Page images
PDF
EPUB

excuses

ready to say, “ We answer the ly from improper and selfish moend for which we were made, as tives? Do not your own conscienreally as the saints; and we act ces, therefore, testify against you, in every instance as God moves us that you act unreasonably, and to act, as much as they. Why deserve to be punished? And if then are we not as much the ob

your

cannot bear the jects of Divine love and favour; light, or silence the voice of conand as promising candidates for science here; of what avail will immortal bliss?" But, my dear they be, at another day? Be perfriends, notwithstanding the pursuaded, then, to relinquish them poses and agency of God, do

you now, and become heartily reconnot know that you act freely? And ciled to a sovereign God. Amen. do you not know that you act free

P. E.

FOR THE HOPKINSIAS MAGAZINE.

[ocr errors]

in it thou shalt not do any work,

thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughON THE SABBATH. ter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy No V.

maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor What is it, to keep the Sabbath- thy stranger that is within thy day holy?

gates." This commandment is as The Sabbath is a holy day, in much in force, at this time, as any dependently of our manner of of the ten, and binds us to refrain keeping it. God has sanctified from all unnecessary labour, worldand blessed the Sabbath, and made ly business and cares, on the it a holy day. As such, it is the Lord's day. Secular business is duty of all men, who enjoy the inconsistent with the very design light of Divine revelation, to keep of the Sabbath, which is set apart it. To keep the Subbath-day ho for the worship of God, and for ly, is to spend it, in a way, suita- special attention to the concerns of ble to the holiness of it. In or

our souls. To labour on the farm der to spend it thus, it is neces

or in the shop, to trade or write sary to refrain from some things, accounts, to travel, needlessly, on as well as to do others. Accord, the road, to do any kind of domesingly,

I
propose to shew,

tic work, besides what is absolute1. What ought not to be done: ly necessary for the sustenance And,

and decent attire of the body, are II. What ought to be done, on all profanations of the Sabbath. the Sabbath.

It is also a profanation of the I am to shew,

Sabbath, to talk or think about I. What ought not to be done, secular affairs, on that holy day. on the Sabbath-day.

In the sight of God, who looketh 1. No unnecessary labour, or on the heart, and who will call worldly business whatever ought men to account for every idle to be done, on the Sabbath. This word; it is criminal to meditate is strictly forbidden in the Fourth on worldly business, to plan our Commandment. “Remember the work for the ensuing week, or to Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six talk about the common affairs of days shalt thou labour and do all life, or upon trade, news, or polithy work: But the seventh day is tics; as well as to labour with the the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; / hands. For a similar reason, it

6. How

inust be considered as a violation , amusement ought to be indulged of the rest of the Sabbath, to read on the Sabbath. All such things or study books which have no im- are totally inconsistent with the mediate connexion with the busi- design and duties of the day. Payness of religion. To study lan-ing or receiving visits, walking in guages, arithmetic or philosophy, the fields, riding out on parties of or any merely human art or sci- pleasure hunting, fishing, bathing ence, or to read profane history, and sailing, all violate the sacred tracts on politics, or common rest of the Lord's day. But, if newspapers, is a perversion of the these things, which are lawful on design of the Sabbath. And al- other days, are criminal on the though there is nothing in the na- Sabbath; what shall we say of ture of funerals or marriages, or those things, which are criminal in in the exercises proper for such oc- their very nature, and on all days? casions, inconsistent with the rest Feasting and drunkenness, tavernof the Sabbath; yet the labour of haunting and gambling, routs and preparing for them, and the travel assemblies, stage-playing and ling necessary in going to and horse-racing, are awful profanafrom them, are so great an inter- tions of the holy Sabbath. ruption of the appropriate duties provoking must it be to God, when of the Sabbath, as to render it men do those things on that day, very desirable, that these solem- which He has sanetified and set nities should, if practicable, be apart to be spent in the immediattended on secular, rather than ate exercises of religion, which sacred days

