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by his most devout example,—was a holy Sabbath. By its very name, it must have been intended to be holy; " My Sabbaths,” said the Lord, when speaking of them. The Sabbath which God instituted, while man was yet in Paradise, in commemoration of his own rest, could not but have been a day of holiness, for it was proclaimed from on high, before man was condemned lo toil and labor. It could not have been a day of mere recreation, for then the whole of man's time was passed without consuming toil; he needed not the recurrence of a seventh day of rest. The curse that condemned man to toil and labor, had not then gone forth. The Sabbath on which God commanded the Israelites not even to kindle a fire, nor to gather manna for food, could not have bcen a day of mere animal repose, or of idle merriment, of eating and drinking, and rising up to play; for Ile, who in bis goodness, gave the Sabbath, and called it IIis, knew in his wisdom that idleness leads to sin, that levity promotes sensuality, that the unoccupied mind is Satan's tenement. Therefore, He said, “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.” The Sabbath which was ordained to commemorate the creation, must have been appointed as a memorial also of the Creator; but will God be remembered if the house of prayer be descrted, or if there be no works of piety on that day?

The Sabbath was ordained that thou mightest "turn away from doing thy pleasure on God's holy day, that thou mightest call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and mightest honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.”

But art not thou violating it, if thine own amusement, and thine own trifling way of keeping it, be pursued to the neglect of God's way, and word, and honor? The principle remaining the same, the day is changed, and the Christian Sabbath is no longer the seventh, but the first day of the weck, the Lord's day, because it was first observed by those who were under the immediate guidance of the Holy Spirit, in honor of Ilim, the Lord of the Sabbath, who rose from the grave on that day.

But do we sanctify it, “ as the Lord's day," unless we dedicate it to his service, unless we seck bim in different portions of it, at morning, and at evening and at noon-day; by praying to him, or by praising him, or by reading of him, or by hearing of his rcdemption, and so endeavoring to obtain a growth in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? As the outward man perisheth in consequence of the toil and anxiety of the six days, ought not the inward man to be renewed on the seventh, by the continuation of devout exercises? Is there any other mode of renewal? Is the inward man renewed by meat and drink, or by worldly amusements? Is the kingdom of Christ to be established by any other joy, but by the joy of the Holy Ghost? May I not hope, that many of those who assemble together in our places of public worship, go thither to be renewed and established in Christ, and to experience that joy and peace in believing which is only to be found in faith; in that faith, which cometh in part by hearing? But can a Christian man so enjoy the blessing of the Sabbath, without feeling a desire to communicate it to others?

You, who through the goodness of God enjoy the blessings of a comfortable home; you who on the Lord's day, and on other days, have your many resources, your intellectual and your spiritual resources; you who have your various books of piety, and the cdifying conversation of your religious friends, to stir up the gift of the Holy Ghost which is in you; do you not yet feel that the courts of the Lord's house are dear to you, and that the Liturgical services, and a faithtul minister's discourse from the pulpit is precious in your cars? How much more necessary must these Divine services be to the laboring poor, to the illiterate, to the afflicted, and the sorrowsul, who have not such resources as you have! Oh, let us make them to hcar of joy and comfort, by inviting them to seek the Lord is his house of prayer. Let us, who appreciate the blessings of the Sabbath, take care that no thoughtlessness on our part, or selfish regard for our personal comfort, deprive those who are dependent on us, for example or instruction, of the holy rest and privileges of the Lord's Sabbath, but let us encourage them to delight themselves in the Lord, that the children of toil, on that day, may find, not only rest unto their bodies, but what is far better, rest unto their souls.

SERMON XXXVI.

THE PRACTICAL DUTIES OF THE CHRISTIAN

SABBATH.

By tho Rt. Rev. DANIEL WILSON, D. D.,

Bishop of Calcutta.

EZEKIEL Xx. 12. Moreover also, I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them,

that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.

