« السابقةمتابعة »
of the ten; and consequently, that yet their conduct may have great God requires all men, who enjoy influence in promoting and hinderthe light of divine revelation, to ing the display of his glorious perremember the Sabbath-day to keep fections in the world. That God it holy. This, of itself, is a suffi may be honoured by a strict obcient reason for observing one day servance of the Sabbath, is plainly in seven, as holy time. God is the implied in these words of Isaiah: Sovereign of the world. All man- “ If thou turn away thy foot from kind are under law to Him.- the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasWhen He commands, it is the dy- ure on my holy day; and call the ty of men implicitly to obey. Whe- Sabbath a delight, the holy of the ther we can perceive the reasons Lord, honourable; and shalt honof any divine commands, or not, our him, not doing thine own ways, makes no difference as to our obli- nor finding thine own pleasure, nor gation to obey; for we cannot speaking thine own words," &c. doubt that there are good and suffi-Since God requires men, in his cient reasons, without calling in law, to keep the Sabbath; a strict question the wisdom and goodness and conscientious observance of it, of God. When Abraham was re- is a proper and dutiful expression quired by a command which he of respect for his divine authority; knew to be divine, to sacrifice his whereas a neglect and profanation son; his total ignorance of the pro- of this sacred day, is an impious priety and reasons of such a strange expression of contempt for his aucommand, furnished him with no thority. Just so far as any one's excuse for refusing, or even delay- example has influence, by keeping ing obedience. The reasons of the Sabbath, he honours his Maker; many of the positive commands and by profaning the Sabbath, he laid upon God's people, in ancient reproaches his Maker. times, were concealed from them, The honour of God in the world, at the time; however obvious they requires, that his existence, permight have been rendered by sub- fections and providence should be sequent events. But, the moral known among men. Where God precepts of the scriptures, are is unknown, idols receive that reyfounded in the nature and relations erence which is due to Him only. of things; and carry, on the face of But, that God may be known, the them, their propriety and reasona- Sabbath must be observed. Though bleness. And such is the command the invisible things of God are to keep holy the Sabbath. This clearly seen by the things that are command, so far as respects con- made, even his eternal power and secrating some portion of time to godhead; yet there is no reason the worship of God and the duties to think, that any of mankind of religion, is of a moral nature; it would have acquired a knowledge is positive only as it respects the of the being and character of God, proportion of time to be thus con- if He had not favoured them with secrated, and the particular day to a supernatural revelation. Men be observed. Which leads me to are naturally too busy and too observe,
averse to the knowledge of God, Second. The honour and glory to pay that attention to the dicof God are concerned in a due ob- tates of reason and the voice of servance of the holy Sabbath.-nature, which is necessary to perThough nothing done by men, can ceive and be convinced by the eveither increase or diminish the
per- idence of his existence, perfections section and blessedness of God; and providence, exhibited in his
works. Hence the apostle, speak- Third. It is for the temporal and ing of Pagans, says,
" After that, eternal interest of men, to rememin the wisdom of God (the works ber the Sabbath day, to keep it hoof creation, which show his wis- | ly. Our Lord said, on a certain dom) the world by wisdom knew occasion, 6. The Sabbath was made not God,” &c. The knowledge of for man.” It was designed for his the only living and true God, has benefit, both in this life, and that never extended farther than the which is to come.
The greater light of divine revelation. But part of mankind are obliged to larevelation itself would not commu- bour for the necessaries and comnicate the knowledge of God to forts of life. These need seasons mankind, if it did not bring with it of rest and refreshment. But how the institution of the Sabbath. How many, through worldliness, would little the scriptures are read, even deny to theinselves, and how many by many, who pay an external and
more, through covetousness and decent respect to the day of rest. cruelty, would deny to others unWho, then, would search the scrip- der their controul this necessary tures, so as to acquire the knowl. relaxation; if it were not for the edge of God, if no day had been institution of the holy Sabbath! set apart for religious purposes; or The rest of the Sabbath promotes
one should remember and the health and vigour of the body, keep it? If the Sabbath should be and enables the labouring part of a abolished, it is reasonable to con- community to do more, as well as clude, that the true God would to do it with greater ease. The soon be unknown.
