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several arguments, drawn from the application of ancient prophecies to gospel times.-And we might dwell upon the direction of Christ to his disciples, "Pray ye, that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day;" for the event to which he alluded, was not to happen till forty years afterwards; and if there was then to be a Sabbath, it could not have been abolished with the ceremonial law. But it really seems to us, that more than enough has been said already. For, 1. if God instituted the Sabbath in paradise, and has not since abrogated it, then must it be perpetual. 2. If it is a constituent part of the moral law, then must it be perpetual. 3. If not one jot or one tittle can ever pass from the law, then must the Sabbath be perpetual. 4. If the law is established through faith, then must the Sabbath be perpetual. And, 5. if the earthly Sabbath is typical of the heavenly, then must it be perpetual.
What day of the week was originally appointed to be kept, and for what reason.
As this is not a controverted question, it will detain us but a moment. The first point is settled in these express words: “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." The same day is specified in the confirmation, or re-enactment of
the Sabbath at Mount Sinai. "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Indeed, whereever the weekly Sabbath is mentioned in the Old Testament, the Seventh day of the week is intended. Jesus Christ, himself, kept the same day during his public ministry; and the Jews, in every part of the world, where they have been scattered, still adhere to it as the Sabbath.
The reason for the original sanctification of the seventh day, is also distinctly specified. "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work.” So, in the fourth commandment-"For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Here we see, that the seventh day was set apart, rather than the sixth, the first, or any other, because that God himself rested on that day, or ceased from the work of creation. It was to keep in remembrance that stupendous work, and to excite mankind to celebrate the glorious attributes of wisdom, power, and benevolence, which were displayed in its progress and completion, that this particular appointment was made. And what other day could have been so appropriate? Surely, if any solemn commemoration at all was demanded, or was proper, it was suitable it should begin on the very day when the "morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy;" and that the same day of the week should be devoted to holy rest, meditation, and praise, till
some greater work than that of creation should be accomplished, and demand a similar commemoration.
Has the day been changed, since the Sabbath was instituted; and, if so, when, and for whát reason?
On this question we offer the following preliminary remarks:
First. Whatever may be the true answer, it will not, in the least, affect the validity of the arguments, which have been already adduced. They stand on entirely independent ground; so that if we should fail of proving that the day has been changed, it would not touch the other great question, in regard to the perpetuity of the Sabbath, which has been argued upon its own merits. If we have proved that the institution was from the beginning, and is to last till the end of time, nothing which can be said here, will invalidate the proof; and if we have failed there, nothing here will help it.
Secondly. Those who question the change of the Sabbath, from other motives than a conscientious persuasion that they are still bound to keep the seventh day, would do well to consider what they have to gain by proving, that the day has not been changed. It cannot be uncharitable to suppose, that with some of them, this is a mere evasive expedient, to get rid of the Sab
bath altogether. But the day has either been changed, or it has not. If it has been changed, they are bound to conform to that change. If it has not, then they are bound to keep the original, or seventh day. So that whether it has been changed, or not, they are equally bound to keep one seventh part of time as holy, which is the very conclusion they wish to avoid. But let them be consistent, and either keep the seventh day, or come out at once, and deny that any day is obligatory.
Thirdly. The fourth commandment is so expressed, as to admit of a change in the day, without at all affecting the sacred institution itself; and this phraseology, we doubt not, was adopted by the divine Law-giver, with special reference to such a change. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. The seventh day is the Sabbath. In six days the Lord made heaven and earth ;wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." The seventh day is the Sabbath. It was so at that time, and for many ages after. But it is not said, that it always shall be.
Besides; According to the first clause of the commandment, it is the Sabbath day which we are to remember; and so at the close, it was the Sabbath which was hallowed and blessed, and not the seventh day. The Sabbath, then, the holy rest itself, is one thing; the day on which we are to rest, is quite another. As the day might be changed, without any prejudice to that in which the Sabbath essentially consists, we are left at full liberty to inquire, yea, it is our duty to inquire,
whether the day has actually been changed by competent authority.
Fourthly. Though it would require an express statute to abrogate an institution so prominent as the holy Sabbath, something short of this may be sufficient, to indicate a change from one day to another. Thus, if it can be shown, that similar reasons now exist for keeping the first day of the week, to those which originally existed for keeping the seventh; if it can be made to appear, that such a change was foreseen, and distinctly alluded to, by the ancient Jewish prophets; if it can be shown, that Christ himself, after his resurrection, gave the sanction of his own example to the change; if it can be shown, that the apostles kept the first day of the week, and could not have been mistaken as to the propriety of the change; that the churches which they planted, were accustomed to assemble on the first day of the week for public worship; that God early consecrated it in a peculiar manner, by the effusions of his Spirit; that the change was recognized as authoritative by the most ancient Christian fathers; and that the first day of the week has been remarkably distinguished by the bestowment of spiritual blessings, down to our own times; if these things can be proved, from Scripture, from the earliest ecclesiastical records, and from undeniable facts, it is presumed, the propriety of Christian usage throughout the world, in accordance with such views, and such proofs, will not be disputed.
But can such evidence be adduced; or, in other words, has the first day been substituted for the