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the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest unto the land, a Sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. (Lev. xxv. 3, 4.)
“ The institution of this sabbatical year,” continued the lady of the manor, was particularly well calculated to enforce the acknowledgment of the sovereign authority of God over all natural causes, and not less so for the trial and exercise of the faith and obedience of his people. Nor is it to be doubted, had the Israelites in full faith and confidence in their heavenly Father duly observed the outward ordinances of the typical Sabbath, that some of the glories of the antitype which are to shoot forth their increasing lustre to the end of time might have been opened to their view: whereas we have reason to think, that the greater part of the Israelites saw only in the sabbatical ordinances a wearisome interruption of the more interesting pleasures and employments of common life. But they who look on the ancient rest of the seventh day with the eye of faith, and are enabled to compare Scripture with Scripture, find therein the shadows of wonderful mysteries, discovering things present and things to come in the emblems of things already past.
They who comprehend the nature of prophetical language, are fully aware, that almost every prophecy, and every prophetical type, has various fulfilments: which several fulfilments are not unaptly compared to a seed sown in the ground, first breaking out through the sods, then shooting forth its branches, afterwards producing its leaves and blossoms; and, finally, bending down under the full weight of its fruit. There is scarcely a single type or figure used in the Old Testament, which, if properly understood, might not afford us examples of these various fulfilments: but perhaps there is no type more remarkable in this respect than that of the Sabbath. From the time of the first Sabbath in Paradise till that of Moses, there seems to have been no further explanation of this ordinance than what was delivered by the mouth of God to our first parents. The will of the Lord respecting the Sabbath was somewhat more fully opened to Moses in the wilderness, and the sabbatical year was then appointed. The duty of
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keeping the appointed Sabbaths was afterwards confirmed by many of the prophets; and the Lord himself was pleased to manifest his high displeasure against those who publicly despised his Sabbaths, by sending them into captivity to Babylon, where they became servants to the king of Babylon and his sons-to fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years. (2 Chron. xxxvi. 21.)
Thus, as time ran on, the Sabbath gained more importance, and the type gradually unfolded itself, till, at length, it received its first remarkable fulfilment in the rest of Christ in the grave, when the pains of death were past, and Satan had done his worst. For it was on the Sabbath-day on which the body of Christ reposed in the sepulchre, and, as the Apostle expresses it, God did rest the seventh day from all his works. (Heb. iv. 4.) Thus,” continued the lady of the manor,
" the old Sabbath was fulfilled, in its literal and obvious signification, during the rest of our Lord in the grave; and, from that time, it ceased to be observed by his followers. Still, however, it remains to be fulfilled in its more recondite sense; and we may still further look for a more joyful, though not more glorious, fulfilment of this emblem. “ And now,” proceeded the lady of the manor,
"sit is necessary to observe, that the twenty-four hours which compose the Sabbath are divided into twelve of night, or the absence of the light and glory of day, and twelve in which the sun is present; nevertheless, all these are appointed and set by for rest. It is at twelve o'clock at midnight that the bridegroom is said to come. And when does the Saviour come to his saints, and invite them to enter into his rest, but at the moment of death? The spiritual Sabbath, then, begins with the believer at the instant of the separation of the soul from the body; and the night of the natural Sabbath becomes the type of that mysterious state of disunion from the body which precedes the morning of the first resurrection-a period beautifully described by Job, who, speaking of the grave, uses these expressions: There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the pri
soners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master. (Job iii. 17–19.) This is also the time described in the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, of the tarrying of the bridegroom; that dark, silent, quiet period, which has exercised the curiosity of so many of the learned and wise of the earth, while the bodies of the saints are resting in sleep. But who shall describe the glories of that morning of the first resurrection depicted by the morning of the natural Sabbath, when Christ shall reign from sea to sea, and shall have dominion from the river even unto the ends of the earth?”
