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Servant to God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, as well as the Jew; but in the Designation of the Day they differ, The Chriftian chufeth for his Day of Reft the first Day of the Week, that he might thereby profefs himself a Servant of that God, who on the Morning of that Day vanquished Satan, and redeemed us from our fpiritual Thraldom, by raising Jefus Chrift our Lord from the Dead, begetting us, inftead of an earthly Canaan, to an Inheritance incorruptible in the Heavens.
Q. What Authority have we for the Change of this Day from the feventh to the first Day of the Week?
A. The Authority and Practice of the holy
A&ts xx. 7.
1 Cor. xvi. Apofiles, the first Planters of Christianity, who therein followed the moral Equity of the fourth Commandment. For the Deliverance of Ifrael out of Egypt by the Miniftry of Mofes, was intended for a Type and Pledge of the spiritual DeliverColoff. ii. ance which was to come by Chrift. Their Canaan alfo, to which they marched, being a Type of that heavenly Inheritance which the Redeemed by Chrift do look for. Since, therefore, the Shadow is made void by the coming of the Substance, the Relation is changed, and God is no longer to be worthipped and believed in as a God forefhewing and affuring by Types, but as a God who has performed the Subftance of what he promised,
Q. Why is the first Day of the Week called the Lord's Day?
A. Not only because it is immediately dedicat ed to his Service; but because on that Day our Lord Jefus Christ arose from the Dead, and refted from the Work of our Redemption; which he completed on that Day by his Refurrection.
Q. How did the Apostles and the Chriftians at firft obferve this Day?
A. It plainly appeared from the Scriptures, that
the first Day of the Week was their stated and folemn Time of Meeting for public Worship. On this Day the Apoftles were affembled when the Holy Ads ii. 1. Ghoft came down fo vifible upon them to qualify them for the Converfion of the World. On this xx. 7. Day we find St. Paul preaching at Troas, when the Difciples came together to break Bread; whereby is underftood the Celebration of the Sacrament, or their Feafts of Charity, which were always accompanied with the Eucharift. And the Directions the fame Apostle gives to the Corinthians, concerning their 1 Cor. xvi. Contributions for the Relief of their poor fuffering 2. Brethren, feem plainly to regard their Religious Affemblies on the first Day of the Week.
Q. How was this Day obferved in the Primitive Church?
A. It appears from Justin Martyr, an early Con- Juft. Mar. vert to Christianity, and Pliny an Heathen, that the Apol. 2. Chriftians of thofe Times, both in City and Coun- 10.Ep.97. ty, had their public Meetings on Sundays.. In Orig. lib. which Affemblies the Writings of the Apostles and Celf. Prophets were read to the People, and the Doctrines of Christianity were farther preffed upon them by the Exhortations of the Clergy. Solemn Prayers were offered up to God, and Hymns fung in Honour of our Saviour; the bleffed Sacrament was administered to those that were prefent, and the confecrated Elements fent to thofe that were abfent. Collections were made for the Relief of the Poor, whether Widows or Orphans, Prifoners or Strangers, or others labouring under Sickness or any Neceffities.
Q. Though the moft proper Name of this Day of public Worship is, as St. John himself calls it, The Lord's Day, did the primitive Chriftians fcruple to call it Sunday?
A. No: Juftin Martyr and Tertullian both call Rev.i.10. it fo; because it happened upon that Day of the Just Mar. Apol. 2. Week which by the Heathens was dedicated to the
Sun; and therefore, as being best known to them, and the Fathers commonly made use of it, in their Apologies to the Heathen Governors: And it feldom paffeth under any other Name in the Imperial Edicts of the firft Chriftian Emperors. Befides, it may properly retain that Name; becaufe dedicated to the Honour of our Saviour, who is Mal. ix, 2. by the Prophet called the Sun of Righteoufnefs that was to arife with Healing in his Wings.
Q. In what Senfe may the Lord's Day be called the Sabbath?
pol. v. ad Nation.
A. In that we reft on that Day from the Works of our ordinary Callings, and all other worldly Employments, and dedicate it to the immediate Worthip of God, whofe Service is perfect Freedom. But by Scripture, Antiquity, and all Ecclefiaftical Writers, it is conftantly appropriated to Saturday, the Day of the Jews Sabbath, and but of late Years ufed to fignify the Lord's Day; fo that though the Charge of Judiafm, upon those that use it in a Chriftian Senfe, appeareth too fevere, yet upon many Refpects it might be expedient but fparingly to diftinguifh the Day of the Chriftian Worship by the Name of the Sabbath.
