« PreviousContinue »
That the religious observarce of one day iu seven was a point of main importance under the Jewish and Christian dispensations, is evident, from the very strong terms in which the law commanding its observance is couched; from the anxious repetitions of that law, the judgments which the prophets denounced against its violation, the fulfilment of those denunciations, the strict observance of the Sabbath during the best times of the Jewish polity; and its observance by Christ, the apostles, and the primitive Christians. What is more material,—that the Sabbath was instituted, not as a mere ritual observance, but as an essential article of moral duty, is proved by this consideration, that one of the objects of the institution was-the amelioration of the lot of the laborious part of the creation, animals as well as men.-But the spirit of this admirable institution will be best illustrated, by bringing into one view some of those passages of scripture, whether preceptive, prophetic, or historical, in which the Sabbath is mentioned.
Keep the Sabbath day, to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath coinmanded thee. 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, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates; that thy man-servant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand, and by an outstretched arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.”DEUT. v. 12–15.
“ Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence. my sanctuary: I am the Lord.”—Lev. xix, 30,
“ Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation : ye shall do no work therein; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.”—Lev. xxiii. 3.
“Six days shalt thou do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest, that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid and the stranger may be refreshed.”—Exod. xxii. 12.
“ Also the sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of
prayer for all people.”—Isa. lvi. 6, 7. “ And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias; and when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised ; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”—Luke, iv. 16—19. “ And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath
And the women also which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath day, according to the commandment.”—LUKE, xxiii. 54-56.
“ But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue