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the duty of obedience to the political institutions of the land. Though it might be regarded with the respect and deference to which all human laws are entitled, it would nevertheless be destitute of that force and influence which belong to whatever is stamped with the authority of Holy Writ. It is desirable, however, that an ordinance of such manifest utility should be fortified with a sacredness of character which may ensure a conscientious and permanent compliance.
It is the tenet of mystic Quakerism, that God is not to be worshipped through the intervention of a ministry, of formal ceremonies, or of typical institutions, but by a simply spiritual worship, and of course that one day is not more holy than another By the Unitarians also several objections are urged against the religious observance of stated days. “ To a true Christian, says a writer of this school, every day is a sabbath, every place is a temple, and every action of life an act of devotion. A Christian is not required to be more holy, nor permitted to take greater liberties upon one day than upon another. Whatever is lawful or expedient upon any one day of the week is, under the Christian dispensation, equally lawful and expedient upon any other day.” Again,“ “ Í have
* Barclay, Apology, Prop. II. § 4.; Gurney, Observations on the religious Peculiarities of the Society of Friends, cap. iv.
no hesitation in asserting, that under the Christian dispensation every day is alike.' worship I am a sincere advocate ; and it having been the uniform practice of the Christian church to assemble for this purpose on the first day of the week, I highly approve of the continuance of this laudable and useful custom. But that under the Christian dispensation one day is more holy than another, or that any employment, or any amusement, which is lawful on other days, is unlawful on the sunday, can never be proved either from the Christian scriptures or from ecclesiastical antiquity.” Not far remote from this low and degrading notion of the sabbath is that very generally held by the Romanists, and by not a few Protestant divines, which rests it upon the authority of the church. The only difference seems to be, that the Unitarian grounds it merely upon expediency, while they make it rest upon the uniform custom and practice of the ancient catholic church: the one reduces it to a mere human institution, the other regards it as one of those ritual observances which Christ hath left power to his church to ordain. The third opinion is, that it is a divine institution, and consequently of universal and indispensable obligation. He who reflects how much the due observance of it contributes to the present and future happiness of man, must wish that opinion true which enforces it with the sanction of divine authority, Now its religious obligation must arise from its being enjoined in the Word of God; hence it is upon the Christian to enquire whether the sabbath is of divine appointment, and whether the page of Revelation points out in what manner it is to be kept holy; an enquiry which it is attempted to prosecute in the following chapters.
| Belsham, Review of Mr. Wilberforce's Treatise, p. 15. 107 edit. 3. A much more sober theologian asserts," In Novo Testamento omne dierum discrimen abolitum est, nec ullus dies altero sanctior." (Limborch, Theologia Christiana, lib. v. cap. xxviii. $ 7.) Another theologian of the same school observes, “ Sub Novo Foedere omne dierum discrimen est abolitum, ità ut unum altero sanctiorem per se habere superstitionem resiperet.” (Curcellæus, Relig. Christiane Instit. lib. vü. cap. xxxi. 11. See to the same effect, Grotius, Confessio Fidei Augustana, 87. Operá vol. iv. p. 549.) Yet neither of these writers deny that a certain distinction of days is authorized under the Christian dispensation, “ Discrimen quod ponitur inter dies ordinis causa, et propter conventus sacros, non esse sublatum : necessarium enim est in ecclesia." (Curcellæus, De Usu Sanguinis, cap. vi. p. 957.) A writer of great erudition, and to whom we are indebted for an admirable edition of the fragments of the ante-nicene Christian Fathers, observes, “ Qui enim dies veteri foedere sanctificatus colitur, is septimus, non primus est : atque in Novo Testamento nihil de cultu cujusquam diei substituti in sabbati locum præcipitur, nedum aliud aliquod sabbatum instituitur.” He concludes, however, with saying, " Restat autem nobis, non sabbatum quidem, quia deletum atque abrogatum est, sed dies vetustissima consuetudine et perpetuo ecclesiæ consensu observatus, dies dominicæ resurrectionis, quo cultum Dei, ipsi et lege naturæ debitum, publice celebramus." Routh, Reliquiæ Sacræ, vol. iv. p. 384.
The perpetual Obligation of the Sabbath, proved from its
In opening the Word of God we find at the beginning of the second chapter the following account of the first institution of the sabbath : “ Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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 had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made “.” The accuracy of the authorized version
• Gen. ii. 1--3. As it is evident both from the first chapter, and various other parts of Scripture that the whole of creation was finished on the sixth day, several commentators adopt the reading of the Samaritan, Syriac, and Septuagint; “ And on the sixth day God ended his work which he had made." But this emendation is not authorized by MSS. and moreover is not required, for if the verb 5 be understood, not in the per