Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

cially, the original appointment continued. It
appears to me also, (though this is not undisputed,)
that the Mosaic sabbath was instituted on the
same day of the seven : but the redemption from
Egyptian bondage was added, as one great benefit
to be commemorated by Israel on the sabbath ;
and this redemption we consider as typical of
spiritual redemption by Jesus Christ. We, how-
ever, are satisfied, that “the Lord even of the
“ sabbath day,” Jesus Christ the Son of God, has,
by his authority, changed the instituted part of
the command, and has appointed the first day of
the seven, instead of the last, in commemoration
of his resurrection : because that event, as com-
pleting his work of redemption, was of far greater
importance, and an infinitely greater benefit to
fallen man, than creation without redemption
would have been. Our observation of the first
day, as the Christian sabbath, is not 'derived
* from what Paul said ;'' but from the general
language of the New Testament, and the general
practice of the primitive Christians, in the apostles'.
days. It is by the apostle John called “ the
“ Lord's day:"2 sĩ Kupbaxņiquéça, as St. Paul calls
the eucharist, Kuplaxòv değovov.3 The same authority
which, as we suppose, abolished the other festivals
of the ceremonial law, changed the ceremonial
part of this law. “ The first day of the week” is,
subsequently to our Lord's resurrection, distin-
guished from other days;4 and sabbaths are put
among those ritual observances which are no

11 Cor. xvi. 2. ? Rev. i. 10. 31 Cor. xi, 20. * John xx. 19, 26. Acts xx, 7. 1 Cor. xvi. 2.

Jonger in force. With this the constant practice of the Christian church accords : and every argument, which proves Christianity to be from God, establishes this change in the day of sacred rest. “ This is the day which the Lord hath made; we “ will rejoice and be glad in it:” for “ the Stone, “ which the builders refused,” on this day arose, that he might “become the head-stone of the “corner.”2 If indeed God said to the apostles on the mount, as we believe, “ This is

my

beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; HEAR YE HIM:” and if he, as it is manifest, made known his will to the apostles concerning this change of the day; then the same authority, which appointed the seventh day, for wise and holy reasons substituted the first in its place. But it pleased God that this change, as some others, should be gradually introduced, rather by apostolical example, than by direct injunction; that no needless stumbling block might be thrown in the way of the Jews.

P. 84. 1. 26. “ Type,' &c.--It is no where in scripture said, that the sabbath is a type of the “millennium :' but, if it were, this would confirm the view which we have of it, namely, that in some respects it was a part of instituted worship. The apostle shews that he considered it as a figure or anticipation of heavenly happiness, when he says, “ There remaineth therefore a rest,” (cablatiopos, the keeping of a sabbath,) “ for the people of « God."

" Col. ii. 16.

? Ps. cxviii. 22-24. Acts iv. 10, 11.

P. 84. 1. 31. “They have no right to keep holy, &c.--To have no right to obey, the command of God, seems an uncommon idea or expression.The rest of the paragraph does not require any particular answer. Christians consider the festivals, as well as other parts of the ceremonial law, as abolished; and they judge that the moral part of the fourth commandment is obeyed; by observing the Lord's day, if it be indeed kept as the Lord's day should be.

P. 85. 1. 10. · The day of atonement.'-P. 86. 1. 6. 'A little sanctuary.'—It is rather difficult to conceive how many synagogues, widely dispersed through distant countries, could be “a little

sanctuary.” I have no doubt that believing and humble Israelites of old worshipped God by prayer and praise, with acceptance at the synagogues, wherever dispersed: but this was always with a reference to the tabernacle and temple, where alone sacrifices, atoning sacrifices, were appointed to be offered. The name and perfections of God, his grace, and providence, and promises, trusted in by a few prudent, pious Jews, was to them as “ a little sanctuary;" when they could not go up to the temple. Their worship was accepted, wherever presented, through the ministrations of the priests, and the atoning sacrifices offered “ in the place which God had chosen “ to place his name there." 2 But since the coming of the Messiah, and the rejection of him by the Jews, we Christians must think that the

1

Ps. xx. 1, Prov. xviii. 10.

? Is. viii. 13-15,

efficacy of the typical sacrifices has ceased, and that no worship is acceptable from those who reject the substance of all those types.

P. 86. 1. 10. ! Sacrifices.'-We acknowledge that a broken spirit, and some other things, are

spiritual sacrifices,” of far higher value than any

sacrifices of animals burnt on altars, except when these were offered with reference to the great antitype and his atonement: but we consider these spiritual sacrifices as required by the moral law, or as connected with the “gospel of our “ salvation.”. Indeed, to speak of synagogues, and the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, in answer to the argument that there exists no temple, or any such sacrifices as the ceremonial law prescribed; is merely to evade the conclusion manifestly deducible from the undeniable fact. We simply inquire, Are these the sacrifices appointed by Moses to be offered on the day of atonement ? Are they offered in obedience to the ceremonial law? The answer is, 'In our

dispersions we cannot offer these; and we do what we can.' Be it so: but is not this the very thing that we maintain ; that God, in proof that the ritual law is abolished, has rendered the observance of it, in its most essential requirements, impracticable even to those who would observe it? We allow that the moral law remains in full force: but that the ritual law of Moses, having answered its purpose, is abolished, and in fact cannot be observed. Now to shew that sacrifices required by the moral law, or certainly not appointed in the ritual law, may still be offered

[ocr errors]

by the Jews, even in their dispersions, confirms instead of answering, our argument.

P. 86. 1. 16. ' Now when,' &c.—It is no part of our present concern, to inquire into the nature of the services, said to be performed by the Jews in the synagogue on the day of atonement: this at least is certain, that they do not, and cannot, perform the sacrifices and ceremonies, instituted in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus. The temple, the holy of holies, the high priest ; his own sinoffering, the sin-offering for the people; the two goats, and the entrance of the high priest into the holiest, with the blood of the sacrifices, and the burning of incense; these, and other things, essential to the observance of that day, as a part of the ritual law of Moses, and typical of good things to come, have been wholly disused for above seventeen hundred years.

Several parts of the ritual law may be performed by the Jews in their dispersions, and some are attended to: but who can read the books of Moses, especially Leviticus, without a deep conviction, that the priesthood of Aaron's family, the altar, the sacrifices of innocent and clean animals, with the shedding and sprinkling of blood, and the burning of incense; as connected with the tabernacle, the holy of holies, the ark, and the mercyseat ; are the most appropriate and central parts of the ritual law ? In fact all the rest had such an intimate connexion with these, that, take away the sanctuary, the priesthood, and the sacrifices; and the whole must appear as broken and scattered fragments of a fabric, once grand, but now

« EelmineJätka »