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ought we to be in those public duties which they were so studious to perform! Social worship, and thankful commemoration of our Lord's resurrection, are then, so to speak, the minimum of observance we can yield to the Lord's day. We cannot be good Christians if we do less. If,we devote to reading, or relaxation, or business, the sacred hours of public worship, we break the law-the apostolic lawwhich requires the faithful to perform that duty on the first day of the week,' and not to forsake the assembling of themselves together."
2. Beyond this I am not entitled to judge any man, because beyond this the law of God has left him free. But I will observe that, where such is possible, as in our time and country it happily is, it is an obvious dictate of Christian prudence and religious feeling to bring the rest of the day into accordance with the spirit of that part of it which is directly appropriated to public devotion. A right feeling Christian will not take advantage, so to speak, of that discretion wherewith his Lord has entrusted him; but, feeling that the yoke is easy and the burden light,' will rejoice in using the opportunity held out to him by the remaining hours of the Lord's-day for promoting the welfare of his soul. He will make, on this holy day, religion his business; giving it the same place in his attention and efforts as his worldly calling has on other days. And this he will do, not by constraint, but willingly '—not in a spirit of reluctant submission to an irksome task, but in a spirit of joyful appreciation of a great religious benefit. Loving God, and the service of God, he will love the season which God's religion offers, and will say,—‹ This is the day which the Lord hath made we will rejoice and be glad in it.' Devout exercises on this day will with him be the dictate of love, not the fruit of compulsion. And he will seek, as a thing most desirable in itself, to keep himself on this day as free as possible from the distraction of common engagements, and the intrusion of worldly cares. What he feels to be thus desirable for himself, he will use every effort to secure for others; forbearing from all unnecessary or unreasonable encroachments on the religious leisure of his servants or dependents, and from such in particular as would preclude their attendance on public worship.
3. Thus far as to individual duty. But we must remember that governors and magistrates have a duty as such. It is theirs to see that the population over which they preside be not tasked beyond their strength, and to secure to the labouring classes more especially such intervals of rest as both body and mind require. And here, as
the Jewish code in general, so its Sabbatic ordinances in particular, are models for Christian legislation. Some days of release' must be fixed on. And the wisest and most obvious provision of the sort is that which makes the period of civil rest to coincide with that which a Christian population holds independently sacred. Now, this being done, all good subjects will feel it their duty, on political grounds, to co-operate with their rulers in securing to the poor man, in full enjoyment, his day of needful recreation.
There are exceptions, however, to every rule. Some degree of exertion, some species of labour on Sunday, are highly useful, if not absolutely necessary, to the community. For impeding these there is no warrant whatever either in the indications of the New Testament, the practice of primitive times, or the dictates of Christian expediency. Let it be taken care that these exceptions are bona fide, that there is no needless infringement on the leisure of the labouring man, and that such infringement be as short and as seldom as possible-let this be done in good faith, and nothing is done but what is right and proper.
As to what is a needless and what is a needful infringment on the leisure which it is in every view so desirable that all classes should enjoy on the Lord's day-for the sake alike of body, of mind, and of soul-as to this, there is of course room for a question. One man, for example, will think that railway travelling should be absolutely prohibited; another will think it, under certain restrictions, a great public convenience and benefit. Now, if the two persons who think thus differently rest their various opinions on grounds of public and religious utility, no fault can be found with either. But if the man who is for absolute prohibition contend for it on the ground that the contrary would be a direct breach of the divine law, then we must tell him, in plain terms, that he is bringing a peculiar law of Judaism to bear on a Christian institution to which no such law applies, that he is utterly in the dark as to the true nature and object of the Lord's day, and is attempting to do what St Paul forbade, by 'judging' his fellow-Christians in respect of Sabbaths.'
In the course of these papers I have had occasion to observe that the Jewish Sabbath was intended as a type of 'the rest that remaineth for the people of God.' Now to make it complete as a type, all labour, even the most innocent, must needs cease. Six days Palestine presented a scene of busy industry: on the seventh, all was at a stand. Travelling, commerce, agriculture, the arts, the most ordinary
functions of domestic life-all came to a dead pause. No plough vexed the field, no hammer rung on the anvil, no fire was kindled on the hearth. And most impressive to the devout and meditative mind was the picture thus exhibited of that better life, known as yet but 'darkly and through a glass, in which the good rest from their labours.' It is, however, altogether preposterous to transfer this adaptation to the holy seasons of Christianity. The Sabbath required rigid abstinence from labour, even the slightest and most innocent, for that was its typical furniture; but the Lord's-day is a moral, not a mystical institution, and demands not ceremonial, but 'spirit and truth.'
