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sense and appetite ; but to rest and rejoice in
the contemplation of their Father and their God,
and set apart that one day in the seven to forget
the toils and labour, sorrows or cares of the past
week, to rise up from the chains in which sen-
sual pleasures may have held them, and rejoice
that day in remembering the Lord and seeking
to realize those spiritual joys and blessings which
await the true believer in the world beyond the

Already sanctified by a miracle, yet the Sab-
bath of the Lord must be still more emphatically
set apart ; and in the midst of thunder and light-
nings, when the earth quaked, and the clarion
from heaven sounded long, and waxed louder
and louder, the same awful Voice that forbade
idolatry, and murder, and adultery, and theft,
also said, " Remember the Sabbath day to keep
it holy." From the master to his slave, even to
the stranger, whatever might be his faith, to the
ox and ass, all were to rest, all were to hallow
and to bless that day.

Four times, in addition to the two already men-
tioned, do we find the Sabbath day emphatically


enjoined, not only in connexion with others, but
spoken of and enforced alone. What can be
more emphatic than the 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and
19th verses of the xxxi. chapter of Exodus, where
we also see what is omitted in the command-
ment, namely the awful chastisement which
awaits the breaker of the Sabbath ? " Every one
that defileth it shall surely be put to death ; who-
soever doeth any work therein, that soul shall
be cut off from among his people ;" and thus not
only temporal but eternal death is threatened,
that, if the cords of love are not sufficiently
strong to bind us in holiness unto this solemn
day, the chains of fear shall urge us to obedience.
And not only do we read the threat of punish-
ment, but its fulfilment, in the death of the
Israelite found gathering sticks on the Sabbath
day. It was not so much the act it was the sin
of disobedience ; and therefore those little things,
some are apt to imagine, can be no harm, can
be no desecration of the Sabbath, are sinful in
the sight of God, for they are disobedience or un-
belief in the truth and sanctity of His word.

And again was the holiness of the Sabbath
day proclaimed when the Lord passed before
Moses and revealed His glory and His attributes.
In that awful hour when the Eternal stood in a
cloud, in communion with His faithful servant,
when the reflection of His radiance, thickly


veiled as it was, fell upon Moses till his face so
shone no man could look upon it: even then
was the holiness of the Sabbath enforced. And
Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, we find re-
peating and enjoining it again and yet again.
With the sole exception of the commandment
prohibiting idolatry, we find the fourth repeated
and enforced more often than any other which
the decalogue contains. If the Sabbath be disre-
garded, the feasts and fasts our holy law enjoins
must also fall ; for they are described and given
as days of holy convocations, as Sabbaths of rest
and rejoicing in all our dwellings ; and if we
refuse to keep the Sabbath, the first and holiest
of all, how may we hope adherence to the other
festivals can be accepted ?

In Nehemiah we find the desecration of the
Sabbath severely and justly censured as one of
the most fearful effects of the captivity ; and the
vow to sanctify it by refusing to buy and sell or
do any business on that day, was one of the very
first proofs of repentance which the elders of the
people demanded. In Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel,
the three greatest and most important prophets,
we not only find how the anger of the Lord had
been excited by the disobedience of the fourth
commandment ; but to lead us once again to Him,
to turn us from our iniquities His never failing
mercy, His unutterable love, held forth gracious


promises of salvation, of blessings as unnumbered
as undeserved, if we would but " turn from doing
our own pleasure on His holy day, and call the
Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honour-
able, and shall honour Him, not by doing our
own ways, finding our own pleasure, speaking
our own words," and glorify Him by hallowing
His Sabbath.

How much then does the Sabbath include!
Not only is it an everlasting covenant between
Israel and their God, not only is it a witness
to other nations of the truth and beauty of the
word of God ; but on our observance of it as that
word of God commands, on our remembering it
in very truth to bless and keep it holy, depends
in a measure the redemption of our scattered
and sorrowing race, the coming of that blessed
shepherd who, inspired and summoned by the
Lord, " shall gather the lambs with his arms,
and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently
lead those that are with young."

