True Education


Chapter 29—The Sabbath

The value of the Sabbath as a means of education is beyond estimate. Whatever of ours God claims from us, He returns again, enriched, transfigured with His own glory. The tithe that He claimed from Israel was devoted to preserving in its glorious beauty the pattern of His temple in the heavens, the token of His presence on earth. So the portion of our time that He claims is given back to us, bearing His name and seal. “It is a sign,” He says, “between Me and you; ... that you may know that I am the Lord,” because “in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 31:13; 20:11. TEd 155.1

The Sabbath is a sign of creative and redeeming power. It points to God as the source of life and knowledge. It recalls our first parents’ primeval glory, and thus witnesses to God’s purpose to recreate us in His own image. TEd 155.2

Both the Sabbath and the family were instituted in Eden, and in God’s purpose they are forever linked together. On this day more than on any other it is possible for us to live the life of Eden. It was God’s plan for the members of the family to be associated in work and study, in worship and recreation, the father as priest, and both father and mother as teachers and companions of their children. But sin has changed the conditions of life, and often the father hardly sees his children throughout the week. He is almost wholly deprived of opportunity for companionship or instruction. But God’s love has set a limit to the demands of work. He places His merciful hand over the Sabbath. In His own day He preserves opportunity for the family to commune with Him, with nature, and with one another. TEd 155.3

Since the Sabbath is the memorial of creative power, it is the day above all others when we should acquaint ourselves with God through His works. In the minds of children the very thought of the Sabbath should be connected with the beauty of natural things. Fortunate is the family that can go to the place of worship on Sabbath as Jesus and His disciples went to the synagogue—across the fields, along the shores of the lake, or through the groves. Blessed indeed are fathers and mothers who can teach their children God’s written Word with illustrations from nature; who can gather under the trees, in the fresh, pure air, to study the Word and sing praises to the Father above. TEd 156.1

By such associations parents may bind their children to their hearts, and thus to God, by ties that can never be broken. TEd 156.2

As a means of intellectual training, the opportunities of the Sabbath are invaluable. The Sabbath School lesson should be learned, not by a hasty glance on Sabbath morning, but by careful study on Sabbath afternoon, with daily review or illustration during the week. Thus the lesson will become fixed in the memory, a treasure never to be wholly lost. TEd 156.3

In listening to the sermon parents and children should note the scriptures quoted, and follow the line of thought, to repeat to one another at home. This will go far toward relieving the weariness with which children often listen to a sermon, and it will cultivate in all a habit of attention and connected thought. TEd 156.4

Meditation on the themes thus suggested will open to students treasures of which they have never dreamed. They will prove in their own lives the reality of the experience described in the scripture: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Jeremiah 15:16. “By them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:10, 11. TEd 156.5