« 이전계속 »
Worship, of public preaching, of public ordinances, was the first day; that is, the first day of the week was the Christian Sabbath in the days of the Apostles. Now this being established every where, shews that the change was made by their authority. And the concurrent testimony of the earliest ecclesiastical writers proves that this became every where the uni. versal practice of the whole Christian church, which has so continued in all places of the world down to the present day. We are therofore fully justified in believing that the alteration was made by the example and authority of the Apostles.
It is well known that the change was made in honour of our Lord's résurrection. Jesus, having gone through the whole work of man's redemption, having finished the work given him to do, rose again from the dead on the first day of the week. That was the foundation of the Christian's hope and joy; that indeed the day in which he could rejoice and be glad. The first day of the week therefore has the honour, doubtless by divine appointment, of being hallowed to the commemoration of the finishing of the work of redemption, or the new creation, and has therefore been emphatically designated, The Lord's Day, as it is termed by St. John in the book of Revelation. A farther honour was put upon that holy day after our Lord's ascension. For it is clear that the day of Pentecost was also on the first day of the week; and on that day, when they were all with one accord in one place, the Holy Ghost came down upon them with the miraculous gift of tongues, and thus the great promise of Christ was fulfilled. Thus the first day of the week, the Lord's Day, is hallowed to the glory of the triune God. It commemorates the Father's rest after the work of creation, the Son's rest after the work of redemption, and the descent of the Holy Ghost, who by his divine influence on the soul enables the believer to cease from his own works, and to enter into his rest.
I proceed now, in conclusion, to shew how this sacred day should be kept.
1. In the first place it is most evident that it must be kept as a day of rest. For this purpose it was instituted in paradise. For this
purpose miracles were wrought weekly while the Israelites were fed with manna.
This is the purpose declared, and the express injunction given on its insertion in the decalogue as the fourth commandment. Man is therefore to cease on that day from all his usual employments and occupations. He is to lay aside all his business, both of the hand and the head. The few works of necessity which must be done
may be done, and by the authority of our Lord “it is lawful to do well,” that is, to do acts of mercy and charity, “ on the Sabbath Day.” But these acts of mercy and charity must be such as can be easily and speedily performed, such as will scarcely break the rest, or hinder the other important duties of the day, such moreover as cannot well be anticipated or postponed, but require instant attention. Whatever of this nature can be done on another day, ought to be anticipated or postponed, that the Sabbath may be wholly reserved for the great purposes of its institution.
2. For be it remembered, in the second place, that the Sabbath is to be kept as a day of devotion. To this it was originally consecrated;
thus it was employed in the Jewish dispensa
and to this it was even still more expressly devoted by the Apostles and their Christian churches. And, Oh! my brethren, if we had but hearts to value it in this respect as it ought to be valued, we should have no time or thought for any mere earthly concerns. Oh no. If we were sincere in our love of God, spiritual in our worship of him, and anxious about our own souls, and their growth in grace and godliness, we should never be doing our own works, or finding our own pleasure, or speaking our own words, on that holy day. Yes, brethren, the Christian Sabbath is set apart for the public service of the great God our Creator, for a devout recognition of the mercies of Christ our Redeemer, and for seeking the divine influences of the Holy Ghost our Sanctifier. Yes, brethren, the Christian Sabbath is appointed that on it we may assemble ourselves together to testify our sense of the duty of religion, to worship God in spirit and in truth, to pray to him and praise him with our brethren, to hear his word, and partake of his ordinances. Oh! it is a blessed day when thus appropriated to its own proper purposes. Oh! it is a merciful boon from the Creator to his creatures, especially in this world of pain and sin. Yes, brethren, the Sabbath was indeed made for man, for his benefit, and comfort, for the rest of his body from toil and pain and the sweat of his brow, for the ease of his mind from care and trouble, and for the sanctification of his soul through the means of grace. Man, and the poor man more than any other, has cause to bless God for the Sabbath, and to feel that he would be deprived of one of his greatest mercies if it were taken from him. Oh then let us all more faithfully and conscientiously devote the day to these great purposes for which God has hallowed it.
3. I observe, lastly, that what we must each one do for ourselves, we must be careful to do for our children, our domestics, our dependents, and even for our cattle, so far as they can participate in the blessings of the Sabbath. Every thing must be so arranged and ordered in our domestic concerns, as that all in our families may enjoy the rest of the day, and partake of