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ought to observe and keep holy. You know that your usual work is never required from you on that day: and it is ex. tremely wrong for slaves to hire themselves out to work on that day. It is breaking the fourth commandment, and God will punish them for it. Your duty also is to worship God on that day, to meet together, and thank God for your mercies past, pray to him for blessings to come, hear the word of God, and receive instruction from this place. Such slaves as can read should employ a Sunday in read. ing their Bible and other good books: and such, as cannot read, may perhaps excusably spend some part of it in preparing and attending to their lands. This may employ usefully those persons, who may otherwise be idle: and idleness we know may lead them into evil. This, however, I speak more by permission than commandment. For I could wish that some other day was given you for yourselves in order that you may attend entirely to your
souls on the Lord's day. However if you do not attend to your own grounds, you ought not to exhaust yourselves, to work too hard, for this is the day of rest: and you ought on 'no account to omit attending the holy worship of the Church. For rely on it, that this one day spent as it ought to be, will cast a holy colour on all the rest, will recommend you to God, and prepare you for passing an endless sabbath of rest, and peace, and joy in his holy and heavenly kingdom.
And now to God, &c.
St. MATTHEW xii. 14, 15. Then the Pharisees went out and held a
council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence, and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them.
OUR blessed Lord had so fully proved, that the disciples had done no harm, and had not broken the sabbath-day, as I have shewn you in my last Lecture, that his enemies had nothing to say. Our blessed Saviour has shewn the greatest respect to that holy day, but did not act with so much blindness and folly, as not to know, that God will not bave us to turn our backs on acts of kindness to others, because such an
act may break the rest commanded us on that day. The Jews, who owned an ox or an ass, would work to get out either of them, which had fallen into a pit on the sabbath-day: and surely, Jesus Christ, the Friend of mankind and the Saviour of sinners, might very lawfully heal à poor mèan creature, labouring under any infirmity of body. The best of us will have enemies : but I cannot but think that it shews us how dead and corrupt our natures are, when we see so holy and good a person as Jesus Christ, so' contradicted, abused, and blamed, and hated by his cruel enemies, the Pharisees. These were Jews, who looked upon themselves as righteous, and despised others, our Saviour saw that they were hypocrites, and exposed them : therefore, they were always ready to do him an ill turn. How should we watch over our hearts, even the best of us, and pray to God, and take all care ourselves, that nothing should take root there, which may make us affect to have the appearance of religion, 'when we are not really religious, and may occasion us to hate and abuse those, who are really good. You see what an effect their hatred of Jesus bad on the Pharisees: they took counsel to destroy him. But he withdrew bimself from that party of them, and was followed by great multitudes of the common people, whom he continued to heal with a word of all their sicknesses and infirmities. So quietly did he behave himself, so unwilling was he to use towards his enemies the violent treatment, which they richly merited of him, that the words used of him by a prophét several hundred years before were now most fully applied to him." Behold, says the prophet, whom God made able to see things many years before they happened, Behold, my servant, whom I have chosen "my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased : I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles-he-shall teach and instruct the very people, whom the