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ditations on the road, no more to the souls of men, can you let makes a sanctification of the so fair an opportunity of doing sabbath, than it would, if we good, pass unimproved? The were to have the same medita-Lord has in his providence cast tions while laboring in our fields. your lot for one sabbath among Here I would remark, that tho' those, who greatly pollute this the husbandman has precious holy day. You must stay and thoughts in his field on a week reprove them. Good example day ; yet he would have no rea- is the most striking kind of reson to expect to be thus favored proof. If they see you lying by of God, if he were to go into his from your journey, all the sabfield on the Lord's holy day.- bath, for no other reason, only So the traveller, who is favored because it is the Lord's time and with the most delightful com- not yours, it cannot fail to arrest munion with his heavenly Fa-their attention, even though you ther, on Saturday, would have should not speak one word on no reason to expect the continu- the duty of observing the day. ance of this inestimable favor the This would command more atnext day, if he were to pursue tention and be likely to do more his journey. We have no right to good, thall all you could posseek nor reason to expect com- sibiy say, on the duty of obsery: munion with God, out of the ways ing the commandment, providof his appointment. If we woulded you did not observe it yourenjoy his favor, we must, like self. Words cost but little, but Enoch and Noah, walk with God. there is some expense of time
4. “ We sometimes fall in and money in lying by at an inn among a very wicked people on one whole day. I know one man, the sabbath, where they pay no who had his attention luch calattention to the day, except it led up to the duty of sanctifying be to behave worse than on any the sabbath, by the circumstance other days; in such a case, we of having a traveller put up at think we had better go on our his tavern, during this holy day. journey, than to stay in such If such examples prove effectcompany."
ual only one time in a thousand, The very reason stated in the it is worth our while to set them objection for proceeding on your before our fellow sinners conjourney, is a powerful reason tinually. against it. The command of the The objectors suppose that Saviour is, “ Let your light the sabbath cannot be enjoyed shine before men, that they see- among these ungodly people so ing your good works may glori- well as on the road: but let me fy your Father, who is in heav- ask such, whether they have en.”
Now let me ask, Where made a trial, to see how well in the world do people need the they can enjoy this consecrated light of your holy example more day in a public house? Perhaps than in such a dark place as you could obtain a chamber, the objection supposes? And in where you might spend the day what do they need your exam- in secret duties, if there be no ple more, than in the sanctifica- public worship in the place.* If tion of the sabbath? If your hearts are full of love to God and * If those who make the above
the weather be mild, you might 5. “ It is very expensive to in almost any part of the coun- lie by a whole day, when we are try, find, in some neighboring on a journey, and are all the woods, or orchard, a place to while living upon our money." pray, read and meditate ; and To this objection we answer, this would be a suitable way to first, That profaning the Lord's fill up this day of heaven. If day is a poor way to make moyou have not tried this methodney or save expense.
« Will a of spending the sabbath when on man rob God" to save expense ? a journey, you ought not to say, Is not this the way to bring that the wickedness of the place down his curse on your blessmakes it necessary that you ings? Do not you, who believe should proceed on your journey. the weekly sabbath to be a diBut supposing you can have no vine institution, also believe, that retirement at all (which is hard- a nation which carefully observe ly a supposable case) I think the institution have reason to you have reason to expect a good expect even greater temporal sabbath, if you conscientiously prosperity, than a nation which refrain from proceeding on your altogether disregard it, though journey, which is now your this disregard gives them one work. “ If thou turn away thy more day in the week for labor ? foot from” encroaching upon Why then have we any reason " the sabbath, from, doing thy to expect to increase our wealth, pleasure on my holy day” saith by taking the Lord's time for our Jehovah_" then thou shalt de-journey? It is infinitely easy for light thyself in the Lord, and I God so to order his providences, will cause thee to ride upon the that what we appear to gain, by high places of the earth,”*_.e. robbing him of the time, which I will make thee prosper in spi- he has reserved to himself, we rituals and in temporals—thou should lose, in some other way, shalt have much delight in com- even before we have accommunion with thy God, and he plished our journey.. will bless thy substance. This To the objection now under will prepare us to answer another consideration, I would answer objection.
