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and ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo! these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed d
There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked; and on the same day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day; it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was. Afterwards Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews, that it was Jesus which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him; because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision, (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers) and ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the Sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath-day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment".
Note concerning the Lord's Day.
"BEFORE we leave this subject, it may be proper to observe, that the Sabbath day, among the devout Israelites, was always considered as one of their most
sacred and valuable privileges. When the strict observance of it was enjoined by Moses in the wilderness, the duty is urged from this consideration:" See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day, the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day". "Nehemiah records
this holy day as a distinguishing favour of God, requiring the thanksgiving and praises of his people." Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and madest known unto them thy holy Sabbath'. "And the prophet Ezekiel introduces the Almighty as regretting the unthankfulness of Israel." 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. And my Sabbaths they greatly polluted *.
"It is likewise to be observed, that, after the resurrection and ascension of our Lord, the first day of the week was sanctified as the Sabbath in place of the seventh, as being the day whereon he arose from the dead. We may certainly conclude, that it was by divine appointment, from the practice of the Apostles and of all the first Christian churches, who set apart that day for the worship of God. On it we are called to remember Christ's resurrection from the dead, in which it was declared, that the work of our redemption was completed; and to unite in our minds these two views or characters of God, our Creator, and our Redeemer *."
OF FASTS AND FESTIVALS.
SECT. 1. Of religious fasting.-2. Of solemn feasts in commemoration of signal mercies.-3. Of holy days and other ceremonials in worship.
h Exod. xvi. 29.
Neh. ix. 13, 14.
* Ezek. xx. 12, 13.
* See 1 Cor. xvi. 2. Rev. i. 10., and Pliny's Epistle quoted supra, p. 31.
SECT. 1. Of religious fasting.
BLOW ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh; for it is nigh at hand. Cry loud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins". Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? When ye fasted and mourned, in the fifth and seventh month, did ye at all fast to me, even to me? Behold, in the day of your fast, ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. labours. Behold Behold ye fast for strife and debate, and
to smite with the fist of wickedness. Ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down. his head like a bulrush? and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? 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. Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting and with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God'. Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people; sanctify the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, and those that suck the breasts; let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet; let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and
§ 1. Joel, ii. t. Zech. vii. 5.
b Isa. lviii. 1.
Isa. lviii. 3-7.
c Isa. lviii. 3.
let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach. Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. 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 reward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon-day. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not ".
"The scribes and Pharisees said unto Jesus," Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast while the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days'. 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 men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly **.
SECT. 2. Of solemn feasts in commemoration of signal mercies.
Observe the inonth Abib, and keep the passover unto 'Luke, v. 33, 34, 35.
Joel, ii. 15-18.
h Isa. lviii. 8-11.
"See more concerning fasts in the second chapter of this part, Of Repentance, several examples illustrating this subject. To which may be added, the fast kept by Jehosaphat in his extreme danger, and its happy effects, recorded Chron. xx. 1-30. And that of Nehemiah, and of Ezra, recorded Neh. ix. 1, 2, 3. and Ezra, viii. 21."
the Lord thy God; for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night*. This day shall be unto you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord, throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, ye and your sons, and your daughters, and your man-servants, and your maid-servants, and the Levite that is within your gates. And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God, with a tribute of a free-will offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee. Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days; and thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God; because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy increase, and in all the works of thine hands; therefore thou shalt surely rejoice. This day is holy unto the Lord your God, mourn not, nor weep. Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared for this day is holy unto our Lord; neither be you sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength*.
They that gladly received the word were baptized. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers'. And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people".
SECT. 3. Of holy days, and other ceremonials in
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that
"See the institution of the feast of Esther. Esth. ix. 17, 18, 19, 21, 22."