Imágenes de páginas

TV. A fiittrh argument I make use of is tVrs";' vm

If God prohibits worldly employments on th: Sab-' bath then certainly he discharges carnal recreations:'

But the former is true; theresore, He •.'

The minor proposition is undeniable; so thai atl V have to prove is the conneiion of the major propbsi-r. tion, which may be easily done thus: The great season of prohibiting woridly employments on \U8 Sa'-v bath If, because they hinder the holy employment '8ft the soul, and would interrupt the duties of the Salv-'. bath. But if'carnal recreations' diThinde¥ tlje^duties . of the Sabbath, and spiritual employment ps the: soul," as much as servile labour; then hy p>rity 6f feksori. they are forbidden also: But so it i*, that they do hin-' der as much, yea, more than sertile labour would do. Nay, I may be bold to s.y, that a man may be more . serious, and have his mind rhoie exercised with heavenly meditations, when plowing, sowing or threfi'^tigv than when he is about carnal entertainments, recte*-'3' tions, or pastimes; or when he is in vain promiscuous company, j Mting, sporting, and telling stories, or walking and talking idly in1 the streets or sields. These do'" far more distract the heart from God's service, shaft servile labour doth: A man will sind himself m6fe;tirtalrfr'Vr posed sor prayer and holy duties aster them, th«i aster5 the works of his calling. It was the sense of thiS thatmade Augustine say, " That it were better for! ttiiiSt A


quam/altare' in Sabbait." Aug'.; He very well knew, that carnal pleasures ar*'inCo^-rr sistent-with;'devotion, and wholly ttnsit the soul-fir. communion with God, which is the work'of the Sab'-"; bath. Hence we see, lovers o'f pleasure, and lovers of God, are set in opposition, i Thru Hi. 4.

i might go?ott to multiply arguments to this pnrpofie-, but'this truth is so clear from found reason and the? wordv6f God, and particularly from Isa. lvtii. \\. to such as believe the scriptures, that I think it almost needless to say any more. -'"

'.Xt&eMSi soi But,

But, in regard this truth hath many adversaries, (and no wonder though (atan muster up all his forces against it, since it levels so directly against his kingdom) I stall endeavour to answer the chies objections brought against it.

Particularly, there is one J. S. who calls himself a Presbyter of the Episcopal church of Scotland, that in his pamphlets upon the Sabbath, lately published, pleads for Sabbath days recreations, both ns lawsul and dutisul, aster the public worship is over; providing (as he qualisies them) there be nothing immodest or indecent therein, nor too much time spent thereby: Though he neither tells how much time he allows for them, nor what are the immodest or indecent things which he disallows in them; but leaves every man to his own construction and choice therein."

I shall consider the strength of the arguments adduced by him and others, for these recreations; and I lhall begin with the chies one.

Obje3. I. " To hinder these recreations aster sermon, were to tye us, who are the disciples of Christ, to as ftrict a rest, and as burdensome an observation of the Sabbath, as the Jews were obliged to under the law, which were to judaize, and buiid that again which Christ hath destroyed."

Arts. 1. The fourth command being moral and perpetual, as hath been proven, doth oblige us to as strict a rest and cessation from worldly actions, as it did the Jews. I grant indeed, the Pharisees invented a great many superstitious additions to the rest of the Sabbath, which were not of divine appointment, and would have had all to consorm theieto, as ii they had been divine laws. They assigned such a precise space for a Sabbath-day's journey; they frequently would not allow the relieving of mens bodies and beasts in distress this day: Some came this length, that though they allowed beasts to be sed or watered, yet, if any of them sell into a ditch, they must not draw him out on this day• but seed him where he was till the Sabbath was over. Nay, I have read of Jews so ridiculously superstitious, that they would not allow themselves to be drawn out of pits ot dangerous places into which they had sullen on the Sabbath, and theresore have smarted with death for their folly. Some held, that it was unlawsul to kill a flea, t ike the fkin oss an apple, or do any thing of that kind on the Sabbath day: Nay, surther, they taught, that it was unlawsul to desend themselves against their enemies this day; by which means th:y fometimes became a prey to thtir enemies: Till Mattathias the priest better instructed them, as we are told by Joseph us, and the author of the sirst book of the Maccabees.

I say, these were nothing but human additions ; for the same things were lawsul to the Jews on the Sabbath, that are allowed to u=, viz. the works of piety, necessity and mercy ; as manisestly appears by the commentary which Christ gives upon this command, both by his words and actions. Christ jksends his practice in healing, and his disciples in plucking the ears of corn on the Sabbath ; and fhews, that the works of necessity and mercy, the relieving of men and beasts in distress, were lawsul on the Sabbath. Our blessed Saviour, by his reasoning against the Pharisees on this subject, intends only to reprove their superstitious additions, and to shew what things were lawsul to the Jews on the Sabbath from the beginning, but not what things are now lawsul to us under the gospel; sor he gives no more liberty for worldly things this day than what was besore, since he " came not to destroy the law."

