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substance of this command,- or the great design of the law, in what end of the week the Sabbath should be, whether the sirst or last of the seven days should be consecrate for it; 'since the scope of the fourth command is only, to bind us to consecrate the seventh part of our time, or one day in seven, to the Lord: Thia is the morality of the command, and what is of sacred and perpetual obligation in it. For, observe how the command runs, " Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy:—Six days fhalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. He saith net, "Remember the seventh day" to keep it holy, bus, 4•4 Remember the Sabbath day," or " holy - rest," whatever day it shall be appoined on. Take the asix days for your labour, and let God have a seventh every week for his solemn worship; this is the design of the law: For when it is said, " The seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord," it is not precisely meant of the seventh in the order, but the seventh in number; not the seventh day aster the creation, but the day sollow, ing the six days allowed men to labour; that day is the Lord's, whatever day in the week it fall on. And though it be told in the end, that " God rested the seventh'day," which indeed seems to be the seventh from the creation; yet it is said, "He blessed the Sabbath day," not the leventh day. So that it is plain, that, both in the beginning and end of the command, the Lord puts a remarkable disserepee betwixt the Sabbath or day of holy rest, and the seventh day of the week, the day of his own test ; implying, that the scope of the command is to bind us to santtify one day in seven, whatever seventh the Lord pleases to chuse, whether it be the first or last day of the week: and that the observation of the leventh day from the creation, is to be distinguished from the standing law of the Sabbath. For " Remember the Sabbath day to kep it holy,'' is the fourth command, and would have .bound us, though it had stopt there, and sai.i 110 mure. Though yet 1 grant, that the observation of the seventh or last day of the week for the Sabbath, Is so enjoined by the fourth command, that none could have altered it from that day to another, but he that is Lord of the Sabbath.
Thus you see in what sense the fourth command Is moral, and of unalterable obligation; and hovir it perpetually binds all Christians as well as Jews, to sanctify one day in seven for a weekly Sabbath unto the Lord. And now the day being changed by divine authority, from the last to the firjl day of the week, (of which asterwards) the substance, scope, or morality of the fourth command is nowise iofringed; and it still retains its authority and obligatory force as much as ever, binding Christians to sanctify the sirst day of the week, as much as it did the Jews to sanctify the last: Even as a law, commanding the keeping of an anniversary day for the soverign's birth, doth equally apply itself to the birth-day of each succeeding prince.
^uest IV. How may the morality of the Sabbaths or the perpetual obligation of the fourth command, be demonstrated against those who deny it?
.//ns There are many reasons which prove that the fourth command is moral,'binding its by a sacred and perpetual law, to keep holy one day in leven, to the end of the world; such as,
T If the law for the Sabbath was given toman, and binding upon him in a state of innocency, besore there was any ceremony or type of Christ instituted; (sor then man did not need a Redeemer, nor any rue or type relative to him) then consequently this command was not ceremonial, nor abolished by Christ's coming, but is of moral and perpetual obligation: But the forn er is true; and theresore the latter. The consequence cf the sirst proposition is certain, for the reasons mentioned; and allo from this, that the Sabbath was appointed to Adam upon a moral ground, which' obliges all his posterity ; viz. That he might have freedom and opportunity for the solemn worship of God, without any diversion from worldly things. For Adam, in his best estate, being but a finite creature, could not be intensely taken up with spirttual and temporal things both at once; his ordinary employment of dressing the garden, would in some measure have diverted his mind, th. t he could not wholly give himself to devotion, and the sulemn woisbip of his Maker: Wherefore,
fore God saw It sit he should Have a day set apart, wherein he might have an uninterrupted freedom for It. Now, if Adam needed a S bbath, for the ground* above mentioned; much rnore do we need one, who ate not only sinittt creatures, but corrupt also; and have so little grace and strength for spiritual employment, and so many corruptions, tentations and allurements to draw bur heatts from God through the week, which he had n&t.
Philip Limbrcch and other Arttisabbatarians, have no way to answer this argument- but by deriyirig such an early institution of the Sabbith, and asserting, that it was hot appointed till Moses, his time, when the cerernonies were instituted. But the conttary is evident from several teits.
