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indications of the institution we are considering.
III. It behoves us, however, to draw our subject to a conclusion, and to state what we rely upon as the results of the whole inquiry, and how far we would press the influence of the facts we have treated of. We do not ask the reader, then, to accept what we have offered as demonstration of the fact, but we beg him to bear in mind that the fact of the institution of the sabbath in Paradise, as recorded by Moses in Genesis, has been and is disputed by some who esteem themselves wise and prudent expositors of Scripture, who have obtained some name and fame as commentators, whose opinion on the point is loudly hailed and re-echoed by many worldly-minded and lucre-loving persons, who would use it for their own gain; and thus it is, that the fact itself requires to be supported and corroborated by all the evidence we can adduce. It is not, then, as positive proof, but as CORROBORATIVE and SUBSTANTIATING evidence, that the preceding details have been brought before the reader; and we invite him deliberately to weigh their influence, and to determine whether the following conclusion from it is not equitable and just :
Moses states as a fact, that, "On the seventh day God ended his works which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."-Gen. ii. 2, 3. But it is ingeniously represented, that Moses does not here state the fact which appears upon the very face of the record, for that the sabbath was not then instituted, nor until the law of Sinai was promulgated, and that this is a mere account of the circumstances on which the law of the sabbath is founded, and is nothing more than a proof or comment of the fourth commandment, and not a record of the appointment of the sabbath in the primitive ages of the world. Now, we contend that the record of Moses does contain this very fact-does reveal the original and primitive institution of the sabbath, and, consequently, that the sabbath is an institution appertaining to the whole human race; and, in proof of this, we offer all that amount of corroborative evidence which has been set before the reader, and contend that, amongst all nations, and in the earliest ages of the world, long previous to the law of Sinai, there are traces and indications of some such institution as the sabbath, and that these do incontestably confirm our understanding of the record of Moses, and thereby corroborate and substantiate the fact.
in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him."
And what is it that has thus been conferred upon mankind? It is a noble BOON, a most gracious GRANT, whereby, in the midst of man's toilsome life, throughout its whole span, and beshrew even the curse, "in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground," his Maker has mercifully secured to him one seventh portion of his whole life, to be enjoyed by him, one day in every seven, whereon he may rest his wearied body and refresh his wearied soul, and, separating himself from the present life, its labours, troubles, trials, and temptations, may be "in the world, but not of the world," turning his thoughts to holy and heavenly contemplations; exercising his mind and hopes in eternal aspirations; hallowing, by his thoughts, engagements, and devotions, the day which God has hallowed to himself; and thus, by doing the will of God, so learning that the doctrine is of God-that he himself becomes sanctified in remembering the sabbathday, to keep it holy.
This grant is not, as some esteem it, a mere formal observance-a burden heavy to be borne but it is a PRIVILEGE-a common RIGHT of man. Like all other testaments of God it is liable to misconception and abuse; and those who understand not its enjoyment, misrepresent its nature. Being carnally-minded themselves, they cannot comprehend a blessing which is only to be discerned spiritually. But this alters not its character, nor may depreciate its value. God has ordained it, and man cannot annul it. "He hath blessed, and who shall reverse it ?" "Yea, let God be true, and every man a liar." And though all should reject, despise, and forget it, yet it endures irreVocable except by God himself.
The great EXCELLENCY of the grant is not as many seem to imagine, a mere bodily blessing, designed for the rest and refreshment of man's fainting frame-for this is but a secondary object and this observance of the sabbath is not its main use and purpose, but is only preparatory to its great and primary design. This design is the sanctification of man, who experimentally grows in grace and in the knowledge of his Lord and Saviour, by doing God's law, and keeping holy the sabbath-day. As a means of grace towards man's sanctification, none, under the blessing of God, is more effectual than the sabbath. It is a sign between God and man, and has the full assurance of this promise, "those that honour me I will honour;" while the observance of the Lord's day as the sabbath fulfils another promise or commandment, that "all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father." And thus, by using the sabbath spiritually, and worshipping "God who is a Spirit, in spirit and in truth," and seeking the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, and looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we recognise and rejoice in our Triune God, and worship Father, Son, and Spirit, one God everlasting.
