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our time, and talents, to his service. By his power we are made, by his care preserved, and by his bounty fed. What rebellion, what ingratitude, if we do not present ourselves, our souls and bodies, a living sacrifice, which is our reasonable service! Shall the child throw off its duty to the parent without reproach ? shall the thing formed lift up its hand against him that formed it ? shall we live to ourselves, who did not make ourselves? or to the world, which was made for us, not we for it? or to the devil, who has ruined, and would utterly destroy us? Rather, while we live, let us live unto the Lord, remembering that over and above the claim which arises from our creation, he has another, even yet greater, founded upon our redemption. He made us, and when we had destroyed ourselves he redeemed us; redeemed us too with the precious blood of his dearly beloved Son, so that we are not our own, for we are bought with a price. Therefore let us glorify God, in our bodies and in our spirits, which are his. Thus only shall we answer the end of our creation ; and thus only will it eventually
be a blessing to us. If we live without the fear of God, servants to sin, better had it been for us if we had never been born; for thus we shall fall under the final wrath of God, and be doomed to eternal punishment
Let us then be zealous candidates for glory, and honour, and immortality. Our bodies must die, because of sin. Out of the dust we were made, and unto dust must we return; but our souls may live, may live eternally, in the presence and glory of our Maker. Be this the object of our most anxious desire, of our most earnest pursuit.
DIVINE INSTITUTION OF THE SABBATH.
GENESIS ii. 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.
The great eternal Creator of all things has a right to the service of all his creatures, and he who set “lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night, and to be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years,” may well claim for himself such portions of these days and years as he sees fit. It has pleased him to claim a seventh. Every seventh day is to be set apart by man, that he may remember his God, and ceasing on that day from all his usual earthly toil, may appropriate it to the solemn worship of his Maker.
The work of creation, as we saw in the last sermon, had proceeded for six days, and was then finished ; and God "rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had made.” Not that he required rest as one that was weary, but he ceased from any further exercise of his creating power. In token thereof he appointed that day to be a day of holy rest for man, that, while he gazed on the works of creation, and ate its fruits, he might never be forgetful of the glorious Creator. In the foundation of the world, therefore, was the Sabbath ordained. To the first man, in his dwelling of paradise, before sin entered, the Sabbath was given, and stands as the first appointment of God unto his creatures. Hence it is of universal and perpetual obligation. While the races of mankind proceed in succession from Adam, and while the works of creation continue to stand before their eyes, the rest of the Sabbath must remain as a part of their duty, a holy day to be observed by all their generations, so long as the sun and moon endure.
That the observance of the Sabbath is of
universal and perpetual obligation, appears to me most evident from the place in which the institution of it is recorded, the words in which it was appointed, and the purpose for which it was given. It is here mentioned in the very beginning of the sacred oracles, immediately on the creation of the first man, from whom all succeeding generations should spring. It is given in the simple terms of narration, as a continuation of the manner in which God was pleased to exert his power. What he did on the first day, and the second, and the third, and the fourth, and the fifth, and the sixth, and the seventh, is recorded in regularly successive order, and one unbroken series of narrative. There is not the slightest intimation that any longer space intervened between the sixth and the seventh day than between any two of the preceding, and all the circumstances are evidently related in the order and time in which they occurred. Moreover, the rest of the Sabbath is commemorative of God's resting from his work of creation. Therefore the appointment naturally begins immediately after the