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rest in heaven; none can, therefore, consistently neglect to keep the sabbath holy, till they are introduced into that sabbalism or rest which remains to the people of God.
It is also objected, we ought then to keep the seventh, instead of the first day of the week. If such objectors would religiously observe the seventh day, I would not contend with them;, but it is very evident, they make the objection chiefly to evade the force of the above arguments; and not because they desire to set apart any portion of time wholly to the service of God. But for myself, I have satisfactory reasons for changing the day. It has been the opinion of some good and great men, that we observe the same day, which was originally observed in memory of the creation.
They suppose, and found their supposition on scripture, that the day was changed from the one we now keep, to the day before ; to make the Jewish worship as opposite as possible, to that of idolators; who worshipped the sun on the day which bad been originally observed; from whence it derived the name of Sunday: They build one argument on a passage in Numbers, which now does not occur to me; they argue also, that it is reasonable to suppose, the new creation, by the resurrection of Christ, should be completed on the same day of the week, as was the old creation.
However this reasoning may be considered, it is certain our Lord intimated he had power to change the sabbath, when he styled himself the Lord of the sabbath ; accordingly the first day of the week was called the Lord's day, as it should seem, in memory of his resurrection ; and to express to us the propriety of celebrating that day by Christian worship, to keep in mind the great work of redemption finished on that day. On reading the epistles, it is obvious the first day of the week was a day of religious assemblies among Christians; and the writers speak of it as a thing known and established; which they could not have done, had not the practice, previously, received their authority. This manner of speaking of the first day of the week, is, to me, almost as sat. isfactory as a plain command.
And it is worthy of remark, that no writings or traditions extant, inform us, there was ever a time when the main body of the Christian church did not observe the first day of the week as the Christian sabbath ; which I presume would have been the case, had the practice been of later date than the apostolic age. For it is not reasonable to suppose, that such
a change could have crept into the church without authority, and not be questioned, or denied, as anti-christian.
I have thought, said Charles, if the sabbath were to be entirely done away, we should lose one of our standing evi. dences of the truth of religion, and of the resurrection of the Redeemer. But when we consider that the most sharp-sighted infidels cannot prove there has ever been a period in the Christian church, when the day was pot observed ; and of consequence, it having been observed ever since the resurrection, fairly proves the resurrection was real, as much as any festival kept in memory of any once notorious event, proves that event was real. It is also a wise regulation on many accounts. It tends to promote rest, health, cheerfulDess, and general cleanliness. It produces certain valuable rotations of business, a pleasing order and harmony in society ; and above all, is calculated to promote the establishment and spread of Christianity, and to increase Christian instruction. I have, therefore, been astonished, how any man, professing Christianity, could ever do, or say any thing to bring the sabbath into disrepute.
Prudentia, who till now, had been silent, said-It has often appeared to me, that if all professors of religion found as much divine enjoyment on the Sabbath, as I usually experience, they would neither neglect the duties of it, nor speak lightly of the day itself. My soul so often enjoys sweet communion with God under the word, at the holy eucharist, reading and meditating on the scriptures, that I rejoice on the return of the day. When I lay aside the cares of the week, and command my soul to wait only on the Lord, I find it such a privilege, that I could not part with for the world.
You are right, my dear, said Mrs. P. my own experience, for many years, has witnessed the truth of what you have said. And I have often been ready to adopt the words of the Psalmist— A day in thy courts is better than a thousand else where I had rather be a door keeper in the house of God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness.'
By this time they were entering the town. They had not gone far, before Charles began to observe all the shops shut, but those occupied by barbers. What, said he can be the meaning of this ? Do they not know it is Sabbath day? or have they an exclusive privilege to work ?
The truth is, answered Mr. P. there are in town a class of
beau, afternoon christians, who cannot be shaved on Saturday, because their beards will grow too much to appear with decency in the house of God; for they judge it of great importance to have a smooth face. Their hair must also be frizzled and powdered according to the newest mode; to do this on Saturday, would lay them under the sad necessity of setting up all night, or of misplacing their hair, and shaking out the powder, which would subject them to such mortification as to destroy their devotion. And wishing not to appear undevout worshipers, they keep the barber at his work till noon, to give them a saint-like appearance for the after part of the day.
Charles asked if such men imagined themselves to be christians and worshipers of God.
Most certainly; they would think you as uncharitable as a papist, if you dared doubt it.
The bells began to ring it was new to Charles, who had never before heard any thing more than a single country parish bell. It struck him with a momentary horror; but when he heard the concordant strokes of the chime, his horror suddenly subsided, and he felt that he had a squl capable of being delighted with harmony.
