« PreviousContinue »
cond chapter, it seems altogether more, from a little after the death of Moses to probable, that every seventh day was the days of Jeremiah: that important kept by the patriarch and his family as seal of the covenant not being so much a Sabbath ; and this accounts for the as once mentioned, or even alluded to, division of time, by him and his posteri- in the history of that period, including ty, into weeks.
more than 800 years.
Will it be mainThe same division is again incidental- tained, can it be believed, that all the ly mentioned, by the sacred writer, in |pious kings, together with the whole the 29th chapter of Genesis. Ful-Jewish nation, for eight centuries paid no fil her week, said Laban to Jacob, and regard to a kdown command of God, we will give thee this also, (i. e. Rachel,) || requiring every male to be circumcised? for the service which thou shall serve with To be consistent with themselves, all me yet seven other years. And Jacob those must adopt this incredible suppodid so, and fulfilled her week. That the sition, who infer that mankind were left week here referred to consisted of seven without a Sabbath, for more than twendays, inust, I think, be obvious to eve. Ity-five centuries, merely because the ry one, who will take the trouble of com observance of the Sabbath is not particparing this passage with others, in both ularly mentioned, in the sacred history Testaments, where the same word oc-||of that period.
And this furnishes presumptive Upon the whole, then, it is cheerfully proof, of no inconsiderable weight, that submitted to the candid reader, whether one day of the seven, in each week, the objection, which I have been conwas known and kept as a Sabbath. But|| sidering, must not be given up; first, besupposing that no allusion whatever to cause the institution seems to be frethis sacred institution were to be found quently alluded to in the inspired recin the history of the patriarchs, it would lords of patriarchal tinies; and, secondly, not only be extremely illogical to infer, because if it were not thus alluded to, that they had no knowledge of it, since, the silence of those records could not in a history so very concise, millions of possibly prove any thing against the exevents must necessarily be passed over istence of the institution. in silence; but the argument has this ad To proceed :—That the Sabbath was ditional misfortune, that if it proves any instituted in Paradise, and not in the wil. thing it proves too much. It equally derness, I argue, proves, that the Sabbath was entirely First, from the words of the inspired unknown and unobserved, from the days penman, already recited. Having told us of Joshua to the reign of David, do what was done on the first and each sucmention being made of it, in the history ceeding day of the creation to the sixth of that period. If mere silence be tak- and last, he proceeds in the same tense, en for proof, in the former case, it must and without giving the least intimation in the latter also. If, on the other hand, that what follows is spoken by 'way of the highest degree of probability for-anticipation, to record the important bids the inference, that the pious Judges fact, that on the seventh day God rested of Israel paid no attention to God's holy from all his work, blessing and sanctifyday, potwithstanding their observancelling the day, on account of his having of it is not mentioned, on what principle thus rested. Now, if the divine examcan it be inferied, that the Sabbath was ple, in resting on the seventh day, was not appointed till 2500 years after the of any significancy to men: if it was decreation, and that it is mentioned by signed for their imitation; then it became Moses, in the second chapter of Gene their duty to rest one seventh part of the sis, not as having commenced in para-time,-and to observe every seventh dise, but in the wilderness?
day as a Sabbath. And if God's resting Equally fatal to this favorite argu-was a reason why they should rest, then ment of Dr. Paley and others on the his resting on the first seventh day, was same side of the question, is the silence a reason why that day should be their f the inspired volume, respecting the first Sabbath.
ervance of the rite of circumcision, Again; God blessed the seventh day
itor: srt was 80 why they don't
and sanclified il. That is, he separated || seventh day could not have been defer-
that in remembrance by stated festivals, or if the latter event is spoken of by way other demonstrations of rejoicing. The of anticipation, so is the former. In othcommemoration in each case, commen-er words, if we suppose Moses to speak ces at, or near, the time of the event, in the second chapter of Genesis, not of
which it is designed to perpetuate. How what actually took place on the seventh ** extremely improbable, that the appoint-day of the world, but of what was done
ment of a day, to commerborate the cre-after the lapse of thousands of years, then ation of the world, should form a solita- we must suppose him in the first chapry exception! But if it does not form anter, to speak of the sun and moon, not exception, then the Sabbath was ordain as being created on the fourth day, but ed and sanctified from the beginning, at some future and distant period. The which was the thing to be proved.
