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Third and last place, That I enforce the practice of it by some motives and arguments. And,

1st. Allow me to observe, that though this commandment were to be considered as a mere positive institution, or only as a test of our obedience and subjection to God; yet the portion of time which is thereby separated from common use, is so very moderate, that we have not the remotest cause to complain of it. I am even persuaded, that were God to refer the matter to ourselves, and, after having represented that he had brought us into being, and would allow us a certain term of life in his world, were to ask us what portion of our time we would freely resign to his disposal, as an acknowledgment of his righteous title to the whole, we should be ashamed to offer so little as he hath been pleased to demand. I am apt to think, that, instead of every seventh day, we should have thought every other day, or the full half of our time, the least that could be offered in return for such undeserved goodness. Put the case, that any of you were lying on a death bed, and God should say to you, How much of your time will you consecrate to my service in future, if I shall now be pleased to restore you to health again? I suppose most of you would reply, without any hesitation, Lord, I make no condi. tions: I put myself wholly into thy hands: demand of me whatsoever thou wilt. Hear how Hezekiah expresseth himself, after his miraculous recovery from a deadly disease, (Is. xxxviii. 19, 20.) “ The living, the living, he shall praise thee as I do this day. The father to the children sball make known thy truth. The Lord was ready to save me; therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord." He doth not limit his resolutions of thanksgiving and praise to the Sabbath day: be thought all the days of bis life a tribute of consecrated time small enough in return for the goodness which had rescued him from the grave. And is it possible, that any of us should judge one day in seven too much, even though the duties required on it were in their own pature disagreeable, and bad nothing to recommend them but the mere authority of the Lawgiver? Nay, my brethren, I shall put the case a little stronger. Suppose yourselves in the immediate prospect of death, either by sickpess or by some external cause, and that God should say to you in these circumstances, I will save you from this danger, on condition that every seventh day you will quietly submit to the torments of some acute distemper, as long as I shall continue you in the world. Do you imagine that you would reject these terms? God knows, and yourself know, that you would not reject them; the offer would appear too good to be refused. If God then requires nothing more severe than this, your own reason must tell you that there is no cause to complain. But what are the duties which God requires of us? Are they disagreeable in their own nature? Have they no value or excellence in themselves? On the contrary, they are infinitely fit and reasonable, and every way calculated to give the truest satisfaction, the most sublime pleasure, to. the soul of man. This I shall state as a

2d Argument for enforcing obedience to the commandment in the text. Wbat can be more rational or delightful to a well-informed mind, than to contemplate the wonderful works of God in creation, providence, and grace? What can be more becoming, than to join with others in adoring the perfections of the Father of our spirits, and in ascribing that glory which is due to his name? Can any thing be more pleasant, than to retire from the hurry of a vain world, that without reserve we

may pour out our hearts, and lay open the secret desires of our souls, in the presence of that great Being, whose nature disposeth him to pity us, and whose power enables him to bestow upon us, in the fullest and most effectual manner, every blessing that can promote our most important interests ? Can any entertainment be more rational, more truly divine, than to read the lively oracles of God, and to converse with our fellow Cbristians, upon the most interesting of all subjects, the salvation of our souls, and the means of securing an “inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away?" One should think that a bare counsel, nay, even a permission to spend one day in seven in such pleasant and profitable exercises, would be regarded as a singular privilege that deserved our warmest returns of gratitude and praise. The force of this argument is not weakened, because those who are alienated from the life of God have no relish for the pleasures which arise from the exercises of devotion. It is not the reason of the thing which leads the depraved mind to account “the Sabbath a weariness," or to say, “When will the Sabbath be over?” After six days spent in provision for the body, is one day too long to care for the soul? Nay, after deducting the time which is necessarily employed in sleeping, and eating, and drinking, can we not find as much in God, in Christ, and in heaven, as may afford us entertainment for the scanty remainder of twenty-four hours ? Alas, my brethren, how shall we employ an everlasting Sabbath, if one Sabbath in the week is so tedious and burdensome? Can those be candidates for immortal glory, who think one day too long for the work of heaven, unless they relieve themselves, by consuming the greater part of it in idle conversation or trilling amusements ?--My

3d Argument to enforce this commandment shall be taken from the many advantages which flow from the religious observance of the Sabbath. Hereby we shall obtain the blessing of God, according to that large and comprehensive promise, (Isaiah lviii. 13, 14.) “ If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honourable, and shalt honour bim, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” If we honour God on this separate day, which he claims as bis special property, then may we expect to be honoured by him on the other days of the week, which he hath given us for our own use. The truth of this hath been frequently experienced by the people of God; and among these, too, by some of the most eminent characters, not only for piety, but also for learning and taste, and knowledge of the world. I shall mention one who was highly respected in his own time, and whose character and writings are to this day universally esteemed. The learned Judge Hales, speaking of his experience on this subject, hath these words: “I have found,” saith he, “ by a strict and diligent observation, that a due observing the duty of this day, hath ever had joined to it a blessing upon the rest of my time; and the week that hath been so begun, hath been blessed and prosperous to me. And, on the other side, when I have been negligent of the duties of this day, the rest of the week hath been unsuccessful and unhappy to my secular employments; so that I could easily make an estimate of my successes in my own secular employments

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the week following by the manner of my passing this day. And this,” adds be, "I do not write lightly or inconsiderately, but upon a long and sound observation and experience.” Nay, the right observance of this duty will procure national as well as personal blessings : for so God promised to his ancient church, (Jer. xvii. 24, 25.) “ If ye diligently hearken unto me, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein; then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots, and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and this city shall remain for ever." I do not mean by these arguments to bribe you into a mercenary or political observance of the Christian Sabbath. Should you spend the whole day in reading, praying, praising, or any other forms of religious worship, merely, or even principally from a regard to your own private interest, or to the public prosperity of the nation to which you belong, I must be so faithful as to tell you, that it would not be accepted. Nay, God would number these hypocritical services among your most provoking sins. For it is the heart which God requires; and if that be withheld, he will accept of no outward homage. But I mention these things to show you, that Sabbath-breakers must be ut. terly inexcusable, when they transgress a law, which is not only most reasonable in itself, but which hath also peculiar promises annexed to it, of temporal prosperity and happiness. And with the same view I am now going to add a

4th Consideration for enforcing obedience to this commandment, namely, That the transgression of it is attended with many sad and fatal consequences. God hath


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