It is to be hoped that no one has so grossly mistaken the aim of the present essayist, in the course of this discussion, as to fancy that he has been advocating a lax and secular observance of the Lord's day. Rather would he urge the very contrary: rather would he entreat his readers to value this and all other catholic seasons as occasions of devout thankfulness and opportunities for growth in grace. But at the same time he sees no good, but much harm, in any Christian's attempting to base his reverence for an evangelical celebration on its presumed identity with an ancient ordinance which has long since passed away; or in any Christian's still fancying himself under the letter of a law-the letter of which he is continually violating. He would seek to extirpate those Judaizing tendencies against which St Paul cautions the converts of Galatia :—' Ye observe (Jewish) days . . . . . I am afraid of you.' He would endeavour to remove an error which has infused austerity and gloom into the most joyful festival of the rising of our Lord. He would exhort all to use that festival as a weekly refreshing from the Divine Presence, to be welcomed with devout and spiritual exercises, accompanied by such a measure of innocent recreation as may not be incompatible with the higher duties of the day. Of this, however, both as to kind and quantity, each Christian must judge for himself. If he be attending to 'the root of the matter;' walking, not one day in seven merely, but every day, with God; his spiritual instinct will keep him right. The law of the Lord's-day must be learned from within it must be the spontaneous dictate of love to Him in honour of whose rising we keep it holy. If we have this principle, we shall not go wrong; if we want it, we cannot go right. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.' Be a good Christian, and your heart will tell you how it is fitting you should improve the holy seasons of
Christianity. Neglect this discipline, whence are 'the issues of life,' and though you keep your so-called 'Sabbath' with the rigidity of a statue, your Pharisaic devotion will be rejected by the Almighty, and be counted as sounding brass, or as a tinkling cymbol.'
POPISH NOVELTIES AND CATHOLIC TRUTH.
Roman Priest.-So, Malcolm, you have turned Puseyite, and are going to the devil as fast as you can.
Malcolm.-Excuse me, your Reverence, but you must not begin with nicknames and sending me to perdition; that will not convince or assist me.
R. P.—Well-what are you? You have always been unsettled ever since I knew you-never had a spirit of obedience.
M.—I am a Catholic as I was bred and born, and as I hope to die-and now a better informed Catholic than when I was under your teaching.
R. P.-Here's a pretty piece of impudence for you. Pray, what is the new light you have got to extinguish the sun of the Catholic Church?
M.-Why, your Reverence, I am a very plain man, but the truth is, I value the blessed sacrament of the altar too much to be in your communion any longer.
R. P.-Holy Mary, defend us!-what a blasphemous fellow ! My poor fellow, you are mad: go home and pray to the blessed saints and angels to defend you, and leave off this stuff.
M.-Strike me, if you will, but hear me-I say, I value the sacrament of the altar too much to lose half its blessing.
R. P.-What do you mean, you reprobate ?
M.-Why, I mean, that you never give us the chalice as well as the holy bread.
R. P.-Well, Malcolm, I never thought you would have been for Puseyite novelties against the Catholic Church.
M.-But that is just the reason. I am against novelties, and so against losing the chalice; and for the Catholic Church, and so for having both the elements in the sacrament. My Church of England neighbours tell me that the chalice was always given with the Host until the Council of Constance in 1416, so that our religion in that respect is only 400 years old.
R. P.-Go home-bad luck to you the ignorant fellow that you Sure, the Catholic Church may exercise her discipline. It is all matter of discipline.
M.-I cannot think that the giving or not giving the blood of the Lord can be only matter of discipline. Why do you not what the Lord Jesus did and commanded-' Drink ye ALL of this?'
R. P.-The Lord said this only to the Apostles-not to all Christians.
M.-Well, but if the Church for 1400 years understood that the Lord intended all Christians to have the chalice, I am safer in communicating with a Church which gives the chalice to her people than with one which refuses it to them. Besides, you do not follow the Maunday-Thursday pattern, for if the Pope and all the Cardinals were to receive the sacrament on that evening, only the priest that says mass would receive the chalice. On your ground you may give
R. P.-But, as I said before, it is all matter of Church discipline -did you not read the book I gave you?
M.-Yes, and little good I got from it. It says it is of no consequence, being a mere matter of discipline; and yet we are required, as members of the Church, to believe that 'under either kind alone, whole and entire Christ and a true sacrament, is received.' (Creed of Pope Pius.) If it be mere matter of discipline, why is it made matter of faith, that we receive as much under one as both kinds? Besides, the book goes on to prove from Scripture that the body of Christ is all we need receive-so that it is either agreeable or contrary to the Scripture to receive in one kind.
R. P.-Well, and were you not convinced that the Church and Scripture were agreed?
M.-No. What is the use of bringing forward passages to prove that breaking of bread' was put for the sacrament; or to rely on such places as 'the Lord's body,' 'he that eateth me,' &c., if, in other places, I find wine,' blood,' 'drinketh,' added? Last Wednesday, my landlord told me to bring my bill and money to pay rent at Martinmas. To-day I saw him, and he said, 'Mind and bring your bill, Malcolm.' think he would not be satisfied if I brought my
bill, but no rent.
But, your Reverence, I am quite troubled as I
read these passages, and think of my never tasting of the chalice of the Lord