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command, there are some ad- priest--and each was stedfastly mainmirable observations in Mr. Gur- tained as important for its particular purney's little work, which is written pose—it was the moral part of that law,
it was the ten commandments both in with the clearness and simplicity their principles and in their detail, -on which characterize all the writings which the preachers of righteousness ever of that excellent man. It is to the delighted to dwell. These were the conlatter part of the following extracts ties, and the exhortations of the pro
stant theme of the rebukes, the entreathat we more particularly call at- phets. tention.
“ In taking this view of the subject, it
seems impossible to separate the fourth 6. It is a remarkable fact, that the ob commandment from those which precede servance of the sabbath was the first and follow it. It was delivered with the moral duty which was then enjoined upon same solemnity as its fellows, and was the Jews. We kave already found occa written on the table of the covenant by sion to remark, that when the mavna the same finger. It is moreover imporwas given in double quantity on the sixth
tant to observe, that it fitly concludes day of the week, and ceased to fall on the first table of the covenant, and as the seventh, this institution was afresh fitly introduces the second. The first brought to their remembrance; and it table relates to the worship of the true was clearly manifested to them, that God. It proclaims his unity, and the every recurring seventh day was thence sanctity of his name, and forbids all idoforth to be dedicated to a holy rest, and latry. How could it be better concluded to the worship of God.
than by the law of the sabbath, which 6. Afterwards, when the moral law was renders the regular worship of God pracdelivered from Mount Sinai, in the audi- ticable, by breaking the train of our temble voice of Jehovah himself, the keeping poral pursuits, and by setting apart one of the sabbath was commanded as one of day in seven for this express purpose ? its essential parts, and was introduced by So also the strength of the second table, the term REMEMBER. • Remember the which unfolds the moral obligations of sabbath-day to keep it holy. Six days man to man, will ever be found to lie in shalt thou labour and do all thy work, but the remembrance of the Creator of the the seventh day is the sabbath of the universe ; because on his will alone are Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do
these obligations founded. Now the sabany work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy bath was the appointed means of perdaughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid. petually reminding man that he is himservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger self a creature, and that God is his Creator that is within thy gates ; for in six days and sovereign. It was a current saying the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea among the Talmudists, 'He that denies the and all that in them is, and rested the sabbath is like to him who denies the whole seventh day. Wherefore the Lord blessed law.' Rabbi Levi, of Barcelona, says that the seventh day, and hallowed it.'
the object of the Sabbath of the Israelites Nothing can be more palpable than was, that having no other business, they the distinction maintained in Scripture might fasten on their minds that the between the ten commandments thus
world had a beginning, which is a thread delivered from Mount Sinai, and the which draws after it all the foundations civil and ceremonial institutiops of the of the law. Accordingly we find that Mosaic code. The former were laws, as while most of the ceremonial law was inold as the world itself, applicable to all stituted by Moses prospectively, with a men, and essential to the maintenance of view of its being put into practice after a true theology and of a righteous life. the Israelites had settled in the land of The latter, though mixed up with much Canaan, the Sabbath was strictly obthat was moral, (or derived from these served, even during their journey in the laws,) were intended for the national wilderness. welfare, and adapted exclusively to the “ While this point is so plain that it can peculiar religious circumstances of the scarcely fail to be conceded by the imHebrews. Accordingly, the former were partial examiner of scripture, we ought pronounced by Jehovah himself, during not to forget that the Sabbath, under the à visible and awful display of his glory ; Mosaic economy, served certain purwhereas the latter were communicated
poses, and was marked by certain chato the people, only through the inter- racteristics, which had no relation except vention of a human law-giver. On the to that economy. This article of the de. same ground, while the civil part of the calogue was applied to the Israelites on law of Moses was committed to the ma a national, as well as on a more general gistrate, and the ceremonial part to the principle, and in such a form or manner N, S, NO. 93,
as suited the peculiar circumstances un (reckoned, as is supposed, from the month der which they were placed.
Tizri, or September) the Israelites were 1. The Mosaic Sabbath was intended to cease from agricultural labour. They for a sign by which the Israelites might and their land were to keep holy day; be distinguished from all the idolatrous and the natural productions of their nations which surrounded them. It was fields were to be the portion only of the a visible and intelligible badge of their
At the same period every debt loyalty to the King of kings,-a public was to be cancelled, and every Hebrew testimony, borne amidst all the heathen, slave restored to freedom ; and the whole to the authority of Jehovah. • Verily population was to unite in praising and my Sabbaths ye shall keep,' said the blessing God. The observance of the Lord by Moses, for it is a sign between sabbatical year was inseparably connected me and you throughout your generations, with the peculiar dispensation under that ye may know that I am the Lord that which the Israelites lived..... doth SANCTIFY you...
