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THE SABBATH;

A SERIOUS ADDRESS TO THOSE WHO PROFANE THE LORD'S DAY

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THE SABBATH;

A SERIOUS ADDRESS TO THOSE WHO PROFANE THE LORD'S DAY.

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THOSE I reckon guilty of profaning the Lord's day, and to them in the name of God direct this paper, who neglect the appointed work of that day, and who violate the prescribed rest of that day.

1. It is a profanation of the Lord's day, and a breach of the law of it, to neglect and omit the proper duty and business of that day, which is the immediate service and worship of our God. If we leave undone that which on this day ought to be done, we are transgressors; for omissions are sins, and must come into judgment.

That the eternal God is to be solemnly and religiously adored by the children of men, and that we are all bound, by acts of piety and devotion, to give unto him the glory due unto his name, and pay our homage to him, none will question who really believe that there is a God, who is a being infinitely perfect and blessed, and the fountain of all being and blessedness, our Creator, Owner, Ruler, and Benefactor, on whom we have a necessary and constant dependence, and to whom we lie under the highest obligations imaginable. Never did reasonable creatures speak more unreasonably than they did who said, “What is the Almighty that we should serve him ?" Job xxi. 15.

Something of this work ought to be done every day ; no day must pass without some solemn acts of religious worship, both morning and evening ; when we address ourselves to the work of the day, and when we compose ourselves to the rest of the night, we ought actually to acknowledge God, both by our prayers and praises, as our Protector, Guide, and Benefactor. “Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work ;” and is this no part of our work? Is it not the most needful and excellent work we have to do ? Those who live without daily worship live without God in the world. As God allows us time for works of necessity and mercy out of his day, so we ought to allow time for works of piety and devotion out of our days, else we are not only undutiful, but very ungrateful.

But besides the morning and evening sacrifice, which the duty of every day requires, the wisdom of God, for the preserving and securing of divine worship in the world, has instituted and appointed a particular time for the special solemnities of it, which is one day in seven. The body of a seventh day, that is, the working hours of it, are by this institution appointed to be spent in the acts of religion and devotion, as the other days of the week are intended for secular business, and the works of our particular calling.

Now this instrumental part of religion, (give me leave to call it so,) though it be not equally necessary with the essentials of it, the love of God, and faith in Christ, yet it is undoubtedly necessary, both as a duty in obedience to the divine law, which requires us thus to consecrate a seventh day to the services of religion, and as a means of keeping up communion with God in holy ordinances, and preparing ourselves, by his grace, for the vision and fruition of him. It is so necessary, that revealed religion, anıl with it all religion, would in all probability have been lost and forgotten long ere this if it had not been kept up by the observation of Sabbaths.

Now, forasmuch as it is the work of the Lord's day to worship God, not only in public solemn assemblies, which we ought conscientiously to attend upon both the former and the latter part of the day, but in secret and in our families, morning, evening, and at noon, those do certainly profane the day who do not spend the best part of it, and much more those who scarce spend any part of it, in pious exercises ; either not attending on them at all, or with such a constant and allowed carelessness and indifference as discovers a great contempt of the God they pretend to honour.

Those profane this sacred day who waste the precious hours of its morning in sleep and sloth, and proud and needless dressing, and the rest of the day in idle chat and perfect sauntering, as if Sabbath time hung upon their hands and they knew not what to do with it, nor how to idle it away and pass it off fast enough, till they have that which is their heart's desire, “When will the Sabbath be gone ?"

Such as these, how innocent soever they may think themselves, are to be counted Sabbath-breakers, who, instead of keeping the Sabbath day, lose it, and throw it away, and wilfully suffer it to run waste ; and instead of sanctifying it, and advancing it above other times, vilify it, and make it the most idle, insignificant, and unprofitable day of the week; for the days that are spent in worldly business serve to some purpose, but this, that should be spent in the business of religion, being trifled away, and the work of it undone, serves to no purpose.

2. It is a profanation of the Lord's day to violate and break in upon the holy rest of that day, and to do that from which we are bound up and restrained by the law of the day, in order to our more close application to that which is the work of the day. On that day we are to rest both from those worldly employments of our particular callings which on other days are our duty, and the work of the day, and from those sports and recreations which on other days are lawful, as the entertainment of our spare hours, and the preparatives for our busy ones ; from both we are to rest on the Lord's day; for certainly carnal pleasure is as great an enemy to spiritual joy as the sorrow of

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