Today we get theses 16 and 17 as Hemmingsen continues to unpack the symbolic significance of the Sabbath according to “threefold time.” Thesis 16 refers to time past and, especially, time present, and consists mostly of a quotation of Augustine’s twentieth Tractate on the Gospel of John, where Augustine argues that Christians observe the Sabbath spiritualiter, “spiritually.” (Is this the Sabbath equivalent of “we kneel in our hearts”?) Augustine’s point supports the “continental” reading of the Sabbath noted yesterday.
In the second thesis, Hemmingsen turns his attention to future time, already hinted at in thesis 16. Here we get a taste of how interested the Reformers were in Rabbinic Judaism and Hebrew studies through Hemmingsen’s reference to a saying “of the house of Elijah.” I had no idea what this was, I confess, and had to do some digging around to find out. It turns out that the passage in question was also investigated by Philip Melanchthon (see note ad loc.). In this thesis, Hemmingsen states that the Old Testament Sabbath is a symbol of eschatological consummation and heavenly beatitude.
17. If we consider future time, the Sabbath was a type of the consummation of the cosmos. For just as the six days of the creation of the world foreshadowed the six thousand years according to the saying of the house of Elijah, 2 so also the Sabbath signifies an eternity of rest in heaven, and that Sabbath-rest of the blessed that will last forever, which the saints await. 3