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a more powerful support to his spiritual kingdom, a more efficacious instrument of diffusing truth and righteousness, than most, perhaps than all, others : while, at the same time, he has, so far as

am able to discern, wholly neglected, and forgotten, a most solemn Institution of his own. Thus a human device has been a peculiar, if not a singular, means of accomplishing the greatest glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: and men, it would seem, will, in the end, have whereof to glory before God.

This blessing has been too evident, too uniform, and too long continued, to admit of a doubt; too great, and too wonderful, to be passed over in silence. On this day, the perfections of God, manifested in the amazing works of Creation and of Redemption, have, more than on all others, been solemnly, gratefully, and joyfully, remembered and celebrated. On this day, millions of the human race have been born unto God. On this day, Christians have ever found their prime blessings. From the Word and Ordinances of God, from the influences of the Holy Spirit, from the presence of Christ in his Church, Christians have derived, on this day, more than on all others, the most delightful views of the divine character, clear apprehensions of their own duty, lively devotion to the service of God, strength to overcome temptations, and glorious anticipations of immortality. Take this day from the Calendar of the Christian, and all that remains will be cloudy and cheerless. Religion will instantly decay. Ignorance, error, and vice, will immediately triumph; the sense of duty vanish ; morals fade away; the acknowledgment, and even the remembrance, of God be far removed from mankind; the glad tidings of salvation cease to sound; and the communication between earth and heaven be cut off for ever.

SERMON CVII.

FOURTH COMMANDMENT.-OBJECTIONS ANSWERED.

HEBREWS iv. 9.-There remaineth, therefore, Rest to the people of God.

In the two preceding discourses, I have, according to the scheme originally proposed, endeavoured to prove the Perpetual Establishment of the Sabbath, as a divine Institution ; and to show, that the day, on which it is by divine appointment to be holden by the Christian Church, is the day of Christ's Resurrection.

In the following discourse, I shall proceed to consider the Objections, which have been made to this doctrine.

As all the important objections, within my knowledge, are adduced by the late Archdeacon Paley, it is my design to reply to this respectable writer in form: such a reply being, in my own apprehension, all that is necessary with respect to the subject at large.

The text I consider as a direct assertion, that there is a Sabbath. in the Christian Church, explained by the verse following to be founded on the fact, that Christ rested from his labours in the work of Redemption; as the seventh day Sabbath was founded on the fact, that God rested on that day from his labours in the work of Creation. For he, that hath entered into his rest, even he hath rested from his works, as God did from his own. The word, translated Rest, in the text, is Sablatiomos. Ainsworth, a man eminently qualified to

Σαββασισμος judge of this subject, translates Ex. xvi. 23, thus : This is that, which Jehovah hath spoken : To-morrow is the Sabbatism, the Sabbath of holiness, to JEHOVAH. In the same manner he translates Ex. xxxi. 15, Lev. xxiii. 3, and xxv. 4. In commenting on Ex. xvi. 23, he says, “Sabbatism, Rest : that, is, Rest, or cessation. But as the Hebrew Sabbath is retained by the Holy Ghost, in the Greek Zabbarov, so the Hebrew Shabbathon, here used, is by the Apostle 20.66atiduos, in Heb. iv. 9.” The verse ought therefore to be rendered, There remaineth, therefore, a Sabbatism, or Holy Sabbath to the people of God: and this day the following verse proves to be the day, on which Christ rose from the dead.

The reason, why I have not adduced this passage of Scripture, together with those immediately connected with it, in proof of the doctrine under debate, is, that a comment on a paragraph, so obscurely written, and demanding so particular an explanation, must be very long; and would probably be very tedious to many of my audience.

1. The first and great objection of Dr. Paley to the Perpetuity of the Sabbath is, that the account of its original Institution is

found in the following passage : Ex. xvi. 22—30. And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man; and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord : Bake that which ye will bake to-day, and seethe that ye will secthe ; and that which remaineth over, lay up for you, to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning as Moses bade. And Moses said, Eat that to-day, for to-day is a Sabbath unto the Lord : to-day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my statutes and my laws ? See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days : abide ye every man in his place ; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.

The argument, here, is wholly derived from this phraseology: To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord. To-day is a Sabbath unto the Lord: and, The Lord hath given you the Sab- . bath. In these expressions Dr. Paley thinks he finds the first Institution of the Sabbath. In my view, however, after examining long, and often, the arguments of this respectable Writer, they appear to lead to the contrary conclusion. It is to be observed, that the whole argument depends on the first of these passages; because, that being once introduced, the rest would, in the case supposed, follow it of course ; and because they refer directly to it, and are grounded upon it.

