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It is asked, whether this com. is any moral unfitness, in wor. mand of God does authorize any shipping God on Monday, Tues. one to say, that all public relig- day, or any other day of the week? ious meetings are a nuisance, Is divine worship in the nature when holden on other days of of things, unsuitable for secular the week, besides the sabbath? days? God is as much entitled to
Here the first inquiry is, must our worship on one day of the we so construe this command of week, as on another? Doubtless God respecting the sabbath, as then there is nothing uofit, in the to make it our duty to labor for nature of things, in assembling six days without intermission ? for religious exercises on any day
If it be so rigidly construed, of the week. are we not prohibited from many The question before us, may acts of humanity and utility ? receive further illustration, by What authority then have we for adverting to the practice of the attending upon funeral solemni. Jewish church. Did the Jewish ties, when we are commanded to church meet for religious wor. be employed in labor? What ship, on other days besides the authority have we for meeting Sabbath? It certainly did. That with our friends and spending church had three great festivals with them, a portion of time in in a year, some of which continued useful conversation, when we are for seven days. At these festi
. commanded to be in worldly vals, the Passover, the Feast of business ? What authority have Pentecost, and the Feast of Tab. we for retiring to our closets, ernacles, all the males, were re. and spending a portion of our quired to give their attendance. time in devotion, when we are We find that Solomon, at the commanded to be working with dedication of the temple, collectour hands ? We are commanded ed together the Jewish nation in to pray daily ; but if we may general, and held a feast for seven do nothing but work with our days. In these festivals, the hands on the days set apart for people were employed, more or labor, we have no time given us less, in religious exercises. At for secret or social prayer, except these seasons,
sacrifices were it be on the christian sabbath. offered, prayers
were made, It is evident therefore, that God the law was read, and the does not command us to work praises of God were sung.
Theresix days without intermission. fore the command which requir. Some duties may necessarily called the Jews to work six days us off from secular occupations. did not forbid their assembling One command of God is not to for religious worship on any
of be construed in such a manner, those days. They might assemble as to destroy another. The ser- at their stated festivals, and vice which God requires of us is they might assemble at otha reasonable service.
times besides the weekly can be immediately incumbent Sabbath, when there was any upon us, unless we are at liberty special occasion for it. Indeed as to time, immediately to per. the law requiring the Jews to form it.
work six days did not prohibit The nextinquiryis, whether there their meeting for public worship
on any day of the week, when pleased with the sincere worship the voice of Divine Providence, or of true Christians, as well on their obligations to God, required any other day, as on the weekly them to do it. If then this law of Sabbath. God was not a prohibition of re. The apostle Paul charged Tim. ligious exercises on a day which othy to be instant in season, out was not the weekly Sabbath, we of season, in ministring the gosare not forbidden to meet togeth. pel of God. To be instant in seaer for public worship, on any son can mean no less, than to be day of the week, when it may be employed in the ministry on the convenient for the purpose.
Sabbath. To be instant out of Let us next inquire what au.
mean no less, than thority we have for meeting to. preaching the word and perform gether for prayer or religious ing other religious exercises on exercises, on any day of the other days besides the Sabbath. week, when there is occasion for And if it was the duty of Timoit? Here we find example for thy to be diligently employed our authority. The disciples of in ministering the gospel of God, our Lord and their christian on secular days, it follows, that brethren for some time after his such religious exercises, at these ascension, met together every seasons, are not prohibited in the day for prayer and other relig. word of God, but encouraged ; ious exercises. " And they con- and if encouraged Christians are tinued daily with oneaccord in the justified in attending them. For temple and breaking bread from it cannot be a minister's duty to house to house, praising God.” preach, unless people may have Acts ii. 46. If it be granted, liberty to hear. Agreeable to this that this was an extraordinary sea. charge to Timothy was the son, which will not return again; practice of the apostles. Of yet as the apostles were under Peter and the other apostles, it divine guidance, their example is said, “ And daily in the tem. is sufficient authority for us, to ple and in every house, they meet on any day of the week for ceased not to teach and preach prayer and instruction, when Jesus Christ.” Did it violate no there is a call in Divine Provi. law of God for an apostle to dence for so doing.
