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PUBLISHED EVERY THURSDAY,
MODERN EMINENT DIVINES.
Chapel, Bedford Row, August 15, 1830;-J. FLETCHER, Stepney
Easter Sunday, 1829.
August 22, 1830 ;-J. STRATTEN, Paddington Chapel, August 15,
1830. No. III.-By the Rev. T. Dale, St. Brides' Church, August 29, 1830;
J. H. Evans, John Street Chapel, King's Road, August 29, 1830 ;
-C. Benson, Temple Church, May 23, 1830. No. IV.-By the Rev. B. Leach, Robert Street Chapel, Grosvenor
Square, September 5, 1830 ;-B. Noel, St. John's Chapel, Bedford
Row, September 5, 1830.
September 12, 1830 ;-E. IRVING, Caledonian Church, Cross
laying the Foundation Stone of the National Scottish Church. No. VI.-By the Rev. J. BLACKBURN, Claremont Chapel, September 19,
1830 ;—W. DODSWORTH, Margaret Chapel, September 19, 1830; -The BishOP OF LONDON, Marylebone Church, January 17, 1830.
Part I. contains the First Four Numbers, price One Shilling.
PUBLISHED BY T. GRIFFITHS, WELLINGTON STREET, STRAND;
AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
AT ST. JOHN'S CHAPEL, BEDFORD ROW, Aug. 15, 1830.
Genesis, ii. 3.—« And the Lord blessed the seventh day.”
WHEN the Almighty rested after cre- / motives may make us, for instance, upation, he instituted the Sabbath to be a right sincere, and charitable ; for even perpetual good to mankind; and, for where God is unknown these virtues this purpose, he ordained that men would be popular. But are there no should spend it in a religious manner. other reasons in ordinary cases why On that day, therefore, Christians are the Sabbath should be strictly oballowed, and all others are commanded, served, except those connected with to leave their ordinary business, to obedience to God? Those that honour change their common pleasures into him he will honour; and, therefore, we religious ones, and to substitute for may believe that he will give especial worldly compensation that which may blessings to those who do strictly keep cherish piety. Whatever work is re this day. But, whatever be the cause, quired for our spiritual welfare or it is implied in our text that especial God's glory-whatever exertion is ne blessings are attached to its observance; cessary to prevent afflicting loss, or and, on the contrary, evil attends its relieve bodily pain—whatever relaxa- violation; so that a nation, a place, or tion or repose is rendered needful by a person, may expect to be blessed, or our bodily or mental weakness, is part otherwise, according to their observof the duty of this day ; but the whole ance of this day. Hence it is fit that we day may, in most cases, with a little should glance at the way in which it is previous arrangement and preparation, observed in this city, that we may see be spent without fatigue of mind or how far we may expect God's blessing body in the various public, social, and on that account. private duties of religion.
Our text leads to three points of exThis is felt by Christians to be their amination. privilege, and should be known by all First, The nature of the blessing
to be their duty; yet not their duty which is attached to the devout obsery* only, for although such strict observ. | ance of the Sabbath ; and the nature of ance of the Sabbath must be disagree- the evil that results from its neglect. able to the world, yet, like other salu Secondly, How far the Sabbath is tary regulations, it compensates for its violated or observed in this city. additional bitterness by the abundant | Thirdly, How far we are to expect benefits which follow from the bless- the displeasure or blessing of God on ings which God has attached to the that account. observance of it. To keep this day We begin with examining THE NAholy more unequivocally marks our TURE OF THE BLESSING WHICH Gop respect for God than the discharge HAS ATTACHED TO THIS DAY. “And even of social duties. Many lower God blessed the seventh day," If there VOL. 1.
were no blessing expressly promised to have. On other days no one can stop the Sabbath observer, and displeasure the vast and complicated machinery of directly testified against the Sabbath-this world's business, or disentangle breaker, we might infer both, from what the millions of workmen from its we know of the mind of God towards wheels : its works are beyond the those who obey or disobey his commands control of human force. The Divine in general ; but, in this case, there are force on the Sabbath has stopped it, express declarations by which the Sab- and its busy conductors escaped from bath-breaker may learn God's displea- its din can join together in unintersure against him, and by which those rupted devotion. Take away the Sabwho keep the Sabbath day may be as-bath, the machine rolls on again, and sured of his favourable regard. The hurries each to his post. Take away Sabbath-breaker is taught God's sense the Sabbath, and no other time will ever of his profaneness by reading in the come for public worship. If God be 20th chapter of Ezekiel, that one reason not publicly worshipped on the Sabwhy God did not bring the elder Israel bath he never will be. If God is never ites into the land of Canaan, which they publicly worshipped, how will he be greatly longed for, was, because they publicly honoured ?-for already is the polluted his Sabbaths. He may learn public demonstration of piety almost it by reading, in the 17th chapter of confined to the Sabbath in the churches. Jeremiah, God's threats to the Jews of That demonstration taken away, where that day, that if they would not ob- is God's honour? It is gone from the serve the Sabbath he would cause Je- world. In some obscure retreat, inrusalem to be burnt. He may read it deed, piety may still linger, precious in the 13th chapter of Nehemiah, where to the possessor, but of little use to the Prophet declares the fulfilment of the world. The earth may have its Jeremiah's prophecies, by ascribing subterranean fires, but if there were the evils of the captivity to the pro- no warmth on its surface what would fanation of the Sabbath, and asserting this world become? forsaken, desothat continuing in the profanation late, and dead. So is the world and would perpetuate God's wrath on living men without the public profesthem.
