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errors; for humble acknowledgment of them; for making resolutions of reformation and amendment; and for thinking and conversing on Spiritual matters. Whatever tends to prevent or obstruct the performance of these duties, it behoves us to remove. If, therefore, we have people to work at our houses on Sundays, and, as usual, instruct thein in their work, we shall cause a prejudicial intermixture of worldly and spiritual concerns, and shall untune and unfit our minds for the due discharge of the duties just mentioned. On the other hand, if we merely allow Heathen Workmen to continue on the Sabbath their daily employment, while we ourselves are retired, and feel not, from their presence, the slightest interruption, this evil will be removed, and, with it, every scruple against the practice in question.
To the Editor of the Calcutta Journal; dated
Southern India, March 10, 1820.
“Ought Christians to allow People of any Faith or Sect, as Hindoos,
Mussulmans, &c., to work at their Houses on Sunday ?”
SIR, In your Number for January 31, there is a communication from Philo-kalon, on the abovestated Query, which the writer appears to have solved to his own satisfaction: but he must not be disappointed, to learn, that his conclusions are not sufficiently powerful to force conviction
upon every mind that has been nurtured within the pale of our incomparable Establishment.
The Church of England, in common with the Kirk of Scotland and all the Reformed Churches of the Continent of Europe, have followed the example of the Church of Christ from its earliest stage, in adopting the Ten Commandments of God which were delivered to Moses at Sinaï, and inculcating them as of universal obligation to all that worship the God of Israel. With such
preeedents then, the most punctual observance of the Sabbath, how erroneous soever in the Writer's estimation, should, in the outset, have commanded a little more respect than to be termed “egregiously irrational ;” and it would have given us no unfavourable opinion of his candour, had he suspended his judgment on a point, which, so far from being questioned by the Fathers of our Church, received the concurrence of their deliberate Council. Be it observed, that Philokalon's objections are as applicable to the whole of the Cominandment enjoining the celebration of the Sabbath, as to the particular clause against which he points them; for there is no direct in junction regarding the Sabbath in the New Testament. He must, therefore, be considered as impugning the wisdom of our Ancestors, in requiring this, or any other Mosaic Precept, to be taught our children at the earliest dawn of reason, to be repeated by them with the first accents of the lips, and to be read every Sabbath in the public Congregations of the Church ; unless such precept can be found, verbatim, in the New Testament. I grant, that could the strict observance
of the Sabbath, according to the Law of Moses, be proved to be unscriptural, no human authority would justify its continuance: but until that be done, I must continue to think that our forefathers were guided by the Word of God in enjoining its observance, and that every deviation therefrom is a departure from the same unerring standard.
Your Correspondent remarks, that “the only passage in the Scriptures that could have raised a doubt on this head," is that contained in the Fourth Commandment, which prohibits the employment on the Sabbath of “ the stranger that is within thy gate.” And is not this enough? What is this passage, but part of a Divine Law? And if it can be shewn that this Law remains unrepealed in the New Testament, it will have all the force of a precept delivered by Christ himself. Human Laws often become obsolete, when the circumstances that occasioned them no longer exist; but, until formally abrogated, they remain among the Statutes of the Realm, and every one that transgresses then does it at his peril: and how many instances have we known, of a busy and unkind informer taking advantage of such antiquated decrees, to bring an unconscious offender to justice! But no part of the Ten Commandments can be called obsolete, while they continue to form a portion of the First Lessons of our Children, and are publickly read in the Church every Sabbath.
The onus probandi, then, rests with Philokalon ; for he is evidently bound to shew, where, when, and by whom, any single passage of the
Decalogue has been annulled, before he can have a right to demand proof of the whole being repeated in the New Testament. He has indeed attempted this, by confounding the Preceptive with the Ceremonial parts of the Mosaic Institution; and, thus united by him under the term Judaism, has endeavoured to shew that the whole system was abolished by Christ. But, surely, I need not remind him that every thing about the Temple at Jerusalem, both internally and externally, together with all its offerings, services, furniture, and implements, were typical of the Redemption of Man by Jesus Christ; and that, therefore, they were abolished when he had completed the work of Salvation, and fled, like the shadows of the morn before the rising orb of day. It is to this the Apostles allude, when they speak of the abolition of the Law: and when they assert their liberty, it is their freedom from the painful rite of Circumcision, and the now unnecessary Services of the Temple. (Vide the Epistle to the Hebrew's, passim.) But, if such passages are to be applied to the didactic parts of Judaism, what is this but making the Apostles declare that they considered themselves free from all Moral Obligation.
It is true, the Apostle does declare, “The Law of the Spirit of Lifein Christ Jesus hath made us free from the Law of Sin and Death ;" and many passages of the like import are scattered through the Apostolic Writings. But every one who reads the portion of Scripture from which the above text is selected, will find, that the Apostle, so far from arguing (as your Corre
spondent states) that Christ“ abolished" "the Moral and Preceptive part” of the Law, by "rigidly and minutely obeying it,” actually commends that Law as “holy," and the Commandment as “holy, just, and good :" (Rorn. vii. 12.) The subject of his lamentation is, that he, through the debility of his nature, the strength of his passions, and the unconquerable propensity to evil that he finds within his heart, cannot observe that Law so perfectly as he ought, and whose every precept he confesses to be founded in wisdom, purity, and justice: (Ibid. v. 13 to the end.) And the ground of the exultation with which the next Chapter commences, is, that—notwithstanding his inability to keep the Law of God, and thus render himself worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven-he has nothing to fear from the penalties annexed to it; for that Jesus Christ has paid the price of his ransom from eternal death. “ There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk-not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; for the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the Law of Sin and Death :” (Rom. viii. 1, 2.) I feel persuaded that Philo-kalon, upon a more mature consideration of this concluding passage, in connexion with its context, will see that he has mistaken its signification; and that nothing could be further from the Apostle's intention, than to assert that the Moral Law was abolished by the Obedience of Christ, as was the Typical by thie offering of His body on the cross.
The Laws of Moses were given to the Children of Israel, who have been preserved, to the present