The first direct inference we deduce from this is, that the sabbath was not, as some pretend, a mere Judaical rite which has passed into desuetude with the other ordinances of the Mosaic dispensation; but that it was, and is, part and parcel of that divine and awful codethat "holy, just, and good law"-that immutable and inalienable charter which God spake with his own voice, and wrote with his own fingers upon the two tables of stone; and, further, that it belongs not to one nation, people, or language, but has been liberally bestowed by him upon all, who receive and honour this his holy institution, and who will assuredly learn thereby, that "God is no respecter of persons; but
This hallowing the sabbath is its most blessed and vital principle, and is one which we ought to make practical to our own souls, and in our own self-examination, as a TEST," a sure and safe one," of our individual sanctification and renewal. If we find the sabbath “a delight,
holy of the Lord and honourable"-if "we are glad when it is said to us, Let us go into the house of the Lord"-if the sabbath chimes, summoning us to the earthly courts of the living God, are grateful to our ears--if we know the pleasure of public prayer and communion with our fellow-worshippers-if we can enjoy the songs of praise-if we can in the chamber and in the family find pleasure in prolonging our intercourse with God-if, like Isaac, we can go forth into the field to meditate, and there gladden our feelings with the peculiar sound of silence, that seems to vibrate the live-long sabbath-day-if these and such like thoughts and enjoyments are ours, we may lay it comfortably to heart, that we are preparing for that eternal rest which remaineth for the people of God.
But if we have not attained to this excellent spirit, and are doing our own pleasure, and polluting the sabbath thereby, let us well beware how we forget, and so tempt the Lord our God. If he, as he declares himself to be, is a jealous God, let us learn to be jealous of his honour and his appointments. Since he has hallowed the sabbath, and designed it for our use, that we may become hallowed by sanctifying it, let us try ourselves according to his holy standard, and according to the spirit of the sabbath. If we would take our own pleasure thereon, let us ask, Will our pleasure sanctify the day, for, if not, it is contrary to God's holy will? If we would journey thereon, let us ask, Is it more than a sabbath-day's journey to the house of God and back, so that we sanctify the day by it. If otherwise, we dishonour the law of God, and God himself thereby. In a word, whatever we would do, let this be the test of its fitness, will it sanctify the sabbath-day? Whatever act, pleasure, employment, or plan, (always excepting, of course, what Scripture excepts, works of charity or necessity) answers not this condition, and tends not to the hallowing the sabbath, that thing is sin, because it is contrary to that perfect law which says, "Remember the sabbath-day, to keep it holy."
THE MONETARY CRISIS.
1 TIM. VI. 6-10.
A DESIRE for gain is an instinct of human nature. It is this that has led men, in all ages and circumstances, to make gain of everything, and, amongst other things, of religion. Blinded and perverted as this instinct had become, it was not to be supposed that men would hesitate as to the lawfulness of any source, such, for instance, as the religious fears of their fellowcreatures, but would be mainly influenced by
Such notoriously being the case, it was not to be expected but that this spirit would turn towards Christianity, as it came into the world, and endeavour to make gain of it, as it did of other religions. And we find that it had not existed long before some professed and preached its doctrines, supposing to make money by doing so. And this part of Paul's first letter to Timothy refers to such a circumstance, verses 3-5. The apostle then proceeds, in the words above quoted, to acknowledge, restrain, and direct the feeling to which we have referred-the desire for gain.
Before entering upon the subject, we would
offer some reasons for rendering the word here translated "contentment" by "sufficiency." The term occurs but once besides here in the whole of the New Testament, and in that place (2 Cor. 9, 8) it has been rendered "sufficiency." This, also, is the general meaning of the term, and the term required by the context; for "contentment" is a part of "godliness," and cannot, therefore, be referred to as something additional to it. And further, what is here meant is again evidently alluded to in the 8th verse, and shown most clearly to be "food and raiment." And by these words, "food and raiment," all ambiguity about the term "sufficiency" is removed.
1. The natural instinct for gain is here acknowledged. The remarks of the apostle suppose it. More, suppose it to be right. In itself it is not wrong; it is most necessary; it is a part of our nature. It only becomes evil when misdirected.
Such a feeling is absolutely necessary, as we come into the world with nothing, and there are certain of its things needful to us as we pass through it. We come into the world, then, with a feeling that leads us to acquire them. This feeling may be abused or perverted by us; but such an instinct is necessary to our very being. The purpose to be attained by it is the acquisition of 66 food and covering”—“ σκεπασματα” -signifying more than raiment; covering of every sort.
This is the general lot of all. Some have these things without gaining them; but, generally speaking, each one has to acquire for himself those things that are necessary for his body as he passes through this world. He has to get them as he travels on his journey. He has within a constant desire, and without a constant necessity for doing so.
