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keep them all. Hence it was, when the Israelites broke the fourth commandment by gathering of manna, that the Lord charges them with breaking all-the commands, Exod. xvi. s8. "How long resuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?" Why so? Because he that makes no conscience of keeping the Sabbath, will not much stick to break any of the rest.
3. It hath a solemn memento presixed to it, which the rest have not; God ushers it in with a remember, which is very emphatic, and is, as if he had said, u Keep this command always in your minds: forget what you will, sorget not this." God speaks, as a master that hath some special affair, among many others, to recommend to his servant: Among all other injunctions, he bids him particularly remember such an assair; thereby shewing a special concern for it, more than the rest.
4. It is delivered both positively and negatively: All the rest of the commands are delivered only one of the ways, but this is both ways. It is not only said positively, " Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy; but alsu negatively, " In it thou shalt do no manner of work," dec.
5. The Lord presseth obedience to this command* with more reasons and arguments than any of the rest, which were enumerated besore. And this he doth because he knew the conscientious observing of this command would engage us to make conscience of all the rest, and because he foresaw wicked men would attack it, and reason against it more than any of the rest. Now, is it probable that God would stiew sui-h a con. cern for a ceremonial law, that he would place it in the middle of the moral precepts, and press it with more reasons and arguments than any of them f
6' He in ike 5 the keeping of this command, and sanctifying of -the Sabbath, one special end of man's creation ; because therein God is highly glorisied. The Jewish Talmund propounds the question, " Why God made man on the evening besore the Sabbath i" and gives this one reason, that man might forthwith enter upon the observation of the command to keep the Sabbath, and begin his lise with the worship of God, which
Vol. IV. F was was the chies end why it was given him, as if the keeping the Sabbath were the great end of his creation. And indeed there is solid reason for this aflertion, if we consider that, as the end of the Sabbath day is to commemorate God's glorious works, and celebrate his praises for the fame, so the chies end and design of. man, whom God made on the sixth day, as his last and most consummate work of all, was, that he might be the tongue of the whole creation, to trumpet forth his praises for all the rest of his works. And accordingly, just on the back of his creation, he entered upon the keeping of a Sabbath for that very end. So it may well be said, that God made man chiesly for this end, to keep the Sabbath day. .
7. The Lord entails many special bleslings upon the keeping of this command, and denounces many sad threatenings against the breaking of it. Read the 56th chapter of Isaiah throughout, where the Lord not only pronounceth him blessed that keeps the Sabbath, but promises to- " give him a place and a name better- thaa of sons and daughters," to sill his heart with " spiritual joy," to give him a *' spirit of prayer," and to " hear his prayer:" God will both give him ability to serve him, and then accept and reward his service when it is done. Also read Isa. lviii. 14. Jer. xvii. 24. where bleflingf, both spiritual and temporal, peace, wealth, plenty and prosperity, are promised to such as keep the Sabbath. On the other hand, how terrible are the plagues he threatens against a land or people sor breaking this command. Read Jer. xvii. 27. Ezek. xx. 21. to 26. ...
8. He ha^h severely punilhed sinners for the breach of this command, as if it were the sum of his whole service. He caused a man to be put to a cruel death for " gathering sticks on the Sabbath," Numb. xv. The ossence might be thought small, but God looks 011 the conterrpt of the Sabbath as an assront to the Creator who itiltituted it, and to whose honour it was dedicate, and an incursion upon the whole law, about which God appointed the Sabbath for a hedge. It was the slighting of. the Lord's Sabbaths that caused Jerusalem
to Concerning the Morality of the Sabbath. 43
to be burnt with sire, Jer. xvii. ult. Many Instances of judgments against Sabbath-breakers might also be brought from human histories.
V. A sifth argument may be taken from the prophecies of the Old Testament. We sind Isaiah, that evangelical prophet, pronouncing a blessing on those that should keep the Sabbath, even in evangelical times, Isa. lvi 1, 2- ""Thus saith the Lord, keep ye judgment, and do justice; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. BlesTid is the man that
doth this, that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting
if." That is a plain prophecy of Christ; yet, in his times he declares them blessed who should keep the Sabbath? Yea, ver. 6. he puts " the keeping of the Sahbath" in a manner sor the whole duties of the covenant. That this evangelical prophet is speaking there of the New Testament time?, there is no ground lest to doubt; sor he is speaking of the time when the stranger and eunuch should be joined to the Lord, and when there should be no distinction of person*, Jews or Gentiles, but both should be alike welcome to Go4 and his ordinances: And yet, in these times, there are many blessings promised to them that should keep the Sabbath; which demonstrates it to be a moral and perpetually binding duty.
VI. Christ himself plainly tells U?, " That he came not to destroy (or abrogate any part of) the moral law, but to sulsil it," severely threatening those who would seek to invalidate the obligation of the least of these commands, Matth. v. 17, 18,19. and, in conssirmation hereof, he bids Christians *' pray that their slight might not be on the Sabbath day," Matth. xxiv. 10. Now, the flight he there speaks of, was to happen in Vespasian's time, about forty years aster that all ceremonies were abolished, together with the Jewish Sabbath, as I shewed before; and yet we see Christ plainly enough homolagates the morality and perpetual obligation of the law for the Sabbath, under the New Testament: for he still supposes that a Sabbath would be in being and in force, aster all the ceremonies were abolished•
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and therefore he warns his disciples, and in them all
uniform, constant, and uninterrupted in this matter,