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plicit proof that it is altogether a fiction. But I do not rest my pleading on any of these articles. I will not urge, as I might, that had the apostles and first Hebrew believers been persuaded of the alleged change, they would directly have begun to conceive of Sunday just as they had been wont to conceive of Saturday, keeping it in the same way, and calling it by the same name; but I will assert, and rest my case on the assertion, that they must instantly have left off keeping Saturday at all: the seventh day of the week must have been left vacant of that sanctity which was, on hypothesis, transferred to the first. Now, it is perfectly notorious, that no such result ensued, either in theory or in practice. The Jewish Christians, when they adopted the new observances, did not think it at all incumbent to renounce the old. As matter of expediency or choice, they kept the Sabbath with the rest of their countrymen; as matter of duty and gratitude, they kept the festival of the resurrection with their Christian brethren every where. Some of the Gentiles followed their example, and kept both; indeed, there are traces of partial and voluntary Sabbatizing down to the third or fourth century.* It is to this, no doubt, St Paul refers in a passage already cited: 'One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.' (Rom. xiv. 5.) We cannot suppose that this is an absolution from the religious seasons and assemblies proper to the gospel, obedience to which St Paul every where assumes. (1 Cor. xi. 20, xvi. 2, Heb. x. 25.) It is simply an edict of license to the Gentile, and a mandate of tolerance on the Jew, in regard to the sacred seasons of Judaism-seasons which a man might be a good Christian if he kept, and an equally good Christian if he neglected.
Now, this prevalence and toleration of the ancient observance after the new had come in, proves in the clearest possible manner that no transference of day was conceived to have occurred. That the Apostles went on keeping the seventh day themselves, and that they allowed Jewish or even Gentile converts to keep the seventh day so as also they kept the first, demonstrates that they considered the two celebrations—that optional to Jews, and this obligatory on Christians -as perfectly independent and distinct. The Sabbath survived the institution of Sunday, and, therefore, could not have been considered
* The half-holiday on Saturdays at banks and schools is still a memorial of this practice.
one with it. To have persisted in keeping two days, with the knowledge that the Almighty had decreed a transfer of prerogative from the one to the other, could not have been an act in itself indifferent : it had been, at best, a halting acknowledgment of that supreme authority by which the transfer had been effected. The fact that both observances were held compatible and were actually collateral for a time under the very eye of the Apostles; that the extinction of the Sabbath was not included, in any immediate or necessary manner, in the institution of the Lord's Day; is the plainest of all possible proofs against the idea of derivation or identity.
I therefore conclude, and conclude with confidence, that Christians are neither bound nor warranted to transfer to the Lord's day the name, notion, or mode of observance, appropriate to the Mosaic Sabbath. Certain objections to this inference I shall consider hereafter.
NOTICES OF MEMORABLE DAYS IN THE MONTH.
ASCENSION DAY OR HOLY THURSDAY.
'This solemnity,' says one ancient preacher on this day, 'dearest brethren, is truly glorious. It is the sum and fulfilment of the other solemnities ; the happy close of the sacred life on earth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. Worthily do we keep with sun above the heavens, the
joy and festivity the day on which the
sun of righteousness, first presented himself to our gaze.' But for Christ's Ascension, we had never received the gift of the Holy Spirit, for if I go not away,' said He, the Comforter will not come unto you.' To-day our human nature was exalted above the heavens. Evidently, then, this day is more solemn than all others. And the soul which truly loves her Lord will rejoice more purely to-day, than any day in the year. Yea, a holy keeping of this day is a test of our love to our Man-God, for even so He said: 'If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said I go unto the Father.' Hence we are commanded by the Church to celebrate the Eucharist this day and seven days after. As on Maunday Thursday we should unite ourselves to the Saviour, when instituting this sacrifice of commemoration, so on Holy Thursday, when His visible presence departs, we should seek to behold Him, invisibly present under the form of bread and
wine. Touch me not for I am not ascended,' said He to the Magdalene. Herein may we now touch Him for He is ascended. Let our hearts echo the sacerdotal bidding, 'Sursum corda,' 'Let us lift up our hearts.' So may we hope for the Comforter to come and abide with us for ever.
FESTIVAL OF WHITSUNTIDE AND S. BARNABAS.