same must be supposed of what is said I flatter myself, that on this ground I to have been done, on each of the six
might safely rest the argument. Put a days, employed by God in the work of 112 Te few brief remarks, on the supposed anti- creation: and so we shall be constrain
gring cipation of the passage in the seconded, out of regard to consistency, tự con- her than 2.8.2 sfat follows is puta! chapter of Genesis, may serve still fur. sider the sacred historian as representcervetulity for salcipation, to record mother to expose the weakness of the oping the heavens and the earth as brought
farz, that on the seventh dar bu posite side of the question. If the Sab- into existence by nay of anticipation. se it to bird'a holy from all his work, blezing and bath was not instituted, till after Israel's
That the Sabbath was not given to Isve-tea-remanering the day, on account est emancipation from Egyptian bondage, rael in the wilderness, as a new instituantot pake thue rested. Now, if the bike what occasion had Moses to say anytion, and of course, that it was institutit sou w** ple, in resting on the serent e thing about it
, when writing the history ed in paradise, I argue, ons sero te of any signifeancy to me:** of what took place between two and
Secondly, from the address of Moses is sent by signed for their imitacion: the fine three thousand years before ? Could the to his bretliren on the subject, in the 1 oldater sebe their duty to rest one zerent per placing of events, (which were, on the sixteenth chapter of Exodus, connected inmenrsat in lime--and to observe every scheme here opposed, so remote from with what immediately precedes that ad
each other,) side by side in the history, dress. The Lord had given the people serve any other purpose, than to mislead manna for bread; a quantity of which, and perplex the reader? It will not, I sufficient for one day's consumption,
surely, be pretended, that the mention they were directed to gather every mecting the institut
of God's blessing and sanctifying the morning. This they did, till the sixth samcinon, dalis type
day. And it came to pass, that on the || balh was made for man. The obvious sirth day they gathered twice as much meaning of this is, that it was appointed bread, two omers for one man : and all for the use and benefit of the whole huthe rulers of the congregation came and man family ; and, if so, it must have told Moses. And he said unto them, this been from the beginning. The Sabbath is that which the Lord hath said, To-was made for man; for man in every morrow is the rest of the holy Subbalh age and under every dispensation.unto the Lord : bake that which ye will concerning the proof which this text bake to-day, & seethe that ye will seethe, furnishes, of the perpetuity of the Saband that which remaineth over lay up bath, I shall have occasion to speak for you, to be kept unlil the morning. more particularly, in my next number.
The first thing worthy of remark in I would only infer from it here, that if this passage is, that without any order,|| the Sabbath was made for the benefit of or direction, so far as appears, the peo- all men, it is unreasonable to suppose, ple gathered twice as much manna on that its institution was deferred till the the sixth day, as on either of the prece time of Moses, or indeed, that it was ding. How shall we account for this,| deferred a single week, after the creabut by supposing, that the Sabbath hadtion of our first parents. been previously instituted, and that they Fourthly, the testimony of a great had some idea, at least, of the nature many profane writers might be adduced, and design of the institution. Why, on which could scarcely fail to lead the any other supposition, should they gath-mind to the very same conclusion, at er the food of two days in one ; and which I have aimed, in all my precewhy if they did, should they wait till ding observations. I shall not howerthe sixth day before they made this er, detain the reader long with quotadouble provision for themselves and tions, deeming it unnecessary. their families. But if they had any Josephus the Jewish historian, affirms knowledge of the Sabbath at that time," that there is no city, either of Greeks it is certain, that it was not then first or or barbarians, or any other nation, where dained; and, of course, that when Mo-the religion of the Sabbath is not ses told them, in the next verse, To-known.” morron is the rest of the holy Sabbath Philo says,
" that the Sabbath is not unlo the Lord, he spoke of it, as an in a festival peculiar to any one people, or stitution already existing, and not as country ; but is common to all the then for the first time made known to world; and that it may be named the mankind.
