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The Lord's Day

There has been, over several decades, a general loosening of conduct of people in general as to what is proper to the first day of the week, and we are left in no doubt as to what this trend means and where it will end. It is part of the world-wide slide away from any recognition of God by the masses. Here and there we hear a voice raised by those who seek a greater reverence for the day, though that may not mean greater reverence for the Lord to whom the day belongs. At the same time, even an outward acknowledgement of that reverence of what is proper to things that peculiarly belong to the Lord is better than 9ut and out irreverence and profanity.

The Greek adjective Kuriakos, translated Lord's in Revelation 1.10 relative to the Lord's day,. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day," is also so rendered in "the Lord's supper" in 1 Corinthians 11.20. It is not my purpose to discuss whether it is better rendered Lord's or Lordly. Liddell and Scott give the meaning of Kuriakos as, "of or for a lord or master." Accepting this as the true meaning of the word, we see that this day cannot be regarded the 8ame as another day. It belongs in a peculiar sense to the Lord, it is to be a day for Him on the part of those who regard themselves to be the Lord's. There is the grave danger of believers, because of the general looseness of conduct by worldly people, getting into this loose behaviour in regard to the Lord's day.

Some time ago the following extract came under my notice :"In the year 1618, King James caused a declaration, called the Book of Sports, from its subject, concerning lawful sports to be used on Sundays after Divine Service, to be published by order from the bishops, by being read in all the parish churches of their respective dioceses. This opened a floodgate to all manner of licentiousness among the populace, and became the means of unspeakable oppression to a great number of worthy ministers. The following account of the feelings of one then living, named Conder, has been handed down for the instruction of other generations.

"When a young man, I was greatly addicted to foot-ball playing; and in our parish and many others, the young men, as soon as church was over, went to play. Our minister often remonstrated against our breaking the Sabbath, which had but little effect, only my conscience checked me at times. Thus I went on sinning and repenting a long time, but had no resolution to break off, till one Sabbath morning our good minister acquainted his hearers that he was very sorry to tell them that by order of the king and his council, he must read the following paper, or relinquish his living This was the Book of Sports, forbidding the ministers, churchwardens, and any others, to molest or discourage the youth in what were called their manly recreations, on the Lord's day. While our minister was reading, I was seized with a chill and a horror not to be described. Now, thought I, iniquity is to be established by law! What sore judgements are to be expected upon so wicked and guilty a nation! What shall I do? How shall I escape the wrath to come? And thus God convinced me that it was time to be in earnest about salvation. And from that time, I never had the least inclination to join my vain companions any more; so that I date my conversion from that time, and adore the grace of God in making that an ordinance for my salvation, which the devil and wicked governors laid as traps for my destruction."

This account speaks for itself, as to how this royal command leading to the desecration of the Lord's day affected this young man. How our behaviour on the Lord's day may affect sinners now should be a matter of serious concern with us all, both old and young. We may believe it is the Lord's day, but, alas, we may not act as though we do. If we are in the Spirit on that day it will be the sure corrective in our lives.