in the second place; Though it
be expensive to lie by when we objection against lying by on the sab- are out from home, still this is bath, do not cease to proceed on their no reason why we should not do journey, as soon as they come among it : For it is also expensive to a people, who attend public worship; or if they do not stop their travelling rest from labor when we are at at the first house, public or private, home. A large family will conwhere the sabbath appears to be rev- sume several dollars worth of erenced, (provided they can have en provisions on the sabbath, and tertainment :) then it is manifest, they are earning nothing. Now that the reason which they offer for travelling is not the one which reallyin
why may it not be plead in favor fluences them; but is invented, either of their being at work in the to still an accusing conscience, or to field, or in the loom, that it is stop the mouth of the brother, who very expensive for so many to is so kind and faithful as to reprove | be eating and drinking, while them for disobedience to God's holy they are carning nothing. The commands. Isaiah lviii. 13, 14,
same argument, which you use
to push you on your journey, you, they did not travel on their jour, may use to drive your sons into nies upon the holy sabbath.the field, and your daughters to They thought it to be equally a their several domestic employ- violation of the commandment, ments. It would be trifling to with laboring in the field, and endeavor to make a distinction, they acted accordingly; and I by saying, “but at a tavern I do not see why they did not have to pay out money for my think and act right on the subsabbath's provision, while I have jeçt. Not only the laws of Newprovision, laid up for my family England, but the laws of most at home.” What they eat and of the other states were formed
drink at home, either cost you on the supposition, that travels . money, or would have fetched ling was a real breach of the you money ; therefore you may sabbath. Įt seems from this, just as well say, I cannot afford that heretofore the whole counto have my family lie by upon try have been of the same senthe sabbath ; for they are upon timent, which is now advanced expense. This objection against in this essay, the expense of lying by on the 2. The great increase of the sabbạth, appears to be founded practice of journeying on the almost wholly in covetousness, Lords's day, is a proof of the deor that love of the world, which generacy of the times. If our is inconsistent with the love of fathers were right in resting the Father : and yet this is prob- from their journies on this day, ably the greatest and most in. we are wrong in pursuing ours. fluential of all the objections. The time was, at least in NewThe losing of one day's advance England, when a sabbath travel. in our journey, together with ler was a rare sight. Then, if a the bill of expense incurred in man was seen riding by, it was the mean time, no doubt, does conclụded, either that he was more towards making people called abroad by some distresstravel on the sabbath, than all ing providence, or that he was a other reasons put together. But man, who had not the fear of can they, who seek first the king. God before his eyes. But now, dom of God can they, who (O New-England how art thou, henceforth live not unto them- fallen!) but now, travelling on selves, but unto him, who died the sabbath has become a comfor them--can they, whose trea- mon practice. At the present sure is in heaven--can they, who day, there are many, who do not call the sabbath a delight, the love God well enough to be at the queen of days and the day of expense of resting from their hçaven---can they offer such journey on his holy day. selfish reasons for trampling 3. Have not we reason to fear the holy sabbath into the dust ? the righteous and tremendous “ Let us awake to righteousness, judgments of God for this profand sin not.”
anation of his day ? Let us tremI know not how to dismiss ble, while we read the denuncithis subject without making a ations of divine wrath against few reflections.