happy effect of a general observance But, if the observance of the sa- of the Sabbath, upon social intera cred Sabbath be necessary to the course, and the progress of knowacquirement and preservation of ledge, civilization and improvethe knowledge of God; how muchment in whatever is useful and more necessary it is to the main-commendable in society, is too obtainance of his worship? The vious to need illustration. honour of God, in the world, con- But, if the observance of the sists very much in the homage and Sabbath be necessary to the tem, worship paid Him by mankind, in poral interest of men; how much their social capacity and publick more necessary is it to their spiritassemblies. Here his name is in- ual interest? Who would have time, voked, his perfections adored, his ,
or take time, for reading the scripprovidence acknowledged, and his tures, for meditation upon divine high praises celebrated. Now, truth, and for serious self-examinawhen such multitudes, even where tion, if there was no Sabbath? If the Sabbath is most generally ob- the Sabbath were forgotten or disserved, neglect the social and pub- regarded; how few would receive lick worship of God; is there any that instruction in the great docreason to think, that his name trines and duties of religion, which would be honoured and his praises is necessary to inake them wise sung by men, if the day, set apart unto salvation? How few. would for that purpose, were forgotten, or ever be awakened to a proper attenuniversally profaned? But, every tion to the concerns of their souls? one who neglects or refuses to keep It is, principally, on the holy Sabthe day of holy rest, does his part bath, that the means of grace are towards a general disregard and used and enjoyed that God is graviolation of the fourth command ciously pleased to accompany
means with thc convincing, con-' verting and sanctifying influences institution of the Sabbath. is one of of his Holy Spirit--that his people Heaven's best gifts to men. .In are comforted and strengthened to keeping this, as well as every digo on their way rejoicing that the vine command, there is great rechurch on earth is replenished, and ward.' But those who disregard candidates prepared for the church or misimprove this precious season in heaven. The rest of the Sab- 1 of rest, meditation, instruction and bath, when duly observed, is an devotion, forsake their own merearnest and prelude to that holy cies, and lightly esteem their own and everlasting rest, which remain- souls. eth to the people of God. The
FOR TDE BOPKINSIAN MAGAZIXE.
ON THE CREATION OF THE WORLD
BY JESUS CHRIST.
mass, and an order of beings to inhabit it. This plan was executed, and received the approbation
of God, who added a reasonable The Christian publick are often soul to the animal life, of which told, that Christ was a mere in- only these new beings were first strument in the work of creation. made partakers, and at the same Men, who are fond of considering time, put them in subjection to themselves remarkably reasona - the angels. ble, will represent our Saviour as These angels advanced to the a derived being, and endowed government of the world, which with power to make the world. Is they had created, became elated this reasonable? It does not mate with pride, fell by degrees from rially differ from the doctrine of their primitive rectitude, and soon Basilides, the Egyptian Gnostic. manifested their depraved incli
. He believed in the existence of nations. They not only tried to one Supreme God, consummate in eradicate from the minds of men wisdom and goodness, who pro- their knowledge of God, and to duced seven beings of a very high receive divine honours in his order, called aions. Two of stead; but made war with each these, * Dynamis and Sophia, be- other, and endeavoured to enlarge gat the angels of the highest order. every one the bounds of his emThese angelic spirits created a pire. The most rebellious angelheaven for their dwelling place, ick spirit governed the Jewish naand brought forth other angels, of tion. a nature a little lower than their Hence the Supreme Being, comown. Many generations of angels / passionating those rational creatoriginated from them; so that new ures, who were subject to their heavens were formed, amounting jarring powers, seut from heaven in number to three hundred and his son *Nus, the chief of the sixty-five, for their accommoda- aions, that joined in a substa: tial tion. The omnipotent Lord over union with the man Jesus, he all these, Basilides called Abraxas. might restore the knowledge of
The inhabitants of the lowest God, destroy the empire of those heavens, which touched the bor-angels, who presided over the ders of the eternal, self-animated world, and especially of that, who matter, formed the plan of mak- was placed over the Jewish peoing a world from this chaotick) ple.' The god of the Jews, alarm* Power and Wisdom.
ed at this precedent, seut his min- ry occasion. “Great is truth, and isters to seize the man Jesus, and it will prevail.” put him to death. His orders Overlooking what the light of were executed.