general and public feast, or the feast of This supposition is not a little the nativity of the world.” strengthened, by the language, in which The learned Grotius, after quoting the Jewish lawgiver addressed the con- several very ancient authors, and a, gregation on the subject. This is that mong the rest Homer and Hesiod, say s which the Lord hath said, To-morrow is," that the meinory of the creation's be(not to-morrow shall be,) the rest of the ling performed within seven days, was holy Sabbath, f-c. This is not the man- preserved, not only among the Greeks ner, in which a lawgiver would speak, and Italians, but among the Celts and in appointing any new festival, or other Indians, all of whom divided their time commemorative observance ; but it is into weeks.” The same is affirmed by precisely as men naturally speak of ex- other authors, of the Assyrians, Egyptisting institutions. In strict proprietyians, Arabians, Romans, Gauls, Britons we say, that to morrow is the Sabbath, || and Germans. although the day is yet future, because How is this remarkable agreement in it is an old institution ; but if there nev- the practice of nations so reinote from er had been a Sabbath and to-morrow | each other, and between many of were to be consecrated on the first day whom little or no intercourse ever exisof holy weekly rest the lawgiver would ted, to be accounted for? Will it be pot say it is, but it shall be, the Sabbath. said, that they were indebted to the
Thirdly, Christ tells us that the Sab- Jews for it? By whom, let me ask,
was it borrowed from that despised peo-prrccire the entire consistency of this, ple?
Would the Egyptians permit with other plainly revealed truths. Perthemselves to be instructed, by a nation i haps, too, this doctrine has sometimes whose civil and religious instiintions been so stated, hy very pious and learnthey abhorred? Would the Assyrians? ei advocates for the doctrines of grace, Would the Arabians ? Would those in their zeal for the sovereignty of God, proud and mighty masters of the world,' as to be an occasion of stumbling to the Greeks and the Romans? No. Aftreir friends, while it has given their adfar more rational solution of the prob- versaries soine advantage. lem is, that the division of time into A leading objection to this doctrine weeks, together with some knowledge has ever been, ihat, if it be true, then no of the sabbath, was handed down from grace has been manifested to the nonthe family of Noah, through all its rum. elect, in the gift of a Saviour; in the aerous branches, and then, in process of tonement he has made ; or in the offer time, spread over the greatest part of|of salvation to them, in the gospel ;the world, in the same manner as tradi- whereas the scripture representation tional accounts of the general delare certainly is, that great grace has been have found their way among all nations. inanisested in these things. Could tliis This solution leads us directly back, ohjection be fairiy substantiated, it far beyond the age of Moses, & furnish- would, indeed, go so far towards invales strong collateral evidence, that the idating the truth of the doctrine. If, then, Sabhath was known to the antediluvi- the doctrine be so stated, by its advoans, and of consequence, that, accordl-cales, that this objection will lie, unaning to the plain account of the sacred swerably, against their statement, great historian, it was instituted in paradise. advantage is given to the adversary.
Z. X. Y. It has not been uncommon for those,
who have undertaken to defend the TAE SCRIPTURE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION doctrines of grace, to represent the elect
as being chosen,not merely, as the scrip. It is a very plainly revealed truth, of|tures express it, “ to salvation, through great importance in the christian system, sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of that soine of our fallen race were, “from the truth ;" but, also, as chosen, that the beginning, chosen to salvation, Christ might die for them, and make throngh sanctification of the Spirit, and atonement for their sins, and for theirs belief of the truth; " or, elected, ac-only. But it must be very obvious, that, cording to the foreknowledge of God if the atonement made by Christ were the Father, through sanctification, unto for the sins of the elect only, then, in obedience, and sprinkling of the blood making the atonement, there could he of Jesus Christ.” It is not truc, as mano act of grace to the non-elect. BCny seem to hold, that some are chosen sides, if Christ were set forth a propitiato salvation, because they were previ- tion for the sins of the elect only, then, ously sanctified; but, they were “ chos-in what he has donc and suffered, no en to salvation, through sanctification.” I provision has been made, in any sense, They are elected, not because they for the salvation of the non-elect; and, were previously obedient; but," unto surely, then, there can be no grace in obedience." As this doctrine of elec- the gospel offer of salvation to them.lion inakes the salvation of sioners de- In this case, were they even to repert pend, nut on him that willeth, nor on and believe the gospel, they could not him that runneth, but, on the sovereign be saved by Christ. Against this view electing grace of God, it is very offen- of election, therefore, it seeins evident, sive to the carnal heart, and has, per-| the objection must be valid. Hence we haps, been opposed with more unchris-may safely conclude, that this view of tian zeal and virulence, than almost any the doctrine is not agreeable to scripture. other truth of the gospel. Nor has it It is readily concluded, however, that, always been easy, even for apparently had it seemed good in the sight of God humble disciples of the Lord Jesus tol to exercise his holy sovereignty in this