The word "gain" here signifies something that is necessary for a journey, a traveller. And there would have been manifested here a great ignorance of human wants, if those which have had six days out of seven divinely given for their supply, had not been referred to. The desire, then, for gain, that these specified wants of the body may be supplied, is right, is necessary, is to be diligently cultivated. This is gain. But,
2. This instinct is here restrained. "Food and raiment." Hitherto, and no further, is this instinct to lead us in this direction. "Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content." This is "sufficiency," since anything more than this is useless to us. The illustration of a journey is suggested. We are travellers; we come, we pass through, we go out of the world. Persons travelling travel lightly: they depend on what the way may afford for food; and if they be on foot, anything they have to carry is but a burden. Sometimes things attract their attention, and they may take these a little way, but they often cast them aside as burdens. Food, and raiment, and rest at night, is all a traveller wants; and this is the sum of the kind of things that we require in going through the world; for, supposing that we get others, we cannot take them where we are going. "It is certain we can carry nothing out."
But further, if this desire has not this limit put to it, it will not only engross time and thoughts that belong to other things, stifle and take the place of other desires in the heart, but will induce a condition of the most lamentable idiocy. It will overgrow-become a monster; it
will be a desire for gain for gain's sake: it will change into the love of money, or, what is little different, a love of things which money can procure; leading us to temptation, snares, destruction, perdition. We have-it is the curse-to work hard for food and raiment; but if we seek more, we must work harder; more can only be obtained with a curse that is without a blessing, verses 9, 10.
3. This instinct is here directed. There are many things in our nature which God does not eradicate, but train. This is one. We need gain, for we have nothing. We have a desire for gain-for profit, for getting something as our own, something for our circumstances. This instinct, then, is directed to godliness, true religion, the gospel, faith in Jesus Christ. This is as necessary for our journey through this world as food and raiment. This and the other is enough. "Godliness and sufficiency are great gain." With these a man is happy; for godliness prevents the desire for worldly gain leading a man further than to seek for food and raiment, and itself fills his spirit to overflowing.
That food and raiment, by themselves, are not sufficient, is evident from the case of those who have them: they have still a desire for gain. They, then, either endeavour to gratify this desire in the act of getting rich, or in the effort to be happy by spending their riches. Godliness is here recommended as what man further wants. The search after that is to occupy his spare time, the profitableness of that to satiate his further desire of gain.
But we have not only to go through this world, but to go out of it. And if true religion-faith in Christ, be recommended to the traveller, as something necessary for his journey, to beguile him of its weariness, and to secure him from its dangers,-if he find it gain on his journey, what will he not find it at its close, when he has to meet God? Most emphatically, "godliness with sufficiency," godliness is the great gain to a man. For what avail, if a man had brought the whole of the world's things with him as he went through it, and had not " godliness ?" "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" verses 6-8.
The hearty reception of these truths is earnestly recommended at the present crisis. These truths show the state of commercial affairs to be not so serious as is generally supposed. Many are now prevented, just by the impossibility of the thing, of successfully carrying out their desire for gain in the usual way. There is no real necessity for their doing so; they have food and raiment.
All are too apt to be carried away by this instinct; and in this crisis, perhaps, may be seen a check given by the hand of God-preventing grace. The crisis has its lessons to Christian as well as to political economists. Many theories on currency are presented for adoption, and most oracular predictions of a repetition of such seasons, if they be not received: but may we not suppose that similar times will be ever recurring so long as "the truth" in these matters is disregarded? God is teaching individuals and nations, and individuals and nations will be ever subject to them, till they learn with food and raiment to be content.
is being carried on, according as men can be obtained, and money can be spared. In the money, then, that God's people have left, when they are fed and clothed,-in the time that is to spare after work for these things is over,-we see the worldly materials for the millennial machinery.
If these things be so, be so in reference to all, we are at once brought within the reach of the conversion of the world. Apparently, the work
These truths, adopted by the first Christians, caused Christianity to spread rapidly and widely in their time. They have but to be thus received by ourselves, and Christianity will spread as rapidly and widely in our own. R. H. S. Brading, Oct., 1847.
HINTS AFFECTIONATELY ADDRESSED To some Young Men.
