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fourth commandment, where it is said, . Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God'-appropriated to purposes of rest, i. e., according to the interpretation of all Christian commentators, to purposes of social and reli. gious worship. We would not be here understood, however, so to

, divide the week between secular employments and the exercises of worship as exactly to coincide with the calendar, and thereby overthrow the practice of holding religious meetings on a week day; but rather to establish a just proportion between sacred and other duties, by showing that a seventh part of time, at least, belongs to the place or purposes of Divine worship. But as there is little occasion to enlarge on the exact portion of time that is due to the public exercises of religion, seeing this point is pretty nearly settled, as well by common consent as by the Holy Scriptures; we need only impress it upon you, dear people, to attend the public administration of God's word and ordinances, and unite together in the various exercises of social worship whenever it is practicable, especially on the Lord's day;' assuring you, at the same time, that while this interesting duty may be derived from primitive example, positive precept, and the commission of Christian ministers to teach us the way of life and salvation, it is no less forcibly inculcated by the vast amount of good resulting to the stated worshipper, both as it respects himself, his family, and his neighborhood : and we are satisfied that you need only prove the utility of Divine worship by a faithful attendance upon its institution, in order to give it all that pecuniary support which its importance demands, and your means will justify. But I will not dwell on this point, since the liberality you have already manifested in providing a place of worship so entirely suitable in its location, extent, and structure, to the intelligent and numerical character of your congregation, can only be regarded as a pledge of your continued benevolence in maintaining the worship of God from year to year by voluntary contribution.

VII. Finally, in regard to the location or site of our devotions, it must be sufficiently evident that such places should always be chosen as are best adapted to favor the exercise.

1. It will appear, however, in the first place, that the accommodation of God's people in this respect, during the greater part of their history, has been rather indifferent, whether we look at the successive dispensations of time, or the various denominations of people, which have characterized the true Church. You know that under the patriarchal dispensation, from first to last, their only temple consisted in a private tent, a sacred grove, or the more simple shade of an insulated tree; and that it was not unusual to meet with altars composed of rude and shapeless stones in the open

field. And you are aware, also, that in this plain and economical manner the children of Abraham continued to worship “the God of their fathers' till the time of their exodus out of Egypt; when Moses, under the special direction of almighty God, constructed a kind of portable edifice or tent, called the tabernacle'the first building, it is believed, that was ever specially dedicated to the worship of Jehovah, by the fallen race of Adam. It is equally clear that the second regular house of worship, and that to which the public services of religion were in due time transferred, was the mag

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nificent temple erected by Solomon at Jerusalem, long after the Israelites had become settled in the promised land. If we except a few general or national rites, however, the services of public worship were not always confined to the temple ; as, after the captivity, houses of worship, called synagogues, were greatly multiplied throughout the nation. The account here given with regard to the rise and progress of church building under the patriarchal and Mosaic dispensations, may be applied with little difference to succeeding ages ; for notwithstanding there were many houses of worship in Palestine, where the Christian Church was first established, yet a 'sect every where spoken against could not be allowed to occupy them;. but as if it were not enough to exclude them from the synagogues and temple, they must be pursued with the sword of extermination while they assembled for social worship and Christian conference in the most sequestered places at the peril of their lives. As the Church increased, however, in number, wealth, and influence, they were soon able to erect houses of worship for themselves; when a thousand Christian temples rose, piercing the clouds with their lofty spires, and summoning to their sacred altars, upon the weekly Sabbath, a thousand congregations by the church