" Another extension of the sabbatical “ 2. As the Sabbath was a means of principle under the law of Moses, was the distinguishing the Israelites as the wor appointment of one day or more of holy shippers of the true God, so it was in rest during each of their great festivals, tended to remind them of the national the Passover and the feasts of weeks, redemption which Jehovah had wrought trumpets, and tabernacles. On these for them. As the creation of the world high days, there was held, as well as on was the first, so the deliverance of the the usual Sabbath, a holy convocation,' Israelites from Egypt was the second
and no servile work was permitted to be event of which it was the appointed me
done in them. This prohibition did not morial. In the repetition made by Moses exclude the preparation of food. Buton of the ten commandments, this latter the great day of atonement, the tenth of event is alone alluded to in connection the seventh month-no work at all was with the Sabbath,' Remember that thou allowed, and the Sabbath was kept fully. wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and It was probably in allusion to these wellthat the Lord thy God brought thee out known holy days, that the Jewish festithence through a mighty hand, and by a
vals were sometimes designated by the stretched-out arm. THEREFORE the general name of sabbaths. Lord thy God commanded thee to keep “7. Lastly, the Sabbath day, under the Sabbath-day:
the law of Moses, was required to be ob“ 4. As the Israelitish Sabbath day
served with a strictness, and the breach was the seventh of the week, and as the of it was punished with a severity, which Hebrews reckoned their days from even may fairly be regarded as appertaining ing to evening, it followed that their solely to the dispensation then in force. Sabbath began on what we shonld call The commandment, 'In it thou shalt not the evening of the sixth day, and con
do any work,'&c., as interpreted by the tinued until the same hour on the day Law, was far more rigid and comprehen. following. According to the Rabbins, it
sive than it is possible for us to regard it commenced and terminated with the ap
as it is interpreted by the Gospel. Alpearance of the stars.....
though our Saviour, the Lord of the Sab“5. The Sabbath of the Hebrews was bath, made a clear exception in favour distinguished by the performance, in the
of works of mercy and necessity, it may temple, of a double ceremonial ; • And be questioned whether such an excepon the Sabbath-day (thou shalt offer) two tion® (unless within narrow limits) was lambs of the first year without spot, and either contemplated by Moses, or maintwo-tenth deals of flour for a meat tained by his followers. offering, mingled with oil, and the drink “ I conceive that the distinction be. offering thereof. This is the burnt offer tween these two branches of the Mosaic ing of every sabbath, beside the continual sabbatical code, is clear and palpable. burnt offering, and his drink offering. The former branch contains a law which This double service may be regarded as
has been binding on man in all ages, and a figurative indication that the Sabbath under the influence of the gospel, must day has a double claim upon us for the flourish with fresh vigour. The latter duties of worship. The figure is Jewish;
branch was in its nature temporary, and but the lesson derived from it is applica- under the same influence, has withered ble to the Christian.
away for ever.”-pp. 22–42. “6. Under the Mosaic economy thesab The inferential arguments from batical principle took a wider range than the New Testament for the change appears to have been enjoined or authorized by the original law. Not only was
of day from the seventh to the first every seventh day to be a day of rest, but
we shall give from Dr. Burder's during the whole of every seventh year,
little volume, where all the rea
soning which it appears to us is they should know more fully the will of available on the subject is brought all error and guided into all truth, by the
Christ? Were they not preserved from into a narrow compass with that
direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit ? happy art of condensation and se Were they not favoured with a rich valection so characteristic of the riety of miraculous gifts? Did they not author.
carry with them these miraculous creden
tials, into all the places in which they “ I. To our Lord Jesus Christ belong formed and organized Christian churches? ed full authority, to effect a change in the Were not those miraculous powers the atday of the Sabbath.
