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weight, that business of great | bath day to keep it holy," except consequence would not detain you are on a journey ? them one day longer ? Is not 3. “ But we do keep the sabkeeping the commands of God bath day holy, though we pursue of as much consequence, as our journey ; for we can have worldly business ? Brethren, if as good thoughts on the road, as we love our families, let us be we could if we lay by." exhorted not to travel on the To this we answer; That Lord's day, for the sake of being | having good thoughts does not, with them one day sooner- of itself, amount to a sanctificaWe had better leave them in tion of the sabbath. A man the care of our heavenly Father, may think of God and nothing than to displease him for the else all the day, and yet not sake of seeing them the sooner. keep the day holy. There is an “ Blessed is the man, who fear- external as well as an internal eth the Lord, that delighteth sanctification of the sabbath. If greatly in his commandments; the external be wanting, we do his seed shall be mighty upon the not keep the sabbath holy. carth.”
| When man was in a state of in2. “ Works of necessity and nocency, his thoughts were all mercy may be done." . ) good and holy ; yet, even then, • It will be granted that to heal he was obliged to sanctify the a broken bone, you may ride a seventh day in distinction from distance even on the Lord's day, the other days of the week.* to obtain the aid of the surgeon. Sanctifying the sabbath must To relieve a distressed and stary- mean then something more than ing family, whose distressing having pious thoughts. The circumstances have just come to children of God are sometimes your knowledge, you may take favored with remarkable nearthe first moment, though it be ness to God on week days, while the Lord's time, to carry them they are pursuing their secular some relief. Here mercy is to business, while they are laboring be preferred before sacrifice. in their shops, or in their fields, In this sense, works of necessity or while their hands take hold and mercy may be done on the on the distaff; but still this is Lord's day. But it is exceed- not keeping sabbath day. And ingly wrong to apply this rule we should all think they did very to our common journeying. I wrong, to plead the lawfulness appeal to husbandmen,_Is not of pursuing these occupations the harvest more pressing than on the sabbath, by saying, that journeying ? Yet God himself | they could have as good thoughts has said, " In earing time and in while at work in their houses, harvest thou shalt rest.” Is trav- shops and fields, as if they were elling in its very nature, a work worshipping in the house of the of necessity ? then let a man on- Lord. Let us, my brethren, be ly make this his constant em- ashamed to make such a weak ployment, and the fourth com- be objection as this. If we hold it mandment becomes wholly in- up to the light, we shall see it to be applicable to him. Is this then frivolous. Our having pious me. the true meaning of the command ; “ Remember the sab- |
* Cenesis ï. 2, 3. Vol. V. No. 11.
ditations on the road, no more to the souls of men, can you let makes a sanctification of the so fair an opportunity of doing sabbath, than it would, if we good, pass unimproved? The were to have the same medita- Lord has in his providence cast tions while laboring in our fields. your lot for one sabbath among Here I would remark, that tho' those, who greatly pollute this the husbandman has precious holy day. You must stay and thoughts in his field on a week reprove them. Good example day ; yet he would have no rea- is the most striking kind of ree son to expect to be thus favored proof. If they see you lying by of God, if he were to go into his from your journey, all the sabfield on the Lord's holy day. bath, for no other reason, only So the traveller, who is favored because it is the Lord's time and with the most delightful com- not yours, it cannot fail to arrest munion with his heavenly Fa-their attention, even though you ther, on Saturday, would have should not speak one word on no reason to expect the continu- | the duty of observing the day. ance of this inestimable favor the This would command more atnext day, if he were to pursue tention and be likely to do more his journey. We have no right to good, thall all you could posseek nor reason to expect com-sibiy say, on the duty of obserymunion with God,cut of the ways ing the commandment, providof his appointment. If we woulded you did not observe it your enjoy his favor, we must, like self. Words cost but little, but Enoch and Noah, walk with God. there is some expense of time
4. “ We sometimes fall in and money in lying by at an inn among a very wicked people on one whole day. I know one man, the sabbath, where they pay no who had his attention much calattention to the day, except it led up to the duty of sanctifying be to behave worse than on any | the sabbath, by the circumstance other days; in such a case, we of having a traveller put up at think we had better go on our | his tavern, during this holy day. journey, than to stay in such | If such examples prove effectcompany."
