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terrors of the judgment, the promises our practice. Why? Because if it be of pardon-amidst the despairing con- true, as true it is, that religion is a raAlicts with Satan, the offers of recon- tional service--and it be necessary, and ciliation and of peace—that still to the expedient, that a certain time should be bitten by the fiery flying serpent, there appointed for its general renderingstands out the cross to which whoso. and that the choice of this time cannot ever looketh shall live and be whole- reside better than in the will of Him that still there is opened to you the whom the act most immediately affects ; freedom of access to a father of recon- and if, moreover, the object himself of ciliation, through the infinite merits of our worship has required the obserJesus Christ.
vance of a particular day, and the Ended—there will be praise on
LORD God hath commanded that we the Christiau's lips, as the sabbath | keep holy the sabbath-day, I say, it declines that God has been very gra
follows as a consequence, that we are cious to him at the voice of bis cry- bound to do so. that he has led him once more into the Again, that we should keep this day garden of his Zion-into his fruitful holy to the LORD, would appear oblivineyard—that he has made for him a gatory, because it was a day on feast of fat things full of marrow, of which the Apostles and the early wine on the lees well refined that he Christians, assembled themselves to. has nourished him with the bread of gether. The
in the Acts, life, and permitted him to draw water independently of others, confirms this, from the wells of salvation, springing where we read, “Upon the first day up unto everlasting life.
of the week, when the disciples came But SECONDLY, WHY ARE WE TO together to break bread.” Because KEEP TO-DAY AS A SABBATH TO THE also a distinguishing title hath been LORD? Why? This is not a vain, given to it, as denoting its institution not an unimportant question. There by Christ. St. John telleth us in the are thousands of nominal Christians Revelations, “ that he was in the who can give but a very idle and very Spirit on the Lord's day.” Because unsatisfactory answer; who have no too, that down from the Apostolical better than this—because it is the cus- age its observance has been the uni. tom of the country—because it is the form practice of the church-that habit of early youth—because it is the however great the divisions, and vio. example of the family—because it is lent the disputes of that church on the badge of respectability—because it other questions, this has ever is an exaction that is due to decency, mained undoubted and undisturbed. because it is the tasked duty of the Chris- Because it is very natural and very tian name because it is incumbent on consistent that the greatest of all a man who should support the political events that could affect the interests of rights of the State—these are the com- a Christian world—that could fill mon replies; that is to say, if the with the sublimest of its joys—that man speak out, these would be the could awaken the language of its common replies. But we have more proudest triumphs, should have its solid grounds to build on than these, own day of commemoration ; and and if it be expected, and it ought to that He who ascended up on high, be expected, that we be always ready leading captivity captive, bearing on to give an answer to every man who his brow the crown of three victories asketh us the reason for the hope that over sin, over death, and over hellis in us, it surely cannot be less so for who thus brought life and immorta
lity to life—who thus consummated and his fetters were knocked off; nor his great work for which he travailed more can we of the visible outsbeding through the agonies of the body, and of that power from on high, of that through the agonies of the soul, being spirit of our God, by which the dead delivered for our offences, and raised in trespasses and sins are quickened, again for our justification that He by which the dry bones lying at the should thus have a day dedicated to mouth of the sepulchre became inthe honour of his name, to the ex. stinct with breath, were clothed again pression of our holy gratitude for his with flesh, started into being, and marvellous love-to the keeping of his lived. ordinances—to the assembling toge- Because, again, the LORD God has ther of his people—and for the more distinguished this day by a more peimmediate propagation of his cause, culiar manifestation of his divine grace. and to the spreading of his glories. Now think for a moment of that mar.
Another reason obtains in the fact, vellous energy which went forth on that it was a day on which the great this day to the conversion of three promise was fulfilled of the diffusion thousand souls at the heart-searching of the Holy Ghost, when there came a sermon of that minister of God, St. sound from heaven as of a rushing Peter. And think for a moment of mighty wind and filled the house, that glorious revelation of the heavenly (see Acts, ii. 2)—where the disciples places—of the residence of the mighty were sitting, so that they received angels of their holy engagements-of all fulness of consolation for he was the
anthems which they are now promised to become their Comforter- singing—of their blessedness—of the all fulness of consolation to sustain great white throne, and of Him and gladden their hearts on their who sitteth thereon-and of the gloritoilsome and their persecuted way; fied body of Christ in the semblance of and had at once opened to their the Lamb—and of the very atmosphere view the whole compass of the mani- of Heaven, where there is no need of the fold languages by which they were to sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, disseminate the intelligence of the for the glory of God doth lighten it, glorious Gospel of Christ to the chil- and the Lamb is the light thereof: dren of men, by which they were Think, I say, of the revelation to St. to go forth to emancipate in foreign John of these things, and greater things lands, in idolatrous lands, from the than these, as made on this day to the grievous bondage of Satan to the li- inspiration of tens of thousands, with berty of the sons of God.