And when we think on this, when we see how
much depends upon our own efforts, our own
prayers, when serious contemplation, aided and
quickened by the spirit of the Lord, has enabled
us to realize the deep solemnity, the awful sanc-
tity of this glorious day : shall we think it enough
merely to abstain from doing what we have been
taught is wrong? enough merely to read our


morning prayers and weekly portions, and with
the books put aside all thoughts of our Father
and His works ? enough to tell our children
they must not work, nor write, nor cut, nor ride,
and yet leave them to amuse themselves as they
like best, without one thought of Him whose
day it is ? enough to contrive to attend some
Friday night assembly, without riding or being
driven there f Shall we think it enough to pass
the Sabbath hours at a race, or public breakfast,
or afternoon concert, if we can contrive to do so
without using our cattle ? enough to pass the
day in doing our own pleasure ? Oh surely not !
surely, if meditation and prayer have done their
work, we shall feel these things are not enough
to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
And yet it need not be a day of gloom. True
religion, the faith of Moses and David, knows
not sadness the Sabbath may be a day of re-
joicing, and yet holy unto the Lord. If we have
little time during the six days of labour, then it
is well for us to think of Him, to realize His
presence and His love, to talk of Him to our
children, to exalt Him in His works, His attri-
butes, His word, to speak of Him in our homes,
till our domestic hearths become His temple, to
recall His providence, His blessings of the days
just past (for is there one day in which He
cares not for us?) to look within ourselves and


deplore that which we have left undone, and
praise Him for all that we have done, to read
books which will lead our thoughts to rest on
Him not sermons alone, whose very name
sometimes terrifies the young, but tales, that
through the pleasant medium of well selected
fiction, would lead the youthful spirit to contem-
plate his God, and adore His never ceasing love,
and trace His providence in the events he reads
for what are tales of domestic life but relations
" of the thing that hath been, or that which shall
be ?" to assemble around us every beloved mem-
ber of our domestic circle, whom the week-days
may have seen toiling on their separate ways :
and feel that various as may be the dispositions,
the tempers, sympathies, virtues, and faults,
there is yet one golden link that binds them to-
gether, one faith, one God, one universal love
for Him and acknowledgment of His unceasing
care. We all know these things cannot be on
the days of labour, not at least to the extent for
which the awakened spirit yearns. How blessed
then the Sabbath day which is thus employed !
Begun and concluded in prayer, evening, morn-
ing, and evening again ; every beloved member
of each household hearth, from the aged man to
the lisping infant, meeting in solemn prayer, in
addressing Him, or communing with His word ;
and the intervening hours employed in all that


would enable us to realize His presence and His
love this is remembering the Sabbath day to
keep it holy ; this would be regarding it as it
was intended, a type, though a faint one, of that
rejoicing rest* and fadeless pleasures which are
at the right hand of God for ever more.


Beautiful, most beautiful is the injunction
contained in the fifth commandment, touching
even in its brevity, heart-speaking in its simple
eloquence, proving simply, yet forcibly, that na-
ture by herself was not sufficient for the young
to honour their parents; for had it been, this
command would have been omitted.t Why is
it that the decalogue speaks not, commands not,
aught relative to the duties of parents to their
children? Because there the yearnings of nature
are sufficient, there natural affection is enough ;

* So also says the prayer : " May He who is most merciful,
cause us to inherit the world which is entirely good, and the rest
in the life everlasting." Indeed, according to the opinions of our
doctors, the Sabbath is an emblem of the repose and felicity of the
righteous in paradise ; and its noiseless observance has been bor-
rowed by the Nazarenes for their weekly rest. I. L.

f Without dissenting entirely from this view, (and as editor I
am not called upon to state in every passage whether I agree with
the author or not,) I will merely remark, that, even granting that
nature alone demanded in its full extent obedience to the paternal
will, the sanction of the will of God would not be superfluous ;
since His sanction would add holiness to the effect of natural feel-
ings, and thus He would bless us for obedience, provided it pro-
ceeded from pure motives, although by it we were but gratifying the
finer feelings of our own disposition. I. L.


for so deep, so intense, exhaustless, is a mother's
love, that its figure is frequently used to demon-
strate the love borne to us by our Father in
heaven ; His love alone exceeds it. " Can a mo-
ther forget her sucking child, that she should not
have compassion on the son of her womb ? Yea,
she may forget, but I will not forget thee."

