Imágenes de páginas

day, ar.d thereby gave us a plain intimation of his will, that it should be observed in his church, as the Christian Sabbath, or the weekly day of holy rest and holy convocations. That one day in seven should be feligii ously observed in this manner, was a law from the beginning, and that as old as the state of innocence (m C (hewed besore.) But that, in the kingdom of the Messiah, the sirst day of the week should be that sulemn day; this was indication enough, that Christ on that day once and again met his disciples in a religious - assembly. And it is highly probable, that at his sirst meeting with them, he appointed them that day eight days to be together again, promising to meet them; sor we sind them more chapterly convened that day than the former, John xx. 26. " And aster eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them," as it would seem waiting for Christ's coming. And mai-.y are of opinion, that he thus continued to meet with them every sirst day of the week, till his ascension, "speaking to them the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." Aas i. 1.

Christ's meeting with them that day was not merely occasional, but designed; as appears by the express mentioning of the sirst day of the week su oft as he met them. For, when Christ met with his disciples on any other day of the week, we are not told what day it was, whether the second, third or fourth day of the week j but when he meets with them 011 the sirst day, the holy Ghost names and records that, thereby ascribing sumething peculiar to itJhove all the rest. .

VI. The observation of the sirst day of the week also authorised by the divinely inspired apostles of Christ, and founders of the Christian church, and that

both by their example and direction. We have

them both directing and persorming the duties of the Sabbath on this day, and also asiecing Christ's propriety in it as his; all which is evident from scripture.

In the sorecited scriptures, where we read of Christ's appearances to his disciples, we also read of their assembling together on the sirst d *y of the week several times; which certainly was for the public worship of God, and in honour of this day. For, when they met on ether days of the week, it is not told what these were; but, when they^met on the sirst day of the week, the Holy Ghost records that; which fhews it to be a remarkable day in itself, and observed as such by the disciples of Christ, and that in a religious way.

But, besides these, I shall adduce four other scriptures, that clearly demonstrate what is above asserted.

The sirst is, Acts ii. 1. 2. where it is recorded, that "the apostles and other brethren were met all together on the day of Pentecost in one place." This meeting was for public worship on the sirst day of the week, according to their wonted practice. It is not in the temple with the Jews, but in a house in Jerusalem by themselves.

§uest. How prove you that it was on the sirst day of the week i Ans. Because it is evident from scripture, that the passover that year sell on the Jewish Sabbath; and Pentecost being still the siftieth day aster the paffover, it consequently sell that year on the sirst day of the week, or the Lord's day. Pentecost is a Greek word, signifying the fiftieth, called so because of its being still the siftieth day aster the passover, a Jewish seast, which sell sometimes upon one day of the week, and sumetimes on another; but this year it sell on the last or seventh day of the week. Pentecost was another seast of the Jews, but kept in remembrance of God's giving the law that day on xnount Sinai, being the siftieth day aster their eating the passover and coming out of Egypt. And consequently, Pentecost falling this year upon the sirst day of the week, our Lord's' resurrection day, the apostles and brethren assembled for celebrating this day by public worship. Now, let us observe how remarkably God consirmed their keeping of the s• st day of the week, and blessed their meeting together upon it for worship: He even sent down that extraordinary effusion of the Holy Ghost upon them, for sitting and surnishing them for the extraordinary work of planting the Christian church, and converting the world. This was a solemn approbation of

the Christian Sabbath, and a seal to its Institution from heaven, which did consirm all Christians in the celebrating of this dav sor the suture: And many times have they experienced the gracious effusions of the Spirit on their public assemblies this day since that time. It is observed by Grotius, upon Exod. xix. i. That it was on the sirst day of the week that the law was given in its searsul promulgation from mount Sinai. But though God made that in some respect a terrible' day to them, yet he makes it weekly a joysul day to us, by the comfortable promulgation of the gospel thereupon from mount Zion.

