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is obligatory at all times, and among
idl people.

The answer of the catechism un-
der consideration also states, that
" froqathe be||i<ining of the world to
the resurrection of Christ, God ap-
pointed the seventh day of the
week to be the weekly sabbath."
There have been those, however,
who have maintained with much in-
genuity, learning and plausibility,
that the first day of the week was
the day of sacred rest originally
appointed by God; that this ap-
pointment continued till the time
of the Mosaick dispensation; and
that the seventh day of the week
was then appointed to be observed
as the sabbath by the Israelites, for
two powerful reasons, in addition
to that which was given at the be-
ginning—first, that their sacred day
misht be different from that of the
idolatrous heathens, who had learn-
ed by tradition that the first day of
the week was to be set apart for
religious worship, and who ob-
served it for the worship of the
sun, and the other heavenly lumi-
naries^— and secondly, in comme-
moration of the deliverance from

the Egyptian bondage, whicli is
particularly mentioned by Moses
m the fifth chapter of Deuterono-
my, as a special reason why the
Hebrews should remember the sab-
bat^ and keep it holy. It would
follow from this hypothesis, that the
day which Christians now regard
as the sabbath, is that which was
originally appointed by God; and
that the Jewish sabbath was a part
of their ritual, and a departure from
the primitive order, which was re-
stored when the work of our re-~
demption was completed by the re-
surrection of Christ. The learned
and distinguished Selden is the
principal advocate of this svstem;
but as he was a member of the As-
sembly of divines that framed our
Catecnism, he either did not lay his
reasonings and opinions on this to-
pick before that Assembly, or if he
did, the answer before us shows
that they were not adopted. .

The question, you will observe,
relates merely to a cireumgtance^ in
no wise affecting the great doctrine
that a seventh part of our time is
to be regularly and exclusively de-
voted to religious«duties — This v^as
required of the patriarchs and the
Jews, and this it what is still obli-
gatory on Christians. Dr. Dod-
dridge has well observed, that as
morning, poon and night, vary in
different parts of our globe, this of
necessity makes a variation in the
reckoniOg of time, as to the begin-
ning and ending of a day; and that
of course the sabbath does not be-
gin in one place till some hoars
after it has begun in another. Yet
it is one whole day in seven, in re-
gular succession, which all the in-
habitants of the earth, according to
their own reckoning of dajrs, are
required to keep holy— In this con-
sists the essence of the doty : and
it has been justly remarked, that
the benediction of the fourth com-
mandment is not pronounced on
the seventh day from the creation*
but on the sabba^ day, wheresoever,
and whensoever, it is properly ob-

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Lectures on the Shorter CaUcMsntn


served. The opinion which has led
to these remarks was adopted by
the learned Dr. Kennicot^I shall
laj before you his short statement*
to which yon will yield or withhold
your assent, as you may think pro-

The concluding part of the an-
swer before us states, that eve.r
since the resurrection of Christ,
till the end of the world, the first
day of the week is to be observed
as the Christian sabbath. This[)o-
sltion i§ denied by a sect of Chris*
tians denominated Sabbatarians, on
the ground that there is no explicit
command in the New Testament
for the observance of the sabbath
on the first day of the week ; and
therefore that the seventh day, or
the Jewish sabbath, is still to be
held sacred. But we believe that
no principle is more obviously rea-
sonable and just, than that which is
recoffnised m our Confession of
Faith, that what is *< deduced from
scripture by good and necessary
consequence," is of the same vali-
dity as that which is '* expressly set
down in scripture." The Bible
would have been far too large a
book for popular use — it would
have extended to many volumes in-
stead of one— if every duty, with
all its circumstances, had been
made the subject of an explicit
command. Beside, it was mani-
festly the design of God in the re-*
velation of his will, to afford scope
for the exercise of the human facul-
ties, and even to require their dili-
gent and candid exercise, in order
to the discovery of the real mind of
his Holy Spirit, in various parts of
the sacred scriptures. Now we as-
surediv believe, that we can deduce
from the New Testament, by good
and necessary conseauence, that it
is the appointment or God our Sa«
yiour, tnat the first day of the week
is to be observed, from the resur-
rection of Christ to the end of the
world, as the Christian sabbath.

* See note at the end of the lecture.