The Eternal knew the nature of His crea-
tures. There was no need to bid a mother
cherish her child ; but the wild exuberance of
youthful spirits, the desire to fling aside all ap-
pearance of parental yoke, the liability to forget
in manhood the love, the cares, lavished on
helpless infancy, even setting aside selfish in-
terest or false pride, all these needed the precept
to honour our parents. Nor sorrow, nor poverty,
nor even the absence of all attractive qualities,
will shake, nay, perhaps they will rather in-
crease a mother's love. It matters not that
marriage or other circumstances remove her
children from her hearth ; they cannot remove
them from her heart. Seas may roll between,
and long years pass ; still, still, it matters not ;
stronger than death maternal affection lingers
to the end ; and though age and its attendant
evils may diminish bodily strength or mental
resources, yet if sickness, or sorrow, or shame,
be the portion of her beloved ones, is she not



the first to fly to them still ? But lovely as is the
perfection of filial love, its nature is not thus
constant, thus devoted ; if it were, we should
not meet with children whose better education,
or more prosperous ways have raised them to a
higher rank than that in which they were born,
often fearing to confess their lineage ; we should
never hear of neglect or unkindness on the part
of the child, of ingratitude, forgetfulness of duty,
till silently, and the cause unsuspected, the pa-
rent's heart bleeds and breaks. These things
have been, though their occurrence may be rare ;
but they have been ; even the book of life will
provide us with examples, proofs, that there was
a cause for the fifth commandment, or it would
not have been given. If the love of a child for
his parent were as perfect as his parent's love
for him, there would have been no more need to
give directions for the conduct of the one, than
for that of the other ;* and therefore it is wrong
to dismiss it disregarded as a command all must
obey, if they would not be hated and contemned

* There are nevertheless directions for the conduct of parents
towards children to be met with ; one, preeminent, is the duty of
imparting religious instruction, or in other words, fitting them to
hecome servants of the Lord, and this precept is contained in the
very words of the Shemang, " And thou shall teach them diligently
unto thy children ;" another relates to the exercise of equal justice
to all the children of a man, for which see Deut. xxi. 17. I. L.


as monsters of nature. It is not always obeyed,
even when gross or palpable disobedience to its
beautiful ordinance is most carefully avoided.

Continued blessings of whatever nature very
often render us insensible, if not quite uncon-
scious of their existence ; and therefore is it,
that we frequently find the deep anguish in-
flicted by the death of a parent painfully ag-
gravated by the thought, the full value of the
blessing was never known till it was lost ; and
instances of neglect, unkindness, disobedience,
rise up to appal us, and we wonder they could
ever have appeared so small as to blind us to
their recurrence. Death in connexion with a
beloved object is an awful subject of contempla-
tion ; yet would it be better sometimes to dwell
upon it thus, and permit its recollection, sor-
rowing as it is, sometimes to check the ebulli-
tion of ill temper or ill will, sometimes to rouse
the indolent and calm the impatient, than allow
it to come upon us unawares, and bear from our
detaining grasp a blessing which, when with
us, we knew not sufficiently to value which we
loved not, obeyed not, revered not as, when past
away seemingly for ever, we feel we ought.

It may be, that the constant intimacy, the un-
interrupted intercourse, and the regular employ-
ments of home, deaden us to the sense of all we
owe our parents. It may be, that we receive