Col. ii. 14. 16.
Q. Was not the Sabbath antiently observed as well as the Lord's Day?
A. Though the Neceffity of obferving the Jewish Sabbath was vacated by the Apoftolical Inftitution of the Lord's Day, and by our Saviour's having blotted out the Hand-writing of Ordinances; whereby it became as unreasonable for any one to condemn a Cbriftian for not obferving the Jewish Sabbath, as it was for neglecting their other Ceremonial Inftitutions: Yet, in the Eaft, where the Gospel chiefly prevailed among the Jews, who retained a mighty Reverence for the Mofaical Rites; the Church thought fit fo far to indulge the Humour of the Athan, de Judaizing Converts, as to obferve Saturday as a
Festival Day of Devotion, whereon they met for 6. c. 8. publick Prayers, and for the Exercife of other Epift. 289. Duties of Religion, as is plain from feveral Paf. ad Cæf. fuges in the Ancients. But, however, to prevent Scandal, they openly declared, they did it only in a Chriftian Way, and obferved it not as a Jewish Sabbath; and this Cuftom was fo far from being univerfal, that at the fame Time all over the Wet, exceptat Milan in Italy, Saturday was kept as a Faft.
Q. What particular Custom did the Primitive Chriftians obferve in their Devotions on the Lord's Day?
A. They prayed standing; fymbolically reprefenting our Refurrection or Reflitution by the Grace of Chrift, by which we are delivered from our Sins, and from the Power of Death. And this Cuftom was maintained with fo much Vigour, that when fome began to neglect it, the great Council of Nice Can. 20. ordained that there fhould be a conftant Uniformity in this Cafe; and that on the Lord's Day, Men fhould ftand when they made their Prayers to God. Q. Is it proper to faft on the Lord's Day?
A. No: Because it is to be celebrated with Expreffions of Joy, as being the happy Memorial of Chrift's Refurrection; and therefore whatever favoureth of Sadnefs and Sorrow ought to be reftrained. The Primitive Chriftians prohibited it with Tertul. de great Severity and never fafted on it though in the c. 3. Time of Lent: The Heretics, who denied the Refurrection of Christ, fafted on all Sundays, because they would not honour the Mystery.
Q. Did the Chriftian Emperors ufe their Authority to oblige their Subjects to keep this Day holy?
1.4. c. 18.
A. Conftantine and Theodofius both prohibited the Eufeb. de Profanation of this Day, either by the Works of Vit. Con. Men's ordinary Calling, even of those who were yet Strangers and Enemies to Chriftianity; or by any Cod. Juft. public Shews; that the Worship of God might de Feriis, not be confounded with thofe profane Solemnities. 1.3. ib.1.7. Q. How
Q. How ought Chriftians to obferve this Day? A. It is not enough that we reft from the Works of our Calling, but our Time must be employed in all fuch religious Exercifes as tend to the Glory of God, and the Salvation of our Souls. We must regularly frequent the Worfhip of God in the public Affemblies, join in the Prayers of the Church, hear his holy Word, receive the bleffed Sacrament when adminiftered, and contribute to the Relief of the Poor, if there be any Collection for their Support. In private, we ought to enlarge our ordinary Devotions, and to make the Subject of them chiefly to consist in Thanksgivings for the Works of Creation and Redemption; withal, recollecting all those particular Mercies we have received from the Bounty of Heaven through the whole Courfe of our Lives: To improve our Knowledge by reading and meditating upon Divine Subjects; to inftruct our Children and Families; to vifit the Sick and the Poor, comforting them by fome feasonable Affiftance: And if we converfe with our Friends and Neighbours, to feafon our Difcourfe with prudent and profitable Hints for the Advancement of Piety; and to take Care that no Sournefs and Morofenefs mingle with our ferious Frame of Mind.
Q. What Jeems to be the most obligatory Duty upon this Day?
A. The being prefent at the Affemblies of Public Worship, from which nothing but Sickness or abfolute Neceffity fhould detain us: For the Day being dedicated not only to the Honour and Worfhip of God, but alfo appointed to this End, that we might openly profefs ourfelves Chriftians; it must be an Argument we are very little concerned to do either, if we abftain from God's folemn Worthip at fuch Times. Nothing troubled the primitive Chriftians more, than, when fick and in Prifon, or under Banifhment, that they could not