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days. They hailed its return with holy joy, and met it down upon their knees. The fisherman had spread out his net, the hunter returned from the chase, the husbandman brought his labor to a close. The rude voice of the teamster and the rattling of the carr had ceased. The cottage within and the village scene without, was full of peace and tranquillity. The closet, the family altar, and the house of God, bore witness to devout meditation and solemn prayer. All nature seemed pervaded with, holiness to the Lord. The very stranger was struck with solemnity and awe, and the scoffing sinner forced to stop in his career of sin, and turning his thoughts inward, think awhile upon eternity. It was indeed a blessed day. Even now, while recalling it to mind and endeavoring to transport myself to the past, I seem to mingle with angels and have a foretaste of the joys of Paradise. But alas ! this sacred day has gone. No silent, prayer-breathing Sabbath seems to dawn upon our world. The rude voice of the teamster and the rattling of the car, disturb the devotion of the pious few, and their way to the house of God is interrupted by the party of pleasure and the driving of the furious charioteer, in which sometimes the professor of religion is known to participate.
Shall we ask for the cause of this alarming desecration of the Sabbath? The answer by implication, has already been given. The professor is a professor only by name. Or he has mingled with an unhallowed world until the delicate susceptibility of his conscience is gone, and he ceases to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Or he has accustomed himself to false modes of reasoning respecting it, until he really believes the Sabbath day was abolished by Christ and his Apostles; and hence, feels himself under no obligations to keep it holy. Luther himself, the great reformer, reasoned very loosely respecting the Sabbath ; and his mode of reasoning has been followed by the pious in Germany with all its deleterious effects, down to the present day.* England is filled with the doctrines and disciples of Paley and others like him ; and America has drank largely from both these' fountain heads of this error, and made great additions to the draughts of her own. What Christian can think of this state of things, without anguish of heart? It would not be so, were the church of Christ holy as she professess to be. The sweet Sabbath of our fathers would be brought back again and
* Luther and his followers, while they hold it in some sense obligatory upon them to keep the Christian Sabbath, place it upon the same foundation as ihe festivals of their church in this respect.
made universal. The holy example of the righteous would produce a hallowed effect upon sinners, and bring them to feel like Satan, “how awful goodness is." Such a change will most evidently take place, before, " From one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh come to worship before the Lord," and the world itself experiences one continued and universal Sabbath of rest. One of the first steps of this reformation is evidently, to bring Christians to feel, not merely the expediency of keeping the Sabbath, but the divine obligations they are under to keep it; to point out to them the will of God in respect to the Sabbath. To those who are free from all bias of prejudice or education, the language of the Bible will appear sufficiently plain upon the subject. Even such, however, may derive great benefit from a perusal of Wilson's Seven Sermons on the Divine Authority and Perpetual Obligation of the Lord's Day, and various treatises referred to, in the Pastoral Address prefixed to that work, while others may receive lasting benefit from it. With no work, however, that treats professedly upon the Sabbah, have we been better pleased than the one by Mr. Gurney, the title of which is placed at the head of this article, and from which several of the preceding suggestions have been chosen. The author of it, though a member of the society of Friends, has published several books on the subject of religion, particularly, “Essays on various Religious Topics," and a series of dissertations, entitled, “ Biblical Notes and Dissertations, chiefly intended to confirm and illustrate the doctrine of the Deity of Christ ;" the first of which was published not long since in the Biblical Repository. Of this last, a review in the London Christian Observer for November, 1831, says : “ The respected author is already advantageously known to the public by his Essays; but he will now take a yet higher place. That work elevated him above the peculiarities of the religious body to which he belongs, and ranked him amongst the ablest defenders of our common Christianity and of the great truths of which that revelation consists. Our readers will have observed in that volume, the prominence given to the great articles of the Divinity of Christ, and the Atonement of his death. These articles are pursued in the present publication, which will raise the author to a yet higher rank' amongst solid, able and learned Theologians.” The little volume before us is exactly what we should expect from one thus accredited for his correct views and skill in Biblical criticism. It is not presented to us in the uninviting form of sermons, but in the more desirable form of brief re
marks; and, in the language of the American editor, has the distinguished advantage of being short, pithy, argumentative and perspicuous; and, though interwoven with much solid learning, is for the most part intelligible to the great mass of the community. It consists of four chapters, a conclusion, and an Appendix. The first chapter treats of the Patriarchal Sabbath, the second of the Mosaic Sabbath, the third of the Jewish Sabbath, and the fourth of the Christian Sabbath. The conclusion contains some bints respecting the proper manner of keeping the Sabbath, and the Appendix a few additional and valuable notes by the American editor. A quotation or two from the conclusion will serve to show the spirit of the writer.