In their ex. preach Christ? It violates then ample, we have abundant evi. no law of God, for people to dence that the inspired apostles assemble and hear Christ preachdid not consider it a violation of ed. The apostle told the elders any divine command to worship of the Ephesian church, that by God, or perform religious ser. the space of three
he vice, on any day of the week. ed not to warn every one, night And though their example, will and day with tears. not authorize us, in every case, tle had a warrant to administer to do as they did, yet it does warning to his brethren, on any authorize us to meet for prayer day of the week, they had liberty on any day of the week, when to hear it, whether in an individ. our meeting does not interfere valorin a congregated ca pacity. with any other duty. We may After what has been said, therefore believe, that God is shall the example of our Lorel
If the aposbe adduced ? Did he refrain back, and tell them, that meetfrom teaching, instructing, and ings for such purposes are a nui. ministering to men throughout sance to society ? We ought to the week, excepting on the Sab. obey God rather than men. bath? Was he not, on the con- It is a serious inquiry, and trary, every day, as he had oppor. deserves the serious and candid tunity, employed in doing good attention of all who oppose meet. to the bodies and souls of men. ings for prayer and other relig. + Often large assemblies waited up- ious exercises, under pretence of on him.
Multitudes resorted to their not being allowable on the him, not on the Sabbath only, Sabbath, whether they are not but on other days of the week, resisting the Holy Ghost? We to hear the word of God; and may err through ignorance; but he forbid them not. His example it ought to be seriously consider. affords us sufficient warrant to ed, whether opposition to pray. meet together for religious pur. er and religious conference, vý. poses not on the Sabbath only, der pretence that such meetings but also on any other day. If are a transgression of a divine then we transgress no command command, is not opposition to of God, if we have the example the cause of God and actual re. of Christ and his apostles to sup
sistance to the Spirit of grace. port us, in religious meetings on Why do we never hear the same secular days, then who may for. argument urged against the praebid us the privilege ? Shall all tice of wasting hours in public : bodies of men, all corporate, or
houses, in idleness, in profane. voluntary associations convenc ness, in filthy communication ? on days appropriated to labor, Why must the argument never be to transact the concerns of their used but for the purpose of hin. respective societies; and shall dering Christians from the du. not Christiaos be permitted the ty of prayer? Is it not because privilege to which they are enti. the objector feels more opposi. tled in common with other men ? tion to devotion, than to idle. They have, unquestionably, a ness ? But is prayer, then really civil right to meet together in a more injurious to society peaceable manner for prayer, on than idleness, or meetings for any day.
vain amusement ? When God assures them, that Ah! my brethren, it is easy they have liberty to come to him in to complain of any duty, when prayer, as often as they please ; the heart is opposed to it. Ju. when Christ assures them, that das found fault with the expences when two or three of them are of a little ointment bestowed in agreed to ask any thing in prayer, honor to Christ. He consider they have liberty to meet for ed it a needless waste. He prethe purpose, at any time, and tended that the avails of the ointthey shall have audience; when ment might have been put to a thegates of gospel grace are open,
But why this comnight and day, for individuals, plaint? Was it not because he or for collective bodies of Chris. wished to have all he could ob. tians, shall any one drive them tain for his own use, and grudg
ed whatever was bestowed on given them for voluntarily setChrist. It is painful to sinners tiog apart, and sincerely observ. to see Christ honored.
ing days for fasting and prayer, Stephen charged the unbeliev. Had there been a law of God, ing Jews with the sin of resisting absolutely forbidding the public the Holy Ghost. It deserves con. worship of God on any day sideration, whether they did not but the Sabbath, we should have commit this sin, in opposing the found some reproof given for means of divine instruction ? the transgression of it: for it is They persecuted the prophets, evident, that if there were such they slew them who had before a law, it has been constantly proclaimed the coming of Christ. violated by the professed people Was it not painful to them to of God. But no where in the hear Christ exalted, while noth- word of God can any such re. ing good was said of themselves ? proof be found.
