Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that

I may dwell in the house of the Lord, &c. Ps. xxvii. 4. A day in thy courts is better than a thousand. Ps. Ixxxiv. 1, 2. 10. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and

be glad in it. Ps. cxviii. 24. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house

of the Lord. Ps. cxxii. 1. There remaineth a rest for the people of God. Heb. iv. 9. They rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, &c. Rev. iv. 8.

Pray for and expect a blessing on this day; for though the Christian endeavours to serve God truly all his days, yet on this day his service is more especially delightful to him.

Consider what a blessing is the institution of the Sabbath. If it were not for this day, religion would soon disappear, and all its ordinances be neglected. Duties which men are at liberty to discharge when they please 800n come to be utterly neglected. The very people who complain of want of time to attend to the concerns of eternity on other days, grudge giving the Sabbath to this purpose. Is the care of the soul, then, so trifling, that one day in seven is too much to devote to it? God has allotted us a sufficient portion of time for all our worldly business, without interfering with his own day. days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do."

Sabbath-breaking is a very hardening sin: it frequently leads young persons to keep bad company, and prepares the way to the commission of all sorts of crimes. Many persons whose offences have brought upon them the punishment of death, have attributed their dreadful end to Sabbath-breaking! Beware how you suffer yourselves to be drawn into so dangerous a course!

May the Lord of the Sabbath keep us from incurring that punishment with which he visits those who profane it, and teach us to call and feel it a delight. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto

them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath-day? Did not our fathers thus, and did not God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel, by profaning the Sabbath. Neh. xiii. 17, 18.

NOTE.

THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH. The following most striking and able remarks on the perpetual obliga. tion of the fourth commandment, and the propriety of Christian usage in relation to the day for its observance, are from a sermon of the Rev. Isaac Milner, D.D., the author, in connexion with his brother, of

Milner's

[ocr errors]

day.

Church History. The view which he presents appears to be beyond the reach of reasonable objection, while it " leaves in their full force,as has been remarked, “all those subsidiary considerations which have usually been chieflý relied on,-such as the uniform practice of the Christian Church from the primitive times--their meetings on the first day of the week, recorded in the New Testament-and the remarkable expression of the last of the canonical writers, who calls it the Lord's

* The Jews," says Dr. Milner, “could never have determined from the fourth commandment on what day their first Sabbath was to be kept. It says, Six days shalt thou labour, and on the seventh thou shalt rest: which implies no more than that, after six days' labour, the seventh was to be a day of rest, and to be kept holy. Therefore I maintain, that in the sense of the fourth commandment, the Christian Sabbath' is as much the seventh day as the Jewish Sabbath was the seventh day. It is kept after six days' labour, as that was: and it is the seventh day, reckoning from the beginning of our first working day, as well as their Sabbath was the seventh day, reckoning from the beginning of their first working day.

"Moreover, the reason given in the fourth commandment why there should be six working days and then a resting day, is a reason which re. mains in full force under the Christian dispensation ; namely, because God himself set the example of working six days in the creation of the world, and then resting on the seventh day. It is in the proportion of our time -namely, one part out of seven-dedicated to rest and to sacred pur. poses, in which the essence of the commandment consists: the day when we begin to compute, abstractedly considered, is of very little con. sequence. There may, indeed, be circumstances sufficient for the de. termination of the commencement of the Sabbath-day; nor can any thiug be conceived more satisfactory than the account I have just given of the commencement of the Jewish Sabbath, at its revival, on account of the passage of the Israelites through the Red sea. They adhered to the divine original institution of six days of labour and one of rest; and on their first day of rest they commemorated their deliverance from slavery. The real day being lost

, in all probability, it must then have undergone a change. The shadow was of no moment, when the sub. stance was preserved.

"The very same things may be said of the Christian Sabbath : The real day of the week, reckoning from the creation, had long been utterly unknown, and was probably irrecoverably lost; and it was changed again, for reasons worthy of being engraved on the heart of every grate. ful, rejoicing Christian-namely, the resurrection of our Lord from the dead-hiş victory and triumph over death and sin, and his rising again for our justification. But never forget, that no change whatever was made in the principle on which the original commandment rested; which commandment, by its appointment, was divine, substantial, reasonable, and important in its very essence, and evidently founded on the relation in which man, as a dependent creature, stood to his Maker and Benefactor from the first moment of his existence.

<

ON THE COMMANDMENTS.

§ 6. FIFTH COMMANDMENT. The first four commandments, which we have already considered, make up the first table, and instruct us in our duty towards God. We now come to those contained in

the second table, which teach us what is our duty towards our neighbour. Genuine piety is the surest spring of kind, dutiful, and benevolent feelings and actions towards our fellow creatures; and the performance of relative duties is the best trial of true godliness.

That he who loveth God, love his brother also. 1 John iv. 21. How many Commandments belong to the second table ?