" It is, indeed, a powerful argument for the divine authority of this institution, that as on one hand, a conspicuous blessing rests on the use of it, so on the other, the neglect or perversion of it, never fails to be followed by vice, misery and confusion. I'ngodliness is the worst of all foes to moral virtue and civil order,-to decency, harmony and happiness of society; and ungodliness and Sabbath-breaking act and react. The former naturally leads to the latter, and the latter confirms and aggravates the former.
Every one who is accustomed to communicate, in our jails and other such places, with the refuse of society; -with the most abandoned and profligate of men,-must be aware that Sabbath-breaking is, very commonly, a first step to every species of crime. Nor was the curse which rests on the neg. leci and abuse of the Sabbath, much less conspicuous, when an attempt was made to remodel the law and to alter its proportions. The sages of the French Revolution, as the reader is probably well aware, substituted one day of rest in ten, for one in seven. And what was the consequence? So great a degree of wretchedness, that the people were driven by mere ne. cessity, speedily to take refuge again in their ancient practice." pp. 99—100.
We should like to enlarge ouir quotations from this work, but must close. Every pious heart will rejoice at its re-publication in this country, and peruse it with attention. May it be extensively circulated, and serve to remind Christians of the pledges they have taken to keep the Sabbath, or lead them to enter into such pledges. Motives of awful weight urge upon us the great question of which it treats. Our individual prosperity, the welfare of our nation, the conversion of sinners, the enlargement of the church, the regeneration of the world, all hinge upon the Sabbath's being considered and treated as a divine institution of universal obligation.
To the Committee of the Revival Association in the Theo
logical Seminary, Andover.
In examining the narratives of those glorious revivals, with which God was pleased to visit our churches, at the commencement of this century, my chief difficulty has been that of selection. The brevity which I at first prescribed to myself, it soon became apparent, would be inconsistent with any adequate view of the main facts and principles, which came within the range of observation. To the historical sketch of these facts and principles, which I have aimed to give with fidelity, I shall now subjoin some general remarks. In these, special regard will be had to my younger brethren in the ministry, and to the members of our beloved Seminary, who expect soon to become guides to souls. Should the opinions which I shall now express, on any doctrinal or practical points, contravene the views of others, they will, I trust, be weighed with candor; and only
I . so far as they are found to be scriptural and reasonable, are they entitled to any regard.
My first remark is, that Revivals of religion exhibit the sovereignty of God in its true light, as connected with the best encouragement to fidelity in Christian ministers. VOL. VI.-NO. VII.
There is a kind of Antinomian Orthodoxy, which abuses the doctrine of divine sovereignty, by so representing man's dependence on it, as virtually to excuse him from all obligation to obey the Gospel. A minister, who believes that there is no independent efficacy in means to convert sinners, may gradually transmute this unquestionable truth into error ; and may preach as though he believed God to be in such a sense a sovereign, that there is no connection whatever between a faithful, powerful exhibition of the truth, and the sanctification of men's hearts. Such views doubtless he may honestly cherish, from reverence to God; but they tend to paralyze his own ministrations, and to spread the slumber of death over his hearers.
There is, on the other hand, a presumptuous Orthodoxy, which virtually denies the sovereignty of God; and maintains that every faithful preacher will certainly be successful in converting his hearers. The ground really taken is, that the result depends entirely on human instrumentality, and not at all on the sovereignty of God. This tends to cherish ministerial pride and vain glory, when success is granted, and utter discouragement when it is with held.
What then do we mean by God's being a sovereign ? Not that he acts in any case without reason ; but that he acts without disclosing the reason to us. He acts as a sovereign too, where he is at liberty as to his own promise, or as to the immutable principles of rectitude, to do the thing or not to do it. A sinner repents. God is not a sovereign in forgiving that sinner. He is bound to do it by his word. God sustains his church, so that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it ; but he is bound by promise to do this. So it is never said, “Whom he will he justifieth, and whom he will he condemneth," because the justification of a believer is a judicial proceeding, governed by principles entirely distinct from sovereignty. But effectual calling stands on the footing of strict sovereignty ;-so that here," he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” When it is said then, that a "faithful preacher of the truth will certainly be successful,” some explanation is needed. Is it meant that the truth by its own inherent efficacy will convert sinners? Then no interposition of divine sovereignty is required. Or has God promised to give his truth this converting efficacy, whenever it is faithfully preached? Still he acts, not as a sovereign, but as he has bound himself to act.
What do we mean by a faithful preacher ? Certainly not that he is a perfect man, or a perfect pulpit orator. Not that he preaches as much truth in one sermon as Paul sometimes