Imatges de pÓgina
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quite trifling and frivolous to say, that it can make any dif ference whether we call that day the first or the seventh, provided we comply with the real spirit and intention of the law, by giving six days to labour and earthly cares, and one insulated day to divine worship and spiritual employment, as a day of renovation and restoration—as a clear stage provided for those noble, holy, delightful, and honourable employments and enjoyments, by a day of rest from earthly, carnal, and bodily concerns. Anatomists tell us that the blood, in its course through the human body, loses its oxygen and vital principle, and must be renewed before it take another circuit; and therefore, instead of being propelled by the heart through the same arterial and venal course it is turned aside into the lungs, where it meets the air we breathe for that purpose, from which it recovers its vital principle, and becomes fit for a new circuit and the functions of life: from thence it returns to the heart, and is again propelled through the arteries.

There is no mark put upon the day in the course of nature. This would have defeated its end. The mark must be made by the recollection and practice of man, and then it becomes really useful. The command is, to keep one day out of seven, according to the different modes of various nations of beginning and ending their day. It is immaterial whether the day begin at noon or at midnight; at sunrise or at sunset.

Bramhall and Heylyn, both good and learned men,-conscientious and honest opponents of the sabbath,-while they object to it on the ground of its being impossible to strictly adhere to the law, by keeping the exact same time all over the world, unwittingly show the impossibility of observing the letter of the law, and, at the same time, show the necessity of keeping its spirit. Bramhall says, that it is impossible to keep it at the same time in different

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longitudes; for that some people will be keeping it in the day, and others in the night. Let us follow this argument a little further. Let us take New Zealand as being nearly our antipodes. The inhabitants keep the sabbath from midnight to midnight of their own time; but of our time, from mid-day on Saturday to mid-day on Sunday. But, supposing that the persons, who carried the sabbath thither, instead of going by the east had gone by the west, they would, as to our time, be keeping it from mid-day on Sunday to mid-day on Monday—entirely a different day; and, in either case, would have conformed to the spirit of the law. But let us take a still stronger instance. I fix on the island of St. Helena, as being nearly in the same longitude with us, but with greater facility of travelling round the world—its being in a different hemisphere and a different latitude not affecting the question. Suppose one ship to sail from thence round the world to the east, by the Cape of Good Hope, and to return; and another, in like manner, to the west, by Cape Horn, and return. The eastern navigators would anticipate, and the western lose, a day. The former would be keeping Saturday, as to St. Helena time; and the latter Monday, and the inhabitants Sunday. Does not this show the absurdity of supposing the strict adherence to a particular day as necessary,— or of supposing any particular day to be endued with a peculiar sanctity?

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Now for Heylyn's arguments. He first quotes Joshua x. 13: When "the sun stood still and the moon stayed, . . . . . so that the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day." He also quotes the case of Hezekiah, Isai. xxxviii. 8, and 2 Kings xx. 9—11, when the sun went backward ten degrees. On which he remarks:- In each of these cases, there was a signal alteration in the course of nature, and the succession of

time, so notable, that it were very difficult to find out the seventh day precisely from the world's creation, as to proceed in that account since the late giving of the law; so that, in this respect, the Jews must needs be at a loss in the calculation; and although they might hereafter set apart one day in seven for rest and meditation, yet that this day, so set apart, could be precisely the seventh day from the first creation, is not so easy to be proved.' We are under great obligation to Heylyn for this valuable argument in favour of our view of the question. Here he shows, that even the strictness and particularity of Jewish practice was satisfied with keeping a seventh, and not the seventh. This argument will be of great use to me in a subsequent part of this discussion. The spirit, therefore, of the commandment to be observed, is the keeping of a seventh day, -of one day of seven,-of an insulated day between six days of labour, and six days of labour.

We see clearly, from what I have above quoted from his Grace's pamphlet, that his whole argument turns on the difference between 'a' and 'the.' The definite English article is the pivot of his argument; and the excellence of a pivot depends on the smallness of the point upon which it turns: this, then, is a perfect pivot. I knew a legal person, who was also an excellent grammarian, endeavour to solve the difficulties of a contested will by a critical dissertation upon the possessive pronoun my.' And Dean Swift proved the English language to be the most ancient, by showing that the names of the Grecian heroes were derived from it; and here our author expounds the most ancient language in the world by the meaning of the most modern; he kindly lends the English article to the Hebrew language, because it has none of its own; and Sinai, in a labour of interpretation, brings forth the article 'The.'

I have endeavoured to prove that our observance of the sabbath accords with the spirit of the commandment. And I think also that the keeping of a seventh is as much in conformity with its letter, as the keeping of the seventh. And here I must request of his Grace, who dwells so much upon the command, to keep the seventh day, to show what there is in the Hebrew language to justify him in translating it the seventh, rather than a seventh. Unless he can prove that his is beyond doubt the true translation, he has been building his chief argument without a foundation.

The Hebrew language has no article; that is, it has no separate word or part of speech, as an article, such as the Greek and English languages afford. It has, however, an emphatic letter, which is prefixed to words, to give them a peculiar force or meaning. It is sometimes used like an article; but never with the peculiar force, precision, and limitation of the English definite article. It is frequently applied for other purposes, to which an English article could not apply. It is prefixed to words to which particular attention is directed, of which no notice is taken in our translation: such as proper names of men and places

-as to Adam and Ramah-and also to patronymics; in none of which cases could an English article be used. It is in Scripture sometimes added to nouns, where an article in English would make nonsense. Thus, in Deut. viii. 3, in the sentence "Man shall not live by bread alone,” it is prefixed to the Hebrew word for man, where it is obvious that we cannot place the English definite article. And, accordingly, in the Greek of St. Matthew's Gospel, (iv. 4,) it is simply avopros, without an article. It is also used as a sign of the vocative case. Thus, in "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth!" it is prefixed to the words signifying heavens and earth. It is also added to words, to

show a question is asked. It is frequently used as a relative, and signifies who or which. Sometimes it is an

adverb. It is used also in forming tenses, conjugations, and voices of verbs. Such are some of its varied uses. But to enable it to support the weight of the Archbishop's argument, it ought to have the precise and full meaning of the English definite article, and to be incapable of being either applied or understood in any other manner. I have as good a right to assume that it is added in Gen. ii. and Exod xx., for the purpose of directing particular attention, and giving greater force,-like the cases above alluded to,

-as his Grace has to assume that it is used with the exclusive meaning of the article 'the.' And as we are at liberty to translate the letter of the law one way or other, we are bound to take that translation which agrees with the spirit, about which there can be no doubt.

His Grace endeavours to prove that the sabbath, established by divine command, is abolished; and that a new festival," the Lord's-day," is established in its place, by the authority of the church. I have endeavoured to prove that we are still bound to keep a sabbath, one day in seven, by divine command. And I now proceed to prove that the Lord's day, instead of having been set up as a rival to the sabbath, has been incorporated with it,-so that, on the same day, we may celebrate the rest of Jehovah, after the finished work of creation, and the resurrection and rest of the same Jehovah, after the finished work of redemption.

The following are his Grace's remarks on the change of the sabbath, page 10:-There is not even any tradition to the purpose. It is not merely that the apostle left us no command perpetuating the observance of the sabbath, and transferring the day from the seventh to the first: such a change certainly would have been authorized by their

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