As a preface to the answer, which I intend to make to this argument, I remark, that the words of Moses are addressed to the Elders of Israel, who had complained to him of the improper conduct of their countrymen, for gathering twice as much bread on the sixth day, as they customarily gathered on other days. As Moses had forbidden them to leave of it till morning; and undoubtedly by divine Inspiration; the Elders supposed their countrymen to have trespassed, in collecting this double quantity upon the sixth day. Upon this part of the story I observe,

1. That the division of time into Weeks was perfectly known to the Israelites. This is proved by the phrases, the sixth day, and the seventh day; obviously referring to the days of the week, and not to the days of the month. Now I ask, Whence had these people this scheme in dividing time, unless from the history of the Creation, traditionarily conveyed down to them? This tradition, it will be observed, could come to them from Adam, through six persons : Methuselah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, and Amram.

2. Although in the fifth verse God informed Moses, that the Congregation should gather twice as much on the sixth day; it seems highly probable, if not absolutely certain, that Moses did not inform THEM: for, we find, that the Elders, who would, I think, certainly have received this information first, were plainly ignorant of it. The people, therefore, seem to have supposed the ensuing day to be the Sabbath, of their own accord; and for this reason to have ventured to gather a double quantity of manna, from an apprehension, that the labour would be improper, and unlawful, on that day. Some of them, indeed, went out, from a spirit of rebellion and unbelief, and probably under the influence of an idle curiosity, to learn whether the manna would descend on that day, contrary to the prediction of Moses, or not. But this fact affects not the argument in hand.

Let me now ask, whether the first of these declarations of Moses, This is that, which the Lord hath said, To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord, is the language of a man, speaking of a thing altogether new, and unheard of; of a thing, totally different from all other things, hitherto known in the world; or the language of a man referring to something already known, and speaking to persons, who, although acquainted with the Institution itself, had an imperfect knowledge of the proper day, on which it was to be holden; and were, therefore, uncertain with respect to this point ? Were two of us to appoint a future day of the month, (say the second of December) for the transaction of certain business; a third, who was present, would naturally observe, if such was the fact, that the second of December will be the Sabbath. Or were we conversing upon the same subject, on the first of December, the same person would naturally say, “ To-morrow is the Sabbath." These, you will observe, are the very words of Moses. Here we are unmindful, and through forgetfulness ignorant, that the Sabbath is to take place on that day. Yet we are perfectly acquainted with the Institution, generally; and that we are acquainted with it, this phraseology is direct proof: because it springs from these very circumstances; and would, in the case stated, be used by all men.

But if the Institution was wholly unknown, would not the reply be made in terms equivalent to the following: "We cannot meet on the morrow, or the second of December, for this business: because the Legislature has by law forbidden all the inhabitants to do business on that day; and has required them to assemble for the worship of God, and to abstain from every secular pursuit." To this answer would naturally succeed inquiries concerning the fact; the time, and the end, of passing the law; the motives, which led to it; the terms, in which it was couched; its requisitions, and its penalties. No instance, it is presumed, can be found, in which the conversation concerning a new subject of this nature would be such, as is here recorded by Moses; or in which it would not be substantially such, as I have recited. On the contrary, the

conversation, in the case which I have supposed to be that of the Israelites, is always exactly that of Moses.

In this opinion I am established by the remarkable fact, that the Israelites make no inquiry concerning this supposed, novel Institution ; although so eminently important, and so plain an object of rational curiosity. The Elders themselves, notwithstanding their zeal against the supposed transgression of the people, ask no questions, and make no reply. If the Institution was new, and now first made known to them; this conduct is unaccountable. But if they were acquainted with the Institution, and doubtful concerning the day, it was perfectly natural.

The reckoning of time, at this, as well as many preceding and succeeding periods, it is well known, was extremely lame and confused. The Israelites, with respect to this subject

, laboured under peculiar disadvantages. They had been long in a state of servitude ; and were of course ignorant, distressed, and naturally inattentive to this and other subjects of a similar nature. A reckoning would, indeed, be kept among them, however ignorant. But it must almost necessarily be imperfect, doubtful, and disputed. Different opinions concerning time would of course prevail.

Should it be said, that the causes which I have specified, would make them forget the Institution itself: I answer, that other nations, as will be seen hereafter, did not forget it; but consecrated the seventh day to religious worship; although many, perhaps all, became ignorant of the day itself. We ourselves often forget the day of the month, and week ; while yet we are possessed of the most exact reckoning of time, and a perfect calendar; and are reminded of our time by so many books, papers, and other

Dr. Paley lays much stress on the words, contained in the third declaration of Moses, which I have specified: The Lord hath given you the Sabbath. In the 23d verse, when the Elders had reported to him the supposed transgression of their countrymen, in gathering a double portion of manna on the sixth day of the week, he answers : This is that which the Lord hath said ; To-morrow is the Rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord : that is, God declares to you, that the holy rest unto himself is to be holden on the morrow. Bake that, which ye will bake, to-day; and seethe that, which ye will seethe ; and that, which remaineth over, lay up for you, to be kept until the morning. The next day he renewed the same monition; and informed them further, that there would be no manna on that day; nor on the seventh day, at any future period. They were, therefore, to gather it on six days of the week only; and on every sixth day to provide the necessary supply for the seventh.

Some of the people, however, went out to gather manna on that very day; but found none. Upon this, God says to Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments? See, for that the Lord

means.

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