1. From Gen. ii. 3. where we are told, besore man's' sall, at any word of it, that "God blessed the seventh day, and sanctisied it, because that in it he had rested' from all his work." "Now, the scripture notion of sanctifying any thing, is to separate and set it apart from common to sacred uses and purposes. And so it fe plain from this text, that God frorh the beginning of the world, did sanctify and set apart one day in seven to be observed by all mankind, as a day of sacred rest, a day solemnly consecrated to his worship and service: And to lay a tie osi us to observe it, we have God's example, o£ resting this day from all his work, set besore our eyes. And seeing God from the beginning of the world had a church in it, who would certainly join together in performing public worship and service to him; they behoved to have set times for it, and consequently a Sabbath: And what day so sit sor that purpose, as the day which God hath sanctisied sor sacred rest f That this was the ancient practice, may be inserred from Gen. iv. 3. 4. where we read of Cain and Abel, their bringing osserings to the Lord, which was an instance of public worship. And, ver. 3 It is said, la process of timt, they brought osserings, &c Now, these worus, In process of time, may be as well rendered from the Hebrew, At the end of days and so it is in the margin of bible*. Now; by the end of dayrt must be meant the pe
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riod of working days, which we call a week; and so it was on the seventh day, when solemn worship was (according to divine institution) to be persormed, that men brought their osserings to the Lord. That God's rest on this day was exemplary to all mankind, appears from his taking six several days to persorm his works of creation, and the distinct recording of each day's work, and his resting upon the seventh day. ' Certainly it had been as easy for an Almighty power to have made the world in one day as in six. He that said, "Let there be light, let there be a sirmanent," and it was fo, might, if he had pleased, assoon have said, Let there be a world, and it had been so. And why did he not? Surely for our instruction and imitation, that we in like manner should sanctify every seventh day of our time aster six days labour. And this is given as the rsason of the sourth command, *' Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy;—^for in six days God made heaven and earth," &c. . , * ... The Anti-sabbatarians are much gravelled with the forecited text, Gen. ii. 3. And, to evite the force of it, contrary to all reason, they would alledge that the blessing and sanctifying of the seventh day did not commence immediately from the creation, but only in the days of Moses, when the command was given, for the Sabbath, Exod. xx. and that Moses only relates this in Gen. ii. by way of anticipation. But this opinion is contrary both to the text and context; for it is evident to every man that seriously reads them, that Mpses relates the sanctisication of the Sabbath, as a thing done by the Lord immediately on the back of the creation, and nowise as a thing done or to be done by him two thousand years thereaster: For, assoon as he had said, that God ended his work and rested on the seventh day, he adds immediately in words of the same tense," That God blessed the Sabbath day and sanaisied it" And if we compare this place with Exod. xx. 11. •? For in fix days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day ., wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." It is manisest, that there he brings in God's blessing
and and sanctifying of the Sabbath, not as an action then sirst done, but as that which God hath done long before, upon the creation of the world.
2. That this was done from the beginning, is surther consirmed from Exod. xvi. 16 22. 23. from whence commentators justly observe, That the sanctisication of the Sabbath, was a thing notour to the Israelites, besore it was enjoined them by Moses ; otherwise there would be a strange abruptness in the introducing of that matter. For, besore ever there was any mention of the Sabbath, we sind, ver. 22. that the Israelites of their own accord, gathered two days provision of manna on the sixth day of the week, reckoning that the gathering of manna was a servile work, not proper on the Sabbath. But the ruleis taking notice of this practice as done, not only without, but in appearance contrary to the orders given them, they bring the matter to Moses, • that they might know his thoughts of it. Whence it appears, that the rulers doubted if the people had done right, seeing Moses had commanded that every man should " gather it according to his eating, and lay up none till the next day," ver. 16. 19. and so they might apprehend, that by virtue of this order they might lawsully gather it on the Sabbath also. But not being able to reconcile the seeming clashing of these two commands, of gathering manna every day, and resting on the seventh day, they come to Moses in a solemn manner, for direction in this straitening case. Accordingly, ver. 23. Moses gives them a resulution, and approves what the people had done, as agreeable to God's ancient law concerning the Sabbath, Gen. ii. which now was to be renewed and consirmed. "To morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord." He saith not to-morrow shall be'the rest, but, to-morrow is the rest; speaking of it as a thing well known to them. Now, if Moses had given them any previous direction about the keeping of the Sabbath, and gathering a double provision of manna, what was the need of all the rulers coming so solemnly to Moses about this case? For, it is- said, ver. 22. M That all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses." From all which it is clear, E 2 that