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who break this commandment. Don't say you do it in sport. He who made you, who gave his Son for you, and who can destroy both soul and body in hell,---cannot surely be a subject of sport.
Remember also, that such expressions as, 66 O Lord," "Good God," "O Christ,' "God bless me," "Lord have mercy upon me," &c. are all forms of prayer, and that to make use of them is the same as saying, "O thou Being, most mighty, holy, wise, and glorious!" Surely the thought of addressing such a Being, should impress us with solemnity. "Bless me!" is praying for mercy: and is the mercy of God a subject to be trifled with? Are the words in which we ask it, to be upon our lips on every trivial occasion? The devils can tell what mercy is, and if they might dare to ask for it, they would not do it in a trifling way. What if God should withhold his blessing, as a punishment for your irreverence! Some leave out the word God, and say, "Bless my heart or soul," "Mercy on my soul," which is not any better.
The swearer who calls out for damnation, will no doubt receive the answer to his prayer, if he die without repentance; and a person who profanes God's name in common conversation, in the manner above mentioned, is scarcely guilty of a less crime. Neither is in earnest, but both will find that God is in earnest. One prays for damnation in a blasphemous, and the other for mercy in an irreverent manner, and both are guilty of taking God's name in vain.
Nor do we comply with all the requirements of this commandment, when we merely avoid those open and glaring offences against it, which so many are guilty of. Take heed lest you suffer your thoughts to wander, or lest you in any respect behave irreverently, when you come into the presence of God, in public or in private. And do not read his holy word as you would other books, in a careless, trifling manner, but whenever you open it, or whenever you listen to it, implore the assistance of his Holy Spirit to help you to understand it, and lead you to profit by it. Remember him, also, when you look upon his works, or think upon his providence. In short, let an habitual sense of his presence dwell upon your mind, and let his fear be always before your eyes. 2d Sunday after Trinity.-Make us to have a perpetual fear and love of thy holy name.
On the Commandments. No. 5.
ON THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT.
What is the fourth Commandment?
"Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath-day; six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy man servant, and thy maid servant, thy cattle, and the stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it."
What is meant by the Sabbath-day?
It means a day of rest.
To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath. Exod. xvi, 23.
Exod. xxiii, 12; xxxiv, 31.
The seventh day shall be a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. Exod.
It shall be a Sabbath of rest unto you.
Lev. xvi, 31.
Ye shall do no work in that same day. Lev. xxiii, 23–36.
And rested the Sabbath-day according to the commandment. Luke xxiii, 56.
What do you mean by the Lord's hallowing it?
That he has set it apart to be kept holy for the purpose of divine worship.
Ye shall keep the Sabbath; for it is holy unto you. Exod. xxxi, 14.
It shall be an holy convocation unto you. Lev. xxiii, 36.
The sabbath-breaker was commanded to be stoned to death. Numb XV, 35.
Keep the Sabbath-day to sanctify it. Deut. v, 12.
Blessed is the man that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it. Isa. Ivi, 2,
If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath'a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own
ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, &c. Isa. lviii, 13, 14.
A promise to the observance of the Sabbath-day, and a threatening against those who do not keep it holy. Jer. xvii, 21-27. Hallow my Sabbaths. Ezek. xx, 20; xliv, 24.
What part of our time are we commanded thus to keep holy? One day in seven.
On what day was the Jewish Sabbath kept?
On the seventh day of the week, because on that day God rested or ceased from the works of creation, and because on that day he brought his people Israel out of the land of Egypt. This was a type or figure of that great redemption or deliverance from sin and Satan, wrought out by Christ, and which is ensured to all true Christians by his resurrection.
God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work, Gen. ii, 3.
Hence it is reasonable to suppose that this precept was delivered to Adam; for we find in Exod. xvi, 23-26. directions for the observance of the day, before the law of the two tables was given.
Remember thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt; and that the Lord brought thee out thence, through a mighty hand: therefore the Lord commanded thee to keep the Sabbath-day. Deut. v, 15. The Sabbath probably existed, as before stated, from the creation of the world, but was not a sign of the special relation between God and his people Israel, till the law was given to Moses.
