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Allow me to inquire, in what manner your Sabbaths spent? I can lay no claim, perhaps, to put such a question ; but I request the privilege of asking it, in the hope of leading you to · some just thoughts, if you never had any, in relation to a most important portion of your earthly existence.
There can be no difference of opinion between us, I conclude, in relation to the manner, in which the Sabbath should be spent, provided it can be made to appear, that God has revealed his will on the subject. If that will has been expressed, it is to be found in the Bible. That is his word, we both agree. What, then, says the Bible in relation to the Sabbath ?
It carries us back to centuries ago, when, on a certain occasion, God came down; and, covering Sinai with the awful tokens of his presence, expressed his will to the children of Israel, in relation to the Sabbath, or a seventh portion of their time. He declared it to be his will, that they should keep it holy; that six days they should labor, and therein do all their work, leaving none of it to be done on the seventh, because the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. It was his rest, and, therefore, should be theirs also. In it he signified, that they should not do any work, neither they, nor their children, nor their servants, nor even those who were transiently domesticated with them, the stranger within their gates. Nor should man rest alone, but the beast also. “Then he condescends to give a reason for this enactment, in which all mankind, whenever and wherever they live are equally interested—a reason, which was valid from the creation of the world, and will hold good as long as the world lasts; ‘for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.'
WON 19 FEB
flections touching faith and duty, which the various narratives sug gest: but it has occurred to the author briefly to state the more prominent of these truths, which the volume is calculated to illus trate and enforce.
The reader will find 1. Complete evidence of a superintending and special providence.
2. Ample encouragement to fortitude, patience, and trust in God, in times of adversity. The poor will see how the Lord can supply their wants—and the widow and the fatherless, how he has ofien interposed for the relief and comfort of others, in circumstances like their own.
3. Ministers, parents, and teachers may learn from the experience here recorded of others, what encouragement they have to abound in prayer, and in continued and vigorous efforts in welldoing.
4. The volume will confirm the important sentiment, that means apparently the most inconsiderable, and inadequate, often lead through the Grace of God, to noble results ;-and, therefore, the humblest Christian should never inquire, in a spirit of unbelief, " What can I do ?”
5. The most cunning and sagacious transgressor will see, how unerringly the finger of God can point to their secret sins, and bring them to light long after their commission, and while they are reposing in full security, that no development can be effected in the present world.
6. Children will find not a few examples in which faithfulness to parents, has resulted in leading them from vice to virtue, and from misery to joy.
7. The volume in its several parts, and as a whole, will serve, it is believed, to confirm the scriptural declaration—" It shall be well with the righteous,--woe unto the wicked it shall be ill with them.”