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ent, both for the external offices of Christianity, and the retired, but equally necessary duties of religious meditation and inquiry. It is true, that many do not convert their leisure to this purpose; but it is of moment, and is all which a public constitution can effect, that to every one be allowed the opportunity. . 3. They whose humanity embraces the whole sensitive creation will esteem it no inconsiderable recommendation of a weekly return of public rest, that it affords“ a reípite to the toil of brutes. Nor can we omit to recount this amongst the uses, which the divine founder of the Jewisla fabbath expressly appointed a law of the institution.
We admit, that none of these reasons show why Sunday should be preferred to any other day in the week, or one day in seven to one day in six or eight: but these points, which in their nature are of arbitrary determination, being established to our hands, our obligation applies to the subsisting establishment, so long as we confess, that some such institution is necessary, and are neither able, nor attempt to substitute any other in its place.
CH A P. VII.
OF THE SCRIPTURE ACCOUNT OF SABBATI
HE subject, so far as it makes any part of
Christian morality, is contained in two
I. Whether the command, by which the Fewis fabbath was instituted, extend to Christians?
II. Whether any new command was delivered by Christ; or any other day substituted in the place of the Jewish fabbath by the authority or example of his Apostles? - In treating of the first question, it will be necessary to collect the accounts, which are preserved of the institution in the fewish history; for the seeing these accounts together, and in one point of view, will be the best preparation for the discussing or judging of any arguments on one side or the other.
In the second chapter of Genesis, the historian having concluded his account of the six days creation, proceeds thus: “ And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made;
as and he rested on the seventh day from all his “ work which he had made: and God blessed the “ seventh day, and sanctified it, because that in “ it he had rested from all his work which God “ created and made.” After this, we hear no more of the fabbath, or of the seventh day, as in any manner distinguished from the other fix, until the history brings us down to the sojourning of the Jews in the wilderness, when the following remarkable passage occurs. Upon the complaint of the people for want of food, God was pleased to provide for their relief by a miraculous supply of manna, which was found every morning upon the ground about the camp; “ and “ they gathered it every morning, every man “ according to his eating; and when the sun “ waxed hot, it melted: and it came to pass, “ that on the sixth day they gathered twice as “ much bread, two omers for one man; and all “ the rulers of the congregation came and told “ Moles; and he said unto them, this is that « which the Lord hath said, to-morrow is the “ rest of the holy fabbath unto the Lord; bake that “c which ye will bake to day, and seeth that ye Śc will seeth, and that which remaineth over lay * up for you, to be kept until the morning; and they laid it up till the morning, as Moses
“ bade, “ bade, and it did not stink (as it had done before, when some of them left it till the morning), “ neither was there any worm therein. And 66 Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a fab“ bath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it “ in the field. Six days ye shall gather it, but “ on the seventh day, which is the fabbath, in it “ there shall be none. And it came to pass, that “ there went out some of the people on the fe“ venth day for to gather, and they found none. “ And the Lord said unto Mofes, how long re“ fuse ye to keep my commandments and my “ laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the “ Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth “ day the bread of two days; abide ye every “ man in his place ; let no man go out of his “ place on the seventh day: so the people rested “ on the seventh day.” Exodus xvi. .
Not long after this, the fabbath, as is well known, was established with great folemnity in the fourth commandment.
Now, in my opinion, the transaction in the wilderness, above recited, was the first actual inftitution of the fabbath. For, if the fabbath had been instituted at the time of the creation, as the words in Genesis may seem at first sight to import, and if it had been observed all along, from that time to the departure of the Jews out of Egypt, a period of about two thousand five hundred years, it appears unaccountable, that no mention of it, no occasion of even the obscurest allusion to it, should occur either in the general history of the world before the call of Abraham, which contains, we admit, only a few memoirs of its early ages, and those extremely abridged; or, which is more to be wondered at, in that of the lives of the three first Jewish patriarchs, which, in many parts of the account, is sufficiently circumstantial and domestic. Nor is there, in the passage above quoted from the sixteenth chapter of Exodus, any intimation that the fabbath, then appointed to be observed, was only the revival of an ancient institution, which had been neglected, forgotten, or suspended; nor is any such neglect imputed either to the inhabitants of the old world, or to any part of the family of Noah; nor, lastly, is any permission recorded to dispense with the institution during the captivity of the Jews in Egypt, or on any other public emergency