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The nature and felicity of the celeftial flate.
The Sanctification of the Lord's Day.
Rev. i. 10. I was in the spirit on the Lord's Day.
IT is allowed by all who believe there is a God, that he ought to be worthipped. If he is to be worthipped, there must, from the nature of things, be fome time appropriated for this purpose. To grant that a duty must be done, and no time allotted for its performance, involves in it an impoffibility: Wherefore it is abfolutely certain that God must be worshipped by all his rational creatures, and they must have a due proportion of time for this high and important end. And can time be better employed than by prayer, homage, adoration and praise to our Creator, preferver and benefactor. The question is not, whether there be a God, whether divine worship should be given to him, and whether a portion of time fhould be allowed for this purpofe, but what is that season or portion of time, which ought to be defignated or fet apart for this folemn or grand defign. Here the reafon and investigation of man must be nonpluffed. Whether a fifth, fixth, or eighth, or any other divifion of time would be a proper pro
portion must far tranfcend his enquiries. Here where the light of nature muft fail, divine revelation has given us infal lible direction. God has been pleased to correct all the wan dering conjectures of men, and appoint one day in feven to be separated for his fpecial fervice and to be kept holy to himself; and this has the honor confered upon it in our text of being filed the Lord's day. It is also faid St. John was in the Spirit on this day. This may be predicated of him both in an extraordinary, and in an ordinary manner. He was in the Spirit as he was under the influence of a divine efflatus, or a fupernatural infpiration, affording him all the glorious truths. and grand visions recorded in this facred book. Or he was in the Spirit in an ordinary way, as is common with chriftians, who have pleasure in God, delight in his worship; who have holy exercises of heart, and are in proper frames of mind.
All that can be attended to at prefent on this subject will be briefly to fhow,
First, that God has appointed a feventh part of time for the high and important duties of religious worship, of public adoration, homage and praife.
Secondly, confider the manner in which this appropriated and fanctified time ought to be employed...
As to the firft, it is abundently apparent from the whole of divine revelation. This world may with propriety be divided into two epochs or grand periods. The one from creation to a ftill more wonderful and greater event, to wit, The completion of the redemption of man in the humiliation and refurrection of the Son of God. That perfon of the Trinity, who was the diftinguished agent in caufing the cxiftence of this world, was and will forever be the meft pre-eminently dif
tinguished perfonage in its recovery from the most perfect and abfolute ruin. The perfections of Godhead were confpicuously displayed in the ftupendous works of creation. Here almighty power, inconceiveable wifdom, and incomprehenfible goodness fhone forth with infinite luftre; but when the work of redemption was performed, all these perfections burst forth with fuperior fplendor, and a multitude of others which never could have been conceived but by its glories. In the former exhibition the angels of God fang together for joy, the latter they look into with an astonishment at the wonders of God far tranfcending their conceptions and their praife. In this display of the extenfion and plenitude of divine attributes the great minds of cherubic and feraphic mil lions are loft and absorbed. All heaven is ftruck mute at the exhibited Godhead in the falvation of man.
Both thefe great periods are illuftrated by an appropriation. of a feventh portion of time, for the worship of this great Creator, and this glorious Redeemer. For the firft, the feventh day from the creation was appointed for the commemoration of the fame, and other adventitious circumstances which arofe in the church throughout that grand era of more than four thousand years; for the fecond, the first day of the week has been affigned as a memorial of Chrift and his refurrection for the recovery of ruined man, and which will be continued till worlds and time shall be no more.
Firft, the Sabbath from the creation to the Refurrection of Chrift was the feventh day of the week. Thus we read, " on "the feventh day God ended his work which he had made "and God bleffed the feventh day and fanctified it." Here the day after God had finifhed all his works, and the first day. of man's existence was fet apart for holy purposes. It is pronounced, bleffed and fanctified. Not that there was any more