Jesse Kersey

Philadelphia: Emmor Kimbor, 1815. Pages72-75.

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[P. 74] It is the practice of Friends to unite with other professors of Christianity in setting apart one day in seven for the purpose of Divine Worship; and they have no doubt of the propriety of it. Under the legal dispensation we observe that it was a Divine ordinance, and that the Jews were strictly enjoined to regard it. But when the Messiah came, it is evident that he had a view to excite new and more important considerations about the observance of days and finding the Pharisees and others very particular, and even superstitious on this subject, he saw occasion frequently to put them upon trial; the first circumstance I shall notice of this is the following"And it came to pass that he went through the cornfields on the Sabbath day and his disciples began as they went to pluck the ears of corn." This it appears did not escape the notice of the Pharisees, who thereupon immediately were willing to find fault with them, and put them in mind of them. "Behold, why do thy disciples on the Sabbath [P. 73]day that which is not lawful." Whereupon they were informed, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath." Mark, 225-28. And as the Saviour did not join the Pharisees in a rebuke of his disciples, we may fairly infer that he had an objection to a superstitious observance of days and times.

"One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. he that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord, and he that regardeth not the day. to the Lord he doth not regard it. Rom. 14:5-6. Such we observe was the liberality of that eminent minister of Christ, the Apostle Paul, on the subject of days and times; but I do not mean from thence to infer that he was opposed to the devotion of a day to sacred purposes. It is doubtless expedient for the professors of Christianity to separate themselves at least one day in seven from worldly business. Yet that he who created time made it all equally good, and that the bare formal cessation from labour on the first day of the week, though outwardly expedient, and even an accommodation in civil Society, is by no means sufficient; and therefore unless we regard the day to the Lord, we do not regard it. He that searcheth the heart, and trieth the reins, and sheweth unto men what their thoughts are, is often more dishonoured on that day than in all the other days of the week. But I am satisfied there is no particular holiness attached to one day more than another; yet if we were to lay aside the practice of setting apart one day in seven, the cause of religion would suffer by it. The Society therefore, although they do not believe that one day has any sacred preference to another, have never departed from the practice of other professors in regard to the first day of the week.
As it respects days and times appointed for prayers, fasting, &c. though they believe that the Christian should live in the Spirit of prayer, they cannot make appointments for this purpose, or join with those who do. Nor have they consecrated days in reverence to any particular occasion or personwell knowing thatit is not the devotion of particular times, but the obedience of the whole heart to the will of God, which Christianity calls for; and than not one, but every day that a gracious Creator may grant to them. It appears that Paul was afraid of some of the time servers in his day; "But now after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak beggerly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain. Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years." Gal. 49-11.

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