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REMEMBER THE SABBATH
DAY, TO KEEP IT HOLY.
REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY, TO
: KEEP IT HOLY.
6 I HINK not, said our blessed Lord, that I am come to destroy the law and the prophets; I came not to destroy, but to fulfil.” Even the ceremonious part, he came to fulfil, even the minutest parts were to be accomplished in him, and in that sense he “ is the end of the law for righteousness to such as believe.” Many of the ceremonies were trilling, and insignificant in themselves, but as they pointed to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world, they were important, and worthy of the greatest attention. In short, that law was the shadow of good things to come, but when the good things were come, the shadows fled. We need no lamps when the sun is risen. Thus, the sun of righteousness being risen, all those figurative emblems cease. But it is far otherwise with the moral law, that is the very picture of the deity, and must be coeval with himself: the sum of which is “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God witb all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and strength; and thy neighhour as thyself.” Time can never wear this out, it will be binding to all eternity. Nor let us fritter it away by saying, Christ has falfilled for us. God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might, not be destroyed, but falfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. How absurd would it be to object honouring my father or my mother, by saying, My Saviour did that in my stead, and therefore I am free from that obligation; and so to answer every command, how ridiculous would that kind of reasoning be? And yet, it is the creed which some maintain. Now I apprehend the command in the text to be of that permanent nature, and, that it is lasting as time; at any rate, it is arranged among those which are unalterable, nor does the changing the seventh day for the first, change the obligation. Indeed, some suppose that what we call the first day of the week was the original sabbath, and that a mistake crept in, either during the time of the flood, or the Egyptian captivity, or the forty years journey through the wilderness; and very possible, such a mistake might happen. Be that as it may, the change took place in the primitive church during the time of the apostles, very likely at the resurrection. Hence we read upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, (a) that is, to celebrate the Lord's Supper, as was the practice every Lord's day. And hence the apostle exhorts the Corinthians,“ upon the first day of the week, that each should lay by him in store,” for the charity,''« as God had prospered him.”' (b). Hence we find the breaking bread was the common practice on the first day of the week, and most likely was the Christian Sabbath, called Kupraxos muega, the Lord's day, in honour of our blessed Saviour. Ev on xurraren muepce that St. John was in the Spirit, in so extraordinary a manner, as if the Lord, was pleased to honour that day as well as his servant, with those glori. ous revelations which will extend through the various tracks of time into a glorious eternity. Indeed there were some in the pri. mitive church, who kept both the seventh and the first day of the week as a Sabbath; but the first day hath been held sacred by the
pious in all ages, except the Quakers, nor has any thing which they have said satisfied me as to the lawfulness of their conduct.
HOWEVER, the design of the present discourse is not to argue that point, I am addressing those who profess to believe the morality of the sacred day, and own that it ought to be kept holy; and still I fear, do not pay that attention to it which they ought; and yet the command is introduced with a striking memento above the rest, Remember, the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. The word, remember, hath something emphatic in it, as though it was to call to remembrance something, or things of importance, and so undoubtedly it does, things of vast magnitude, and which shall lead me to enquire,
FIRST, what in the Sabbath we are to remember.
SECONDLY, how it ought to be kept holy. I
FIRST, then what does the Sabbath remind us of? It may be necessary to observe, that the word naw, Sabbath, signifies rest.
. .. 1. IT reminds us that God made the world and all that it contains in six days, but on the seventh day be rested or ceased from his work. This proves that the world is not its own creator, which is now a doctrine much in vogue, wild and irrational as it is; and yet those very advocates for the self existence of matter, and all its modifications must have reason for every thing in religion, or they will reject it. In the present case, the Almighty is very particular, and asserts that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh day and hallowed it; that is, appointed it to be kept holy. Now this is truly rational and satisfactory, and becoming the mouth of the most high. Indeed he hath made every thing beautiful in its season, and wisely adapted to the purposes which he intended. Some things are of great utility, more needful than others, and these he hath granted with a bountiful liberality, and wisely calculated to answer all our necessities, as in the articles of light, air, and water. These are absolutely necessary, and he hath made wonderful provision for them all. The same we may observe in materials for pur habitations in stone and timber. The same in all kinds of vegetation and grain for the use of man or beast. The same we see in the construction of different animals, such as are most useful we have in the greatest abundance, so that the pious contemplator may say, “Great and glorious are thy works, in wisdom hast thou made them all.” For the invisible things of him from the creation are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are