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Hence, by tiie spirit of God, and ever since Christ's resicuection- upon this day, it is called the Lord's day, it being the nacst glorious day ever he bad. It was in sn eminent manner his birth-day, for in it he was bora from the dead: in it God solemnly owned him to be his only begotten Son^ hence that word in Psal. H. "Thou art my Son, this day I have begotten thee," is applied to the day of his resurrection, Acts xiii. -vy "He was this day declared to be the Son of God with power," Rom. J. 4. For, at his arising, he made the earth to shake, the graves to open, the stones to roll away, the dead to rise and appear, the soldiers to tremble and flee, and both saints and angels to come and attend him. And was not this a triumphant day to him? Yea, •on this day he conquered the grave, death and heU, and ifbewed himself to be the Gsptaiu of our salvation, trill m piling over his and our enemies. His birth and death did isl:evr him to be truely man, but his resurrection did manisest him to be truely God, and the great Redeemer of the world. Hereby he gave sull proof, that he had completely sinished the work of our redemption, paid the elect's debt, satissied divine justice, cancelled our bond and obtained an ample discharge, since he, as our great Cautioner, was now let out of prison. Was Bot this then a joysul day, a day to be had in everlasting remembrance? The day our Jonas came sase out of the whale's belly j the day our Samson carried away the gates of Gaza. Now it was that death lost its sting; now the .grave and hell loft their purchase; now the serpent's head was bruised; now were they all swallowed up in victory; now it was that otir glorious Redeemer rested from all the works of sussering and redemption, and rejoiced in the review thereof, with insinite complacency. And ought not we, who are so much concerned, chearsully to rest this day with Christ, in a thanksul remembrance of all he hath done?
IV. This day was prophesied of long besore, Psal. cxviii. 24. " This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." The current of expositors understand this day of our Christian Sabbath, and of Christ's resurrection thereon; for here plainly
there there is a prophecy of Christ, and of a remarkable day whereat the world should wonder, and the church rejoice. "This is the day which the Lord hath made," i. e. of which God is author. He made it, not by creation only, as he made all days; but by consecration, designing and appointing it for a peculiar end, even for that strange and wondersul work of Christ's resurrection from the grave, when he obtained his glorious victory, and our gracious deliverance from hell and destruction. . Again, he made it, •'. e. (as the word from the original may be rendered) exalted it. This is the day which the Lord hath honoured and exalted above its sellows, above the seventh, or any other day of the week, because of the incomparable work of this day. That the day prophesied of in that place is some remarkable day of the Messiah, is very clear, if we consider the context, and the two preceding verses of this Psalm; by which it plainly appears, that the day there spoke of is the day wherein " the stone rejected by the builders," (i. e. Christ, who was rejected by the'elders, scribes and pharisees, the pretended builders) became "the head of the corner:" Now what day was this, but his '* resurrection-day?" in which God, by raising him from the dead, gloriously exalted him above all his enemies, rolled away his reproach, made him "Head of the corner," and Head of the church, by openly declaring him, to be his " Son with power," and that to the terror and consusion of all his enemies, and the joy and gladness of all his friends. And to put it beyond doubr, that this is the meaning of the place, see it particularly applied by Peter, besore the Jewish Sanhedrim, Acts iv. 11, 12. " Be it known to you, that this Jesus Christ whom ye crucisied, God hath raised from the dead:" And theresore he subjoins, verse I 2. " This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner." Now, this being such a memorable day, the psalmist's direction is, that all Christians should rejoice and be glad in it; which indeed is a most proper duty on our Christian Sabbath.'
Again we have another prophecy concerning this day, in Isa. ' xi. 10. " And in that day there shaHl be a root
Vol. IV. H • 9s of Jesses which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seck, and his rest fhall be glorious." Now, what was that special day, wherein Christ was raised and exalted for an ensign, to invite and engage the nations to flee to him as their Redeemer ? Was it not his resurrection day, on which he was declared to the world to be " the Son of God with power," Rom i. 4. This is the day then on which his rest was glorious. For as God the Father's rest from the work of creation was glorious," and had great glory and honour put on it, by the world's keeping a Sabbath for about four thousand years thereupon; so God the Sow's " reft from the work of redemption" was to have great glory and honour put upon it, by i the Christian world's observing a weekly Sabbath on it, to the end of time.
