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worldly concerns to prosper in the week that followed, * and many others of every grade in life, have rejoiced with the pious statesman, Wilberforce, that Sunday was their own,

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which they could spend with their family, when wearied

6 With six days' care and noise and strife.”

“It is,” says a writer of the present generation, “the believer's day of rest from worldly care, and of holy activity for God ; in it he has to study truth, which he had too little leisure through the week to investigate. He has to read the word of God, with which he might never otherwise become familiar. He has to study himself, by comparison of his tempers and conduct with the law of God, and with the Christian character, as pourtrayed in the Scriptures. He has to learn, from week to week, whether he is retrograding or advancing in the ways of God. He has to listen to the preaching of the gospel, which is Christ's ordinance, and on which he may therefore expect a blessing. He has to meditate on that which he has read or heard, and then to enlarge his knowledge, or deepen his impressions, by Christian conversation with others. “Alone, in his family, and with the church, he has to ask the blessings, which the experiences of life, with devout meditation, have made him see and feel to be necessary. And then he has to bless God in secret for unnumbered mercies, and to join his praises with those of his fellow-worshippers in the church.”

* “ Though my hands and mind have been as full of secular business, both before and since I was a judge, as it may be any man's in England, yet I never wanted time in my six days to ripen and fit myself for the businesses and employments I had to do, though I borrowed not one minute from the Lord's day to prepare for it, by study, or otherwise. But, on the other hand, if I had at any time borrowed from this day any time for my secular employments I found it did further me less than if I had let it alone, and, therefore, I grew peremptorily resolved never in this kind, to make a breach upon the Lord's day, which I have strictly observed for above thirty years”.—Sir MATTHEW HALE.

The same author adds, “It seems desirable that those who desire to consecrate the sabbath to God, should not be ruined, or even seriously injured in their property, on that account, by the traffic of others on that day, in a country professing Christianity. And the poor man should have his right of the Christian rest of the seventh day secured to him. Still, in a thousand ways, which the law can never touch, may the unprincipled and profane abuse, and reject this ordinance of God, and when they do so, the sabbath, instead of a blessing, is a curse to them, and as far as their influence extends, a mischief to all.”

The sabbath is still continued. It returns at the end of seven days. It is still a memorial of the creation ; but the institution is enlarged to commemorate also the work of redemption ; for which observance the first day of the week was most suitable, after the resurrection of Christ. The duty and blessing are stated in the fourth commandment to apply, not to the seventh, but the sabbath day. The 118th Psalm has been considered to contain a direct prediction, that the day of Christ's resurrection was to be the day on which the sabbath should be holden under the gospel. We have sufficient evidence from the New Testament, that the first day of the week was observed as the Christian sabbath by the apostles. The peculiar blessings which have resulted to millions of souls, from the observance of the Lord's-day as the sabbath, are too manifest for us to hesitate as to the will of God on the subject. (See Dwight's Treatise on the Sabbath, and various other publications of the Religious Tract Society.)





In Exod. xx. 12.—Honour thy father and thy mother ; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

In Deut. v. 16.-Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee ; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Thus there is a special blessing promised to the keeping of this commandment, an outward and visible blessing. It has been frequently remarked that the fulfilment of this promise has been very observable in all ages, that where parents have been honoured in the spirit, as well as in the letter of the command, there has been outward prosperity remarkably manifested in the children. It is necessary to say, in the spirit as well as in the letter, for more is requisite than merely caring for their bodily wants; this often may be done without a right feeling and desire to act according to this precept in its full extent.

