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6 But

simplicity of ancient language ; and that
there are various passages in Scripture, in
which duties of a political, or ceremonial, or
positive nature, and confessedly of partial
obligation, are enumerated, and without any
mark of discrimination, along with others
which are natural and universal. Of this the
following is an incontestable example.
“ if a man be just, and do that which is law-
“ ful and right; and hath not eaten upon
es the mountains, nor hath lifted


eyes to the idols of the house of Israel ; neither “ hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither 6 hath come near to a menstruous woman ; “ and hath not oppressed any, but hath re“ stored to the debtor his pledge; hath

spoiled none' by violence; hath given his $bread to the hungry, and hath covered the

naked with a garment; he that hath not given upon usury, neither hath taken

any increase ; that hath withdrawn his hand “ from iniquity; hath executed true judge

ment between man and man; hath walked “ in my statutes, and hạth kept my judge

ments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall

surely live, saith the Lord God.” Ezekiel xviii. 5—9. The same thing may be observed of thę apostolic decree recorded in


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selves, ye

the fifteenth chapter of the Acts :-“ It “seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to * us, to lay upon you no greater burthen " than these necessary things, that ye

abs“tain from meats offered to idols, and from

blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication : from which if ye keep your

shall do well.” II. If the law by which the sabbath was instituted, was a law only to the Jews, it becomes an important question with the Christian inquirer, whether the founder of his religion delivered any new command upon the subject; or, if that should not appear to be the case, whether any day was appropriated to the service of religion by the authority or example of his Apostles.

The practice of holding religious assemblies upon the first day of the week, was so early and universal in the Christian Church, that it carries with it considerable proof of having originated from some precept of Christ, or of his Apostles, though none such .be now extant. It was upon the first day

of the week that the disciples were assembled, when Christ appeared to them for the first time after his resurrection ; “ then the

same day at evening, being the first day of any thing that

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66 the week, when the doors were shut where " the disciples were assembled, for fear of " the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in the “ midst of them.” John xx. 19. This, for


in the account, might, as to the day, have been accidental ; but in the 26th verse of the same chapter we read that “after eight days,” that is, on the first day of the week following, again the dis

ciples were within;" which second meeting upon

the same day of the week looks like an appointment and design to meet on that

particular day. In the twentieth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, we find the same custom in a Christian Church at a great distance from Jerusalem :-" And we “ unto them to Troas in five days, where we " abode seven days; and upon the first day

of the week, when the disciples came to

gether to break bread, Paul preached unto 66 them.” Acts xx. 6, 7. The manner in which the historian mentions the disciples coming together to break bread on the first day of the week, shows, I think, that the practice by this time was familiar and established. St. Paul to the Corinthians writes thus : "

Concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the



6 Churches of Galatia, even so do ye; upon *** the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath

prospered him, that there be no gathering when 66. I come.” 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2. Which direction affords a probable proof, that the first day of the week was already, amongst the Christians both of Corinth and Galatia, distinguished from the rest by some religious application or other. At the time that St. John wrote the book of his Revelation, the first day of the week had obtained the name of the Lord's day ;-" I was in the spirit,” . says he,“ on the Lord's day.Rev. i. 10. Which name, and St. John's use of it, suffi. ciently denote the appropriation of this day to the service of religion, and that this appropriation was perfectly known to the Churches of Asia. I make no doubt that by the Lord's Day was meant the first day of the week: for we find no footsteps of any distinction of days, which could entitle any other to that appellation. The subsequent history of Christianity corresponds with the accounts delivered on this subject in Scripture.

It will be remembered, that we are contending, by these proofs, for no other duty

upon the first day of the week, than that of holding and frequenting religious assemblies. A cessation upon that day from labour, beyond the time of attendance upon public worship, is not intimated in any passage of the New Testament; nor did Christ or his Apostles deliver, that we know of, any command to their disciples for a discontinuance, upon that day, of the common offices of their professions : a reserve which none will see reason to wonder at, or to blame as a defect in the institution, who consider that, in the primitive condition of Christianity, the observance of a new sabbath would have been useless, or inconvenient, or impracticable. During Christ's personal ministry, his religion was preached to the Jews alone. They already had a sabbath, which, as citizens and subjects of that economy, they were obliged to keep; and did keep. It was not therefore probable that Christ would enjoin another day of rest in conjunction with this. When the new religion came forth into the Gentile world, converts to it were, for the most part, made from those classes of society who have not their time and labour at their own disposal ; and it was scarcely to be expected, that unbelieving masters and magistrates, and they

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