1. Come early to the house of God. Why distract my attention by your want of punctuality ?
2. Do not walk up the aisles with your hat on. You would not show such disrespect to your friend's drawing-room.
3. On reaching your pew, do not be anxious to know who has arrived, nor trouble the adjoining pews as to the health of Mrs. Dobbs or Mrs. Smith. They are no doubt very well.
4. Become the owner of a hymn-book. Do not incommode your neighbour by making him share his with you.
5. If troubled with a cough, consider you are not on Salisbury Plain. Subdue it as much as
6. Think not the guinea for your sitting to be a full discharge for your minister's labours. Many modes may exhibit your grateful feelings; additions of new works to his library is one.
7. In singing, be not afraid of hearing your own voice. Cheerful, lively singing does a minister's heart good.
To some Clerks.
1. Sing tunes which the people can join in. If not, change at once. Let the tune partake in character with the hymn to be sung.
2. If the hymns are given out, let it be by two lines at a time, and not the whole verse; unless where the hymn is well known.
3. In singing, let your voice guide the congregational voice, not overpower it. Accustom the people to the blended tones of their own unassisted harmony; no sound is so beautiful.
hours, and also early on the Sunday morning. You thus may save the minister that great annoyance-a congregational cough.
To some Elder Ministers.
1. Bring out of the treasury things new as well as old. Do not present most important Christian truths Sunday after Sunday, so that they should ever strike listlessly on the ear. Consider the infirmity of man. Let, at times, the Old Testament afford a theme-and it may be ever made to illustrate the New.
2. Avoid an unyielding, unvarying tone of voice. If always loud and energetic, it wearies; if mournful and pathetic, it palls on the ear. Let there be lights and shades in your intonations, to suit the varying topics of your discourse.
3. If your strength permit, give out and read through the hymns yourself. Few clerks read well.
4. When absent from your people, be careful that your pulpit be not filled by incompetence. The people wander, and hearing divers ministers itching ears are engendered.
To some Younger Ministers.
1. Be not in too great a hurry to preach. Have your mind thoroughly furnished with all necessary knowledge. You will labour all the more effectively when you begin.
2. Induce some discreet friend to apprise you as to any defects in regard to yourself, so that they may not militate against your future usefulness.
3. Do not, in preaching, dwell on such topics as the unalterable decrees, or any other of the hidden mysteries of God; nor of the deep experiences of the aged Christian. Be careful neither to preach nor pray beyond your own experience. It is perilous. There are many subjects suitable for you, which you may manage to better effect than your fathers.
4. Attend weekly prayer-meetings, and take part therein. You will learn much from the outpourings of an aged Christian, however humble-more, perhaps, than books will teach you. To All.
Finally. Let Christian love guide your actions. Live as those who must give an account. Let no man slight his mortality. A LAYMAN. QUESTIONS FOR DAILY SELF-EXAMINATION.
1. Have I this day made religion the chief business of my life, and am I now increasingly prepared for an eternal world?
A FEARFUL OMEN!
THE respectable town of Greenock, in the West of Scotland, was lately the scene of one of the most flagrant outrages on decency upon record. The following is the "PROGRAMME :"
2. Was there much fervour exercised in my approach unto God this morning, and much delight experienced in communion with Him? and have I "watched unto prayer ?"
SOIREE. NICHOLSON-STREET UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH SOIREE,
On Wednesday, September 8th, 1847, In the Large Hall adjoining the Church. Music conducted by Mr. Gower.
3. Have I been unceasingly thankful to the Giver of every good, for all the mercies I have this day enjoyed?
4. Have I been "in the fear of the Lord all the day long," "trusted in him with all my heart," and "set him always before me; and have I striven to "glorify God with my body and spirit, which are the Lord's ?"
Has the Lord Jesus been abidingly "precious" to me, and have I continually rested all my hopes on him? Have I imbibed much of his spirit, and imitated closely his example; and have I been "constrained" by his love to live, "not unto myself, but unto him who died for me and rose again ?"
6. Have I feeling my own utter weakness→→ constantly relied upon the aid of the Holy Spirit to sustain, to strengthen, and to sanctify?
7. Have I this day been taught and guided by the word of God; and have I highly prized all the means of grace, and sought to profit increasingly by them?
8. Have I been watchful and prayerful against temptation? Has sin been subdued within me, and my spiritual foes overcome?
9. Have I cultivated all the graces of the Christian character, and been spiritually and heavenly minded; and have I aimed at eminence in piety, "perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord ?"
10. Has my "walk and conversation" been "worthy of my high calling" and have I exhibited religion so as to "adorn" it, and commend it to all with whom I have come in contact?