The system of the patriarchal life was based on parental authority ; but the cases of Esau and the sons of Jacob plainly show, that then, as now, something more than customary observance was needed. The spirit, therefore, as well as the letter of this command, was impressed upon the Jewish nation. Not only striking parents, Exod. xxi. 15, but even angry and irreverent language was fork den. The cursing of parents was punishable with death, Exod. xxi. 17 ; Lev. xx. 9. Observe in the first of these passages, “shall surely be put to death," and in the second the marginal reading for "cursed" is "reviled.” Our blessed Lord chose this commandment when giving an instance of the manner in which the degenerate Jews of his days upon earth perverted the whole scope and meaning of this Divine precept, Mark vii. 10. Michaelis notices, that our Lord, when exposing their wickedness, expressly referred to the law of Moses on the subject, and that this act was cursing the parents most effectually, not by mere words which pass away, “but it is a fulfilling of the curse, and making it to all intents and purposes effectual.”

Under this commandment may be classed the law, Deut. xxi. 18-21. “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them : Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; and they shall

say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die : so shalt thou put evil away from

among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.” Here should be noticed the express mention of drunkenness, as though the other crimes could not exist without that, and showing that then, as now, drunkenness leads to the worst enormities.

Let it also be remembered how fully the Saviour himself, when on earth, fulfilled the law of God as to the fifth commandment. Whilst a child he was subject to Joseph and his mother, Luke ii. 5). In his after life, he submitted to earthly rulers, and his apostles have left plain directions for a similar course of conduct. “ Children, obey your parents in all things : for this is well pleasing unto the Lord,” Col. iii. 20. “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake," 1 Pet. ii. 13.

Reverence to those in authority was taught, Deut. xvii. 8–13. In the Theocracy then existing the priest was especially authorised to declare the Divine will in all “ matters too hard for thee in judgment," where the recorded precepts were not plainly applicable; and in those where “the sentence of the law” could be applied, they were to listen to those authorised to enforce it. Due respect to them was commanded, Exod. xxii. 28. “Thou shalt not revile the gods” (margin, judges,)“nor curse the ruler of thy people.” Here, as in Jud. ix. 13, and some other places, the word "god" denotes those in authority. Deut i. 13—15, shows that those who then were made rulers were divinely appointed. It is hardly needful to say how, in the New Testament,

obedience to those in authority is enforced, even under heathen rulers, Rom. xiii. l; Tit. iii. 1; 1 Pet. ii. 13, 14.

This is the same in Exod. xx. 13, and Deut. v. 17.

Thou shalt not kill. This commandment is explained by our Lord, Matt. v. 21, 22; 1 John iii. 15.

Among heathen nations there was little or no discrimination as to the circumstances under which life was lost. If any one was slain, the slayer immediately became a marked object for destruction by the relatives of the deceased, who pursued him with unrelenting activity till he also was slain : and then again the executor of vengeance became a marked object for avengement in his turn. Thus did Satan pervert the precept given to Noah, Gen. ix. 6; so that instead of repressing violence, it was made the cause for extending it. These practices continued under the corrupt Christianity of the middle ages, and were a part of the feudal system. In the details of the law given to Moses, this matter is set right, the original precept is confirmed, but definitions are given to prevent it from being misapplied. MURDER is distinctly marked as proceeding (1) from hatred or enmity, Num. xxxv. 20, 21; Deut. xix. 11, (2) from a thirst for blood, or desire for revenge, Num. xxxv. 20, (3) when designed or done with premeditated deceit or lying in wait, Exod. xxi. 14 ; Deut. xix. 11. The punishment of death to the offender in cases of murder is most distinctly stated, Exod. xxi. 12–14.

MANSLAUGHTER, as distinguished from murder, is very plainly marked in these laws, as (1) when the death is caused without hatred or enmity, Numb. xxxv. 22; Deut. xix. 46; (2) without desire for revenge, Num. xxxv. 22 ; also Exod. xxi. 13; where there is the first mention of the intended appointment of cities of refuge. (3) When death is caused by mistake, Num. xxxv. 11–15. (4) Or by accident, Deut. xix. 5. It is to be observed, that these distinctions are principally stated as a part of the law instituting the cities of refuge, a blessed institution under the Mosaic law, not only as regulating the administration of justice, and restraining the bursts of passion, but as shadowing forth the blessed truths of the gospel, and a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the refuge for sinners. But observe, there is not a trace of any ideal sanctity


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