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signify the states which come before regeneration,—the states a man is in who is not yet regenerate, but who is becoming so.
These are called six days of labor; and six days of the Lord's labor. They are called days of labor, because in all these days and states we have much to do which we do not wish to do, and which is often painful and difficult; and they are called days of the Lord's labor, because the Lord is working within us to make us love good, and our love of evil is all the time opposing him. Therefore we have more or less inward trouble; and the Lord, whom we oppose, is said to labor. But after a while, these states of labor come to an end. The work of regeneration is done. The Lord is still within us, working to make us love good; but our loves of what is evil no longer oppose and hinder Him, because He has at length put those loves of evil away from us; He has cast them out from us, as, when He was on earth, He cast out devils. We now, because of His work in us, love good; and not He rests from His labors. This is said, not becase He has left off working within us, but because
we have left off opposing and hindering Him, and therefore His work is no longer a labor.
When the Lord commands us to keep the Sabbath, He says, “ He blessed this day and hallowed it." And this is true of the state of the man who is regenerate. The Lord blesses this state, for He brings upon this state the blessings of peace and of happiness. And the happiness of a state of regeneration is the happiness of heaven; for all there, are there because they are regenerate.
He also " hallows” this state. He makes it holy. Such thoughts and such affections as He sends are then the only ones; for no wicked feeling mixes with them, to defile them and make them unholy.
Thus you may understand that regeneration is a true Sabbath; a Sabbath within us; the Sabbath of the soul.
And then you may understand, that the Lord, in His love for us, commanded that we should keep the Sabbath holy forever, in order that we Inight forever keep before us this work of regeneration. His fatherly goodness wishes us never
to forget, that regeneration is the one great thing for which we are born and live in this world.
My dear children, let me ask you to try to understand this as well as you can, and to remember it as well as you can; I am sure you will be the better for it, and the happier.
And in the next lesson I will try to tell you how the Sabbath should be observed; that is, how we may best do the commandment of the Lord. At some future time you can learn better than you can now, why the Sabbath is now the first day of the week, instead of the last day of the week, as it was among the Israelites.
In this lesson, I am going to tell you, as well as I can, in what manner we should observe the Sabbath, or keep it holy.
If you have understood the lessons which came before this, you will know that the Sabbath signifies regeneration; and that it was ordained among men in order to promote that regeneration of which it is the sign; and you will be ready to hear, that the best way to observe the Sabbath, is that way which will most assist our regeneration.
Now you must keep in mind, that the regeneration, which the Sabbath signifies, is the Lord's work; that it is a work which is done by Him, in
But it is not done in us as if we were posts, or pillars of stone. It is not done in us as if we were dead, but as if we were alive. And it is done in us, if we are willing, and if we work together with the Lord; and not otherwise.
It is important to understand this, and I will try to make it plainer. You may think, that if it be
so necessary for our happiness to love good, the Lord might change us at once, and alter our dispositions, so as to make us cease all at once from loving anything that is in any way evil. But you must learn that this is not the way in which the Lord does this work. Because, as he has given us a will and an understanding, and has made us living human beings, so he requires us and enables us to act like human beings; and we do this when we work with the will and the understanding, in helping forward the work which He is doing within us; and this is the work of regeneration.
Now, as this is the case, and as the Sabbath signifies regeneration, you may see that one thing which it must be proper for us to do on the Sabbath, is to keep in mind the Lord our God, and remember that He is always endeavoring to lead us to good; and we must try to confirm ourselves in the desire of being led by Him, and pray to Him to help us to wish this more, and express our love for Him, as our Father in heaven, who is good to us, and more good than we can possibly know or think.