2. I grant indeed, that our Saviour hath freed Christians under the gospel, from the Jewish method of celebrating the Sabbath, by a typical service and ceremonial worship, consisting of sacrisices, washings, and manifold rites, which were a burdensome yoke. Now, to reintroduce abrogated ceremonies on the S;ihbath, is (I consess) to judaize, and rebuild what Christ hath destroyed ; and whoever are chargeable wiih this in any degree, let them see to it.' But what man will call abstaining from carnal recreations on the Sabbath, an abrogated Jewish ceremony ? or compare the strict sancrisication of the Lord's day, by the pleasant evangelical sacrisices of prayer and praise* to the burdensome

method method os observing the Jewish Sabbath? Christ hath told us, that his " yoke is easy, and his burden is light •** and all his experienced disciples will set their seal to the truth of it. - .•'..'.'

For niy part, I do not fie how a man can own the morality and unalterable obligation of the fourth command, and not grant that we are as strictly tied to moral duties on the Sabbath as the Jews4 aud consequently- to she same holy rest, and diligence in the service of God upon it; since the change made by Christ's coming is only in circumstantial or ceremonial things, viz. the day of the week, and the nature of the service or sacrisice requisite upon it.

QbjeEl. " But, besides the nature of the service and worship, there were several peculiar things required of the Jews upon the Sabbath, not binding upon us: Particularly, concerning the not dressing of rtieat, going out of the place, kindling of sire, bearing of hardens, the nature of the punishment of Sabbath breaking, double sacrisices," Sec. '.'«'.• t -;.

Ans. i. If any of the foresaid things were typical or ceremonial, then indeed it is abrogated by Christ's coming, and not binding upon us: But this will nowise alter the Gase with respect to abstaining from carnal Tc« creations on the Sabbath, which can never be reckoned typical or ceremonial; it being what is perpetually mo. ral, and necessary to the suitable sanctisication of this holy day, in all ages of the world.

2. Let the foresaid instances be narrowly considered, and it will be found that there is no such peculiar thing therein as is commonly imagined. , v . . . t.

l. As to dressing of meat on the Sabbath, the only place whence the prohibition of it is inserred is Exod. xvi. 23. concerning the preparing of manna. There are several interpreters, who think, that the dressing of it on the Sabbath is not here forbid; but that they are there ordered to lay up a part of it undressed for the Sabbath. But granting, as the most part of interpreters do, that the drcffing of the manna is there discharged, this will not inser a discharge of dressing any kind os meat on the Sabbath: since there were

some some thidgs peculiar to the manna, beyond other meat: For, •

1. - sThere was a particular promise made concerning it, that was not made concerning other kinds of food, viz. That it should not spoil nor corrupt: For, in that hot country, dressed meat could not easily be preserved good and wholesume over night.

2. There was much more servile work requisite irt preparing manna than other kinds of food; it behoved to be " grinded in millsi beat in mortars, and baken in pan?," Num. xi. 8. Now, so much servile labour about preparing of food was not sit upon the Sabbath, since it did not tend to the rest or resreshing of the bodyj but rather to the toiling of it \ and likewise it took up many hands, and would have hindered them from sanctifying of the day. So that there is no peculiarity in this prohibition; for, were we in their case, and had manna to seed on, it were not lawsul for us to pre. pare it on the Sabbath, more than for the Jews: But it is certain that they did dress other meat on the Sabbath, that required not such servile labour. Only we are taught by this prohibition-, as well as the Jews, to be careftil to prepare that meat, which requites much toil and pains, besore the Sabbath come; and so- to order matters about our bodily provisions the day besore^ that servants may be as little hindered from sanctifying the Sabbath, and the work of the day as little intsrrupterf as-poffible.!

II. As to the second instance, the prohibition of "going-out of their places on the Sabbath," Exod. xvi. 20. it; is plain from the context, that it is to be meant of going out to seek manna, it being an unnecessary servile work, and theresore unlawsul on the Sabbath-day.' ToT though the^Jews were restrained from going through the streets or sields on-she Sabbath, for worldly business, recreation or putting oss the time; yet not from all walking or travelling, when either the works of piety or necessity did require'j sor a " Sabbath-day's journey'* .was allowed, Acts i. 12. The Pharisees indeed stinted it tb two thousand cubits, (which some make one mile, others two, according to the disserent cubits rn use

VoiarlV.r N. - - among

« AnteriorContinuar »