ual only one time in a thousand, The very reason stated in the it is worth our while to set them objection for proceeding on your before our fellow sinners conjourney, is a powerful reason tinually. against it. The command of the
: The objectors suppose that Saviour is, “ Let your light the sabbath cannot be enjoyed shine before men, that they see- among these ungodly people so ing your good works may glori- well as on the road : but let me fy your Father, who is in heav- | ask such, whether they have en.” Now let me ask, Where made a trial, to see how well in the world do people need the they can enjoy this consecrated light of your holy example more day in a public house? Perhaps than in such a dark place as you could obtain a chamber, the objection supposes ? And in where you might spend the day what do they need your exam- in secret duties, if there be no ple more, than in the sanctifica- public worship in the place.* If tion of the sabbath ? If your hearts are full of love to God and ! * If those who inake the above the weather be mild, you might 5. “ It is very expensive to in almost any part of the coun- lie by a whole day, when we are try, find, in some neighboring on a journey, and are all the woods, or orchard, a place to while living upon our money." pray, read and meditate ; and To this objection we answer, this would be a suitable way to first, That profaning the Lord's fill up this day of heaven. If day is a poor way to make moyou have not tried this method ney or save expense. “ Willa of spending the sabbath when on man rob God" to save expense ? a journey, you ought not to say, Is not this the way to bring that the wickedness of the place down his curse on your blessmakes it necessary that you ings? Do not you, who believe should proceed on your journey. the weekly sabbath to be a diBut supposing you can have no vine institution, also believe, that retirement at all (which is hard- a nation which carefully observe ly a supposable case) I think the institution have reason to you have reason to expect a good expect even greater temporal sabbath, if you conscientiously prosperity, than a nation which refrain from proceeding on your altogether disregard it, though journey, which is now your this disregard gives them one work. “ If thou turn away thy more day in the week for labor ? foot from" encroaching upon Why then have we any reason " the sabbath, from, doing thy to expect to increase our wealth, pleasure on my holy day” saith by taking the Lord's time for our Jehovah," then thou shalt de- l journey ? It is infinitely easy for light thyself in the Lord, and I God so to order his providences, will cause thee to ride upon the that what we appear to gain, by high places of the earth,”*.e. robbing him of the time, which I will make thee prosper in spi- he has reserved to himself, we rituals and in temporals--thou should lose, in some other way, shalt have much delight in com- even before we have accommunion with thy God, and he plished our journey. will bless thy substance. This To the objection now under will prepare us to answer another consideration, I would answer objection,
in the second place; Though it
be expensive to lie by when we objection against lying by on the sab. | are out from home, still this is bath, do not cease to proceed on their no reason why we should not do journey, as soon as they come among
it : For it is also expensive to a people, who attend public worship; or if they do not stop their travelling
rest from labor when we are ať at the first house, public or private,
home. A large family will conwhere the sabbath appears to be rev. sume several dollars worth of erenced, (provided they can have en- provisions on the sabbath, and tertainment :) then it is manifest,
they are earning nothing. Now that the reason which they offer for travelling is not the one which reallyin
why may it not be plead in favor Auences them; but is invented, either
of their being at work in the to still an accusing conscience, or to | field, or in the loom, that it is stop the mouth of the brother, who very expensive for so many to
is so kind and faithful as to reprove / be eating and drinking, while put them for disobedience to God's holy | they are earning nothing. The Lie, commands. * Isaiah lviii. 13, 14.
