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Hence, by the spirit of God, and ever since Christ's resuarection upon this day, it is called the Lord's day, it being the most glorious day ever he had. It was in an eminent manner his birth day, for in it he was born from the dead : in it God folemnly owned him to be his only begotten Son; hence that word in Psal. i. “ Thou art my Son, this day I have begotten thee," is applied to the day of his resurrection, Acts xäi. 13.
He was this day declared to be the Son of God with power," Rom. 1. 4. For, at his rifing, he made the earth to shake, the graves to open, the stones to roll away, the dead to rise and appear, the foldiers 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 hell, and Thewed himself to be the Captain of our salvation, triumphing over his and our enemies. His birth and death did thew him to be truely man, but his resurrection did manifest him to be truely God, and the great Redeemer of the world. Hereby he gave full proof, that he had completely finished the work of our redemption, paid the elect's debt, satisfied divine justice, cancelied our bond and obtained an ample discharge, since he, as our great Cautioner, was now let out of prison. Was not this then a joyful day, a day to be had in everlasting remembrance? The day our Jonas came fafe out of the whale's belly; 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 our glorious Redeemer rested from all the works of suffering and redemption, and rejoiced in the review thereof, with infinite complacency. And ought not we, who are so much concerned, chear. fully to rest this day with Christ, in a thankful remem-brance of all he hath done?.
IV. This day was prophesied of long before, Pfal. 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 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 crea. tion only, as he made all days; but by confecration, defigning and appointing it for a peculiar end, even for that strange and wonderful work of Christ's resurrection from the grave, when he obtained his glorious victory, and our gracious deliverance from hell and deftruction. . Again, he made it, s. 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 fellows, above the feventh, 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 con. sider 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 si the stone rejected by the builders,” (i. e. Christ, who was rejected by the elders, fcribes 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 ene. mies, 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 corifüsion 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, before the Jewish Sanhedrim, Acts iv. 11, 12. “ Be it known to you, that this Jesus Christ whom ye crucified, 'God hath raised from the dead :" And therefore he subjoins, verse 1 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 pfalmist's direction is, that all Chris. tians 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 lli. xi. 10. “ And in that day there lhall be a root
the divine Institution of Jeffe, which shall stand for an ensign of the people ; to it shall the Gentiles feek, and his reft shall 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 Son's 66 rest from the work of redemption" was to have great glory and honour put upon it, by 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 first day of the week, from his great and Aupendous work, when he had laid the foundations of the new heavens and new earth, and had given the finishing stroke to the new creation; when all « the stars fang together, and all the sons of God fhouted for joy?" It was on this day the Son refted from his works, «' and was refreshed," as it is said of God, Exod. xxxi. 17. with respect to his refting from the works of the first creation. Now, as God's reft from his works on the seventh day, and his being refreshed 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 first day of the week, and his being refreshed 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 find the disciples assembling themselves together upon this day of their Redeemer's reft ; and no sooner are they met, but Christ comes and graciously meets with them, solemnly blesses them, and gives them the Holy Ghost, John XX. 19. from
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which time forward, the first day of the week was never without its folemn assemblies.
Moreover, we have the apostle to the Hebrews ex. '
pressly confirming the foresaid prophecie's concerning .. Christ's reft upon the first 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 confirm the change of the Sabbath from the last to the first day of the week. For the word, which is there rendered reft, in the original is Sabbatismos, 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 hach a new foundation, in correspondence to the foundation of the old Sabbatism mentioned verse 4. of that chapter. “ For he spáke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wife, And God did reft the seventh day from all his works." Well (faith 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 first 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 fabbatical rest under the Old Testament; so Christ (who is the Lord of the Sabbath) by his entering into his reft on the first day, did determine that day of the week for a facred Sabbatism under the New Testament, The ceasing from his works, as God did from his mentioned ver. 19. can never properly be applied (as some do) to the believer, but to Christ's ceasing from his works of redemption ; seeing it is absurd to make our ceasing frorn the vile works of lin, a parallel to God's ceasing from his glorious works of creation. And it cannot be meant
of ceasing from the works of duty and service to God; for, to all eternity, believers never cease from these, Rev. xxii. 3.3. . it in
V. Our Lord Jefus Christ. hath put honour upon the first day of the week, and authorised the obfervation of it by his own example and practice, which hath the force of a law to us. It was on this day he met with the two disciples going to Emmaus, opened the scriptures to them, and was made known to them in the breaking of bread, Lake xxiv. 13. Likewise upon the fame day he appeared to the eleven, when gathered to gether, and others with them, shewed chem his pierced hands and feet, comforted them, and opened their une derstandings 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 to. gether 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 eight days, being the next first 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, after his resurrection, met with severals of his disciples upon other days of the weck, yet on the first day only (which is therefore expressly recorded) did he appear to them when assembled together; and therefore we fee how he left Thomas a . whole week under his unbelief and doubtings, till the next Lord's day or first day of the week should come, that he might have occasion graciously to resolve him in the afsembly of his disciples, for their common edifi. cation and comfort. The firit 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 ob. fervation of it, by the disciples affembling together. And why are we told by the evangelists fo esprefsly, and so-often, of Christ's making his visits to his dis. ciples upon the first day of the week ? but to fhew us, that Christ put a peculiar honour and respect upon this