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be felt, or ever prayer be made to God with earnestness. The state style likewise seems unseasonably introduced into these prayers, as illaccording with that annihilation of human greatness, of which every act that carries the mind to God presents the idea.
IV. That it contain as few controverted propositions as possible.
We allow to each church the truth of its peculiar tenets, and all the importance which zeal can ascribe to them. We dispute not here the right or the expediency of framing creeds, or of imposing fubscriptions. But why should every position which a church maintains be woven with so much industry into her forms of public worship? Some are offended, and some are excluded : this is an evil in itself, at least to them: and what advantage or fatisfaction can be derived to the rest, from the separation of their brethren, it is difficult to imagine; unless it were a duty, to publish our system of polemic divinity, under the name of making confession of our faith every time we worship God; or a fin, to agree in religious exercises with those, from whom we differ in some religious opinions. Indeed, where one man thinks it his duty con'ftantly to worship a being, whom another cannot, with the assent of his conscience, permit himself to worship at all, there seems to be no place for comprehension, or any expedient left, but a quiet feceflion. All other differences may be compromised by silence. If sects and schisms be an evil, they are as much to be avoided by one side as the other. If sectaries are blamed for taking unnecessary offence, established churches are no less culpable for unnecessarily giving it: they are bound at least to produce a command, or a reason of equivalent utility, for shutting out any from their communion, by mixing with divine worship doctrines, which, whether true or false, are unconnected, in their nature, with devotion.
C H A P.
OF THE USE OF SABBATICAL INSTITUTIONS.
A N assembly cannot be collected, unless
the time of assembling be fixed and known before-hand; and if the design of the assembly require that it be held frequently, it is easiest that it should return at stated intervals. This produces a necessity of appropriating set seasons to the social offices of religion. It is also highly convenient, that the same seasons be observed throughout the country, that all may be employed, or all at leisure together; for, if the recess from worldly occupation be not general, one man's business will perpetually interfere with another man's devotion ; the buyer will be calling at the shop when the feller is gone to church. This part, therefore, of the religious distinction of feasons, namely, a general intermission of labour and business during times previously set apart for the exercise of public worship, is founded in the reasons which make public worship itself a duty. But the celebration
of divine service never occupies the whole day. What remains, therefore, of Sunday, beside the part of it employed at church, must be considered as a mere rest from the ordinary occupations of civil life; and he who would defend the institution, as it is required to be observed in Christian countries, unless he can produce a command for a Christian sabbath, must point out the uses of it in that view.
First then, that interval of relaxation which Sunday affords to the laborious part of mankind contributes greatly to the comfort and satisfaction of their lives, both as it refreshes them for the time, and as it relieves their six days labour by the prospect of a day of rest always approaching; which could not be said of casual indulgences of leisure and rest, even were they more frequent than there is reason to expect they would be, if left to the discretion or humanity of interested task-masters. To this difference it may be added, that holidays, which come seldom and unexpected, are unprovided, when they do come, with any duty of employment; and the manner of spending them being regulated by no public. decency or established usage, they are commonly consumed in rude, if not criminal pastimes, in fupid sloth or
brutish intemperance. Whoever considers how much fabbatical institutions conduce, in this respect, to the happiness and civilization of the labouring classes of mankind, and reflects how great a majority of the human species these classes compose, will acknowledge the utility, whatever he may believe of the origin, of this distinction ; and will, consequently, perceive it to be every man's duty to uphold the observation of Sunday when once established, let the establishment have proceeded from whom or from what authority it will.
Nor is there any thing lost to the community by the intermission of public industry one day in the week. For in countries tolerably advanced in population and the arts of civil life, there is always enough of human labour, and to spare. The difficulty is not so much to procure, as to employ it. The addition of the seventh day’s labour to that of the other six would have no other effect than to reduce the price. The labourer himself, who deserved and suffered most by the change, would gain nothing.
. 2. Sunday, by suspending many public diverfions, and the ordinary rotation of employment, leaves to men of all ranks and professions sufficient leisure, and not more than what is suffici