Where is the man who lets the meaning of a commandment sink into his soul and impress it?
A serious thinker must shudder at the wanton frivolity with which God's commandments are treated by young and by old, by children as well as by grown-ups.
The commandments are taught to children at school where they are superficially discussed. The pupil is glad if he has mastered the wording of the text and is able to answer some questions concerning their contents, that is to say, as long as he is in danger of being questioned.
When he leaves school to enter public life the words themselves are soon forgotten and with them their meaning. This is a conclusive proof that man is not really interested to learn what his Lord and his God requires of him!
Moreover God does not demand, in His loving kindness He gives to all men what they so urgently need.
When the erring ways of men came to the notice of the Light, God pointed out the way to eternal life, to the luminous kingdom of the spirit and thus to their own happiness like a kind and faithful teacher, and if they do not obey His behests it is to their own undoing and destruction. Thus properly speaking it is incorrect to speak of commandments. It is not command but counsel that is given; well-meant advice and valuable directions as to the right way to journey through those material spheres that the human spirit desired to become acquainted with. But man, completely engrossed by his own conceits, was deaf to this grand thought. It made no impression on him. He shuts his eyes and his ears to any views or stand-points that he has not himself conceived and constructed in his paltry worldly wisdom. He does not perceive how matter is enticing him on and on, further and further, till he comes to that boundary line where it is in his power for the last time to decide whether it is to be this way or the other: the decisive moment for his whole future existence. After that he must go to the end of the way he has chosen and there is no return for him.
Even if enlightenment come to him at the last, it will be too late and will but add to his suffering.
It was to help him in such a case and enlighten him in time, in spite of his errors, that God gave man the third commandment, the counsel to keep the day of rest. Had this commandment been obeyed, the longing to strive towards the Light would have gradually awakened in every man in the course of time. The longing would have increased in intensity, till the wish had become a prayer and then he would have seen the way upward, the way to satisfy his desire.
Then man would have arrived at a different, a higher stage of development at the time of the Cosmic Turning Point. He would have been a spiritually awakened being, mature for the kingdom about to come.
Thus hearken and obey, that by obeying this commandment the way may be prepared and open to you. Remember the day of rest to keep it holy! It is for you to make it holy and consecrate it for your own use. This is the plain and simple meaning of the words. The day of rest is the hour of rest — the hour for leaving off work, i. e. the task allotted to you during your life on earth.
You are not consecrating the day of rest nor making it holy if you devote your time to the care of your body or seek diversion in gambling, drinking or dancing. The object of the hour of rest is to give you time for self-examination, time to review your past life: specially the working days of the past week and you must do this with the intention of drawing useful instruction for your future. It is not hard to keep account of six days but easy to forget what happened in a longer period. Do this and your soul will not fail to develop its sensitiveness and soar upwards. You will gradually become a seeker after the Truth.
In the same way as, on earth, you keep a careful look out when wandering in a new country, on a road unknown to you, you must proceed cautiously step by step on the new spiritual paths opened out to you, to see that you have firm ground under your feet. Do not dash ahead impetuously, for then the danger of falling is greater. You will not be losing your time in reflecting on these questions and in opening yourself to the impressions you will receive, on the contrary, your hour of rest will bring you great profit.
Church-going will never sanctify an hour of rest for him who does not afterwards meditate on what he has heard in church with the intention of fully understanding it and of living according to its teaching. The priest cannot make the day holy if you do not do so yourself. Consider and weigh your manner of life in the balance to see whether it is in harmony with the real meaning of God's Word. In examining your conscience, thus putting it to the use for which it was intended, you sanctify the Day of Rest and make it holy; every such day will be a milestone on your road. The day of rest will react on the other days in which your activity is purely material and give them the importance and significance they should have in maturing your soul. Then you will not have lived them in vain and your advance will be assured and uninterrupted. To keep holy means not to waste. By neglecting this duty you waste the time given you to mature, after the Cosmic Turning Point (the rays or vibrations of which are slowly surrounding you) has been reached; the time left to make good what is wanting will be but short, to do so you will have to summon all the energy at your command.
Therefore, keep the day of rest holy! Whether it be at home or better still in the open air where your thoughts and sensations will be awakened by nature. Obey the Lord's commandment in this way! It will be for your own benefit.