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seven days. And on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow." From this it is clear that the first day of the week was the day on which they were accustomed to meet for public worship. To break bread is known to express the observance of the Lord's supper. Seven days had passed without any such assembling of the church at Troas. But on the first day of the week they kept the communion, and Paul was their preacher. Again in the beginning of the sixteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle refers to the same custom. He there says, "Now upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." Here also it is evident that the first day of the week was the day on which the Corinthian church assembled together; and from the preceding verse it appears that the same was the practice of the churches in Galatia. Thus at Troas, at Corinth, in Galatia, and in short wherever churches were formed, their day of public
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 universal practice of the whole Christian church, which has so continued in all places of the world down to the present day. We are therefore 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 resurrection. 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 dispensation; 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