ing of the first day of the week instead thereof, page 24, “ it is no change of the “ sabbath, but only of the day to be a sab“ bath ;" and in page 22," the ten command

ments are all binding on us ; and neither “Christ nor his apostles have ever disannul** led one of them." Therefore, upon his own principles, unless he has punctually observed all the injunctions respecting the sabbath, will he be able to acquit himself, from being guilty of a greater crime than a thief or a murderer, by violating the fourth commandment in various particulars? And, if not, has he not passed the woful sentence on himself, as wellas on the Quakers ? For, if the fourth command be binding on christians, it must be binding in all the strictness of its original institution.

Our belief is, that it was never designed, that the observance of the Jewish sabbath should be continued in the gospel dipensation. Had it been so, and the observance of it of so much importance, as Hibbard makes it, I can have no idea that our Saviour would have been totally silent on the subject ; for we don't find the least intimation of his, or his ap ostles ever enjoining the observance of any one day, as being more holy than another ; yet this author has indeed contend

ed with greater earnestness for the observ. ance of this, and a few outward ceremonies; than for all the precepts, moral and divine, delivered by our Lord, throughout the whole course of his manifestation in the flesh. Christ was often reproached for breaking the sabbath ; but we never find him reproving any for the non-observance of this, or any other rituals of the law. The 'scribes and pharisees who were often severely reprehended by him were very punctual in observing not only the sabbath, but even the


minutiæ of the law; insomuch that he tells them ;


pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin ; and have omitted the weightier matters of the law; judgment, mercy and faith ; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." 9 Thus, clearly evincing, that it was vital religion, and not ceremonial, which was acceptable unto him.

It is also evident, that the apostle Paul, who had been a zealous observer of the law, had not learned of his master, that the Jewish sabbath was to be retained, or any other day observed in lieu of it ; for, he saith,

One man esteemeth one day above anoth

9 Mat. xxiii. 23.

er ; another esteemeth every day alike; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

Having thus given our sentiments respecting the Jewish sabbath, I hope none will infer from thence, that I would discourage the observance of the first day of the week, as a day of rest, religious retirement, and attendance of meetings for divine worship; for, this I highly approve, and wish to see duly observed ; and which having been ever practised by our society ; I am now disposed to state our reasons for so doing. Although we do not believe the first day of the week, is either the antitype of the Jewish, or yet is the true Christian sabbath, which we view as having a more excellent and spiritual meaning ; nor can we believe that there is any inherent holiness in the first day more than any other ; fully believing, that all days are alike holy in the sight of God our Creator ; and that we are under equal obligations on every day to walk in fear and reverence before him ; yet we consider the setting apart of one day in seven for cessation from business, and for attending on public worship, and other religious services, a reasonable duty; judg

s Rom. xiv, 5.

ing it fit, at some times, to be freed from our outward concerns ; and that servants and beasts have time allowed them to be eased from their continual labour; and seeing that professing christians generally use the first day of the week for these purposes ; and as the law of the land prohibits labour on this day, we find ourselves sufficiently induced to do so likewise ; without straining the Scriptures for any other reason, which, we are fully convinced, is not to be found in them. For these reasons, we hold our meetings on the first day of the week; and, I trust, we as carefully abstain from doing any thing that would interrupt devotional acts, as most other societies ; and, as we believe it our indispensable duty to meet often together for the purpose of divine worship, we have not considered one day in seven as sufficient to be set apart for this purpose ; and, therefore, we hold our religious meetings regularly on two days in the week ; and ever have done so, from the first establishment of our society.

THE RESURRECTION. In page 26, I find his fourth charge in these words: “The Quakers deny the docStrine of the resurrection of the body."

In which of our authors he has found this denial, he does not say ; nor do I know where to find it.

Page 27, he proceeds, “ When you ask a 6 Quaker if he believes in the resurrection “ of the body ? he will say, yes ; I believe “ in a resurrection. You are ready to re« ceive his answer as plain and full ; but “ when he explains his doctrine he pretends “ to be so spiritual and wise, that instead " of the resurrection of the body, he only “ holds a raising of the soul from a state of e death in sin. Is it not strange, that « Quakers do not know that they quibble « and use duplicity by answering a plain “ question in such an evasive manner? The “ resurrection of the body, and redemption “ of the soul, are two things.”

And in page 28, he adds, “ They will say, 56 Ah! I believe in a resurrection. And by “ such ambiguous terms and words, they “ evade a direct answer, for they do not

that they believe in the resurrection " of the body. Therefore they transgress " one of their own (and by them considered

very essential) rules, viz. to use plain " language ; that is, speak as you mean, ¢ and not tell lies to God or man. $6 Homer says, He who speaks contrary to



« VorigeDoorgaan »