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evil of itself, at least to them : and what advantage er satisfaction can be derived to the rest, from the separation of their brethren, it is difficult to imagine; unless it were a duty to publish our system of polemic divinity, under the name of making con fession of our faith, every time we worship God; or a sin to agree in religious exercises with those from whom we differ in some religious opinions.Indeed, where one man thinks it his duty constantly to worship a being, whom another cannot, with the assent of his conscience, permit himself to worship At all, there seems to be no place for comprehen. sion, or any expedient left but a quiet secession.All other differences may be compromised by silence. If sects and schisms be an evil, they are as much to be avoided by one side as the other. I sectaries are blamed for taking unnecessary offence, established churches are no less culpable for undecessarily giving it; they are bound at least to produce'a command, or a reason of equivalent utility, for shutting out any from their communion, by mix. ing with divine worship doctrines, which, whether true or false, are anconnected in their nature with devotion.
CHAP. VI. Of the use of sabbatical institutions. An assembly cannot be collected, unless the time of assembling be fixed and known beforehand : and if the design of the assembly require that it be holden frequently, it is easiest that it should return at stated intervals. This produces a necessity of ap propriating set seasons to the social offices of religion. It is also highly convenient that the sami seasons be observed throughout the country, that all may be employed, or all at leisure, together ; for if the recess from worldly occupation be not general, one man's business will perpetually interfere with another man's devotion ; the buyer will be calling at the shop when the seller is gone to charch. This part, therefore, of the religious dis. tinctions of seasons, namely, a general intermission
of labour and business during times previously set apart for the exercise of public worship, is founded in the reasons which make public worship itself a duty. But the celebration of divine service never occupies the whole day. What remains, therefore, of Sunday, beside the part of it employed at church, inust be considered as a mere rest from the ordinas ry occupations of civil life : and he who would defend the institution, as it is required by law to be observed in Christian countries, unless he can produce a command for a Christian Sabbath, must point out the uses of it in that view.
First, then, that interval of relaxation which Sunday affords to the laborious part of mankind, contributes greatly to the comfort and satisfaction of their lives, both as it refreshes them for the time, and as it relieves their six days' labour by the pros pect of a day of rest always approaching; which could not be said of casual indulgences of leisure and rest, even were they more frequent than there is reason to expect they would be if left to the discretion or humanity of interested task-masters.To this difference it may be added, that holy-days which come seldom and unexpected, are unprovided, when they do come, with any duty or employment; and the manner of spending them being regulated by no public decency or established usage, they are commonly consumed in rude, if not criminal pastimes, in stupid sloth, or brutish intemperance. Whoever considers how much sabbatical institutions conduce, in this respect, to the happiness and civilization of the labouring classes of mankind, and reflects how great a majority of the human species these classes compose, will acknowledge the utility, whatever he may believe of the origin, of this distinction; and will consequently perceive it to be every man's duty to uphold the observation of Sunday, when once established, let the establishment have proceeded from whom, or from what authority it will.
Nor is there any thing lost to the community by the intermission of public industry one day in the week. For, in countries tolerably advanced in population and the arts of civil life, there is always enough of human labour, and to spare. The diftia
culty is not so much to procure, as to employ it. 'The addition of the seventh day's labour to that ol the other six, would have no other effect than to reduce the price. The labourer himself, who de. served and suffered most by the change, would gain nothing.
2. Sunday, by spending many public diversions, and the ordinary rotation of employment, leaves to men of all ranks and professions sufficient leisure, and not more than what is sufficient, both for the external offices of Christianity, and the retired, but equally necessary duties of religious meditation and inquiry. It is true, that many do not convert their leisure to this purpose; but it is of moment, and is all which a public constitution can effect, that to every one be allowed the opportunity.
3. They, whose humanity embraces the whole sensitive creation, will esteem it no inconsiderable recommendation of a weekly return of public rest, that it affords a respite to the toil of brutes. Nor can we omit to recount this among the uses which the Divine Founder of the Jewish sabbath expressly appointed a law of the institution.
We admit that none of these reasons show why Sunday should be preferred to any other day in the week, or one day in seven to one day in six, or eight: but these points, which in their nature are of arbitrary determination, being established to our hands, our obligation applies to the subsisting establishment, so long as we confess that some such institution is necessary, and are neither able, nor attempt to substitute any other in its place.
CHAP. VII. Of the Scripture account of sabbatical institutions.
The subject, so far as it makes any part of Christian morality, is contained in two questions ;
I. Whether the command, by which the Jewishi sabbath was instituted, extends to Christians ?
II. Whether any new command was delivered by Christ; or any other day substituted in the
place of the Jewish sabbath by the authority or example of his apostles ?
In treating of the first question, it will be necess sary to collect the accounts wbich are preserved of the institution in the Jewish history : for the seeing these accounts together, and in one point of view, will be the best preparation for the discussing or judging of any arguments on one side or the other.
In the second chapter of Genesis, the historian, having concluded his account of the six days' creation, proceeds thus ; “ And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made ; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made : and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." After this we hear no more of the sabbath, or of the seventh day, as in any manner distinguished from the other six, until the history brings us down to the sojourning of the Jews in the wilderness, when the following remarkable passage occurs. Upon the complaint of the people for want of food, God was pleased to provide for their relief by a miraculous supply of mama, which was found every morning upon the ground about the camp ; " and they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating, and when the sun waxed hot, it melted: and it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man : and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses ; and he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To-morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord : bake that
ye will bake, to-day, and seethe that ye will seethe : and that which remaineth over, lay up for you, to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade ; and it diel not stink (as it had done before, when some of them left it till the morning,] neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to-day; for today is a sabbath unto the Lord ; to-day ye shall not tind it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it, but; on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there.
went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my com. mandments and my laws ? See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days : abide ye every man in his place : let po man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” Exodus xvi.
Not long after this, the sabbath, as is well known, was established with great solemnity, in the fourth commandment.
Now, in my opinion, the transaction in the wilderness above recited, was the first actual institution of the sabbath. For if the sabbath had been instituted at the time of the creation, as the words in Genesis may seem at first sight to import ; and if it had been observed all along from that time to the departure of the Jews out of Egypt, a period of about two thousand five hundred years ; it apo pears unaccountable that no mention of it, no oe: casion of even the obscurest allusion to it, should accur, either in the general history of the world be fore the call of Abraham, which contains, we ad. mit, only a few memoirs of its early ages, and those extremely abridged; or, which is more to be wondered at, in that of the lives of the first three Jewish patriarchs, which, in many parts of the ac. count, is sufficiently circumstantial and domestic. Nor is there, in the passage above quoted from the sixteenth chapter of Exodus, any intimation that the sabbath, when appointed to be observed, was only the revival of an ancient institution, which had heen neglected, forgotten, or suspended ; nor is any such neglect imputed either to the inhabitants of the old world, or to any part of the family of Noah nor, lastly, is any permission recorded to dispense with the institution during the captivity of the Jews in Egypt, or on any other public emergency.
The passage in the second chapter of Genesis which creates the whole controversy upon the subject, is not inconsistent with this opinion : for, as the seventh day was erected into a sabbath, on ac. count of God's resting upon that day from the
ork of the creation, it was natural enough in the