way, it could have been no ground of|| election perfectly harmonize with these objection against his glorious cbaracter. things, and is, therefore, consisient with If, contemplating men merely as trans- ij this manifestation of grace to the nongressors of his law, he had elected some,elect. and determined to give his Son to die Those who urge the objection in quesfor them only, leaving others to perish, tion, against the doctrine of election, without making any provision for them, || sometimes concede, and no one, surely, in any sense, he would have done the can reasonably deny, that, had God sent latter no injustice. He might still have his Son into the world, to die, and make appeared glorious in holiness. But,|| atonement for the sips of all men, and what is contended for is, that, in this had he offered salvation to ail men, on
there could be no grace to the non-| the terins on which it is offered in the elect, in the gift of the Savior, in the a- gospel, without doing any thing more to tonement made by him, or in an offer effect their salvation, this would have of salvation to them, through him. And been an act of grace, even though all therefore, that it is evident this is not had refused the offer, and perished in the way, in which he has exercised his their sins. Now, whatever inay be the sovereignty, in regard to the redemp-truth, respecting election, so much at tion and salvation of sinners. Because, least, God has actually done. He has according to the scriptures, he has done given his Son to die, as a propitiation this in a way, which is consistent with a for the sins of the whole world; and, gracious offer of salvation to the non-| through him, salvation is freely offered. elect.
The invitation given is universal. It is When we open the Bible, we there also true, that, this being done, singers find, that“ God so loved the world, that universally reject the salvation offered. he gave bis only begotten Son, that They all, with one consent, begin to whosoever believed in him should noi|| make excuses, and will not come unto perish, but have everlasting life.” That Christ, that they may have life. Hence Christ“ gave himself a ransom for all.” if notiving more were done, to effect the That," by the grace of God he should salvation of sinners, they would all certaste death for every man. And that an tainly perish together. Unless God apostle, addressing lis christian breth-were pleased to make farther displays of ren, says, si lle is the propitiation for grace, to these rebellious and ungrateour sins ; and not for our sins only, but|ful creatures, not one of them would be also for the sins of the whole world.”- saved. If, in these circumstances, God Accordingly, the gracious invitation were pleased to send forth his Spirit to is addressed to all, indiscriminately. Irenew the hearts of all men, and to “ Come unto me, all ye that labor, and grant them repentance unto salvation, are heavy laden, and I will give you resi.”||this would be another great display of “ Whosoever will, let him take of the grace to all; but it would neither inwater of life freely." And the promise crease, nor diminish, the grace, which is, “ Him that cometh to me, I will in he has already manifested, in giving his no wise cast out.” We are also plainly Son to be a propitiation for their sins, taught, that, if sinners now perish, it will and offering salvation to them, through be, not because no atonement has been him. This would remain the same. made for their sins, and no door of sal- ||If, then, instead of sending his spirit to vation opened before them; but, be- renew the hearts of all men, and to bring cause they will not come unto Christ, them into a state of salvation, he be that they might have life. It is “he, pleased to send him to renew the hearts who believeth not," who “ shall be of part of them only, and to grant salvadamned.” In all this, it is evidently tion unto them, leasing others to follow inplied, that there is great grace mani- the natural inclinations of their hearts, fested, even to those who will finally and to continue in their ungrateful re. perish, in the provisions of the gospel, jection of Christ, and his salvation; and in the offer of salvation to them. Un- here is another wonderful act of grace questionably, the scripture doctrine of to those, in whom this good work is ef,