are not fit to be done on common Works of necessity and mercy days; which are impure and wickonly, may lawfully be done on the ed whenever they are done!" Lord's day. These may be done. II. I am to show what ought to The Lord of the Sabbath said. It be done on the Sabbath. is lawful to do good on that day; Though the Sabbath should be assigning as a reason, that the Sab- à day of rest; yet it should not bath was made for man. He jus| be a day of idleness. tihed himself in healing the sick rest of body is the Sabbath of a on the Sabbath, and his disciples beast, and not of a man.” The in plucking the ears of corn, to Sabbath should be a rest, similar appease their hunger. It is doubt- to that, which angels and the spirless lawful, on the Lord's day, to its of the just enjoy in heaven; prepare our necessary food, to who cease not, day nor night, clothe ourselves decently, to take to worship God and the Lamb. care of our domestic animals, to The whole of the Lord's day, exvisit and attend upon the sick, to cept what is indispensibly necestravel to and from the place of sary for the rest and refreshment public worship, and to give alms of the body, should be spent in and make collections for charita- the secret, private and public ex ble purposes. But, whatsoever is ercises of religion. more than these, cometh of evil. 1. Secret meditation and prayThat is not a work of necessity, er are incumbent duties, on this which might have been done on holy day. This is, indeed, a duty, Saturday, and may be deferred on all days. We should let no. till Monday; nor is that a work of day pass, without secret devotion. mercy, which had better not be We are commanded to watch and done at all.

pray without ceasing. We are 2. No kind of vain or idle I always exposed to spiritual ene

66 Mere

mies; we always need the blessing we pray for ourselves, we should of God; and we never know what not forget to pray for others, and a day may bring forth. In such particularly, for those guilty, staan hour as we think not, our Lord pid creatures, who profane the may come. Those, who are stran- | Sabbath-day. gers to the closet on week-days, These, and such like exercises, will find it a dull, tiresome place will furnish an hour of most pleason the Sabbath.

ant and profitable employment fa But, though we ought, every the closet on the morning of the day, if possible, to enter into our Lord's day, and will have a most closet, and pray to our Father, happy influence in fitting us for who seeth in secret; yet this duty the duties of the family and of the demands our more particular at sanctuary. The faces of those, tention on the Lord's day. We who thus converse with God in ought to rise early, that we may secret, will shine, when they have time for this pleasing work. come into the house of God, as did It is defrauding God and our own the face of Moses, when he came souls, to indulge in sleep later on down from the mount. It will be Sabbath-morning, than on other evident to all, from their solemn, mornings. Why should a Sabbath devout, heavenly deportment, that be shorter than a secular day? Or they have been with Jesus.

It why should we not do as good a was an observation of an aged diday's work for our souls and God, vine in England, to a young Minas for our bodies and the world? ister, “If

you
would
reap

in the We should take the holy Scrip- pulpit, you must sow in the clostures into the closet with us, and et.” This may be applied to the there diligently search them, with hearers, as well as preachers of a sincere desire to learn and do the gospel. They will hear, in the will of God, We should care- the house of God, very much as fully and honestly compare our they pray in the closet. The hearts and lives with the rules of ground of the heart must be broken the Divine word. We should up and mellowed in order to remeditate on the things which God ceive and nourish the good seed has revealed for our instruction in of the word. If there was not righteousness, and especially on such a general neglect of secret the character and work of Christ, prayer; there would not be so the great Lord of the Sabbath; in many inattentive, forgetful and honour of whose resurrection and unfruitful hearers of a preached completion of the work of our re- gospel. It is owing to a neglect demption, the first day of the of secret prayer, that so many, week is sanctified as the Christian who hear the truths of God's word Sabbath. We should call to re- illustrated and proved, from Sabmembrance and humble ourselves bath to Sabbath, remain stupidly for our sins, and fervently pray ignorant of the first principles of for pardon and sanctification, and the oracles of God. "Those, who for the Divine presence and assis-seek wisdom, may not expect to tance in the private and public du- obtain such a treasure, unless they ties of the day. It ought to be ask it of God. our petition, that darkness may Secret prayer should be attend. be removed from our minds and ed in the evening, as well as unbelief from our hearts; that the morning of the Lord's day. The word may be profitable to us, be services of the sanctuary, have a ing mixed with faith. And while peculiar tendency to fit the mind

for the duties of the closet. Here tures, which contain the words of we may confess the sins of the eternal life. day, and supplicate a blessing on 3. Attendance on the public the word, which we have heard, worship of God is an indispensathat it may be savingly beneficial ble duty, on the Lord's day. We to ourselves and others. The are commanded not to forsake ministers of Christ should not be the assembling ourselves togethforgotten, in these near approach- er.' The institution of social wores to the throne of grace. In ship requires the presence and connexion with prayer, it is prop- concurrence of all, who are able er to meditate on the doctrines to come up to the courts of the we may have heard, to search the Lord. The end of preaching the Scriptures, to test their truth, and gospel cannot be obtained, unless to apply them, so far as scriptur- the people give a regular and al, to our own feelings, conduct punctual attendance on the inand spiritual state.

structions of God's house. To 2. The private exercises of re- those, who absent themselves, the ligion are incumbent duties of the gospel is hid. It is as much the Sabbath. These include all the duty of people to hear, as of minreligious services, suitable for a isters to preach.