same argument, which you use to push you on your journey, you, they did not travel on their jour, may use to drive your sons into nies upon the holy sabbath. the field, and your daughters to They thought it to be equally a their several domestic employ- | violation of the commandment, ments. It would be trifling to with laboring in the field, and endeavor to make a distinction, they acted accordingly ; and I by saying, “but at a tavern I do not see why they did not have to pay out money for my think and act right on the subsabbath's provision, while I have ject. Not only the laws of Newprovision, laid up for my family England, but the laws of most at home.” What they eat and of the other states were formed
drink at home, either cost you on the supposition, that travel. money, or would have fetched ling was a real breach of the
you money ; therefore you may sabbath. It seems from this, just as well say, I cannot afford that heretofore the whole coun. to have my family lie by upon try have been of the same senthe sabbath ; for they are upon timent, which is now advanced expense. This objection against in this essay. the expense of lying by on the 2. The great increase of the sabbath, appears to be founded practice of journeying on the almost wholly in covetousness, Lords's day, is a proof of the deor that love of the world, which generacy of the times. If our is inconsistent with the love of fathers were right in resting the Father : and yet this is prob- from their journies on this day, ably the greatest and most in- we are wrong in pursuing ours. fluential of all the objections. The time was, at least in New. The losing of one day's advance England, when a sabbath travel. in our journey, together with ler was a rare sight. Then, if a the bill of expense incurred in man was seen riding by, it was the mean time, no doubt, does conclụded, either that he was more towards making people called abroad by some distresstravel on the sabbath, than all ing providence, or that he was a other reasons put together. But man, who had not the fear of can they, who seek first the king. God before his eyes. But now, dom of God can they, who (O New-England how art thou, lienceforth live not unto them- fallen!) but now, travelling on selves, but unto him, who died the sabbath has become a comfor them--can they, whose trea- mon practice. At the present sure is in heaven-can they, who day, there are many, who do not call the sabbath a delight, the love God well enough to be at the queen of days and the day of expense of resting from their heaven--can they offer such | journey on his holy day. selfish reasons for trampling 3. Have not we reason to fear the holy sabbath into the dust ? the righteous and tremendous “Let us awake to righteousness, judgments of God for this profand sin not."
anation of his day ? Let us tremI know not how to dismissble, while we read the denunci. this subject without making a ations of divine wrath against few reflections.
those, who go to market, and 1. It is no proof, that our fa- / who travel to transact their thers were superstitious, because worldly business on the Lord's
sabbath ; “ But if ye will not cometh. The King of Zion, hearken unto me to hallow the however, has much to do to presabbath day, and not to bear a pare his church for that peace. burden even entering at the ful period. And it becomes us gates of Jerusalem on the sab- to be workers together with him. bath day : then I will kindle a | Many corruptions must be purfire in the gates thereof, and it ged out, many sins must be shall devour the palaces of Je deeply bewailed before him, and rusalem, and it shall not be many neglected duties must be quenched.” Jer. xvii. 27. revived and performed. Among . 4. The friends of Christ have other reformations, churches now a fair opportunity to show, must be more strict in sanctifythat they have a more obedienting the Lord's day, and more spirit than his enemies. While careful to discountenance every they go on their way, let the breach of it. I am persuaded, Christian manifest that he feels for my part, that travelling on still bound to obey the laws of the sabbath will all be laid aside Him, who hath said, “ But the in the Millennium. If it will seventh day is the sabbath of be laid aside then, through the the Lord thy God ; in it thou | prevalence of a spirit of holiness, shalt not do any work." People no doubt, it ought to be laid aside in general stop working in their now. Let each one resolve, shops and on their farms upon whether professors or not, to enthe sabbath ; but many do not deavor in this matter to reform stop their travelling ; Christians himself; then the reformation therefore do not show so clearly, I of the whole would be easily and that they have a more excellent speedily effected. I have but spirit than the unconverted, by one word to add, and that is a refraining from the work of the request, that my readers would field, as by refraining from the not condemn what has been adpursuit of their journies.. vanced on this subject, without
5. Does not the matter before attentively looking into the word us call for the aid of church dis- of God, and looking to him by cipline? Is it not time for chur- prayer for wisdom and direction. ches to awake and put the laws If any fall in with the sentiof Christ in force ? If we suffer ments advanced (as I trust many our brethren to pursue their will) I request that they would journies on God's holy day, we pray earnestly to God to make suffer sin upon them. We suf- others see their duty in this resfer them to dishonor God to pect, that wherein they have confirm sinners in their abuse done amiss, they may do so no of holy time, and to harden their more. own hearts. The increasing prevalence of this sin calls loudly to On Self-examination. *churches of Christ to exert eve. PELIEVERS usually spend ry nerve and use every mean D many of their thoughts in to suppress it. Let the churches examining their own hearts and of Christ know the time, that lives. It is however no certain now it is high time to awake out evidence, that a man is a true of sleep. The night is far spent. believer, because he examines The morning of the Millennium himself; for every serious man,