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fore be injudicious to found an argument on it in reference to the present question.

Discarding testimony of so dubious a character, we may rely upon the before-cited passages from Isaiah, the first of which clearly, and the other two most probably, predict the continuance of the sabbath under the gospel dispensation. They are not, however, to be received as isolated passages, having no mutual bearing and relationship: they reflect light and strength upon each other : and any one of them being proved to foretel that the sabbath was to continue under the dispensation of grace, confirms, in no trifling degree, the same interpretation of the others. Considered in their combined evidence and force, no rational doubt can remain that, agreeably to the predictions of the evangelical prophet, the sabbath was an institution designed to last to the termination of this sublunary scene.

To the inquiry which has formed the subject of this section, whether the sabbath was to survive, or to be abrogated with Judaism, a satisfactory answer may now be returned, for let the conclusions which have been already established be recapitulated, and candidly considered.

It has been proved in the former part of this work; that the sanctity of the seventh day, was originally declared by the Almighty upon finishing the work of creation, and that the command was addressed to the whole human race. In the present chapter it has been shewn, that, notwithstanding its being adopted into the Hebrew ritual with some peculiar rites and observances, which have been briefly described, it did not thereby become a mere Jewish festival ; that, while these sites and obseryances were necessarily abrogated along with the polity of which they constituted a part, all that is essential to the sabbatical institution survived; that its sanetity, being anterior to, and independent of the law, did not cease with Judaism ; that seyeral circumstances in regard to the sabbath, even under the Mosaic economy, designated it for a perpetual ordinance; and that there are express intimations in the Old Testament that the sabbath was to be revived under the new.covenant which the Lord God would establish in the latter days. So far, then, from being annulled by the dissolution of the Levitical law, it received additional sanction from its adoption into that law,

Thus in tracing the history of the sabbath, through the period of the Patriarchal and Jewish dispensations, the sanctification of it at the creation has not been abrogated by any declaration in the inspired records of the Old Testament; and aş a divine command must continue in force for ever, unless repealed by the same authority, by which it was promulged, the sabbatical law

remains still incumbent upon all mankind unless it be repealed in the Christian Scriptures, to the authority of which we bow with submissive reve

Our next inquiry, therefore, is, whether any, and what alteration has been made in it by our blessed Lord, and his Apostles.

rence.

CHAPTER IV.

OF THE SABBATICAL INSTITUTION UNDER THE CHRISTIAN

DISPENSATION.

SECT. I.

The sabbatical institution, so far from being abrogated, is

enjoined in the New Testament.

is

By the preceding investigation the way prepared for the most important inquiry into the nature and obligation of the sabbath under the gospel dispensation. Whatever law concerning it may have been promulged to the patriarchs or Israelites, if annulled by the authority of our Saviour, it is no longer binding upon Christians. The question then of highest interest is, whether it be repealed in the sacred records of Christianity, for upon its decision our duties in regard to the ordinance under consideration must depend.

Those who deny the religious obligation of the sabbath, confidently affirm that it is abolished by apostolical authority; in proof of which appeal

has been made to a few texts of the apostolical epistles. Of these the first and most imposing is the injunction of St. Paul: “ 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; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." From this passage Dr. Paley, and a multitude of other writers, conclude that the sanctification of the seventh day is dispensed with in the Christian church. In dissenting from this conclusion, however, I readily concede that, though by using the plural number the apostle evidently refers to all the days of sacred rest appointed in the law, the Jewish weekly sabbath is included, which consequently is declared, in plain and explicit language, to be abolished with the carnal ordinances of the Jewish religion. “ But, as Dr. Priestley remarks, this does not imply that we should observe no day at all, as a season of rest from worldly business, and for the purpose of religious improvement, but only such a sabbath as the Jews, and especially the more superstitious of them, observed, with respect to which our Saviour was frequently reproving them. Such superstitious observances were probably retained by the Judaizing Gnostics, and they are retained by the

. Col. ii. 16, 17.

M

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