On what day do Christians keep the Sabbath?
On the first day of the week, called the Lord's-day, because on that day the Saviour rose from the dead. Now when Jesus was risen very early the first day of the week. Mark xvi, 1, 2, 9.
Now upon the first day of the week, &c. Luke xxiv, 1-8; John xx, 1.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day. Rev. i, 10.
What authority have Christians for observing the first day of the week as their Sabbath?
They have the sanction of Christ himself, and the example of his Apostles.
The same day, being the first day of the week, &c. John xx, 19. After eight days again-came Jesus. John xx, 20.
The Holy Ghost fell on the Apostles on this day. Acts ii.
Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, &c. 1 Cor. xvi, 2.
In what manner was the Sabbath-day directed to be kept holy by the Jews?
They were not to gather manna.
Exod. xvi, 26.
No man was to go out of his place. Exod. xvi, 29.
Whosoever doeth any work therein shall be cut off. Exod. xxxi, 14. They were not to gather in harvest on that day. Exod. xxxiv, 21. They were forbidden to kindle a fire throughout their habitations. Exod. xxxv, 3.
Numb. xv, 32-36.
They were not to gather sticks.
In what manner should we keep holy the Sabbath-day?
We must not only cease from all worldly business, and abstain from indulging worldly thoughts, and engaging in worldly amusements; but we must devote the whole of the day to acts of private and public worship. We should be engaged in prayer to God in private, as well as in our families and in public; in attentively reading and hearing his word; and in singing his praises, "making melody unto him in our hearts.'
Our Lord's custom was to go into the synagogue on the Sabbathday. Luke iv, 16.
Paul and his company did the same. Acts xiii, 14.
Paul and Silas went out of Philippi on the Sabbath, to a place were prayer was wont to be made. Acts xvi, 13.
Paul reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath. Acts xviii, 4. We must not trifle in the house of God, but remember that " we meet together to render thanks to Almighty "God for the great benefits that we have received at "his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear "his most holy word, and to ask those things which are "requisite and necessary as well for the body as the "soul."
Many persons buy and sell, or settle their accounts, and write letters on common subjects, on this sacred day; others spend it in travelling or feasting; and others walk, or loiter, or engage in trifling occupations, Fising later, and retiring to rest earlier, than on any
other days; as if it were a weariness to them. Mal. i, 13. These are all so many ways of breaking the Sabbath, and are exceedingly displeasing to God, who considers such conduct as a gross insult offered to himself.
When will the Sabbath be gone? Amos viii, 5.
Pray that your flight be not on the Sabbath-day. Matt. xxiv, 20. Diligently attend to the discharge of your duty in that state of life in which God has placed you; and do not, by your loitering or imprudence, make it necessary to do any work or engage in any business, on that day which the Lord has set apart for himself.
May no other works but those of piety be done on the Sabbath?
Yes: works of necessity and of charity. must be careful to know that they are really such. Those are not works of necessity which will admit of being done at another time; and it is only such works of charity as cannot be deferred, or which have an immediate reference to our religious duties, which are lawful.
If a sheep fall into a pit on the Sabbath-day, &c. wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath-days. Matt. xii, 11, 12;
Mark iii, 4.
Luke xiii, 14.
Jesus healed the infirm woman on the Sabbath. Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit, and will not pull him out, Luke xiv, 5.
Jesus healed the impotent man on the Sabbath. John v, 8, 9.
We must not only keep holy the Lord's day ourselves, but take care as far as we can, that all belonging to us do the same.
I know Abraham, that he will command his children and his household after him, &c. Gen. xviii, 19.
That thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger may be refreshed. Exod. xxiii, 12.
The Sabbath of the land shall be meat for thee, for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee. Lev. xxv, 6, 7.
Ye shall rejoice, ye and your households. Deut. v, 14; xii, 7. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Josh. xxiv, 15. In what light will the true Christian consider the Sabbath? It will be his delight; for he loves the house and worship of God, and he considers this day of rest is a figure of the eternal rest that remaineth for the people of God.