A second scripture is, Acts xx. 7. " And upon the 6rst day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them," &c. Whence it is plain that the sirst day of the week was then the stated time for Christians their meeting together, for the Breaching of the word, and celebrating of the Lord's supper; for this is recorded as their customary known practice. Paul had been at Troas seven days, and consequently was there upon the Jewish Sabbath ; "but there is no word of any meeting among them on that day, or any other day of the week: But when the sirst day of the week comes, the church is solemnly convened, and persorm the work of the Sabbath on this day. Pdijl was ready to depart from that place, only he must stay till the sirst day of the week, that he might meet with the whqle church, and preach to them besore he leave them; and so, according to their custom, they all assemble together, and he sanctisies the Sabbath with them, by preaching and dispensing the sacrament, and that even till midnightfor they did not soon . Veary, at that time, os the work and duties of the Lord's day. A third scripture is, 1 Cor. xvi. 1. 2. " Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. ' Upon the sirst day of the'week, let every one of you lay by him in store," &c. "Whence it is plain, that the apostle injoins the church of Corinth, in consormity with other churches, to make their collection for the poor on the sirst day of the week. Now, why on die sirst day

[ocr errors]

of the week, and not on the seventh, or any other ? but for these reasons: r. They had their public meeting on this .day, and so had more conveniency for gathering their chanty on this day, than upon another. The'sirst day of the week was now come in place o£ the old Sabbath, on which day collections were made in the Jewish synagogues; for the giving of alms was always' reckoned a proper duty for the Sabbath day; Btjt now the apostle will have all the duties of the Sabbath transserred to the sirst day of the week, and particularly this duty of public charity, there being a peculiar sitness in this day for it, in regard we are called this day to commemorate Christ's insinite charity to our souls, and also to receive new blessings and expressions of bounty from him; and theresore should be the more liberal to his poor saints. I hope, there is none that will say that the apostle had not Christ's warrant for what he appointed in this matter; sor in this epistle he protests, that " he delivered nothing to them, but what he had received from the Lord, and had his command for;" see i Cor; xi. 23. & xiv. 43. It is sjfi clear as light, from the foresaid testimony, and many others, that the primitive Christians had their assemblies on the sirst day of the week, which they would not have had without the apostles direction j nor would the apostles have determined so, without knowing the mind of Christ.

A fourth scripture is, Rev. i. 10. where John faith of himself, that " he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day;" which, to be sure, b no other than the Christian Sabbath, getting the denomination from our Lord Jesus Christ, and his rising from the dead therupon, and frequent meetings with his disciples this day; and to this day it still retains this title of the Lord's day, being a day specially instituted for the honour of our Lord, and consecrated sor his service and worship. The apostle wrote this book near the end cf the sirst century, and calls this day by that name which it commonly got then, and speaks of it as a day universally notour and remarkable fpt the Christians observation of it. The apostle, at thl^.tl«ie> w;s banished into the ills of Patmos by


Domitian the emperor, where probably he wanted the opportunity of the public assemblies on this day j yet he is employed in sanctifying the Lord's day in a private way; he is in the Spirit, i. e. in a spiritual frame, and taken up in spiritual exercise;, meditation and prayer (which are proper duties for the Sabbath) and the Lord rewards this his conscientious. regard to this day, with the revelation of these great things which were afterwards to sall out to the chsirch to the end of the world.

Moreover, it is observable, that the Lord puts his name on this day ; for the Holy Ghost calls it here the Lord's day, and that for these reasons: i. Because 6f its deriving its institution from him: So the prayer, dictate by him, is called the Lord's prayer; the sacrament of his supper,- institute by him, is called the Lord's supper.

2. It is called the Lord's, because of his special propriety in it: He hath separated and set apart from common use, and consecrated it wholly to his use and service: So the sacrament is called the Lord's table, because of its being consecrated for holy uses, and fo set apart and distinguished from all other tables.

3. Because of its being dedicate to his honour and memory, being the day in which he connuered death, got a total victory, and triumphed over alshis enemies.

4. It is called the Lord's day, because the Lord Jesus Christ, his person and mediation, is the principal subject of this day.

VII. Another argument for the observation of the Christian Sabbath, may be drawn from the constant and uninterrupted practice of all Christ's- churches through the world since the apostles days j they have all continued to observe the Lord's day for holy worship. All the ancient sathers and Christians had the Lord's day in great esteem, and made it a badge of their religion, to observe it caresully, as appears from the writings of Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, &c. Ignatius, that ancient sather, who lived so near Christ's times, in his epistles highly recommends the Lord's day: " Let every one that loveth Christ (saith he) observe the sirst day of

Vol. IV. I the

« AnteriorContinuar »