Shorter Catechism Q.61; Larger Catechism Q.119;
Shorter Catechism Q.62; Larger Catechism Q.120
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q.118. Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors?
A. The charge of keeping the sabbath is more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors, because they are bound not only to keep it themselves, but to see that it be observed by all those that are under their charge; and because they are prone ofttimes to hinder them by employments of their own [f].
[f] Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Nehemiah 13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. Ver.16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Ver.17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? (See above in letter [#b].)
Jeremiah 17:20 And say unto them, Hear ye the word of the LORD, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates: Ver.21 Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; Ver.22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.
Exodus 23:12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 61. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required [o], and the profaning the day by idleness [p], or doing that which is in itself sinful [q], or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations [r].
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q.119. What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required [g], all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them [h]; all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful [i]; and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations [k].
The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required [g],
[g] Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them [h];
[h] Amos 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
Malachi 1:13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.
Ezekiel 33:30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. Ver.31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. Ver.32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
all profaning the day by idleness,
Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. Ver.9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
and doing that which is in itself sinful [i];
[i] Ezekiel 23:38 Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths.
and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations [k].
[k] Jeremiah 17:24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath-day, but hallow the sabbath-day, to do no work therein; Ver.25 Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain for ever. Ver.26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt-offerings, and sacrifices, and meat-offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD. Ver.27 But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.
Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
1 “Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God.
3 ‘ Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’
“ In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
And exploit all your laborers.
4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you do this day,
To make your voice heard on high.
5 Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the LORD?
6 “ Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
“ If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the LORD honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 62. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments [s], his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the Sabbath-day [t].
[s] Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work.
[t] Exodus 20:11 For 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.
- Westminster Larger Catechism
Q.120. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it, are taken from the equity of it, God allowing us six days of seven for our own affairs, and reserving but one for himself in these words,
- Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work [l]:
- from God’s challenging a special propriety in that day,
- The seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God [m]:
- from the example of God, who
- in six days made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day:
- and from that blessing which God put upon that day, not only in sanctifying it to be a day for his service, but in ordaining it to be a means of blessing to us in our sanctifying it;
- Wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it [n].
[l] Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
[m] Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
[n] Exodus 20:11 For 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
End of Lesson, Day 104
For Further Study:
- Francis R. Beattie's The Presbyterian Standards
- James Fisher's Catechism on the Catechism Q. 61
- John Flavel's Exposition of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism (Questions 60 to 62 combined)
- Matthew Henry's A Scripture Catechism in the Method of the Assembly's Q. 61
- Thomas Vincent's The Shorter Catechism Explained from Scripture Q. 61
- Thomas Watson's Body of Divinity
- John Whitecross' The Shorter Catechism Illustrated Q. 61
- James Fisher's Catechism on the Catechism Q. 62
- Matthew Henry's A Scripture Catechism in the Method of the Assembly's Q.62
- Thomas Vincent's The Shorter Catechism Explained from Scripture Q. 62
- John Whitecross' The Shorter Catechism Illustrated Q. 62
- CHAPTER XXI. - Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day - Commentary by Gordon H. Clark
- Chapter XXI. Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath-Day - Exposition by Robert Shaw
- Chapter 21: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath-Day - Commentary by A.A. Hodge