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not extend to too great a length, I must proceed to the consideration of Dr. Whateley's application of the doctrine, in his note relating to the Sabbath. The question appears to be, Whether the Lord's day, or Christian Sabbath, is merely a religious festival, deriving its authority solely from the practice of the early Christians; or whether it has the sanction of the Divine commandment, and is set apart as that day in seven which God blessed and sanctified, from the time at which he rested from all the work which he had done. We must therefore first inquire, whether a sabbatical observance was required before the time of Moses, or, whether it was first instituted after the exodus. Dr. Whateley shews how necessary it is to his argument to decide this question in the negative, by speaking of a supposed command to Adam, because "none is recorded;" and he asserts, it is not said in Genesis that God hallowed the Sabbath-day at that time, but for that reason. In the second chapter of Genesis it is expressly said, however, that "God rested the seventh day from his work, and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it." I confess, therefore, it appears to me clear that the rest of God from the work of creation, and the act of sanctification, were performed at one and the same time; and so they are spoken of in Exodus: and I am at a loss to discover how the command to Adam could have been more expressly asserted. It is said, that in six days God finished the work of creation, and "rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it." His having rested the seventh day, is not only here stated as the reason why he issued the commandment, but it is asserted, in the past, not in the present time, as an historical fact, that He blessed and hallowed it and Ainsworth, in his commentary on the word which he translates therefore, says, "Hereby it appeareth that the Sabbath was in
stituted from the beginning of the world" (Fol. p. 75). It is true, in Deuteronomy the deliverance of Israel from Egypt is stated as imposing an additional obligation on that nation to keep the commandment: and so it certainly was; for during their bondage, they could not keep the Sabbath; but, being brought out thence, God commandeth them " to doe the Sabbath day (as Ainsworth translates the passage), which shews also the necessity for repeating the command; the antiquity of which is expressed by desiring them to remember the Sabbath-day, as what had been before appointed; words which are not prefixed to any other commandment, and which were the more necessary, as it is probable the observance of the Sabbath was impossible during their bondage, and was therefore in danger of being forgotten. Moses. therefore, in delivering the Law of the Ten Commandments (which, it is to be observed, were given apart, and in a more remarkable manner than the rest of the law)*; or rather, I should say, God himself, when he wrote these on the two tables of stone, desires the Israelites to remember this almost-forgotten command of God, and the obsolete practice of their fathers. But when Moses comes to recapitulate the law in Deuteronomy, he does not say, "Remember," because the requisition was then well known, and constantly practised; but he says, "Keep the Sabbath-day to sanctify it." Again, on the two tables of stone God directs, that they shall not do any work on that day; "for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day." In Deuteronomy, Moses desires that their cattle and servants may rest as well as themselves; and "remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that
The two tables were written on Mount Sinai, by the finger of God; the
scriptural law was spoken to Moses by
God out of the tabernacle of the congregation.
the Lord God brought thee out thence." In the two tables they must remember the day, and the original reason of its sanctification. In Deuteronomy, they are to recol lect their bondage and their deliverance, which induced God to reiterate the command, and enabled them to fulfil it. But, supposing it is granted that the obligation to keep the Sabbath existed before the exodus, we must next see whether it is necessary to keep it on the Jewish Sabbath; or, whether the observance of one day in seven is sufficient. And the first question here is, Whether there is any reason to suppose, that the day was changed at the deliverance from Egypt. It is quite obvious that the Israelites could not keep the Sabbath-day during their state of slavery, if so inclined; and, being polluted with idolatry, there is reason to think they were not so disposed: it is probable, therefore, that both the day and the practice were lost sight of. There is a tradition among them to this day, that the work of creation was finished at the beginning of their month Tisri, which is the commencement of their civil year. If that be correct, the first Sabbath must have been on the first day of that month; and if so, it would be somewhat difficult to make it harmonise with a Sabbath on the first and the fifteenth day of the month Abib or Nisan, which were probably the first Jewish Sabbaths. The Jews, however, were expressly commanded to consider the month Abib, or seventh month, the first month of the year (Exod. xii. 2); and having probably lost the original Sabbath, it was natural for them to construct their first Sabbath by either counting the first day of that month their first, or counting seven days from the first passover. But in either case, if we admit an original injunction to keep the Sabbath, their computation was founded not on the immutable reason which God assigned for the injunction, but on the additional
