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ful against these evils, and over the youth in these cases. 1720. We beseech you to stand upon your guard against the allurements and temptations of this evil world; and beware of an ambitious and covetous spirit, by which many are ensnared in too eager a pursuit of earthly enjoyments; the danger of which is thus described by the apostle Paul: “They that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Beware therefore, dearly beloved, lest you also, being led aside by the love of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, fall from your own steadfastness. 1740.
I) A Y S AND TIME S.
Some reasons for not observing Feasts and Feast Days and Times, and other human injunctions and institutions relative to the worship of God. EveR since we were a people we have had a testimony against formal worship, being convinced by the precepts of our Lord Jesus Christ, the testimonies of his apostles, and our own experience, that the worship and prayers which God accepts, are such only as are produced by the influence and assistance of his Holy Spirit; we cannot, therefore, consistently unite with any in the observation of public fasts, feasts, and what they term holy days; or such injunctions and forms as are devised in man's will for divine worship; the dispensation to which outward observations were peculiar, having long since given place to the spiritual dispensation of the gospel, we believe the fast'we are now called to is not the bowing of the head like a bulrush for a day, but a universal and continual fasting and refraining from every thing which has a tendency to defile the soul, and unfit it for becoming the temple of the Holy Ghost, according to the injunctions of Christ to his primitive disciples: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” That the primitive believers saw an end of these shadows of good things, by coming to him in whom all figures and shadows end, is evident by the words of the apostle Paul: “For Christ,” said he, “is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Rom. x. 4. “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also is he the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” Heb. viii. 6. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Col. ii. 16, 17. And the same apostle thus expostulated with some who it appears had fallen from the true faith in these respects: “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.” Gal. iv. 9, 10, 11. Whilst therefore, it is our earnest concern that we may be found worshipers within the temple, it is affectionately desired that our members may be individually cautious not to give occasion of additional suffering to the truly conscientious amongst us, by any compliance with such observances as our worthy ancestors were rightly concerned to bear testimony against. ADVISED, that all friends keep to the simplicity of truth, and our ancient testimony, in calling and writing the months and days by scripture names,(that is the numerical,) and not by the heathen. 1697. And that you may the more clearly discern the importance of that Christian testimony borne by our predecessors in this case, we recommend what follows to your serious consideration, viz.
A brief account of the origin of the names of some months of the year, and of all the days of the week, now customarily and commonly used. I. January was so called from Janus, an ancient king of Italy, whom heathenish superstition had deified, to whom a temple was built, and this month dedicated. II. February was so called from Februa, a word denoting purgation by sacrifices ; it being usual in this month for the priests of the heathen god Pan to offer sacrifices, and perform certain rites, conducing, as was supposed, to the cleansing or purgation of the people. III. March was so denominated from Mars, feigned to be the god of war, whom Romulus, founder of the Roman empire, pretended to be his father. IV. April is generally supposed to derive its name from the Greek appellation of Venus, an imaginary goddess worshiped by the Romans. V. May is said to have been so called from Maia, the mother of Mercury, another of their pretended ethnic deities, to whom in this month they paid their devotions.
VI. June is said to take its name from Juno, one of the supposed goddesses of the heathen.
VII. July, so called from Julius Caesar, one of the Roman emperors, who gave his own name to this month, which before was called Quintilis, or the fifth.
VIII. August, so named in honor of Augustus Caesar, another of the Roman emperors. This month was before called Sextilis, or the sixth.
The other four months, namely, September, October, November and December, still retain their numerical Latin names, which, according to the late regulation of the calendar, will for the future be improperly applied. However, from the continued use of them hitherto, as well as from the practice of the Jews before the Babylonish captivity,” it seemeth highly probable, that the method of distinguishing the months by their numerical order only, was the most ancient, as it is the most plain, simple and rational.
As the idolatrous Romans thus gave names to several of the months in honor of their pretended deities; so the like idolatry prevailing among our Saxon ancestors, induced them to call each of the days of the week by the name of the idol which on that day they peculiarly worshiped. Hence the First day of the week was by them called Sunday, from their accustomary adoration of the sun upon that day.
The Second day of the week they called Monday, from their usual custom of worshiping the moon on that day.
*See the Scriptures to the time of Ezra.