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REV. i. 10. I WAS IN THE SPIRIT ON THE LORD's
HATEVER be our opinion con
cerning the Sabbath, fuppose wewere never bound to keep it, or are fet free from it ever so fully; we may still be subject to another appointment of a Nature so far similar, as to contain that which was most valuable in the first. Our Chriftian Liberty surely is not a freedont from the worship of Almighty God; nor from all external forms appertaining to it: since it cannot well sublift, and cannot at all be publick, without some of them.
Hebr, xiji. Even we have a sacrifice to offer, that
of praise to God continually, the fruit of our
We have that one facrifice, that was of
fered for fins for ever, to commemorate, Luke xxii. till he come again who offered it: This 1 Cor. xi. do in remembrance of me.
Ye do shew the
1 Cor. vii. 19.
Circumcision indeed is nothing, and uncir.
cumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Mark xvi. commandments of God: yet even Christians
have a command, not only to believe, but
16. Afts x 48. Matth.
Colof. ii. 76.
In like manner, although no man may now judge us, in respect of the Sabbath; yet mult we be very inattentive to overlook, and highly culpable if we disregard, the great authorities on which the institution of the Lord's day is founded, and the many obligations we are under to the obfervance of it.
In the first place, this Festival hath been kept by the whole church of Christ, in all ages: It hath been observed in every nation where the gospel hath been planted, and can be traced up to the first sources of Christianity. It's very antiquity must render it venerable. Is it not natural to regard with respect, that which hath re. ceived so much honour ? Are we not afraid to violate what hath been always held sacred ? at least, methinks, till we have well inquired whether the appointment, which has met with so general an approbation, were not built on great authority, or good reasons ?
We shall find that it was founded upon both. There are not wanting passages even in the Scriptures, from which it may be inferred, that the religious celebration of the Lord's Day was ordered by the Apostles, and authorised by the miraculous presence of our Lord himself.
John xx. 19.
The same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and faith unto them, Peace be unto you.
And after eight days, again his disciples were within, then came "Jesus, and stood in the midst, and said, peace be unto you.--I need not observe to you, that after eight days, in the language of Scripture, means on the same day of the week following.
Not only at Jerusalem; in other parts at a great distance, the first.Christians, we find, had soon adopted this holy feast, in imitation of the example, or in conformity to the directions of those who had converted them; and employed it in the
celebration of publick worship, and in acts Akts xx. of publick charity. We failed away from
Philippi, and came unto them to Troas: and upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.
Now concerning the collection for the saints, 1 Cor. xvi. as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in ftore as God hath prospered him; that there be no gathering when I come.
I John was in the Isle that is called Pat. Rev. i. 9, mos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Chrift: I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. To whatever place the Apostles and first disciples of Christ went, or were driven by their enemies, they carried this rule of their religion along with them, to remember the Christian Sabbath: their Lord, in conmemoration of whose resurrection they kept it, continued to follow them with tokens of his approbation and presence; accepting the day, which they had dedicated to him, and had distinguished by his name: I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day.
Nor is it of no moment, that the ob-