comfort and with joy, with bright upon the first creation of a materiel hopes and happy assurances, and say, universe that the old sabbath was or- if we have not most abundant reason dained, and it was upon the second for keeping this day as a sabbath, a socreation of a spiritual universe, I may lemn sabbath to the Lord. say, that we are thus furnished with an But I need not have gone beyond additional argument for keeping the the walls of this church, I need not have new. The blind man could never for travelled out of the round of your own get the day on which he received sight personal experience in confirmation of
—the lame man could never forget the the fact that the Lord honoreth this day on which he walked—the leper day above other days. When were could never forget the day on which you first stricken with a conviction of he was cleansed—the captive could sin—was it not on the Lord's day? never forget the day when his chains When in the depths of your distries
in your gloomy doubts and fears were it is made a day of bodily labour you directed to a Saviour ? When were where the shop is opened—where you relieved from the terrors of the law the ledger is consulted—where the by the grace of the Gospel? When principle of money-getting is employwas the first bursting asunder of the ing any of its means for the increase chains so that you walked in liberty of our worldly state-or where even When was the oil and the wine of the the sustenance of the body is to be good Samaritan poured in into your toiled for in those hours which are wounds? Was it not on the Lord's day? emphatically the Lord's. There is a When did the promises of the Gospel striking instance of the strictness of open before you in all their sweetness Jewish sabbatical observance in the and power? Was it not at the hand of words about my text, where you will see some Christian minister upon the upon the gathering of a smallroundthing LORD's day? When was your com- (I quote from Scripture) which lay as munion with God the most abstracted small as the hoar frost upon
the from the world, at its greatest and ground—the bread which the Lord had highest? Was it not on the Lord's given Israel to eat—when they swerved day? When was it that your blessed from the directions of Moses, and dressRedeemer revealed himself most to ed it on the sabbath, the nutriment you, as not unto the world, and the was turned, as it were, into poison, Holy Ghost seemed to shadow you bred worms and stank; whereas, when with his larger influences ? Was it not, they dressed it on the sixth day it reI will ask you, when you drew near mained over the sabbath fresh and good. the table and partook, in faith and in So jealous was the Lord of the depenitence and in prayer, of the broken votion of the sabbath day then—and bread and of the sacred wine in re- can he be less so now? The question membrance of the death and of the addresses your reason. passion of Christ upon the LORD's Again, this day is not kept as a sahday. Yes, I am sure, that many here, bath unto the LORD, where you pursue (Oh, would to God there were many your own notions of ease and of pleamore !) I am sure that many here, sure instead of yielding yourselves unwill confess, that they have been most reservedly to God's service—where elevated in religious exercises-that the doors of his temple are left standthey have enjoyed their richest of con- ing open, and you are wanderers solations—that they have been less of in the fields or indulging yourselves, the earth, earthy, and more of heaven, perhaps, in the latter part of the day, heavenly, upon the LORD's day. I say, during the afternoon service, indulgthat the testimony, the witness is in ing yourselves in the chair of slothful your own hearts as to the peculiar ease at-home, or extending unnecesmanifestation of the grace of God upon sarily, some of you, the pleasures of this day. I have thus, very feebly the table. And you who absent touched on some of the more promi. yourselves from our afternoon service, I nent reasons for keeping this day as have often thought, that if during those a sabbath to the LORD, I must leave sacred hours your houses were unroofed it to your own meditations to supply or your apartments made of glass, and others.
you could be seen of man, as you are THIRDLY, AND
BRIEFLY, seen of God, what a melancholy pic
ture would be presented of the incon. SABBATH UNTO THE LORD? It is not sistency of your conduct with the kept as a sabbath to the LORD where prayers that you had prayed, and the
WHERE IS THIS DAY NOT KEPT AS A
vows that you had uttered in the of God and of his Christ; I say, that morning service. It is my duty to bring these things, among many others that these things home to you; but I must might be mentioned, make me pause leave them to a more powerful preacher with fear and with trembling amid the than myself, and that preacher is con- awful sweep of the retributive justice science-how speaks conscience now? of God.
