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for the judgment of the great day. | suffering towards sinners, while The general judgment is designed, He bears with all their ingratitude, not to inform God, but to inform enmity and rebellion, and forbears his intelligent creatures—not to to execute upon them the just teach God how He ought to deal penalty of his violated law. Durwith mankind; but to show, that ing their probationary state, God his dealings with them are right has opportunity to exhibit towards eous and just: and hence it is call-saints, his power and grace, in ed “the revelation of the righteous their preservation from apostacy, judgment of God.” But, in order in their sanctification through the that the general judgment may truth and by the Spirit, and in the answer its design, it is necessary pardon of their multiplied offenthat mankind should have a season ces, through the redemption that of probation, in which they may is in Christ Jesus. And, at the both form and exhibit their char- day of judgment, and through eteracters. There would seem to be nity, God will have opportunity to no propriety or use in the general show his wrath and make his powjudgment, if mankind had not been er known
upon the vessels of previously placed in a state of wrath, who, while upon probation, probation. But, when God shall were fitted to destruction; and to bring all the works of mankind, make known the riches of his glory both saints and sinners, during upon the vessels of mercy, who, the present life, with every secret while upon probation, were prething, into judgment, they will all pared unto glory. see the righteousness and justice
REFLECTIONS. of his dealings with them, and the 1. Of all the creatures of God, reasons upon which the final sen- mankind, in this world, are in the tence will be grounded, in every most interesting and critical situainstance.
tion. They are in a state of proThirdly. By placing mankind bation. in a state of probation, during the The angels, who persevered in present life, God gives himself op- holiness, during their term of trial, portunity to display towards them are confirmed in holiness, and haphis Divine perfections, in the clear-piness forever.
* The angels, est and strongest light. This was, who kept not their first estate, but doubtless, his original and chief left their own habitation, are redesign in putting mankind upon served in everlasting chains, under trial; as it is the ultimate and darkness, unto the judgment of the chief end of all his purposes, works great day.” Departed saints are and ways.
with Christ, and like him. They As mankind, while upon proba- rest from their labours, sins and tion, have opportunity to act out sorrows, and have passed beyond themselves towards God; so He all danger of failing of the grace of has opportunity to act out himself God. Departed sinners are pristowards them. While mankind oners of despair. There remainare in a state of probation, God eth nothing for them, but a certain has opportunity to display towards fearful looking for of judgment them his sovereign goodness, in and fiery indignation, which shall
having mercy, upon whom he will devour the adversaries. Their have mercy, and hardening whom expectation has perished.' he will." During their probation- Men on earth, are the only creaary state, God has opportunity to tures in a state of probation, of manifest his patience and long-whom the scriptures give us any
account. No mention is made of | are adding to their future and eterany other creatures, whose eternal dal weight of glory; while sinners, destiny is suspended upon their continuing such, are, by all their present conduct. Let elect an evil deeds, treasuring up wrath gels, or fallen angels, the spirits against the day of wrath. Yes; of the just made perfect, or the every good action, performed by a spirits in prison, do what they may, saint, will yield hím more happibetween this time and the day of ness, than was ever enjoyed in judgment; and it will not affect this world; and every evil action, their eternal state. But the pres- done by a sinner, continuing iment conduct of men upon earth, penitent, will cause him more mismay raise them to heaven, or sink éry, than was ever endured in this them to hell. Mankind, in this vale of tears ! How important, world, have every thing to gain, then, are the actions of men, in and every thing to lose. Of all the present life. . the creatures of God, therefore, 4. How wretched will be the they are in the most interesting condition of finally impenitent sinand critical situation.
