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be done well requires intermissions. An entire day is a longer space of time than the human mind can employ with alacrity upon any one subject. The austerity therefore of those is little to be commended, who require that all the intervals of public worship, and whatever remains of the day after the public duty is satisfied, should be spent in the closet, in private prayer and retired meditation. Nor are persons in the lower ranks of society to be very severely censured those especially who are confined to populous cities, where they breathe a noxious atmosphere, and are engaged in unwholesome occupations, from which with their daily subsistence they derive their daily poison if they take advantage of the leisure of the day to recruit their wasted strength and harassed spirits, by short excursions into the purer air of the adjacent villages, and the innocent recreations of sober society ; provided they engage not in schemes of dissipated and tumultuous pleasure, which

may disturb the sobriety of their thoughts, and interfere with the duties of the day. The present humour of the common people leads, perhaps, more to a profanation of the festival, than to a superstitious rigour in the observance of it: But in the attempt to reform, we

shall do wisely to remember, that the thanks for this are chiefly due to the base spirit of puritanical hypocrisy, which in the last century opposed and defeated the wise attempts of government, to regulate the recreations of the day by authority, and prevent the excesses which have actually taken place, by a rational indulgence.

The Sabbath was ordained for a day of public worship, and of refreshment to the common people. It cannot be a day of their refreshment if it be made a day of mortified restraint. To be a day of worship, it must be a day of leisure from worldly business, and of abstraction from dissipated pleasure. But it need not be a dismal one. It was ordained for a day of general and willing resort to the holy mountain; when men of every race, and every rank, and every age, promiscuously Hebrew, Greek, and Scythian — bond and free - young and old — high and low — rich and poor

- one with another — laying hold of Christ's atonement, and the proffered mercy of the gospel, might meet together before their common Lord, exempt for a season from the cares and labours of the world, and be « joyful in his house of prayer.”

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We have heard him ourselves; and know that

this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

'Twas in an early period of our Saviour's ministry in the beginning of the first year of it, shortly after his first public appearance at Jerusalem, that the good people of the town of Sychar in Samaria, where he made a short visit of two days in his journey home to Galilee, bore that remarkable testimony to the truth of his pretensions which is recorded in my text. . 66 We have heard him ourselves,”. they say to the woman of their town, to whom he had first revealed himself at the well by the entrance of the city, and who had first announced him to her countrymen :

66 We no longer rely upon your report : we our

Father's peace.

selves have heard him. We have heard him propounding his


maxims of morality – inculcating his lessons of sublime and rational religion - proclaiming the glad tidings of his

We ourselves have heard him; and we are convinced that this person is indeed what he declares himself to be: We know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world, the Christ.”

This profession consists, you see, of two parts: The terms in which it is stated imply a previous expectation of these Samaritans, of a Christ who should come; and declare a conviction that Jesus was that person.


It is very remarkable in three circumstances.

First, for the persons from whom it came. They were not Jews; they were Samaritans, - a race of spurious Israelites sprung from the forbidden marriages of Jews with heathen families, - a nation who, although they professed indeed to worship the God of Abraham after the rites of the Mosaic law, yet, as it should seem from the censure that was passed upon them by a discerning and a candid judge, “ that they worshipped they knew not what,”

as it should seem, I say, from this censure, they had but very imperfect notions of the nature of the Deity they served ; and they were but ill-instructed in the true spirit of the service which they paid him. These were the persons who were so captivated with the sublimity of our Saviour's doctrines, as to declare, that he who had so admirably discoursed them, could be no other than the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

The second thing to be remarked is the very just notion these Samaritans express of the office of the Christ whom they expected, - that he should be the Saviour of the world. In the original language of the New Testament, there are more words than one which are rendered by the word “ world” in the English Bible. One of these is a word which, though it properly signifies the whole of the habitable globe, is often used, in a more confined sense, by those later Greek writers who were subjects of the Roman empire and treat of the affairs of the Romans. By these writers it is often used for so much only of the world as was comprised within the limits of the Roman empire. It has been imagined that the evangelists, following in this particular the example of the politer writers of their times, have used this same word to denote what was peculiarly their world, the territory of Judea. Men of learning, in these later ages, have been much too fond of the practice of framing expositions of Scripture

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