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tion, could be deemed labor; as from dressing meats, from travelling beyond a sabbath day's journey, or about a single mile. In the Maccabean wars, they suffered a thousand of their number to be slain, rather thau do any thing in their own defence on the sabbath day. la the final siege of Jerusalem, after they had so far overcome their scruples, as to defend their persons when attacked, they refused any operation on the sabbath day, by which they might have interrupted the enemy in filling up the trench.
After the establishment of synagogaes (of the origin of which we have no account) it was the custom to assemble in them upon the sabbath day for the purpose of bearing the law rehearsed and explained, and for the exercise, it is probable, of publio devotion. “For Moses of old time bath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” The seventh day is Saturday; and agreeable to the Jewish way of computing the day, the sabbath held from six o'clock on Friday evening, to six o'clock on Saturday evening. These observatio Plng premised, we approach the main question, Whether the command, by which the Jewish sabbath was instituted, extend to us ?
If the divine command was actually delivered at the creation, it was addressed, no doubt. to the whole human species alike, and continues, unless repealed by some subsequent revelation, binding upon all wbo come to the knowledge of it. If the command was published for the first time in the wilderness, then it was immediately directed to the Jewish people alone ; and something farther, either in the subject, or circumstances of the command, will be necessary to show, that it was designed for any other.
It is on this account, that the question concerning the date of the institution was first to he considered. The former opinion précludes ail debate about the extent of the obligation the latter admits, aud prima facie, induces a belief, that the Sabbath ougbt to be considered as part of the peculiar law of the Jewish policy.
Which helief receives great confirmation from the following argument :
the sabbath is described as a sign between God and the people of Israel: “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout ibeir generations, for a perpetual covenant; it is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever." Exod. xxxi. 16, 17. Again, “And I gave ibem my statutes, and sbewed them my judgements, which, if & man do, he shall even live in them ; moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign: between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezek. 8x. 11, 12. Now it does not seem easy to lipderstand how the sabbath could be a sign between God and the people of Israel, unless the observance of it was peculiar to that people, and designed to be so.
The distinction of the sabbath is, in its nature, as much a positive ceremonial institution, as that of many other seasons which were appointed by the levitical law to be kept holy, and to be observed by a strict rest; as the first and seventh days of unleavened bread; the feast of pentecost; the feast of tabernacles; and in the twenty-third chapter of Exodus the sabbath and these are recited together.
If the command by which the sabbath was instituteel be binding opon Christians, it must be binding as to the day, the duties, and the penalty; in none of which it is received.
The observance of the sabbath was not one of the articles enjoined by the Apostles, in the fifteenth chapter of Acts upon them; “which, from among the GenTiles, were turned upto God."
St. Paul evidently appears to have considered the sabbath as part of the Jewish ritual, and not obligatory upon Christians as such : “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, vbich are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ." Col. i 16, 7.
I am aware of only two objections which can he op. posed to the force of these arguments : one is that the reason assigned in the fourth commandment for baltor
ing the seventh day, viz. “because God rested on the seventh day from the work of the creation," is a reason which pertains to all mankind; the other, that the command, which enjoins the observance of the sabbath, is inserted in the decalogue, of which all the other prepepts and prohibitions are of moral and universal obligation.
Upon the first objection it may be remarked, that although in Exodus the commandment is founded upon God's rest from the creation, in Deuteronomy the condmandment is repeated with a reference to a different event : “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God : in it thou shall not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-ser! vant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, por the stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou; and remember that thou srast à servant in the land of Egypt,aud that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence, through a mighty band, and by a stretched out arm; therefore, the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day." It is farther observable, that God's rest from the creation is proposed, as the reason of the institution, even where the institutiov itself is spoken of as peculiar to the Jews ;-“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations,for a perpetual coyenant : it is a sigo between me and the children of Is. rael forever ; for in six days the Lord made beaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” The truth is, these different reasons were assigned to account for different circumstances in the command. If a Jew ioquired. why the seventh day was sanctifed rather than the sixth or eighth, his law told him. because God rested on the seventh day from the creation. If he asked, why was the same rest indulged
to slaves, bis law bid him remember, that he also was a * slave in the land of Egypt; and, what the Lord his God brought him out thence.” In this view the two reasons are perfectly compatible with each other, and with a third end of the institution, its being a sign be
tween God and the people of Israel ; but in this view ► they determine nothing concerning the extent of the obligation: If the reason by its proper energy had constituted a natural obligation, or if it had been mentioned with a view to the extent of the obligation: we should submit to the conclusion, that all were comprehended by the command, who are concerned in the reason. But the sabbatie rest being a duty which results from the ordination and authority of a positive law, the reason can be alleged no farther than as it explains the design of the Legislator; and if it appear to be recited with an intentional application to one part of the law, it explains his design upon no other; if it be mentioned merely to account for the choice of the day, it does not explain bis desigo as to the extent of the obligatione.
[To be continued.),
MISCELLANEOUS.. Å periodical work, entitled “The Unitarián Miscels. tany," published monthly at Baltimore, by James Web ster, at the annual price of one dollar and fifty cents, was commenced last January. We have received four numbers, all of, wbich contain: 192 duodecimo pages, and have derived much pleasure in perusing them. We little expected to meet with so many of our own ideas, 90 happily expressed. and vindicated, as we find the work contains.
The Rev. Walter Chapin, a Congregational minister, has lately commenced a small periodical work in Woodstock, under the title of “Evangelical Monitor," which appears to be chiefly devoted to the ipterest of foreign missions.
We bave just received the pleasing intelligence that oor bretbren in Portland bave come to the conclusion, that the interest of truth io that capital, requires that a new Meeting house be ereeted for the use of the Un versalist Society ; and that the ground is purchased, and the plan of the house drawn. May kind Providence send them success, and shadow them with his wings of love.-Uni. Magasine, April 28.
A new Society has been recently formed at Cambridgeport, professing the doctrine of universal salvation, through the divine favor, manifested in Jesus Christ, who is lord of all.-ib.
Another society has been recently formed in New London, N. H. who are desirous of participating of the word of life.
In Montville, Con. March 251b, Miss Elizabeth Beckwith committed suicide, by hanging herself : being under the impression that she could not obtain mercy, through the merits of a Savior.
Reader, this is not the tendency of Calvinism, but the actual consequence !!!-N. Y. Gospel Herald.
We understand Brs. Ballou and Turner are publish, ing a new collection of psalms and hymns, to be entitled Universalists' New Hymo Book.
DEATHS Died at Reading, April 9th, Mr. ISAAC REED, aged 70. His funeral was attended by the Editor.-Sermon from Isai. lx. 19,
At Alstead, N. H. May 8th, Mr. THOMAS DBNSMORE, Jr. o the 24th year of his age.
A short Poem in memory of Doctor DANIEL JENISOX, an emi
nent physician in Hartland in this State, who departed this life on the 19th of last November ; designed also to eabrace remarks of condolence to the widow and his only daughter about 6 years old. This useful man was removed at the age of 38.
Sacred to thee, thou friend of human kind, These lines with hearts impressive are design'de Remov'd from time and eaeh surrounding illy We mourn to lose tby kind and ready skille