When, from the world of 2. Mankind upon earth, have despair, they look back
this peculiar reason to be thankful to world of probation, and reflect upGod. He has placed them in a on the precious time, which they state of probation. He might have foolishly wasted, the precious opconfirmed them in sin and inisery, portunities, which they carelessly upon their first transgression.- neglected, and the precious means Fallen men have no more claim to of salvation, which they ungratea reprieve, than fallen angels. But fully and perversely abused, what God does more than reprieve man- shaine will cover their faces, what kind in this world : He makes stings of remorse will pierce their them overtures of pardon and eter- hearts! They will see, that they nal life, even at the expense of the have not only transgressed the hosufferings and death of his well-be- ly, just and good law of God, but loved Son. He sets life, as well as despised his patience, forbearance death, before them, and gives them and long-suffering. They will see, an opportunity to escape from that, when God called, they rehell and fly to heaven.' Their fused; when He stretched out his day of probation is a day of grace, hand, they disregarded it; that in which they have a price put they set at nought his counsels, into their hands, to get saving wis- despised his reproofs, and spurned dom.' Surely, then of all intelli- his offers of mercy. They will be gent creatures, mankind are under convinced, that, when life was ofthe most weighty obligation to be fered them, they chose death, and thankful to Him, of whose mercy voluntarily pursued the road to it is that they are not consumed. hell. With this conviction upon
3. How important are all the their consciences, how will their actions of men, during the present hearts sink and die within them, life. All they do here, will mate- even before God shall begin to rially affect their condition through show his wrath and make his
powthe ceaseless ages of eternity. If er known upon them! they sow to the flesh, they will, In view of this subject, let saints of the flesh, reap corruption; but, be exhorted more constantly to if they sow to the spirit, they will, sow to the spirit. This is your of the spirit, reap life everlasting.' reasonable service; and in perSaints, 'by all their good deeds, forming it, there is great reward.
Your state of probation is not yet highest interest. Be exhorted to at an end. It is only by sowing repent and turn yourselves from to the spirit, and bringing forth its your transgressions, that so iniprecious fruits, in all holy conver- quity may not be your eternal rusation and godliness, that you can You now enjoy the only seamake your calling and election son of probation you will ever gure. Wherefore, be not sloth-have. A large portion of this short ful in business, but fervent in spi-term of trial and reprieve, is alrit, serving the Lord; for in due ready gone. Soon you will enter season you shall reap, if you faint an unchangeable state. “Behold, not."
now is the accepted time: behold, Let sinners cease to sow to the now is the day of salvation.” Toflesh. Let the time past of your day, therefore, if you will hear the lives suffice you, to have followed voice of God, calling you to rethe desires and devices of your pentance, faith and holiness, harevil hearts, in opposition to the den not your hearts. Divine commands, and your own
FOR THE BOPKINSIAX MAGAZINE. time to be observed, should be pre
scribed. Our observing a day as ON THE SABBATH.
holy time, does not make it holy. No. II.
If one day of the week be holy Though the Christian churches time, it is because God has sanctihave generally been agreed re- fied it, and set it apart for holy specting the day of the week, rest and worship. And to keep which ought to be observed as a any day as holy time, which has Sabbath, under the present dispen- not been thus sanctified and set sation; yet there are some, and in apart, is a species of will-worship. our own country too, who differ As it is a matter of such imporfrom the generality of their breth- tance, that Christians should keep ren,upon this important point. The the same day as a Sabbath, which writer, and probably all who will God has appointed, it may be preread his essays, have been educat- sumed, that He has said enough ed in the belief, that the first day in his word, if we search it with of the week ought to be kept as diligence and candour, to enable the Christian Sabbath : but we us to ascertain which the day is. ought to have a better reason to But here it must be premised, give for our belief and practice, that we ought to be satisfied with than tradition, or the opinion and such evidence on this subject, as example of our forefathers. If it God has seen fit to give us. He be the will of God, as I have en- has various ways of making known deavoured to show, that one day his will to his creatures; some in seven should be kept as holy more, and some less express and time; it is doubtless his will, that direct. And, surely, it would be one particular day of the week, in arrogance in men, to prescribe to preference to the others, should God, the method in which He be so kept. That Christians may shall deliver his commands to all keep the same day, and not them. It matters not, whether He interrupt one another, it seems as has taught us our duty in plain and necessary, that the day of the express terms, or left us to infer week to be kept, should be point it from the tenour and analogy of ed out, as that the proportion of scripture, provided He has put it
fairly within our power, with hon before this, and soon after they
Šo no express command in the scrip- fourth commandment, God requirtures, that one should pray with ed them to remember the sabbathhis family, or that females should day, they understood by the sabbe admitted to the Lord's supper; hath, that day, which Moses had and yet Christians believe that previously pointed out. But this these are duties enjoined in the is no reason, why we should keep sacred oracles. Having premised the same day, which they did; for this, I now proceed to answer the God may have pointed out another following question:
day to us, as the day of holy rest. Which day of the week is it the 2. Though the fourth commandwill of God to have observed as the ment is still in force, and ChristChristian Sabbath?