their tender cares, their unceasing love, as
things of course, which are too common to be
felt, too necessary not to be missed ; and the
unselfish devotedness, the patient assiduity, be-
stowed on helpless infancy, on all its little griefs,
and sufferings, and tempers the time, labour,
fortune, often health, expended on opening
youth, to store the mind with seeds of intellect
and wisdom, to bestow every pleasure, sympa-
thise in every grief: these things are not always
recalled at a time when they might urge on to
more active, more endearing obedience to the
fifth commandment. Gratitude, affection, re-
spect, obedience, all are included in the word
honour. Yet not one of these beautiful attri-
butes of youth will come of its own accord.
That is not love, which consists in passive com-
panionship. It is an ever active principle urging
on to those little attentions, to the silent desire
to alleviate care, to give pleasure, to obey a
wish even before it is expressed, to save from,
or insist on sharing fatigue, to those numberless
little offices of kindness which love feeds upon
even as it excites. Gratitude is not a mere
name ; it is the deep sense of all we owe our
parents, of all they have done, are still doing for
us, heightened and hallowed by filial love. Re-
spect surely will not fail us, if we meditate on
their age, their experience, those qualities in


individual character, which have excited our
love long before we could define them. Obedi-
ence is seemingly the most difficult of all the
duties enumerated ; yet, why should it be so ?
We cannot truly love, if we can hesitate one
moment to give up our own wishes for the gra-
tification of theirs, to abstain from a desired
pleasure, because their experience knows its
folly and its hollowness, and their love would
shield us from its excitement and its pain. We
cannot be truly grateful if we feel no desire, by
the sacrifice of our own wishes, when obedi-
ence demands it, to return, as far as is in our
power, all that they have done for us.

And yet to honour our parents needs no ex-
traordinary effort, no public display ; obedience
to the fifth commandment is best proved around
our domestic hearths, and in little things. The
influence of real affection, of that true unselfish
love which parental care demands, is silent and
invisible, and only felt, and only known by the
peace and joy it throws around. Childhood
may implicitly obey, and by a thousand little
winning arts, endeavour to show its love ; but
youth it is which can best evince it. When the
powers of thought, and intellect, and observa-
tion have shaken off the sluggish sleep, which
chained them in childhood, when the affections
begin to feel their depth, and warmth, and solid



education arid graceful accomplishments have
heightened the playful vivacity of childhood, by
the addition of more lasting charms : then it is
youth can best prove its love. Perhaps the
health and vigour of our parents are then be-
ginning to decline, whilst youth with buoyant
heart and bounding step ascends the hill of life,
by a path which knows but sweets and flowers,
which fancy decks with such bright and glisten-
ing hues, when hope is smiling and beauty
points upwards to the radiant summit, where
glory, honour, fame, stand ready to enfold him
with their lucid rays ; perchance the tender
guardians of his infancy are beginning to de-
scend that path which, rough and craggy, offers
no allurement and ends but in eternity, whose
golden promises are sometimes but faintly traced
through the blackening shades that gather round
the dream of death.

Then it is, we should indeed honour our
parents, and by untiring attention, watchful
thought, prompt obedience, and willing submis-
sion, evince our gratitude and love.

The principal comforts and joys of home de-
pend on youth. Care may have graven its deep
furrows on the brows which in our childhood
had been gay ; disease may have fretted the
temper which in former years had been serene
and joyous : then is it the grateful task of youth,


by innocent gaiety and invisible efforts, to drive
away care and bring forth smiles, to soothe the
pains of disease and restore peace and comfort.
Nor are these duties difficult to be performed.
It is but to desire to obey the fifth commandment,
to think how best to evince our love and grati-
tude to the beloved guardians of our infancy,
and we shall not fail. Often are the duties of
domestic life neglected from mere thoughtless-
ness, from the received opinion it matters not
how we behave at home, so we conduct our-
selves with propriety abroad. Yet were half the
labour now expended to please the world, to ob-
tain the hollow applause of strangers, given to
increase the joys and comforts of our homes, to
obtain the praise and rivet the love of the near-
est and dearest to us on earth : how changed
would be many a domestic scene. Those accom-
plishments, those graces of the mind so often
regarded as by far too precious to be employed
for the benefit and recreation of a domestic
circle, to whom do we owe their attainment and
their cultivation but, under our God, to our
parents ? and to them their first fruits are due.
Oh ! if the young daughters of Israel, for on
them even more than on their brothers depends
the comfort of home, would reflect on these
truths, trifling, unimportant as they may seem :
how beautifully would they show forth the glory


of the God of Israel through the perfection of
His law, and draw down upon their own heads
the blessed reward promised to the observers of
the fifth commandment, " that their days should
be long in the land which the Lord their God
giveth them." The land of promise may be no
longer theirs ; but if they need the promise of a
reward, let them fear not, but believe, and they
will find it in heaven.