But turning from you for a moment But for a moment I would turn to to the nation. I have an awful forboding the violations of the sabbath in this of the divine judgments that follow district. These are many and they national sins. I remember the con- are flagrant. We have more newsvenduct of God of old in this matter, and ders than ever-and while I know no there can be no doubt but that his man from the pulpit, but speak genermoral government is upon one and the ally, I would ask, are there not some same law. I know not of any curse here present who give during this day a upon the land that seems to me so far greater attention to the records of big and so ready to burst as the politics and of accident than they do to curse upon the national neglect of their Bibles; who shut their prayer the sabbath. The poor and the rich books—who have shut them this mornare alike involved here. It is to ing service-to go home and cut the me an awful thing as a Christian mi.
neswpapers, which are now lying wet nister, labouring in the vineyard of upon their tables ? Again, it has fallen Christ, it is an awful thing to reflect under my notice, the half closed shops that upon this holy day, some forty which are so inviting to the young and thousand of newspapers are sending the thoughtless; in our neighbourhood, their baleful and their demoralizing and within a quarter of a mile from principles through the land—and that this church, there has been to-day, the vehicles of profit and of plea- and there is every Sunday, there has sure, the stages and the steam-boats been a perfect fair held, a thronged are increased within a few years an fair, all trades being carried on with hundred fold—and that shops, parti- the utmost impunity; and though we cularly in the suburbs of London, are bring the matter before the magistrates, opened with a more shameful effrontery yet after crossing us witb vexatious than ever-and that the labouring proceedings, they at last pay the classes in a great degree waste the fine and laugh in the magistrate's face. day in laziness at-home, or spend their I say, I know this to be a fact, and I time, in far greater numbers, at the have made several humble efforts to retavern and the tea-gardens—and that move the evil, but I have hitherto many of the rich devote a part of been unable, and I do, therefore, earthe day to the returning of calls, to the nestly call upon some of you to come receiving of visits, and to an unueces- forward and assist me, and I invite sary employment of cattle and en- such as are able to meet me at the gagement of servants, to the frivolities Commissioners' rooms on Tuesday of conversation and the vanities of dress, evening next, that we may devise some and to the public promenade closing plan to check the torrent that is flowthe evening with wine and music. And ing in amongst us. Other parishes that neglected by magistrates and rulers have been doing much in this way, there are meetings held, and places and it were a shame in me as a Chrisopened for the utterance of the most tian minister desiring the spiritual im. profane mockeries of the revealed provement of this neighbourhood, that word, of the most awful blasphemies I should remain idle. I trust, therefore, that this appeal to your assistance will that while God of his infinite grace asbe met, and that you will come for- sists him in keeping it as a sabbath to ward and make my wishes effectual. the Lord, he may use all laudable and
I add no more but an earnest call Christian means to excite others to upon you, that each man betake him- its like observance to the blessing of self to prayer, for a more unreserved the community, to the increase of the dedication of himself to the general church of Christ, and to the glory of and peculiar duties of this day, and God.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. J. A. JAMES,
Matt. xxv. 34.-" Then shall the King say unto them on his right-hand, come ye
blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
In the preceding chapter our Lord had, bar all that have ever lived on the forewarned his disciples of the coming face of the earth—a scene of unimadestruction of Jerusalem; then, after gined importance, and most august sothe manner of the antient prophets he lemnity! The books shall be opened, rises from a subject of a temporal na
the book of God's rememberance, the ture, and of passing interest, to one of book of conscience, and the book of a more general bearing, and of more Scripture, and we shall be tried out of transcendent importance, and employs the books. Witnesses shall be adthe description, which he gave of the duced, character shall be substantiated, vengeance that was to come upon the a separation shall be made between the devoted city, as a type of the still righteous and the wicked, and the greater terrors which are to be mani- final sentence of all men shall be profested at the last day.
nounced. Let me to-night direct your There can be no doubt that the text attention to the sentence that shall be and context refer to that day. “God pronounced upon the righteous as it hath appointed a day in which he will stands recorded in the language of the judge the world in righteousness by text. In the First place I shall consider that man whom he hath ordained,” the reference which in that day shall " and we must all appear before the be made to the conductof the righteous, judgment seat of Christ, that every one and by which they shall then be may receive according to the things proved before the universe to have done in the body, whether they be rightly sustained the professions which good or bad." The trumpet shall they made. Secondly, I shall direct sound, the dead shall be raised, the your attention to their station, and living shall be changed. The Son of Thirdly, to the sentence itself. God will come not as he came at first, FIRST, LET US CONSIDER THE REthe babe of Bethlehem, the man of FERENCE THAT WILL BE MADE TO THE sorrows and acquainted with grief, but CONDUCT OF THE RIGHTEOUS by which he shall appear as the great God and they shall be proved to have sustained our Saviour, and convene before his the professions which they have made