obligation arising out of their peculiar circumstances; and as the reason for which the passover was instituted, and the month Abib made the beginning of months, has been abrogated by the appearance of Him of whom the Paschal Lamb was a type and shadow; so the reason for reckoning a Sabbath from the beginning of that particular month, and of that peculiar ceremony, is done away also; and the first Christians being in the same condition as the Israelites with respect to a knowledge of the original Sabbath, and having their authority as to a change of the day, and being also under an obligation to commemorate the Lord's day, and to labour for six days, what had been the first day, according to Jewish computation, became their Sabbath, or rest, as the Hebrew word means: and it may be worth while to remark, that the Jews are desired in Exodus to remember the Sabbath-day, not the seventh day; for possibly it had not been settled, it being only intimated that a seventh portion of time had been sanctified; but in Deuteronomy they are desired to keep the Sabbath-day; and it is further said, "the seventh day (which had then been fixed) is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." In the twentythird chapter of Leviticus, where the most express injunctions are given for computing the time of the Lord's feasts, as, "in the fourteenth day of the first month, at even, is the Lord's passover;" the only injunction given, with respect to the Sabbath, is, "Six days shall work be done; but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest." Probably it was quite as necessary to enjoin six days work to those just delivered from slavery, as the day of rest. No day is mentioned, as in the case of the day of the passover, from which the six are to commence ; but the seventh, at the end of those six, is to be the day of rest, which, perhaps, is sufficient answer to Dr. Whateley's question, Where is the precept to observe as a Sabbath,
one day in seven, it matters not which? and if the mode of computing the seventh day is not prescribed, Christians, in changing the Sabbath, do not err with Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin, by instituting a feast unto the Lord, on the day that he had devised in his own heart. The command to keep the Sabbath, is not given in Deuteronomy, for it is there spoken of as having been given before; but it is there enforced upon the Israelites by such considerations as were suited to them; and from this, it appears to me, Dr. Whateley is in error, when he says the Jews keep holy the seventh day, as the seventh day, in commemoration of the creation; but, in obedience to the command given at the creation, they keep holy a seventh day, reckoned by a computation grounded upon their deliverance from Egypt, and chiefly in commemoration of the latter event. Christians keep holy a seventh day, reckoned by a computation grounded on our Lord's resurrection and commemoration of that event, as well as of the creation, and also in obedience to the command delivered to Adam. If there was no command to Adam, or if that injunction is not now obliga tory, how can we understand that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath? Was this holy rest only necessary for the Jews; and are we in no danger of forgetting God, if a seventh portion of our time is not dedicated to his service? It is true, that the Apostle St. Paul says to the Colossians, "Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath-days." I really think it is as fair to infer that we are neither to eat nor drink, as that this text implies we are not
The expression in Kings is month (not day) which he devised in his own heart: the month is accurately prescribed; and our fault would only be the same if we kept a Sabbath every eighth day instead of every seventh.
to keep any Sabbath. The original is plural, and the Jews had many Sabbaths in addition to the weekly Sabbath, some of which were mere Levitical observances; the feast of trumpets was a Sabbath; the feast of tabernacles was a Sabbath; and the day of atonement was a Sabbath: but our atonement has been achieved once for all, and we are not, therefore, to be judged for such Sabbaths. But our Lord knew that the observance of the weekly Sabbath, which was made for man at the creation of the world, was necessary for our spiritual well-being, and therefore directed his disciples to pray that their flight from Jerusalem, when encompassed with armies, should not be in the winter or on the Sabbath day. If the Sabbath is commemorative of God's rest from creation, and represents the rest which yet remains to the people of God, let us fear, lest in neglecting it we seem to come short of so happy a commemoration.
I hope, in thus venturing to dispute what has been maintained by such learned authority as Dr. Whateley, I may shelter myself from the charge to which I should otherwise be liable, under the antiquity of the doctrine which I have endeavoured to maintain, and (as Dr. Whateley admits) the high repute of those authors who have written elaborate discourses in its defence. I have not seen those discourses; and if I knew that they existed in any popular form, I should not intrude on your publication: I shall be content if I succeed in drawing the attention of your learned correspondents to this subject, which appears to me of high importance. I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
THE LOVE OF THE FATHER THE
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
THE pious and judicious writer who has favoured your readers with the very interesting and instructive account of the last days of P. Jolin, in your last Number, uses (p. 7) the following expression : "The impossibility of man's pardon but by the free grace of God procured for us by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, I respectfully submit to your correspondent, that this statement, though often heard from
with his justice, his holiness, and all his other attributes, through the obedience unto death of Christ his Son, our sacrifice, our redemption was effected.
