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week it was restoring it to its true time. Adam was formed the last of the sixth day's creation; and if we are to reckon from evening to evening, as it appears we must, then the seventh day, in God's account, must be considered as the first in man's, which would doubtless be spent in contemplation and devotion. Be this as it may, the Lord of the sabbath hath told us, that “the sabbath was made for man," that is, as I suppose, for man's use and advantage in the concerns of bis immortal soul and spiritual interests, and it ought to be observed accordingly. This is the use intended to be made of these remarks, that we may see our obligation to observe it, and prove its blessed effects upon us in promoting in us holiness both of heart and life.
This day affords us an opportunity of shewing to the world and to one another our firm belief in the christian doctrines; that we are not ashamed of the righteous service of heaven; that in reliance on his providence, we are content to lay aside the labours of life, to serve and worship him; and that we take pleasure in appearing before God, that others, encouraged and stimulated by our example, may do the same to his glory and their happiness.
This law, which is considered such a hardship to the covetous, is full of mercy both to men and cattle, who would be crushed with excessive labour by those who are grasping after the world. Here, in the worshipping assemblies of God's people, we have the sweetest emblem of heaven which earth affords. The word is preached for their comfort, and the conviction of the guilty-children and ignorant persons are instructed—the scriptures may be read and meditated upon-prayer may be offered to heaven for the supply our wants and those of others—we may sing the praises of redeeming love-we may approach his tablevisit the sick -anticipate the services and enjoyments of beaven; till we shall be called to cast our crowns before him, “ lost in wonder, love, and praise.”
What a blessed privilege is this day to the spirituallyminded! The concerns and businesses of life, and the ge.
neral bustle around us, raise a dust which is repeatedly laid by the refreshing showers of grace on the returns of this holy and solemn day. We are hereby made to revive as the corn, and flourish as trees that are planted by the banks of the constantly flowing stream. What a deplorablestate would the world soon be in if this day were abrogated? It is shocking to think of its abuse at present from the lovers of pleasure and gain; but how would it be were there no attention paid to the ordinances of religion? Alas for our common christianity! Then we might expect the state of most to be as one observes, who well understood human nature:
“AU feeling of futurity benumb'd,
All God-like passion for cternals quench'd;
It is therefore a great mercy that there is a command to remember and keep it holy.
As the christian sabbath is then of Divine institution, and the due observance of it acceptable to God, and tending to our spiritual improvement, we ought to receive it as a great mercy, welcome its return with pleasure, and spend it in a devout and spiritual manner, not as a relic of Jewish bondage, but as a day of christian liberty, rejoicing, and glorifying God for all his benefits. “Call (then) the sabbath a delight; the holy of the Lord honourable; and 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.” Attend to this, and it will assuredly promote the sanctification of your nature, and bring down upon you the rich blessings of the Almighty. Order your affairs with an eye to it, and neglect not any of its duties, either private or public, but from evident necessity. Spend it not in an expensive, vain, and trifling manner, but rather improve it to the utmost of your power, in making it an emblem of that sabbath you hope to spend eternally above.
CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP. It is both the duty and interest of sincere christians to unite together, that they may strengthen each other's hands in God, and promote his cause in the world. It is enjoined on us to consider one another to provoke unto love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as
he manner of some is, but exhorting one another." Some difficulty may arise from the diversity of opinions among christians, yet that may be obviated by informing ourselves which, according to our own views, adopt the most scriptural mode and tenets. Or we may inquire, Where shall I find most of the Divine presence and blessing—where shall I obtain the greatest helps--where shall I have the best opportunity of doing good—and where shall I bring the greatest glory to God? There unite.
That such is the will of God seems clear, because the gospel not only commands it, but continually supposes it; and every figurative representation of it, and there are many, directly or indirectly shiews its necessity. Let us confine ourselyes to the epistle to the Ephesians only. The church of Christ is there compared
To a family, of which God is the Father, having “predes. tinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself.” Every child of his is interested in his love and care.
He presides over, and blesses all; and expects and commands us to love each other with brotherly affection, and rejoice in each other's happiness, as being influenced by one spirit, engaged in one common cause, and expecting the same glorious and endless reward, chap. i. 5.
To the creation, which, though infinitely varied in beauty, strength, dimensions, and essential properties, is preserved from age to age in wonderful order, and all in subjection to its Almighty Creator. And he looks to see bis church all united to live in his will; dependant upon his power: all uniting to discover the beauty his grace has put upon them, and agreeing to set forth one harmonious whole, to his glory, chap. ii. 10.
To the general resurrection, where those who lay under the power of darkness and death, are quickened together with their immortal head, and raised by Divine energy to sit together in heavenly places with him, enjoying the same kind of life, honour, happiness, and communion with their Lord, chap. ii. 5, 6.
To the ancient Jewish church, being by the circumcision of Christ. admitted to their privileges, promises, and expectations, and to much greater, having free access to God, a fuller display of his glory in Christ, a more suitable service, a better and nobler priesthood, and a coờenant full of spiri. tual blessings, inexpressibly valuable, chap. ii. 12.
To a holy temple, dug out of the same quarry of nature, prepared by the same architect, and placed together upon the same foundation; when separate of little account, but when united, and fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord, possessed of stability, symmetry, and real grandeur, chap. ii. 20, 21.
To a grote or orchard, which having the Lord for its planter and keeper, by its moisture, shade, and thickness, causes the trees of righteousness to strike deeper root in the rich soil of Divine love, shoot their heads towards heaven, bearing more beautiful blossoms, and shedding a richer fragrance by their union, and bearing the most lovely fruit in the
eyes of God and man, chap. iii. 17.
To the beauty and harmony of the human frame. Christ is the head, and by him the “whole body is fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every
part.” This body may be said to be animated by one soul, having one common hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father; and all its members are judiciously placed, that every part receives the help necessary for the health and comfort of the whole; the Lord having so bestowed his gifts, that we may all come in the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, chap. iy. 16.
And to an army. Christ is the leader and commander of these spiritual warriors. They wage war under his banner, and are armed by his Spirit in armour of proof, that having won the day, they may come off with triumphant joy. War requires watchfulness, activity, and union, and as they are so needful to secure victory, let the number of the combatants be ever so large, they clearly set forth to us the nature and necessity of christian fellowship.
When we unite ourselves to some body of professing christians, we thereby avoid the appearance of singularity. Were we to keep to ourselves and shun their fellowship, it would seem as though we were too wise, or too good, or, as is often the case, too bad for them, or had somethiag against them; when, upon a fair view of things, there is nothing of the kind, although such an inference might easily be drawn from this supposed distance. We must, however, acknowledge that we are commanded to love one another, and it is certainly the nature of love to attach itself to the object beloved. There is an uneasiness in being deprived of the company and conversation of those we love. Do we not delight in their excellencies, and express our satisfaction in every possible way? We readily sympathize with our friends in their trials and afflicting griefs, and, administering to their necessities, think ourselves repaid in being able to please or serve them. Our burdens are lightened by the return of such like attentions, and our happiness increased by their reciprocal kindnesses. Those that love God will love his children also; but how this can be done without entering