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upon the subject, is not inconsistent with this opinion: for, as the seventh day was erected into a sabbath, on account of God's resting upon that day from the work of the creation, it was natural enough in the historian, when he had related the history of the creation, and of God's ceasing from it on the seventh day, to add: “ And God blessed the seventh day, 66 and sanctified it, because that on it he had “ rested from all his work which God created • and made;" although the blessing and sanctification, i. e. the religious distinction and appropriation of that day, were not actually made till

many ages afterwards. The words do not assert, that God then “ blessed* and “ sanctified” the seventh day, but that he blessed and sanctified it for that reason ; and if any ask, why the sabbath, or sanctification of the seventh day, was then mentioned, if it was not then appointed, the answer is at hand : the order of connexion, and not of time, introduced the mention of the sabbath, in the history of the subject which it was ordained to commemorate.

This interpretation is strongly supported by a passage in the prophet Ezekiel, where the sabbath is plainly spoken of as given,

66

gave them

(and what else can that mean, but as first instituted?) in the wilderness.“ Wherefore “ I caused them to go forth out of the land “ of Egypt, and brought them into the wil. 66 derness: and I

gave
them
my

statutes and " shewed them my judgements, which if a

man do, he shall even live in them: moreover also I

my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they

might know that I am the Lord that sanc“ tify them. Ezek. xx. 10, 11, 12.

Nehemiah also recounts the promulgation of the sabbatic law amongst the transactions in the wilderness; which supplies another considerable argument in aid of our opinion: -“ Moreover thou leddest them in the day

by a cloudy pillar, and in the night by a “pillar of fire, to give them light in the way “ wherein they should go. Thou camest “ down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest 66 with them from heaven, and gavest them “ right judgements and true laws, good

statutes and commandments, and madest U known unto them thy holy sabbath, and “ commandedst them precepts, statutes, and « laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant, " and gavest them bread from heaven for

“ their hunger, and broughtest forth water 6 for them out of the rock*.” Nehem. ix, 12.

If it bé inquired what duties were appointed for the Jewish sabbath, and under what penalties and in what manner it was observed amongst the ancient Jews; we find that, by the fourth commandment, a strict cessation from work was enjoined, not only upon Jews by birth, or religious profession, but upon

all who resided within the limits of the Jewish state; that the same was to be permitted to their slaves and their cattle; that this rest was not to be violated, under pain of death: “Whosoever doeth

any

work “ in the sabbath-day, he shall surely be put to death :" Exod. xxxi. 15.

Beside which, the seventh day was to be solemnised by double sacrifices in the temple :-And on 6 the sabbath-day two lambs of the first

year without spot, and two tenth-deals of

* From the mention of the sabbath in so close a connexion with the descent of God upon mount Sinai, and the delivery of the law from thence, one would be inclined to believe, that Nehemiah referred solely to the fourth commandment. But the fourth commandment certainly did not first make known the sabbath. And it is apparent, that Nehemiah observed not the order of events, for he speaks of what passed upon mount Sinai before he mentions the miraculous supplies of bread and water, though the Jews did not arrive at mount Sinai till some time after both these miracles were wrought,

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“ flour for a meat-offering, mingled with oil, “ and the drink-offering thereof; this is the “ burnt-offering of every sabbath, beside the “ continual burnt-offering and his drink

offering.” Numb. xxviii. 9, 10. Also holy convocations, which mean, we presume, assemblies for the purpose of public worship or religious instruction, were directed to be holden on the sabbath-day; “ the seventh day " is a sabbath of rest, an holy convocation." Levit. xxiii. 3.

And accordingly we read, that the sabbath was in fact observed amongst the Jews by a scrupulous abstinence from every thing which, by any possible construction, could be deemed labour; as from dressing meat, from trayelling beyond a sabbath-day's journey, or about a single mile. In the Maccabean wars, they suffered a thousand of their number to be slain, rather than do any thing in their own defence on the sabbath-day. In the final siege of Jerusalem, after they had so far overcome their scruples' as to defend their persons when attacked, they refused any operation on the sabbath-day, by which they might have interrupted the enemy in filling up

the trench. After the establishment of synagogues (of the origin of which we have

Ho account), it was the custom to assemble in them on the sabbath-day, for the purpose of hearing the law rehearsed and explained, and for the exercise, it is probable, of public devotion: “For Moses of old time hath in

every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath-day.The seventh day is Saturday; and, agreeably to the Jewish way of computing the day, the sabbath held from six o'clock on the Friday evening, to six o'clock on Saturday evening. -These observations being premised, we approach the main question, Whether the command by which the Jewish sabbath was instituted, extend to us?

If the Divine command was actually delivered at the creation, it was addressed, no doubt, to the whole human species alike, and continues, unless repealed by some subsequent revelation, binding upon all who come to the knowledge of it. If the command was published for the first time in the wilderness, then it was immediately directed to the Jewish people alone; and something farther, either in the subject or circumstances of the command, will be necessary to show, that it was designed for any other. It is on this account, that the question concerning the date of the

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