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day, and 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 reft and holy convocations. That one day in seven thould be religi, ously observed in this manner, was a law from the beginning, and that as old as the state of innocence (as I Thewed before.) But that, in the kingdom of the Mel fiah, the first day of the week should be that solemn day; this was indication enough, that Christ on that. day once and again met his disciples in a religious; alsembly. And it is highly probable, that at his first meeting with them, he appointed them that day eight days to be together again, promising to meet them; for we find them more chapterly convened that day than the former, John xx. 26. “ And after eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them," as it would seem waiting for Christ's coming. And mary are of opinion, that he thus continued to meet witia them every first day of the week, till his afcenfion, " [peaking to them the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." Acts i. 7.

Christ's meeting with them that day was not merely occasional, but defigned ; as appears by the express mentioning of the first day of the week so 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; but when he meets with them on the first day, the holy Ghost names and records that, thereby ascribing fome thing peculiar to it above all the rest. ,

VI. The observation of the first day of the week is also authorised by the divinely inspired apostles of Christ, and founders of the Christian church, and that both by their example and direcion. We have them both direding and performing the duties of the Sabbath on this day, and also affering Christ's propriety in it as his; all which is evident froin fcripture. .

In the forecited scriptures, where we read of Christ's appearances to his disciples, we also read of their aflembling together on the first day of the week several times ;

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which certainly was for the public worship of God, and in honour of this day. For, when they met on other days of the week, it is not told what there were; bu!,

when they met on the first day of the week, the Holy . Ghost records that; which shews it to be a remarkable

day in itself, and observed as such by the dilciples of Christ, and that in a religious way. .

But, belides these, I shall adduce four other scrip-' tures, that clearly demonstrate what is above afferted.

The first 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 first 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.

Quest. How prove you that it was on the first day of the week ? Ans. Because it is evident from scripture, that the pafsover that year fell on the Jewish Sabbath ; and Pentecost being still the fiftieth day after the par: sover, it consequently fell that year on the first 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 fiftieth day after the passover, a Jewish feast, which fell fometimes upon one day of the week, and sometimes on another, but this year it fell on the lait or seventh day of the week. Pentecoft was another feast of the Jews, but kept in remembrance of God's giving the law that day on mount Sinai, being the fiftieth day after their eating the passover and coming out of Egypt. And consequently, Pentecoft fall. ing this year upon the first day of the week, our Loralls resurrection day, the apostles and brethren afsembled .. for celebrating this day by public worship. Now, let us obferve how remarkably God confirmed their keep ing of the ! {t day of the week, and bleffed their meet. ing together upon it for worship: He even fent down that extraordinary effusion of the Holy Ghost ypon them, for fitting and furnishing them for the extraordinary work of planting the Christian church, and cono. verting the world. This was a solemn approbation of

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the Christian Sabbath, and a seal to its institution from heaven, which did confirm all Christians in the celes brating of this day for the future: And nany times have they experienced the gracious effusions of the Spirit on their public afsemblies this day fince that time." It is observed by Grotius, upon Exod. xix. 1. That it was on the first day of the week that the law was given in its fearful promulgation from mount Sinai. But though God made that in fome respect a terrible day to them, yet he makes it weekly a joyful day to us, by the comfortable promulgation of the gospel thereupon from mount Zion.

A second scripture is, Acts xx. 7." And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them," &c. Whence it is plain that the first day of the week was then the stated time for Christians their meeting together, for the preaching 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 first day of the week comes, the church is solemnly convened, and perform the work of the Sabbath on this day. Paul was ready to depart from that place, only he must stay till the first day of the week, that he mighe meet with the whole church, and preach to them before he leave them; and so, according to their custom, they all afsemble together, and he fančtifies the Sabbath with them, by preaching and dispensing the sacrament, and that even till midnight ;- for they did not foon weary, at that tiine, of 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 first 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 conformity with o. ther churches, to make their collection for the poor on the first day of the week. Now, why on the first day


of the week, and not on the seventh, or any other ? but for these reasons: 1. They had their public meeting on this day, and so had more conveniency for gathering their charity on this day, than upon another. - 2. The first day of the week was now come in place of the old Sabbath, on which day collections were made in the Jewish fyragogues ; for the giving of alms was always reckoned a proper duty for the Sabbath day : But now the apostle will have all the duties of the Sab. bath transferred to the first day of the week, and parti. cularly this duty of public charity, there being a pecujiar fitness in this day for it, in regard we are called this day to commemorate Christ's infinite charity to our souls, and also to receive new blessings and expresfions of bounty from him; and therefore 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; for in this epiftle he protests, that “ he delivered nothing to them, but what he had received from the Lord, and had his command for ;' fee i Cor: xi. 23. & xiv. 43. It is as clear as light, from the foresaid testimony, and many. " others, that the primitive Chriftians had their aflema. blies on the first day of the week, which they would not have had without the apostles direction; 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, is no other than the Christian Sabbath, getting the denomination from our Lord Jesus Chrisl, 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 for his service and worship. The apostle wrote this book near the end of the first century, and calls this day by that naine which it commonly got then, and speaks of it as a day universally notour and remarkable for the Christians obfervation of it. The apostle, at this time, was banished into the isle of Patinus by


Domitian the emperor, where probably he wanted the opportunity of the public assemblies on this day; yet he is employed in fanctifying the Lord's day in a private way, he is in the Spirit, i. e. in a spiritual frame, and taken up in spiritual exercises, 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 fall out to the church 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 : 1. Because of its deriving its inftitution 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 confecrated it wholly to his use and service : So the facrament is called the Lord's table, because of its being consecrated for holy uses, and so 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 conquered death, got a total victory, and triumphed over all his 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; they have all continued to observe the Lord's day for holy worship. All the ancient fathers and Christians had the Lord's day in great efteeni, and made it a badge of their religion, to observe it carefully, as appears from the writings of Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, &c. Ignatius, that ancient father, who lived so near Christ's times, in his epistles highly recommends the Lord's day : “ Let every one that loveth Christ (faith he) observe the first day of VOL. IV.


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