The last six.
What in general is your duty towards your neighbour ?

To love him as myself, and to do to all men as I would they should do unto me." Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Lev. xix. 18. Matt.

xxii. 39. All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do

ye even so to them. Matt. vii. 12. What is the fifth Commandment?

Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Surely we owe the utmost affection and attention to our parents, whom God has, by natural relationship, placed so immediately over us. What does this conmandment imply?

It includes the duty which we owe not only to our parents, but to all our superiors.

1. “To love, honour, and succour my father and mother.” He that smiteth or curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely

be put to death. Exod. xxi. 15. 17. Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father. Lev. xix. 3. Every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely

put to death. Lev. xx. 9. If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not

obey the voice of his father or his mother, all the men of his city shall stone him with stones that he die. Deut. xxi.

19-21. Cursed be he that setteth light by father or mother. Deut.

xxvii, 16. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the

law of thy mother. Prov. i. 8, 9; vi. 20. A fool despiseth his father's instruction. Prov. xv. 5. Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put

out in obscure darkness. Prov. xx. 20. Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy

mother when she is old, &c. Prov. xxiii. 22-25. The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his

mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. Prov. xxx. 17.

God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother. Matt.

xv. 4–6. Mark vii. 10. 12. Honour thy father and thy mother. Matt. xix. 19. Luke xviii. 20. Honour thy father and mother, which is the first commandment

with promise. Eph. vi. 1, 2. Children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well pleas

ing unto the Lord. Col. iii. 20. We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we

gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjec

țion ynto the Father of spirits and live ? Heb. xii. 9. How are you to discharge your duty in this respect ?

1. By obeying their commands.
2. By bearing with their infirmities.
3. By attending to their instructions.
4. By submitting to their correction.

5. By endeavouring to promote their comfort and wel. fare,

Scripture furnishes us with some striking proofs of filial affection, as well as with several base instances of unkindness and disobedience to parents, and the signal punishment by which God showed his hatred of such conduct. A curse was pronounced on Ham for exposing his father's

weakness, and a blessing on Shem and Japheth, because they refused to join in the contempt he showed. Gen. ix.

22-25. King Solomon's respectful conduct to his mother. 1 Kings ii. 19. A promise to the Rechabites for their obedience to their father,

Jer. xxxv. 17-19. Jesus came to Nazareth, and was subject to his parents. Luke

ii. 51. The affectionate attention of Jesus to his mother, while nailed

upon the cross. John xix. 26, 27. Disobedience to parents is mentioned by St. Paul as one of the worst instances of depravity. In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be

disobedient to parents, &c. 2 Tim. iii. 1, 2. 2. We are to honour and obey the civil authority, by living quietly in obedience to the laws, and paying proper respect to rulers, magistrates, and other persons by whom this authority is exercised. Thou shalt not curse the ruler of thy people. Exod. xxii. 28. According to the sentence of the law, thou shalt do. Deut.

xvii. 11. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. Prov. viii. 15. Jesus said, Render unto Cesar, the things which are Cesar's,

Matt. xxii. 21. Mark xij. 17. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is

no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God,

Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves

damnation. Rom. xiii. 1, 2. For, for this cause pay ye tribute also; for they are God's minis

ters, attending continually upon this very thing. Rom. xiii, 6. Render, therefore, tribute to whom tribute is due ; honour to

whom honour. Rom. xiii. 7. I exhort that prayers be made for kings, and for all that are in

authority ; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all

godliness and honesty. 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to

obey magistrates. Tit. iii. 1. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's

sake; whether it be to the king as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him, &c. For so is

the will of God. 1 Pet. ii. 13-15. Fear God. Honour the king. 1 Pet. ii. 17. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 2 Pet. ii. 10. These filthy dreamers despise dominion, and speak evil of dig

nities. Jude 8. 3. “To submit myself to all my governors, teachers, spiritual pastors," i. e. ministers of God's word and ordinances. Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and

stewards of the mysteries of God. 1 Cor. iv. 1. Receive him (Epaphroditus) therefore in the Lord with all

gladness; and hold such in reputation. Phil. ii. 29. Know them which labour among you and are over you in the

Lord and admonish you; and esteem them very highly in

love for their work's sake. 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour,

especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 1 Tim.

v. 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves;

for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy. Heb. xiii. 7. 17.

Reverence them, as Joash, king of Israel, did the prophet Elisha, (2 Kings xiii. 14,) and as Elisha himself'did his master Elijah, and especially if they can say of you as St. Paul could of the Corinthians, (1 Cor. iv. 15,) In Christ Jesus have I begotten you through the Gospel. When the Jews mocked the messengers of God, and despised his word, and misused his prophets, the wrath of the Lord arose against his people till there was no remedy. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 16. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God.

1 Thess. iv. 8. And our Lord says, He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you,

despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me, Luke x. 16.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »