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On the Primitive, The Jewish, And the Christian Sabbath.

On the Primitive, The Jewish, And the Christian Sabbath.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

BY THE REV. S. LEE, B.D.


The last article I shall notice in Dr. Whately's " Essay"
is, that given on the observance of the Sabbath. " I am
inclined," says he, (p. 163.) " to believe that one reason which
makes some persons reluctant to acknowledge the total aboli-
tion of the Mosaic law, is the notion that the sanctity of the
' Christian Sabbath ' depends on the fourth commandment ;
and that, consequently, the reverence due to the Lord's day
would be destroyed or impaired by our admitting the ten
commandments to be no longer binding."

BY THE REV. S. LEE, B.D.


The last article I shall notice in Dr. Whately's " Essay"
is, that given on the observance of the Sabbath. " I am
inclined," says he, (p. 163.) " to believe that one reason which
makes some persons reluctant to acknowledge the total aboli-
tion of the Mosaic law, is the notion that the sanctity of the
' Christian Sabbath ' depends on the fourth commandment ;
and that, consequently, the reverence due to the Lord's day
would be destroyed or impaired by our admitting the ten
commandments to be no longer binding."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 22, 2014
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O THE PRIMITIVE, THE JEWISH, AD THE CHRISTIA SABBATH. BY THE REV. S. LEE, B.D. The last article I shall notice in Dr. Whately's " Essay" is, that given on the observance of the Sabbath. " I am inclined," says he, (p. 163.) " to believe that one reason which makes some persons reluctant to acknowledge the total aboli- tion of the Mosaic law, is the notion that the sanctity of the ' Christian Sabbath ' depends on the fourth commandment ; and that, consequently, the reverence due to the Lord's day would be destroyed or impaired by our admitting the ten commandments to be no longer binding." From what we have seen respecting the Mosaic law, I think there is reason to believe that it has never been abrogated. That part, indeed, which was typical, necessarily ceased with the offering up of the great Antitype : on the other part, which was moral, this event could exercise no such influence. A question, however, might arise, as to which part the institution of the Sabbath really belonged. The West- minster divines referred it to the moral ; Dr. Whately be- lieves that it belonged to the ceremonial law. * For my own part, I believe it partook, in certain respects, of both ; and for these reasons : Many of the services performed on that day were doubtless ceremonial, viz. the sacrifices and many other things connected with the tabernacle or temple, as many passages might be cited to shew ; but the rest en-  joined upon the people, and the keeping of this day holy, for the purpose of reading the Scripture, prayer, and the like, whether carried on in the temple or elsewhere, were insti- tuted for moral purposes; and, as far as I can see, were, in part at least, observed by the patriarchs from the very first. Dr. Whately, too, has no doubt that the patriarchs kept a sort of Sabbath. I believe the same thing ; but I differ from him in supposing, that the Sabbath of the creation was not first recorded by Moses in allusion to a circumstance which happened two thousand years after- wards, namely, the institution of the Sabbath in the wilder-
 
ness : because, I do not believe that Moses was the author of the book of Genesis. He may, indeed, have compiled it (and it is most probable he did) ; but, I have no doubt, * Still, in its moral part, it appears to have admitted of a typical ap- plication, as in the Epistle to the Hebrews, chap. iv. 4 — 10; where it seems to liave intimated some future rest to the believers of those times. Again in Colossians, ii. IG, 17. " 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 dm/s, which are a shadow of things to coino ; but the body is of Christ." SECT. XI.] AD THE CHRISTIA SABBAT'^. 95 those Scriptures are patriarchal, just as I believe the book of Job to be; for reasons which I shall presently give. If, then, the Sabbath, mentioned as instituted at the creation, was not first recorded by Moses, the probability will become strong, that a Sabbath day was kept before the law of Moses was given ; and it will be equally probable, that this was the Sabbath kept by the patriarchs ; and if this be the case, the abroo-ation or not of the Mosaic law will not interfere with this question. ow, if the original Sabbath was kept by the patriarchs, there can be no impropriety in supposing that the Jews, through whose hands the patriarchal Scriptures have been delivered down, kept this Sabbath, if it can be shewn that they kept any, before the law had been given from Sinai. That the Jews kept a Sabbath day, before the law was given from Sinai, we are expressly told. " To-morrow," it is said, " is the rest of the holi/ Sabbath unto the Lord," (Exod. xvi. 23), at a period occurring a considerable time before the Israelites had come to Mount Sinai. I do not cite this, however, to shew that this was the Sabbath day of the patri- archs, — I believe it was not; but only to prove, that the Sab-
 
bath day was recognised before the law had been given by Moses. It may also be remarked, that the mention of the Sabbath does not appear to be introduced here as of a thing unknown up to that time ; it is, on the contrary, spoken of as a thing generally well known ; it is also said to be the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord, — a circumstance of which the Israelites needed no other information, than that the day of its celebration was at hand. The terms likewise in which the declaration is couched, identify it with the primi- tive Sabbath ; the rest and the holiness here mentioned being enjoined on that occasion, and on that occasion only, pre- vious to this notice by Moses. It may be concluded, then, perhaps, that although the very day of the primitive in- stitution of the Sabbath may not be here marked, the obser- vance of that institution itself is. Let us now endeavour to ascertain whether this de- claration of Moses related to the day originally appointed for the observance of this Sabbath, or not ? If we turn to the 12th chapter of Exodus, we shall find, that on the fourteenth day of the month, at even, the paschal lamb was to be slain. 96 O THE PRIMITIVE, THE JEWISH, [dISS. I. and eaten in haste, with the loins girded, shoes on the feet, &c. (ver. 11); and again (ver. 14), that this day was to be kept (annually) in the same manner, throughout the genera- tions of the Jews. A day was, therefore, here set apart, for the first time, for this particular act. We are told in the next verse (15), that seven days, apparently following this, are then to be kept in like manner; and, from the words in which this is stated, it should seem, that this feast should begin and end with a Sabbath day ; and if so, we have here the observance of a whole week appointed, including a Sabbath day at each of its extremes. In verse 17, we are further told, that on this day («'. e. the first of these Sabbath days), the armies of Israel were brought out of Egypt, and on this account the appointment took place. This subject

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