Ryle on the LORD’s Day

Given that today is, first AND foremost, the LORD’s Day, here is what J.C. Ryle has to say about doing good deeds on this holy day, and what they should not be:

But we must take care that the principles here laid down by our LORD, is not abused and turned to bad account. We must not allow ourselves to suppose that the permission to ‘do good’, ‘ implied that every one might find his own pleasure on the Sabbath. The permission to ‘do good’ was never meant to open the door to amusements, worldly festivities, traveling, journeying, and sensual gratification. It was never intended to license the Sunday railway train, or the Sunday steamboat, or the Sunday exhibition. These things do good to none, and do certain harm to many. They rob many a servant of his seventh day’s rest. They turn the Sunday of thousands into a day of hard toil. Let us beware of perverting our LORD’s words from their proper meaning. Let us remember what kind of ‘doing good’ on the Sabbath His blessed example sanctioned. Let us ask ourselves whether there is the slightest likeness between our LORD’s works on the Sabbath, and those ways of spending the Sabbath for which many contend, who yet dare to appeal to our LORD’s example. Let us fall back on the plain meaning of our LORD’s words, and take our stand on them. He gives us a liberty to ‘do good’ on Sunday, but for feasting, sight-seeing, party-giving, and excursion, He gives no liberty at all. (Emphasis added)

Found this floating on Facebook today, showing the importance of the LORD’s day from Calvin’s perspective:

Via Pastor Paul Viggiano:
“It is to be gathered without doubt from many passages, that the keeping of the Sabbath was a serious matter, since God inculcates no other commandment more frequently, nor more strictly requires obedience to any; and again, when He complains that He is despised, and that the Jews have fallen into extreme ungodliness, He simply says that His “Sabbaths are polluted,” as if religion principally consisted in their observance.” ~John Calvin~

Given the importance of observing the LORD’s day, if one has to make a choice between Christmas and the LORD’s day, it would be better to choose the latter over the former. The latter is commanded by our LORD, the former is nothing but an invention from man’s imagination. When we look at the whole of Scripture, it is striking how often man’s imagination get him in trouble when it comes to worshiping our Holy LORD.