And was it not a-glorious rest which the Son of God had on the sirst day of the week, from his great and stupendous work, when he had laid the foundations of the new heavens and new earth, and had given the sinishing stroke to the new creation; when all " the stars sang together, and all the sons of God fliouted for joy?" It was on this day the Son rested from his works, "and was resreshed," as it is said of God, Exod. xxxi. 17. with respect to his resting from the works of the sirst creation. Now, as God's rest from his works on the seventh day, and his being resreshed therein, was a sufficient indication of the precise day of rest which he would have observed by the world under the old dispensation of the covenant; so the rest of our Lord Jesus Christ from his works on the sirst day of the week, and his being resreshed therein, is a sufficient indication of the precise day of rest which he would have observed under the dispensation of the new covenant. And accordingly, upon this indication, we immediatly sind the disciples assembling themselves together upon this day of their Redeemer's rest; and no sooner are they met, but Christ comes and graciously meets with them, solemnly blesses them, an•3 gives them the Holy Ghost, John xx. 19. from ) which
which time forward, the sirst day of the week was never without its solemn assemblies.
Moreover, we have the apostle to the Hebrews expressly consirming the foresaid prophecies concerning Christ's rest upon the sirst day of the week, by telling us, that under the gospel, "there remained a rest for the people of God," Heb. iv. 9. Now if this place be duly considered, and rightly understood, it will mightily consirm the change of the Sabbath from the last to the sirst day of the week. For the word- which is there rendered re/i, in the original is Sabbatisinos, and should be rendered a Sabbatism or Sabbath-keeping and so the meaning is, (according to Doctor Owen and other learned commentators) " There remaineth a Sabbath keeping for the people of 'God, under the New Testament as well as under the old." And this (as the apostle should in the context) behoved necessarily to be a new Sabbatism, in regard it hath a new foundation, in correspondence to the foundation of the old Sabbatism mentioned verse 4. of that chapter. 'For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works." Well (saith the apostle) the new Sabbatism hath the like foundation, verse 10. '< For he (viz. Jesus Christ) that is entered into his rest, hath also ceased from his own works, as God did from his." Now, it was on the morning of the sirst day of the week that Christ entered into his mediatory rest from his works of redemption, as God on the seventh day entered into his rest from the work of creation. And as God, by his resting on the seventh day, did determine that day for a sacred sabbatical rest under the Old Testament; so Christ (who is the Lord of the Sabbath) by his entering into his rest on the sirst day, did determine that day of the week for a sacred Sabbatism under the New Testament, The ceasing from his works, as God did from his mentioned ver. iq. can never properly be applied (as sume do) to the.believer, but to Christ's ceasing from his works of redemption; seeing it is absurd to majee our ceasing from the vile works of sin, a parallel to God's ceasing from his glorious works of creation. And it cannot be meant
Ha of of ceasing from the works of duty and service to Goci y sor,:66' all eternity, believers never cease from these,
V. 'Our Lord Jesus Christ: hath put honour upon the sirst'day tof the week^ and authorised the observation of it by hi& '<rWn-example and practice, which hath the forceoM lawito us. It was on this day he met with thc••two^ disciples going to Emmaus, opened the scriptures1 to them, and was made known to them in the breaking &f bread, Luke xxiv. 13. Likewise upon the same day he appeared to the eleven, when gathered together, and others with them, shewed them his pierced hands and seet, comsorted them, and opened their understandings that they might understand the scriptures, Luke xxiv. 33. 36. 40. 45;. 'It was on this day that Christ came to his disciples, (being all convened together except Thomas) gave them his peace and blessed them, and also gave them their commission and. the holy Ghost) John xx. 16 20. &c. Again, upon that day elghtidays; being the next sirst day of the week, when the disciples were assembled together, and Thomas with them, John xx. 26. Christ chose to appear unto them, and graciously convinced Thomas by the discovery of his wounds'. Though Christ, aster his resurrection, met with -severak of his disciples upon other days of the week,;yfct'on the sirst day only (which is theresore expressly recorded) did he appear to them when assembled together; and theresore we see how he lest Thomas a whole week under his unbelies and doubting6, tilt the next Lord's day or sirst day of the week should come, that he might have occasion graciously to resolve him in the assembly of his disciples, for their common.edisir cation and comfort. The sirst day of the week is the only day of the week, or month, or year, that is ever mentioned by number in all the New Testament; and wherever it is spoke of, we hear of the religious observation-of it, by the disciples assembling together. And why are we told by the evangelists so expressly, and so often,-of Christ's making his visits to his disciples upon the sirst day of the week? but to shew us, that; Christ put a peculiar honour and respect upon this