The Divine authority and perpetual obligation of a day of holy rest and religious worship, are abundantly manifest. Every thing conspires to impress us with its supreme importance to man in all ages, and under all dispensations. Such is its antiquity, that it was instituted in Paradise. Such its essential moral naturc, that it was inserted in the Ten Commandments. Its dignity is so great, that it lifts its head high above the ceremonies of Moses, whilst under that economy. Such is its spirituality, that the holy prophets and resormers insist upon it, as a point of fundamental duty, and as about to form a part of the Gospel king. dom. Its perpetual force and native majesty, are so distinguished, that our Lord, after explaining what the comments of the Jewish doctors had obscured, lcaves it in more than its original glory; transfers the day of its celebration to that of his resurrection, and erects it into a trophy of his victory. Such, in a word, is its paramount authority upon the human conscience, that the Chris. tian church in every age, including the Apostolical, has confessed its claims, and made it the occasion of their delight and joy.

It is in truth, " a sign of the covenant" between God and man; a badge of our Christian profession; the acknowledgment we

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publicly make of the God who created, and the Saviour who redecmcd us; a chief means of that dedication and sanctification of man to bis Almighty Lord, which creation and redemption are designed to produce.

And this leads us to the subject of this discourse. How is this holy day to be observed under the Gospel? A grave question, this, and demanding all our attention. For why the accumulatcd procfs of the institution, stretching from the creation of man to the rest of hcaven, but to enforce its practical duties? And what is the true source of almost all the objections to its Divine authority, but the dislike which fallen man bas to its spiritual worship and holy demands? Let the rest bc admitted to be external and civil merely--let the public duties of the worship of God be confined to a brief and cursory service let the private hours of the Sabbath be spent in worldly, or intellectual, or fes. tive indulgences—and ali objections to its authority would cease. But if we maintain, that the great end of the appointment is to be a sign of God's covenant, and a mcans of sanctification--if we maintain the duties of it to extend to all classes of persons, and during the whole of the sacred day—if we maintain that the spirit in which these are to be performed is the filial icmper of joy and delight in God-if we maintain that the mighty blessings, which are to be especially commemorated are no other than creation, redemption, heaven--if, in a world, we show that the Sabbath, practically considered, is Christianity embodicd-revelation set forth visibly in its simple and majestic features—the sign and representation of the covenant of grace,--the means of sanctification cxhibited and set before our cycs,-then the corrupt reason and perverted affections of man unite to invent objections to its authority, that they may escape its unwelcome bonds.

These, thien, are the very points which in the present discourse we shall endeavor to illustrate: the great end of the institutionits public and private dutiis--the spiril and temper which it cherishes --thc especial blessings which it commemorates.

And here lct two remarks be premised. We enforce not the duties of the Jewish, but of the Christian Sabbath.

Tlic ceremonial and civil appendages of the Mosaic law, the spirit of bondage, the terrors of Mount Sinai, are passed. It is the Gospel in all its grace and loveliness which we maintain--that mild and merciful institution, cleared from the traditionary yoke of

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the Jewish masters, which our Lord contirmed as the boon and gift originally granted to man. Every thing in the Christian Sabbath is tender, and considerate on the one hand, every thing is spiritual and elevated on the other; and is, in both views, adapted and suited to the real state and exigences of our naturc, under the last and most perfect dispensation of religion.

But then the determination of what is really spiritual, of what is really for the welfare of man, of what are the real duties and employments of the day, must be taken from the Scriptures themselves, and not from the opinions, much less from the inclinations and fashions, of a corrupt world. We must rise to the standard of the Sabbath as sct sorth in the Bible, not sink the Bible to the level of our wayward passions. This is the second remark. The doctrine of the institution, like the counsel of a skilsul physician, is designed to produce a cure of our moral maladies by wholesome medicines, not to soment the discase by cordials, or hide its worst symptoms by opiates and palliatives.

And do Thou, Almighty God and Father, who madest the Sabbath for man, assist us to rise up to its truc demands! May thy Spirit teach us what thy revelation really imports, and what the day which Thou callest thine own, is designed to become! That, knowing our own miscry, and receiving with humble faith the redemption of thy Son, we may delight in the services of that scason which is one chief mcans of communicating the blessings procured by it to our souls!

In considering, then, the practical duties of the Lord's day, we must,

1. Keep ever in vicw the great end of the institution—which is to be a visible sign of the covenant between God and us, and a principal means of that sanctification which it is onc object of that covenant to produce.

For it is not merely in the words of the text that this express end is assigned to it; almost a thousand years before, the Lord had declared by Moscs, “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that yo may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Thus we learn that this is an essential design of the institution. It received indeed, especial sanctions, and was connected with particular observances, during the continuance of the national covenant with the people of Israel. But as in sanctification the whole

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