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ter, reaping where he has not sown, and gath. cring where he has not strowed.” True indeed it is, that when our convenience and gratification come in competition with the will and law of God, and it is not to be dissembled that such cases may occur, it is incum, bent on us to “ deny ourselves, and take up our cross :" Nor can we deserve the name, or anticipate the reward of disciples, if we refuse. Generally speaking, however, our comfort and our duty are inseparably connected ; and to perform the one is most efféctually to promote the other. In the rare and special cases, when they interfere, the mortification to which we are called, without excluding pre. 'sent consolation, is professedly calculated to promote our future welfare. “There is no man, that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”

The sabbath is an institution peculiarly adapted, as well to mitigate the sufferings and heighten the blessings of this pilgrimage state, as to improve our virtue, and prepare us for immortal bliss beyond the grave. This is more than implied in the text. The pharisees,

who placed a superstitious confidence in ex. ternals, had charged the disciples with a crime, because, to satisfy the unavoidable cravings of nature, “they plucked ears of corn on the sabbath day.” To obviate this charge, and prove that under the law, to which they appealed, ceremonial observances and positive rites were always esteemed subordinate to the indispensable necessities of life, our saviour alleges that well known passage in David's history, in which we are told, that “ when he had need and was an hungered, he went into the house of God, and did eat the shew bread, which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests; and gave also to them that were with him.” He then applies the argument by adding, "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” It originated in a benevolent regard to our happiness, and was intended by infinite wisdom and goodness, at once ; to afford us relaxation from the toils and cares of the world, and to aid our improvement, es rational, moral, and accountable agents. To suppose, therefore, on the one hand, that it “ lades men' with burdens grievous to be borne ;” or, on the other, that it furnishes them with opportunities and pretexts for licentious indulgence, would be alike absurd ;

alike inconsistent with the character of its glo: rious author, and the duty of those, for whose advantage it was ordained.. ;

The correctness of this construction will be illustrated by a brief consideration of the several ends proposed by the sacred writers, in the observation of the sabbath. D'. "I The first idea, under which the sabbath is represented in scripture, is that of a day appropriated to rest. Six days shalt thou la.' bour and do all thy work : But the seventh is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates."* This is an establishment full of mercy, if we regard only its temporal influence. Such is the ea." gèrness, with which multitudes desire and seek the emoluments of this sublunary abode, that were these emoluments suffered without interruption, to engross our attention, and call' forth our activity, not the indigent and servile only, but the affluent and prosperous would, in many instances, * pursue them to their own death.” : Do we not find that the worldly minded are seldom, or never, satisfied with

* Exod. xx. 9, 10. -'m si';

below ? If thjects, unperille successiva

their present acquisitions? As they climb the summit of fortune, and the prospect extends around them, are not their wishes excited, and their wants multiplied by the successive appearance of objects, unperceived in the vale below? If then, no regular intervals of relaxation occurred, how many thousands, who are now refreshed by the frequent return of the sabbath, would madly destroy their health, and hasten their dissolution ! To the poor, incessant toil, with all its attendant evils, would become necessary and inevitable. Their reward would be gradually diminished in proportion as the period of practicable service was prolonged; and they would soon be constrained to bear the fatigue of seven days to procure the same pittance which they now earn in six. The only change in their condition would therefore prove an increase of labour and suffering.

- But the benefit of abstaining from the common occupations of life, though more sensibly felt by the laborious, is not confined to any particular class of society. It furnishes a useful respite to all, and serves to recruit and invigorate the spirits for future application and industry. " There cannot be a more pleasing, or a more consolatory idea presented to the human mind, than that of one universal pause of labour throughout the christian world, at the same moment of time; diffusing rest, comfort, and peace through a large part of the habitable globe, and af. fording ease and refreshment not only to our own species, but to the brute creation. Even these are enabled to join in this silent act of adoration, this mute kind of homage to the great Lord of all; and although they are incapable of any sentiments of religion, yet by this mean they become sharers in the blessings of it. Every man of the least sensibility must feel the beauty and utility of such an institution as this ; and must see, at the same time, the cruelty of invading this most valuable privilege, and breaking in upon that sacred repose, which "God himself has given. It was a point in which it highly became the majesty and goodness of heaven itself to interpose :"* And it demands, in return, our undissembled gratitude and obedience. This obedience consists not, however, in mere in: action. We are called to bodily rest, not only to refresh our animal nature, but that our minds, unincumbered by earth born cares

* See Bishop Porteus' sermon on Deut. v. 12.

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