Wo unto minisfamily, in its collective capacity. ters, if they preach not the gosReading and expounding the Scrip-pel: and wo unto the people, if tures, accompanied with prayer, they will not come and hear it. and the singing of psalms, and They will be found, at last, among hymns, when practicable, togeth-those, who have rejected and deser with the catechising of chil- pised Christ. A deceived heart dren, and the instruction of ser- may easily invent excuses for the vants and domestics in the truths neglect of public worship: 'but and duties of religion, should pre- such excuses will generally apcede and follow the more public pear, in the light of the great day, exercises of the day. These du- | to be vain. They are mere refuties, which ought not, without ne- ges of lies. In a time of revival, cessity, to be neglected on any when religion is realized, as the day, should receive peculiar atten- one thing needful, people seldom tion on that day, which is set apart find any difficulty in getting to the for the express purpose of worship- house of God; and that in season. ping God and attending to the A lowery day, a slight indisposiconcerns of the soul. If parents tion, or the labour of travelling a and heads of families would have few miles, will not keep those at their households serve the Lord, home, who esteem the Sabbath a they must train them up in the delight, and who love the courts way they should go, by a regular of the Lord: Nor will such frivocourse of discipline and instruc- lous excuses detain such, as have tion, to which the rest of the holy any serious concern for the salvaSabbath is specially adapted. Lit- tion of their souls. Those, who tle do those heads of families think make no scruple of breaking the of the worth of the souls commit- Sabbath, by absenting themselves, ted to their charge, and of the ac- unnecessarily, from public worcount they must give at the bar of ship, are so far from being ChristChrist, who restrain prayer for ians, that they are not so much as

neglect to make them awakened sinners. Let such conacquainted with the holy Scrip- sider, that there is to be one meet

[ocr errors]

ing, from which they will not be such as have profaned the Sabbath able to absen* themselves, and and neglected his great salvation, which will soon take place before " Behold, ye despisers, and wonthe bar of Christ; when he will der, and perish!" preach himself, and will say to all

MORALIS.

FOR THE HOPKINSIIS MAGAZINE.

novation; because, as they would

have it understood, it differs from ESSAYS UPON HOPKINSIANISM,

the Calvinistick system. If, thereNo. VIII. OBJECTIONS ANSWERED.

fore, it has been made to appear, Under this head, it was propose with ancient, genuine Calvinism,

that Hopkinsianism harmonizes ed to take notice of a few only of the more general and plausible

and grows out of it as the branchobjections, which are made to the

es from the stock of a tree, and system at large; leaving it to oth

differs only from what is called ers to remove such as are brought

Calvinism by some of the reputed against particular doctrines, as

Orthodox of the present day; it they may occur, in the course of must be obvious, that the charge these essays.' In pursuance of

of novelty lies not against Hop

kinsianism, but against modern, this plan, I have endeavoured to give an answer to one objection, or spurious Calvinism, which is a in my last essay, and now proceed corruption of the pare doctrine

of to another.

the venerable Reformers. OBJECTION II.

Most of the essential doctrines · The Hopkinsian system is com- in the Hopkinsian system, are posed of novel doctrines, and is a expressly taught in the Institutes departure from the faith once de- of Calvin ; and they may all be livered to the saints.

inferred from the principles there This objection is frequently al- laid down and established. So leged against particular Hopkins far from being an innovation, Hopian doctrines, as well as against kinsianism only clears away the the general system. Hopkinsians rubbish, which degenerate divines are accused of being bold projec- and lax laymen have heaped upon tors, who are not sufficiently hum- genuine Calvinism, and 'presents ble to walk in the plain, 'beaten the edifice in its fair form and due path of evangelical truth, but are dimensions. By all the Orthodox, ambitious to display their ingenu therefore, who look upon Calvinity and acuteness by advancing ism as the ancient and true faith, new theories and strange hypothe- not Hopkinsians, but Modern Calses, which, they endeavour to vinists, ought to be viewed as the make the world believe, are won

real ingovators and projectors. If derful discoveries and mighty im- the Calvinism of John Calvin, was provements in Divinity:

the faith once delivered to the This popular objection is near saints; so is Hopkipsianism. akin to the one, which was discus- But, suppose it could be made sed in my last essay. The charge to appear, that Hopkinsianism difof novelty comes chiefly from fers, in some points, from the systhose, who lay an exclusive claim tem of Calvin; and, that, where to Calvinism. They complain of it does not difter, it explains some the Hopkinsian system, as an in- I things more clearly, reconciles

« PreviousContinue »