To be convinced of this, consi-
der —

1. There is evidence that bur
Saviour himself met repeatedly
with his disciples, when they were
assembled together on the first day
of the week, and pronounced a
blessing on them in their collective
capacity. We read, John xx. 19,
**that the same day [on which our
Saviour rose from the dead] at
evening, being the first day of the
week, when the doors were shut,
where the disciples were assembled
for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and
stood in the midst of them, and said,
peace be unto you." And in the
26th verse of the same chapter, we
find that " after eight days fthat is
including the day on which this oc-
currence took place, which was the
usual method of reckoning time
among the 'Jews] again his disci-
ples were within; then gime Jesus,
the doors being shut, and stood in
the midst and said, peace be unto
you." Although in both these in-
stances, it is said that the doors of
the place where the disciples were
assembled were shut, and the fear of
the Jews is assigned as the cause, yet
this does not appear to be the reason
of their meeting together; since they
could much more easily have con-
cealed themselves by keeping sepa-
rate than by coming together. The
doors, it is plain, were shut, after
they came together, to conceal the
place of their meeting. I'he meet-
ing itself appears to have been for
religious worship, and to comme-
morate the resurrection of their
Lord: and he sanctioned this pro-
cedure, by appearing among them
in person, and pronouncing a bene-
diction on them, in two instances,
and these the first, in which they
adopted this practice.

2. It was on the first day of the
week, when the primitive Jisciples
^were all with one accord in one
place," and probably employed in
acts of religions worship, that they
received that great and special sift,
the miraculous effusion of the Holy

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Lectures on the Shorter Catechism*


Ghost, by which they were not only
enabled to apeak at once various
Iangua8;e89 which they had never
learn ea, but fully to understand the
spiritual nature of the Redeemer's
kingdom, and thus to be qualified
to publish the gospel in its purity
throughout the world; and by
which, also, three thousand con-
verts were made in one day, as an
earnest of what might afterwards
be expected. We are expressly
told that this wonderful event hap-
pened on the day of Pentecost, a
day which received its name be-
cause it occurred fifty days after
the second day of the Jewish Pass-
over, or rather of the feast of un*
leavened bread. From this time
they were to reckon seven weeks,
or forty-nine days, to the com-
mencement of the Pentecost— This
would bring them to a Saturday
evening, preceding the Lord's day
morning, so that on this morning —
the morning of the fiftieth day — the
day of Pentecost, in the accurate
language of the sacred historian,
"was fully come." On thi» morn-
ing, we accordingly find the Holy
Spirit was miraculously poured out,
producing all the astonishingeffects,
of which we have an account in the
second chapter of the Acts of the
Apostles. Now, the gift of the
Holy Ghost, after the gift of the
Saviour himself, is the greatest ever
bestowed on our sinful and ruined
race: and when we consider that
this most remarkable and miracu-
lous instance, or exhibition of the
gift, was made on the weekly return
of the day of our Saviour's resur-
rection from the dead, and made
when it is highly probable that the
disciples were m the actual obser-
vance of that day, as a season sacred
to their risen Lord, it seems strong-
ly to indicate that this, in perpetuity,
was to be the Christian sabbath:
that in the religious observance of
this day Christians mi^ht ordinarily
expect that the special influences
of the Holy Spirit would be pecu-
liarly imparted— would be piore

commonly experienced than on
other days — to give a saving effect
to the institutions and ministrations
of the gospel : Nor ought it to pass
without notice, that the history of
the church and our own observa-
tion demonstrate, that the fact has
corresponded with such an indica-
tion—The Christian Sabbath has
ever been the harvest season, in-
which, under the influences of the
Holy Spirit, souls have been
gathered to the Saviour; and the
people of God have been refreshed
and animated in their Christian

3. We have unequivocal evi-
dence that the apostle Paul ob-
served the first day of the week for
religious worship, and directed the
churches which he had planted to
do the same. It is said. Acts xx. 7,
that "upon the first day of the
week, when the disciples came to-
gether to break bread, Paul preach-
ed unto them, ready to depart on
the morrow, and continued bis
speech until midnight." You will
find by consulting the preceding
verse, that at Troas, where this oc-
currenc^e took place, the whole time
of the apostle's stay with the church
there, on this visit, was seven days.
Now, as it is particularly mentioned
that he was "to depart on the mor-
row," he must have arrived among
them in the beginning of the pre-
ceding week; and to. me it seems
highly probable that, although he
was in great haste to reach Jerusa-
lem by the day of Pentecost, be
consented to remain with them over
the sabbath ; that he might have an
opportunity to preach to a greater
number than could be assembled on
any other day, and at the same time
administer to them the sacrament
of the Lord's supper. At any rate,
it is clear from tne text, that it was
a usage in»this church, to come to-
gether on the first day of the week,
to celebrate the Eucharist* and for
other religious services.