It must be further considered I now beg leave to address that in the christian Scriptures, myself to the opposers of prayer those are commended, who often meetings and religious conferare employed in religious exer
Too much has been said cises, whether on the Sabbath or against these meetings, both by on other days. “Then they that those who call themselves Chris. feared the Lord, spake often one tians, and by others. My friends, to another ! and the Lord heark. you allege, in opposition to such ened, and heard it, and a book of meetings, an express law of God. remembrance was written before You endeavor to hinder us from him, for them that feared the attending them by insisting, that Lord, and that thought upon his the command of God requires us Dame.” The apostle gave it in to labor six days, and does not charge to his brethren, to be permit us to worship God, in a daily in the duty of exhorting social manner, when we ought one another. “ But exhort one to be employed in our secular another daily, while it is call. callings. Do you not know, ed to-day.” Many more instan. that an argument which proves ces may be found, both in the too much, proves nothing ? Old and New Testament, which Your argument is, that six days will authorize Christians to meet, we must work and not worship. at any time, for prayer and chris. Before you bring this against tian edification.
us, you will please to remember, It remains to say that no in. that the same argument goes to stances can be found in the Ho. censure all waste of time, in vis. ly Scriptures, wbich reprove, iting from place to place, all censure, or condemn Christians unnecessary attendance on mili. for meeting on any day for the tary exercises, all spending of worship of God. The professed time in places where mere please people of God have been often ure is the object sought. If reproved for their performing you so rigidly adhere to your religious duties in a sinful man. construction of the divine com. ner, and for having sinister views, mand, in one case, why not ad. in attending upon religious ser. here to it in all cases. You vices : but we find no reproof complain that meetings for prayer VOL. JI. New Series.
are wrong for being on a day on Christian. If we are backward which we are required to work ; in prayer, if we have no delight and are not you, for the same in devotion, how can we considreason doing wrong in spending er ourselves prepared to have a season after season in idleness or
part in the enjoyments and emamusement? The truth is, you ployments of heaven? do not believe your own con- Brethren, we have it to con. struction of the divine command. sider that merely our speaking Your argument is only a pretence against a good thing or a bad to cover your aversion to devo. thing is not religion, we can tional exercises. If you were
no religion unless we honest, and spoke the real senti. have the Spirit of Christ. The ments of your hearts, would you indwelling of God's Spirit is esnot drop your argument, and sentially connected with our sal. frankly own your hatred to vation. If we pray as true prayer?
Christians, we pray for the Spirit Christian brethren, you willal. of God; and if we have the ways appear in character in op- Spirit of God, we shall not only posing whatever is wrong in itself; do those things which please him, whatever is erroneous, and has a but we shall be more or less usetendency to mislead; whatever ful in the world. is essentially injurious to the in. Time will soon be gone, and terest of Christ. But you will the seasons of prayer return no beware of being found acting more. Let others then hate as the enemies of Christ are ready prayer, and speak reproachfully. to act.
of meetings for this purpose. It is time that we arise from Let them be forward to enjoy the dust, and shake off our sloth days of pleasure, and equally and our slumber. Whatever forward to censure and condemo may have been the usages of past such as devote an hour to religtimes, we have arrived at a peri. ion, But let it be our delight, od, when more exertions are as it is our privilege and our dumaking to spread the knowledge ty, to pray without ceasing. If of God, than have ever before we are Christians, let us be acbeen made. Nor should we be tive. Let us press toward the unwilling to expose ourselves to mark for the prize of the high reproof, if it be for well doing calling of God in Christ Jesus. Prayer is the life of the true
From Dr. TAYLOR's Rules and Exercises of Holy LIVING.
(Continued from p. 176.) Rules for making Restitution. wrong, by what instrument soet.
1. Whosoever is an effective er he does it, whether by.com. real cause of doing his neighbor manding or encouraging it, by