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tion be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath but let your yea, be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. Ex. 20. 7. Mat. 5. 34-37. Jam. 5. 12. || Hos. 4. 2. Mat. 23. 16–22. Ps. 59. 12. and 109. 17, 18. Lev. 18. 21. Have you never profaned the name of God? Do you not profane it whenever you mention it without reverence?
122. Why is it that so many indulge in profaneness?
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. There is no fear of GOD before their eyes.- This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. (u) Eccl. 8. 11. Rom. 3. 13, 14, 18. Eccl. 9. 3. Jer. 17. 9. Ps. 36. 1, 3. Jam. 3. 8-10.
Profaneness affords neither honour, profit, nor pleasure, unless it can afford pleasure to destroy the souls of children and others under the influence of such examples-to degrade the man below the brute and imitate apostate spirits.
Does not the corrupting influence of bad examples spread the contagion of profaneness? Has your example always encouraged reverence for the name of God?
123. What general directions are given with respect to the sabbath?
Remember the sabbath-day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy GOD: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 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. And on the seventh day GOD ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 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. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of GOD. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased
(u) See Appendix, Note U.
from his own works, as God did from his. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.- And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, (ready to depart on the morrow) and continued his speech until midnight. Ex. 20. 8-11. Gen. 2. 2, 3. Heb. 4. 9, 10. 1 Cor. 16. 1, 2. Acts 20. 7. || Ex. 16. 25–28. Jer. 17. 21, 22. Lev. 23. 3, 32. Mark 2. 27.
Are you pleased that God has appointed one day in seven to be a holy rest? Is not the institution of the sabbath in Eden an evidence of its perpetual obligation?
124. What authority have we from scriptural precepts and examples for attending public worship on the sabbath?
Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. And it shall come to pass, that from one newmoon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the Lord in the sabbaths and in the new-moons. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbathday, and stood up for to read. And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath-days. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath-days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. Lev. 19. 30. Is. 66. 23. Ez. 46. 3. Luke 4. 14-16, 31, 32. Acts 17. 2, 3. || and 13. 14—16, 26, 42, 44. and 15. 21. and 18. 4.
Have you statedly, attentively, prayerfully, and profitably, waited on God in his earthly Sanctuary? Have you delighted in the assemblies of the saints?
125. Is praise to God an important and animating part of public and private worship? (v)
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt (v) See Appendix, Note V.
him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.- Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is GoD: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Ps. 107. 31, 32. and 9. 11. an 100. 1-5. || and 27. 4, 6. and 95. 1-3. and 148. 11–13. Col. 3. 16.
Have your hearts been attuned to praise your God and Redeemer, when the songs of Zion have sounded in your ears, or been pronounced by your lips? Have you learned the NEW SONG which employs the rapturous harps of heaven?
126. What was the language and conduct of a good magistrate respecting the observance of the sabbath?
Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house ⚫ of GOD forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine-presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath-day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath-day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath-day. Neh. 13. 11, 15-19. || and 13. 20-22. and 10. 29, 31.
Would it not promote the interests of religion and the welfare of the community to have such magistrates as Nehemiah multiplied in our land? Is not the sabbath much profaned by journeys of business and of pleasure?
127. What blessings are promised to those who keep the sabbath holy?
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Is. 58. 13, 14. || and 56. 2, 4-7.
Have you experienced the spiritual blessings of sanctifying the sabbath? Have you had foretastes of the everlasting sabbath which remains for the people of GOD?
128. What threatenings have been denounced or executed against sabbath-breakers?
Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore: for it is holy unto you. Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath-day he shall surely be put to death. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath-day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath-day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them: and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries. Ex. 31. 14, 15. Jer. 17. 27. Ez. 20. 12, 13, 15, 16, 23. || and 22. 8, 14-16, 31. Num. 15. 32-36.
Have you never read of apparent judgments executed on sabbath-breakers, in the present age? Can you violate the sab bath without apprehensions of God's displeasure?
129. How must we fast to be accepted and profiled?
Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your GOD.- Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily, I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto meu to fast, but unto thy Father, which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.- Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rere-ward. Lev. 23. 27, 28. Mat. 6. 16-18. Is. 58. 6-8, || Joel 1. 14. and 2. 12-17. National deliverances have been connected with National humiliation. 2 Chron. 20. 2-4, 20—22, 29, 30. Est. 4. 3. and 8. 16. Jonah 3. 5-10.
Have you kept solemn seasons of humbling your souls and rending your hearts before GOD? Has not such fasting been succeeded by holy joy?
130. Are we required at all times to exercise patience toward God and toward men?
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.- That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.- For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Be patient there.öre, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman wait.