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perftitious; to heal the sick on any day, could never be a violation of a law of God: and it was a sufficient answer to such as thought otherwise, that the Sab- Mark ü. bath was made for man.



But our Lord did more than this. He commanded one person, whom he had just enabled to walk, to carry his bed John v. 8. along with him on that day; though it fer. xvii. was expressly written in the prophet, that no burden should be born upon the Sabbath. And when the Pharisees found Matt. xii.

. . fault with his disciples for rubbing the ears of corn, he vindicates them by comparing the law of the Sabbath, to the Levitical rules concerning the shewbread, and sacrifice. He represents some of the ceremonies attending their temple-worship, and the rite of circumcision, as properly and reasonably taking place of the respect due to the Sabbath, and excusing the profanation of it: and adds, In this place is one greater than the Temple: The son



of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day : plainly declaring, that he had power to alter these legal institutions; and intimating also perhaps, that he intended to use it.

But that the Jewish Sabbath is not now binding to Christians, appears no where so plainly as in the Epistles of St. Paul.

Gal. iv. 9


Now after that ye have known God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage ? re observe days, and months, and times, and

years. I am afraid of you, left I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. And if you doubt what are the times and days

he speaks of in a manner fo disparaging, Colof. ii. hear him again : Blotting out the hand 14,16.

writing of ordinances, that was against usy nailing it to his cross. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in reSpeet of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days.


Behold the great Apostle asserting the liberties of mankind, with an earnestness suitable alike to the strength of his genius, and the importance of his subject! as if he had said,


“ These ritual ordinances were a burden upon us doubly grievous: the ob. Gal. iii. servance of them was Navery, and diso- Gal. iii. bedience death. A law so voluminous Rom. iii. and rigorous, must conclude all under fin, 19. and be alike fatal to every man living; set up, like the hand writing upon the wall against the profane King, as it were on purpose to pronounce over our head the sentence of condemnation. But thanks be to God in Jesus Christ, it is at length extinct; dead in his death, never to revive more. Call us to no account henceforth on this antiquated subject, nor presume to name to men che children's toys. We can yield to no intreaties, no authority, not even of the very chiefest of the Apostles, in this capital 2. Cor. si.



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cause; but stand fast in our freedom, and, refuse utterly to wear again the yoke of bondage. The Jewish distinction of meats and days is at an end. To the pure all things are pure. Christians keep a continual festival of obedience and thanks. giving: God has granted us here a more valuable rest, from the ceremonies of the Law, and the servitude of fin; and has prepared for us an everlasting Sabbath, which we shall celebrate with the saints and angels, and with himself in heaven.”

If, after all, some of the first converts to Christianity among the Jews, could not conquer all their prejudices at once, but had still a leaning towards the Law; like the nation that, impatient of freedom, petitioned in form to be again flaves; the

Apostle, for themselves, has condescend. Rom. xiv.

ed to their request: One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. - He has consented, that they might be left to their own choice: and



regard the day to the Lord; or not regard it, and that also to the Lord; with the same sincere intention to please and honour him, and with the very same success.

Weak and scrupulous minds might be allowed to satisfy themselves, by retaining these remnants of the religion of times paft; and the God of the spirits of all flesh would behold their mistake with pity, and their fincerity with approbation: but persons of more knowledge, and a ma- 1 Cor.viii. turer age in Christ, would easily perceive Hebr. v, that they were set at liberty from such 14. ceremonies, and would be thankful for it; finding them now insipid, and being defirous of stronger food, of spiritual doctrines, and a more reasonable service; a worship, which they might be allowed to perform within the Veil, approaching Hebr. vi. nearer to God's presence, illuminated more 19. fully by his Spirit, and partakers even of his Divine Nature.

2 Pet. i.4

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