We don't define the fourth commandment's requirements of us by our inability to keep it any more than any of the other commandments. The Lord required the best of the animals for sacrifice; so we should easily see what He thinks when He commands a day and we give Him an hour. He requires perfection; and thankfully we have an advocate with the Father for our constant sinning; but don't presume and sin any way. The Lord may well simply take away our freedom to give even that hour to Him for despising Him so and for so long now in the church in this land. "And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts." Malachi 1:8. David Dickson, Scottish theologian and coauthor of the Sum of Saving Knowledge long bound and considered an unofficial part of the Westminster Standards, made this application from the text of Lamentations 1:10 "Entered into her sanctuary” [Lam. 1:10]. ... But when they defiled the house of the Lord, these wild savage pagans are let in to defile, break down and demolish all that was in it. We see how grievous a change it is for professors [of religion] to abuse and profane the means of God’s worship, for it makes those who are without religion also to be masters of them and their religion also. Application. Will thou then expose God’s people and His glory to shame? He shall expose both thee and it to shame, for there is nothing so dear to God but He will put it in the hand of enemies when His people pollute it. He will pull away the hedge from about His worship when His worship is defiled." From Dickson's manuscript sermons on the whole book of Lamentations. "Lastly, though no man can perfectly keep this [fourth] commandment, either in thought, word or deed, no more than he can any other; yet this is that perfection that we must aim at; and wherein, if we fail, we must repent us, and crave pardon for Christ’s sake. For as the whole law is our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ (Gal. 3:24); so is every particular commandment, and namely this of the Sabbath. And therefore we are not to measure the length and breadth of it by the over-scant rule of our own inability, but by the perfect reed of the Temple (Ezek. 40:3); that is, by the absolute righteousness of God himself, which only can give us the full measure of it." [Nicholas Bownd, Sabbathum Veteris Et Novi Testamenti: or, The True Doctrine of the Sabbath (1606; Naphtali Press and Reformation Heritage Books, 2015), 8-9. The ancient church of St. Andrew, Norton, Suffolk, where Nicholas Bownd was pastor. Copyright © Dr. Andrew Mason.