Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

continue, not for a year only, but for ever ; and where we shall get poffeffion of subftantial gain, even that glorious inheritance of the saints in light, which is incorrup. tible, and undefiled, and which fadeth not away. Amen.

VOL. II.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it boly,

THE too general and growing abuse of

the Christian Sabbath must render a discourse on this subject both feafonable and necessary; and I propose therefore, in dependence on divine aid, . .

ift, To inquire how far the precept in this text is binding on us. .

2dly, To show how this commandment ought to be kept or obferved. And,

3dly, To enforce the obfervance of it by fome motives and arguments.

First, I begin with inquiring how far this precept of keeping holy the Sabbath day is binding on us.

Although your stated attendance on this

days

day, for the worship of God, may be interpreted as a public declaration on your part, that you reckon this commandment binding on you, yet the inquiry'I have proposed is by no means superfluous. We are exhorted in Scripture, 'not only “ to fanctify " the Lord God in our hearts,” but likewise" to be always ready to give an answer " to every man who asketh 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. Befides, although in the judgement of charity, " which thinketh no evil,” your weekly attendance on this day for public : worihip may be supposed to flow from a religious principle ; yet in our present situation, it is easy to conceive, that something elfe than a : sense of duty may occasion our“ meeting together in this manner. The laws of our country not only permit, but require, the obfervance of the Christian Sabbath: fo that human authority, the manner of our education, a regard to decency, or even mo-iM 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 caufe to suspect this to be the case with many who frequent our religious assemblies, from their defeccive and partial observance of this holy day. I therefore judge it to be of the highest importance, to set the authority of this precept in a clear and striking light. For until we view the Sabbath as a divine inftitution, we fhall never either pay to it that regard which it deserves, nor reap any fpiritual advantage from the most exact outward observance of it.-I suppose it will not be denied, in the ,' if place, That some part of our time fhould be employed in the immediate wor fhip of God. Reason must neceffarily 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 performance of this worship, the fame principle of reason will naturally suggest the propriety of allotting certain

. .

stated

kated feasons 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

.2d place, That the right of determining what proportion of time, or what stated feasons should be employed in divine wor{hip, 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 difposal of it. But if we cannot draw one breath without his aid; if his constant vifitation is necessary to preserve us ; the confequence is unavoidable, that the whole of our time is due to God, and that his right is abfolute to reserve any part of it which he pleaseth for his own worship. And this leads me to observe, in the

3d place, That God hath actually interposed his authority in this matter : and by 4 clear and positive law, part of which I M 3

hav

.

« AnteriorContinuar »