There is nothing in your excellent correspondent's paper which leads me to think he uses the expression otherwise than inadvertently: if, however, either he, or any other of your readers, use it upon system, I should request the favour of their paraphrase of such passages as that above alluded to.
OF THE SACRAMENT ALMS.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
our pulpits, and found in religious ON THE BEST MODE OF DISPOSING books, is not scriptural. The Bible no where speaks of the death of Christ as the procuring cause of the "free grace "of God; but, on the contrary, represents the infinite love and "free grace" of God as the originating cause of our redemption. -Your respected correspondent's statement appears to me to reverse the order of our Lord's own declaration, that it was expressly because God loved the world that he gave his Son to die for it; and to make it run, that because Christ died for the world, he "procured" the love of God for it. The death of Christ is the procuring cause of our pardon; but not of the love and "free grace" which prompted it. If a person, from love and free grace to another, pays his debt, and thus causes his liberation from prison, the payment of the debt was the procuring cause of his release, but not of the free grace which devised and put in execution the scheme of mercy. This distinction, though frequently overlooked through inadvertence, and sometimes denied upon system, is very important, because for want of it some persons learn to view the Almighty Father rather as a severe inexorable Judge, who willeth the death of a sinner, than as a gracious and merciful Father, whose love prompted him to devise that council of peace by which, in accordance
I SHOULD be much obliged if some
alms would be welcome); but I fear that this subjects me, in the eyes of those who get nothing, to the charge of favouritism. I find, also, that the poor greatly over-estimate the sums collected, and are seldom satisfied with their share. In the country parish, I give from my own purse, besides the collections, which are small, more than their amount amidst the sick and aged; but probably with little credit for charity, all being supposed to come out of the inexhaustible sacrament fund. I sometimes wish I were rid of it altogether, or were allowed to add it to our little parochial "useful fund" for assisting to provide Bibles, Prayer-books, and tracts, schooling, and other recognized objects. I keep an accurate register of all I receive and disburse, which I occasionally exhibit at the vestry; partly to guide the parish officers in judg. ing of the cases of the poor, and also tacitly as a voucher for my own stewardship.
If the above, and other difficulties, are of my own making, I should be glad to be informed of the fact; but if other clerical friends find the same, I should be much obliged by their counsel.
FAMILY SERMONS.- No. CCLXIV.
Heb. xii. 15.-Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God.
IN prosecuting the inquiry suggested by this interesting passage, it may be useful to consider,
I. The evil to be avoided; II. The importance of taking diligent heed for that purpose;
III. The means which are suited to ensure success.-May the effect of our meditations be an increased sense of the value of the grace of God, and of the necessity of persevering watchfulness, that we fail not of it!
First, the evil to be avoided :
"Lest any man fail of the God."
This expression, "the grace of God," that is, his love, or favour, with the manifestation of that love in the renewal and sanctification of the soul, includes the whole of religion; its power, its privileges, its effects, its present influence, and its final blessings. Now, among those who fail of this grace, the following classes of persons may be mentioned.
1. Those who treat it with contempt. The Apostle refers for an illustration of his views in this passage, to the instance of Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birth-right. The birth-right in patriarchal times was a very valuable privilege, derived from the appointment of God himself: it included, among the descendants of Abraham, the right of the priesthood in the family; it made the eldest son, in the house of Isaac, lord over his brethren; it conveyed to the posterity of the first-born the blessings promised in the covenant, such as the possession of the land of Canaan, and the high honour of being the ancestor of Him in whom all nations should be blessed. To slight these privileges was to shew contempt to the Divine goodness. Yet this did Esau. It is said, he was a profane man, and despised his birth-right. What profit shall this birth-right do me? And such are all persons who slight the grace of God; who hear of it with indifference, or turn from it with contempt. Of what great advantage can it be to such? How can they experience its power, or taste its consolations?
2. To the same general class of those who fail of the grace of God, belong those who habitually disobey the precepts of the Gospel. Now, this practice is very consistent with an avowed regard for revelation: it is pursued by many who would deem themselves injured by the suspicion that they were guilty of the profaneness of Esau. But what is the object of the