11. Have I laboured to be useful this day to the church and to the world, and, as much as I have had opportunity, have I lived for the good of all men ?
12. Have I discharged all the duties devolving upon me in the world faithfully and conscientiously, and with singleness of eye to the glory of God?
Lessons by the Way; or, Things to Think On.
13. Have I done all from right motivesfrom supreme love to God, and solicitude to please him; and from a desire to become increasingly like him, and prepared for his kingdom? Z.
We have called this "A Fearful Omen!" The fact that such exhibitions of impiety and frivolity are not merely tolerated, but grateful to a large assembly of professed saints, " temples of God," connected with the largest and most respectable Voluntary community of the land, is proof positive, 1st, That true piety is at a low ebb in that particular congregation; and, 2nd, That the state of religion in the Presbytery that suffers it is far from satisfactory. Only conceive of those mighty men of God, the patriarchs of that community on the Secession side, James Fisher, John Brown, and the Erskines, in the midst of the Greenock carnival! The soul recoils from the unworthy thought! But it is difficult for the English reader rightly to conceive of the monstrous farrago. He can see it is a mingled mockery made up of tarts and fruit, two preachments! two prayers! four psalms! and fourteen songs! But he cannot estimate the character of these songs, which are the favourites of the club and the tavern. The people to whom this medley ministered satisfaction are already prepared for the fellowship of such haunts as the Eagle and the Britannia, and would find a heaven amid its orgies! For these things let the land mourn, and the faithful weep in secret places. When the spirit of decided Dissent ceases to be that of exalted piety, there will soon be an end of it, and the sooner the better, for it would no longer be what it now is, and hath ever beenthe instrument of glory to God and salvation to men. These are things to think on!
sorrows. With an effort, the only public one which has been at all successful since the lamented bereavement-by an effort which I know must be followed by a bitter collapse-I have restrained myself, I have not obtruded my sorrows. Three hearts are beating among us this day, with whose griefs mine have no right to be compared. But next to these, mine may well be prominent, perhaps not unfitly expressed. First, firmest, fastest friend, I could not have thought it was left me to survive. My confidence was that any testamentary labours of thought and fruit of study, would be in his custody, and that in his guardianship my memory would be more than safe. I pictured him the comforter of my widow and fatherless ones. My spirit seemed to hover over him, while he committed my ashes to the grave. I never doubted that I was to fall the first. I can yet estimate the mercy of life; I am not unthankful that I am spared; but mine is henceforth a more solitary way. Such a counsellor, such a companion, such a friend, I can never find again. I have but to follow him, still to listen to his footfall, or rather to his resounding plume, until I overtake him. Sweet will be his welcome to me-blessed his recovered friendship and endless love. Servant of God, well done! Minister of Christ, take thy crown, and enter into the joy of thy Lord! Messenger of the church, go up higher; pass to its triumphant state! Friend of my soul-brother of my heart -farewell!"
FUNERAL SERMON ON THE LATE
THE funeral sermon for this much-lamented
The discourse was listened to with the closest attention, notwithstanding the numbers present, and the inconvenience to which many of the auditors were necessarily exposed. It occupied about an hour and a half in the delivery.
In the evening, the Rev. Thomas Scales preached in East Parade Chapel, in improvement of the death of the pastor. His touching sermon, from Acts viii. 2, ("And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him,") was heard with great attention by an extremely numerous congregation.
We understand that Dr. Hamilton has been applied to by the deacons of the church at East Parade Chapel to publish his discourse, but that he has declined to comply with the request, on the ground solely that it is his intention to prepare a memoir of the Rev. John Ely, to be published along with a number of manuscript sermons and tracts left by that gentleman. This posthumous publication, introduced by a memoir of the author from the pen of his friend, will be anticipated with eager interest by all who knew Mr. Ely.-Leeds Mercury.
IS IT RIGHTEOUS?
MR. EDITOR, You have given to our churches much good advice for the improvement of their conduct to their pastors. Will you also kindly admonish the churches which have not pastors to be first in their conduct towards those whose labours they solicit and enjoy as supplies. Is it righteous to reward labours which a minister may have rendered at great personal inconvenience merely with thanks, and smiles, and hopes, for the pleasure of soon hearing him again, and a pecuniary offering less in amount than the expenses which he has incurred in serving and pleasing them? Is it righteous that ministers, as individuals, should suffer a tax upon their