Though the Apostles had received their commission to found the Church from their Lord ere he ascended, yet did they wait for the outpouring of the Spirit, visibly signified by the tongues of fire which sat upon them. Ever in the Holy Scriptures is the outward sign demanded and given in addition to the inward grace. And so for 1500 years, none were so bold as to claim an inward call without an outward sign. It is not strange then that they who usurped ministerial functions without the customary outward sign of imposition of hands by those who alone have authority to give it, should have ceased to keep this festival. Again, on this day the Holy Ghost came down to dwell with sinful man, to hallow him by His abiding. Thou who hast been nurtured in the one fold, why rejoicest thou not more on this festival? Is it not because thou hast lost somewhat of the grace of the ever-blessed Spirit? Thou art cold, because the fire has burnt low. O Christian, beseech the Comforter to inflame thy ardour, and set thy love on fire this day, lest in the day of judgment thy lamp be gone out. Coldness of heart and lukewarmness is but the prelude to spiritual death. Let this thought alarm thee. And thou too, wandering sheep, who are standing without the fold, consider why thou canst not rejoice with us to-day. Thou hast been baptized perchance-yet Whitsuntide brings thee no comfort. Thou scarce knowest if there be any Holy Ghost-still less if He animates thee. Thy chosen prophets cannot tell thee-Baptism, they tell thee, is a mere lifeless form-Confirmation, thou know'st not what it is.-Wouldst thou know if thou hast received the Holy Ghost? I tell thee, the Spirit cleansed thee at thy baptism.-Here are Peter's words to the Pentecostal multitude- Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.'-Why then standest thou waiting for an angel to trouble the water? While thou art separate from the one Church of the Apostles, and remainest in the society of Calvin or any other human founder, thy baptism profits thee little.
Hence do thy preachers disparage baptism. They feel it has little or no power in their separated estate, for they who were baptized on the day of Pentecost 'continued stedfast in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in the prayers.' Return then to the doctrine and fellowship of the Apostles, to the breaking of bread and prayers, and thy baptismal grace shall bud and bring forth abundantly. Return to the successors and representatives of the Apostles, unto whom Christ said, 'As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you,' and thou shalt find that they have indeed a message from God unto thee. But thou sayest: ye are divided among yourselves— bishop against bishop, and priest against priest. True, we are Roman bishops are contending against Scottish, yet thy own reason. telleth thee, which claim the obedience of a Scotchman ? Nor canst thou hesitate to push aside the flimsy pretences of those who would direct thee to English bishops and priests, who no more than Romish, have any jurisdiction here. Be it, however, as it may, disputes among certain bishops do not justify thee in thy separation from all -Paul and Barnabas had so sharp a contention that they departed asunder one from the other,'-yet did the heathen not reject their ministry because of their contention-neither must the contention of their successors prevent your return to the fellowship of the Apostles.
During the last half year, our souls have been agitated by conti nual causes of excitement. At Advent, we were looking forward to Christ's coming; during Lent and Passiontide, we bore the cross with Him. At Easter and Ascensiontide, we beheld His risen and ascended glories; and at Pentecost, the divinely sent fire of the Spirit. All our excited feelings now are hushed in mute adoration, as we bow with the seraphim before the throne for the next half year, crying their same short form—' Holy, holy, holy.' It is a type of that period when we shall enter into our rest,-when there shall be no more new birth-no more manifestation for a short time-no more temptation-no more suffering-no more daily death-no more daily resurrection-no more daily ascension: we shall be 'before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple.' Let us approach the blessed Three in One with such reverence now, in the time of this mortal life, that we may learn betimes the
manners of the heavenly palace, where the celestial inhabitants veil their faces with their wings, and fall down before the Lamb. Sorry citizens shall we be of that country, if we now practise not the forms and behaviour which they use, who have never been but in heaven, or which they used, who, while on earth, were nearest heaven.
S. JOHN BAPTIST.
The baptism of S. John was only, like his preaching, a shadow of the apostolic. As he preached Repent,' and not Christ crucified,' so neither did the Holy Ghost work by his baptism, for 'it was not yet given.' As his preaching was to prepare for the gospel, so was his washing with water to prepare for the baptism of Christ. 'It must be noted, that after the baptism of Christ, through the laying on of the hands of the baptizer, the Holy Ghost descends on the baptized; and that they who were baptized with John's baptism had not the Holy Ghost. How, then, was Apollos, being only baptized into John's baptism, 'fervent in spirit?' Though it is said that Apollos was 'fervent in spirit,' it is not said that he had the Spirit;' accordingly, he neither spake with tongues nor prophecied. It is one thing, then, to be 'fervent in spirit,' another to 'have the Holy Spirit.' He who hath the Holy Spirit,' hath It indwelling in him, and the Spirit Himself spake from within, many of which instances have occurred-how He spake to Philip, to Peter, to the apostles, to Paul and his companions, forbidding them to speak the word, or to speak it in certain cities; but he who is fervent in spirit,' did things through illumination and impulse from without, being guided by the Spirit, as if he were guided or guarded by an angel. And say not, how could he be 'fervent in spirit' who was not partaker of the Spirit? for you may infer things invisible from those visible. If the sun, being without, and fire, by being near, or, as in the case of fire, at a little distance from bodies, warmeth our bodies, what must we say of the Divine Spirit, Which is indeed the most vehement fire, kindling the inner man, although It dwell not within, but be without? It is possible, then, in that all things are possible to God, that one may be warmed, although that which warmeth him be not in himself.'