And are there yet other commandments which
can bear upon those social and domestic duties
peculiar to individuals of refined habits and cul-
tivated minds? Even the ninth and tenth may
be unconsciously and thoughtlessly disobeyed,
unless the spirit of piety have purified that
grosser part of our frame, have released the soul
from those heavy chains of corruption and sin
which surround and stifle that glorious image of
God in which He made man.

Covetousness or envy is not only a vice in it-
self, but it is always the commencement of
grosser crimes ; and therefore the Lord in His
infinite wisdom and mercy warned us against
this root of evil. We ENVY persons, we COVET
things; yet their meaning is so similar, their
effects so very much the same, they may well be
regarded together. In persons of a lower grade,
of irregular passions, of unrestrained tempers,
and uneducated minds, the disobedience of the


tenth commandment leads to the committal of
all the crimes which the sixth, seventh, eighth,
and ninth prohibit and include. In more refined
society it tempts to those numerous petty arts of
provocation, rivalry, slander, and scandal, which
at once lower and debase the transgressor in his
own eyes, and those of his fellow-men, and expose
him to the wrath of his God, not the less certain
because as yet deferred and unseen.

" We are, in the first place, guilty of bearing
false witness, when we say things to the dispa-
ragement of another which we know to be un-
truths ; this is most properly styled calumny.
Next to this is the raising or spreading scanda-
lous and injurious reports without sufficient evi-
dence, or upon slight and doubtful grounds.
Next come those loose imperfect accounts picked
up by officious tale-bearers, who are so eager to
get and propagate a new story that they are
easily deceived, and must of necessity lose or
pervert many material circumstances. Another
branch of the vice here prohibited is detraction ;
for we are most evidently guilty of bearing a
false testimony against our neighbour, when we
derogate from his general worth or endeavour to
lessen the particular merit of his good actions ;
and lastly we must individually involve ourselves
in the same guilt, when we aggravate another's


And whence do calumny, scandal, detraction,
originally rise 1 Most frequently from an unac-
knowledged dislike of others that, if traced to its
source, might be principally discovered arising
from the poisoned springs of envy, that we covet
their superior station in the world, their wealth,
their capabilities of doing what they please ;
or we envy the superior grace and beauty of
.person, the expansive intellect, the exalted vir-
tue, the estimation in which they are held by
their fellow-men. Why do the highest moral
characters, the most consistently religious, find
so many enemies, so many detractors in this
world 1 Why has it become almost a proverb
that the lowly followers of God's law, the sin-
cerely good, so seldom meet with the love of the
majority in the world? Why are their smallest
actions observed and cavilled at, their words and
manner turned, if possible, into weapons of
scandal and detraction ? Why ? because envy
is unsuspectedly and silently at work ; because,
unknown to the detractors themselves, envy is
the secret cause of their undefined, perhaps un-
acknowledged dislike, or that they unconsciously
covet some advantage which they may possess.

Guardedly should the human heart be watch-
ed, that forgetfulness of the tenth commandment
find not entrance through its many openings, its
many avenues, to sin. The evil which its dis-


obedience includes cannot be summed up, can-
not be encouraged by the thought that " so far
it shall go and no farther." Once entertained,
and the barriers of a naturally good disposition
and unstained morality fall at once before it,
and it rushes on. ending but in eternal anguish.
Truth, a strict, unfaltering adherence to truth,
will guard from a breach of the ninth command-
ment. Truth, not consisting in the non-utter-
ance of, or non-acting on a deliberate falsehood ;
but truth, that beautiful attribute of morality
and piety, which originally sprung from and
ends in love and reverence for Him, whose most
glorious, most consoling attribute is that He is
a God of TRUTH ! But to obey His other com-

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