The Synod of Dort on Sabbath Observance

Session 164, May 17 PM
Trans. R. Scott Clark

Rules on the observation of the Sabbath, or the Lord’s Day, with the agreement of the brothers from Zeeland the following concepts were explained and approved by Doctor Professors of Divinity.

In the fourth Commandment of the divine law, part is ceremonial, part is moral.

The rest of the seventh day after creation was ceremonial and its rigid observation peculiarly prescribed to the Jewish people.

Moral in fact, because the fixed and enduring day of the worship of God is appointed, for as much rest as is necessary for the worship of God and holy meditation of him.

With the Sabbath of the Jews having been abrogated, the Lord’s Day is solemnly sanctified by Christians.

From the time of the Apostles this day was always observed in the ancient Catholic Church.

This same day is thus consecrated for divine worship, so that in it one might rest from all servile works (with these excepted, which are works of charity and pressing necessity) and from those recreations which impede the worship of God.

Source: H.H. Kuyper, De Post-Acta of Nahandelingen van de nationale Synode van Dordrecht in 1618 en 1619 gehouden een Historische Studie (Amsterdam, 1899), 184-6.

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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