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of Christianity, and the retired, but equally necessary duties of religious meditation and inquiry. It is true, that many do not convert their leisure to this purpose; but it is of moment, and is all which a public constitution can effect, that to every one be allowed the opportunity - 3. They, whose humanity embraces the whole sensitive creation, will esteem it no inconsiderable recommendation of a weekly return of public rest, that it affords a respite to the toil of brutes. Nor can we omit to recount this among the uses which the Divine Founder of the Jewish sabbath expressly appointed a law of the institution.

We admit, that none of these reasons show why Sunday should be preferred to


other day in the week, or one day in seven to one day, in six, or eight: but these points, which in their nature are of arbitrary determination, being established to our hands, our obligation applies to the subsisting establishment, so long as we confess that some such institution is necessary, and are neither able nor attenipt to substitute any other in its place.




The subject, so far as it makes any part of Christian morality, is contained in two ques. tions :

1. Whether the command, by which the Jewish sabbath was instituted, extends to Christians ?

II. Whether any new command was delivered by Christ; or any other day substituted in the place of the Jewish sabbath by the authority or example of his apostles ?

In treating of the first question, it will be necessary to collect the accounts which are preserved of the institution in the Jewish hisa tory: for the seeing these accounts together, and in one point of view, will be the best preparation for the discussing or judging of any arguments' on one side or the other.

In the second chapter of Genesis, the higa torian, having concluded his account of the six days' creation, proceeds thus : “ And

on the seventh day God ended his work " which he had made; and he rested on “ the seventh day from all his work which he


6 had made: and God blessed the seventh

day and sanctified it, because that in it he 6 had rested from all his work which God 66 created and made.” After this, we hear no more of the sabbath, or of the seventh day, as in any manner distinguished from the other six, until the history brings us down to the sojourning of the Jews in the wilderness, when the following remarkable passage occurs. Upon the complaint of the people for want of food, God was pleased to provide for their relief by a miraculous supply of manna, which was found every morning upon the ground about the camp;

“ and they gathered it every morning, every man according to his “ eating; and when the sun waxed hot, it “ melted : and it came to pass, that on the “ sixth day they gathered twice as much “ bread, two omers for one man: and all the “ rulers of the congregation came and told « Moses: and he said unto them, This is “ that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is " the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord ; “bake that which ye will båke, to-day, and 16 seethe that


will seethe; and that which * remaineth over, lay up for you, to be kept 6 until the morning. And they laid it up “ till the morning, as Moses bade; and it


« did not stink (as it had done before, when “ some of them left it till the morning], nei“ ther was there any worm therein. And “ Moses said, Eat that to-day: for to-day " is a sabbath unto the Lord ; to-day ye shall « not find it in the field. Six days ye shall

gather it, but on the seventh day, which “ is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. * And it came to pass, that there went out

some of the people on the seventh day for “ to gather, and they found none. And the “ Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye “ to keep my commandments and


laws ? See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the “ sixth day the bread of two days: abide ye

every man in his place; let no man go out “ of his place on the seventh day. So the “ people rested on the seventh day.” Exodus xvi.

Not long after this, the sabbath, as is well known, was established with great solemnity, in the fourth commandment.

Now, in my opinion, the transaction in the wilderness above recited, was the first actual institution of the sabbath. For if the sabbath had been instituted at the time of the creation, as the words in Genesis may

seem at first sight to import; and if it had been observed all along from that time to the departure of the Jews out of Egypt, a périod of about two thousand five hundred

years; it appears unaccountable that no mention of it, no occasion of even the obscurest allusion to it, should occur, either in the general history

of the world before the call of Abraham, which contains, we admit, only a few memoirs of its early ages, and those extremely abridged; or, which is more to be wondered at, in that of the lives of the first three Jewish patriarchs, which, in many parts of the account, is sufficiently circumstantial and domestic. Nor is there, in the passage

above quoted from the sixteenth chapter of Exodus, any intimation that the sabbath, when appointed to be observed, was only the revival of an ancient institution, which had been neglected, forgotten, or suspended ; nor is any such neglect'imputed either to the inhabitants of the old world, or to any part of the family of Noah; nor, lastly, is any permission recorded to dispense with the institution during the captivity of the Jews in Egypt, or on any other public emergency. The passage

in the second chapter of Genesis, which creates the whole controversy

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