« AnteriorContinuar »
continue, not for a year only, but for ever; and where we shall get posseffion of substantial gain, even that glorious inheritance of the saints in light, which is incorruptible, and undefiled, and which fadeth not away. Amen.
Vol. W. M SE R.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. /
HE too general and growing abuse of the Christian Sabbath must render adiscourse on this subject both seasonable and necessary; and I propose therefore, in.dependence on divine aid,
ist, To inquire how far the precept in this text is binding on us.
idly, To show how this commandment ought to be kept or observed. And,
$dlyt To enforce the observance of it by some motives and arguments.
First, I begin with inquiring how far this precept of keeping holy the Sabbath day is binding on us. Although yov^r stated attendance on this
day, «lay, for ' the worship of God, may be interpreted as a public declaration, on your part, that you reckon this commandment binding onyou, ye"t the inquiry I have proposed is jb.ytho.means superfluous. We are exhorted in Scripture, not only " to sanctify "the Lord God in our hearts," but likewise " to be always ready to give ari answer "to every man who afketh us a reason of "the hope that, is in us.". And if we should at all times be ready to declare the grounds of our hope, we should certainly be at least equally ready to . explain and to justify the reasons. of our practice. Besides, although in the judgement of charity, "which thinketh no evil," your weekly attendance on this day for public Worship may be supposed to flow from a religious principle; yet in our present situation, it iseasy to conceive, that something else than a sense' of duty may Occasion our meeting together in this manner. The laws of our country not only permit, but require, the observance of the Christian Sabbath: so that human authority, the manner of our education, a regard to decency, or even moM 2 tives
tives inferior to any of these, may bring people to church who have never seen themselves to be bound by any divine law, to keep holy the Sabbath day. And I am sorry to add, that there is too great cause to suspect this to be the case with many who frequent our religious assemblies, from their defective and partial observance of this holy day. I therefore judge it to be of the highest importance, to set the authority of this precept ;n a clear and striking light. For until we view the Sabbath as a divine institution, we fliall never either pay to it that regard which it deserves, nor reap .any spiritual advantage from the most exact outward observance of it.—I suppose it will not be denied, in the
y> xst place, That some part of our time should be empioyed in the immediate worship of God. Reason must necessarily teach us, that such homage is due that Almighty Being on whom we depend for life, and breath, and all things. In order to secure the regular persormance of this worship, the same principle of reason will naturally suggest the propriety of allotting certain
stated stated seasons for that purpose. If any shall dispute the necessity of this, they will at least allow us to affirm the expediency of it: for it is a common and true observation, that what is left to be done at any time, is in great danger of being done at no time.—.I may likewise take it for granted, in the
id place, That the right of determining what proportion of time, or what stated . seasons should be employed in divine worship, will be readily admitted to belong to God. This is so evident, that it scarcely needs an illustration. If we can live one moment independent of God, we may call that moment our own, and claim the disposal of it. But if we cannot draw one breath without his aid; if his constant visitation is necessary to preserve us; the consequence is unavoidable, that the whole of our time is due to God, and that his right is absolute to reserve any part of it which he pleaseth for his own worship.—And this leads me to observe, in the
$d place, That God hath actually interposed his authority in this matter: and by a clear and positive law, part of which I M 3 hav