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exactly the same obligations : and is bound, in this case, to duties exactly the same.
3. The Perpetuity of the Sabbath is clearly taught in Isaiah lvi. 6-8.
Also the sons of the strunger, that join themseldes to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants ; every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable on my altar : for my house shall be called, An house of prayer for all people. The Lord God, who gathereth the outcasts of Israel, saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
From this passage it is evident, that, when the house of God shall become a house of prayer for all people, and when the outcasts of Israel, and others beside them, shall be gathered unto him, that is, Christ; then the Sabbath shall continue a divine institution; that it shall be a duty to keep it from polluting it; and that those who keep it, particularly the sons of the stranger; or the Gentile nations; shall be accepted and blessed in thus keeping it, and shall be made joyful in God's house of prayer.
But the house of God was never, in any sense, called An house of prayer for all people, until after the dispensation of the Gospel began: viz. until the house of God was found wherever two or three met together in the name of Christ; until the period, when mankind were to worship God, neither in Jerusalem, nor in the mountain of Samaria, but wherever they worshipped in spirit and in truth. Under this dispensation, therefore, the Sabbath was still to continue a divine institution; was to be kept free from pollution; and the keeping of it was to be blessed, according to the declarations of the unerring Spirit of prophecy.
This prediction is a part of the unchangeable counsels of JehoVAH. It could not have been written, unless it had been true. It could not have been true, unless fulfilled by this very observation of the Sabbath. The Sabbath could not have been thus observed, and men could not have been thus blessed in observing it, unless, at the very time of this observance, it had still remained an Institution of God. For God himself has declared that mankind shall not add to his words, nor diminish ought from them; and that, instead of blessing those, who add to the words written in the Scriptures, he will add to them the plagues, which are written in the Scriptures. But to add to the Institutions of God is to add to his Word in the most arrogant and guilty manner. If the Sabbath be not now a divine institution; he, who observes it as such, adds to the Institutions of God, and is grossly guilty of this arrogance. He may, therefore, certainly as well as justly, expect to find a curse, and not a blessing; to be destroyed with a more terrible destruction, than that which Nadab and Abihu experienced, for
adding to the Institutions of God one of their own, of a far less extraordinary and guilty nature.
But how different from all this has been the fact ! How exactly, as well as gloriously, has this prediction been fulfilled! God has really gathered unio Christ others, beside the outcasts of Israel. The Gentiles, the sons of the stranger, have, in immense multitudes, joined themselves to the Lord. They have served him. They have loved his name. They have kept the Sabbath from polluting it. .
. They have taken hold of his covenant. They have been made joyful in his house of prayer : and their sacrifices, and their burntofferings, have been accepted upon his altar: and his house has been called an house of prayer for all people. Thus, as Isaiah predicted, there has actually been a Sabbath under the dispensation of the Gospel, remaining now for almost eighteen hundred years; and this Sabbath has been attended with the peculiar blessings, predicted by this Evangelical Prophet.
4. The Perpetuity of the Sabbath is fairly argued from Psalm cxviii. 19-26.
Open to me the gates of righteousness : I will go into them; and I will praise the Lord. This gate of the Lord, into which the rightLous shall enter. I will praise thee : for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. The Stone, which the builders refused, is become the head-stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; and it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day, which the Lord hath made. We will rejoice, and be glad, in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord : O Lord, I beseech ihee, send now prosperity! Blessed be he, that cometh in the name of the Lord. We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.
This Psalm, particularly the prophecy contained in these words, is explained by St. Peter, as referring to Christ; the true headstone of the corner, rejected by the Jewish builders ; and, of course, as referring to the times of the Christian dispensation. In these times, then, there was to be a day, which the Lord had made ; not in the literal sense ; for in this sense he had made all days; but in the spiritual sense; that is, a day, which he had sanctitied; consecrated to himself; devoted to his own worship; of a common and secular day, made into a holy and religious one. It was a day, on which the gates of righteousness were to be opened : that is, the gates of the sanctuary, or house of God; and styled the gate, or gates, of the Lord. It was a day, on which the righteous, as a body, were to enter into them. It was the day, on which the Lord became their Salvation. It was the day, on which the Stone, rejected by the builders, became the headstone of the corner.
It was a day, on which prayers were to be offered up, and praises to be sung to God. Finally, it was a day, in which the righteous were to receive blessings from the house of the Lord.