testation, on the part of the Holy Spirit « It has been admitted, in a former himself, that their doctrine and their dis-, discourse, that no authority, except that cipline, and all their regulations, were in which originally instituted the Sabbath, full accordance with the will of Christ? Is could transfer the obligation to its ob it not evident, then, that our Lord gave servance, from one day to another-from full authority to his Apostles, to regulate the seventh day of the week to the first. all the religious observances which the inThat authority, however, must, of neces terests of his Church required ? sity, belong to the Son of God. Was he “III. The practice of the first Churches not the Creator of the heavens and of the (under the guidance of the Apostles), as earth.”.. ....“On the seventh day he recorded in the New Testament, is equiended his work which he had made; and valent in value and authority, to direct he rested on the seventh day from all his precept. work which he had made; and he blessed “ The Apostle Paul thus addresses Tithe seventh day, and sanctified it.” Now tus:--- For this cause I left thee in Crete, to him who in the beginning instituted that thou shouldest set in order the things the law of the Sabbath, and appointed that are wanting, and ordain elders in the day of the Sabbath, must belong the every city, as I had appointed thee.? authority requisite for transferring the In addressing the Corinthians, on a cerappointment and the benediction from one tain point regarding propriety of deday to another. Nothing less than such meanour, the Apostle says; If any man authority did he himself seem to assert and seem to be contentious, we have no such to claim, even in the days of his voluntary custom, neither the Churches of God.' humiliation on earth. When he vindi. In these passages he represents the usages cated his disciples from the charge of pro introduced or sanctioned by himself, as faning the Sabbath, as they were passing having an authority which no man, which through the fields of corn, his language no Church, could be permitted to call in was :-- I say unto you, that in this place question. is one greater than the temple; the Son “ The usages of Churches, under aposof Man is lord also of the Sabbath.'.... tolic superintendence and control, must
“ II. Our Lord gave full authority to have grown out of apostolic precept; his Apostles, to regulate the faith, the dis they must, therefore, be equivalent to cipline, and the observances, which the apostolic precept. The conciseness of interests of his Church required.
scripture narrative has not always allowed “Of the correctness of this compre the insertion of the precept, the end behensive statement, no other proof can be ing sufficiently answered by the record of necessary than that which is contained in
the usage. We are no more at liberty to the grand commission which the Saviour deviate from the recorded usage, in regranted to the Apostles. After asserting gard to regulations which were neither his own mediatorial authority in heaven local nor temporary in their character, and in earth, he added ;-'Go ye there than we are at liberty to deviate from an fore and make disciples of all nations, bap express precept. Nothing, therefore, tizing them in the name of the Father, could be more unreasonable or unscripand of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, tural than to maintain, that a direct inteaching them to observe all things what junction must be necessary to authorize soever I have commanded you.' Had not the change of the day of the Sabbath, our Lord been engaged, in repeated in from the seventh day of the week to the terviews during forty days after his re first. The Christians who enjoyed the surrection, in giving to his Apostles in. ministry of the Apostles, must have restructions in the things pertaining to ceived the precept, or they could not have his kingdom ?' Does it not also distinctly established the usage.
We have that appear, from the Acts of the Apostles, which is equivalent to the precept, by havand from many of the Epistles, that the ing the record of the usage. Apostles were favoured with special reve “ IV. The primitive Churches, during lations, whenever it was necessary that the ministry of the Apostles, observed
the first day of the week, as the day of Church. The day specified is the first their social worship and most solemn ser day of the week. On the first day of vices.
the week, then, they were accustomed “ There are two passages which, on to meet together for religious observances. this point, appear to be decisive. The There was an obvious propriety, it may first you will find in the twentieth also be observed, in connecting with their chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, social worship and Christian fellowship at the sixth and seventh verses : 'Apd the expression of their fraternal love, in we sailed away from Philippi, after contributions to their poor and persecut. the days of unleavened bread, and ed brethren; and it is worthy of remark, came to Troas in five days, where we abode that the Jews had been accustomed to seven days. And upon the first day of the make weekly collections of alms for the week, when the disciples came together to poor, which were usually distributed on break bread, Paul preached unto them, the evening of the Sabbath. It is intiready to depart on the morrow; and con mated by the Apostle, in the first of these tinued his speech until midnight.' It verses, that the regulation he here intro. would seem, then, that the Apostle was duces into the Church at Corinth, he had anxious not to protract his stay at Troas a previously introduced into the Churches single day, after he had enjoyed an oppor of Galatia. We infer, then, that the tunity of meeting the assembled Church; Churches of the entire region of Galatia that the day of their meeting was the were also accustomed to hold their sofirst day of the week; and that for the lemn assemblies on the first day of the arrival of that day the Apostle had waited week. Now, a usage which, at so early an entire week. Now, from all this we a period, was already prevalent in places should infer, that no special and extraor so remote from each other as Corinth, dinary meeting had been called, but that Galatia, and Troas, may be justly suphe waited for the day on which they were posed to have become the general, the accustomed to assemble. It appears also universal custom of the Churches of that the primary purpose for which they Christ. assembled, was the observance of the “As the two passages now adduced reLord's Supper; an ordinance which the fer, however, to a period twenty years or primitive Christians were accustomed to more after the ascension of Christ, it is celebrate every Lord's day. The gene natural to enquire,-are there any intiral inference, then, which we are autho. mations at an earlier period, of the change rized to draw from this narrative of facts of the day of the Sabbath ? is, that the disciples at Troas were accus. “Let us turn to the record given by the tomed to assemble on the first day of the Apostle John of the transactions of our week, for the purposes of Christian fel. Lord, in the interval between his resurlowship.