But while we leave Christendom, in general, filled, as it is among different sects, with a vast number of churches more or less spacious and magnificent, and trace the history of our own denomination in regard to church building, we shall find that the same course which has marked its progress in former ages, as we have seen above, bas been taken by ourselves. And here we shall observe that Mr. Wesley and his coadjutors, in what we shall call the Wesleyan reformation, like the primitive apostles, were seldom allowed the occupancy of a regular church; being obliged to pursue their work irregularly, (as it was said in the language of bigotry,) preaching in the open air, and such other places as were inadequate to screen them from the violence of the infuriated mobs, by which they were often assailed. A happier fate, however, awaited our infant Church ; the prospect of which, together with a consciousness of moving forward in the way of his duty, greatly animated the founder of Methodism in his arduous labors, and armed him with 'that Christian fortitude for which he was so eminently distinguished amid suffering and danger. It is true that in the beginning we were few and feeble, especially as it regarded places of worship. The first building ever appropriated exclusively to the worship of God as a Methodist church, was an old foundry, as we are' told, in the city of London, which appears to have been fitted up chiefly at Mr. Wesley's private expense. And the first regular place of worship ever claimed by us on this side of the Atlantic, was a kind of warehouse in the city of New-York, a little before the American revolution. Nor was it till lately that our attention, as a distinct body, has been much engaged on the subject of erecting churches. Indeed, I recollect to have heard my reverend brother who is now associated with me in the desk, remark some time since that he had officiated at the dedication of more churches during his short ministry than had been erected at the time he became a travelling preacher in what are now called the Oneida and Genesee conferences. And I am certain there was a less number in those conferences at the time alluded to, by more than one

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half, than are now going up, embracing those which have been recently dedicated, in the Berkshire district. But the day of small things' with us, in regard to houses of worship, is happily gone by; and God has graciously .put it into the hearts' of our members and friends to build him a house' in almost every place where such an accommodation is needed; insomuch that it is scarcely less common to meet with a Methodist church in travelling through the country, than one of another denomination. • This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes!

2. We have already observed, in general terms, that in offering our devotions to God we should invariably choose those places which are best adapted to favor the exercise : and we shall proceed to maintain, secondly, that of all situations under heaven for this purpose, a church exclusively dedicated to Divine worship is the most eligible, as universal experience sufficiently demonstrates. But while this well-known fact may be ascribed to a variety of circumstances, as the relative position, the capacity, the internal economy, &c, of the house, we shall only notice, as a very interesting cause, the association of ideas, than which nothing presents a stronger motive in favor of building churches. And here we would remark that the human mind may be regarded as a kind of barometer, affected with surrounding circumstances; from which consideration, when a beautiful landscape, embracing all the varieties of an extended view, is spread out before us, our feelings naturally partake of the scenery, and a correspondent interest is excited in our minds; while other scenes, from the monotony and barrenness of their features, or from the boldness which they present, and the dangers they involve, either fail to afford us the least degree of pleasure, or excite in our minds sensations of horror. If, therefore, we select the place of Divine worship in reference to a correspondent disposition of the mind, we may innocently take advantage of our natural sympathies to aid the spirit of religious devotion : for which purpose, having been solemnly dedicated to His service, the house of God furnishes a peculiar opportunity for cherishing this disposition, as there can be nothing to divert our attention from the legitimate ends of social and Divine worship; while every object that meets the eye, and every sound that falls upon the ear, being associated with the great business of devotion, will naturally contribute more or less to induce a solemn and devotional frame of mind. In view of all which many will be led to exclaim, · How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and ту.

flesh crieth out for the living God. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a door keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.'

3. But we shall add, in conclusion, that while a house exclusively appropriated to the worship of God should always be preferred as the place of our public devotions, yet, in this respect, we are not limited, especially where we have not the means of providing such accommodations. No, my brethren: the God whom we adore, the omnipresent Deity, is confined neither to time, nor place, nor multitude ; for, · Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Him; how much less this house that we have builded? And yet He says, Where two

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or three are met together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.' And as Christians we surely know that whenever God reveals his gracious presence, whether it be in the splendid cathedral, the royal palace, the humble cottage, the savage wigwam, or any other place, His children may say thereof, . It is good for us to be here ;' • This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.' Indeed, since He who said to His ambassadors, .Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature,' has said also, Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, we will not hesitate, as ministers of Christ, to go every where preaching the word.' should there still remain in the widely extended field of our labor some portions of country where it would be impracticable at present to erect houses of worship, we shall not only feel that they are entitled to an unusual degree of cultivation ; but we shall also consider it a great indulgence if we may be allowed in those places to follow the example of other times, when Noah, Abraham, Moses, Peter, Wesley, Asbury, and George, took their lives in their hands, and calling the people together in tents, groves, streets, school houses, and private dwellings, became the savor of life unto life' in regard to vast multitudes of poor sinners; some of whom remain until this present,' while many have fallen asleep,' and are now in paradise with the venerable instruments of their salvation : with whom, and all that shall be redeemed from the earth' hereafter, may we ourselves be numbered when God shall make up his jewels ;' where, in 'a house not made with hands,' we shall join the general assembly, and Church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven,' to offer up our mingled adorations without ceasing before the throne, and worship the Father in spirit and in truth.'