All my audience must have anticipated the conclusion, as flowing irresistibly even from this slight examination of the passage; that this was a day, devoted to religious employments, and particularly to the public worship of God. It is equally evident, that it is the day, on which Christ arose from the dead, or, in other words, became the head-stone of the corner. It is, therefore, the Sabbath; the only day, ever devoted to purposes of this nature by the authority of Inspiration. It is a Sabbath, also, existing under the Gospel or after the resurrection of Christ. Of course, it is to continue to the end of the world; for all the institutions, which exist under the Gospel, are perpetual.
5. The Perpetual Establishment of the Sabbath, is evident from Revelation i. 10, I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day.
I The book of Revelation was probably written about the year 96, and of course many years after the resurrection of Christ. At this time, there was a day, generally known to Christians by the name of the Lord's day. It was also entitled the Lord's day by the
pen of St. John, under the immediate influence of Inspiration. It was, therefore, so called with the approbation of the Spirit of truth. But this could not have been, unless it had been originally instituted by God himself. That the Apostle, in this manner of mentioning it, accords intentionally with this denomination, as being the proper one, will, I presume, not be disputed; because the contrary supposition would make him lend his own sanction to a false, as well as an unauthorized, denomination of this day, and to the false doctrine involved in it; viz. that there was a day, consecrated with propriety to the Lord, or, in other words, consecrated by divine appointment : since no other consecration of it would have any propriety. If this doctrine was false, as according to the supposition it must be, it could not fail to prove in a high degree dangerous ; as it would naturally lead all, who read this book, to hold a Religious Institution as established by God, which he had not in fact appointed; and thus, by worshipping him according to the commandments of men, to worship him in vain. The guilt, and the mischiefs, of this doctrine, thus received and obeyed, would be incomprehensible. The Spirit of truth, who directed the pen of St. John, cannot have sanctioned this doctrine, unless it was true ; nor have given this denomination to the day spoken of, unless it was given by the will of God.
There was, therefore, at the period specified, and under the Gospel, a day holden by the Apostle, by Christians generally, and by God himself, as the Lord's day; or a day, peculiarly consecrated to Christ, the Lord mentioned by St. John in this passage. There is now, there has always been, but one such day; and but one manner, in which a day can be the Lord's. This day is the Sabbath; a holy, heavenly rest from every sinful, and every secular concern. It is his, by being authoritatively appropriated to his use by himself; and by his requiring mankind, whenever it returns, to consecrate their time, their talents, and themselves, to his im
mediate service and religious worship As, then, there was such a day, a day consecrated to the Lord, a Sabbath, at the time when the Revelation of St. John was written; so this day is perpetually established. For, every institution under the Gospel, the last dispensation of God to mankind, will remain in full force to the end of the world.
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT:-THE PERPETUITY AND CHANGE
OF THE SABBATH.
EXODUS 18. 8-11.-Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt
thou labour, and do all thy work: But the serenth day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shall not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, rior thy caille, nor thy stranger that is within lhy gales; For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and tested the seventh day ; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
IN the preceding discourse, from these words, I proposed to consider,
1. The Perpetual Establishment of the Sabbath; and, Il. The Manner, in which it is to be observed.
The first of these propositions I examined, at some length, in that discourse : and shall now go on to offer some additional observations concerning the same subject. If I have proved, as I flatter myself I have, that the Sabbath is an Institution, designed to last to the end of the world ; it will naturally occur to my audience, as a question of prime importance in the consideration of this subject, «Why is it, that you and other Christians, instead of observing the Sabbath originally instituted, keep another day as the Sabbath; a day, of which no mention was made in the Institution, and for the religious observation of which we find no express command either in the Old or New Testament ?"
This question is certainly asked with unobjectionable propriety; and certainly demands a candid and satisfactory answer, Such an answer I will now endeavour to give.
It is unquestionably true, that the Institution, whatever it is, is to be taken as we find it in the Scriptures ; and that men are in no respect to change it. He, who made it, is the only being in the universe, who has the right to abrogate, or to alter, that which he has made. As we find it, then, in the Scriptures, we are bound to take it; whether agreeable to our own ideas of wisdom and propriety, or not.
In order to explain my own views of this subject, it will be useful to observe, that this Institution obviously consists of two parts ; the Sabbath, or holy rest; and the Day, on which it is holden. These are plainly alluded to, as distinct from each other, 'in the text; where it is said, The Lord rested the seventh day, and blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. This language is chosen of design; Vol. III.