The hour for public worship arrived-young and old, gay and simple, crowded into the streets like bees seeking a new habitation, and like them crossing each other's line, and going in all directions; but all professing to follow one leader, and hoping at last to get into one hive. Though a mixture of so many denominations, going to twenty or thirty different places of worship, yet he heard not the word heretic, nor, go with me, for my denomination is the rightest ; nor, you are a fool for hearing that noisy declaimer; nor, you are a formalist for hearing that lazy reader ; nor, did he see a grin of disdain, nor a smile of contempt; but each walked peaceably his own way, and went in where he liked best.
Mr P. went to the place of worship where he usually attended, when in town. Soon the minister came in; he had a countenance of solemnity and devotion, an eye of intelligence and penetration; he read the introductory psalm with true poetic melody and grace, and with a voice and look which indicated his heart to be in the words. He addressed the Deity with awful reverence; his words were chosen and few, but it was evident he spake to God! The heads of his
discourse were written, but he had the happy art of reading by an almost unperceived glance of the eye
So that he presumed to look on the folks,
Without “ his thumbs standing sentinels on the notes ;" and spake nearly with the same ease, as if he had always accustomed himself to speak extempore. He did not daub with untempered mortar; with sinners he dealt scripturally in the terrors of the law; he pointed mourners to Christ, and encouraged them by the gracious invitations of the gospel ;* he shook the sandy foundation of the hypocrite ; with the hand of truth he tore off the dirty, ragged covering of the pharisee ; directing the former to build on Christ, the rock of ages, and the other to be clothed with holiness of heart and life, by the great atonement and power of the sanctifying spirit; backsliders were smitten with a sense of their criminality and danger, while believers were built up in the most holy faith.
Charles retired, highly satisfied ; but with a query whether, at sometimes, in defending particular articles of his creed, he did not rather eclipse some of these glorious truths. But he checked himself by saying--be it so; none of us, perhaps, are without some inconsistencies ; and whether he always preaches thus or not, I will receive and enjoy the truth wbich I have heard.
In the afternoon he chose to attend worship in another congregation. Soon after taking his seat, he saw what resembled a walking bundle of black silk, going up the pulpit stairs ; keeping his eye upon him, he saw him for some time busy to adjust his powdered hair, which was a little misplaced by his hat. His bosom was too much concealed by a fine silken waistcoat; he took care, therefore, that it should be thrown open, to give a fuir view of a plaitted shirt, and an elegant golden pin. When he had thus prepared himself to face the congregation, he rose, and read the psalm. His voice was pitched to the Italian key, and he read with all the dignified airs of a fop. In his prayer, he complimented the Deity, as though he considered him a French nobleman, and was pleased with great words that mean nothing. When he stepped forward to begin his sermon, he displayed a gilded book, with all the flourish of a military salute ; artfully displaying, at the same time, a set of delicate fingers, shining with gold and diamonds. His airs, his voice, his lips, were
The next day was spent in walking through different parts of the town. In passing places licensed for retailing liquors, no small difference was observable, in the number and behavior of the persons who frequented them. In some were seen a number of quiet and bu customers, buying and retiring to enjoy at home, the fruits of their purchase. But at others, were a great number calling for gills and half pints, bawling with a loud voice, swearing like infernals, boasting with the most offensive pomposity, of deeds never performed, or of such as were degrading to rational beings ; some fighting, others bursting into loud peals of laughter, others holding themselves up by the counter, with swimming heads reeling on their shoulders ; scolding politics ; swearing about religion ; bragging about wives; commending ministers; speaking evil of rulers ; and mixing such a variety of subjects, palitical, moral, religious, grave, ludicrous, profane, &c. and such a variety of dialects, English, French, German, Spanish, &c. uttered in voices high and low, quick and drawling, broad and squeaking ; no one waiting for another, but all at the same time, proposing, arguing, contradicting, denying, granting ; with all sorts of tones and gestures, mixed and misplaced ; some natural, some artificial, some utterly beyond the reach of both nature and art; the peculiar and unattainable oratory of the place ;-these together, made up such har. monious discord, and monotonous confusion, as Raphael could not touch with his pencil, nor Demosthenes reach with bis eloquence.
Having walked all day, and being about to return to his lodings, he acciilentally passed through a street, where he heard language expressive of the deepest depravity, and such as no mo lest man conid lawfully utter. For a moment, he Wis so astonished, that almost losing his recollection, he fancied himself near the stated residence of devils. Nor could he hardly believe his eyes, when he found the language proceeding from beings in human shape, and mostly from females. He had hardly heard profanity and blasphemy till now ; nor could he have believed human beings, and especially females, capable of being so totally divested of all modesty and de cency, as to utter expressions in an open street, so nakedly olscene, so daringly tempting, and so directly opposed to all