Again. In 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2, we
find this record — ^ At I have given

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Lectures on the Shorter CateelMm^


order to the churches of Oalatia,
even ao do ye. UpoD the first daj
of the weeK» let every one of you
lay by him ia store, as God hath
prospered him, that there be no^a-
therinss when I come." It is evi-
dent ^om this passase, that on the
first day of the week, in a large
number of the churches gathered
from among the Gentiles by the
apostle Paul, a religious duty was,
by his order, to be statedly per-
formed—the duty of making a cha-
ritable provision for the poor saints
in Judea, then su fieri ng both by fa-
mine and persecution. The dis-
tance was great between the church-
es of Galatia, in the north-eastern
part of Asia Minor, and the church
of Corinth, in Peninsular Greece;
and here is a duty which was to be
regularly performed, by apostolick
command, on the first day of the
week,in all these Christian churches,
and probably in many others, if not
in all, that had'been planted by this
apostle. The specifick duty was a
contribution for the poor; but the
reason why it was to be done stated-
ly on the first day of the week, is
well explained by Dr. Doddridge, in
the following paraphrase of the pas-
gage — *' When you hold your Chris-
tian assemblies on the first day of
the weekt in commemoration of the
resurrection of our Lord, which has
made that day sacred amongst us,
let every one of you lav something
by, in proportion to the decree in
which, by the divine blessing, he
hath been prospered in his affairs;
and let him bring it with him to
the place of your publick worship;
then h*ea5ttrtfi^ ii up in the com-
mon stock, thZ so it may be ready
in one sum, and there be no neces-
sity of making any particular col-
lections when IcomeJ^ The origi-
nal words, which in our common
version are rendered *'let every
one lay by him in store," Dod-
dridge, yon perceive, translates
«* treaaunng it up," and in a note
he says— "We render it, • let every
one of you lay by him in store.'

But the following words show, that
it was to be put into a common
stock. The argument drawn from
hence for the religious observation
of the first day of Uie week, in these
primitive churches of Corinth and
Galatia, is too obvious to need any
farther illustration, and yet too im-
pHDrtant to be passed by in entire
silence." Now as this epistle to
the Corinthians is directed, not only
to them, but to^^U that in every
place call upon the name of Jesus
Christ," it may fairly be considered
as intimating, that the first day of
the week is to be regarded as the
Christian sabbath, among all people
and "till the end of the world."

4. In Rev. i. 10, we find the
apostle John usin^ these words, "I
was in the Spirit on the Lord's
day." Does anj one, I ask, enter-
tain a doubt which day of the week
the beloved apostle meant by the
Lord^s day? It is manifest that
there was then in the church a day,
which was so well known and dis-
criminated by calling it the Lord^s
day, that no other explanation was
needed to point it out In fact, it
appears that the Christians then,
knew as well as we do now, what
day a writer or speaker intended,
when he mentioned the Lord's day
— and it is equally palpable that
they, as well as we; could mean by
this designation no other than the
first day of the week. It doubtless
was called the Lord's day, because
on this day he rosft triumphantly
from the tomb, completed on this
day the work of our redemption— a
work more arduous in itself, and
more important to us, than * the
work of creation ; and because, for
these reasons, he claimed that this
day should be regarded as his pro-
perty, and should be observed
thenceforth as "the sabbath of the
Lord," in all succeeding genera-
tions. If then the example of the
whole apostolick church, origi-
nating, we cannot doubt, in a com-
mand from the Redeemer himself—
either in the forty days which he

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Victory over the World.


