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of virtue in the world. That expedient is aside the real operation of Christianity
the school of fine feeling and poetical senti-cence and joy upon the humble cottages ment. It differs from the former in this which surround it. Now this is very sooththat while the one, in its dissertations on ing, and very delightful. It makes you glad virtue, carries you up to the principles of to think of it. The fancy swells with rapduty, the other paints and admires it as a ture, and the moral principle of our nature tasteful exhibition of what is fair and lovely lends its full approbation to a scene so virin human character. The one makes virtue tuous and so exemplary. So much for the its idol because of its rectitude; the other dream of fancy. Let us compare it with the makes virtue its idol because of its beauty; waking images of truth. Walk from Dan to and the process of reasoning by which they Beersheba, and tell us, if without and beare shut up unto the faith, is the same in yond the operation of Gospel motives, and both. Look at the actual state of the world, Gospel principles, the reality of life ever and you find that both the rectitude and the furnished you with a picture that is at all beauty are a-wanting. If you admire the like the elegance and perfection of this fictione, and love the other, you are shut up tious history. Go to the finest specimen of unto the only expedient that is able to re- such a family. Take your secret stand, and store them-and that expedient is sanctioned observe them in their more retired and inby the truth of heaven, and has all the power visible moments. It is not enough to pay of omnipotence employed in giving effect them a ceremonious visit, and observe them to the operation-the Spirit of God subdu- in the put on manners and holiday dress of ing all things unto itself-putting the law general company. Look at them when all in our hearts, and writing it in our minds- this disguise and finery are thrown aside. and by bringing the soul of man under the Yes, we have no doubt, that you will perinfluence of “whatsoever things are pure, ceive some love, some tenderness, some viror honest, or lovely, or of good report," tue; but the rough and untutored honesty creating a finer spectacle, and rearing a of truth compels us to say, that along with fairer and more unfading flower, than ever all this, there are at times mingled the bitgrew in the gardens of poetry.
terness of invective, the growlings of disThe processes are so entirely similar, that content, the harpings of peevishness and we would not have made it the distinct ob- animosity, and all that train of angry, susject of your attention, had it not been for picious, and discordant feelings, which imthe sake of an argument in behalf of the bitter the heart of man, and make the reality faith, which may be addressed with great of human life a very sober affair indeed, advantage to the literary and cultivated or when compared with the high colouring of ders of society. There are few people of romance, and the sentimental extravagance literary cultivation, who have not read a of poetry. novel. In this fictitious composition, there Now, what do we make of all this? We are often one or two perfect characters that infer, that however much we may love perfigure in the history, and delight the imagi- fection, and aspire after it, yet there is some nation of the reader; and you are at last want, some disease in the constitution of landed in some fairy scene of happiness and man, which prevents his attainment of it virtue, which it is quite charming to con- that there is a feebleness of principle about template, and which you would like to him—that the energy of his practice does aspire after; perhaps some interesting fami- not correspond to the fair promises of his ly in the bosom of which love, and inno-fancy; and however much he may delight cence, and tranquility, have fixed them- in an ideal scene of virtue and moral excelselves--where the dark and angry passions lence, there is some lurking malignity in his never enter-where suspicion is unknown, constitution, which, without the operation and every eye meets another in the full of that mighty power revealed to us in the glance of cordiality and affection-where Gospel, makes it vain to wish, and hopeless charity reigns triumphant, and smiles benefi-| to aspire after it.
: SERMON X.
"And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."- Mark ii. 27.
The first recommendation of the Sabbath / around and without the line of demarcation. is the place which it occupies in the deca- We see no attempt whatever to violate the logue. There was much of Jewish obser- sanctity of the ground which this line envancy swept away with the ruin of the na-closes. We no where see any express or tional institutions. There was much of it recorded incursion upon any one of the obdesigned for a temporary purpose, and servances of the decalogue. We perceive which fell into disuse among the worship- an Apostle in the New Testament making pers of God after that purpose was accom- his allusion to the fifth of these observances, plished. A Christian of the present day, and calling it the first commandment with looks upon many of the most solemn ser-promise; and by the very notice he bestows vices of Judaism in no other light than as on the arrangement of the duties, are we fragments of a perishable ritual-nor does given to understand, that no attempt had he ever think, that upon himself they have been made to disturb their order, or to deany weight of personal obligation. But this pose any one of them from the place which does not hold true of all the duties and all had been assigned to it. We should count the services of Judaism. There is a broad it an experiment of the most fearful audaciline of distinction between that part of it ty, without the intimation of any act of rewhich is now broken up, and that part of it peal passed in the high legislature of heawhich still retains all the authority of a per-ven, to fly in the face of that Sabbath law, petual and immutable law. Point us out a which stands enrolled among the items of single religious observance of the Hebrews so notable and so illustrious a document; that is now done away, and we are able to and nothing short of a formal and absolute say of it, and of all the others which have recallment can ever tempt us to think, that experienced a similar termination, that they, the new dispensation of the Gospel has every one of them, lie without the compass created so much as one vacancy in that of the ten commandments. They have no register of duties, which bears upon the place whatever in that great record of duty aspect of its whole history the impress of a which was graven on tables of stone, and revealed standard that is unalienable and placed within the holy of holies, under the everlasting. We cannot give up one article mercy-seat. Now, how does the law of the in that series of enactments which, in every Sabbath stand as to this particular ? Does it one age of the Christian world, has been lie within or without a limit so tangible, and revealed as a code, not of ceremonial but forming so distinct and so noticeable a line of moral law. We cannot consent, but on of demarcation? We see it then standing the ground of some resistless and overbearwithin this record, of which all the other ing argument, to the mutilation