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petual obligation, because it stands among the Ten Precepts of the Moral Code, written with the finger of God on tables of stone, to denote, doubtless, the perpetuity of the Commandments; and because it was prescribed even in Paradise, before the existence of any necessity for rites and ceremonies, typical of the Redeemer of a fallen race; and because, as is evident, strangers who had no concern in the Mosaic ritual, were included with the Jews in the requisitions of this portion of the Decalogue, not only by implication, but expressly,

§ 3. The positive injunction is to keep holy the Sabbath or Lord's. day, as a day of sacred rest, by abstaining for the space of twenty-four hours, at the commencement of every week, from every secular employment, in thought, word, and deed;—not only from all things unlawful at other times, but from our lawful calling,-unless this be the service of God,and from every thing, whether of mental or corporeal occupation, or of otherwise innocent. amusement, which is not consistent with, or necessarily arises out of, the spiritual affections and religious duties which it is the peculiar business of this day to cultivate and perform: except, indeed, such works as piety and charity allow or demand,-such as are requisite for the preservation of life, health, or pro. perty.

It is also enjoined to keep holy the Sabbath by the actual fulfilment of all religious duties, and by devoting our hearts and minds, as well as our bodies, to the service of our God. It is required of us to take pleasure and delight in the holy ordinance, and to be grateful for its establishment;-to employ as much

of the day as possible in things pertaining to God and our eternal welfare ;-punctually and devoutly to attend the public worship of the church, according to the times and modes ordered by ecclesiastical authority;-to listen with reverence to the Word of God, read and preached; and to offer up our prayers, praises, and thanksgivings in the congregation; to partake of the sacraments and comply with the ceremonies which distinguish our communion;-to exercise the various branches of charity and benevolence in giving alms, visiting the sick, comforting the wretched, and instructing the ignorant ;-to occupy such time as is spared from public dedication to God and our neighbour, in private prayer, religious reading, meditation and conversation, in teaching our families and dependants, and endeavouring to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,in self-examination with regard to our spiritual state, and employment of the past week, accompanied, according to the nature of our retrospect, with suitable repentance for transgression, gratitude for mercies, and preparation for the trials of the ensuing period which shall elapse before the return of another Sabbath.

§4. The sins forbidden are those by which a breach of the Sabbath is in any way effected-by which the holy rest is violated and disturbed-as by the exercise of any worldly trade, profession, or employment; by engaging our thoughts and conversation on any temporal object; by making our Sabbath a day of mental idleness, or sensual festivity, and not a day of refreshing peace and invigorating renovation

to our souls and bodies; by giving up only a part of the day to God, and indulging ourselves, during the other part, in unbecoming pursuits, or in any thing but religious exercises, and such sober, healthful relaxation as does not exclude the thoughts of sacred things, or unfit us for concluding the day as we began it-to the honour and praise of the Lord; by the employment of our families and servants so as to prevent the due performance of their respective duties; and by the use of our horses, or other animals, for the ostentatious display of equipage, the vain and frivolous pursuit of pleasure, the furtherance of mercenary or ambitious objects, or for any purposes but those for which there is an urgent necessity, in order that we may be enabled to fulfil some Christian obligation ;-by engaging in such late amusements, or occupations, on Saturday night, as either encroach on the hours, or impede the duties of Sunday.

Equally forbidden with the more active breaches of the Sabbath, are the sins of omission, by which it is dishonoured. Such are, the neglect of any of those parts of public or private worship by which the Sabbath is peculiarly sanctified ;-contempt for the institutions of religion; carelessness, weariness, and indecent conduct in the performance of religious rites; reading, writing, or conversation, which is not consistent with the character of the day ;-indifference to the spiritual welfare of those committed to our charge, either as ministers of the church, or as heads of families, evidenced by our permitting them to absent themselves from the public services of the sanctuary, or to shew disregard to the holiness of the

day by levity of conduct, or by an abuse of the period of cessation from labour to immoral or worldly ends.

§ 5. The reasons which the Almighty has vouch. safed to give for the promulgation of this Commandment; and those arguments for its observance, which may be deduced from a consideration of its nature, and the probable causes of the appointment of the Sabbath, are chiefly these; viz. God having been pleased to allow us the use of six days out of seven for our worldly interests-to do all that we have to do in our several stations,—most mercifully and beneficially reserves a small portion to himself, although he might have equitably demanded a much greater share, or indeed the whole, of that which he has freely given. The Lord of heaven and earth actually asserts his unquestionable right, by affirming that the seventh day is his. He has precisely determined the exact proportion which our rest must bear to the whole total of our time, by his own cessation from the work of nature; in the progress of which work he willed, that the successive stages of the production of the universe should occupy six equal portions of time: He rested on the seventh, and hallowed that portion for ever. As all the benefits of the Sabbath accrue to man and not to God, (for God blessed the seventh day to the unspeakable comfort and improvement of all who keep it holy,)-as by this eternal ordinance he has most benevolently consulted the spiritual and temporal welfare of mankind, by affording opportunity for religious exercises, and that relief and refreshment to our minds and bodies, without which

they must speedily be exhausted,-as all is free gift on the part of God, and advantage on that of man, we are bound in gratitude strictly to obey his Commandment, and to bless the benignant Providence which has made such salutary provision for our infirmities and wants.

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