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CONTENTS OF THE SERIES.

1. Reciprocal Duties of a Pastor and People: 2. On Reading the Holy Scriptures. 3. One God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity. 4, 5. The Sacrament of Baptism. 6. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 7. Earthly and Heavenly Things. 8. The Righteousness in which a Man is accepted before God. 9. The Righteousness of Man under the Law and under the

Gospel. 10. The Constitution of the Christian Church. 11, 12. The Institution and Obligation of the Sabbath. 13. The Sufferings of Christ in His Body the Church. 14. The Consolation of Christ in His Body the Church. 15. The Whole Family in Heaven and Earth. 16. The Appearing and Coming of the Lord. 17. The Establishment of Christ's Kingdom on Earth. 18. The Nearness of the Lord's Advent,

W. E. Painter, 342, Strand, London, Printer.

No. XI.]

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THE INSTITUTION AND OBLIGATIONS

OF

THE SABBATH, OR THE LORD'S-DAY.

The institution of the Sabbath is as old as the creation itself. We read in Genesis ii. that “on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He ·rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” The six preceding days being given to the work of creation, the seventh day was a day of rest, and thạt day God hallowed and sanctified, making it most holy. The rest which the Sabbath was ordained to commemorate, in its original institution, was God's rest, not man's; and must be understood in reference to God's work, not man's. The far end of God in the work of creation was the manifestation of Himself. The setting apart of the seventh day was not only designed to impress on the mind of man that the creation was the work of God that God was his Creator and the Maker of all things—but that he might meditate on those works, and learn from them “the invisible things of God," which they were ordained to teach ; and that thus keeping that day holy unto the Lord, His great name might be glorified. It is said expressly, “ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firma

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ment showeth His handiwork." And St. Paul says, “The invisible things of Him from the creation of the 'world are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even His eternal power and Godhead."* To Adam, in Paradise, the Sabbath was not an useless or idle day, but a day set apart for his special meditation of the works of God. It was the end of a period in respect to God's work, but the beginning of a period in regard to man.

It was the conclusion of God's work, but the beginning of man's. To Adam the Sabbath was not an useless or idle day, but a day in which all the faculties of his soul were engaged in devout meditation and service of Godman exponent of what his whole life ought to bema showing forth of the use he would make of every succeeding day, serving God in all his occupations, and doing everything to the glory of His great name. It is well to remark this, because it involves principles of the first importance. The Sabbath is not the end of a period as it concerns man, but the beginning. God completed His work of creation on the evening of the sixth day; and Adam, whom He created in His own image and likeness, was the last work of His hands; therefore the seventh day was the first day of Adam's life, and the first day the week in his computation of time. There is much spiritual truth contained in this fact: that the first day of man's natural life was the Sabbath-day-that he commenced his life by observing the works of God, and in keeping His rest. Truly glorious was the commencement of Adam's life. Created, as he

* Rom, i, 20.

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was, in the image and likeness of God, he was capa-
ble of apprehending His works, and of beholding
the glory of God revealed in them. We
some idea of his intelligence, and perception of
God's truth revealed in His work, by the ability he
manifested in giving the proper name to everything
which God had made : for when God brought be-
fore him every beast of the field and fowl of the
air, whatsoever Adam called them, that was the name
thereof.

As every part of God's creation was designed to convey some truth, with what delight would Adam meditate on all the works of God! How attentively would he consider that which had been the work of each day's creation, and behold in each of them some fresh display of glory! Reading intelligently and in faith the hand-writing of his God in all that He had wrought, he would increase daily in the wisdom and knowledge of his Creator, and of His purpose in the creation. What unspeakable joy must have filled his heart, when all the powers and faculties of his being were engaged in the contemplation of the revelation of God made to him in all that he beheld ! In this point of view, what a joyful and glorious day was the first day of Adam's being ! And how would every succeeding Sabbath increase that joy, and lead him to call upon his soul, and all within him, to bless God's holy name! He needed no command to keep this day.... Whilst he walked in his uprightness—in that righteousness of God in which he was created—it was the very joy of his heart to keep it. For loving God, as he did, with all his heart, and soul, and strength, and putting his whole trust in Him, it must have been a most willing and delightful service. But his joy in God was not limited to the Sabbath-day. The creation Sabbath, as was before stated, though set apart expressly for the meditation of God's work, was not a separable portion of his life; but the six days which followed partook of that joy, and exhibited it in all his works, his walk, and conversation. As the Sabbath was the beginning, so was it the exponent of all his days. He praised and worshipped God, and rejoiced in Him, not only on the Sabbath, but every day. Every day was a day of joy and praise, but the Sabbath was pre-eminently so—that was a high daya solemn festivala day of great rejoicing and blessing, being consecrated and set apart for that end.

And as the presence of God was the light in which he read all His works, so to Adam, on that day, did God doubtless reveal Himself more fully, and above and beyond every other day. The light of that day was sevenfold, as the light of seven days, and his joy in the Lord was full.

What a claim, then, had the Sabbath on man at his creation ! Under what solemn and overpowering obligations would he not feel himself bound to keep this day holy unto the Lord ! Faint indeed are our conceptions of the joy which must have filled his soul, when he and his royal spouse awoke up on the first day of their life to behold the glory of the Lord, as exhibited in the works of His hands, and to meditate on the Author of their being, whose image they bare! In Paradise was the Sabbath kept in festive

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