spent with his apostles after his
resurrection, "speaking of the
things pertaining to the kingdom
of uod," or in a communication
made to them miraculouslj bj his
Holj Spirit — for without such au-
thority we cannot suppose they
would have established an obser-
Tan/ce for the whole church — if, I
say, the example of the entire apos-
tolick church, thus originating, and
fortified by such reasons as I have
BOW, in several particulars, laid be-
fore you, is to be an authoritative
guide to us, as it indubitably ought
to be, then is the first day of the
week to be observed, till the end
of the world, as the Christian sab-

NoTB— to which there is r reference at

{)age533. "There is great reason to be-
icve, that the sabbath of the Israelites
was altered with their year at their com-
ing forth from Egypt, and a short atten-
tion to this point may not here be impro-
per. The case then seems to be this.
At the finishing of the creation, God sanc-
tified the seventh day. This seventh day
being the first day of Adam's life, was
consecrated by way of first fruits to God,
and therefore Adam may reasonably be
supposed to have began his computation
of the days of the week with the first
whole day of his existence. Thus the
sabbath became the first day of the week.
But when mankind fell from the worship
of the true God, they first substituted the
Sun in his place ; aYid preserving the same
weekly day of worship, but devoting it
to the Sun, the sabbath was thence called
Sunday. Thus the sabbath of the Pa-
triarchs continue j to be the. Sundi^ of
tiie idolaters, till the coming up of the
Israelites out of Effypt, and then, as God
altered the beginning of their year, so he
aUo changed the day of their worship,
from Sunday to Saturday. The first rea-
son of which might be, that as Sunday
was the day of worship among the idola-
ters, the Israelites would be more likely to
join with them, if they rested on the same
day, than if they were to work on that
day, and serve their God upon another.
But a second reason certainly was — ^in
order to perpetuate the memory of their
deliverunce on that day from Egyptian
slaver}'. For Moses, when he applies the
fourth commandment to the particular
case of his own people, (Deut. v. 15,^
does not enforce it (as in Exod. xx. 11,)
by the consideratloD of God's tcatiDg on


the seventh day, which was the aabbath
of the Patriarchs; but binds it upon them
by saying—" Remember that thou wast a
servant in Egypt, and that the Lord thy
God brought thee out of thence through
a mighty hand, and by a stretched out
arm; therefore the Lord thy God bath
commanded thee to keep this sabbats
DAT." — Kenmco^t Dusertation on Cain
and Abel, p. 184.


{Contimted from pa^e 491.)
It here deseryes, especiallj, to
be remarked, that it is by faith that
we plead and rely on the i^romises
of God, as divine realities; and
thus become invested with superior
strength. Nothing damps the spi-
rits and prevents exertion so much
as despondence. This is as true
in the business of religion as in any
other concern. Now faith, by
giving the mind a fuU beWef in the
power, providence, and promises of
God, inspires it with a strong and
well founded confidence of success.
Trusting that divine aid will really
be aflforded, " to help in every time
of need," the believer is encouraged
to make resistance with vigorous
and determined resolution. Con-
fiding in the <ieclaration that " all
things work together for good to
them that love God," he is not over
solicitous about the consequences
of any action which it is plainly a
duty to perform. Realizing that
his heavenly Father has the hearU
of all men in his hand^ he fears not
« what man can do unto him," and
cheerfully attempts every incum-
bent duty, trusting and looking to
the divine power and Spirit to
crown it with a blessing.

Faith is the reliance of the soul
upon God, and it is to this that the
promise is made—" Whatsoever ye
ask, in my name, believing^ ye shall
receive." As it is an excrcisfe ma-
nifestly suitable and proper in it-
self, so God is pleased with seeing
the creature trust and depend upon
him; and tiier6fore really givf^

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Vidory troer the World.

those aids which, without these
acts of trust and confidence, would
be withholden-^He gives strength,
he gives resolution, he gives cou*
rage, he gives comfort, he animates
and quickens, he supports and up-
holds—He giveth more grace —
more faith. He enables the be*
lieving mind to view still more
fully, and realize still more sensi-
bly, the great truths and objects
which have been described. He
gives the comfortable and sweet re-
collection of the effects of this
grace; till, at length, a victory
over the world is rendered, in a
great measure, habitual; and the
Christian is enabled to 'Mive by
faith and not by sight." He ac-
quires a kind of sacred habit of
looking to eternity, for the motives
and the reward of all his actions*
Faith surrounds hipci with the reali-
ties of a future world, and presses
them on his view. The light of
eternity seems to shifte on every
thing he beholds^ and it appears
little or great, valuable or worth-
less, desirable or detestable, just
as by this light it is represented*