The lady of the manor then proceeded to enlarge considerably on the doctrine of the sabbatical millennium, or the reign of Christ upon earth, when Satan should be bound, and Christ should rule a thousand years. Not that she presumed to indicate the mode and manner of these things, but merely to express her belief, that the seventh day was the type of this period, and to shew the passages of Scripture descriptive of this happy state of things, when, as she expressed herself, the earth was to abound with every kind of temporal and spiritual blessings.
" The doctrine of the millennium is confirmed in the Revelation,” continued the lady of the manor,
" with many extraordinary particulars: among which, the most remarkable is, that of a first resurrection of the saints to take place before the reign of Christ.” The lady then quoted the passage of Scripture which bore reference to this subject. --" And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the resť of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him i thousand years.” (Rev. xx. 4-6.)
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The lady then proceeded to quote a passage from Daniel on this subject." And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Dan. ii. 44.) And having finished this reference, she went on to say, that the Scriptures abounded, from one end to the other, with predictions of the reign of Christ on earth; insomuch that the moment the mind has received the doctrine of the millennial Sabbath, passages of Scripture without number, which before might have appeared dark and impenetrable as midnight, suddenly open to view, and present landscapes of such infinite glory and beauty as would dazzle the eyes of the believer, and overwhelm him with insufferable brightness, were they not still involved in somewhat of that mistiness with which distant objects must ever be obscured.
dear young people, " added she, “having given you some little idea of my views of the old Sabbath, which I consider as a type of the rest of the people of God on earth, I will, if you please, explain to you my conceptions respecting the Lord's-day, which might be said to have been first established when Christ had fulfilled the whole of the old Law, and, in fulfilling it, had, as it were, put an end to it: for that which is accomplished is finished, and remains no longer in force. Therefore, they who are willing to be saved by the second covenant, are freed from the obligations of the first; and though we may use the old moral law as a rule of life, being in itself perfectly wise and good, yet every believer must be aware that it is not by the law that he must either stand or fall. We, therefore, do not hesitate to say, that the old Sabbath is passed : for if this is not allowed, how do we excuse ourselves from not observing it? and yet, what Christian asserts, in these days, that such an observance is necessary
? The old Sabbath is the seventh day, which answers to our Saturday, a day never regarded as holy by any Christian : whereas, the Lord's-day is the first day of the week, or, rather, answers to that period when time, which has been calculated by days, weeks, months, and years, shall be at an end, and a new order of things shall begin.
• The only notice we find of that period when the last earthly Sabbath shall be no more, in the Old Testament, is the jubilee year, which was to take place every fifty years, that is, when seven times seven years were accomplished. This jubilee was to be ushered in with the sound of trumpets, and every man was then to return to his possessions. At this time, liberty was proclaimed through all the land, and every captive was to be released from bondage. This year of jubilee was, therefore, the type of that blessed day when Christ, having paid the ransom of his people, and enjoyed the rest of the Sabbath, should break the bonds of death, and burst the prison of the grave, being himself the firstfruits of the resurrection. And this day again becomes the emblem of that glory prepared for believers when the sabbatical rest of the millennium is over, and the final consummation of all things is at hand.
“We see, therefore," continued the lady of the manor, " in the old Sabbath, the type of Christ's rest in the grave, and the emblem of his kingdom on earth; while, in the Lord's-day, we behold the memorial of our Redeemer's victory over death, and receive the promises of future glory, when time shall be no more, and all that are in the grave shall be gathered each to his own people.
« The old Sabbath is, indeed, passed away; but the obligation of observing a rest remains to us, because the command has been renewed in various parts of the New Testament, which we may find, if we take the trouble of looking for the passages which refer to the Lord's-day and the observances of the ancient Christians. And there is great reason to fear, that those who are incapable of enjoying the spiritual rest of the Lord's-day on earth, may find themselves shut out from that which is above.
“But,” said the lady of the manor, pared with a little manuscript very much to our present purpose, and as I well know your attachment to any thing in the form of narrative, I will not detain your attention any longer on these discussions, though I do not believe that you have found them dry, the subject being of such peculiar interest. But, as what I have said today may afford matter of study and meditation for years