be learned, not by a hasty
glance at the lesson scripture on Sabbath morning, but by careful study
for the next week on Sabbath afternoon, with daily review or
illustration during the week. Thus the lesson will become fixed in the
memory, a treasure never to be wholly lost.
In listening to the sermon, let parents and children note the text
and the scriptures quoted, and as much as possible of the line of
thought, to repeat to one another at home. This will go far toward
relieving the weariness with which children so often listen to a sermon,
and it will cultivate in all a habit of attention and of connected
Meditation on the themes thus suggested will open to the student
treasures of which he has never dreamed. He will prove in his own life
the reality of the experience described in the scripture:
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto
me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart." Jeremiah 15:16.
"I will meditate in Thy statutes." "More to be desired
are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold. . . . Moreover by them is
Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward."
Psalms 119:48; 19:10, 11.
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