rection and his ascension. “The second passage to which I re. day (on which he arose from the tomb) ferred is the sixteenth chapter of the at evening, being the first day of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, the first week, when the doors were shut where and second verses. Our translation of the disciples were assembled, for fear these verses does not appear to do justice of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the to the original. They are thus rendered midst, and saith unto them, Peace be by Dr. Macknight. Now, concerning unto you.' — And after eight days, the collection which is for the saints, as I (that is, reckoned inclusively,-on the reordered the Churches of Galatia, so also turn of the first day of the week,) again do ye. On the first day of every week, his disciples were within, and Thomas let each of you lay somewhat by itself, ac with them; then came Jesus, the doors cording as he may have prospered, put being shut, and stood in the midst, and ting it into the treasury, that when I come said, Peace be unto yon.' On both there may be then no collections. The these occasions, the disciples were as. wish of the Apostle was to prevent the sembled on the first day of the week ; necessity of making collections on his arri. and on both, their risen Lord honoured val. This object could not be secured, the day and the social meeting with bis unless the brethren not only set apart presence and his benediction. their respective contributions, but also “ It is related, in the beginning of the collected them together, so as to form one second chapter of the Acts, that when common fund. They could only pour them the day of Pentecost was fully come, the into one common treasury, when they as disciples were all, with one accord, in sembled together in one place. They one place.' Now, the most careful and were directed, therefore, to make a accurate calculations support the opinion, weekly collection on that day on which that the day of Pentecost must have they were accustomed to meet as a fallen on the first day of the week.
• The same
That day, then, was honoured with the comports with the plan of the present most signal mark of the approbation of discussion."- pp. 58–74. our exalted Saviour, by his pouring forth, on that occasion, the promised, the ex
These, it appears to us, are all pected, and the glorious effusion of the the arguments which the New TesHoly Spirit.
tament affords; but even the most “At a later period, and nearly at the sceptical must, we think, admit close of the first century, the Apostle that they amount to a very strong John employs those words of peculiar empbasis and significancy, ' I was in the probability that the founder of our Spirit on the Lord's-day.' To whom can religion intended that the first day they refer, but to the Lord Jesus Christ? of the week, or at least a very As the Lord's supper is the ordinance sacred to the memory of the death of great portion of it, should be conChrist, so the Lord's-day must be the day secrated as a Sabbath; and when sacred to the memory of the resurrection we recollect, in connection with of Christ. This mode of expression oh: this, what has been the uniform viously authorizes the conclusion, that at the period at which the apostle John practice of the church from the wrote the book which completes the remotest periods of her history, canon of Scripture, that day was con and for which it seems impossible secrated to the honour of Christ, by those
to account except upon the supwho called themselves his disciples. That day also did the Holy Spirit honour, by position of some express apostolic selecting it for the purpose of granting injunctions,
injunctions, probability almost to the favoured apostle the most glorious amounts to certainty, and undoubtvisions of celestial blessedness, together edly ought to produce conviction with prophetic disclosures, most momen
in tous in their character, of the future
any reasonable man. history of the church. Are we not then
That there was not a more exfully entitled, by the considerations pow
press injunction, in the New adduced, to assert, that the primitive Testament, on the subject, is week, as the day of their social worship just what might be expected and most solemn services ?
from the very gradual manner in “ V. The glorious character and the which the new dispensation sufmomentous results of the event which fered all the worn-out customs and the first day of the week is designed to commemorate, sufficiently account for practices of the old to fall into the change of the Sabbath, from the desuetude. Many of the prejuseventh day of the week to the first. dices, even of sincere Christians,
“ Until the day of the resurrection of in favour of antiquity were indulChrist, the seventh day of the week commemorated the most wondrous and the ged; it was not to be expected, most glorious work which God had ever indeed, that habits of mind so long accomplished. It was the creation of cherished as those of the Jews tothe heavens and the earth and all that in wards their ancient ritual, should them is. The work of redemption, however, is a still greater work than that of be rooted out in a day; on the creation; it is so on the grand principle, other hand, it would have been by which the inspired writers appear to quite impossible for the early estimate all greatness and all value..... Christians to have consecrated the
“ VI. The churches of Christ have been accustomed, even from the days of the whole of the first as well as the apostles, to observe the first day of the seventh day. It was quite sufweek as the Christian Sabbath.
ficient that the early practices and " I adduce this argument, not as direct examples of the primitive Chrisas corroborative of the fact, that such tians, and the gradual decay of was the practice of the apostolic churches. Jewish prejudices, would lead, in They who lived so near the times of the fact, to the substitution of the one apostles, must have had ample means of
day for the other.
This gradual ascertaining the apostolic usage. A slight sketch of the historic testimony, which and silent change is quite in acmight be copiously adduced, is all that cordance with all the divine works,