Ision of piety. On the other hand, that God blesses Again, the consecration of the Sabthe observance of it, is sufficiently at-bath is the great means of Christian tested by our text-"And God blessed instruction to the mass of the commuthe seventh day.”.
nity; to a few unoccupied persons On this day the laborious servant of perhaps it may not be so; but let any God (for the servant of God is always man engaged in useful labour, as all laborious) is permitted to enjoy the ought to be, through the six days, say holy rest in which his exhausted mind how large a proportion of his time for and fatigued body may find refresh- religious inquiries the Sabbath hours ment, not only in itself delightful, but form. If the Sabbath were taken away, invigorating him for renewed exertion would not half his devotional life be through the succeeding week. It is stolen from him at once? To the poor this cessation from toil which has often man the Sabbath forms a still larger sent him back again to labour with bet- proportion of the time devoted to reliter spirits ; it is this rest which has gion. If all the religious knowledge often succoured and sustained him; / which had been obtained by such a while the Sabbath-breaker, if diligent one on the Sabbath were to be taken on other days, and laborious on this, away, how much would remain? He has not unfrequently sunk over-worked has learnt something at the school for into premature imbecility or intolera- religious instruction something at the ble nervous irritation.
Church-something in private reading; Again, the observance of this day but all these sources were chiefly, if alone keeps up the public worship of not exclusively, open to him on the God in the world. They who set aside Sabbath. If he had always violated this day, set aside with it all the wor- the Sabbath, he feels that he would ship 'of God; they have no other day now know nothing of religion ; he feels or time consecrated, nor will they ever that those who systematically violate it do, in fact, know nothing. Judging 1 religious exercise receives additional then from circumstances up to the pre- power. On this day the first convicsent time, if ever the period shall come tions of sin have been conveyed to when the Sabbath shall be generally men's minds : many can trace their consecrated, it will be an era of une conversion to it. There are few Chrisqualled religious light; and if ever wetian believers, perhaps, who have not sink so low as to be a people who uni- registered in their memory many spiversally profane the Sabbath, we shall ritual blessings that this day has brought become a people destitute of religious to them; and to numbers I am perknowledge, and all the influences of suaded the blessings it has brought extended refinement and progressive are more than the blessings of all the information.
other days put together. Then the But, again, religious knowledge is best of the believer's time, his hours the basis of religion. Where the want of clearest thought, are given to religiof this knowledge is combined with the ous inquiry, to meditation and prayer. neglect of all solemn recognition of Then religious thoughts come to himGod, a corresponding deterioration of they come to cool the mind that is felife must ensue. Ungodliness and im- vered by bustling in the world, not morality will overthrow any Sabbath. like the momentary shadow of a passbreaking community like a flood. The ing cloud, but like the shadow of a example of a country, in which the great rock under a fiery sun. Then he Sabbath was formerly abolished, is no has all the aid of social sympathy, for exception to this state of things; and he mingles his prayers with the prayers wherever the Sabbath has been, though of others as fervent as himself; his less avowedly, desecrated, the same prayers ascend with theirs; he listens has been proportionately the result. to the same truths which they contemIn this country's past history the pub-plate, and meets them at the same lic morals and national piety have fluc- table of the Lord. tuated in exact correspondence with We need not wonder to find it genethe observance of the Sabbath; and it rally a day to which Christians are is ever the case where the Sabbath is wont to look forward with much desire, observed a most material check must and to recall with peculiar satisfaction. be put to national declension, if we Is there an hour in the life of any be. were only to mark the religious know- liever when he has enjoyed particular ledge, which, through it, will reach communion with God, or has attained the people generally.
a remarkable triumph over temptation? In several other ways the strict ob- | Is there an hour when he has made servance of the Lord's day prevents the most effective opposition against notional declension. It teaches us to sin, and the most decided advance in regard the animals, by marking their holiness? That hour belongs probably right to the seventh day, for this very to the Sabbath. Has he ever felt his reason, that they may not be over spirits glow with peculiar benevolence worked. It binds together the various to his race, or melted into unusual con. classes of society also, where their in- trition, or be lit up with the bright terests would compete, and their con views of Heaven? He felt these most trasted conditions lead to mutual heart. probably on the Sabbath. burnings. But on this day, all meet- If the Sabbath is a day most conseing together, we pray for each other; crated to God, it is a time also most and from praying for each other, all blessed for man,“therefore God blesslearn to love each other too. It recalls ed the seventh day.” On the contrary, the sovereignty of God, the work of what must we expect from its viola. Christ, and the rest of Heaven. Andtion, and what do we also deserve ? all these tend to the arrest of a nation Did you ever meet a systematic Sabin its declension from virtue and piety. bath-breaker who was not wholly given
I must go further still. The ob to worldliness? And this is the last servance of the Sabbath-day more than of the mischievous results, being that hinders evil it is one of the greatest which punishes the breach of this day means of grace: and we are com- by the decent and well educated. Sloth manded to keep it holy. Hence every is never safe, and they spend it sloth