nature alone would teach them, In this fragment of history, we disregarding the first passage of see the folly of allowing the exist- divine revelation, “In the beence of instrumental creatures, ginning God created the heavens and are led, involuntarily, to'pity and the earth,” and the prophet's the men, who can believe such declaration respecting the peculobviously erroneous sentiments. iarity of manner, in the work of When we look abroad into the creation, “I am the Lord that works of God; can we believe, maketh all things, that stretcheth that the Maker of all did not cre- forth the heavens alone, that ate by his immediate agency?- spreadeth abroad the earth, by myWho ever thought, when viewing self (Isa. xliv. 24) and glossing the starry heavens, that they were over John i. 1-3, Col. i. 15, 16, made by proxy? Yet men, in this Heb. i. 8—10, which teach most enlightened age, will tell us, with clearly, that all things were cremuch assurance, that God made ated by Jesus Christ, as the Suthe world, as Noah did his ark, preme efficient Cause; they dwell through the instrumentality of a on the word by, as evidence sufsecond cause. He created Jesus ficient to prove our Lord orly an Christ, and then folded up his instrumental agent. On this they arms, having little more to do, chiefly build their opinions, which than to see his son, a mere creat- are no less revolting to good sense, ure, give life to the universe. The than the creed of the Egyptian Supreme God stands by and looks Gnostick. Besides, a momentary on, as an idle spectator, while his examination of Schlensner, and Son shews himself the Creator, the best commentators, will conUpholder, Governor, Redeemer vince a saber man, that the word and Judge. Is this reasonable? By, in their favourite passage, Yet multitudes of literary men, expresses the efficient, not the inprofessedly pious men, do insist strumental cause. For God to that it must be reasonable. Is it create all things by Jesus Christ, not presumption, then, to ques- then, is the same as for Christ, in tion the truth of their opinions? his divine nature, or in the char, They gravely tell us, in vindica- acter of God, to be the Creator of tion of their honest convictions all things. Jesus Christ was not in regard to this subject, the only man, but God, the Creator scriptures teach us, that God cre- of the universe. ated all things by Jesus Christ;' The Gnosticks considered themwhich is, in their view, a moral selves the only persons, who had demonstration of their position. the true knowledge of ChristianThey hang their doctrine mostly ity. They viewed all other proon this little word of two letters; fessed Christians, as simple, ignoand, by pertinaciously insisting rant, unreasonable beings, who that it cannot possibly mean any
misinterpreted divine truth. thing but what proves their doc
DIA-PHILOS. trine, are ready to shout, on eve
[The Question, to which the follow; proportionate to the resistance to ing piece relates, had already received
be overco:ne. And if the Jews an answer, before this came to band. See page 427. But, as there are ideas
were more hardened than the Siin the remarks of P. C. new, perhaps, to
donians, it would require a strong. some, and incorrect in the opinion of er influence to produce an inpres. others; the piece is inserted, with a sion upon them. This is true, view to excite a more close examina- whether the influence be mediate tion, if ot a more full discussion of an
or iminediate that of means, or of important subject.]
the Spirit of God. 'ANSWER
But the great difficulty is yet to
be met. Christ has here no referTO THE QUESTION OF MATHETES,
ence to the special influence of the ON MATTH. XI. 21.
Spirit. He confines the remark Mr. Editor-In answer to the
to the mighty works which they had question proposed by “ Mathetes,"
seen. It is as if he had said, that if in the number for May, I beg leave Tyre and Sidon had enjoyed the to offer a few remarks. The ques- means which the Jews enjoyed, tion is, “ If human depravity, in they would have repented. And every age, and in all places, is the though I conceive I have met the
I same, on what ground could it be
question in the abstract, as stated said (Matth. xi. 21) that Tyre and by your correspondent; yet the
. Sidon would have repented, if they text is not cleared of its difficulty. ba! enjoyed those privileges which In order to solve the difficulty, Chorazin anı Bethsaida did enjoy, we must revert to the two relations but repented not?”
in which man stands to God. The The question, as it stands, may bible and common sense coneur, be briefly answered thus. The in representing man as a complete depravity of all men is the same in moral agent, and at the same time kind, but not in degree. All men as a creature entirely dependant are entirely destitute of love to on his Creator. And here I shall God, and consequently, their whole take for granted what might be eamoral nature is perverted. In this sily proved, would the finits of respect, their' dapravity is the this article admit, that these tro same. But while all are prone to characters, though existing in the evil, some have stronger propensi- same person, are so far indepenties to it, than others. The hearts dent of each other, that what is of some are more hardened in sin true of the one, is none the less and less susceptible of divine im- true for any thing which concerns pressions, than others. But it the other. “And God, of course, might be true, that that measure of sustains two corresponding relainfluence, which had been exerted tions to man. If man is a moral without effect on the hardened agent, God is a moral Governour. Jews, would have brought the in-And if man is a dependant creahabitants of Tyre and Sidon to re- ture, the passive subject of divine pentance, a d that on the supposi-impressions, God is related to him tion, that the hearts of both were as the author of these impressions. totally at enmity against God. And in this relation, he may be
And this does not militate at all called the Sovereign, Efficient against the fact that an irresisti- Cause. And these two relations ble divine influence is necessary, are distinct and perfect. And in order to effect repentance. The what is true of the moral Goverpower, which produces an effect, is 'nour, is none the less true for any