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From the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine.
THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.

THE SABBATH INSTITUTED AT THE CREATION.

So many excellent publications on the Sabbath have latterly appeared, that another separate work may well be deemed unnecessary. But as the last Methodist Conference has recommended the societies under its care, to unite with their fellow Christians in making application to parliament to revise and strengthen our legislative enactments, for securing the due observance of the Sabbath, it may be seen desirable that a condensed view of the Divine authority, perpetual obligation, and sanctification of the Sabbath, should be afforded through the medium of the Magazine, to a considerable class of readers, who may not have opportunity of consulting separate works on the subject.

The first question respecting the Sabbath to be considered by Christians is, whether the Sabbath is in force under the Gospel, or whether, as some argue, it is a mere Jewish institution, the obligation to observe which ceased on the introduction of the Gospel. Till this point is settled, it is vain to dwell on the manner of observing the Sabbath; for were it true that the institution remained in force no longer than the

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Jewish economy, it is evident, we should not be bound in conscience, we should not be under religious obligation to observe the Sabbath at all, no more than any other of the exclusive institutions of Judaism. My first object, then, will be to show that the Sabbath was not an institution peculiar to the Jews, but that it existed before their dispensation commenced, that it continued when their economy closed, and that it now remains as a Divine institution of perpetual obligation. The early appointment of the Sabbath will be the subject of the present letter.

That the Sabbath had an earlier origin than Judaism is a truth which does not depend on doubtful inference. We have an explicit account of its being instituted immediately after the creation of the world. The inspired historian, having represented the great Creator as resting from His work on the seventh day, adds, · And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made,' Gen. ii, 2, 3. In Scripture language, days and inanimate things are said to be sanctified, or holy, when they are set apart for God. Thus the temple at Jerusalem was called holy, because it was consecrated to Divine worship ; and thus the various utensils of the temple were spoken of as holy, because they were not employed for common or profane purposes, but were used exclusively in the service of the sanctuary. When, then, God sanctified the seventh day, He reserved it, set it apart for Himself, to be spent in religious exercises ; declaring, at the same time, that this mode of spending it should be made beneficial to mankind. He blessed it' to man,

while He sanctified it to Himself.' Now this portion of sacred history has ever been of difficult interpretation to those writers who regard the Sabbath as peculiar to the Jews; and they have admitted, that if the sense in which it has generally been taken be received, the universal obligation of the Sabbath is at once established. One of the most acute reasoners that ever employed a pen in assailing the sacred institution, frankly allows that *if the Divine command was actually delivered at the creation, it was addressed, no doubt, to the whole human species alike; and continues, unless repealed by some subsequent revelation, binding upon all who come to the knowledge of it. Well, what is the expedient to avoid this conclusion? Why, we are told that the sacred historian does not say that the Sabbath was actually appointed at the creation, but that he merely mentions it in this place, by way of anticipation, as an institution afterward given to the Jews. On this interpretation two remarks will suffice. In the first place, it is utterly irreconcilable with the established rules of criticism. The historian is professedly giving a narrative of the creation ;. and as it is allowed that he introduces no other foreign matter, why, on the supposition that the Sabbath was not instituted at the creation, introduce the mention of it? And providing that he had had occasion to allude to a transaction of a later age, would he have done it without any intimation of his design? Here are the labors of six successive days recorded in regular order: then, without any interruption to the argument, without the slightest intimation that he is going to slide down the stream of time some twenty centuries or more, the historian speaks of the repose and consecration

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