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batical law, whether the seventh, or the first of the seven days be observed, she has, in conformity with the institution and practice of the apostles, and the prophecy of Ezekiel, fixed the sabbath upon that day upon which the Creator of the world, and the author and finisher of our faith, consummated our redemption by his resurrection. But without a reference to a sabbath, there is no reason why his resurrection should have been celebrated once in seven days; and of this difficulty his Grace seems well aware, as I shall have occasion to show presently. The change of day is the only proof the church gives of her having determined upon a weekly commemoration of that event. She even studiously avoids stating that Sunday is to be observed in commemoration of the resurrection, lest she might seem to exclude the sabbath ; although she has expressly directed that every Friday in the year shall be observed in memory of the crucifixion. She has appointed one Sunday in the course of the year to be peculiarly dedicated to the remembrance of the resurrection by name,the word easter signifying resurrection. And it is very remarkable that our forty-ninth canon calls Easter the festivity of the resurrection, a clear proof that the authors of our canons did not consider Sunday, or the first day of the week, exclusively a festival of the resurrection, as his Grace maintains it to be; for if it were, then the above appellation in the canon would have applied to every Sunday, whereas it is manifest it is intended to apply to Eastersunday alone.
I cannot better elucidate the principles of the double commemoration established by the apostles and church, than by here taking notice of a strange inconsistency into which our learned friends, the authors above quoted, have fallen in relation to this topic.
They say that the sabbath was instituted, for the first time, after the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt. They acknowledge the institution to be in remembrance of the creation in six days, and of the rest on the seventh; and that such remembrance was to be kept up by the division of time into periods of seven days, one being selected as a day of worship and of rest. But as to the précise day of the seven to be so observed, they maintain that it had no reference whatever to the actual day of rest after the creation; but that it was so settled as to be commemorative of a totally different event, the deliverance out of Egypt. I have shown that both their facts are erroneous; but they have established the principle of the double commemoration, viz. the creation and the rest, by the division into seven days, and keeping one of them holy, and of the other event by the particular day to be observed: and they consider this principle to be interwoven with the very institution and establishment of the sabbath. And yet, Oʻstrange inconsistency! when precisely the same thing is really done by the apostles and church, they cry out that it is an abrogation of the sabbath! The apostles and church preserve the seven-days division, and the keeping one holy in remembrance of the creation, and they settle the particular day of religious observance on the precise day of the resurrection, in commemoration of our deliverance from the bondage of sin, and from slavery to the devil, of which the deliverance from Egypt is by every one considered as a type.
And now as to the sabbath ;—The church, as before observed, preserves that festival by adhering to the division of time into weeks, and by the observance of one day of each as a day of rest and of religious worship. Indeed without the sabbath, it is difficult to conceive how, or why, the division into weeks could, or should, have been preserved. His Grace could not but see this difficuty; he could not but notice it, and he slurs it over thus : page 12, note ;— The recurrence of the christian festival every seven days (rather than once in a decade, or in a month, &c.,) that is, the adoption by Christians of the division of time into weeks, may be easily traced to the circumstance of their having derived their religion from the Jews, who used this mode of reckoning time. So that, according to his Grace, the keeping of the festival once in seven days, and the dedication of one day in seven to religious worship, is quite accidental, and derived from what he considers an abolished and obsolete custom of the Jews ! But methinks his Grace is not very consistent in binding Christians to the observance of those periods of seven days, because they were observed by the Jews, and at the same time so loudly protesting against their being bound to the observance which can alone make the division, on the very same grounds of its being a law of the Jews. It was the sabbath, and the sabbath alone, which made the division, and if the sabbath had been abrogated, the weeks would also have been abolished.
The continuance of the division of time into weeks, and the observance of one day in seven as a day of religious worship, under the christian dispensation, rest upon much higher authority than mere accident. They rest on the practice and injunctions of the apostles, who, as they continued the division as a thing already established, must have preserved the only thing which could have made the division; they must have preserved the cause and the commemoration which made that division, and which made it necessary. I have before observed, that in the original language, the words rest, seven, sabbath, and week, are all the same, with slight variations in their terminations. And even in the Greek language, in which the apostles wrote, the week, and every day of the week, were called by the
name of sabbaths : and therefore, the apostles by continuing the division and the name, continued THE SABBATH. And the universal church, and our church in particular, by continuing that division, continue the sabbath.
But this is not all. Our church proclaims the commandment for the observance of the sabbath, during the time of divine service, nearly one hundred times in every year: and directs the members of her congregations, on every such occasion, to pray to God to enable them to keep it as his law: and, to give it the highest possible solemnity, she connects it with the most sacred rite of the eucharist. She orders it to be taught to the babes of her flock; and in confirmation, she examines them in the fourth along with the other commandments, before she opens the door of her fold, and sends them abroad to more extended pastures. She proclaims it to her deacons and priests, when they take upon themselves the solemn offices which constitute them pastors to feed the sheep of the great Shepherd. She proclaims it again to her bishops, when in their consecration they are appointed overseers of the pastors and flocks. Bishops, priests, and deacons, on these solemn occasions, receive it as the law of God, and pray to him to incline their hearts to keep it as his law; and they ratify the acknowledgment, and the promise implied in that prayer, by receiving the memorials of the death of their Lord, who by that atonement, changed the observance of all the commandments from a ministration of condemnation into a ministration of reconciliation and of righteousness; and enabled them, while they confidently pray for strength to keep those laws, at the same time, with wellassured hope, to pray for mercy for having transgressed them.
Let us now consider the office which our church imposes upon those whom she appoints to make those reiterated proclamations ;—the office and duty, which, in this respect, she imposes upon her archbishops, bishops, and clergy.
The following is the rubric before the commandments. • Then shall the priest, turning to the people, rehearse distinctly ALL THE TEN COMMANDMENTS; and the people, still kneeling, shall, after every commandment, ask God mercy for their transgression thereof for the time past, and grace to keep the same for the time to come, as followeth. Therefore the minister who rehearses them, - whether he be bishop, priest, or deacon,-proposes them to the people, for the express purpose of calling upon them to receive them with that prayer,—and in that prayer to acknowledge each as the law of God. The minister then pauses, to give them an opportunity of obeying that solemn call, which he has thus made. And shall it be said that any minister shall thus propose to the people, as the law of God, and direct them to acknowledge as his law, and pray to be enabled to keep as his law,—what the minister himself does not believe to be God's law, and which he has previously and publicly declared to the people not to be God's law, and not to be binding on their consciences ? Awful inconsistency (to use a mild word) of the sacerdotal character and office !
The following are the opening words of his Grace's pamphlet. «Some people, who do not really believe the Mosaic law relative to the sabbath to be binding on Christians, yet think it right to encourage, or tacitly connive at that belief from views of expediency, for fear of unsettling the minds of the common people.'
And again, in page 23, speaking of the duty of Christian ministers in this respect, he says, “They have no right, even if they should think it expedient, to encourage, or tacitly connive at, misconception on this subject. If I should refer to the Mosaic law as the foundation of the