Imatges de pÓgina

it to be perpetually kept, as sacred to His service.()

Q. 5. When was the Sabbath at first instituted? A. Immediately upon the close of the creation. Q. 6. What is the evidence of this!

Å. The fact, that the Scriptures represent it as then instituted; the design of the institution, which is the commemoration of the Divine perfections, in the work of creation, and the preparation of man for the kingdom of heaven; and also the fact that time was then, and onward, distinguished by weeks of seven days.()

Q. 7. Was the command to keep the Sabbath, renewed to the children of Israel

A. It was, when God gave to them from Mount Sinai the ten commandments.(a)

Q. 8. Is the sabbatical institution in force under the Christian dispensation?

A. It is. As evidence of this, we have, in addition to the fourth commandment of the decalogue, which is perpetually binding upon all men, wheresoever it is made known, the practice of the Apostles of Him, who was Lord of the Sabbath, and the practice of the primitive Christians. The Sabbath, then, is a standing ordinance, and is, consequently, not abolished under the Christian dispensation, but continues in full force.

Which day of the week was the Jewish Sabbath?

Q. 9.

(b) Ex. 20. 8. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.

(c) Gen.2.3. 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. Ex. 20. 11. 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. A week was a well known period of time in the days of Jacob and Laban. Noah observed periods of seven days.

(d) Ex. 20.8. Remember the sabbath to keep it holy.

[ocr errors]


It was the seventh day of the week.* Q. 10. How long did the Jewish Sabbath continue?

A. Till Christ's resurrection from the dead.When Christ came and broke down the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles, and restored all things to their primitive state, the Jewish Sabbath, which was typical of the rest, which He procured for His Church, was altered to the first day of the week. The Jewish Sabbath was abolished, when the Mosaick dispensation ceased, and the things typified by it took place.

Q. 11. What is the evidence that the first day of the week is to be kept as the Sabbath, under the Christian dispensation.

The fact, that Christ arose from the dead on this day; and the fact, that the Apostles and prim

* It is the opinion of some, that the Paradisaical sabbath, was the first day of the week. It is argued, that this sabbath was the seventh day from the beginning of creation, and the first after Adam's creation, and that Adam would naturally reckon time from the first day he began to exist, and that, therefore, the original sabbath was the first day of the week.—That this is a fact, Messrs. Bedford and Kennedy, two sacred chronologers of eminence, have attempted to demonstrate by astronomical calculations.--That the Sunday of the Heathen, which was the original sabbath, was the first day of the week, and is so still in the East, the learned Mr. Selden has endeavored to prove in his Jus. Nat. and Gent. Lib. III. Chap. 22. It is also the opinion of some, that the Paradisaical sabbath was altered to the Jewish sabbath, that God might distinguish His people. (the Jews,) from the Gentiles, who had become idolatrous, and who paid their homage on this day, not to the Father of lights, but to the sun, the brightest luminary of heaven, (hence the day came to be called Sunday,) and that His people might commemorate their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. That the Paradisaical sabbath, which was on the first day of the week, was altered to the Jewish sabbath, which was on the seventh day of the week, it is argued, that the former is represented in the Scriptures as different from the latter; that the latter, (the Jewish sabbath) as such, was designed to commemorate the deliverance of the children of Israel from the servitude of Egypt; that the Sunday of the Heathen, which was the original sabbath, is the first day of the week; that the Jews did anciently, and do now, keep as their sabbath the seventh day of the week; and that the Jewish sabbath was established as a sign between God and His people Israel. T'he Paradisaical sabbath, being common to all mankind, could not be a distinguishing sign to the Jews in particular. The passages of Scripture, adduced in favour of the above sentiments, are the following, viz. Ex. 20. 11. Ex. 16. 23, 25, 26, 29, 30. Deut. 5. 12, 15. Ex. 31. 13, 16. Ezek. 20. 10--12.

itive Christians observed the first day of the week as the Sabbath. But this they would not have done, had it not met the approbation of the Lord of the Sabbath; and His will is a law, and, consequently, their example has all the force, which can be attached to a precept or command. (C)

Q. 12. When does the Sabbath begin?

A. Some are of the opinion, that it begins at evening, some, at midnight, some, at morning, and some, that it cannot be determined, when it does


