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tion upon us to remember and keep holy the Sabbath Day; for each reason which was given in the law, remains to us in full force; and a new one is alfo added, which is the greatest and moft binding of all, viz. the triumph of our Lord Jefus Chrift over all his and our enemies, by his refurrection from the dead. If an obligation to obferve the feventh day might have been inferred with fufficient clearness, from God's refting from his works, and his bleffing and fanctifying that day, our obligation to obferve weekly the day of the refurrection of Chrift, which more than probable was the fame day, and is properly called the Lord's Day, may be inferred with double evidence.
The fcripture chronologies, and the best af. tronomical calculations, together with a great variety of circumstances relative to the feventh day, have combined to raise a ftrong fuppofition, that the Jewish Sabbath was not the feventh day from the beginning of the creation. If not a full demonftration, evidence very fatisfactorily has been fhewn, that the Jewish Sabbath was put back one day, and, confequently, that the Chriflian Sabbath is that feventh day which, from the beginning, was bleffed and hallowed. [See Bedford's Scripture Chronology, demonftrated by aftronomical calculations.]
As the Sabbath, in these several difpenfations, has had certain diflinct relations, being connected more or lefs immediately with the unfolding of the divine will, as in the Beginning, in the Servant, or in the Son; and,
therefore, has diftinct reafons annexed to it, anfwerable to the nature of these feveral exhibitions; like other inftituted ordinances, and figns, and emblems of divine truth, it may, in certain refpects, be changed and altered; we fhould, therefore, confider the agreement between the fign and what at different times is particularly fignified, and look to these several relations and reafons of the inflitution of the Sabbath, to govern our views refpecting the time to be obferved, and the manner of obfervance.
The question when the Sabbath does begin, whether at fundown or at midnight, has arifen chiefly from the fame fource with numerous other difputes, which is that of blending fubjects belonging to the law with thofe which belong, diftinctly, to the gospel.
That the Jewifh Sabbath began at fun. down, or at fix oclock, P. M. is clearly ascertained, both by their law and their practice. They were exprefsly required to celebrate their Sabbath from even unto even. Lev. xxii. 32. And their bringing their fick to Chrift, to be healed, when the fun did fet, Mark i. 32. whilst they fuppofed it was forbidden on the Sabbath, fhews that they began and ended their day at the going down' of the fun; and the Jews do fo practice to
This inflitution and practice accorded, in time, with the particular relation and reason of the Jewith Sabbath, which, as has been thewn, was their ceafing from their labours. Ander the Egyptian bondage; and this as a
type of the great emancipation of the people of God from the fervice-work of the law; for it is evident, they ended their fervice to the Egyptians at even, when they retired to their houfes, and thut themfelves within doors, to keep the paffover. And the fervice-work of the law was alfo finifhed at the eventide, when the bond itself was cancelled, being nailed to the cross by the death of Chrift, which took place after three o'clock, P. M. which was the time of the offering of the evening facrifice, and the time when the pafcal lamb was killed. It was at this time of the day, that the angel Gabriel delivered to Daniel the glorious prediction of the feventy weeks. Chrift our pafsover, was facrificed for us, and offered himself a sweetfmelling favour to God, in the cool of the day, and in the evening of the world.
But though there be evidence, that the Jewish Sabbath commenced in the evening; and fhould it be alfo admitted, that the first fabbath began at the evening-that this is the natural order of time--and that the evening or night has preceded the day in the ufual reckoning of time-all this will not determine the queftion refpecting the Chriftian Sabbath; for this has diftinct relations; and if the reafon of the refurrection of Chrift has changed the day, it may be fuppofed fufficientallo to alter the time of its beginning and ending; and indeed, the Jewish Sabbath, &c. conforming in time to its great reafon, and commencing when the work to which it reated was done, inftead of its being an argu
ment against the beginning of the Christian Sabbath at the time of the refurrection, when the glorious victory was completed, it is really an argument in its favour; for certainly, the great reafon of our Sabbath, the refurrection of our Lord, which is the evidence and earneft of the refurrection of the juft, is one as weighty and commanding as thofe which diftinguifhed the Jewish Sabbath, or that which from the beginning rendered the feventh day memorable and facred..
Every circumftance related by the Evangelifts, concerning the refurrection of Chrift, lead us to understand, that it was in the dead of the night, at leaft paft the middle, and drawing towards the morning watch;-tho' the fervice of Ifrael in Egypt was finished in the evening, yet it was not until midnight that the destroying angel went forth, and dealt the blow, which made their enemies exclaim, we be all dead men. It was in the morning, though, it feems, before the curtains of the night were withdrawn, that they erected the flandard of Jehovah, affembled together, and began to move forward in triumph. When our Lord had overcome the sharpnefs of death* upon the cross, he undoubtedly became the affailant, entered the dominions of him who had the power of death, purfued and approached the foe in his own dark citadel; and it may be readily apprehended, that the earthquake, accompanying the refurrection, was from the fhock of that deadly
This very expreffive phrafe was taken from an ancient
blow given to the head of the ferpent, by all the immortal strength with which our Lord rofe from the dead. Like Sampson, when he arose at midnight and went out of Gaza, carrying away the doors of the gate of the city, and the two pofts and the bar, so the Lord of Glory arofe, and burst asunder the bars of death, and led captivity captive.
The attempt made by Dr. Hopkins, to fhew that "it is as probable, and perhaps more fo," that the refurrection of Chrift was in the evening, foon after funfetting, as at the time ufually taken, can never fucceed.→ There is not a fingle circumftance in the hiftory of the whole scene, which does in the leaft favour fuch a conjecture. And in reply to his query, "Is it not prefumption, "and will-worship, to begin the Sabbath at Es any other time of the day" than fundown? may be faid, let no man judge us in respect of the new-moon, or of the Jewish Sabbath days, which were indeed a fhadow of good things to come, but the substance is of Chrift,
With this great reafon of the Christian Sabbath in view, to fuch as acknowledge the resurrection of Chrift to be a fufficient ground for the change of the Sabbath, from the feventh to the first day of the week, there is one paffage which, alone, may be thought decifive of the prefent question, and places it beyond all controverfy, that the evening following the first day of the week, in relation to our Sabbath, is to be confidered as the evening of that day--the text in view is John xx. 19. Then the fame day at evening,