I just started reading From Sabbath to Lord’s Day (edited by D.A. Carson) in preparation for a class paper on the Sabbath. I actually began reading it in a Regis Salon waiting for a haircut, but that story is for another time…

What I found in Carson’s introduction was quite beautiful, and impressed me to share:

Some Christian to the Lord regard a day,
And others to the Lord regard it not;
Now, though these seem to choose a diff’rent way,
yet both, at last, to one same point are brought.

He that regards the day will reason thus-
“This glorious day our Saviour and our King
Perform’d some mighty act of love for us;
Observe the time in mem’ry of the thing.”

Thus he to Jesus point his kind intent,
And offers prayers and praises in his name;
As to the Lord above his love is meant,
The Lord accepts it; and who dare to blame?

For, though the shell indeed is not the meat,
‘Tis not rejected when the meat’s within;
Though superstition is a vain conceit,
Commemoration surely is no sin.

He also, that to days has no regard,
The shadows only for the substance quits;
Towards the Saviour’s presence presses hard,
And outward things through eagerness omits.

For warmly to himself he thus reflects-
“My Lord alone I count my chiefest good;
All empty forms my craving soul rejects,
And seeks the solid riches of his blood.

“All days and times I place my sole delight
In him, the only object of my care;
External shows for his dear sake I slight,
Lest ought but Jesus my respect should share.”

Let not th’ observer, therefore, entertain
Against his brother any secret grudge;
Nor let the non-observer call him vain;
But use his freedom, and forbear to judge.

Thus both may bring their motives to the test;
Ourcondescending Lord will both approve.
Let each pursue the way that likes him best;
he cannot walk amiss, that walks in love.

by Joseph Hart (1712-1768)

as quoted in From Sabbath to Lord’s Day: A Biblical, Historical, and Theological Investigation, edited by D.A. Carson, Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Enjoy the poem and the freedom we share in Christ.

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