(e) The first day of the week is called the Lord's day, in distinction from all other days, because it is designed to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. Rev. 1. 10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day. Mark 2. 28. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath. On this day the Lord's Supper was administered, and the word of God was preached. Acts 20.7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them. It was the day of charitable collections. 1 Cor. 16. 2. 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 gatherings when I come. Christ appeared to His disciples on this day and blessed them. John 20. 1, 19, 26. The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene, early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And after eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. À change in the day of the sabbath seems to be intimated in the words of the apostle to the Hebrews. Heb. 4. 8-10. For if Jesus (Joshua) had given them rest, then would he not afterwards have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore, a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

The pur

* It is to be remembered, that the fourth commandment specifies no particular day to be kept as the sabbath, only one in seven. port of the command is, six days may be employed in labour, and the seventh, or one in seven is to be observed as a day of sacred rest. Elsewhere we are to look for the specification of the day of the sabbath,

begin. All, however, agree in the opinion, that a seventh portion of time ought to be kept holy.*

Q. 13. How should the Sabbath be kept?
A. It should be kept in a holy manner.

We should prepare for it when approaching, and com

* It is reasonable to conclude, that if God has consecrated a day to be kept holy, He has pointed out the time of beginning it. Most assuredly the God of order, who sees all things from the beginning to the end, would not leave the time of beginning the sabbath to the arbitrary will of man. For, if this were the case, complete disorder and confusion would ensue.- -The argument that the sabbath begins in the morning is, the supposition, that Christ arose from the dead at this time. As the day is designed to commemorate this event, so, it is said, the day should commence at the time the event took place. But that Christ arose from the dead in the morning is mere supposition. When Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary went to the sepulchre, Christ was not there. But how long He had been risen, the Scriptures do not inform us, neither can any person inform us. He might, for aught we know, have been risen one, two, or six hours before. So that the time of the resurrection of Christ can be no guide, in regard to the beginning of the sabbath.—The argument for beginning the sabbath at midnight is, that civil days begin at this time. But this is no argument at all. Civil days are merely human appointments, and may be made longer or shorter, and may commence at one time or another, as the dominant authority shall say. Besides, it is not in the power of all the poten tates on earth, nor all the men in the universe to make time holy, or say when holy time shall commence.- -The following are the evi-. dences that the sabbath commences at evening. The sabbath originally began at evening. Gen. 1. 5. “And the evening and morning were the first day.” The evening and morning, or the preceding darkness and the succeeding light were, or constituted, the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth day. It must have been so in regard to the sevenththe sabbath, else there was a portion of time that belonged to no dayThe sabbath under the Jewish dispensation began at evening. Neh. 13. 19. “And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded, that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath; and some of my servants sat I at the gates, that there should no burden be hronght in on the sabbath day. Lev. 23. 32. From even unto even shall ye celebrate your sabbaths.” By sabbaths in this last passage is intended the yearly days of atonement. But it is reasonable to conclude, that these commenced at the same time their weekly sabbaths did. While the Saviour was on the earth, the Jews did actually begin and end their weekly sabbaths at evening, and this is their practice in the present day. And the Apostles would of course begin the Christian sabbath at evening, unless commanded otherwise. It then follows, that they did begin it at this time. And the learned Dr. Macknight says, that it was the practice of the ancient Christians to begin their sabbath on the evening of Saturday:-In addition, the rising and setting of the sun is the natural division of days seen and known by all people, and God would be likely to fix upon one of these as a dividing line.Further, te begin the sabbath at sunsetting would be very impressive, and much more suitable, than to begin and end the day when all the world is asleep.

mence it with prayer. On it we should avoid servile labour, all works of vanity, pride, and luxury, all slothfulness and stupidity, travelling on journeys, visiting from house to house, strolling the fields, walking the streets, conversation upon worldly concerns, reading irreligious books, or even book's on ordinary subjects. Keeping the Sabbath holy implies, also, that the day be spent in public, private, and secret devotion, or religious exercises generally.(5)

Q. 14. May not works of necessity and mercy be performed on the Sabbath?

A. They may, if they cannot be properly deferred, such as healing the sick, administering to the relief of the distressed, and other works of mercy and necessity. ()

(g) Ex. 20. 8–11. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. 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. Jer, 17.21, 22. Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. Neh. 13. 15. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. Isa. 58. 13, 14. If thou turn a way thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt 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; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob'thy father, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

(h) Mark 2.27. And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. Luke 13, 15,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »