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that the law for the Sabbath was extant, and the observation of it in use, before either the promulgation of the moral law at nount Sinai, or the giving of the ceremonial law, which was so:retime afterwards.
3. The first words of the fourth command, “ Rom member to keep holy the Sabbath day," plainly insiny. ate the renovation of an old command, and not the çnacting of a new one. It is highly probable, that the obfervation of this ancient law had been greatly neglected for many years before, while the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, and obliged to sore labour every day by their task-masters, and so not suffered to keep the Sabbath as before. Hereby, no doubt, the impreffions of the duty of keeping it, might be much worn off the minds of manythough the memory of the Sabbath was not quite loft, as appears from the peoples gathering double manna on the fixth day of the week without direction, But, that they might guard against neglecting or forgetting the law for the Sabbath in time coming, the Lord renews the command with a solemn memento, “ Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.”
4. Though Moses makes no express mention of the patriarchs observing of the Sabbath, it is no wonder; in regard he writes the history of some thousands of years after the creation, in very small bounds; wherein many things relating to the church in that period muft certainly be omitted: for the account which Moses gives of those early times, is only designed for an introduce tion to his history of the deliverance, erection, and polity of the nation of the Jews, God's peculiar people; and the only viGble church he then had upon the earth. Nevertheless, we hạve no reason to call in question the patriarchs observation of the Sabbath from the begin. ning of the world; but good ground to believe they did it, if we consider the eminent piety of some of them, together with their long lives, by reason whereof it was very easy to hand down the instituțion of the Sabbath, with others of God's revelations, from Adams to Abraham's days. For Adam's life reached to Methusalem's time ; Methusalem's life reached to Shem's time ; and Shem's life reached to Abraham. And, being religi;
que men, they would not fail to teach and recommend God's Itatutes to one angther. And for. Abraham the father of the faithful, we read expressly of his commanding his children to keep these statutes, Gen. xviii. 19. and, without doubt, he enjoined the keeping of the Sabbath among the reft. And, though it be not mengtioned in so many words, that is no argument again! the thing; for we read not of the church's observing of the Sabbath all the time of the Judges, which was near five hundred years ; yet there is no ground to question but they kept it all that time, I ;!.,.
Several things might be added, which make it highly probable, that the institution of the Sabbath was handed down by tradition from Adam to his posterity, through all the world. What reason else can be given of Noah's observing the revolution of seven days while in the ark? Gen. viii. 10, 12, where we see him once and again waiting the fall of the waters by fevens. He stil did let the seventh day or Sabbath be over, before he fent out the next messenger: wisely reckoning, that upon his suitable observation of the Lord's Sabbath, he might look for the more agreeable news to be brought him. What reason else can be given for the Heathens dividing of their time into weeks, and their weeks into feven days, and their constant holding the feptenary number as facred? Yea, (as Clemens. Alexandrinus tells us) the seventh day of the week was still held fire cred by the Greeks. All this certainly was conveyed to them by tradition from Adam and Noah, their forefathers i and not learned, to be sure, from the Jews, against whose customs and religion they had fuch rooted prejudices. . . . .,.. 13:
II. A second argument for the morality of the fourth command, may be drawn from the situation of it. We find this command placed in the midst of the Decalogue, or those moral preceps which God hath delivered to the world, as a perpetual rule of their lives. And is it any way probable, that God would place a ceremonial law, or temporary precept, in the very midst of them? As it is certain that the moral precepts have the preference to the ceremonial in many things ; so it is
as sure that the fourth command, or the sacred obfervation of one day in seven, hath an equal share with the other nine, in all the dignity and privileges of the moral law. For,
. In the st place, This fourth command, as well as the rest, was spoke immediately by the voice of God, in the hearing of all the people; whereas the other laws, ceremonial or judicial, were only given unto Moses, and by him declared unto the people.
2. This command, as well as the rest of the Deca logue, was written by the finger of God; nay, twice written by him in tables of ftone: Whereby the Lord intended to teach us its Gxed continuance and lasting obligation; and that by his Spirit he would have this law writ in the fleshly tables of his people's hearts, never to be obliterated. But this was not done with the ceremonial laws, which were only delivered verbally to Moses, and written by him from God's mouth.
