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contain the formal reason of the command: And in neither of there is the seventh day of the week spoke of; which notifies to us, that the observation of that precise day is not eff-ntial to the moral and standing law of the Sabbath, but separable from it. If it be said, that the command enforceth the obfervation of this day from God's example in resting unon it; I answer, that a seventh day's rest after six days labour, is all the conformity which the fourth command requires of us to the example of God, i. e. any seventh day he pleaseth to appoint.
Moreover, our natural reason argueth for what is above afferred : For though the Jews, who lived in the land of Palestine, might poflibly have obferved the precise seventh day from the creation ; yet the joint obfervation of that precise time was impossible to all others whom the fourth command doth concern, because of the difference of the climate where they live, which makes it night to many of them, when it was day to the Jews. Again, the computation of our time by weeks, consisting of seven days, each of twenty four hours length, was so interrupted in the times of Joshua and Hezekiah, by the prodigious lengthening out of some days, that I cannot see how the precise seventh day could poflibly be moral, or perpetually binding. From all which I infer, that the change of the day, by instituting the Lord's day, or first day Sabbath, in the room of the seventh day Sabbath, doth noways repeal or infringe the morality and substance of the fourth commandment.
Several proper questions may be moved upon this head.'
Queft. 1. By what authority came the day for the Sabbath to be changed? Ans. By the same authority that first appointed the Sabbath, i mean that of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is true God, “ the Lord of the Sabbath," and fovereign Head of his church.
There are indeed some differences among divines about this matter, some holding this change to have been made immediately by Christ himself; others, that it was made by the apostles: But both opinions come to onc
thing, and equally establish the divine authority of the Lord's day; seeing the apostles were divinely inspired, and infallibly guided by Christ's Spirit, in their eccles fiaftical determinations, delivering nothing to be con. Itantly observed in God's worship, but what they had the Lord's authority for, according to i Cor. xi. 23.
Athanasius painly affirms, that the change was made by the Lord himself; and indeed it is more than probáble, that during Christ's forty days stay on earth'after his resurrection, wherein he continued instructing his disciples of the things relating to the gospel-church, " and giving his commandments to his apoftles,” Acts i. 2, 3. he, among other things, 'appointed this change, leaving it upon his apostles to make proniulgation of it to the world after his ascension, and especially at Penticost, at the extraordinary effusion of the Spi. rit on that day, whereby he publicly confirmed this charge.
When the sacred penman of the book of the Afts tells us, that Chriit continued for so many days space after his resurrection, to speak to his apostles “ of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, i e. the gofpel church; he surely hath a special respect to the in.' structions he gave them concerning the ordinances and institutions of the Christian church. Aud as he instructed them how they thould change the carnal facrifices of beasts into the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise, the facrament of circumlion into that of baptifm, and the sacrament of the passover into that of the Lord's supper; fo likewise he initructed them how to change the seventh-day Sabbath, into that of the Lord's day. All the primitive fathers are very posie tive concerning the divine authority of this change. Ignatius, who lived in the first century, faith in his Epist.) concerning the Lord's day,' Omnis Christi ama. 'tor dominicum celebrat diem, reginam et principem . dierum oinnium.' Auguft. Serm. 151 de tempore, faith, • Dominicum diem apoitoii religiosa folemnitate haben, 'dum, fanxerunt, quia, in eodem Redemptor nofter 'a mortuis resurrexerit, quique ideo Dominicus appels + latur.'
Quest 2. If it be asked, What was the neceflity of this change? I answer it was necessary,
1. To manifest Christ's glory and equality with the Father; for Christ saith, " That men shall honour the Son, as they honour the Father,” John v. 23. Where. fore, as they honoured the Father with a Sabbath, upon account of his reft from creation; so it was fit they fhould honour the Son with a Sabbath, upon account of his rest from redemption, which was a far more glorious work: And, therefore, in honour of the Son, the Christian Sabbath is, by the Spirit of God, called the Lord's day.
2. The change of the day was neceffary to manifest Christ's headship over his church, and that he is the fovereign Lord over his own house, worship and ordinances ; and, particularly, that he is “ Lord of the Sabbath,” which title he had assumed before in Mark ii. 28. And accordingly he would have this convin. cingly displayed to the world, by the wing that he is able to change the day of his solemn worship.
