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The New Zealand Evangelist

Antiquity Of The Sabbath

Antiquity Of The Sabbath.

How venerable is the Sabbath considered simply as an institution that has existed since the dawn of time! How many convulsions has it survived! The Fall came and shook the blossoms of the tree of life, and withered all the hues of Eden—the Flood came and swept away the men and the monuments of the preceding eras; since then the tide of time has effaced the impressions made upon the world, as the ocean waves obliterate the prints upon the sand; empires have risen and fallen—cities been built and destroyed—civil codes enacted and repealed—systems of philosophy been popular and perished—the institutions of Numa and the laws of Lycurgus exist only in history—the hieroglyphics of Egyptian wisdom are worn out—the days of Thor, Saturn, and Woden are no more sacred;—even the divinely appointed æconomy of Judah is terminated—the Urim and Thummim are departed—the mantle of prophecy, and the robe of priesthood, have descended upon no successor; but notwithstanding all these changes, the Sabbath still exists, and still is the “Holy of the Lord and honourable.”

Time is the mighty spoiler of every thing frivolous, and the infallible detector of fraud. The Sabbath being time-tried and time-warranted, has the testimony of experience to its value, and a guarantee that it will not be subverted, by the ephemeral opposition of modern infidelity. It is possible, that institutions congenial to some of the master feelings of the human mind, when sanctioned by law and shielded by power, may survive many a century, and page 186 still be of the “earth earthy.” The observance of the Sabbath is not congenial to the natural feelings of the heart; much opposition has been made to it in the world; yet it has weathered all the storms, and withstood all the changes of time. Is not its preservation, then, a proof that the Sabbath is divine? The gates of Hell have not prevailed against it; because it was appointed by the wisdom, and is defended by the power of God. Such an institution demands our reverence, were it for nothing else than its age. Ye worshippers of antiquity! Ye fond adorers of the times and things of old! Behold in the Sabbath, an institution older than all the monuments of antiquity, at the sight of which your eyes brighten and your hearts swell! Here is a relic of paradise; on it, lavish a portion of your veneration, and for once you may be both rational and pious.

Rev. W. White.