3. This command was put and reserved with the rest of the moral law in the ark; whereas the law of ceremonial ordinances was placed in a book without on the fide of the ark, and which might be separated from the ark. The moral precepts were laid up within the ark of the covenant, as a sign of their excellency and perpetuity, and of their being inseparable from Christ and his covenant, (of whom the ark was a famous type) therefore faith Christ, Psal. xl. 8. “ Thy law is within my heart:" But the ceremonial precepts being without the ark of the covenant, was a token they were separable from it, and to be abolished by Jesus Chrift, when the appointed time should come. And, if the law of the Sabbath had been of this nature, to be sure it had been placed on the side of the ark, with the other ceremonial laws, and not lodged within it, together with the moral precepts, which were perpetual and unalterable. Moreover, if situation in the Deca. logue, among the moral precepts, which were laid up in the ark, be a good argument for the morality of the second command, against the Papifts, as it is improven against them by Protestant divines, there can be no teafon, why the same argument should not be fully as
concluding for the fourth command against the Antifabbatarians.
III. A third argument for the morality of the fourth command, may be this : The reasons and grounds of
this command are, in their nature, moral and perpetual, · and as forcible upon Christians as Jews; consequently the command itself must be moral also. .
The reasons included in the fourth command are various. 1. One reason, enforcing the sanctification of the Sabbath, is taken from the propriety of the day, 6. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God;" it is the Lord's day, and the holy of the Lord,” Isa. lviii. 13. the day which the Lord hath reserved for himself and his use, and therefore must be entirely dedicated to him ; no man may incroach upon this consecrated time, without the guilt of sacrilege. And doth not this reason bind us as much as the Jews? Have we any power to alienate from God, what is his property, more than they had?
2. Another reason is taken from the equity and rationality of this precept. God is good and liberal to us, in giving us fix days for our works : Wherefore it is highly reasonable and just, that we should give him one day for his worship. It aggravated David's sin, that he took the poor man's darling ewe-lamb, when he had a whole flock of his own: As it did our first parents fault in pulling the fruit of one tree that God had reserved, when he gave them all the rest of the trees at their will; so it heightens our crime, if we rob God of his one day, when he gives us no less than six to ourselves. Moreover, it is highly reasonable and fit, when our dying bodies have six days for their necessities and occasions, that our immortal Couls should have one for theirs. Now, doth not the equity and justice of this command affect and oblige us as much as it doth the Jews ? 13. A third reason is taken from the charitableness of this law; viz That our bodies and cattle should have a day allowed them for rest; charity faith, that they should have some case and relaxation from fore ,labour, and not be wearied out with continual toil: And
is not this as needful now as it was of old among the Jews ?
3. Another reason is drawn from God's example, which is a rule to us; “ For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is; and refted the seventh day.” Here we have a twofold example, both of God's resting and working ; and they are both set before us for our imitation. As God em. ployed six days in the works of creation; so we are to make use of six days in the works of our lawful calling: And as he ceased from his works, and rested on the seventh day; so we are bound to imitate him in that respect by quitting our weekly labours, and fanétifying of the Sabbath day. Now, can there any reason be given, why we are not as much bound to follow God's example, in resting one day after six days labour, as the Jews were?
A fifth is taken from the blest advantages of it; it is a blest day to them that keep it. And, is not God as able and willing to bless the Sabbath to us now as he was of old ? And, do not we need his bleffing as much as the Jews ?
Now, if these arguments be moral, perpétual, and obligatory to us, as much as to the Jews; the command - that is enforced by them must be so likewise. .
IV. A fourth argument may be taken from the fpe. cial marks of honour and respect that God puts on this command. It is not only engraven in tables of stone by the immediate finger of God, as all the rest ; but it is privileged above them, in several respects.
1. It is placed in the first table of the law; and there's by preferable to those of the second table.
2. It is situated in the midst of the Decalogue, in the close of the first table, and before the front of the second table; thereby teaching us, that the observation of both tables much depends on the right keeping of this one command. God hath placed it in the heart of the Ten Commands, because the keeping of it gives life to the keeping of all the rest. The fanctification of the Sabbath is an epitome of all religion ; it virtually includes all the commands, and strongly engages men to