3. Since he hath thought fit to appoint a new mans ner of his worship, it was meet to appoint a new time of it also. The Levitical service and ceremonial wors Thip of the Sabbath day being changed, it was proper the day of the Sabbath should be changed also, to thew the more clearly the expiration of that worship, and to induce the Jews the more easily to lay it aside, and keep Christians the more from judaizing.
4. There were some things in the observation of the feventh day Sabbath peculiar to the Israelites, that be. longed properly to that nation, and not to others : As, 1. God deligned it to be a signal or mark for distinguishing that people from the rest of the world ; therefore he calls the keeping of this day, “ a sign betwixt him and the children of Israel, throughout their generations," Exod. xxxi. 13. 17.' i. e. a sign they were God's covenanted people, a nation that stood in a peculiar relation to God, above all others in the world. But, this relation coming at length to be altered, it was fit the sign should be allo changed. 2. When God re. vived the institution of the Sabbath to the Jewish nation, he enjoined them to keep it in memory of their deliverance from Egypt, as well as the creation of the world : for it is very observable in Deut. v. when Mofes called the Israelites together in a folemn manner, to put them in mind of the covenant God had made with them in Horeb, he repeats the Ten Commandments to them: But, in repeating of the fourth, he leaves out the argument for keeping the Sabbath, taken from God's creating of the world in six days, and resting the seventh; and, in the room of it, puts in their miraculous deliverance from Egypt: For, in the clofe of the fourth command, he says, Deut. V. 15. “ Remember that thou wast a fervant, in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God brought thee out thence, through a mighty hand, and by a stretched-out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.” And hence some think, that it was not precisely the seventh day from the creation that was appointed for the Jewish Sabbath, but the seventh day from their deliverance from Egypt. Lastly, This day was also appointed them, for to call to mind their wonderful deliverance at the Red-fea, which several learned writers are of opinion, was wrought for them on the morning of the Jewish Sabbath, and feems very probable from Exod. xii. 15. 16. 17. and hence they are enjoined to reft, and cease from their labour on this day, in rememberance of their being miraculously rescued on it from Egypt, and of their resting from the cruel bondage thereof From all which it appears, that there was something in this commandment peculiar to the Jewish nation, and which belonged not to others. And whence I may well infer, that if the deliverance by Moses, from Egypt and the Red fea, was a good reason for the Sabbath of the Jews, surely the eternal redemption by Chrift, from sin and hell, is a much stronger and better reason for the Sabbath of the Christians.
5. In the command for the seventh day Sabbath, there were some things typical and myftical, peculiar to the Old Testament times, and which were to be fulfilled in the Mefliah and gospel times; and therefore to be abolished. 1. The seventh day Sabbath represent
ed Christ, who is the only rest, centre, and satisfaction of our souls ; therefore the apostle tells us, Col. ii. 17. That the Sabbath “ was a fhadow of things to come, but the body is of Chrift," i. e. He is the fubstance which this shadow or type represented...
2. It signified the great Sabbath of the New Testament, or the happy times of the gospel, wherein the faithful were to rest from the fervile rites and burden. fome ceremonies of the law. . .
3. The seventh day Sabbath being a $6 shadow of things to come," typified the believer's rest and deliverance by Jesus Christ from the bondage of sin, and being brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
4. The Jewish Sabbath, with its ceremonial and typical worship under the law, thadowed forth the Christian Sabbath, with its pure and spiritual worship under the gospel, and so is expired.
5. The rest of the feventh day Sabbath was a type and shadow of Christ's resting upon that day in the grave, and therefore could not be continued after his resurrection, more than any of the other types fulfilled in Christ. Our Saviour, by choosing to ly buried throughout this day in the grave, did thereby bury the Jewish seventh day Sabbath with the rest of their types and shadows. Hence it is that the apostle Paul, Col. ii. 16. 17. doth expressly number the Sabbath among the Old Testament shadows, that ceafed upon their being accomplished in Christ the substance and Antitype, who came in place of all the legal shadows. Now, it being evident from the foresaid text, that the Jewith Sabbath was abrogated by Christ's death and resurrection; it is neceffary to believe that either Christ, by himself or his apostles, did appoint another day in lieu thereof, for the folemn worship of God; otherwise the state of the Christian church under the New Teitament would be far worse than that of the Jews 'under the - Old, which is absurd. I 6. The two ages before and after Christ, are reckon
ed as two diverse worlds, Heb.ii. s. wherefore'as, when the firit world was made by creation, there was a day