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written: journeys are not to be undertaken: plans and calculations of secular enterprise are not to occupy the thoughts. The mind, no less than the hands, is to be disengaged from all the incumbrances and entanglements of this world's affairs, that the energies of the intellect and the affections of the heart may be exclusively directed to the things which pertain to the Sabbath, and to the rest which remains for the people of God. Nor, let me add, is the business of the week to be protracted to so late an hour on the night which precedes the Sabbath, as to constitute a plea of fatigue and exhaustion, for the indulgence of prolonged repose on the morning of the Sabbath; or to be the occasion of that drowsiness and listlessness which unfit alike for the performance of its duties, and the enjoyment of its pleasures.
(2.) We are on this day to refrain from worldly pleasures and amusements.
We are “not to find our own pleasure:” we are not to seek any pleasure, which is incompatible with the hallowed delights of the Sabbath. We are not to indulge in the gratifications of sense, thereby degrading the day of the Lord into a day of festivity, and unfitting our minds for spiritual repasts. We are not to seek the gratifications of intellect, or of taste, apart from the peculiar pleasures of the Sabbath; and therefore we are not to devote its sacred hours to the perusal of works of literature, or of science, or of imagination; much less of those abominations of our land,
Sunday newspapers! Scarcely need I add, we are not to seek our pleasure in those re- . creations and excursions, awfully common as they are among all classes of society, which involve an open breach and flagrant violation of this holy day.
(3.) We are on this day to refrain from indulging in worldly conversation.
We are interdicted from "speaking our own words.” In yielding to the impression of the present moment, the human mind may entirely lose the impression of the moment which preceded. A new train of thought may, in an instant, displace that which just before occupied the mind. Thoughts perfectly foreign to the word and the worship of God, and the design of the Sabbath, may be suggested in conversation, on retiring from the sanctuary and returning into the bosom your family. The incidents of the neighbourhood, or the history of the past week, or the affairs of the country, or subjects the most trivial, may speedily terminate the impression of the most weighty and serious discourse, to which you have been listening while in the house of God. Of this misimprovement of the Sabbath you are in no small danger, even when surrounded only by the members of your own family; but immeasurably is the hazard increased, if your social circle is that day extended, by the visits of friends, whose entertainment you deem it necessary to consult, and over whose topics of conversation
you find it difficult to exert control. Under these circumstances, how can it be expected that the duties of the Sabbath should be spiritually performed, or that its sacred privileges should be gratefully enjoyed ?
Such, then, are the evils, against which we must vigilantly guard, if we are sincerely desirous of entering into the true spirit of Sabbath delights; and such is the observance of this holy day for which I plead, not simply on the ground of duty, but also as indispensably necessary to true and hallowed enjoyment. Never shall we, from our own happy experience, call the Sabbath a delight, unless we honour the Lord's day, by not doing our own ways, nor finding our own pleasure, nor speaking our own words.” I know indeed full well, that to expect all this, is to expect too much, from any one who is not a real Christian; who is not, by the influence of the Spirit of God, spiritual in mind. Without spirituality of mind, he may indeed find some pleasure in the return of this holy day. He may realize in the Sabbath an indolent pleasure, by making it, in the lowest sense, a day of rest; or he may value it as a day of domes tic pleasures, encircled by the objects of his fond attachment: or he may delight in it with a kind of sentimental pleasure, arising from the excitement of interesting and eloquent discourses, and the sympathetic emotions of social worship: but in vain shall we expect any man to appropriate the true delights, and
to perform the spiritual duties of the Sabbath, unless he be renewed in mind, and sanctified in heart.
From this subject, then, we derive a test of character. Let us sincerely and honestly apply it to ourselves. Are you conscious of being destitute of the spiritual qualifications requisite to the due observance and true enjoyment of the Sabbath? Then is your character radically defective; then is your state awfully alarming. Your heart must be brought under the influence of other principles, other susceptibilities, and other affections, or you can have no fitness of character for the employments of that world where a perpetual Sabbath remains for the people of God.
In concluding this discourse, let me present to you a portraiture of a happy family, uniting in the holy duties and exquisite delights of the Christian Sabbath. It is sketched by the hand of a master, and is equally correct and beautiful. “Every day," says Mr. Gilpin, 6 was a day of tranquil satisfaction, in which we had little to wish and much to enjoy; but the Sabbath presented us with peculiar consolations. We saluted every return of that holy day with undissembled joy; cheerfully laying aside all our usual studies and employments, except such as had a manifest tendency either to enlarge our acquaintance with, or to advance our preparation for the kingdom of God. It was a day truly honourable in our eyes, and marked as a season of sacred delights. Its various exercises, whether public
or private, produced an exhilarating effect upon our minds, and neyer failed to set us some paces nearer the object of our supreme desires. It was a kind of transfiguration-day, shedding a mild glory upon every creature, and enabling us to view the concerns of time in connexion with those of eternity. Through all its happy hours we sat, as on the holy mount, looking backward with gratitude, and forward with confidence; taking sweet counsel together for the advancement of our highest interests, and scarcely considering ourselves as inhabitants of this lower world. The company of even our most intimate friends, on these occasions, would have rendered our intercourse with each other more reserv
rved, and our pleasure proportionably less lively: but, unrestrained by the presence of witnesses, we gave an unlimited indulgence to all our affectionate and devotional feelings. Some interesting passage of Scripture, or some choice piece of divinity, generally furnished the matter of our discourse; and while we endeavoured to obtain a clear and comprehensive view of the subject under consideration, a divine light would sometimes break in upon us, satisfying our doubts, exalting our conceptions, and cheering our hearts. And still, as the scene has become more luminous, we have proceeded, from wonder to wonder, with a degree of delight far surpassing that which experimental philosophers ever felt, on discovering some grand secret in the operations of nature. Through these flowery paths we