of the induties are of such general and such imper-tegrity of this venerable record. We see ishable obligation. We meet with it in the throughout the whole line of the Jewish interior of that hallowed ground, of which history, that it stood separate and alone; every other part is so sacred and so inviola- and that free from all the marks of national ble. We perceive it occupying its own con- or local peculiarity, it bore upon it none of spicuous place in that register of duties, all the frailty of the other institutions, but has of which have the substance and the irrevo- | been preserved and handed down to us an cable permanency of moral principle. On unchanged standard of duty, for all generareading over the other articles of this me- / tions. We see, at the very commencement morable code, we see all of them stamped of the Mosaic dispensation how God himwith such enduring characters of obligation, self thought fit to signalize it; for, from the as no time can wear away; and the law of place where he stood, did he proclaim the the Sabbath taking its station in the midst ten commandments of the law, in the hearof them, and enshrined on each side of iting of the assembled multitude; while every among the immutabilities of truth, and jus- other enactment, whether moral or ceretice, and piety. It is true, that much of monial, was conveyed to the knowledge of Judaism has now fallen into desuetude, and the people, through the medium of a human that many of its dearest and most distin- legislator. And we should feel that, in deguished solemnities are now regarded in no throning any one of the perceptive imposiother light than as the obsolete and repealed tions of the decalogue from its authority observances of an antiquated ritual. But it over our practice, we were bidding defiance is worthy of being well observed that the to the declared will of the Eternal; and rewhole of this work of demolition took place I sisting a voice which sounds as loudly and
as impressively to our conscience, as the that the moral world went back again into one that issued in thunder from the flaming a wild chaos of dark and disorderly rebeltop of Sinai, and scattered dismay among lion ; and the heart of man lost its obethe thousands of Israel.
dience to the attractive influences of that But, secondly, in the practice of the great principle which can alone subdue it Christian world, the Sabbath has been into harmonious accordancy with the law moved forward by one day; and the re- of God; and the resurrection of Christ membrance to which it is now consecrated, from the grave was a mighty and essential is a different one from that of the creation step in the counsels of heaven for quelling of the world. For this change we can find all the violence of this elementary war; no positive enactment; but we can quote" for unless I go away, the comforter canthe uncontrolled observation of it down not come; but if I go to my Father, I shall from the period of the apostolic age. · We send him." And from the place which he are sure that a practice so early and so now occupies, does the Spirit come down universal, could not have been introduced at the commission of the exalted Savjour, without the sanction of Heaven's inspired and he moves on the face of this spiritual messengers. And, mark the limit of that chaos, and is ever and anon reclaiming liberty which has been taken with the some portion of a moral and renovated emfourth commandment. It amounts to no- pire from the rugged domain of a world thing more than the circumstantial change lying in wickedness. And the time is yet of a day. Had the early Christians felt to come when this ever-renovating Spirit themselves warranted to take more liberty, shall fulfil its conclusive triumph, by spreadthey would have taken it; for then was the ing an entire aspect of worth, and piety, time when Christianity took its determi- and moral loveliness over the wide extent nate movement away from the practices of of a now sinful creation. the old dispensation, and established all its And thus it is, that while the day of Sabdistinctions as a religion of principle, and a bath has been changed, there is a most asreligion of spiritual character. But widely fecting remembrance which gives to the as the one religion departed from the other, observation of Sabbath the full import and there never, in any one age of the church, significancy of its original purpose-the has been a departure from the observance remembrance of a new creation emerging of a Sabbath, appropriated to the more so- from an old one-the animating view of lemn and peculiar exercises of piety. The life and immortality rising in splendour change in the day goes to prove that Chris- from the corruption of the grave the colltianity is not a religion of mere days. But templation of an ascended Saviour, who while it has abandoned one particular day, I pours the promise of the Father on all his you find it transferring itself to another; and believing disciples--and working in them in the choice of that other it is guided by | by the Spirit the graces of the new creature, the affecting remembrance of an event, the prepares them for a welcome entrance into contemplation of which is fitted to strength-I those regions, where sin is unknown, and en the faith, and to refresh the piety, and where death is swallowed up in victory.. to waken the best and most religious feel- But, thirdly, in addition to the slight cirings of those who are spiritually engaged cumstantial change which has been made in it. It commemorates the rise of the upon the Sabbath, and which we are sure crucified Saviour from the grave-of him no honest and enlightened Christian can who is the first fruits of them who slept- ever construe into an entire and absolute of him who by that Spirit which is com- repeal of the whole institution-there is a mitted to him, raises all those who are dead general change affecting every one of the in tresspasses and sins, to newness of life ten commandments, but which was never of him who is the great agent of Heaven so well understood till the new dispensafor repairing all the disorders and all the tion was fully and fairly ushered into the deformities of the moral world-of him by world. whom, as the word of God, the universe. We do not mean to say, that the worwas at first created, but who has since thies of the Old Testament were uiter earned a more enduring title to the memory strangers to that doctrine of grace on of Christians, by taking upon him that which the Spirit of God, working in larger great scheme, in virtue of which, there are measure on the minds of the Apostles, from to emerge out of this ruined and rebellious the day of Pentecost, has poured so clear province, a new heaven and a new earth, and so celestial a splendour. We believe wherein dwelleth righteousness. At the that many Jews were, under the shadow of first creation of the world, the Spirit moved their types and their sacrifices, trained to over the turbulence of its confused and jar-| the faith, and the humility, and the affecring elements, and awoke them all to or- tionate obedience of creatures who knew der and to harmony. When Adam fell, themselves to be incapable of perfect conwe know not what precise mischief it in- formity to the law of God--and that, m Aicted on the material world; but we know the act of serving him. they stood on es
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