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calculations are probably too obscure to be depended upon, it was a manifest commemoration of their escape from the most severe slavery, through the mercies of God, and the frequent exertion of miraculous power. Reflection upon these events, so interesting to the Hebrew race, would bring to their remembrance the mighty works which had been wrought for them by Jehovah, how he led them by an outstretched arm, shewed them signs and wonders, and was for ever kind and long-suffering to a rebellious people, The thought of these things would excite sentiments of grateful piety to the God of their fathers, and as the sabbath commemorated their deliverance from the bonds of Pharaoh, they would naturally, in celebrating it, profess themselves the servants of Jehovah in the peculiar relation of Deliverer, and feel their obligation strengthened to obey his laws.
That the sabbath was instituted partly with the view of being a sign is asserted by the inspired writers: “ The children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a
Some suppose that in Deuteronomy God does not give the reason for the sanctification of the seventh day, but the reason why servants and labourers should have a rest as well as their masters. Boothroyd and others in loc. But see Wagenseil, Tela Ignea Satanæ, p. 560-564.
sign between me and the children of Israel for ever."
As the original word, here rendered “ sign," has various significations, the expression is not without ambiguity; but it seems, in this place, to denote that which distinguishes one thing from another, that which is a mark of distinction, or that by which any thing is known According to this signification of the term, the sabbath was a sign, or symbolum, whereby it was attested that Jehovah was the only God whom the Israelites worshipped, and that they were his peculiar people. In this manner it is explained by the most able commentators, and Mede, Spencer, and others have pointed out the way in which it was a sign between Jehovah and the people of Israel. Though undoubtedly a sign, it was so only in common with the other rites and ceremonies of the Levitical law, all of which were the distinguishing marks of that dispensation. Hence when the sabbath is so described it is usually mentioned in the plural, with an evident intention to include all the other festivals and holy days, which were equally signs under the Mosaic eco
! Exod. xxxi. 16, 17. See Le Clerc în loc,
As for instance Exod. xxxi, 13, Ezek. xx. 12, 20. That this forms no objection to its primeyal institution has been shewn before, chap. ii. p. 45.
The Jewish sabbath being in some respects ceremonial, has been considered as having a typical meaning, and it derives a degree of probability from the general typical nature of the Mosaic or, dinances. A type must have been originally de, signed to be so, of which there can be no indubitable evidence except the declaration of an in: spired writer ; no symbolical design, therefore, ought to be attributed to the sabbath without the authority of the sacred Scriptures. If examined by this test, some notions which have been cur, rent respecting the typical nature of the sabbath will be found to be perfectly gratuitous, and wholly devoid of scriptural foundation. Thus some have imagined it to be a prefiguration of the rest of the body of our Lord in the grave, in which it lay during the whole Jewish sabbath, as also part of the sixth day, and part of the first. Some think that, in respect of the peculiar sacrifices annexed to it, it was typical of the sacrifice of Christ. Some regard it as a type of the spiritual rest which the righteous should enjoy under the Gospel by resting from the burthensome rites and ceremonies of the law; while others consider it a figure or representation of that spiritual ceasing from the works of sin, which Christians should aim at under the law of grace. That the sabbath was designed to be typical in any of these respects no intimation is supplied by the sacred writers; these notions, therefore, must be gum
bered among those resemblances and analogies, which a fertile imagination can easily discover, but which, having no support in the declarations of Scripture, must be discarded with all other idle dreams of fancy.
Again it has been contended that the sabbath is typical of the everlasting rest which the faithful shall enjoy in heaven; and for proof appeal has been made to the discourse of the Apostle in the fourth chapter of Hebrews. This passage, it must be owned, is not without considerable difficulties, and no conclusion can perhaps be drawn from it without some hesitation : nevertheless, there does appear to be no very slender grounds for asserting, on the authority of this passage, that the sabbath had a mystical meaning, and that it was typical of a heavenly rest. These grounds need not now be stated, as this subject will come again under consideration in a subsequent part of this work".
" On the typical character of the sabbath. See Mather, On the Types of the Old Testament, p. 445.; Shepard, Theses Sabbaticæ, P. 2.9 21.; Owen, Exercit. iii. 56.; Wright, Treatise on the Lord's Day, cap. v. sect. 6.; Edwards, Theol. Reformata, vol. ii. p. 444.; Bishop White, Treatise on the Sabbath, p. 168.; Burnet, Lett. 2da annexed to his Archæologiæ; Deylingius, Obs. Sacræ. P. v. Diss. 32. 89. Diss. 33. $ 4.; Witsius, Æconom. Foederis, lib. i. cap. vii. $ 13. ; Lightfoot, Works, vol. ii. p. 1320. et seq.; Buxtorf, Syn. Jud. p. 331. and Florileg. Heb. p. 299.; Whitby, Abresch and Wetstein on Heb. iv. 9. and A. Clarke on Exod. xx. 10. and Col. ii. 16.
Inquiry whether the Sabbatical Institution was to survive,
or to be abrogated with, Judaism.
Having now investigated the peculiarities of the Jewish sabbath, our attention must now be directed to the important question, whether it was to be abolished along with the peculiar rites of Judaism. It is often argued that the sabbath, having been incorporated by divine command among the laws of Moses, necessarily ceased with the extinction of that polity. The argument is specious, and is, in fact, the palladium of the anti-sabbatarian cause. A strong impression was once made by it upon the author of these pages, at an earlier period of his life; and, as it is calculated to have a similar influence upon the minds of others, it deserves a serious consideration.
That the Hebrew ritual, with its typical rites and emblematical ordinances, was superseded by the introduction of Christianity, is a truth which