those, who go to market, and 1. It is no proof, that our fa- who travel to transact their thers were superstitious, because worldly business on the Lord's
sabbath 3 " But if ye will not cometh. The King of Zion, hearken unto me to hallow the however, has much to do to presabbath day, and not to bear a pare his church for that peaceburden even entering at the ful period. And it becomes us gates of Jerusalem on the sab- to be workers together with him. bath day : then I will kindle a Many corruptions must be purfire in the gates thereof, and it ged out, many sins must be shall devour the palaces of Je- deeply bewailed before him, and rusalem, and it shall not be many neglected duties must be quenched.” Jer. xvii. 27. revived and performed. Among
4. The friends of Christ have other reformations, churches now a fair opportunity to show, must be more strict in sanctifythat they have a more obedient ing the Lord's day, and more spirit than his enemies. While careful to discountenance every they go on their way, let the breach of it. I am persuaded, Christian manifest that he feels for my part, that travelling on still bound to obey the laws of the sabbath will all be laid aside Him, who hath said, “ But the in the Millennium. If it will seventh day is the sabbath of be laid aside then, through the the Lord thy God ; in it thou prevalence of a spirit of holiness, shalt not do any work.” People no doubt, it ought to be laid aside in general stop working in their now. Let each one resolve, shops and on their farms upon whether professors or not, to enthe sabbath ; but many do not deavor in this matter to reform stop their travelling ; Christians himself; then the reformation therefore do not show so clearly, of the whole would be easily and that they have a more excellent speedily effected. I have but spirit than the unconverted, by one word to add, and that is a refraining from the work of the request, that my readers would field, as by refraining from the not condemn what has been adpursuit of their journies. vanced on this subject, without
5. Does not the matter before attentively looking into the word us call for the aid of church dis- of God, and looking to him by cipline? Is it not time for chur- prayer for wisdom and direction. ches to awake and put the laws If any fall in with the sentiof Christ in force ? If we suffer ments advanced (as I trust many our brethren to pursue their will) I request that they would journies on God's holy day, we pray earnestly to God to make suffer sin upon them. We suf- others see their duty in this resfer them to dishonor God to pect, that wherein they have .confirm sinners in their abuse done amiss, they may do so no of holy time, and to harden their more. own hearts. The increasing prevalence of this sin calls loudly to On Self-examination. 'churches of Christ to exert every nerve and use every mean many of their thoughts in to suppress it. Let the churches examining their own hearts and of Christ know the time, that lives. It is however no certain now it is high time to awake out evidence, that a man is a true of sleep. The night is far spent. believer, because he examines The morning of the Millennium himself; for every serious man, who believes in a state of future ourselves, and of very much exand eternal retributions, has cusing and mitigating the evil of powerful motives to attend to his those things which we cannot own situation ; he will therefore justify. We are accustomed and examine himself. There may disposed to view our actions in a be those also, who have without too favorable light, and especialjust reasons, imbibed a hope, ly to think well of our hearts and that they are interested in the intentions, and to say to ourpromises, and being sensible that selves, that we meant little or no they may have mistaken their harm, and that there were some case, are prompted to search special circumstances, which in, and try themselves. And both fluenced to that, which other, believers and unbelievers may wise we should not have done, receive much benefit from this It should also be considered, exercise. The self-deceived may that in proving our own hearts be, and sometimes are by this and conduct, we ourselves are means, convinced of their sinful called to sit as judges in our and miserable condition ; and own case, for we are the party to this is sometimes used by the be tried. And it is probable that Holy Spirit, as the instrument of if malefactors were to sit as the turning them to God: and be judges in their own trials, few lievers are in this way comfort of them would be led to execued, reformed, encouraged in tion. It is difficult to be impartheir duty, and excited to ad- tial and candid in such circummire, praise and give thanks to stances. This is to be carefully God for his distinguishing mer- noticed, to caution us against a cy to them. But self-examina- dangerous mistake. tion will be of little or no service, We are not only the judges in it may even confirm one in a this matter, but we are the wite false idea of himself, unless it is nesses too; or at least we are to conducted in a proper manner, summon and bring forward the and upon right principles. Be- witnesses, which are to testify lievers may be led to conclude, for or against us. Here again is that they are not real believers, a field for all our partiality for and unbelievers may determine, ourselves to exercise itself, which that they have an interest in requires great care ; for a parChrist, and be led to it by a tial or false decision, may be at. wrong method of examining tended with the most fatal conthemselves concerning this mat- sequences. This is a serious difter. The reader must now feel ficulty even to a pious man, and the importance of attending to a often influences him to misjudge short essay on self-examination. concerning himself : how much
1. There are a number of dif- more are those in danger of deficulties in the way of a profita-luding themselves, who are ble trial of ourselves, which de- wholly under the power of a serve our serious attention. One selfish spirit ? of these is the strong prejudice, II. That a man may exam. which people usually have in fa- ine himself to any good effect, it vor of themselves, and of their is necessary, he should fix own hearts and conduct. We are upon some standard, by which to naturally fond of thinking well of try himself, and compare his