ians are bound to keep holy a seyIn answering this question, it enth part of time; yet there is will be proper to proceed gradual- evidence to believe, that the Jewly, and observe,
ish sabbath is abolished. 1. That the fourth command Jewish sabbath was instituted as a ment does not determine which memorial of the deliverance of the day of the seven should be kept children of Israel from Egypt:as holy time. The fourth com- But it is intimated, to say the mandment binds us to keep one least, in Jeremiah, ch. xvi. that no day in seven; but it does not point memorial of that event, is to be out the particular day to be kept. observed under the Gospel :The words are, 6 Remember the “ Therefore, behold, the days sabbath-day, to keep it holy: Six come, saith the Lord, that it shall days shalt thou labour and do all no more be said, The Lord liveth thy work; but the seventh day is that brought up the children of Isthe sabbath.”—This command evi- rael out of Egypt; but the Lord dently binds us, after pursuing liveth that brought up the children our secular labours six days, to of Israel from the land of the keep the seventh as holy time, North, and from all the lands from week to week. But it nei- whither he had driven them; and ther informs us, nor did it inform I will bring them again into their the Israelites, when to begin the own land." But not to urge this, six working days, and on which it may be observed, that as the day to rest. It only bound them, deliverance of the children of Isas it equally does us, to keep that rael from Egypt, was typical of day, which God should point out the redemptio. by Christ; so it is and sanctify, as the day of sacred but reasonable to suppose, that the rest and religious worship. The sabbath, instituted in commemoraIsraelites had been told by Moses, tion of that event, was typical
also, and vanished away with the first day of his first week, and other types and shadows of the from thence proceed to reckon Mosaick dispensation. Accord-time. This, it is reasonable to ingly, the apostle writes to the suppose, was the day observed by Roman Christians,“ One man es- the antediluvian saints, and by teemeth one day above another; Noah and his posterity, as the first another estcemeth every day alike. day of their week; which has conLet every man be fully persuaded tinued to be so, by an uninterrupt
in his own mind. He that regarded succession of weeks, to the leth the day, regardeth it unto the present time. When mankind, Lord; and he that regardeth not after the food, became corrupt,
the day, to the Lord he doth not and deified and worshipped the 2. regard it.” The apostle did not sun, moon and stars, they con
mean here to tell the Romans, that secrated their sabbath, which was .. the fourth commandment was no the first day of the week and the
longer in force, and that it was a most esteemed and honourable of matter of indifference whether any their days, to the worship of the | sabbath was kept or not, as some sun, the largest and most splendid
licentious readers may imagine. luminary in the heavens; from He spake with reference to the whence it derived the name of holydays and festivals enjoined by sun-day, or the day of the sun; as the ceremonial law, which Christ the second day did that of mone ians might then, innocently, either day, or the day of the moon. observe or neglect, as they should confirmation of this, it is a rethink proper. Among these, he markable circumstance, mentioned recorded the Jewish sabbath; as by historians, that almost all nawill appear more clearly from what tions, even those the most remote he writes to the Colossians, ch. 2: from Jews and Christians, and the "Let no man, therefore, judge least connected with them, have you in meat, or in drink, or in re- reckoned, and still do reckon time spect of an holy day, or of the by weeks; although there is no new moon, or of the sabbath-days; planet, whose motion, or revoluwhich are a shadow of things to tions point out such a division of come: but the body is of Christ." time." And what is still more re- These passages appear to prove, markable, these nations begin their that the Jewish sabbath was typi- weeks with the same day, which cal, and is abolished. This point Christians call the first day. Is being settled, the way is open to it not something more than probaadvance another step.
ble, that they have derived their s. It is highly probable, to say of measuring time, by tradithe least, that the sabbath institut- tion, from the sons of Noah, and ed in the garden of Eden, imme- through him, from the first man? diately after the work of creation To this I may add, that Mr. Bedwas finished, was the same day, ford and Mr. Kenedy, two celewhich we now call the first day of brated chronologers, have underthe week. Adam was created at taken to demonstrate from astrothe close of the sixth day of the nomical calculations, that the sevcreation. The seventh day from enth day from the beginning of the the commencement of the work of creation, has been reckoned the creation, on which God rested, first day of the week, from that and which he sanctified, was, there- time to the present. fore Adam's first day. This he Perhaps some may here be diswould naturally consider as the posed to ask, If the first day of the