Let us now very briefly ad-
vert to a few particular instances,
in which the truth of our statMfent
is exemplified, that thus it mJf be.
at once, the more clearly illus-
trated and rendered the more prac-

1. An excessive attachment or
devotion to the lawful business or
possessions of the world, shall fur-
nish one example. These, as al-
ready intimated, are most danger-
ous enemies to our spiritual pros-
perity—They are apt to engross
those thoughts and affections which
ought to be employed on higher and
more desirable things. But when
viewed in the li^ht of faith, they
lose their fascinating charms.
Thej appear, not as our portion,
but as our trial. Faith represents
to ua the present life only as " a
pilgrimage'' Let this be made a
reality to the soul, and the riches
of this world will appear desirable,

Vou Yll^Ch. Mv.

chiefly as tney may serve to in*
crease our usefulness, and thus con-
tribute to forward our journey hea-
venward, and to help our fellows
on the road. They will appear
dangerous— awfully dangerous— 4is
far as they have a tendency to make
the believer forget his destination.
He will, therefore, view wealth as
he views a doubtful friend, and will
be jealous how he trusts it with his
affections. The high and unspeak-
able glories of the heavenly state,
which faith presents to his romd, tar-
nish the most splendid possessions
of time — ^I'heir value is sunk; they
appear unworthy of high aff*ection:
— they are seen ilo be base and
mean, in comparison with the pos-
sessions to which the believing
mind aspires. In the light of hea-
venly glory they appear like the
atoms which quiver in the noon-
tide blaze. And even when he
who is in the exercise of faith, is
using his lawful endeavours to ob-
tain a competency of the world, he
will have hi^ heart and affections
on a higher object. Hence, although
he will be active in his proper call-
ing, because it is ornamental to re-
ligion, and necessary to his support
and usefulness in the world, yet be
will be careful not to be absorbed
by it, because he realizes that it is
not his portion, nor the source of
his best enjoyments.

2. It is equally true, on the
other hand, that faith gives its pos-
sessor a victory over the wants of
the world. As it substantiates
eternal things to the soul, it must
of course make the want of those
which are so infinitely inferior ap-
pear inconsiderable. Oh! how lit-
tle, in the vision of that soul which
has an unclouded prospect, and an
humble confident expectation of
the high and holv and endless en-
joyments of the heavenly state, do
the dross and the dregs of time ap-
pear. Then it is seen that there is
but a little — little space— indeed,
before present circumstances will
be a m'ktter of no consideration ;<<«

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Victory over the World.


before it will be found, that to have
loved God and trusted in the Sa-
viour, was all that was essential.
Nor is it any exaggeration to say,
that the poorest Christian, in the
exercise of faith, actually and often
looks with pity on the affluent sin-
ner, whose heart is set supremely
on the pageantry of time; and
thanks, his God, who by assigning
to him a different lot, has taught
him to prefer a better portion.
This is beautifully illustrated in
the close of the TSd Psalm, where
St Asaph describes the manner in
which be obtained a complete and
triumphant deliverance, from a
temptation to be envious at the
prosperous condition of the wicked.
S. The exercise of faith enables
the Christian to get the victory
over the opinions of the world.
When we can have a deep and im-
pressive sense that we are actine
under the immediate eye of God,
irbo approves the action, and have
a firm and unshaken trust thatrhe
will shortly vindicate and reward
it, in the view of angels and men,
the breath of our fellow worms af-
fects us no more, than the passing
stream affects the rock against
which it breaks. The soul ts ab-
sorbed in God:^It is actine for
him, and not for man. It is look-
ing for approbation from heaven,
and not from earth. Man loses
his importance, and God becomes
all in all — Yes, verily, in the lively
exercise of faith, we may go about
the discharge of duties against
which the world clamours ever so
loudly, or reproaches ever so keen-
ly, with an easy and cheerful mind.
We may discharge them not only
with composure, but with comfort.
We may stand unmoved bjr the

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