« PredošláPokračovať »
Als xx. 7.
1 Cor. xvi.
Servant to God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth,
Q. Vhat Authority have we for the Change of
A. The Authority and Practice of the holy A posiles, the first Planters of Christianity, who therein followed the moral Equity of the fourth Commandment. For the Deliverance of Israel out of Egypt by the Ministry of Moses, was intend
ed for a Type and Pledge of the spiritual Deliver, Colof. ii. ance which was to come by Christ. Their Cangan
also, to which they marched, being a Type of that
Q. Why is the first Day of the Week called the
A. Not only because it is immediately dedicat-
Q. How did the Apostles and the Christians at
the first Day of the Week was their stated and solemn Time of Meeting for public Worship. On this Day the Apostles were assembled when the Holy Aas ii. 1. Gboft came down fo visible upon them to qualify them for the Conversion of the World. On this x. 7. Day we find St. Paul preaching at Troas, when the Disciples came together to break Bread; whereby is understood the Celebration of the Sacrament, or their Feafts of Charity, which were always accompanied with the Eucharist. And the Directions the same Apostle gives to the Corinthians, concerning their 1 Cor. xvi. Contributions for the Relief of their poor suffering Brethren, seem plainly to regard their Religious Afsemblies on the first Day of the Week.
Q. How was this Day observed in the Primitive Church?
A. It appears from Justin Martyr, an early Con- Jul. Mar. vert to Christianity, and Pliny an Heathen, that the Apol. 2. Christians of those Times, both in City and Coun- 10. Ep.97. ty, had their public Meetings on Sundays. . In Orig: lit. which Assemblies the Writings of the Apostles and Cell. Prophets were read to the People, and the Doctrines of Christianity were farther pressed upon them by the Exhortations of the Clergy. Solemn Prayers were offered up to God, and Hymns sung in Honour of our Saviour; the blessed Sacrament was admi. nistered
to those that were present, and the consecrated Elements fent to those that were absent. Collections were made for the Relief of the Poor, whether Widows or Orphans, Prisoners or Strangers, orothers labouring under Sicknessor any Necessities.
Q. Though the mof proper Name of this Day of public Worship is, as St. John bimself calls it, The Lord's Day, did the primitive Christians firuple to call it Sunday
A. No: Justin Martyr and Tertullian both call Rev.1.10. it fo; because it happened upon that Day of the Apol. 2. Week which by the Heathens was dedicated to the
Tert. A. Sun; and therefore, as being best known to them, . ad
and the Fathers commonly made use of it, in their Apologies to the Heathen Governors : And it seldom passeth under any other Name in the Imperial Ediets of the first Christian Emperors. Besides, it may properly retain that Name; because
dedicated to the Honour of our Saviour, who is Mal. ix, 2. by the Prophet called the Sun of Righteousness that
was to arise with Healing in his Wings.
Q. In what Sense may the Lord's Day be called the Sabbath?
A. In that we rest on that Day from the Works of our ordinary Callings, and all other worldly Employments, and dedicate it to the immediate WorThip of God, whose Service is perfeet Freedom. But by Scripture, Antiquity, and all Ecclefiaftical Writers, it is constantly appropriated to Saturday, the Day of the fews Sabbath, and but of late Years used to signify the Lord's Day; so that though the Charge of Judia[m, upon those that use it in a Christian Sense, appeareth too severe, yet upon many Respects it might be expedient but sparingly to distinguish the Day of the Christian Worship by the Name of the Sabbath.
Q. Was not the Sabbath antiently observed as quell as the Lord's Day?
A. Though the Necessity of observing the Jewish
Sabbath was vacated by the Apostolical Institution of Col. ii. 14.
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 Cbristian for not observing the Jewish Sabbath, as it was for neglecting their other Ceremonial Institutions : Yet, in the East, where the Gospel chiefly prevailed among the Jews, who retained a mighty Reverence for the Mofaical Rites ; the Church thought fit so far to indulge the Humour of the Judaizing Converts, as to observe Saturday as a
Athan, de Sement.
Fejlival Day of Devotion, whereon they met for 6.4: 8. publick Prayers, and for the Exercise of other Epift. 289. Duties of Religion, as is plain from several Paf- ad Cæs. fuges in the Ancients. But, however, to prevent Scandal, they openly declared, they did it only in a Christian Way, and observed it not as a fewish Subbaih; and this Custom was so far from being iniversal, that at the same Time all over the IVeji, exceptat Milan in Italy, Saturday was kept as a Filt.
Q. What particular Custom did the Primitive Christians observe in their Devotions on the Lord's Day ?
A. They prayed ftanding; symbolically representing our Resurrection or Restitution by the Grace of Chrif, by which we are delivered from our Sins, and from the Power of Death. And this Custom was maintained with so much Vigour, that when some began to neglect it, the great Council of Nice Can. 20. ordained that there should be a constant Uniformity in this Case; and that on the Lord's Day, Men fl:ould stand when they made their Prayers to God.
Q. Is it proper to fast on the Lord's Day?
A. No: Because it is to becelebrated with Expressions of Joy, as being the happy Memorial of Christ's Resurrection; and therefore whatever favoureth of Sadness and Sorrow ought to be restrain. ed. The Primitive Christians prohibited it with Tertul de great Severity and never fasted on it though in the c. 3. Time of Lent: The Heretics, who denied the Resurrection of Chriji, fafted on all Sundays, because they would not honour the Myftcry.
Q. Did the Chrijiian Emperors use their Authosity to oblige their Subjects to keep this Day holy?
A. Conftantine and Theodofius both prohibited the Eufeb. de Profanation of this Day, either by the Works of Vit. Con.
1.4. c. 18. Men's ordinary Calling, even of those who were yet Strangers and Enemies to Christianity; or by any Cod. Tutt. public Shews; that the Worship of God might de Ferris not be confounded with those profane Solemnities. 1.3. 16.1.7;
Q. How ought Christians to observe this Day? A. It is not enough that we rest from the Works of our Calling, but our Time must be employed in all such religious Exercises as tend to the Glory of God, and the Salvation of our Souls. We must regularly frequent the Worship of God in the public Assemblies, join in the Prayers of the Church, hear his holy Word, receive the blessed Sacrament when administered, and contribute to the Relief of the Poor, if there be any Collection for their Support. In private, we ought to enlargeour 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 Course of our Lives: To improve our Knowledge by reading and meditating upon Divine Subjects; to instruct our Children and Families; to visit the Sick and the Poor, comforting them by some seasonable Afiftance: And if we converte with our Friends and Neighbours, to season our Discourse with prudent and profitable Hints for the Advancement of Piety; and to take Care that no Sourness and Mo. roseness mingle with our serious Frame of Mind.
Q. What Jecms to be the most obligatory Duty upon this Day?
A. The being present at the Assemblies of Public Worship, from which nothing but Sickness or absolute Necessity should detain us: For the Day being dedicated not only to the Honour and WorThip of God, but also appointed to this End, that we might openly profess ourselves Christians; it must be an Argument we are very little concerned to do either, if we abstain from God's solemn Worship at such Times. Nothing troubled the primitive Christians more, than, when fick and in Prilon, or under Banishment, that they could not